November 2020

In the next week or two we will begin to think seriously about putting our garden to bed. We’ll plant a few daffodils and tulips, once the cold settles in. We’ll do it with more wistfulness than usual, this year.

Since April, temperate weather and the glories of the natural world all around have given most of us a chance to exercise our bodies and raise our spirits. Now, winter is coming.

That knowledge mingles with grief, anxiety and worry about the continuing pandemic, a holiday season apart from loved ones, the election, the level of discord in our body politic and the world at large, acute awareness of the scourge of centuries of systemic racism, and climate change. Where do we turn for sustenance?

Rev. Rod Richards, a UU minister in San Obispo, California, writes, “Our safety and strength lie in relationships and community, constantly renewed and endlessly expandable.”

Telling our stories is one way we maintain and deepen those relationships. For my sermon on November 1 I’m collecting stories from members and friends who have participated in phone banks. A few weeks later we’ll share stories about gratitude. Joe Raptor, the talking eagle, may be back. And Gail Herman is hosting a “Tellabration” on November 21 that includes storytellers from USNF.

Is there a story you have to tell? Not a major opus. Just something that has lightened your spirit, or sparked your interest, or made you laugh. Do you have time to ask for a story from someone else? I invite you, as the cold settles in, to give someone a call. Someone you don’t know well. Maybe someone you spoke with in social hour. Someone you know lives alone. It could become a spiritual practice.

Our strength, our comfort and our hope lie in relationships and community.

I am blessed to be here with you.

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