No, not me, but a woman I had lunch with today, a longtime member of our congregation who is moving away, far away, to be closer to one family member in a place where she knows almost no one. As I listened to her, I was astounded at the personal courage and commitment she had mustered to make this immense change.
She's not a person who does this sort of thing easily, it seems to me, and as we talked about her leaving friends behind, leaving behind a home she has loved, leaving a community where she has fit so well, my admiration for her grew. She doesn't know what she will find in the new place---friends? a beloved home? a church home? a new job or outlet for her skills?
The one thing she knows for sure is that the family member is worth this move. And that has given her the strength to pull up stakes and go.
I'm reminded of ancestors who bet everything they had on a homestead in Wyoming or Oregon, packed their belongings, and left the old place in Missouri or Ohio to start a new life. The chances people are willing to take in are astounding.
One thing she feels she can count on is the UU congregation in her new locale. She is confident she will find friends there, a warm reception. She's an honest and forthright person, authentic, reserved, completely herself. She's also tender, sensitive. I hope her new church home welcomes her wholeheartedly. If she comes to your church, please take her in and help her feel at home.