Oct 21 2008

Welcome Home! (from September 3, 2008)

As We Build the Beloved Community …  

Welcome Home! 

Welcome home, dear friends! Whether you have been “away” in body or in spirit this summer, or whether you have been in worship every Sunday and on the job every week, we here at the First Unitarian Church of San José welcome you to a new beginning! We’ll launch our new church year with Homecoming Sunday on September 7, with worship at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. As we celebrate the imagination and the joy of community, we will “gather the waters” of our inner and outer journeys in our annual homecoming ritual and regather our hearts, minds, and spirits for the life we will share in the coming months. Do join us—and bring a friend!           

 My own mind, heart, and spirit are filled with hopes and plans for the year ahead. In our next newsletter, Rev. Geoff and I will share our goals for the year with you. But I can sum up our hopes and plans with the slogan Unitarian Universalists nationwide use to describe our communities: We will “nurture our spirits, and help to heal the world.”What does this mean? It means that here folks of all ages and backgrounds have a chance to learn and to grow, to make and to deepen friendships, to discover what we hold in common even as we marvel at our differences. Here we turn inward to comfort and hold each other, to learn to love ourselves and each other, and we turn outward to express our love for the world and all its creatures by taking a stand for justice and deep respect.           

Our “daily life” is the text that we study: Our children and youth are returning to school; we may be wrestling with big life decisions; friends and family may need our care. We worry about money, or we are giddy with love. We are grieving, or we are recovering from surgery or illness, or we are focused on “being the change we want to see.” Or maybe we are experiencing all of the above at once! Here we have the time and space to reflect on these life experiences; here we realize that we are never alone.           

And the wider world is the page on which we write our faith: This November’s election and its ballot issues will have a profound impact on all our lives, whether we are eligible to vote or not. Here we support each other as we find ways—individually and collectively—to stand up for what we hold most dear, honoring our differences and reveling in our common causes. We will bring some of these opportunities right into our sanctuary: Join us on Homecoming Sunday at 2 p.m. for an interfaith training session on how to defeat Proposition 8, the proposed state constitutional amendment that would eliminate equal-marriage rights for same-sex couples. Defeating this proposition will mark a victory for love and fairness, and that kind of victory enriches all our lives. Let’s make sure it happens!           

“Nurturing our spirits, helping to heal the world”—or, as we say in this congregation: Sí, se puede—yes, we can!           

Welcome home, dear friends, welcome home! 


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