When Hope Is Hard To Find

Last Friday the world came to a stop. Too many children’s and adults’ lives ended senselessly. We are stunned, scared, and sad. For days we have cycled between tears and rage, bewilderment and determination for change. All of these feelings are right, and normal, and need to be felt. It may be a while before we find our balance, before we can turn to the lawmakers for action, before turn to each other for a shift in our culture of violence. Before we look to how our own community is punctuated with similar, yet smaller scale, events nearly daily.

(Look here for resources on grief and talking to children about tragic events.)

Yes, the past few days have been hard. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that we have so many good people in the world. We gathered on Sunday to look into each others eyes and see the spark of light that resides in us. We sang together and lit candles and hugged. We gathered online to share messages of love and caring, comforting our grief and shock. These are the days when we rely on our strength together to hold each other up. As the Carolyn Dade hymn says:

10561_484476871585771_634101886_nI am grateful for every one of you who lives your generous and outrageously loving life – you who share that life and love with the world. It makes a difference. We are building a world of peace. We commit ourselves to this hard work, of facing fear and anger and sadness because we have hope. We have hope because we have  love. May love guide us as we heal our grief and work for change.

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Thank you to UU Media Collaborative Works for these images.

Gathering-In

Amazingly, we are back to the start of another church year. I came across this lovely poem which describes how special this Sunday is to us…

Gathering-In

by Patricia Shuttee

You and I  and all of us blew about
with the winds of summer,
following the sun  in different ways
of freedom  and of play,
finding rest  in the cool stillness of shadows,
and moving to the slow  heartstruck rhythms
which turned the long hours  of summerlight.

Now it is time  for gathering-in.
We come together at this time
and in this place on the bridge of autumn.
Summer is fading backward into memory,
and winter waits in snowy brilliance,
offering its months as our learning-time
and its celebrations for our special joy.

We meet with eagerness and delight,
need one another for sharing.
We have joys and sorrows and hopes to share,questions,
things we care about and want to help make better,
things that we would like to understand,
ideas waiting to be heard.

Today, we are together in gladness,
once more the special big family
that we call our Church,
a family of all ages that sings its songs,
tells its thoughts, asks its questions,
and searches together in peace and understanding
with courage and with love.