My first Sunday at WellSprings was a cold, cloudy February morning in 2013. I brought along a friend, and we parked in front, taking that long, icy stairway to Bell Hall nice and slow. One of you handed me a folded piece of paper, I topped off my coffee, and found a seat in the back, hoping to go unnoticed. I was considering WellSprings on a short list of possible congregations to serve during my ministerial internship – the last step towards becoming an ordained UU minister. I was not yet thirty, three months still, from graduation.
You fascinated me. At the time, you’d been together for just six years of Sundays. I could tell that Ken – infinitely creative and prolific, at the time not yet forty-five – would be a gift, in a mentor. I trusted I’d learn things from all of you that I couldn’t learn anywhere else. I could see that because of who you already were: open-hearted, original, purposeful, and connected.
This month begins my 7th year at WellSprings, and I can’t tell you how glad I am, that I stayed. Truth is, you proved all my hopes to be true within the first six months, and in the half-dozen years since, you’ve shown me so much more than I could’ve imagined. Ministry with all of you has helped me uncover a better, kinder, more tender-hearted version of myself. It has made me stronger, more open, and more connected – to you, and to so many others beyond our doors. If our community can do that for me, it can do that for others. I know, because you’ve told me, that it’s done that for so many of you. How, and where, we grow more fully into ourselves, together as a community – that’s the question before us in these next few years.
At the beginning of the summer, Ken & I shared a note with you to mark this new season for each of our ministries here. I began serving as your second-ever full-time minister in July, while Ken began a new third-time role, making space for his new primary role outside our congregation, as a therapist. It’s our plan to continue this way, for the next two years. Your Board of Trustees will be leading conversations in that time, about the future of our congregation and its ministry – it’s actually the first item on our list of congregational goals, for the period from now through 2021.
Most of you will see Ken preaching, about half the time, on Sundays. A few of you will work with him through our Spiritual Development Ministry and Small Groups, Worship Leaders, and Addictions & Recovery Teams. Now and then, he’ll lead a retreat or a training, as his schedule allows. Everything else that had been held in our common ministry is now in my hands. We’ve revised our professional covenant with each other to reflect this new reality – it’s available on our website, and you can read it here.
a strange and beautiful thing, to sort of re-introduce myself to you
all, seven years later. I’m not quite the same… and you all are a big
part of that. I’m hoping to make it as easy as possible for us to
connect, particularly over these next two years – so I’ll be starting
two new practices, in September:
- Each Tuesday & Thursday, I’ll be holding open drop-in hours over lunch. Tuesdays I’ll be at Malvern Buttery from 11am to 1pm, and on Thursdays I’ll keep the same hours at the Farmhouse in Downingtown. Whomever would like to drop by is welcome – we’ll all get to know each other, and you’ll have a consistent time and place where you know you can find me.
- I also hope to make it easier for you to set up times to talk with me one-on-one. There’s now a link in my e-mail signature for scheduling time with me: calendly.com/revlee. This syncs with my own calendar, so it always shows when I’m free. You can use it anytime.
Thank you for being who you are, WellSprings. I’m excited to see who we grow to become, together!