Dear Ones —
September brings the start of our new “church year.” Just like the beginning of school for the younger set, we gear up here at UU Church West on Ingathering Sunday on September 8th. Religious education classes for children and youth will begin on that date, and our committee, team, group and program leaders are getting programs ready to go!
Our Soul Matters theme for September is “We are a People of Expectation,” but if you’re expecting “Ingathering As Usual,” this year we think you’ll be surprised! That’s because we’re doing something new: holding a single service during the regular church year at the same time we hold summer services – 10 am. It’s a move designed to help us build a stronger community – and brings the possibility of more and diverse programming held on Sundays both before and after the service!
Like anything new, of course, having just one service will take some getting used to. The reality of our Build 2020 renovation construction process will still be in full speed, and that will also require some flexibility, too. Please come to church September 8 ready for energy, fun, and great music, and consider wear your best cloak woven of patience, kindness and compassion!
In the meantime, the world beyond the church walls is surprising, too. The election season is heating up, the Amazon rainforest is on fire, and there are thousands of children being held in detention centers at the southern US border. And while there is surprising good news coming out every day (like the work of young climate activist Greta Thunberg), it’s also impossible to predict what new travesty will come daily from the current occupant of the White House…
What can we do when life doesn’t meet our expectations? When circumstances force us to let go of the outcomes we cherish? When we’re disappointed by people or organizations we love? What do we do when life’s currents push us to places we never dreamed we’d go? How willing are we to loosen our grip on what “should be” and take “what is” into our hearts and lives?
Australian cartoonist and poet Michael Leunig offers a prayer to help us practice flexibility, patience, and compassion for ourselves and each other:
God give us rain when we expect sun.
Give us music when we expect trouble.
Give us tears when we expect breakfast.
Give us dreams when we expect a storm.
Give us a stray dog when we expect congratulations.
God play with us, turn us sideways and around.
I look forward to seeing you in September!
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister