June 2021

Who said, “I’m going to shut down for a while?” In my memory, it was the nefarious computer HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It could also have been C-3PO, in one of the Star Wars films. Or neither. Or both.

Wikipedia reports that 2001 is “widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.” I saw it when I was in high school. It baffled me. And, it had a huge influence on all the space movies that followed it.

“I’m going to shut down for a while.” We all need some time for a break, once in a while. Not so that we can further nefarious plans, but as a practice of self-care, of self-love, of care for our souls.

UU minister Kirk Loadman-Copeland writes that the care of the soul is important work: “It is at the heart of self-care. The care of the soul is self-love, not as narcissism but as a means to greater empathy.” In taking time for ourselves, we expand and deepen our capacity for connections, our capacity for caring.

I am taking that wisdom to heart, for the month of July at least. I’ll be taking a break, taking time away whether physically at home or elsewhere. Jessica will be doing the same, once Wizard Camp is over. Both of us will be reachable in an emergency, either through the office or one of the members of our President’s team.

I hope you, too, have moments when you can “shut down for a while.” I hope you enjoy glorious summer days, read great books (and trashy ones too), revisit favorite movies and see new ones, catch up with family and friends, and do whatever else will gladden your hearts and tend your souls.

And, if you have time and energy, you might consider joining phone banking and other efforts to pass S1, a critical bill in the fight against voter suppression. It will be voted on in the U.S. Senate in August. I am grateful to be your minister and grateful for who we are as a community. I look forward to all we will do to connect and care in the months ahead.Janets signature