(Not Quite) Counting the Days

(Not Quite) Counting the Days

A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms, and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up. At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope.

— John O’Donohue, in To Bless the Space Between Us

The questions have become more frequent. “How much time do you have left?” “When is your last day?” “How are you feeling?” “Do you have any idea what you’ll be doing next?” “Where will you go?” *

It’s a liminal, threshold time in our relationship. I don’t want all our interactions right now to be about my departure from UUCC, especially since there’s so much else that’s worthy of our time and attention as life continues to unfold—no one’s life is on pause, there are griefs and joys and milestones and community needs and big ideas to discuss!

And yet, my imminent departure (and our separation) is likely to feel only more relevant as we approach June 30th. I’m certainly feeling the increasing intensity of which John O’Donohue writes, and that great complexity of emotion is coming alive—confusion fear, excitement, sadness, hope.

So, some reminders as we navigate these remaining weeks together:

  • I continue to be your minister—and therefore available to you for pastoral needs, for conversations about spiritual ideas or your family or big questions or whatever is on your mind—through Sunday, June 30, 2024. I welcome you to be in touch if you’d like to visit—we can take a walk or sit and visit in my office or at your home or over a cup of tea somewhere.
  • In our family we’ll be celebrating this spring’s high school graduation with a 10-day family trip from June 7-18, which means I’ll be away on Sundays, June 9 and 16. Otherwise, I’ll be with you in worship every Sunday for the next two months—including the last two Sundays of June.
  • We have several extra-special worship services planned in May and June:
    • May 5 — a musical celebration of UUCC’s 60th anniversary
    • May 12 — flower communion and reflections from the April women’s retreat
    • June 2 — a joint service with CUMC in celebration of Pride month
    • June 9 — visit from Rev. Anthony Jenkins
    • June 16 — Solstice celebration with Turning Circle
  • Beginning July 1, I will follow ministerial guidelines and keep space from UUCC as you continue on your own journey. None of us Gettys will attend formal or informal congregational events. If I see you in public, of course we’ll say hello and maybe even catch up a bit on how our lives are. But I’ll decline to ask or to talk about what’s happening at UUCC. We’ll all need some time to settle into our new realities, even as our past relationships will forever be part of our stories.
  • If this talk of my departure is news to you (because you’re new to UUCC, or only recently reengaging, or for whatever reason!), I encourage you to look at the Ministerial Transition page of the UUCC website, which includes the letter I wrote to the congregation in January to announce my departure.

I am feeling increasingly tender these days as I imagine those last hugs and the final farewell to UUCC on June 30. So, I keep returning to John O’Donohue’s writing about thresholds—his reminders that “Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace. We merely need to trust.”

I love you, UUCC.


* Brief answers to those questions: 2 months. Sunday, June 30. Confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope, etc. (all the feelings!). No, still no idea. Nowhere, not moving!

One Comment

  1. John Guy

    Good Morning Rev Paige – Thank you for being so open and transparent with UUCC as a congregation going forward in the count down to end of your tenure here . Your candor and steadfastness with the process are most appealing to the integrity of a UU congregation . We will cherish each remaining day with you . And we are already wishing you well in whatever you choose next for your ambitions . I am reminded of Kinky Friedman’s song “When you close one door remember to open a window” . Thus is the beauty of life . Regards John Guy

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