I’m lying low with flu-like symptoms this week (though I got a flu shot in August). I suspect I’m fine, but I got a Covid test yesterday just to be safe. I encourage us all to err on the side of safety as the days grow shorter, the air gets colder, and people return indoors. It’s hard, I know, but it’s one of the most important ways these days to love both our neighbors and ourselves.
One activity you could do indoors as the evening light wanes is email me your answers to one or more of the following questions:
- What has our church meant to you over the past year?
- What has most surprised you about church life during this time of Covid?
- What have you especially appreciated about our church during this time?
This year’s Stewardship Team is already working on the upcoming Fall Pledge Drive, and your answers might appear as quotations in the narrative budget (anonymous or attributed, as you choose). Please email me at email@example.com this week!
You could also join Caly and Elizabeth tomorrow from 7:30-8 pm for the first of our Fall Vespers Services. This time of fading daylight and cooler weather can feel limiting after summer’s outdoor gatherings, and these services will offer a chance to enjoy the soft peace of fall evenings in the presence of one another. Participate each week (through 12/18) or whenever you wish from the comfort of your couch. We’ll use a gently adapted version of the Holden Evening Prayer Liturgy, with time for individual meditation and prayer. For details and the Zoom link: Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if want to get safely out of the house, you’re encouraged to donate food for our October St. Paul’s Food Pantry Collection. Please drop off shelf stable items on our church steps tomorrow from 4-6 pm or Saturday from 10 am-Noon. Here is what’s most needed:
- peanut butter
- hearty soups and stews
- good quality spaghetti sauce
- shelf stable milk
- healthy cereals in regular size boxes
- canned meat of any kind
- toiletries (regular, not travel, size)
- paper grocery bags with handles (like those at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)
In closing, I share this powerful, seasonal poem by Morgan Harper Nichols:
Let September be September.
Let October be October.
where you need to practice stillness.
Take action where you need to take action.
Give energy to the things
you need to give energy to.
Rest where you need to rest.
And through it all, trust:
no matter what you are waiting for,
you are not simply waiting.
You are growing in your capacity
to be prepared for what’s to come.
Feel the full weight of your losses.
And also, feel the full weight of your joys.
You are free to laugh. Sing. Cry.
And you do not always have to have a reason why.
Keep taking deep breaths.
Keep trusting in the process.
for overwhelming peace
“I will carry on with faithfulness
even though I do not have answers for everything.
I will continue to trust in
what is greater than me.”
For there will come a time
when the autumn leaves
that once burned
amber and gold
will fold and fall
to the ground, and
evening time will settle in more
quickly than it settles in now,
but morning will come
with sunlit windows
and soft wind-blowing sounds, and
in that slowness, there will be an all-new
here in the wild of earth and air.
And whatever lessons October
was meant to teach you
will meet you there.
touch the leaves,
feel their colors
as they burn,
in the wild of changing things, ask,
“What am I meant to learn?”
Blessings of Peace, Health, Joy, and Justice to you and yours,