The THEMES we choose each month for Sunday services (carried into discussion groups and classes) seek to reclaim a powerful spiritual vocabulary from the dusty dungeons of outworn theologies. Some strong old words still carry useful power, even if we’ve left behind the religions where first we learned them. To me, COVENANT is such a word.
Someone (one of you, a member here) said to me not long ago, “Covenant is a promise I keep to myself, about the kind of person I want to be, the kind of life I mean to lead, together with all kinds of other people, and with all other living things.” When we welcome babies in our church, when we welcome new members into the community, when we celebrate the love of beaming couples, when we ordain new ministers, when we gather round a family we may not even know, serving food and coffee at a memorial service for somebody they’ve loved and lost—we speak not in the binding language of contract, but in the life-sustaining fluency of covenant, from co-venir, to travel together. We will travel with you, child; we will go together with you, friend; we will companion one another toward the lives we mean to lead, toward the world we mean to have a hand in shaping: the world of compassion, equity, freedom, joy and gratitude. Covenant is the work of intimate justice.
In this congregation, we keep our covenants by finding ways to grow our souls and serve the world, in love. Here is one I’m thinking of as October opens: SOULWORK FOR RACIAL JUSTICE Hosted by our Ministers and Racial Justice Task Force, a monthly open conversation will be held at two different times, so anyone can come: the 4th Sunday each month 12:30-2:30pm, and the 2nd Wednesdays 6:30pm. We’ll look at breaking news events, old history, Black Lives Matter, white supremacy and privilege, and more through a UU lens. This fall, our point of departure will be a new book published by the Minnesota History Center: A GOOD TIME FOR THE TRUTH: Race in Minnesota— essays that challenge, discomfort, disorient, galvanize, and inspire. Pick up a copy in the Social Hall.