Reflecting Poolwith Reverend Greg Coles, M.Div.
The Journey of Farewell
It’s been said that people come into our lives for moments, seasons or lifetimes. After much prayerful reflection I have come to acknowledge that it is time for my season of serving as the minister for Unity of Bay City to come to a close. On Monday, January 21st, in accordance with my UBC employment contract, I provided the Board of Trustees with my resignation, to be effective April 6.
I believe that transitioning some of my responsibilities to a new Leadership Counsel in October of 2018 has laid the groundwork for the remainder of a successful transition period. I will work closely with the Board, Leadership Counsel and each of you, to ensure we create a smooth transition and good ending, which will lay the path for greater new beginnings as well.
To be sure, endings can be bitter-sweet, and this is because of the great love and relationships many of us have enjoyed over the past 8 plus years. In addition to what was, we might also grieve the loss of what we imagined could-have-been as well. Let’s honor these feelings. And given that most of us humans don’t enjoy change – especially when we are given no choice in the matter - news of my retirement may result in feelings of anger, upset and resentment. Some will seek to defuse these feelings by channeling them into blame, at either ourselves or others, that something must be wrong. For others, there will be feelings of joy, gratitude and the excitement that comes with new possibilities, and new dreams and relationships that are to come.
I encourage you to know and affirm with me that nothing is wrong, and that everything is right. It is right for me to resign at this time. It is right for me, for the Board, our Leadership Counsel and for our spiritual community. Even if it feels difficult and we want to make it wrong, we know that God is good all the time. I hold faith in this affirmation with you.
While my husband John and I will remain living in our Bay City residence, the code of ethics I am bound by require that I modify my relationships with congregants and step back from participating in the ministry in any way, until such time that a newly credentialed leader may invite me. Of all ethical requirements I believe this is the toughest, for I so value and treasure the many friendships made over these years. At the same time, I recognize and honor that a time of separation is necessary for the community and myself. And I would rather say fare well than good bye. How to do this?
SACRED CONVERSATIONS – Friday Feb 1st 7:00pm
Our Healthy Helping workshop is being consolidated into one evening, Wed Jan 30 at 6:45, in order to reserve Friday, February 1 for a sacred time of listening to you, my friends and members of Unity of Bay City. I am offering this time for those interested to come, share and express their thoughts, feelings or questions about this transition and my retirement from field ministry. Or to share whatever may be on your heart in order to find closure, to bless and let go of our past, and celebrate new beginnings for each of us. I hope you can join me.
FAREWELL SUNDAY – Feb 10th 10:30am
On this my last Sunday, Reverend Cheryl Rohret of Unity Worldwide Ministries will help us to co-create a Sunday celebration of all we have shared together, and to prepare for the greater good that Spirit has in store for all of us. Following the celebration is our annual Chocolate Decadence, in celebration of Love and everything chocolate. If you wish to bring some regular and healthy side dishes to share, this will be my last meal with all of you.
After a few more weeks in Florida, I will return to Unity of Bay City to clear my office and be available for any last transition meetings, questions, counseling or to share a farewell cup of coffee. If you would like to schedule some personal time to meet with me, please contact Joan, our office manager, to get on my calendar for the week of April 1-6, at 989-686-0265.
I have grown and stretched and learned in so many ways with you here at Unity of Bay City, and I hope that over the years you have as well. May you continue to prosper, thrive and grow into all you are created to be.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me, and fare exceedingly well,
Reverend Greg Coles