The Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom
Our April theme of Transformation is particularly apt for a month that includes my Installation as your Senior Minister; a Breaking (Cookies), Building Community event about living our mission as a large congregation; and, Gaia-willing, the coming of spring.
An Installation is a tradition in our faith whereby a congregation ceremonially installs its minister. It usually happens in the first year of ministry and is a celebration of the budding relationship between minister and congregation, an affirmation of our covenant, and an opportunity to set the tone for the ministry we will share. The Installation ceremony on April 30 will include calls to the minister and the congregation about our future ministry, beautiful music, and an embodied ritual. The Reverend Rob Eller-Isaacs, a ministerial leader in our denomination and a deep and thoughtful preacher, will deliver the sermon. The reception afterward will be a time to celebrate, including celebrating our 175th anniversary as a congregation and this first year together. I hope you will be able to join us.
The Breaking (Cookies) Building Community (BCBC) event this month offers us an opportunity to explore a transformation that has already taken place—this congregation’s growth into a large congregation—and what that means for living our mission. Last year, the congregation adjusted its structures to more closely reflect a large congregation’s needs. At the BCBC, we will talk about how the structure works now, how we can work together in it, and what it means for our shared ministry. Our goal is to channel as much energy as possible into First Church’s mission to nurture the spirit, engage the mind, and inspire action.
I am noticing my pulse quickening as my skin soaks up more Vitamin D. I can already smell that subtle shift of warming earth in the Midwestern spring. The stone is slowly rolling away from the Wisconsin winter tomb, and we are emerging into this new world of awakening life. I look forward to learning to live abundantly with you and celebrating all the new life in and around us.
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee is a home for spiritual community, social justice, and intellectual freedom, active in Milwaukee since 1842. Unitarian Universalism is an inclusive denomination; core principles include recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.
The Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom is First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee’s Senior Minister. Jennifer is primarily responsible for worship, mission, vision, leadership, prophetic witness, and congregational systems. She is also head of staff at First Church.