“The Transcendentalist adopts the whole connection of spiritual doctrine. He believes in miracle, in the perpetual openness of the human mind to new influx of light and power; he believes in inspiration, and in ecstasy.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1842 lecture The Transcendentalist
In the month of May, UU Lansing will explore transcendence – that which takes us beyond the ordinary or some usual limit, or which is universally significant. Transcendence is that quality of “spiritual” that we have a hard time defining, but which matters – especially in the realm of religion.
We will sing the African-American spiritual “Over My Head” as it is the transcendent that lies just beyond our grasp. Worship this month brings both our Coming of Age youth service (one that always transcends expectation!) and Music Sunday, a transcendent experience. I am sad to miss both, as I will be In Washington and Montana this month candidating with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver and then celebrating with the Rev. Duffy Peet his installation at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman. I am sad to be leaving all of you, but honestly looking forward to my next adventure. I will be back by Memorial Day weekend and will lead worship the last Sunday of May and the first three Sundays of June. June 18 will be my last with you.
There have been moments of inspiration and ecstasy in my time with you. I am so grateful for all the goodwill and support you have offered over the years, all the wisdom you have shared and for the privilege of being allowed into the most intimate moments of your lives – those threshold moments of welcoming children, marrying couples, companioning the dying, and memorializing lives. I am truly honored that you selected me as your minister 15 years ago, just out of seminary, and supported me well during my time with you. Though I will be gone most of May, I will return for a month of Sundays, with many opportunities for us to say our farewells.
Love transcends physical separation, and you will be in my heart always, long after I have gone.