I enjoyed being able to share a wonderful Milestone during worship on Sept. 26 (not long after the heavy clouds set the stage by giving way to brilliant fall sunshine): Sky Williams-Tao, a former Middlebury College UU who joined CVUUS and served on our Worship Team, is now fully qualified to become one of my peers.

As some of you will remember, Sky arrived in 2012 as Celeste (she, her) and transitioned in both name and sexual/gender identification during their time with us. On Sept. 24, Sky (they, them) was granted “preliminary fellowship” after an hour-long exam and preaching session before a select panel of UU ministers and lay leaders. The national committee overseeing the panel will continue to review Sky’s progress and performance over the next three years, but Sky is now fully qualified to be ordained and to seek employment leading one of our more than 1,000 congregations.

The day after I shared this Milestone, I received a long email from Sky reliving their experience before the panel. Sky told me they had based their homily to the panel on a  poem called A Prayer for Unfinished Business.

…..Do not curse me to perish with all my dreams fulfilled.
Do not afflict me with a vision so narrow and a heart so small,
That all my greatest hopes could be accomplished within a single lifetime.
Rather, bless me with an unquiet spirit.
Anoint me with impertinent oils.
Grant me dreams so great and numerous,
That I might spend the fullness of my days to realize them,
And have ample remaining to leave to my inheritors….

(the full poem is here)

      I’ve read this prayer poem by Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson many times. It fits nicely with my announcement at Water Communion that, barring unforeseen circumstances, I plan to retire at the end of the 2022-23 church year. The core of the poem says:

     The poem also fits well with the spirit in which I will be leading a study group starting this month of Widening the Circle, a report from the Unitarian Universalist Assn. on how we can work to dismantled the impact of racism. This is truly important work toward a dream that won’t be fulfilled in our lifetime, but the time is ripe for making great progress. If you’ve read this far in this letter, I hope you will find the announcement for this class in this newsletter on page 8 and seriously consider joining it.

Blessed be, Rev. B