“Maybe” A Message From Tanner

Dear Foothills Community,

I want to start this letter with my most sincere gratitude and praise. I have only been a part of this community for a few months, but I’ve learned so much from all of you. I’ve seen immeasurable graciousness, love, support, and care, not only to me but to each other. This type of fierce and unwavering compassion is rare and awe-inspiring.

All of this is why it is so hard to say goodbye. I have accepted a full-time position with the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a congregation I have been working with in a very part-time role for the past few years, to lead their outreach program. This position came quickly and unexpectedly. 

As I type this, I’m having trouble finding the words to express how much these last few months have meant to me. The decision I made is not a reflection of this congregation’s hospitality, which has been nothing short of extraordinary, but was based on where I think my skills can best support Unitarian Universalism and Unitarian Universalists on the margins.

I am being called to support thousands of Unitarian Universalists who are geographically isolated from UU congregations and support our Prison Ministry Network that serves over 1,200 incarcerated Unitarian Universalists. This work is centered around inviting people on both sides of prison walls into beloved community. We declare that all people are worthy of love, respect, and justice — not at some future time when we are better people — but as we are right now.

My time at Foothills has been incredible. I feel our time has ended prematurely, but I need to listen to my heart and my gut and follow my call of loving loudly and making the life-saving power of Unitarian Universalism accessible for as many people as possible, especially for those who are on the margins.

There is an old Taoist story of a farmer who had worked his crops for many years.
One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy for what they called his “misfortune.”

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

We never really know the full impact of our decision until it is made. No event in and of itself can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate. Only time can tell us the whole story. We all live in the “maybe” together. I genuinely hope you all understand that I am following my heart and that although my relationship with this congregation is changing, I will always feel connected to our mission of unleashing Courageous Love onto the world, and I will take this with me on my journey.

My last day as your Marketing Manager will be on November 6th. However, to support a smooth process, I will be assisting with worship production on Sunday mornings throughout this transition.

From the Profound Place of “Maybe,”

Tanner Linden

One thought on ““Maybe” A Message From Tanner

  1. Ah, Tanner! You are wise beyond your years and I wish you all the best in your new adventures. I’m sorry you were not able to be with us longer but it was really great to meet you and I hope that our paths will cross again even though I also know that they remain interconnected.
    With gratitude and love,
    Lisken

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