Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.
This weekend, we mark a decade of shared ministry together at First Unitarian! With amazement, I wonder, “How did that happen?!” I am deeply grateful for the many wonderful efforts being made to celebrate this milestone in such meaningful ways.
As those closest to me know, anniversaries are very important to me. I believe such occasions invite us to reflect back and to look forward into the future. That is why I, on the day of significant anniversaries in my life, try to assess where I’m at and where I’m going. Every year, on the anniversary of my ordination and the anniversary of being installed as minister at First, I read through the vows I made at those turning-point moments in my life. Doing so helps me to remember the promises I have made and enables me to remain grounded as I endeavour to live more fully into these commitments with guide and define my life.
Last year, in a conversation with a group of emerging leaders in the congregation, it became clear that only one of the group of ten had been at First when I was installed. As a result, there wasn’t a shared understanding of the promises the congregation and I had made to each other. Our anniversary provides us with a meaningful moment to bring newer people into that covenant as we move forward. I encourage you, if possible, to read through the covenant we will share on Sunday. While the litany we’ll share on Sunday has been slightly updated, it remains significantly the same set of promises we shared a decade ago. I am honoured and humbled to be renewing these commitments with you all.
In my sermon on Sunday, I plan to speak to the highlights and challenges of these last ten years, while looking forward to “all that is our life” in the years to come, as we make major decisions about real estate and strengthen our resolve to build a better world.
In faith and love,
View the Order of Service.