I can tell you the precise moment. It was after we enjoyed the swimming pool at the Hilton on Prospect.
We were at dinner in the hotel restaurant. There was this folk singer, he was singing, "Easy Like Sunday Morning," and CSU grads were everywhere.
We were all just sitting there, smiling, taking in the moment.
Josef looked up with a twinkle in his eye, and asked: Is this Fort Collins, mommy? Like it was a magical place.
This is Fort Collins, and, this is Foothills Unitarian Church.
And this is the earliest beginnings of what will surely be a long and glorious adventure together. A new partnership.
We are all so happy to be with you, so grateful, to be at the beginning of this journey together.
When I left my interview with the Search Committee - who deserve all that gratitude you've offered them, and more - well when I left them that first time we met, I drove away and immediately started calling my people - Carri, and then my close circle of friends and colleagues.
And when I got them, the most accurate thing I could find to say was - I'm bursting. Bursting with joy, and gratitude and a sense of - YES. A sense that I couldn't believe how life could unfold in such a surprising and yet utterly perfect way.
This early bursting-hunch, however, came into sharper focus and fuller bloom when the the Board offered me the position and affirmed that they and the Committee shared this sense, this inner YES about our partnership.
In seminary, we call this feeling, this bursting feeling - especially when shared across relationship - a call.
We meet you today, bursting with joy and gratitude, stepping into our call of a shared ministry and shared covenant, living into the call of our great faith, Unitarian Universalism, and living into the call of Foothills Unitarian Church, all it has been, all it is, and all it is yet to be.
We light this chalice as a reminder of this call and our mutual YES, as a sign of our bursting with joy and anticipation, as we live into our great future, a future created through our partnership, and our promise to walk together in the spirit of mutual love.