Spirituality

October – From the Minister

More and more I have come to admire resilience. Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side, it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true. But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers, mitochondria, figs—all this resinous, unretractable earth. These lines from Jane Hirschfield are from her poem, “Optimism, ” which is no sunshiny, easy thing in these darkening, disturbing times. Optimism, hope, resilience—these are hard choices in harsh days, religious...

Read More

September – From the Minister

The Sanctuary is quiet as I write this afternoon, nothing moving in the woods beyond the great window facing east, the steady oaks and cottonwood still sparkling from the drenching rain that came at last this morning. No deer today, no Cooper’s Hawk, none of the monarchs that have come back to us in golden clouds this summer, flashing hope around the milkweed near the stream. It’s quiet here today, as if the house were waiting for its people to come home. The room is rarely empty, though, even in the summer now, this sacred space we cherish, this home we call our own. Yesterday guests...

Read More

Summer 2018 – From the Minister

In her extraordinary and prescient sci-fi novels, The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler wrote about a beautiful, dystopian word, like and yet unlike our own, and set in what was, at the time, the not-toodistant future: the early decades of the 21st century. Writing more than 30 years ago, Butler saw with eerie clarity what for her was not far-fetched to imagine, the rise of a boorish tyrant in the midst of American uncertainty, numbing the people with platitudes and terrifying them with reckless, ego-laced, crude, cruelty. One of the books’ most intriguing...

Read More

May – From the Minister

This is the sixth year in a row that I’ve had to say goodbye to a community I’ve grown to love. And every time is as hard as the last. At the end of things, I think, “I’ll never love anyone as much as I love this community. ” And every time I am wrong. I spend the summer grieving and then begin again discovering the stories and dreams and heartaches of those I am with—and in this I love them. My heart is broken open again, perhaps a little more each time, and in gratitude I add my voice to the song of another beloved community. One of my favorite movies, and a family Christmas...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More