“The reason evil exists is not solely because people plot evil. The reason evil exists is not because people are making pacts with the devil – horns, hoofs, and all. The reason evil exists and persists is, in part, because people are frightened and don’t know what to do with the spiritual hole in their lives.” David Owen
The theme for June is Good and Evil. Those are two such diametrically opposed words. Yet, they often go hand in hand, and they often can both be occurring at the same time for the same situation. Kind of like the story of the farmer - war came and he would lose his son to the army. Except the son fell off his horse and broke his leg, just before the army recruiters came enlist young men. And on and on. Perspective is everything. So is outlook. And for some, it's one's opinions. Everyone has one, you know.
My perspective comes from I think an Eastern saying, about how very few things are entirely 'good' or 'evil', that every problem arrives with a bouquet of flowers in its hands. The challenge is often when one is in that in-between space, a liminal space of uncertainty, it's hard to see a clear path. Transitions, whether expected and appreciated, can bring and answer many questions.
This time of Covid-19 is certainly bringing questions, challenges and blessings. I truly hope we can hold on to the less structured life it has brought, for those of us heeding the warnings. And maybe those not heeding will 'see the light', and realize humans can move slower, travel less, stay at home in a new way. I don't know how it is for dog owners, if dogs are willing to comply with only certain times to go outside, even though their humans are there with them all day, now. I do know the cats in my house expect a lot of lap sitting time, and have no trouble sitting on a computer if it's thwarting their ability to get close to their human. Having to 'slow down' is good relief from what many of us have experienced as an inability to do that very thing.
For ministers in search, it has certainly been a new experience, and is still unfolding, with twice as many ministers searching as there are positions available. Even when we find a church that seems to be the elusive 'good fit', being able or willing to pick up and move to a new location is not an easy decision. We can find folks all along the way not practicing suggested guidelines, and it becomes dangerous to move. The UUCBV search committee chaired by Molly Hagan Ward is to be commended for their choice of minister, Rev. Christian Schmidt. And their willingness to have a contract that allows almost exclusive distance connection.
I am still in negotiations for that very thing with a congregation I hope to serve the next several years. When I have definite plans, I will let you know. I will take this time now to tell or remind you that when a UU religious professional leaves a congregation, our professional guidelines call for us not to be in touch with congregants for two years. This is to make room for the new professional to establish their ministry with their new congregants. I hope for a great shared ministry for Rev. Schmidt and UUCBV, that your dreams of being a leader of progressive religion, thought, and action will come true. Blessings on our journeys past, present, and future.
Keeping the Faith,