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,

Whenever people start to talk about heaven, I think of Spence Field. It's in the Smoky Mountains, in East Tennessee, where I live. I don't know how old I was, but maybe around nine or ten, and on one of those forced-march hikes with my family that were frequent in my childhood.  The hikes always seemed too long, the boots were uncomfortable, and my parents both liked to sing as they walked, which was mortifying.

So, we were walking one day under thick cover of trees, and the hike had seemed to go on for miles and miles.  And then, all at once, everything opened up.  It was a wide, grassy field on the edge of a cliff.  Just beyond the cliff, a mountain range--and, behind it, another one. The sky beyond and above all of it was boundless and robin's egg blue.  And a light shone down on the field that, with the breeze, made it seem almost-animal, rather than only long grass. It was a rare moment of transcendence for me, the young skeptic. And I gave myself over to it--or could not resist it.

In the years since, I've returned to Spence Field several times, but have never again felt that same experience as came over me that day when I was a child. It was pure, unadulterated awe. Absolute wonder. And what about you?  Have you had a moment like that?  An experience like that? This month, we are focusing on the theme of wonder. As we do, we'll invite the experience itself, as well as reflection on such experiences, and how they might be invited into our lives even more.  I hope you open yourself up to such consideration, and to such experience.  And I hope you have moments that fill you with wonder.



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