Looking ahead to 2014, one date in particular shines bright for me: the date I am formally Rev. Bret Lortie “installed” as your senior minister. I like that our process is such a deliberate one, from the search process and call, through our first “getting to know each other” months, and finally arriving at the installation ceremony to “cinch the deal.”
Some ministers like to schedule installations in the fall. I think waiting until after we have settled in provides a bet- ter perspective to truly savor the moment. It’s bucking convention a bit, but just a bit.
I’m also bucking convention by who I’m inviting to preach and speak. The convention is to invite a lot of out of town preachers and speakers, even to “show off” all the people we know. I thought a lot about this and decided to invite all local folks in order to celebrate the Chicago area connections I hope to foster in my ministry. The Rev. Alan Taylor of Unity Temple will preach, and speakers from throughout our great city and region will share their local vision of Unitarian Universalism. This reflects the deep connections I will deepen in the coming years. The larger connections are essential, too, but March 15 should prove a true celebration of the unique traditions, challenges, and hopes we share in Chicago and the North Shore.