Thank you for these eleven years in Mountain Desert District and the Pacific Western Region. It has been a profound privilege to serve our faith with all of you. We have been through a lot together -many ministerial searches, capital campaigns for new buildings and building improvements, a few conflicts and too many fires, floods, mudslide and other “natural” disasters. At every turn we learn again and again that we are better together. We are stronger, more resourceful, more confident and more faithful when we are supporting one another and living our Big Faith.
I have loved this work: helping leaders and congregations find the answers and options bust suited to their culture and context. Sometimes I have known something you needed and just as often you have shown me what is possible and faithful in your congregation. At a fundamental level I have become a storyteller in this role. I am often telling stories of one another; sharing what has been learned; what has worked; what is possible and what has been risked to discover a brighter future. In recent years the Pacific Western Regional staff has seriously considered the kinds of culture change we think is needed in many of our congregations. I share them with you as a gentle charge at my departure. Please consider how you and your congregation might move: from Fear to Faith; from No to Yes; and from I to We. I think these are three important habits that could make Unitarian Universalism intentionally counter cultural at a time when resilience, confidence, steadfastness and hope are most needed. We need more people designing and building an architecture of interdependence among us all.
I trust you will continue to support one another and the innovative ideas that can thrive among you. May your ministries and your lives be a blessing to the future of Unitarian Universalism in the west just as you have been a blessing to me these many years. I bequeath to you the big flame of our Big Faith, keep it burning brightly.
Rev. Nancy Bowen