In the Interim: Reverend Terry Sweetser

Welcome to exciting times! For a few weeks, we have stumbled through political upheaval and spiritual angst. We wonder who we are. As social critic, Courtney Martin points out, “It’s never been more asked of us to show up as only slices of ourselves.” The risk of this, of course, is that if we live too long only in our “slices,” they become all that we are.

That’s why I have been paying more and ever more attention to our singers and their director, Suzie Cartreine.

When I came to our church six months ago, the other newcomer was Suzie. In our initial conversations, she told me about creating a “sound.” I think she meant a unique choral blend of voices.

If you think of a choir as a group of individual voices, slices of tone each looking for a solo, then it must be difficult to create a “sound.” When I first heard our chorus of soloists, I couldn’t imagine how Suzie would create a unified tone, a signature UUSWH Choir.

As the months have passed all of us have heard the transformation of our choir from solo slices to singing sound. How did that happen? I think Suzie has given the time, patience and discipline needed to help the slices become a gourmet sandwich.

To thieve in these exciting times, we could learn a lot from Suzie and the choir.

For Sunday Worship, we use a thematic approach. This year we are focusing on the precious gift of our UUSWH community. Within it, are the values and questions we rarely encounter elsewhere in our lives. What do we find when we gather? And what can we share with the world? Each month we will explore a different aspect of building and fortifying people and possibilities in this beloved community.

September: Covenant
October: Healing
November: Story
December: Presence
January: Prophecy
February: Identity
March: Risk
April: Transformation
May: Embodiment
June: Zest

In February, we consider what it means to be a community of identity.  We ask ourselves who we are and how we can help each other to wholeness. Identity is about, and this is my message for the month, Identity is about loving enough to do what needs doing.

Identity work isn’t a game or a pastime. It’s unquestionably life and death stuff. And here’s the kicker: our faith wants you to stop hiding and live fully, not just for your sake, but for our sakes as well.

We are all struggling to escape our slices and connect to our hidden wholeness. Seeing you be real gives us permission to be let our true selves out of the closet! Your brave honesty about your contradictions, allows us to live boldly in our multitudes! We save each other by being true to ourselves. We save each other by loving enough to do what needs doing.

See you at worship!