“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)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Growing More Fully into Love's People

I am still glowing from the “The Big Wedding Party” we had in August. Thank you to all of the staff and church members who helped make this big day happen, as we celebrated marriage equality. It was a blessing to be witness to such love and joy! 
As we begin to move into the church year, I have been thinking about our mission to “give, receive, and grow into Love’s people,” and I keep coming back to this prayer from Unitarian Universalist Minister Kate Braestrup, from her book, Beginner’sGrace: Bringing Prayer into Your Life: 
May love and strength be in my hands
May love and courage be in my heart
May love and wisdom be in my mind
May love be with me and work through me today
And all my days.

I love this prayer because it points to the essence of the church’s ministry; here, in the Universalist spirit of love and hope, we strive to grow more fully into Love’s people and to embody and become vehicles for that love.

In fact, “Growing into Love’s people” is the drive behind our racial justice commitment, which continues to deepen this year, with conversations, trainings, and sermons about faith, race, racism, and racial justice. As a person of faith, I am clear that love and the horrendous impacts of racism are fundamentally in opposition. The deepest tap roots of our faith call us to work for racial justice.

“Growing into Love’s people” is the drive behind our Community Circles. Community Circles are sacred spaces designed for participants to engage in the spiritual practice of deep listening and connecting with others. I believe that smaller groups are one of the best places to “give, receive, and grow into Love’s people.”

“Growing into Love’s people” is the drive behind our Sunday morning worship, our Faith in Action work, and our Religious Education Programming (we want our children and youth to know they are loved and to grow up to be agents of a justice seeking love). 

Here, in all that we do, we invite a Holy Love to lay claim on our lives. Here, we practice giving, receiving, and growing ever more deeply into Love’s people. 

Welcome to the new church year! May love be with you and work through you today and all of your days.

I’ll see you in church,