Dear North Shore Unitarians,
It is almost time for us to meet! I have been looking forward to discovering who each of you are ever since I received the delightful invitation to be your candidate. This is a time that encapsulates two of my most favorite aspects of ministry and religious life: the spirit of curiosity and the spirit of invitation. From board meetings, to worship design, to a walk in the woods, I find the spirits of curiosity and invitation foster gentle, creative, and joyful opportunities for connection. Candidating week promises to be full of such opportunities.
I first experienced that sense of connection with you all at North Shore Unitarian Church when I read your mission statement. A church that wants to encourage one another to live with more depth, purpose, and meaning? Yes! My soul felt that as an invitation and my mind sparked with curiosity. I can attest to the fact that your mission is not just a bunch of words. I saw your mission in operation as I got to know your ministerial search team. In addition to being incredibly welcoming and gracious, I saw the earnest cultivation of depth, meaning, and purpose. Learning about the culture of NSUC, your hopes and dreams, and what it offers to its members and the wider community only added to the impression.
And then they showed my wife Katie and I North Vancouver! I don’t think we’re over it. We thrilled at the proximity of nature and culture. So much life to behold! Katie and our 8 year old girls, Minnie and Cora, are over the moon about the trees, the water, the food, the neighborhoods, the people, and the church. At every turn, it seemed Katie and I were met by an invitation to connect. The result was that we felt very much at home. In fact, we’ve already watched a 15 part documentary on the history of Canada and look forward to getting ever more familiar with Canadian history, prehistory, ecology, and its diverse set of cultures. Invitation, curiosity, and connection abound. Depth, meaning, and purpose their yield.
Receiving the invitation to candidate for NSUC has filled with us all with such gratitude and joy that we are sometimes moved to dance. This may be unfortunate to any witnesses in my case, as my dancing days appear to be a bit behind me. No matter! The dancing will not be denied! In fact, I very much hope it is contagious as I look forward to falling into rhythm with you.
Just a few more days now.
Until then, I remain, in faith,
Rev. Ron Phares