This Sunday marks Juneteenth, commemorating the day in 1865 when all slaves in this nation were declared unequivocally free, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. One hundred and fifty-seven years later, the question is, “Why aren’t we all free yet—and what can we do about it?”
Resilience is not easy. Starting over is never simple, and yet it is the work that leads back to life.
For the last few years we’ve feared moments like this were coming. Week after week, both Individually and collectively, we’ve watched the world in front of us and worried that the worst-case scenario would play itself out. The bad news is that in so many cases, it has. That’s also the good news. Join us for an honest conversation about the place people of faith, morality, and conscience occupy when it all hits the fan.
The philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote, “In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart.” Our times call for courage, commitment, hope and self-love. And all of these are sustained by beauty. It’s one of the most important secrets to successful social change and social survival: When we carry beauty, it carries us. This morning we reflect on various dimensions of beauty in our lives.
There isn’t a human being who has ever called the planet home who hasn’t wondered about the purpose for their presence here. The question of why is a universal one but so too is the difficulty in completely answering it. No matter our finances, our privilege, our nation of origin, our education, we can’t exempt ourselves from all of the mysteries of life. Maybe we can’t know everything—but the good news is that we already know more than we realize.
It can be easy to feel a sense of control over our lives, but it takes just one senseless war, one horrific diagnosis, or one newborn baby crying in the middle of the night to completely undo us. This morning we reflect on what remains unshakable in the midst of chaos.
For the past 24 months the COVID-19 Pandemic has made us more aware of human suffering and there is no end in sight. Sweeping across the globe, the virus has brought death, grief, increased financial hardship, worry, fear and anxiety into our ordinary lives. Prolonged emotional distress creates suffering as it takes a toll on one’s mental health and spiritual wellness. Suffering is part of the human condition, but is it necessary? Join us for a better understanding of the challenging role of
“They say that change is the only constant in this life and that is hard to argue with. We can look at our neighborhoods and in our communities and in nature and in our families and in the mirror and see that nothing stays the same for very long. So, with all that shifting around us, where can we find peace, where does stability come, what can we really hold onto? More than we think.”
Many desperately seek it; a few have more than others; while some feel that they have little or none. What’s in your power and how do you use it?
Prelude Sung by Dimitri Sobol “One Power” Words and Music by Daniel Mahmod
An Ever Widening Circle
A classic Zen exercise is the ensō, the circle hand-drawn in a single fluid brushstroke. It is close to perfect, but never there. Its incompleteness serves as an invitation to everything beyond it, and as such makes a wonderful model for community life. How does “not being quite complete “serve us as faith communities”?
Here we are at the end of January, and by now nearly 50% of people who made New Year’s resolutions to get fit/work out, save money, eat healthy, start a spiritual practice, lose weight, keep a journal, and many other “self-improvement” declarations, have gone back to the habits that led to the resolutions in the first place.
What if we didn’t start with the idea of I MUST…, but instead began with curiosity and gentleness?
I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? We’ve likely all been faced with that question at one time or another. Our response usually has to do with our fatigue level, how strong we feel at the time, the recent events in our lives. Some days we want to get the bad out of the way quickly. Other days we need something good to sustain us first. Actually, given the choice, most of us would probably like to avoid the bad news altogether.