These past 5+ years with you has been an awesome journey. There have been exquisite moments of deepening, expanding, and growing in love and understanding of the Truth and of each other. And of course, there have been profound challenges, most viscerally felt over the past year.
About a week ago, I was startled by the realization that came so clearly, that it was now time to take my leave as your senior minister. The truth is, I have been steeling myself against the waves of stress and fatigue that had become my constant state of mind and body. Insomnia, high blood pressure that medication was having diminishing effect and a running narrative of concern, self-doubt, and waning enthusiasm for the work that I have so loved over the past 22 years was being tolerated while I pressed on to the task of running this ministry. If I had seen myself in a counseling session, I would have immediately recognized these telltale signs of burnout and exhaustion.
Over the past month or so, I have even dreaded Sunday mornings, feeling bereft of genuine inspiration, yet called upon to stand and deliver. I did so in complete surrender to a sense of inadequacy and as an open instrument, that Spirit somehow spoke through. But in my own heart, I was not feeling it, I was only the delivery system for Truth, not its embodiment. Such a defaulted state is the antithesis of my personal credo, which demands honesty, authenticity, telling it like it is. This compromised state of mind and heart lives apart from my sense of integrity as a minister and it is certainly below what should be expected of me by the congregation I serve.
I am clear and peaceful with the recognition that it is time for me to step down as your senior minister. I have given notice to the board of trustees that I would end my employment on March 31, 2019.
I realize this may come as a shock. I feel the sadness in it as well. As clear as it feels in my mind and heart I trust that, in the full outworking of this change, its rightness for UoSB will emerge. In that regard, there is much work to be done to move the ministry towards greater relevance in the current era, develop thriving program based offerings, expand the outreach and deepen the interpersonal connections. I simply don’t have the energy or the drive to take these next laps with you. You deserve somebody who is fresh, energetic and passionate about this onward and upward call to evolve the ministry into its future possibilities. Gratefully Uosb is on solid financial footing and a multiyear renovation project that has nearly been completed with no incurred debt. And it’s heartening that our newly comprised staff is congealing nicely, with good morale, ownership, and collaboration.
I will make this announcement at the end of the service tomorrow and I will remain in the sanctuary for anybody who wants to process this news with us. We will have adequate time for winding down what has been a life-changing journey for many of us. Your board of trustees is fully supportive of my decision, and of my well-being, and are already taking steps to gracefully navigate the transition phase toward new spiritual leadership. And of course, I will assist in every possible way with the transition.
Stay present; remember all we have learned together, and may our deepest love and wisdom guide us through this change.
With much love and endless gratitude,