Annoying Presence

Your presence is annoying!” With that declaration to his sister, my teenage son ended all negotiations about who among his four younger siblings would sit where during our family’s annual five hour drive to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.


The “annoying presence” argument was new, and difficult to refute. It was no longer particular behavior that made one an unacceptable neighbor, but presence, one’s very identity and being! And the Annoy-o-Meter, as best I can figure, is subjective. Annoyance, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder. Seeking a quick-fix to get on the road, I offered to take a seat in the back so my son could ride co-pilot, a privileged place and the closest thing to first class in the family van- far removed from all the annoying presences in the back. I tell this story as a way to introduce our theme for the month: presence. Join me, our service leaders, and the Leadership Ministry in December as we explore presence, including the times when Unitarian Universalists have felt called to be an annoying presence. See you on Sunday. Rev. Chris