Minister’s Farewell Message

Dear Holy Ones,

I write to you to inform you that I will not renew my contract with the congregation and will resign from the ministry here at Hopedale Unitarian Parish effective August 31. 2019, which is the end date of my current contract.  I will plan to lead Sunday worship through June 2, which is the Flower Communion service and the day of the annual meeting. Since I am finishing my fourth year here, with the grace of the Parish Board, I will be taking the months of June, July, and August as a combination of vacation and sabbatical leave and will not be at the church after June 2.

I believe we have accomplished a lot in the past four years. We successfully launched a new website and increased our social media presence, including the weekly posting of sermons to our own YouTube channel.  We explored the importance of collective mission and adopted a logo and new branding. The congregation became a Welcoming Congregation and is near completion of a renovation project that has made the building wheelchair accessible and updated the restrooms.  We expanded fundraising through the congregation’s first ever (as well as 2nd) Goods and Services Auction, and used Faithify UUA Crowdsourcing to raise the money for hearing assistance devices for the sanctuary. The congregation has become a major volunteer contributor to the community meal program in Milford, run out of Trinity Episcopal Church and had its first experience as a teaching congregation serving as the internship site for Jennie Mulqueen.  We developed a better relationship with the Milford UU church and we were instrumental in the formation of a local cluster of congregations – UUs of the Burroughs and Blackstone Valley. Most recently, we were instrumental in the Milford Area Humanitarian Coalition adding inclusion and diversity in the community as one of their priorities.

I am grateful for my time with you and I appreciate the opportunity I had to work with you.   I will carry with me fond memories of Chalice Circles, Game Nights, Geocaching, Christmas Caroling, Operation Turkey Sandwich, Laundry Love, Kris Kringle, Thanksgiving worship, Christmas Eve by candlelight, and amazing Goods and Services Auctions.

It has become evident, however, that my ministry and the congregation are no longer a good match.  My ministry is deeply invested in spiritual formation and social justice commitment, and the congregation is not sure what of type of ministry it wants and needs.  I do not yet know where my call will lead me next, but I have faith I will end up where I need to be.

I wish nothing but the best for Hopedale Unitarian Parish.  Protocol for these situations dictates that I am not able to discuss future direction of the congregation in terms of the ministry or other important decisions. I encourage you to support and trust your dedicated congregational leaders in the weeks and months ahead as you make decisions about future direction and staffing. I will miss you all, but you will remain in my heart, my thoughts, and my prayers.

With many blessings and much love,

Rev.  Tony Lorenzen