Interim Minister's Column

The Bridge, May 2017

 It’s called leaving a smaller footprint.

Interim ministers are asked to be intentional about “leaving a smaller footprint” as we come near to the end of our time with a congregation. And so, you’ll be seeing a bit less of me during the month of May.

During Candidating Week, I will not be in the church building at all, so as to give your Candidate, Meghann Robern, the fullest possible opportunity to be with you in her capacity as minister. She will be using the Minister’s Study during the entire week, and I will catch up on paperwork from home, stepping into church life only in the event of a serious pastoral emergency, the kind requiring hospital visitation.

Later in the month, from May 20-25, I’ll be away from Winnipeg, attending the annual meeting of UUMOC – the UU Ministers of Canada - in Guelph, Ontario. But even beyond these scheduled times away, you may notice me stepping back from some of the meetings or the decision-making processes you’ve become used to seeing me take part in. Know that this will all be part of reducing my footprint, my move to take up less space in order to make room for the new. It will also be a way of beginning the gradual leave-taking that will happen once and for all at the end of June.

While I’m among you, I’ll hope to walk mindfully during this most exciting month. I’ll aim to be mindful of walking only where I’m needed, and no more; I hope also to stay mindful of the many mixed emotions that accompany beginnings and endings, in all areas of our lives.

Above all, I know that I will be so appreciative of our remaining weeks together.

Blessings to you all,

Rev. Nicoline

The Bridge – April 2017

Someone asked me recently, “What will you miss the most about Winnipeg when you leave?”

It wasn’t hard to answer.“The people, of course.” And by that I meant, you: the people I have come to know through my two years among you as Interim Minister.

I will miss you. I am starting to miss you already, not because I’m quite ready to leave, but because I’m beginning – just a little - to let my imagination reach toward how it will be when I leave at the end of June.

And so, as I think back over these past 20 months, it feels like just the right timing for April’s theme: Blessing.

Read more: The Bridge - April 2017

The Bridge – March 2017

March, already. In my journey with you as Interim Minister, this time feels almost like an interlude: an unlikely moment of hesitation. Because while now and again I catch glimpses of the day this coming June when we’ll all say goodbye, there’s still time enough for a few remaining detours.

March means another step forward along this bridge we’ve been travelling along together. It feels far from the time of saying “goodbye” to Millie, and quite close to saying “hello” to a new, settled minister. It’s a time of mixed emotions that to me, at least, seems both real, and unreal. It also seems like the perfect time to explore the monthly theme of Journey.

Read more: The Bridge - March 2017

The Bridge – February 2017

It used to be one of the first questions newcomers would ask: “You say you welcome everybody. So what is it exactly you believe?”

What I used to say was, “We’re a community of seekers.” Or: “How we are with each other counts for more than what we believe,” and so, “we come together to support one another along our different faith journeys.”

I still believe all that. But the times are changing. More and more, people visit our UU communities asking deep and difficult questions about how best to live, rather than what they, or we, each believe. Justice, integrity, and the quest to live out their calling are what bring them in search of religious community. 

Read more: The Bridge – February 2017

The Bridge - December 2016

“Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises …”
- William Shakespeare

I’ve been getting a head start on the season. December’s monthly theme is Expectation. I’d fully expected to prepare a monthly theme packet, as I do every month. I’m sure you’d expected to read one. Instead, I’ll be offering you a few provocative questions. And for this month’s column, some words of wisdom that just about sum it all up, with gratitude to my colleague the Rev. Jessica Purple Rodela for the inspiration.

Read more: The Bridge - December 2016