I will love you by being weak
I will reveal the tender and vulnerable…
-Rev. Sean Parker Dennison
Breaking and Blessings
“The Path of Courage” is our theme for spiritual reflection as a congregation this October. We consider a religiously significant theme each month in some of our publications, worship services, and other congregational activities to deepen our shared spiritual lives and help build beloved communities. These activities help us to all get on the same page by contemplating questions of ultimacy and dreaming together. The origin of the word “courage” is the Latin root “cor” which means “heart.” So often we think of the path of courage in terms of might in battle or an enduring will to survive when facing extraordinary challenges. What if we expanded our understanding of courage to include our capacities for openness and vulnerability, our darings to grow and be transformed not through bold showings of strength and might but through our bold embraces of weakness, vulnerability, and tenderness?
I am writing during the period of the Jewish High Holy Days and reflecting upon how it takes courage for us to admit our failings or ask for forgiveness for our wrongs or to offer mercy to those who we may feel are undeserving. It truly takes heart to risk for the sake of growth or healing. At our best, we advance together on such a path of profound courage as a liberal religious community and transform lives in our wake.
Our friends at Soul Matters invite us to contemplate this important theme with questions that we can bring to our small group meetings and other activities of the church. You may want to consider including one of these questions in your personal check-in time at the beginning of your meetings and provide enough time for those gathered to go deeply in their personal exploration of the question and sharing. Soul Matters asks us to consider: What is the greatest act of courage that you directly witnessed? And how did it change you? What do you know now about courage that you didn’t know when you were younger? What fears did your family of origin pass on to you? What seems more dangerous these days? Pessimism or optimism? Is life calling you to make a “leap of faith”? In resistance to white supremacy culture, what are you courageous enough to stop normalizing? Has comfort led you to forgetting what courage feels like? Instead of standing up and speaking out, is courage now asking you to sit down and listen?
What is on your heart as of late? Who do you remember in this Season of the Ancestors? Do you have a joy, milestone, or sorrow to share with the congregation? Would you like to request confidential pastoral support from our Pastoral Care Team? Please contact us at email@example.com and help us to better support you.
Your in ministry and love,
Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae