When Janet told me that she would be retiring this summer, my first reaction was sadness. She has been an incredible colleague, mentor, and supervisor; I will miss getting to collaborate with her.
For our congregation, my reaction has been curiosity: What’s next for USNF? How will these transitions impact the congregation? I keep returning to something Janet said: We are strong. I know she’s right. And I know that the people who are part of our congregation shape the community and make it what it is.
Those people include the family with the courage and commitment to get everyone to our building on a Sunday morning for the very first time. They are long timers who seem to be on almost every committee. They are parents like Jeremy Gantz, who has just become the layout editor for the Beacon, and Jon Weismoore, who is leading the elementary class to design and build a Little Free Library for our front lawn. There are people who want to share their gifts and help build community, like Judy Hyde, who has offered to lead a getting-to-know-you activity on February 25, and Jane Deihl, who created the current Parlor gallery exhibit (pictured here) as an opportunity for everyone to experience the spiritual practice of drawing. There is everyone who had the vision for regular community dinners on February 6, 20, and March 5, and the 200th Anniversary team, which is organizing many different ways to celebrate our congregation in 2025.
I am sad that Janet is leaving, and I am also looking forward to how, together, we will continue to grow, learn, connect, and innovate.