Spirituality

April – From the Minister

Our theme this month is Promise: the practice of creating the world. A promise is a kind of pact, a vow, a spoken symbol of intention—a giving of your word. We live in cynical and jaded times, when vows spoken and heard are easily retracted, pledges (on the campaign trail especially) are easily denied, and promises carelessly dismissed. The world we inhabit really is created and defined by promises honored and broken, silent and spoken. A promise is an act of faith, for everyone involved. Long ago, and in congregations still, a promise was a covenant. A covenant is not a contract. It is not...

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March – From the Minister

I remember Sunday mornings as a child, after getting dressed up and ready for church, sitting down at the kitchen table to fill out my tithing envelope. I had a box of them that were all my own, with my name printed on the front and a space for me to fill in the date. I would carefully take money out of my piggy bank, mindful of what felt “right” to give, and seal it into the envelope, which then went into mom’s purse for safe keeping. When offertory came around in the service, I would proudly place my envelope in the basket as it passed by, knowing that I was contributing what I could...

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February – From the Minister

An older couple I know and love are both in their late ’90s. Creatures of habit now by necessity, they are also no strangers to the constant disruptions of daily living and frequent betrayals by their physical selves of the vibrant people that they are still “inside.” One of them lives increasingly with both hearing loss and memory loss; he can’t always understand why the world has gone suddenly so quiet. “Speak up! ” he shouts, to people in the room, to the Jeopardy contestants on TV, to the teller at the bank. His partner sometimes strains her voice, both with loud speaking and...

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January – From the Minister

I can’t think of a better time of year to contemplate discipline than the month of January in the North. A month for homebodies and introverts and mystics. A month for the weary and disillusioned. In its cold, dark embrace we can withdraw and reflect – whether in hopeless dismay or patient faith. January is a time of rest in the wake of the holidays – the race from Thanksgiving through Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, and into the New Year. It is a time of waiting for the renewal promised in the coming of Spring. Allowing ourselves the luxury of rest in this busy world takes...

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December – From the Minister

Our search process for a new Assistant Minister is well underway. I would like to give thanks to a capable and visionary Advisory Committee appointed by the Board in August, as well as to you for your participation in six Congregational Conversations held this past month. We’ve been asking you three questions: How does this church matter, in your life and in the world? What do you want our candidates to know about our congregation? What are we seeking in our new minister? Your answers have been strong and clear: When in crisis, this is the place to be for whatever you need. It is a beacon...

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November – From the Minister

I was recently given the gift of reuniting with some old friends that I worked with 20 years ago in Tacoma, WA, at a homeless shelter called Nativity House. This reunion brought back all sorts of memories of my time with the “guests” of Nativity House, and there is one in particular that has stayed with me. One afternoon, I was busy helping to get lunch prepared when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to find Andy, a regular guest, standing behind me, quietly crying and desperately trying to stay on his feet. Andy was extremely drunk and, by the looks of him, had been for several...

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