Happy All Saint’s Day!
I hope you had a safe and fun Halloween (All Hallows Eve) and that you’re now enjoying a more low-key All Hallows Day. There are three main things on my mind this week: my son Tate, the upcoming elections, and this Sunday’s service. So here goes!
Tate: As many of you know, Tate started Goucher College this fall after struggling with a chronic illness for years. He was doing well and enjoying school, and we were breathing sighs of relief. Until he was bitten by a tick, jogging in the lovely Goucher Woods! Last week he got the classic bullseye rash, head and neck pain. Then on Sunday his temperature spiked, and we went to the ER. Since then, we’ve been at Children’s Hospital getting good care. He should be fine (after a lot of IV medication) once they let him go home. The hard part will be catching up at school, and this is where I request your prayers. Please pray that he regains full health and is able to maintain a positive attitude with the stamina required to make it through the rest of the semester. Thank you!
VOTE! The elections are here, and many of you are working to get out the vote. Most of us are also feeling anxious about the results. I urge everyone to manage this anxiety via action: vote, encourage others to vote, offer rides to the polls, and remember that local elections are important as well. As you do, pray that the results are for the Highest Good of All. Remember, despair hinges on the belief that our certainty is greater than God’s creativity (Thomas Merton). And God is super creative! For some excellent UCC ideas and encouragement, go to: Our Faith Our Vote.
All Soul’s Service: The tragic events of the past two weeks have left us reeling: the murder of two Black Americans in Kentucky, the shooting of eleven Jewish worshippers in Pittsburgh, pipe bombs in the mail, the Administration’s threat to erase the identity of transgender people, its inhumane response to the caravan of refugees coming from Central America, and the ongoing meanness of our current political culture. Shock and grief are part of the air we breathe. Thus, it’s important to gather with one another in love and support. I know some of you went to the Matthew Shepherd Memorial at the Cathedral last week, and some attended one of the many Jewish Memorials this week. I invite you to join me this Sunday for a service that will provide a shared space for our public and personal grief. If you’d like to bring photos or other memorabilia for the remembrance table, you are most welcome. Together, we will remember, grieve, and love.
My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed.
I have to cast my lot with those
who, age after age, perversely,
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.
– Adrienne Rich
Together, we are strong,
Walk to End Homelessness, 11/3—We’ll gather for a fun and family friendly walk around the National Mall focused on ending homelessness in the DC region. All proceeds benefit Friendship Place. To register: www.friendshipplace.org. Registration and music begin at 9:30, walk at 10:30 am.
Lectio Divina: Holy Listening, 11/4—Join fellow seekers from 4-5:15 pm for contemplative prayer in community, along with discussion, written reflection, and inspiration for starting or sustaining a regular prayer practice. This series will focus on the practice of listening for God—in sacred text, in silence, in the natural world, and in relationship with others. The group will meet on the first Sunday of January, March and May.
Jubilee Jobs Volunteer Morning, 11/10— Have you successfully applied for a job? If you have, please join the Mission & Social Action Committee from 9 am–Noon to help low-income job applicants. Volunteers will receive a brief training and work with applicants on resumes, online job applications, and mock interviews. It’s a great opportunity to offer one-time assistance or become a regular volunteer. Located in Adams Morgan at 2712 Ontario Road NW. To volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art Exhibit and Charity Auction, 11/10— We hope you will join us from 5-7 pm for an Art Exhibit featuring Don Clarke, Wesley Meacombs and other local artists. There will be a Silent Auction to raise funds for Joseph’s House (hospice care for those who are homeless) and we’ll enjoy a wine and cheese reception, accompanied by live music. Questions? email@example.com.
Thanksgiving Gift Cards for Shaw Community Center, 11/11—Help the Mission & Social Action Committee support these families by purchasing and contributing $25 gift cards (Giant, Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Walmart). These cards will allow the SCC families to purchase Thanksgiving ingredients of their choice and enjoy a special meal! Please bring all gift cards by next Sunday, 11/11. Questions? Email Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org
100th Anniversary Homecoming Service, 11/11—We’ve invited friends from near and far to join us for this last 100th Anniversary event. Please come for a service that celebrates our small and mighty congregation as we conclude our hundredth year and look toward the next hundred!
Winter Warmth Drive for Friendship Place, thru 11/29—We’re collecting gently used winter coats, gloves, scarves, hats, and blankets (along with new socks and long underwear), L-XXL sizes preferred, for individuals in need, now thru Sunday, 11/29.