“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today we launched the 10th Anniversary 9/11 "Hope Journals"

On Sunday, during both worship services, we launched 10 "hope journals" out into the congregation and (ultimately) into the wider community. If you're asking, "What are hope journals?" that's a fair question! Here's the answer: our "hope journals" are an experiment. An experiment in possibility, in crafting a new narrative, in connecting with our community, in imagining how the next ten years might unfold, and how we might be a part of that.  

Front cover of the the "Hope Journals"

Here's the explanatory text of what was in each "Hope journal:"

What you’re holding in your hands… 

The Story: On September 11th, 2011, during our Sunday morning worship services, we “launched” 10 “hope journals” out into the congregation. We launched 10 journals because it’s the 10th Anniversary of September 11th. We know what the story since September 11, 2001 has been: Wars in Iraq in Afghanistan, an erosion of our civil liberties, an unfortunate rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, economic upheaval, and much more. In many ways, it’s been a painful and heartbreaking ten years.
 As people of faith, we believe it’s time to write a new story. A story about reconciliation, hope, compassion, forgiveness, and peace, as we look to the next ten years. 
And that’s what this journal is about. It a place to record and collect your hopes, dreams, and commitments for the next ten years. 
Journal Instructions:  If you are holding this journal in your hands, we’re glad you have it! Please add to the “hope story” we’re creating! We invite you to write down your hopes and dreams for what the next ten years might look in our country and the world. You might paste a relevant poem in these pages, or add a meaningful photograph, or even draw your hopes and dreams. If you have children, pull out the crayons and get creative! 
After you’ve added your contribution, please pass this journal on to another friend or acquaintance, and invite them to pass it along when they’re done. The goal is to have as many people as possible contribute to these journals, whether they are from First Universalist or not. 
Return Date: Please return the journal to First Universalist Church by August 1, 2012. In September of 2012, we’ll share stories and highlights from this journal and others in one of our Sunday services, as a way to inspire us to truly create the future we dream of.  If you can’t drop the journal off, please mail it to us: 
The church’s address is:
First Universalist
3400 Dupont Ave S.Minneapolis, MN55409 
Tracking the Journal: 
Let us know you've touched and written in this journal! Send us a Tweet on Twitter. Find us on Facebook. Or visit us on the web. 
Blessings to you! 
Rev. Justin Schroeder and the entire First Universalist staff

Inside page of the "Hope Journal"

So that's what the "Hope Journals" are about. And now they're launched! We hope some of them will return next year and we'll craft several sermons based on the stories and hopes that have been shared. And we're aware of course, that some of the story is a story of sadness and despair; those stories are welcome too; we know that faith lives at the intersection of despair and hope. 

1 comment:

arif said...

Hey friends! I don't know if this will hang around as the official one, but last night I tweeted about the hope journals using the hashtag #firstunivhopejournal which is a tad long, but is perhaps unique enough to be useful.