Dear Ones All (as my Nano used to say),
Having already sent a long missive this week (see Grief, Anger and Self Compassion), I won’t send another. Instead, I’ll share a few Facebook posts and media links, along with a preview of special congregational events.
First, if you’re a parent or teacher, you may be struggling to talk with children about the pandemic of violence in our country. I’ve discovered a couple good resources, and I hope you find them helpful: How to talk to kids about Las Vegas and How to talk to your kids about awful news.
Second, you may be struggling to process all of this yourself. In Tuesday’s email, I suggested the RAIN meditation: Recognize what is going on within; Accept those thoughts and feelings; Investigate what is happening (within and without) that could create those thoughts and feelings; Nurture yourself with love, care and compassion. For a guided version, go to: The Rain of Self Compassion.
Third, you may be wondering what you can do. I won’t mince words. Put your actions and resources where your thoughts and feelings are! Donate to Everytown for Gun Safety. Provide aid to Puerto Rico via one of a list of trusted organizations. Call your congress people. Sign up for the Walks to End Homelessness and HIV (see below). Read Waking Up White for our book discussion on 10/29 (see below). Talk with friends and neighbors. Listen to friends and neighbors. And remember: WE are the hands and feet of God. In the words of a recent UCC Facebook post: Pray… and in your praying become a living and breathing prayer that this broken and grieving world so desperately needs.
Lastly, celebrate LIFE! Hug your spouse, your child, your friend, your dog. And come to church to connect with our beloved community. This Sunday, 10/8, we’ll celebrate our annual Blessing of the Animals Service, a beloved, intergenerational (and interspecies!) tradition. All animals on leashes or in crates are welcome, and you may also bring a photo or stuffed animal to be blessed. Our Fall Spiritual Practice Series: Seeking the Sacred begins on Tuesday, 10/10. This group, led by Kris Davis, will meet thru 11/4 (except 10/31) from 7-8:15 pm in the parlor. Through contemplative prayer, journaling and discussion, they’ll explore many ways of drawing closer to holy presence. Join the welcoming circle!
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Peace and Blessings,
Socially Responsible Investments, 10/15—Our Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to reallocate our investments according to socially responsible criteria. Please join the Trustees after worship to discuss this important issue.
Poetry Hour, 10/15—Join us from 4-5 pm in the church parlor and bring one or two “scary” poems to read (with 8 copies to share). Invite a friend! Questions? Le Rowell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dinner and a Movie, 10/20—The Maclean family drew no clear line between religion and fly fishing. Rev. Maclean taught his sons to fish and look for grace. In A River Runs Through It (1992) the boys grow up and the family falls apart. We’ll discuss family, grace, and beauty, with a simple supper starting at 6:30 and the film at 7 pm. Sign up in the parlor or email Dan at email@example.com by Wednesday, 10/18.
Walk to End HIV, 10/28—This year the Potomac Association of the UCC is walking together! To order a t-shirt: UCC Walk T-shirt. To register: UCC Team. The team will meet for coffee and bagels at First Congregational UCC (945 G St. NW, near Metro Center and Gallery Place) at 8:15 am and leave there at 9 am for the walk beginning at Freedom Plaza.
Waking Up White, 10/29—BEGIN READING! We’ll gather after worship to discuss Debbie Irving’s excellent memoir about race. In her words: “This is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.” Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walk to End Homelessness, 11/4—Join our Cleveland Park Confirmation/Coming of Age Class for this walk on the National Mall to raise money for Friendship Place. To register with the Cleveland Park Team and/or donate, go to: Walk to End Homelessness.