Greetings! I am thrilled to begin my ministry with you!
As you may be aware, my wife, Ellen, and I are moving to Midland from La Crosse, WI, where we have lived for 21 years. Months of purging or packing, fixing or disposing, buying and selling have been both grueling and very exciting. In many ways, we are ending one long chapter and beginning another.
This process has reminded me of how blessed my family has been for so long with stability and — if not contentment — deep connection, relief, and joy. I am aware of the many choices and sacrifices, the generosity of friends and family members, and the privileges that make this transition possible. It is a bittersweet time of both loss and of tremendous hope and joy. It is exciting because it is a change of our own choosing. Not all changes in our lives are like that.
I deeply appreciate your decision to call me as your minister last May. As I shared then, my vision of ministry is one of affirmation, connection, and empowerment. I invited you to reach out in love, to heal divisions and pursue greater unity, even as we acknowledge our and others’ diversity.
I hope to nurture, strengthen, and empower you so that we all might live more fully, and bring to reality a shared vision, embody a shared mission, and remain true to a shared covenant. For me, ministry is about being present to you, to repeatedly invite you back into covenant and mutual responsibility — to acknowledge our fallibility and our aspirations. To paraphrase Rumi, “though you’ve broken your vows a thousand times, come, yet again come.”
I’ll begin my ministry and end this column by repeating the question I left you with in May: To what things, great or small, might we be called together? By honoring our connections, reaching out in love, and building together, let’s find out. I can’t wait! Let’s get started.
P.S.: Several people have called me “Rev. Eric” in recent months. While I’ll answer to many things, I will hold off using the title “Reverend” until my ordination sometime next year.