From the Minister, Thu Oct 5

From the Minister

Hurricane Maria brought suffering to millions in Puerto Rico. Water is in short supply, the power is out on much of the island, communications are down, and temperatures are hitting 44 degrees C -- which is 112 F. It's a deadly dangerous situation for critically ill hospital patients. The San Juan airport is packed with people there to get a one-way ticket off the island.

In Las Vegas, Steven Paddock fired from a hotel into a concert crowd, killing 59 and injuring about 500 more.

Our distress at these two disasters is compounded by our country's tepid response. In the one case, thankfully, aid is arriving in Puerto Rico. Getting it distributed to the places it is most needed remains a huge challenge which we could do more to help address. In the other case, the most needed response is reasonable gun control legislation -- which our legislature is incapable of passing.

Other calamities of recent months include the Transgender Military Ban, the rescinding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), violence and white supremacy in Charlottesville.

The world may seem to be getting crazier, harsher, crueler. Our task remains what it always is: to love, to connect in empathy and kindness, to seek understanding, to give help where we can, to keep doing the work of peace and justice. There are many so committed. We are not alone. As the poet Adrienne Rich put it:

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.
Yours in the faith we share,

Let's Chat

On Tuesdays, 3-5pm, I'm going to be at an area coffee shop for anyone who might find that a convenient way to get together with their minister.
In October, I'll be at the Starbucks in Rye: 51 Purchase St.
In November, I'll be at the Barnes & Noble Cafe, City Center, 230 Main St, White Plains.
Drop by if you can!

You can also make an appointment to see me at CUUC, or invite me to visit at your place. Call Pam at the church office (914-946-1660) to schedule either.


A reflection on gender identity:
What If I Don't Have a Gender Identity?

The "Yay! Death!" sermon (Oct 1) is now posted, in three parts:
1. Yearning for Immortality
2. Two Epiphanies
3. Quintessence of Glorious Dust

List of, and links to, past sermons: HERE.
List of, and links to, other thoughts and reflections: HERE.

Practice of the Week

Draft Your Obituary. Most of us will never get the opportunity to have a newspaper reporter come to our homes and solicit the story of our lives. But the story of our lives matters deeply too. It matters to us and to our conscience. It matters to those whose lives we touch. To our loved ones. We all can play a role in shaping the unfolding drama of creation, so the story of our lives READ MORE

Your Moment of Zen

The Purpose of the Practice. Doubts. We all have them. Perhaps we once regarded doubt and faith as opposites, each the antidote of the other. Yet doubt is essential to faith. How does that work?

Aitken's Case (Zen Master Raven)
Badger attended the circle irregularly because of family responsibilities. One evening he was able to come for zazen and questions. He asked, "What is the purpose of the practice after all?"
Raven asked, "Do you have an inkling?"
Badger hesitated, "I'm not sure," he said.
Raven said, "Doubts dig up the whole Blue Planet."
Hotetsu's Verse
The practice is the enlightenment, the doing is the purpose,
The doubting is the faith, the asking is the inkling.
What am I saying? Badgers dig.
On the whole Blue Planet, nothing is missing.
Previous Moment of Zen
Saturday Zen Practice at CUUC: HERE.

Other News for Sun Oct 8

RE News:
Music News
CUUC Weekly News
This Week's e-Communitarian

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