A New Year’s Commitment by Elizabeth Mount, Ministerial Intern
In the New Year, it has been a family tradition to take time to consider the direction of our lives and how we are doing in attaining our goals. As a child, it was like writing a second Christmas wish list, but one that I could fulfill on my own instead of waiting for Santa. I loved writing down ways I was going to shape up my life, make the world a better place, or set an exciting goal for the whole family for the year to come.
Many of you may be making commitments for the New Year as well, whether to eat better, get involved in justice work, exercise, practice kindness, or play music more often. Maybe you’re doing all of these, or something entirely different. Last year, I began this internship with the First Universalist Church of Denver, so in the New Year, I am considering my commitment to you and how this fits into the course of my life as a minister in formation.
In the first months of my internship, I felt like an observer or an anthropologist, growing to understand this community mostly by offering questions in meetings. I sought for history, clarity in documents and procedures, wondered why a committee chose this way or that, but I was trying to dig without disturbing anything. Slowly, I have begun to move into a relationship with the community, where I offer both questions and thoughtful reflection in response to the needs of the church as I have observed them. I am becoming a part of the congregation, not merely an observer of the community.
In this New Year, I commit to delve more deeply into relationship with this community, to reach out in faith and in love, to grow relationships within the congregation and beyond it as a representative of the church. In return, I invite you to reach back and let me know how you are experiencing my presence and what would be useful to you. We are bound together by the covenant of our shared faith, so in this New Year, I invite you to commit with me to an ongoing, shared journey of learning, both mine and yours.
May we grow together.
May we be courageous in trying new things.
May we make mistakes, and forgive one another our errors.
May we stretch toward our ideals.
May we help one another up when we fall short.
May we be a community that trusts enough to be vulnerable.
May we grow and become ever more resilient, together.