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Happy spring, Evergreen!

Here we are, standing on the threshold of a new season of blooming and I must say my heart is hopeful and my hands are ready to serve the essence of our Evergreen lighthouse, a beacon of progressive faith ideals and spiritual nourishment.

This past Sunday morning we gathered in the Cascade View room to launch our annual financial pledge campaign, "Lighting Our Way." I spoke about Evergreen as a lighthouse of progressive faith in the Salish Sea and Snohomish county. The words I shared of author Lynne Twist still turn in my mind: "We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set of scarcity." Because it's in keeping that beacon of light going strong that we embrace the notion of sufficiency -- a knowing that there can be

enough, because all of us are enough as we light the way for other weary travelers on

these lands and seas, other seekers of truth and champions of justice.

Because Evergreen is becoming known as a safe haven in Everett, a home for compassionate witness, a rallying point for those who aspire to live a life of spiritual

responsibility, most weeks it can seem as if we're toiling to serve up a 12-course meal

of faith on a two-burner stove. Despite this limitation, we all manage to find sufficiency in our efforts because as Twist points out: "Sufficiency isn't an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration."

Sufficiency is an experience... I like her wisdom here. Because as we labor to create Evergreen's weekly feasts of liberation, our side dishes of welcoming agape and our

sweet treats of compassionate witness, the truth is we do grow weary of that darn

stove's constraints. We grow weary of finding workarounds for our current shortage of financial fuel, and yet our wise author points out, "Sufficiency is not a message about simplicity or about cutting back and lowering expectations," says Twist. Rather, sufficiency is an invitation to recognize the power and presence of the shared resources that dwell in our inner resources.

Beloveds, our lighthouse of a congregation stands as a guardian to guide us through

life's storms. It is a testament of caring community that welcomes all souls, which

generates light not just from the kindling that powers our stove but from the collaborative energy of our faith, hope, truth and love. "Sufficiency is an act of generating, distinguishing, making known to ourselves" the abundance that's always

waiting to be tapped within and among us.

There's one vision that comes to my mind: as our numbers grow, there's a crowd clammering in and overwhelming our limited two burner kitchen. We may only have

two burners but our hearts and hands are many. We ask, "Who's got kindling to light another burner or two?" not out of desperation, but from a place of strength and vision for our county and city brethren.

This spring, as we now gather the kindling we'll need to thrive in the seasons to come, we do so with the knowledge that "sufficiency isn't two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance." Sufficiency is the experience of our fellowship's integrity. Integrity woven from threads of shared experiences, laughter, heartbreak, and unwavering progressive faith. In the circular belly of our lighthouse kitchen, with

compassion and good humor, let's remember to pause and give thanks for how far we've come, the rough seas we've navigated, and the open horizon that glows before us. Throughout this spring season, friends, may we continue to gather ourselves into one welcoming beam of light for all who seek a path of progressive spiritual growth. This spring we continue to live as more than congregants; we live as creators of the free

and independent search for truth and meaning.

May we pledge to fuel our lighthouse and light another burner or two on the stove so our boundless welcome of all souls can thrive.

With love and light for the journey,

Rev. Joe

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