A blessing is not something that one person gives another. A blessing is a moment of meeting, a certain kind of relationship in which both people involved remember and acknowledge their true nature and worth and strengthen what is whole in one another.
-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
My heart is still shattered in the aftermath of the atrocious school violence that occurred last week in Uvalde, Texas. I am finding hope in the many ways communities are coming together to grieve and to demand real change in the gun laws and cultures of violence in our society. We cannot restore the lives that were once again brutally taken from this world by gun violence but we can continue to grow beloved communities to help heal our hurting world. Our work in that regard is ongoing and I hope you’ll find ways to get involved in the work of our congregation.
Our Annual Meeting will be held this coming Sunday, June 5, following the service, and we’ll reflect together on the work of the past years, some of the challenges we’ve surmounted, and what opportunities for growth and transformation await in the new church year. This coming Sunday, we will also celebrate GLBTIAQ+ Pride Month with poetry, music, remembrance, prayer, and blessings, and I hope you’ll join us for this celebration before the Annual Meeting. The following Sunday (June 12), we will march in the Pride Parade and celebrate the decades of Unitarian Universalist queer advocacy, loss, love, and pride in our congregation and in our larger liberal religious movement.
Our Soul Matters theme this month is “Celebrating Blessings.” Each month we reflect together as a beloved community on a theme of spiritual significance in some of our publications, small group meetings, and worship services. “Celebrating blessings” asks us to consider the substance of blessings and our attentiveness to their presence in our lives. What exactly are the blessings of life and are we mindful of them? Soul Matters offers these questions for our reflection and sharing together this month: When in your life have you most felt like you were a blessing? What blessing did the religion of your childhood leave you? Have you ever witnessed anger offering a blessing? What summer in your life contained the most blessings? Does any part of you want to recreate or re-experience some of those blessings this summer? Have you thanked your various “fathers” for their blessings? Many of us have more than one father figure in our lives. When was the last time you told them thanks for their gifts? And let them know you carry them and their influence with you still?
Our newly reorganized Pastoral Care Team is available to provide spiritual support and companionship if you request it. We would also like to keep the congregation apprised of joys, sorrows, and milestones in your life in our “Joys and Sorrows” on Sunday mornings. If you would like to request pastoral care (all requests are kept confidential) or share good or difficult news with the community, please reach out to our Pastoral Care Team leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in ministry,
Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae