The exploration of my future has been my project after retiring from the First UU Society of Albany, New York in June. My wife Philomena and I had our celebration of retirement with a trip to see her brother in Ireland this past summer along with a week in Edinburgh and Inverness Scotland and a short stay in Copenhagen, Denmark. I attended the fall three month retreat at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts that I finished a little early due to my 92-year-old father’s ill health. I’ve spent a lot of time in November, December and January with him in the nursing care section of Kendal Crosslands in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Thankfully right now his condition is stable, he is eating well and sleeping less. His mind is clear enough to work on a paper for publication.
January has been my month to discern what I’m up to next. What has become clear for me is that I would like to make myself available for both interim and weekend ministry. I worked hard to clean up my ministry packet and today I worked on a format for a Mindfulness Weekend Ministry. You can learn more by following the links (also available on the documents menu).
I have also decided to stand for reelection to the UUA Board in June for a second three year term.
While I don’t feel quite ready for it now, I’d like to offer my services as a spiritual advisor for individual/group growth and development with a Buddhist focus. This is often referred to as “spiritual direction.” People benefit greatly from having someone to talk to about their meditation practice and support their integration of their practice with their lives. I’m working on getting the training I’ll need for this work to supplement the pastoral care training and practice of my 30 years in ministry.
I’m not sure how all this will shape up in the next few months but what is clear is my ministry doesn’t end with leaving settled parish ministry through retirement. Ordination is a lifelong commitment that I will continue to find ways to live into. I may not be able to save all beings in this lifetime, but I can strive to make a positive difference in the lives of the people I touch.
Maybe that will be you.