Here, Together: April 2021

Warm winds are rolling in early this year, though who knows how long they will stay? If there’s one lesson I’ve learned over this past year, it’s been that expectations, plans, and forecasts simply can’t be counted on in the way they once were.


I am making one prediction, though, and I hope you’ll call me on it if I turn out to be wrong. I’m guessing that with the warm winds — along with an avalanche of vaccinations for people in certain age groups — will come an urgent desire to get together in person. And, with that, may come differences of opinion about what this pandemic “thaw” should mean here at the fellowship.


I know some of you want nothing more than to return to the special energy you associate with gathering at 4 Palmer Street. I, too, miss sharing times in the building with you! I also know — because you’ve told me this — that some of you will only be planning to be indoors with others within a tiny circle of people: people you love and from whom you’ve been painfully separated for the past 13 months. Somewhere in the middle is everyone else, torn — probably — by mixed feelings about getting together. Because we still, none of us, can forecast exactly what the next months will bring.


Given the way these winds of change will be stirring things up this month, your Board, your Worship Team and I will be offering a series of online gatherings to learn more about how you are doing, and what your wishes, hopes and needs are as you look ahead to life at the fellowship in the months to come. And of course, we’ll be taking care to ground these conversations in UU values. We want to be sure our identity as a faith community will shape the important decisions that lie ahead. So here are some of the questions you’ll be hearing us ask:[1]


  • What are the values that define us and that we must stay true to as we make decisions?
  • Who might get left behind if we do things this way?
  • What opportunities (and newly-discovered tools) do we have to be creative in this situation?
  • How have our priorities permanently changed in the past twelve months?
  • What are we hearing from the larger community about its hopes and needs at this stage in the pandemic, and how might we contribute in ways that align with our values and gifts?


Big and weighty questions. Still, how much easier everything feels, under a warming sun and after the collective sigh of relief even the earth seems to take, once it’s officially spring thaw. I hope you’ll join us in conversation. Hearing your voices and seeing your faces, even online, reminds me how very good it always is to find myself here, with you, together.

In love and service,

Rev. Nicoline

[1] Huge thanks to Laura Stephens, for her work to formulate these wise questions.