Last weekend, like many of us, I attended the memorial service for Krista MacTavish. While it was extremely sad to say “goodbye” to such a dynamic person, there was so much beauty and poetry in the readings and music. Tom MacTavish had given an eloquent eulogy and also stated that Krista wanted to have the song “Both Sides Now” played. When it came time to run the Joni Mitchell recording, there was a technical glitch and a few seconds of awkward silence. But one person started singing the song a cappella and was joined immediately by everyone else assembled. As I joined in, I found myself getting a bit choked up at the experience. The singing was strong, in tune, and the phrasing was perfect. Not one word was said before the singing started, it was organic and could not have been planned. All that mattered was that Krista wanted this song and her friends and family were going to deliver.
The next day we had the Annual Congregational Meeting. There were many sticky issues to cover (tight budgets, disappointments in the ministerial search process, continued COVID uncertainty and more) but the same spirit was present. We know what needs to be done and we have the will to do it. We are a strong, interdependent group with the determination to work through any obstacles and continue to live out our covenant. I left both the memorial and the meeting with the same impression: people at CCUU will take up the song, pick up the work, and support each other through good times and bad. “Take up the song…Carry it on…’til all the world…comes to sing along”
Events are changing daily and at a rapid pace. Anything I write today (before the Memorial Day weekend) will be out of date by the time you read this. We’ve had some encouraging news in the search for an interim minister. We’re preparing to close the book on one chapter of our history even as we start to write a new one. There will certainly be unanticipated problems. But whatever happens, we know that we will keep the spirit that has always defined Countryside. We’ll take up the song.
~ Tom Dempsey, CCUU Board President