Writing this column at the end of October 2018, we at Chalice are waiting. We are waiting to get our building permit, expected any day now, from the City of Escondido, which will allow us—at long last—to begin construction of a new, seven-room multipurpose building on our campus. This is Phase 1 of a three-phase vision for construction improvements and expansion in years to come. This phase also includes much needed improvements to our parking lot.
Because we are waiting for the building permit, we are also waiting to know definitively when we will begin to meet not-at-Chalice on Sunday mornings for our weekly gathering of worship, children’s classes, and social time together. We are fortunate that we will continue to have use of the Chalice offices, common room, and even the chapel for small group meetings during construction. But with the parking lot unavailable, it will be impractical on Sunday mornings for 100 of us to try and park on the street, and so we will be elsewhere.
There is much to be excited about. I do NOT like changes and disruptions to our regular worship schedule, as you know. But if we have to meet not-at-Chalice for four months…well, maybe we could have some fun with that. We will need to meet in the early afternoon, so maybe some of us would like to meet for brunch before worship on Sundays. There is at least one Sunday (and maybe more) that we will join with other UU congregations for their worship.
And wherever we are, we will be able to worship all together at one service, not two. It has been six years since we worshipped together at one service. Although we will miss having a choice of worship times, there is also a special blessing of being all together.
So we’re excited for that…but right now we have to wait!
As I have said to many of you in your times of crises and mentioned in many a sermon, liminal space—being “in between,” the state of uncertainty and not knowing—is the most uncomfortable space for most of us. We would rather know the diagnosis, even if the news is bad, than sit in the discomfort of waiting to hear. Waiting is hard.
Waiting to plan something exciting and interesting and important to all of us is REALLY hard.
And in addition to that excitement and interest is grief. I will be so sad to say goodbye to our Chalice chapel for four months! I have stood in the Chalice chancel and led worship on 212 Sundays (best as I can calculate) over the past 6 years. There will be a tear in my eye, I’m sure, when it’s time to close the chapel door for the last time (for a while). The moment we’re gone, we can begin to look forward to our return.
So that’s what’s happening this late October. By the time you read this in mid-November, we will know more. Perhaps our waiting will be over.
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