Minister's Post, Fri Mar 19
I got my first shot of Moderna -- which, I understand, boosts immunity to Covid better than a shot of Jim Beam does -- on Wed Mar 17. I half-expected it to be dyed green for St. Patty's, but it was boringly/delightfully clear. I'm scheduled for my second shot on Fri Apr 16. I hope we'll all be vaccinated soon, and, in the meantime, I hope you're keeping safe.
Dear Source of Love and Grace,
During this season of Lent, as we journey with your children -- the Love and Grace manifested throughout our world -- into symbolic death and the resurrection of Easter, we admit that we are fearful. We are scared — scared to let go, scared to join in, scared to open up. We are scared to open our hearts, our time, our homes and ourselves.
Yet, dear Source, we seek to articulate and share one another’s fears and burdens. May we be held in healing embrace. May all who suffer in need be held in healing embrace. May new life and purpose infuse all who are in pain, who are wandering in the wilderness of this broken and hurting world.
The Vatican this week has banned gay union blessings. Our hearts go out to our queer Catholic siblings. There are no limits or confines to the world's Love and Grace, shared abundantly and freely. We grieve how often communities of faith and religious leaders have perpetuated violence against our LGBTQ siblings. We mourn how often we ourselves, fall short of understanding Love's expansiveness. May we have the courage to celebrate, and to stand up for, all forms of liberating and life-giving relationships.
Murders in Atlanta this week killed eight, including six Asian women. This violence is rooted in white supremacy and misogyny. Our hearts go out to the families and communities of those killed. May we turn toward, instead of away from, this grief and pain. May we be catalyzed to confront the roots of racism and xenophobia in our midst, and within ourselves. May we better love our neighbors as ourselves, and better care for and protect our Asian American and Pacific Islander siblings.
Last Saturday -- Mar 13 -- was the one-year mark of Breonna Taylor’s killing. Her life was cut short, and justice remains elusive as white supremacy keeps a hold on our systems and power structures. We are grateful for all who confront this evil with strength and offer a transformative, alternative way with truth-telling, accountability, and mercy. May we build a world that more fully recognizes the worth, the equality, the dignity of Black lives.
In Myanmar, the most powerful Buddhist monks’ association has called on the junta to end violence against protesters. Our hearts go out to all of those in need of protection and comfort day.
In Tunisia and Libya, political leaders meet for the first time since a UN-backed unity government took power in the 10 year war-torn country of Libya. In Mali, thirty-three soldiers were killed and fourteen wounded in an attack on a military post in the Gao region. Our hearts go out with sincere wishes for peace.
Our hearts go out to all who are weary and oppressed. May they find people and communities that are nurturing, strengthening, and freeing.
Each of us has had times in our lives when we set aside fear, when we stepped into the Love and Grace that surrounds and supports us, when we manifested our best selves. May we do so again, and more often. May we be again, and more continuously, the courageous agents of justice and love we have, each of us, sometimes been.
May we be grounded in gratitude: thankful for love and light and sun and this equinox; thankful for all those people and encounters that bring smiles to our faces so that our hearts burst; and thankful for each breath that flows into us and out from us.
ICYMI ("In Case You Missed It")
From the Mar 14 service, here's Laura Randall's "Time for All Ages," titled, "How the UUSC Began":
And here's a 90-second briefing from Rev. Mary Katherine Morn about the UUSC:
Finally, here's the entire service of Mar 14
In the US, for the week of Mar 11-17, the number of new cases is down 78 percent from the Jan 5-11 seven-day peak -- and down 4 percent from the week before (Mar 3-10).
Covid deaths per week in the US peaked during Jan 19-26. This last week (Mar 11-17), deaths were down 66 percent from that peak -- and down 21 percent from the week before (Mar 3-10). The current 7-day average of deaths per day is just under 1,200.
Last week, I reported the good news that the declines had accelerated a bit from the week before. This week, unfortunately, the rate of decline has slowed considerably. In fact, the new cases reported on Wed Mar 17 were higher than the Wednesday before.
Of particular concern is the tragedy in Brazil, where the number of people dying per day from Covid-19 has been dramatically increasing. The latest 7-day average is that over 2,000 people a day are dying in Brazil -- twice the number from one month ago, and almost twice the US daily number.
So be careful!
Yours in the faith we share,
Practice of the Week
One Sunday of every month, our suggested spiritual practice is an Ecospiritual Practice. Brought to you by CUUC’s Environmental Practices Social Justice Team, ecospiritual practice is oriented toward developing spirituality through our connection with our planet home and our responsibility to care for it.
This month we come around in the cycle back to the beginning: "Begin the Ecospiritual Path." You may already be on an Ecospiritual Path. In some sense, most of us are. Yet every day we begin again. From time to time, a more conscious re-committing may be in order.
There may be feelings of guilt or shame, yet it is critical that we walk this path of care for our planet. To do otherwise is to contribute to global suffering, destruction and death. Do not be daunted by the state of the natural world. Leaving behind the mindless consumerism that passes for culture requires intentionality and transformation – and brings joy in unexpected places.
Suggested Practices this month include starting a new journal for your reflections and revelations on the Ecospiritual path. Take a simple mindful walk out your front door. And design an opening ceremony to mark your new beginning.
There are also group activities every month to do together with your Ecospiritual group. If you don’t have one, maybe its time to make some calls and get a group together.
See the post: "Begin the Ecospiritual Path."
See also our SPIRITUAL PRACTICE DIRECTORY