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If you’re looking for a liberal religious community that is a “Welcoming Congregation,” sees the sacred in the ordinary, draws wisdom from many religions, celebrates children, enjoys music, works for peace and justice and encourages every person to follow their own reason and conscience then you may have found your spiritual home.
As I write this column on March 18, my heart is full of joy today for our beautiful Installation. Everyone who attended and participated said that they felt embraced by the church and uplifted by the spirit here. The music was exquisite, everything looked beautiful, the readers brought great heart to their participation, and everyone was obsessed with the amazing food (“That wasn’t catered!?”).
If you could not attend, here is an excerpt from the Act of Installation:
Tim Zimmer, Congregation President:
In our liberal religious tradition, the rite of installation is a symbol of the covenant between the congregation and our chosen minister. Few responsibilities are more precious to a free church than the right of electing its own minister. At the same time, no right is more precious to a Unitarian Universalist minister than that of choosing the congregation he or she will serve. We have chosen each other. It is a joyous and sacred occasion that we come together to install the Reverend Doctor Victoria Anne Weinstein as our sixth settled minister and to rededicate ourselves to the mission, vision, and life of our congregation.
Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn:
With joy in our hearts and hope for our future, we, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn do hereby install you, the Reverend Doctor Victoria Weinstein, to serve as our Minister.
We would have you share in our joys and burdens, rejoicing and mourning with us, walking in the path of the right and the good as we shall discern them together, guided by the spirit of wisdom. We offer you our free pulpit from which to preach our message of God’s everlasting love, and to speak the truth as it is given to you to understand it. We pledge to you our support in balancing the work of ministry among its many responsibilities: pastoring, teaching, preaching, serving, leading, advocating, and administering. We recognize and will respect your time for prayer, study, rest and silence. We covenant to join with you in the work of spiritual growth and ethical commitment, understanding that ministry is a work and an identity to which the church calls all of us.
Together we will live in the light of the Unitarian Universalist principles, We call you to keep before us a vision of the best that we are, and the best that we may be, leading boldly but collaboratively. We will strive to be good stewards of the heritage that we claim as we use our strength and vision to move boldly into our future.
The Reverend Doctor Victoria Weinstein:
With deep joy and gratitude, I accept the ministry to which you have called me. I pledge to be mindful of the privileges and responsibilities that this calling brings. You have invited me into your lives and it is with great care and humility that I honor the trust that you have placed in me.
I covenant with you to serve the mission and vision of the congregation, to walk with you as minister, challenging you, laughing and crying with you, serving you and our liberal faith to my fullest ability. May the God who calls us from out of our aloneness to become a people – a beloved community – be with us in our every endeavor and guide us in wisdom and unity.
In this season of warming earth and renewal (and the official opening of baseball season!), I pray that we will each turn our faces to the sun, find the light, and walk in it together.
In faith, hope and love,