My UU ministerial Colleague, Rev Kathleen McTigue (currently the Director of the Unitarian Universalist College for Social Justice) served in parish ministry for over 25 years. This is from her Meditation manual, Shine and Shadow:
On the Cusp of Winter
“We’ve come to the season of waiting.
The colors of autumn are gone,
leaves faded and fallen, and branches rise bare to the sky.
The deep quiet and frozen beauty of winter are coming
but not quite yet: we are in the season in between.
The world closes in on itself as breathing things
hunker down, burrow in, drop to the bottom
and store up nurture for the long cold.
Animals that we are, we feel in our bones
the shuttering of the windows.
Though freed from the need to burrow in,
may we still find guidance
in the rhythm that beats through our hearts.
In this season of waiting, may we let ourselves
slow down our pace,
ease out from beneath the burden of our speed
and bustle, our fretful worry
so that gratitude can saturate our days and color our nights.
In this season of closing down, closing in,
may our hearts stay open,
urging us to open our doors to the stranger, our hands to the helpless,
and our spirits to all that calls us endlessly back to life.”
I pray that each of you finds this month more satisfying and less stressful, oriented more to the spiritual than the material.
If you are still feeling let down by our public servants and the quality of our civic life, we can empower ourselves by giving money to institutions that put our principles into action: Organizations that fight for the environmental justice like 350.org, organizations that are helping Standing Rock and Planned Parenthood, which fights for the reproductive rights and health for all women. If you have received letters asking for money for issues that UU’s care deeply about, please feel free to mention these during Announcements. (Obviously, we cannot solicit for any particular political party or candidate).
For so many of our brothers and sisters, particularly people of color, GLBTQ individuals, Muslims and immigrants, gratitude may be harder to come by, and the choice to slow down may not be an option. Remember we are all connected; if one is not safe, none of us are. There will be an opportunity to show our support to our Muslim brothers and sisters. Stay tuned to the email blast for more information.
With deep affection and gratitude for all of you and all that you!
See you at 4 Cleaves Street!