With great enthusiasm, we wish to extend our congratulations to Reverend Lynda on her decision to retire and move onto another phase of life, where she will be surrounded by love and togetherness with her family, and we are in full support of her as she crafts this next chapter in her life.

We would also like to express tremendous gratitude for Lynda’s six years of service to First Parish Northboro and the gifts she has shared with us. Her ministerial leadership has seen us through two particularly challenging years during the pandemic and she has worked consistently with the congregation and other UU ministers during that time to help create online spaces and opportunities for us to remain connected and supported.

Meet Rev. Abgail Stockman

Greetings! I’m honored and looking forward to being with you in the first 3 months of 2021 during Rev. Lynda’s sabbatical.

As we prepare, I thought I’d introduce myself to you. I have been engaged in various community and congregational ministries since 1998. As a transitional parish minister I have served Unitarian Universalist Congregations in Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Maryland. Some have been interim ministries and others developmental or consulting ministries. My community ministries, including both paid and volunteer employment, have been, or currently are, in: Hospice Spiritual Care and Bereavement; Prison Chaplaincy; Restorative Justice; hospital Ethics Committee; and interreligious dialogue and action projects. I’ve spent 15 years learning and providing mutual support to colleagues applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to congregational and ministerial life.

I currently serve my UU Ministerial Association colleagues as a Good Officer. And once the pandemic has subsided, I will joyously return to being the harpist of the Vermont Philharmonic (Community) Orchestra.
My own current transition results from downsizing and moving out from my home of 15 years into temporary housing while building a small, eco-sustainable home over the next year. I live with two aging dogs and have an adult son, daughter, and daughter-in-law in the greater Boston/ Providence area.

In late September or early October I was listening to one of Rev. Lynda’s sermons and heard her mention “liminal space”. If there is a recurring theme in my ministries, it has been liminality. Liminality is a threshold, as in a doorway, marking the place between something before and something after. Ritually ‘liminal space’ refers to being between two states of being (i.e. formal engagement is a liminal time between the state of non-married and married.)

Sabbaticals are extended sabbaths we offer our religious professionals whose role includes engaging us spiritually on our own sabbath day. Sabbath is the intentional marking of a single day as the threshold between one week and the next. I am honored to be invited to serve and share worship with you during Rev. Lynda’s sabbatical while she renews and restores for your future ministry together. I know that together we can create an open threshold to wish her well in her resting and to welcome her back upon her return. I look forward to our virtual meetings. 

In faith and with blessings for all, Rev. Abigail