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Rev. Greg as Interim Minister

posted Apr 25, 2016, 8:36 PM by Greg Ward   [ updated Apr 10, 2017, 6:34 PM ]

Still in the throes of grief over the decision of our settled ministers to retire, I was skeptical when Rev. Greg arrived to serve as Interim Minister at UUCB.  As someone new to our church community (and new to church at all, for that matter), I held back and watched him for a good long time.  To be honest, I was not sure what to make of an early sermon that featured a suitcase and pointing out to the congregation that he is only an interim minister and that we always had to remember he would be leaving.  Over time, I have come to appreciate the themes he's presented as imperative for the time of transition.  It turns out that we did need to be reminded he would be leaving.  Because he became important to us and, over time, his sermons touched us at deeper and deeper levels.  

Beyond the transformative experience of worship, Greg has used his position as an Interim Minister to force our congregation to look at some difficult patterns and tensions within our community.  Among many things, this includes directly confronting the dysfunctions that developed following boundary violations by a prior minister, facilitating intergenerational workshops so that the older, middle age and young people in our congregation could talk to each other, instituting a worship associate program, and making difficult staffing changes.  Without question, there were parts of transitions that were hard and undoubtedly Greg made some mistakes.  But my observation is that he tried very hard to process each decision according to UU principles. I am extremely grateful he has traveled these last two years with us.