v With the change of the clock, Our Spirit of Life Eucharist time has moved to 4pm on Sundays through the winter months until the clocks change again in March.
v This Sunday we have our Spiritual Discussion Group after Eucharist. We will be viewing a video of Sr. Joan Chittister’s presentation in DC. Monday evening we have our Annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. Details for both are below.
Dear Holy Ones of The Spirit of Life,
Do you ever feel like you are wilting? Last Sunday, Jesus spoke to the disciples about the Temple being destroyed.
They were admiring this monolithic monument with its precious gemstones and its big 9 foot by 7 foot blocks of marble—it looked pretty substantial and indestructible. And so when Jesus said before long it would be smashed down, the disciples wilted—it seemed like too much. And then Jesus went on to say: and that is not all, there will be wars and hurricanes and impeachment hearings and forest fires and blizzards. And the disciples wilted even more. Then Jesus said, “Thou shalt not wilt! Don’t be afraid, God will be with you and when you are brought before magistrates, God will give you the words to speak—God will show you the way. By your perseverance, you will save your souls.”
This Sunday as we celebrate the Feast of Christ the Merciful Compassionate Servant-king, Jesus shows us how to live that out in practice: he trusts that God is with him even as he is put to death on the cross and he reaches out to the “good thief” and offers forgiveness, compassionately saying, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus modeled that perseverance that will save our souls for himself, for the thief and for us. I feel overwhelming wilt when I try to see the whole picture and sense that I have to do it all myself: how are we going to pull our world back from climate devastation or how are going to save this Church from self-destruction. And then Greta Thunberg comes along and says, “Can anyone give me a carbon-free ride back to Europe?” And the Australian family comes forward with their catamaran and says, “we will.” Jesus is still saying, “Thou shalt not wilt” when you trust that God is with you and when you bring each other home together.
We just came back from a Dialogue on Racism where about 80 people from many different church congregations had a conversation on Racism. In the concrete, racism looks like diminishing others who are different from us in color, in wealth, in religion, in gender orientation. One of the participants shared about the divisive rift in the town of Weston itself over a new affordable housing development. She shared that when she explained who was likely to move into this development, namely the teachers, the public works workers, the postal workers that were familiar to the town, those who were adamantly opposed took a step back and said: that’s not so bad: they are familiar to us. The anonymous new residents who were demonized and feared seemed less threatening when they were no longer seen as other, but as familiar. What wonders we could do if we came to see how others were like us and not how they are different from us. (Naturally, this is only one comment from a three hour conversation. They were many other notable contributions about owning our white privilege, about what black and brown and Native Peoples suffer, about reconciliation and reparation. The conversation will be continuing: come join us and bring a friend.)
Last week we shared a blessing by Jan Richardson that said that in the midst of the world ending, we are not alone. God quietly comes in and faithfully sits with us—the message is: we will get through this together. Others sometimes need for God to have a face, a voice, a hug. Joan Chittister has a wonderful challenge for us: “The point of prayer is not to spend our prayer life begging for ourselves but to turn into the Jesus figures that answer the prayers of others.” Do you know someone who is lonely, heart-broken, worried, despairing? Sit with them, listen to them, value them, let them know that they are not alone. We are the blessing that others need. And so Jan Richardson has another blessing for us this week:
You Who Bless
that to feed
is to bless
and to give drink
to those who thirst
is to bless
and giving clothes
who have none
for the sick
may the blessing
you have offered
now turn itself
and to embrace you
at the feast
of the blessed.
At The Spirit of Life, we work together in prayer and companionship to loosen the attitudes and brokenness which can hold us bound. We believe that God’s desire for us is that we be “Whole” and thus “Holy”… full of life , unfettered by life-destroying prejudices and free to move openly as the Spirit calls us. Our belief in the sacredness of all created beings and loving relationships compels us to respond with care and compassion to all who are marginalized in our church and world. We invite you to come and to pray with us as we “do our own work” in growing into a deeper awareness of our own gifts and ‘growing edges’ and together create a community that invites diversity and honors the uniqueness of each individual and every journey. We are confident that you will feel welcome in the “home” of The Spirit of Life.
In this week of Giving Thanks, we want to tell you how deeply grateful we are to each of you for your presence in our lives! We wish each of you abundant blessings and a feast of love on Thanksgiving Day!
Ron & Jean
Sunday ~ Nov 24th Spiritual Discussion Gathering (we will show a video of Sr. Joan Chittister and Sr. Teresa Forcades’ recent address “Radicals and the rule” offered by the Women’s Ordination Conference. We will then discuss what we see.) Please share this invitation with friends who might be interested. As always: All are welcome!