June Message from Our Minister

Time of Renewal

Rev Andrée Cornelia Mol

Rev. Andrée Cornelia Mol
(pronouns: she/they)
Minister, Central Unitarian Church

Summer approaches. The longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, arrives in a few weeks. This is a time of renewal for many of us: a season to reconnect with family, friends, and special places. It is a time to be outdoors and enjoy the splendor of nature on a vacation or simply when time permits in the backyard or a nearby park. The living world around us now bursts with abundance, signaling its presence through its vibrant colors, sounds, and scents surrounding us.

Each season comes with a specific invitation. Summer calls us to reground ourselves with what most nourishes us and fosters growth. It is easy to miss this invitation at a time that often becomes one of excess: grand vacations, weeds growing beyond control, and the increasingly oppressive summer heat.
The renewal of this season is often built into congregational life for staff and lay leaders. During the quieter summer season from June through August, many staff members, especially your minister and music staff, tend to take time away to recharge. As a staff team, summer often becomes a time to complete unfinished projects, reflect on the past year, plan for the year ahead, and renew commitments to new projects or new ways of working.

For active lay leaders, summer is also a time to recharge by disconnecting from the regular rhythms of meetings and decision-making. Even those not in active leadership often find themselves breaking from the regular habits of the year to enjoy all the season has to offer. For newcomers and members still in need of the connection and the weekly renewal that our congregation brings, Sunday gatherings continue in an intimate format that supports such connections.

Two other moments come to mind as I reflect on the idea of renewal at the cusp of this season: my upcoming sabbatical (January – May 2025) and CUC’s transition to 36 Bergen Street. Congregations offer sabbaticals to their settled ministers as an opportunity for development and deep renewal. Supporting a ministerial sabbatical after a set period of time reflects the commitment that a congregation and a minister hold for each other.

Our transition to Westwood and into 36 Bergen represents much more than just a move. It represents a deeper transformation of a congregation committed to renewing itself for a different area of congregational life. In this shifting landscape that religious institutions of all types are learning to navigate, we know that we need new approaches from the ones we’ve relied on for generations. Our transition period is a time for staff and lay leaders to experiment with these new approaches, inviting a new future for CUC.

Our transition and the ministerial sabbatical period come with both anxiety about the changes they represent and hope for a new future together. All of us are bound to come out the other side different than we were before we began.

For all of us, no matter how busy or how spacious our summer may feel,
For those who help actively lead this congregation into the future,
For those who continue to seek nourishment through our congregational community,
May we take this time to seek out those experiences which renew our spirits.
May we help others do the same.
May we all remain safe from the excesses of this season, including over-scheduling, dangerous heat, and an increasing sense of isolation.
May each of us find blessings within this glorious season of summer and beyond.

In faith,
Rev. Andrée

Join our monthly newsletter mailing list here to stay updated with CUC events.