September Ministers Column

Dear Ones:

By my calculation, August 15, 2012 marked the beginning of my tenth year serving as UUS:E’s minis­ter. What a blessing it is to be doing work I love with people I love. What a blessing! I can’t thank all of you enough for the love, support and encouragement you’ve given me over the past decade. I’m excited to see how our shared ministry will continue to deepen and grow in the coming year and into the future.


Our ministry theme for September is “transitions.” There are some very obvious transitions at this time of year as children and youth head back to school; as tree leaves begin turning and falling; as the land gives forth its final bounty of the year and awaits the coming of winter. For me these autumn transitions evoke a sense of poignancy. I’m feeling it a lot these days. My kids are one year older. Max has a full day of school for the first time. Their childhood is moving quickly now. I recognize how precious this time is. I recognize that I don’t get this time with them back. As much as their transition back to school is fresh and exciting, it is also infused with loss. I suppose this is why our life transitions can be so hard at times. In order to enter a new stage of life, we need to let the previous stage go—and we don’t get it back. We need to accept loss.

So this month I’m wondering what spiritual resources we have at our disposal to meet the challenges of our life transitions. If change alone is unchanging, as Heraklietos said, then how do we change well? I’ll be exploring this question in my September sermons. If you have thoughts about spiritual resources for managing life transitions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


On Sunday, September 23rd, UUS:E is deeply honored to welcome the Rev. Mark Kiyimba into its pul­pit. Mark is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kampala, Uganda (also known as New Life Kampala) where he has been a leading voice in the effort to block Uganda’s infamous anti-gay laws. For his courageous work he recently received the National Education Association’s “Virginia Uribe Award for Crea­tive Leadership in Human Rights.” His congregation runs an orphanage and school for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. He is a wonderful speaker with a gentle, caring and fearless presence.  During his time in Con­necticut he will be speaking at a number of other venues including the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford on Thursday evening, September 20th at 7:00 P.M. Please give Rev. Kiyimba a warm welcome when he comes!

With love,

September Ministry Theme


The concept of transition seems to be predicated on a binary condition: presence and absence.

The shift from one physical or metaphysical place to another. Indeed, we in the west have a culture of transition. We’re always moving, expected to move, from point A to point B. Perhaps we create this culture because we are moving from birth to death.

The Transitions

Dr. Sandeep Kumar Kar

The state of darkness
accelerates our delight in the sunlight.
The state of stagnation,
glorifies the state of motion.
The taste of nectar is achieved,
after the bee has thoroughly wandered.
The brightness of the sunlight
and their triumph in outshining,
The twinkling stars,
activates my taste
for the cosmic starlight.
The boredom at noon,
increases my delight,
for the games at twilight
The hurly burly of life,
increases my appetite,
towards the divine.
The state of isolation,
increases my inclination for
the poetic expressions.
All these phenomena hum a common rhyme.
The transition glorifies the succession.

Now I Become Myself

by May Sarton

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before–”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!