Well, this is my last time to write to you in this way. I will be leading the services on June 3 and June 17, then will officially end my time as your minister on June 30. As I said at the Congregational Meeting, there is both deep sadness and a sense of joy that I am experiencing. The sadness is daily now as I begin ending my time with you. These two years have been filled with the satisfaction of growing relationships with many of you, leading services that brought, I hope, spiritual depth, and getting to know Greeley and its challenges. Good stuff all. The joy comes from knowing that it is time for me to slow down and shift priorities. I will not, again, serve as the minister of a church. I will still be a guest minister when asked and fill in for a short time if there is a need in a UU church. I plan to do some volunteer work as a hospice chaplain. I also want to participate in a local school program where volunteers do storytelling and reading to little kids. Working with those from each end of life’s journey feels just right for me now.
As I did at the Congregational Meeting, I do want to apologize to all of you for my limited energy and capacity during these two years. I do not have the vitality I once did. I am recovering. I walk at least a couple of miles every day and do the exercises the physical therapists gave me for my knee. My sight is better but is still quite limiting. As a result, I have not been able to do all of what you and I would expect me to do if I were fully living out my ministry with you. So, I apologize for things I didn’t do, as a result of things which happened to me over which I had no control.
In the big picture, this is such a beautiful spring with green everywhere, I hope we all can enjoy it. It is not always so. And as you do, know that I believe that UUCG is going to be just fine. Aaron seems like a good fit as your new minister. He will bring new initiatives that I hope you will enthusiastically support. It is time that you lead with your better selves and take Unitarian Universalism in Greeley to the place you all want it to be. I will be rooting for you. And prayerfully hoping that your wildest dreams come true!!
Now that there have been a few balmy days it really feels like spring has arrived. Yet, there is always the omnipresent cool/cold breeze or, at times, crashing winds that smack us out of our spring reverie. Then it’s balmy again…. for a day! Springtime in Colorado! Mostly we need the warmth to thaw out our minds, bodies, and spirits. To bring us back to a kind of aliveness that is hard to generate in cold times. I hope that is happening for you all. For the month of May the service theme is creativity. How lovely. It invites us to think/act creatively certainly, and it serves as the “smack” I related above. Because, Creativity can bring awareness, wakefulness, self-knowledge, celebration, and joy. Acts of creativity loosen up our perception, our consciousness of who we are. It can spread our wings. It certainly can dig us out of our ruts, overnight. So, I looked at this as an opportunity to celebrate creativity by getting to know two people who are deeply creative in the services I am leading in May. The first, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet, Mary Oliver. The second, Unitarian-Universalist Minister and Author, Robert Fulghum. I don’t know of any more original thinking creative people than these two.
They could hardly be more different. One, a small New England woman who walks the beaches and fields of Cape Cod, MA finding the grist for her poetry mill. The other a robust man, a Westerner, living near or on the Pacific coast. Oliver, a shy introvert. Fulghum more outgoing, or a least seeming like an extrovert, even though we UU minster’s can fool you about that.
Rev. Barry Bloom