How are you doing? If you’re feeling pretty stressed – but also mixed with bursts of joy and happiness – you’re not alone! The month of May is notorious for being a surprisingly stressful month in congregational life.
After all, in May, parents, teachers, and students are all feeling the stress of the last few weeks of school and potential life transitions – graduations of all sorts – kindergarten, high school, college….Many of us are often attending recitals or assemblies, or actual graduations.
We are getting ready for summer – the joy and stress of vacations and a different sort of time. We’re already beginning to anticipate the changes of fall.
And all of this in church life is set against preparations for our annual congregational meeting, and marking the seasonal transition with our annual flower communion. There is a sense of happy anticipation, and also anxiety, and a strange pressure to get it all figured out before the end of the month!
It’s one of the reasons we chose Play as our theme this month. We knew it would be a much-needed antidote to this time!
Join us this Sunday as we explore Playing “Dress-Up!” We invite you to come to the service “dressed up” – whatever that means for you! It could be fancy clothes, face paint, mom jeans, animal print footie pajamas, or anything else that feels right to you!
While a lot about this second pandemic May is different, in some ways, this year is just the same but more. Because we are still in all of these transitions – we will celebrate our graduating seniors on May 16th, and the congregational meeting will be on May 23rd at 10:15 am. This meeting will mark our transition in board leadership, and we will update everyone on our building process. We will also vote on our 8th Principle, and are likely to vote on publicly supporting universal health care. These are “usual” transitions but still transitions.
And on top of these usual things, we are also in the transitional time of the pandemic. We are marking the end of 18 months of pandemic schooling, which has been stressful in so many ways. Every day, more grandparents are reuniting with grandchildren, or parents with young adult children, or friends finally hugging after so many months of screen-only contact. Vaccinations are offering us a vision of a life returning in full. (Visit building process to learn about our plans for post-pandemic church.)
And also, we don’t yet know what this “returning” will mean – how we have changed as a community, as individuals – how we have grown.
So much is – like the blossoming trees on every street – bursting and in bloom. And this fullness of transitions can surprise us with its stress and our struggle because it’s good. There’s so much to celebrate, and also, it is and has been for a long time, a lot.
And so, alongside the good, we can honor the journey it’s taken to get here. The grief and the work along the way. The isolation we’ve survived. The effort it’s taken to adapt. The patience and the pain. And most of all, we can honor and acknowledge with awe and gratitude how much beauty we’ve found and created – surprising beauty, persistent beauty, saving beauty – all along the way.
That’s what we’ll be celebrating and acknowledging this year in our Flower Communion. We imagine a week of adaptive celebrations of surprising beauty. Flower Communion will start May 17th, with our shared celebration on Sunday the 23rd before our congregational meeting. Look for more information early next week for how this May we can pause in wonder at this great transition we are all in and give thanks as we live into what’s next.
In this time of transition and a lot-ness, please reach out if you need any support or a listening ear. We are all cheering for you.