by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          June 1, 2017

Actually, depending on when you are reading this, I’m likely right here in Barrington, RI. However, if you come around the church in late June or early July, you might notice I am gone. I have a whirlwind four weeks coming up that will keep me away from BCCUCC, but in the end, bring me right back here to stay. Here’s what’s going on:

June 18th will be my last Sungraduationday in the pulpit until mid-July. Brendan will be taking over until I return on July 18. You are in good hands as I know Brendan is working on a special sermon series that I am dubbing “The Pastoral Letters of Brendan.” They’re kind of like Paul’s pastoral letters, but 2000 years newer! Seth is graduating high school on June 20th, and as I am sure you understand, I want to be there for him on this big day! When not celebrating his graduation, Elizabeth and I will be packing up the house in Connecticut. It’s being packed probably as I write this, but you know that these things always take a lot longer than expected!

tough-mudderFor the weekend of June 26 – 28, I will participating in Tough Mudder New England. Your church moderator, Steve Peck, and I have been preparing for this event all year. This is my “marathon.” For my entire adult life, I have wanted to compete in an marathon or similar event. When I was invited to join Barrington’s Tough Mudder team, I jumped at the chance. We will run a 10-12 mile course up and down Mt. Snow, in VT, while working together to overcome 20 different obstacles. It should be a blast! Pray for us!

After returning from the Tough Mudder, I will have a few more days of packing before I head to Baltimore, Maryland, for General Synod 2017. General Synod is the bi-annual national meeting of the United Church of Christ. This meeting moves to different locGeneral-Synodations every time. Rhode Island hosted General Synod in 1999. Among the topics on this year’s agenda is the completion of a major overhaul of our denominational structure. The UCC has spend the last decade streamlining its national administration, and this streamlining should wrap up this year, unless we vote to table it…again. Synod is filled with lots of UCC enthusiasm, wonderful worship, and highlights of the local and national presence of the church. I plan on blogging at least once from Baltimore, so be sure to check From The River’s Edge to see what’s happening!

Returning to New England is when the fun starts! Elizabeth and I will take a few weeks to finish packing, move out, close on our CT house, and finally deepen our roots in Barrington. I am already pretty rooted in our community here, but it will be a great joy to welcome Elizabeth to the neighborhood and be a family again! It’s been a challenging ten months apart, but I think we’re going to make it, AND be better for it! I look forward to calling the parsonage “our” home.

JacobFinally, once home, I have a wonderful sermon series planned for July and August. One of the most dynamic stories in scripture is the story of Jacob. We’ll take five weeks and walk with Jacob through his life and faith. We’ll see him grow up, get in trouble, get married, get in trouble (again!), and eventually come home. If the weather is nice (not too hot, not too wet) we might even worship out on the terrace or at the riverbank.

See you soon,