I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be… She say, my first step away from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can’t miss it.
I hope you are finding time to get outside to enjoy the refreshing and vivifying energies of the springtime. As we cross the thresholds of the arrival of spring and the two-year anniversary since the pandemic shutdowns began, it is a good time to take inventory of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. The pandemic has certainly taken a toll on all, and the added stresses and fears that come with war and economic turmoil can make this a particularly difficult time to thrive. What do you need to find peace, stability, and wellness? How are you caring for your mental and emotional life? How is your body? What about your spirit? Leaning into community is an important way to practice caring for yourself and finding the support and resources you need to survive and thrive. Connecting with the natural world is another way to draw upon untapped reservoirs of strength, inspiration, and serenity. Spiritual exercises can also help us to instill our lives with greater compassion, discipline, and mindfulness. Please give yourself the time this month to holistically assess how you are and what you need to blossom like the fragrant Jasmine flowers.
Our Soul Matters theme for this month is “Awakening.” We reflect together each month in some of our publications, group meetings, and worship services on one theme with important religious significance. “Awakening” is a central topic of many of the world’s religions. The Buddha is called “the Awakened One.” Spiritual liberation in Hinduism is often defined as becoming aware that’s one’s soul is one with the divine. In Christianity, Jesus (peace be upon him) is often found in the Gospels calling his followers to awaken from a spiritual death to embrace life. At its depth, this theme is about transformation for the better. We are invited to explore the theme further with the following questions from our friends at Soul Matters: Are you the type that believes awakening most often arises slowly from discipline and dedication or the type that believes it is something that sneaks up on us and hits us like a ton of bricks? When did you first awaken to the truth that the world’s rules, judgements and strivings did not have to be your own? Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that “woke you up”? Are awakenings easier when you are younger or older? Has pain or loss ever led you to the door of awakening? What if the path to awakening is simply “wanting what you have”?
Pastoral support is available from our team of trained congregational leaders. We know times can be rough and having a trusted spiritual companion can lessen the burden in difficult periods. As we are regathering in our historic sanctuary, our pastoral leaders are also happy to share any joys, sorrows, or milestones in your life with the community.. To request confidential pastoral support or share any news with the congregation please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in ministry and love,
Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae