January – From the Minister

i am running into a new year / and the old years blow back / like a wind that i catch in my hair / like strong fingers like / all my old promises and it will be hard to let go / of what i said to myself / about myself / when i was sixteen and / twentysix and thirty-six / even forty-six but / i am running into a new year / and i beg what i love and / i leave to forgive me —Lucille Clifton, African American poet

525,600 minutes… How do you measure a year in a life? How about love? – Jonathan Larson, from Rent

It is, in some ways, an artificial construction, the concept of a “year, ” roughly but not quite perfectly describing one journey of our planet round the sun. Where have you traveled over the course of the past 365 days? As the great wheel turns once more, what do you leave behind as the revolution starts again? What travels with you always, what dream, what conviction, what love?

We are running into a new year, a new revolution. As January opens, we are setting our tables (and alarm clocks) for our Sixth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast on Monday morning, January 19, joining communities all over the nation in this proud tradition of recognition and resistance. Join us—bring your friends, bring your children, as we watch the live broadcast from Minneapolis with keynote speaker Vernon Jordan, and also experience, in our sanctuary, the powerful in-person voice of Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, speaking on race and criminal justice in our country and community. Later this month, on Sunday evening, January 25, join filmmaker Mick Caouette for a showing here of his latest documentary, Mr. Civil Rights, on Justice Thurgood Marshall. Mick will be joined by nationally-acclaimed artist and poet Mary Moore Easter, reading poems that tie hard-won racial justice victories of the past to the mighty challenges of our present moment. (Spoiler alert: our own WBUUC choir is featured near the end of this film!)

Our theme this month is Reverence: the practice of giving things their proper due. As the new year opens, may we find new strength to set our hands to the constant struggle for more justice and more peace, for this is the work of reverence, the work of open eyes and open hearts. And as deep winter settles on the land, may we find new ways to wonder at the beauty of this world—for this is reverence, too. 525,600 minutes are an eye-blink, really, but within a year there’s more than ample time for work and wonder both, in equal measure.