THOUGHTS SCOTT BEGOT:
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
– Robert Frost
My last day in the pulpit will be on June 18. I can hardly believe it as I type those words. So much has happened in the church since I arrived here in 2011. Our church family and my own family have grown. And I have grown. Being a part of this church community has been one of my greatest honors and joys of my life. I tell people that I have a wonderful vocation because I get to work with 200 teachers. I have learned so much from sharing life with you. I have learned how to step into my own fear and hesitation in justice work (I have much more to learn). I learned about worship creation and implementation (I have much more to learn). I learned the value of sitting together through sorrow and pain (more to learn). I began to understand what it means to engage all of church life as a continual avenue for spiritual growth (I have much, much more to learn…). Perhaps more than anything, I have learned that with the support of a religious community, a person is able to become far more than I ever could have imagined alone. I have felt loved and supported. Thank you. It is my hope that with this love you offered me, I used it to shape something of value back into this community and our world.
The Robert Frost poem above stopped me when I read it. In a world in which many are often busy and running from one activity to the next, he reminds us of the simple and sacred act of stopping for a friendly visit. As June continues forward and there is a space for good byes and remembrances, I hope you will feel free to come by for a friendly visit here at the church. Our shared time and work together is best remembered in story, and I think that looking back upon the good and difficult times is a proper way of honoring life spent in each other’s presence.
“We are the stories we tell about ourselves.” This gem off wisdom came from Rev. Martha Munson, my predecessor. One of the stories the church used to tell about itself was that it was hard on ministers. The church rightly stopped telling this story. I can assure you that the church can begin telling a new story. It is this: “We have been kind to our minister. We offered him trust and respect and that grew into a foundation of a solid ministry. Our minister felt a great love from us. When he left, his heart was so full of gratitude. We are an amazing congregation. There is always room to grow, and we are up for that challenge.”