Minister's Post, Fri Jun 9

Dear Ones:

My ministry at Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains is drawing to a close. I have sadness about departing, but also confident hope as you carry forward the beautiful work of this congregation: to grow your souls in community and serve the world in love.

Our UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association), as well as the the UUMA (Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association) offer clear guidelines about leaving. I know that I will continue to serve you best, going forward, by stepping back entirely from contact with members and friends of the congregation. You have a wonderful ministry team in place for 2023-24, as Creighton Cray and Nicole Turygin communicated earlier today (Fri Jun 9):
  • Rev. Kimberley Debus will preach twice per month and provide support for the structure of the year, support our journey groups, write for the e-Communitarian, and more.
  • Rev. Paul Langston-Daley will be present one Sunday per month to preach and to also lead a workshop, forum, or other community activity.
  • Rev. Deb Morra will lead our Pastoral Care Program.
  • Rev. Patience Stoddard will provide consulting support to the Board of Trustees
As this team steps into place, and later, when you call a settled minister, they will have the assurance that my care for you is deep enough that I will respect the collegial and professional boundary.

I do grieve the ending of the special relationship we have had, yet I also have gratitude and joy, as I think of the life of your congregation flowing like a mighty river, from its sources in 1907 through years and years to come. I will carry you in my heart, with love.

May compassion, trust and courage sojourn with us as we part. My prayer for you is one I have often repeated: may we be a people who delight in what is good, who confront what is cruel, and who heal what is broken. And may the joy you find in supporting each other in your callings to be people of liberal faith grow ever deeper.

Yours in the faith we share,

I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)

The June 4 service, "Shadow":

The May 28 service, "Astrotheology":

Here it is, your...
#162: The The Way

This is Copperhead's first and only appearance in the annals of the Tallspruce Zen Center.

"Right Livelihood" is one of the components of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism. For the monks, this originally meant living from begging, but not accepting everything, and not possessing more than was strictly necessary. For lay Buddhists, it means avoiding any livelihood that causes suffering to sentient beings by cheating them, or harming or killing them in any way. Right livelihood does not trade in weapons, living beings, meat, alcoholic drink or poison.

The way does tend to orient those who find or seek it. Perhaps Copperhead's interest in the Way will orient her to seek creative modifications in her livelihood. Maybe not. The way, as Raven says, does not depend on that.

From your point of view, and mine, the presence of copperheads is an essential part of our path. In the unfolding wholeness of the universe, there is an essential role played by the people and beings we think of as evil and harmful -- Hitler, tsetse flies, Pol Pot, coronavirus, Jeffrey Dahmer, bed bugs. From Copperhead's point of view, as a snake interested in the Way, the possibilities of transformation are an open question.

Copperhead came by one evening unannounced. Mole made himself scarce, and Owl, Woodpecker, and Grouse set up a clatter.
Copperhead said, "Excuse me, everybody. I came for the Great Law, not for my dinner."
The birds quieted down, but Mole did not return.
Raven asked, "Do you have a question?"
"Yes," said Copperhead. "I'm really interested in the Way, but I don't seem to have the right livelihood for it."
Raven said, "The Way does not depend on your livelihood."
Copperhead asked, "What is the Way?"
Raven said, "We'd be totally lost without you."


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