Much appreciation to all who participated in November’s “Poetry as A Spiritual Practice” worship service. It was such a joy and pleasure. Yes, we shall do it again! Today marks the first day of Hannukah, in the Jewish tradition, and reminds us of the Holiday Season that is upon us. Christmas is not far away and Kwanzaa and New Years are waiting in the wings. Let us welcome the coming days of December as opportunities to celebrate in whatever tradition calls to our Spirit. Let us, even during this time of turmoil, remember our connections to the joy of life and to one another. The words of W.E.B. Dubois come to mind; “Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year.” Indeed, and I would add that our best play, our best insight, our best reverence, and our best introspection can also be done. Nothing beats now!
We also continue our congregational commitment to follow the science, to root our decisions in the values of consent and inclusion, to go slow and to be flexible and to be as realistic as we can with our expectations of ourselves and others as we navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and all its ever-developing tendrils. Our Unitarian Universalist guidance states, “this pandemic teaches us that our actions directly impact the health and well-being of our neighbors and so it is imperative that we make choices that keep our congregations and larger community safer.”
I am excited about our upcoming sermon topics for December 2021 that will mark our entrance into the new year. Our December offerings include, “The Call of The Elder,” “The Power of Joy,” “Living with Intention,” and will end with our annual celebration of the African American Holiday of Kwanzaa. I am personally thrilled with the onset of this time of year. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs or non-beliefs, I can feel something in the air during this season that speaks to my heart and reminds me of the joy that is ever present, though sometimes evasive and obstructed by the winds of the current times. I sometimes describe this season as a time when it is okay to be human, to speak openly and first to so-called strangers, to smile for no reason, to know that I and you are not alone and that we matter to one another in myriad ways. Do we dare to be so bold, so human?
The early nineteenth century Unitarian minister Reverend William Ellery Channing reminds us that; “there are seasons, in human affairs, of inward and outward revolution, when new depths seem to be broken up in the soul, when new wants are unfolded in multitudes, and a new and undefined good is thirsted for. There are periods when to dare, is the highest wisdom.”
This month let us dare to be human.
Rev. Anthony Mtuaswa Johnson
(published in our December 2021 Newsletter)