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New beginnings

By Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan

Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan preached at our parting service for Rev. Angie in January. The following is an excerpt. Read the full sermon on our blog.

One of my favorite sayings is a UCC slogan, “God is still speaking.”

Yes God is—God will continue to speak through Angie in whatever new is awaiting her; God will continue to speak through Beloved Community Church in whatever new is awaiting you.

New beginnings are preceded by endings. Hanging in the in-between time of this already, but not yet can be challenging. And, we have the experience of the history of the people of God, and your history here at Beloved to know that God is always calling us forward in love. You my friends, beautifully embody that Love.

I want to share with you a poem from Hermann Hesse which speaks to beginnings and endings:

"As every flower fades and as all youth

Departs, so life at every stage,

So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,

Blooms in its day and may not last forever.

Since life may summon us at every age

Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,

Be ready bravely and without remorse

To find new light that old ties cannot give.

In all beginnings dwells a magic force

For guarding us and helping us to live.

Serenely let us move to distant places

And let no sentiments of home detain us.

The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us

But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.

If we accept a home of our own making,

Familiar habit makes for indolence.

We must prepare for parting and leave-taking

Or else remain the slave of permanence.

Even the hour of our death may send

Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,

And life may summon us to newer races.

So be it, heart: bid farewell without end."

And know my friends as you bid farewell to your beloved Angie as your pastor, she will forever carry you in her heart; and you will forever carry her in your hearts—all united as one beloved family in Christ.

That Spirit which swept over the face of the waters, swept over Mary, flamed the fires that Pentecost morning, the Spirit which first drew Angie, and you to be a part of this Beloved community, is present in each of us still.

The Spirit, the Advocate which Jesus promised to his disciples is still stirring and will carry Angie, and each of us individually, and Beloved as a community, as we turn our corners.


-Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan
January 10, 2016
Beloved Community Church

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