As we look forward to our Gala Weekend, I have been reflecting on my own “Lessons from Lance.” As your cantor, I have had the great honor of working side by side with Lance for the last 19 years. You would think I would be much smarter than I am getting to hear all of his sermons and teachings, but I do believe I am wiser, and a better cantor because of the lessons I have learned.
Here are just a few:
“We will get through this together.” No matter how difficult a situation or how challenging; Lance will remind you that we, as clergy, are there to help you through whatever circumstances you are facing. We are there with a helping hand, a hug, some wisdom from our tradition, prayers, and community.
“You are not alone.” No matter how lonely you may feel from loss, Lance will remind you that community is there to lift you up. He will remind you that each of us has some “bull****” we have to deal with, and the more we remember to connect, the easier our lives will be.
“The world was created out of chaos and that’s a good thing.” Each year that the Torah portion of Bereishit/Creation story rolls around, Lance reminds us of the line that the world was created out of chaos. It is our job to find the blessings within the chaos. The messy parts of life are opportunities for blessings, and there is no such thing as perfect.
“There’s always a way.” Lance and I have celebrated so many of your family events/milestones with you. We have found ways to bring family in from across the world through technology, and we have found ways to be inclusive of the most disabled child. Lance teaches us to be flexible and inclusive. The focus of a life cycle should be the ability to be together, to celebrate and to mourn. He will always find a way to include every member or every family.
“Take care of your family.” As a working mom, throughout the years and no matter how old my children get, Lance always reminds me that I have “little ones” to take care of. He has said over the years; we cover for each other. We take care of our families, even while we take care of our congregational family.
One last one…” The hardest part of this retirement will not be getting to work with you every day,” oh wait, that was my line too!