A Letter from your Minister — November 2020

Minister's Letter

Dear Folks,

Our theme for the month of November is Spirituality. Take a moment to ponder your definition of spirituality. Does your concept of spirituality involve a spiritual practice?

In a sermon called “Moment of Truth,” the Rev. Sara Campbell writes that spirituality “has to do with both absence and presence. Spirituality is the miracle of birth and the mystery of death; it is the solace of solitude and the despair of loneliness. It is stirred in us by the beauty of ocean swells a few miles away and the ugliness of an unjust war in a distant land. That holy presence speaks to us in the blended instruments of a symphony and in the haunting cry of a hungry child. It is giving and receiving and giving. Spirituality is the flower and the compost heap…”

Spirituality is there for us as a means to survive (the despair of loneliness) and sometimes to thrive (the miracle of birth) throughout life’s seasons.

“What is spirituality?” is not the easiest of questions to answer, but there are some things we know for certain–spirituality can occur within or without religion. It is a faithful quest and a quest to be faithful to the highest values of humankind while understanding there are great mysteries beyond our comprehension. Spirituality is about navigating our purpose to love other beings with pure hearts. It involves Truth (or a search for truth), Illumination, Grace, connection to the Spirit of Life or something we call Ineffable or Universe or God. And spirituality does not exist outside of that topic we keep coming back to again and again: Revolutionary Love.

Without love, as the Greek testament notes, we have nothing. So may our hearts be radiant and may our hearts radiate the sort of love that has the power to transform us–even on a global scale.

I write these words to you on the eve of election day. Perhaps you are currently engaged in a spiritual practice around the election. Prayer or meditation or incantations. Lighting of candles, singing of songs. Or perhaps you are making last minute efforts to remind everyone to vote, or you’re volunteering at the polls. Spiritual practice and holy work takes many forms.

An interesting thing often happens in situations like tonight when it would seem we would be most likely to go to those spiritual places, connections, or practices– We don’t. We get caught up in the moment, caught up in anxiety or fear or even panic. These words should not be associated with an election, but they are in 2020. I spoke to two people today who said they were afraid to go vote. No one should be afraid to vote in this postmodern world, but this country has gone astray–perhaps more so than we could have imagined four years ago. Voters are not simply being disenfranchised; they are being intimidated and attacked.

In such a climate of fear and intimidation, we must lean in with our courage and resolve and our love for one another. Love will always overcome bullies. We need one another; we need Beloved Community.

Wednesday at 6 p.m., we’ll gather for a post-election check-in and time of grounding just to be TOGETHER. Your courage and resolve are forces to be reckoned with. OUR collective courage and resolve will sustain us through every victory and every loss we encounter throughout our lives. In times like these, I’m grateful for spirituality, for spiritual practices, and, most of all, for the images I hold in my heart and mind’s eye of your beautiful faces.

You are loved. And you are not alone. And remember, self-care is as much a part of spiritual practice as caring for others. Therefore, even as you seek to stay informed up to the minute on current events, take moments as well to completely unplug from all the things that busy your mind and go to whatever calms your spirit– whether it be a book or birdwatching, nature, Netflix or a sacred text.

Blessed be,

~Rev. Mary Frances