Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of Northern Chautauqua

companionship  on  life's  sacred  journey

People of superior integrity do not insist upon their integrity. For this reason, they have integrity. People of inferior integrity never lose sight of their integrity. For this reason, they lack integrity. – Lao Tzu

A Message From Our Minister

Welcome to a new beginning – a year full of possibility opens before us: 2015! What dreams might we dream and bring into reality? What joy might we embrace? What enthusiasm could we cultivate? It’s exciting to imagine.

Yet in the midst of the excitement, we may find it helpful as well to remember that beginnings also come with endings. To welcome 2015 we have to say good-bye to 2014. If we don’t let go, there is no room for something new to emerge. Without endings, there would be no beginnings. As Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, impermanence is necessary for life, for growth. Without change, the seed would not become the shoot. The shoot would fail to become the plant. The plant would not flower. Without endings, the baby would not become the toddler, the child the adult.

With this in mind, we may wish to consider as well at the start of this new year: What struggles might we put an end to? How might forgiveness end a turmoil? Is there an issue we’re holding tightly to, and could we loosen our grip on it, freeing some new energy?

In both our individual and our congregational life, as we leave something behind, we have the chance to gain something as well in our movement forward.

So may we be grateful for the endings and the beginnings we encounter this new year, knowing each has its place in the great cycle of life. May we honor what has been and open ourselves fully to what may be.

With all good wishes to you,