My son began attending preschool when he was eighteen months old. He is now 8 years old, and I have said “Hello” and “Goodbye” to many preschool and elementary school teachers and therapists. He receives occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy. At the beginning of every school year, the new teachers and therapists become an important part of “Team Carlos.” I love getting to know them and seeing how they bring their unique gifts to teaching him. When it is time for Carlos to go to a new school, or a new classroom, it is always hard to say goodbye to his educators. Every June I sit down with a pile of stationary and write out thank you notes to his teachers and therapists. I try to put into words how much I appreciate the work that they do and the care and kindness they show to my child. This is part of my ritual of saying goodbye. These teachers and therapists come into our life, and then our time with them ends. I might see them occasionally around Seattle and say “Hello,” but we won’t see each other on a regular basis. Writing the thank you cards helps me find closure at the end of every school year. And it helps me get ready to welcome the new members of “Team Carlos” in the fall.
Now as my time comes to an end here at BBUUC, I am preparing to say “goodbye” to all of you. An important job of mine as the minister is to be clear that when my time working for BBUUC ends, my relationship with all of you also ends. Our relationship is one of minister and congregation. Part of saying goodbye includes ending our facebook friendships. By leaving the congregation, I am making space for you all to begin your time as a lay-led congregation. My time with BBUUC will end on August 26.
Before I leave, I want to tell you all thank you so much for allowing me the enormous privilege of serving as your minister. I am so grateful for your kindness and your passion for Unitarian Universalism. As soon as I began my work at BBUUC, I felt warmly welcomed into your community. It has been a joy to be your minister. Your work for social justice, your commitment to pastoral care, your efforts to dismantle oppression in its many forms and your excellence in worship truly inspire me and give me hope for the future of our faith movement. And, getting to know every one of you has touched my heart. I deeply value our relationships and I will take these memories with me as I go.
In the remaining weeks we have together, I invite you to consider if there is anything you need to do or say to have closure at the end of our time together. If I have unintentionally caused harm, I hope you will let me know so that I can repair our relationship. If you would like to schedule a phone call or zoom chat please let me know. For many of you, I will see you at our final zoom meetings for the board, the council, pastoral care and worship. I will also schedule an all church zoom meeting to have a last chance to socialize and say our goodbyes. Stay tuned for more information. I look forward to connecting with you in the coming weeks, so that we can say goodbye well, and enter September with peace in our hearts.