Last fall we recited together Rob Eller-Isaacs words from A Litany of Atonement: We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love. The litany was written for Yom Kippur, but I’ve always believed it makes a fine New Year reading as well. I have chosen that final phrase as the meta-theme for our ministry together for the next 6 months. We begin again in love. A new year. A critically important stewardship campaign. The coming of spring; the holidays celebrating rebirth and renewal. A big birthday. All of that will happen between now and next summer. Over and over we begin again in love.
For January we explore one simple word as our theme. We. We the people, we the gathered community, we the voluntary association. It has occasionally been said that in terms of culture, Unitarian Universalism is the quintessential American religion. Born of a desire to break away from old ways of doing things, infused with the affirmation of the inherent worth of every person, suspicious of authority, in love with freedom. And just as our nation struggles with the tension between the freedom of the individual and the common good, so too does our faith.
So what does it mean to put “we” before “me”? What do we surrender of our individual wants and impulses in order to create an intentional community of faith? What do we gain from being part of such a community?
On January 3rd we will have a ritual based service called Coffin and Cradle. Bring with you objects that represent things you would like to surrender in the new year. You will place them in the coffin. Bring with you objects that represent things you would like to give birth to in the new year. You will place them in the cradle. Beginning again in love.
On January 17th and January 31 I will offer sermons on the theme of We: Individualism and Community. And on January 31 I invited you to join me after the service for a sermon discussion. See weekly eblasts for more information.
I look forward to a new year of shared ministry with all of you. A year filled with promise. And surprises. And most importantly, an infusion of love.