Dear Members and Friends of First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego! As the end of my time with you as Minister in Residence (June 30) draws near, let me simply say that it has been a pleasure to serve as one of your ministers during this year of transition. I love the spirit of your church, your talented and hardworking staff, your caring and committed Board and lay leaders, and the curiosity and warmth of the members I’ve met from both campuses. Though I met only about 1/3 of the members, and only experienced three months with you, I can still say with joyful authority that though you’ve been having some painful struggles, your congregation has great strength at its core!
Your love for one another in multigenerational community, your deep desire to be of service to your wider community, your growing attention to the need for restorative healing within the church that is beginning to loosen the knots of pain and mistrust, and your ongoing committed work to grow in awareness of the white racism and other biases that hold you back – these will serve you well as you move into the future. And you have an excellent Lead Developmental Minister heading your way this summer! I’ll keep you in my heart and prayers as you and Rev. Justine Sullivan come to know one another and begin living into your mission.
There are a thousand compliments I could give your staff and lay leaders, but I really want to be brief… You have dozens of amazing, hard-working folks among you who have helped FUUSD carry on through the ongoing pandemic and through this year-of-many-ministers. So allow me to explicitly recognize just three people. First, Marcia Biller, who isn’t just a strong leader, she’s also generously allowed all your Ministers in Residence to stay in her “granny flat.” Her hospitality and kindness have been a wonderful gift. Second – Rev. Julie Forest, whose vision for a very unusual year of ministry, great love for our faith and FUUSD, and strong Board leadership carried the day! And finally, my dear colleague the Rev. Dr. Omega Burckhardt! She’s a marvel of a minister with so many gifts and skills as a leader! It’s been a joy to work alongside her.
Though I’m looking forward to reuniting with my partner Tom Ness and returning home to Wisconsin, I’ll miss you! I hope you’ll come to church on 6-19 or 6-26 and say goodbye.
Blessings to you all,
Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister in Residence
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