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Making ready, making room

By Laurie Stuart
July 2, 2013

A message from the publisher
By Laurie Stuart

The cicadas are on a 17-year cycle. I seem to be on one that is seven. For it was seven years ago that I packed up a few boxes and moved myself to Berkeley, CA for 10 months. That time it was for seminary; this time I am packing for a ministerial internship.

Interestingly, I don’t plan these things.

Similar to the freak snowstorm that stranded me in Tampa, FL on Valentine’s Day 2006 that led to my application to graduate school, the announcement of the 10-month internship in Port Townsend, WA, came on the one-year anniversary of my visit to that very town at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. I was there to spend the day with my older brother following the unexpected and sudden death of our younger brother. While a sad, hard day, I remember the beauty of the water and the hills, the vibrancy of the town, its farmers’ market and Main Street craft store and how it reminded me of the Upper Delaware. And I remember remarking to myself, “I could live here.”

A year later I wondered whether that was a prophetic thought when the Wednesday morning announcement instructed simply: “If you want to hear more, email the minister.”

How could I not? The time was so coincidental; the offer felt like an invitation on behest of my little brother.

Following a pretty quick interview process, I was offered a position to be a part of a three-person clergy team at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist (UU) Fellowship in Port Townsend, WA. It is a lively congregation of 350 members.

I am thrilled and terrified by the prospect of packing up my car on August 10 and driving across the country. Husband Stephen will be accompanying me on the ride, helping me to settle into a one-bedroom B&B unit in the home of one of the congregants, and then flying back home. I will then begin a 10-month internship, complete with learning goals, committee supervision and a supervisory minister. Upon completion, I will have moved myself through yet another UU ministerial ordination requirement.

Here at The River Reporter, we have been making ready for this sabbatical. Each week since winter, we have developed procedures for a leadership team, which will handle all of the day-to-day operations. We’ve been handing off responsibilities, streamlining our systems. It’s been a great process and I am delighted with the enthusiasm and the dedication of the staff and for their vision of the paper in the coming year.