It was wonderful to see so many members at our Annual Meeting on May 19. Those of you there got to see, via a video he’d made, the Reverend Eric Cherry, who will join you as interim minister in August. It felt good to hear Emily Quintana, who was part of the Board’s search team, speak highly of the search process and of the support the team received from the UUA transitions office and our New England regional staff. It feels good to know that you will have a strong, experienced minister helping to coach and guide the work you’ll be doing together over the next two years.

I will be embarking on my own transition.

How much grit do you think you’ve got?

Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?

. . .

If you want to know if you have grit,

Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.   —  Edgar A. Guest

It was time for me to make the decision to turn from the joy this role has brought me. Once I leave, I expect I will have moments that will call on my perseverance, patience, and even courage—perhaps all that is “grit.” I also expect and hope to have many moments of joy and discovery.

When I first started writing monthly notes for the newsletter, I ended them with an affirmation such as “I am very happy (or excited, or grateful) to be here as your minister.” It was a message that I felt people needed to hear in those early days. At one point someone said, only half-jokingly, that I could never stop ending my notes that way.

It has truly been a joy, a blessing, and a gift to have had these fifteen years as the minister of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. I am very, very grateful to, and for, all of you.Janets signature