Archive for August, 2013

Aug 30 2013

The Journey of a Thousand Leagues Begins Beneath One’s Feet

Published by under Minister's Musings

The sixth-century Chinese philosopher Laozi (also spelled Lao Tzu) offers this nudge to everyone daunted by a big vision for a better life: “The journey of a thousand leagues begins beneath one’s feet.”

Most of us know this version: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” But I like the literal translation better. Laozi tells us that we are already on our path. We don’t need to leap tall mountains or ford raging streams to get there. The road we long for is the one where we stand right now. This very road will take us toward our dreams, lead us deeper into our lives, help us create the self and the community that we long for.

At our August Worship Associates gathering, we read aloud the Mission and Vision of this congregation. On that warm Saturday morning, surrounded by our team of lay worship leaders, the words strike my ears with fresh meaning. Sometimes these words have sounded beautiful but abstract, hard to turn into action. But this time, they have body, shape, power. I can name concrete examples of how we have begun to bring each phrase to life.

We are already on our road. With renewed energy and commitment, let us take our next steps.

When you read our Mission and Vision statements, what strikes you? How are you “making Love visible in word and deed”? How are we, as a community, making Love visible in word and deed? Let the specific examples rise up in your mind. It doesn’t matter whether these examples seem small or large. Every step counts.

Mission Statement

Bound together by our commitment to making Love visible, we gather to deepen our spirits, to work for justice, and to create one sacred family.

Vision 2015

We seek to build a religious community that makes Love visible in word and deed. Therefore we are called to:

1)      Create a caring, connected congregation that actively reflects the richness and diversity of our community, honoring and nurturing with justice and compassion all that makes each of us unique.

2)      Undertake bold initiatives to transform ourselves and our community.

3)      Worship together so that we connect with the divine, transcending the boundaries that limit us, to become part of something greater than ourselves.

4)      Care for, nurture, and empower the growth of our children and youth through vibrant and engaging lifelong faith development and social programs.

 We are already on the road to these ambitious, beautiful dreams. Now they are all the more urgent, and thus all the riskier. So, I invite you to take the hand of those standing near you. Now come, let us take our next steps. “One more step, we will take one more step”—day by day by day. Welcome to this new church year at the First Unitarian Church of San José!

With all my love,


Rev. Nancy

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