Rev. Gretchen reframes the story of the Israelites in the days and weeks after escaping slavery as a cautionary tale of humans wanting more certainty than life would be offering any time soon. She guides us in exploring what it means for the reality of life to be a dance between tradition and innovation, continuity and upheaval.
Over the last few years, a group of church members has been gathering as the History Project to tell the story of our congregation, beginning with the seeds sown in the late 1800s. As you watch this video telling of our history, we invite you to listen for the values that have carried the community forward, and that will keep carrying us forward in comfort and in courage. Listen for the story you recognize - the transcendent truths of our community that we can lean on and place our trust in - no matter how life continues to shift. Most of all, listen for the steadfast presence of love that was offered to each person who arrived, as it has been offered to each of us as a gift - and the ways we are each in turn called to offer it to those who come next, ensuring that whatever the future brings, love abides.
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In the wake of the pandemic and all the changes that came with it, Rev. Gretchen explores how there are always things that abide across life's disruption and uncertainty. There are what Rev. Rebecca Parker calls "the covenants we inherit," and William Stafford calls threads we follow. Our church community has the inherited covenants and threads as transcendent truths of our community that we can lean on and place our trust in - no matter how life continues to shift. These are the values that will carry us forward as we navigate the road ahead.
Rev. Gretchen draws on Juneteenth, Isabel Wilkerson's book Caste, and the Covid-19 pandemic to explore how we adjust, cope, and ground ourselves in moments of profound change. What happens when everything we know changes in an instant, then how do we adjust when things change again - especially when the change is as fuzzy and uncertain as it is now that we are beginning to re-enter "real" life post-pandemic. Rev. Gretchen references the work of Priya Parker to help us discern how we might have complicated conversations about identity and vision at moments of transition - just like the one we're in now.
Rev. Sean guides us in a visualization of the past year and how we were changed. What is it you want to remember?
Rev. Sean leads us in a meditation for affirming that we are enough as we are even when we're feeling lonely, stuck, sad, and all the other hard and frustrating feelings that are part of being human.
Rev. Elaine explores what it means to reconnect after a year of separateness equalling safety - what it means to exercise many of the social, emotional, and spiritual muscles we didn't use while social distancing. She reminds us that we are all connected and that returning to togetherness may feel so intense because it is awakening our sense of communion with one another - and communion are intense!
Rev. Elaine shares a personal story of awkwardness and offers a prayer to help us embrace awkwardness, uncertainty, and vulnerability.
Rev. Sean explores how we can find wisdom in the awkwardness of post-pandemic life - how it can be a springboard for connection. He challenges us to sit with awkwardness (a little longer than we might otherwise), to notice what happens in our bodies, and then to choose how we respond.