“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)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 14 of Spiritual Practices and Reflection: Serving others (or: "It's not all about you")

On Feb 4, 2012, First Universalist will hold its 2nd annual day of service. Last year, during our day of service, over 400 congregants helped contribute 1500 hours to our community. We served with Habitat for Humanity, Simpson Shelter, Ascension Place, Harriet Tubman Center, and dozens of other places. It was a remarkable experience, as we came together to serve the wider community. 

Here's a video, made by a youth team in our church, that invites members and friends to participate in this year's Feb 4th day of service: 

Rachel Naomi Remen, medical doctor and author, says this about service:
Serving makes us aware of our wholeness and its power. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life. The wholeness in you is the same as the wholeness in me. Service is a relationship between equals: our service strengthens us as well as others...service is renewing. When we serve, our work itself will renew us...in serving we find a sense of gratitude.
Serving is a way of being in the world, a practice. It's not about us or our needs; it's about wholeness, relationships, partnering with others, and it changes our orientation in the world. It's about getting outside of ourselves and entering the larger current of life. And when we serve together, I think we understand ourselves as a faith community in new and powerful ways. I'll never forget last year, on the Sunday after the day of service, when we invited everyone who had served on the day of service to stand up - and more than half the congregation stood. It was remarkable, the joy, energy, and gratitude we all felt.  

In what ways do you serve in your life? How has serving changed your life? Do you regularly make time to serve others, in ways large and small? How do you feel when you are served by another? Are you able to receive their gifts, their loving service?

If you're in town, I hope you'll join us for our day of service on Feb 4, 2012. Invite a friend! And if you're willing to be a point person for a project on the day of service, please let me know. 

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