“No Exit” – News from our Senior Co-Ministers – Summer 2017

We have been asked by nearly everyone who “knows” anything about New Jersey: “What’s your exit?” While we appreciate the cultural introduction to a state that we value for its eccentricities, we aren’t as enlivened about our exit as we are our entrance, our new beginning. 

As Shannon L. Adler reminded us “Fear is to begin with the end in mind.” We intend to begin fearlessly with you, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, with few or any expectations about our ends. We will entrust ourselves instead to the building of relationships and we hope in time, trust. To begin in this way is to begin together. 

We have heard your hopes for the blossoming of your congregational life.  We discerned the urgency expressed by that oft repeated phrase – “We will do that… when the new ministers arrive!” And we eagerly anticipate extending ourselves in partnership to accomplish the things UUCM needs. We know you have been waiting for this new beginning for longer than you knew our names.

Our listening has just begun. We hope you will soon discover in us a curiosity and a humility that encourage us to listen deeply before we act or even plan. We also hope you will discover in us a resiliency and a moral core that does not balk but faces injury and injustice with integrity and resolve. Part of what drew us to UUCM is that we saw these same traits and convictions first in your Search Committee members, and then among your congregants.  Together, we hope to bring these traits to life in all UUCM accomplishes together. Let us enter into this work fearlessly and graciously – building our faith in one another. 

In Faith and Freedom,
Revs. Anya and Scott Sammler-Michael 
Senior Co-Ministers