From Rev. Carolyne Mathlin: To Every Thing There is a Season

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    -Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2, 4

 Beloved,

It is with clarity and many emotions that I write to you to share my decision to complete my service at Unity of Tustin as your Senior Minister on April 15, 2018. I have been in a discernment process for some time now, which has included prayer, meditation, soul searching and visioning. Last Sunday I spoke of my 2017 theme of parrhesia. Parrhesia is a Greek word which literally means ‘to speak everything.’ It’s a kind of transparency and speaking the truth that is wholehearted, courageous and full, even in the face of personal risk. To come to this clarity involves personal risk. It involves entering the unknown. And it is time.  

I have such deep, long-standing relationships at Unity of Tustin. If I could, I would sit with each of you to share this news personally so that we could talk heart to heart. Unfortunately, that is just not possible. During the January 7 services I’ll share about my process and what has brought me to this point of clarity. We also have a Heartbeat of the Community meeting that same day from 1:15 – 2:45 pm where you’ll be able to share your heart, ask your questions and be in community with the Board and me.  

 We have been in relationship, you and I, in one form or another for pretty much my entire 38 years. For 16 of those years I have served on staff, 9 as a minister and almost 7 years as your Senior Minister. It is natural for you to have many different emotions in circumstances such as this where someone whom you have relied on to be there for you tells you that the relationship is changing. Your Board and I have been working together to create a sacred, healing container for you to receive what you will need during this time. Our collective vision is that in the end you feel deep gratitude for this process and are prepared to welcome your new minister with open minds, hearts and souls. 

 We are entering territory Unity of Tustin hasn’t been in for 25 years. It’s important that all of us continue to stay close to each other during this time, stay committed and keep participating. Our modern Western culture tends to not know how to consciously end relationships. From a place of fear and grief we may go numb or crazy, be destructive and/or lash out because we don’t know a more conscious way. Let us learn and model together a collective mature ending that is filled with honoring, mutual support, appreciation and deep love. 

There’s a story my grandmother would tell of my prepubescent mom standing in front of a full-length mirror. As my mom stood there examining her chest and puffing it out she said, “Nature, do your stuff.” As I enter this new chapter of my life I stand before the cosmic mirror making my own declaration. “God, do your stuff.” I’m not quite sure what is next for me. What I do know is that I’m ready, just as you, my beloved Unity of Tustin are ready, to take this next step into the unknown. I’m excited for us both to enter this time of reflection, healing, completion and future potential. Just as nature knows what to do beyond our human compulsion to organize and control it, so does God. And everything belongs. I invite you to join me in living from faith in that Truth as we enter a new reality for 2018. 

 In Deep and Continuing Love,
Rev. Carolyne