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Archive for December, 2012

Dear Kindred in the Spirit,

The children of the Montessori School offered their annual program this morning and those jingle bells in the sanctuary were a lovely way to start the day when the world is supposed to end.  Each day, my on-line advent retreat has offered me (and those who have attended the Advent Oasis time on Tuesday mornings or the class on Dec 12) lots of nuggets to help us reflect this season. We’ve been studying the parts of the Christmas stories and how they intersect with our stories.  What encounters have you had with folks/angels bringing you surprising news? When have you felt your part in God’s vision of a world where the poor are lifted up and the downtrodden are comforted?  When were you made speechless by the possibilities God offered you?  When did the powers that be make you go on a journey you would rather have not taken?  What strange or comforting messages have you received in your dreams?

The Winter Solstice is yet another opportune time to ponder the parts of our story that may seem hidden from us, or mysterious, or inexplicable.  My retreat leader, Jan Richardson asks:

Within the sacred text of your life, are there places of absence, of something that seems missing? Is there an experience or a period of your life that has left you wondering, What was that about? As those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere move through the darkest night of the year and the light begins to lengthen once again, how might you pray with this hidden text — not to understand or explain it, but to meet the God who dwells also in mystery and in the dark?

She offered this Blessing for the Longest Night (check out her blog for the art that goes with this blessing)

All throughout these months
as the shadows have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself, making ready,
preparing for this night.

It has practiced walking in the dark,
traveling with its eyes closed,
feeling its way by memory, by touch, by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me when I tell you
this blessing will reach you
even if you have not light enough to read it;
it will find you even though you cannot
see it coming.

You will know the moment of its
arriving by your release of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands, of the clutch around your heart;
a thinning of the darkness
that had drawn itself around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.

So when this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

Join us Sunday for a meditative service that brings us into the light of life through the Native American flute playing of Jim Harris and the mesmerizing chants of Taize. Together we “make the world.”

Shalom,
Pastor Kelly

Some Reminders:

  • January newsletter now online and can be accessed from the church homepage.
  • Sunday, come early to learn the Taize melodies.
  • Christmas Eve candlelight service with soprano Mary Brown Bonacci at 7 but come early to hear the Celtic harp.
  • Dec 30 service is blessed to have special music by Matt Chandler and Gayle Lesure bringing the word.
  • Prayer concerns: Jeff J_’s mother died Tuesday. Also, pray for Scott and roofer coming later today to address leaks in sanctuary roof.
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