Leader Letter

Subscribing congregations should share this letter with congregational leaders.  Being oriented to the month’s theme, and equipped to help others in the congregation get aligned with it, builds the whole congregation’s engagement with the theme.  Which, of course, means unity and energy for the community.


Dear Leaders,

I'm not as big a fan of Harry Potter as many people are out there, but I did make my way through them all as bedtime reading when my children were younger, and there are many memorable scenes.  One I remember has Albus Dumbledore, head of Hogwarts, awarding Neville Longbottom.  As he recognizes Neville, Dumbledore says, "There are all kinds of courage...It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." 

If this is true in a fictional school of wizardry, it's even more true in our lives helping to lead congregations, as well.  We might enjoy grousing about our so-called enemies, or railing against someone who's not in the room and with whom we don't share much connection.  But how much harder it is to challenge a friend.  What courage it asks for us to speak up to someone whose relationship we cherish with words of accountability or even rebuke.  Standing up to our friends comes at great risk.  But some of us are able to do it anyway.

This month, as we explore the theme of truth and lies, I'd like you to notice your own behavior in relationship to it, as you carry out your duties and relationships in your congregation.  How and when are you painfully honest, even when it would be easier not to be? How and when do you skim over the full truth, even tell a white lie, for the short-term purpose of keeping the peace?

Leadership requires discretion and diplomacy.  But Dumbledore would have us remember that it also asks us to rise to those moments when even our friends need a word of clarity and honesty, said in love, from our hearts.  Look for these moments.  Rise to them, knowing that you do it in the name of love.



Rev. Jake Morrill
Lead Minister ORUUC
Executive Director UUCF
Launchpad Partner