Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae - September 17, 2023
Opening the Book of LIfe
From Monthly: "Welcome"
Let’s explore and ask questions in worship, small groups, and personal reflection on this month’s theme. This theme touches on welcoming change, on including us all, on our wholeness, yet also on our paths to grief, reconciliation, and forgiveness. We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been—a place half-remembered and half-envisioned… Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power… ~ Starhawk, The Longing for Home Universalists are often asked to tell where they stand. The only true answer to give to this question is that we do not stand at all, we move. ~ Lewis Fisher It’s the community’s job to figure out how we can stretch into the so-called margins to broaden our understanding and the ability to be inclusive. Inclusivity is not “How do we make you a part of what we are?” but “How do we become more of what you are?” ~ angel Kyodo williams Sensei To become an anti-racist faith community, the key question for a white/white majority community is not “How do we get people of color to join our faith community?” It is, instead, “How can we make a prolonged, spiritually rooted, engaged commitment to uprooting white supremacy within our community and take ongoing collective action to challenge it in society?” Our goal is not to have white people sit alongside a person of color so as to affirm that those white people aren’t racist. Our goal is to build and be part of beloved community, united to end structural oppression and unleash collective liberation… Our goal is to join our hearts and minds to the task of destroying white supremacy in every worldview, policy, law, institution, and governing body of our society… ~ Chris Crass The situation facing trans and gender non-conforming people in the United States right now is really bleak. And I really want to have an earnest plea that people stop framing this as a minority issue and reframe this as a universal attack on self-determination. Every one of us should be able to determine our own gender. No one else should be able to tell us what we should look like, how we should act, and what we should do with our bodies. So we need you to show up in this moment, not just out of an ethics of allyship. That doesn’t feel like enough for me, but out of an insistence and your own dignity, your own capacity to transform, your own love of self. ~ Alok Vaid Menon Don’t leave your broken heart at the door…/ Don’t leave your anger behind… / Bring them with you, / and your joy… ~ Angela Herrara You don’t need to know people in order to grieve with them. You grieve with them in order to know them. ~ Valarie Kaur For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed? ~ bell hooks The distinction is this: forgiveness opens the possibility of reconciliation with another, but it does not necessarily lead to reconciliation, and it is certainly not the same thing as reconciliation. One can forgive and not reconcile. … Reconciliation has conditions attached to it, but forgiveness does not. What forgiveness does, at most, is to provide a place where trust can be earned and reconciliation made possible. ~ Rev. Bruce Bode