Dec 24 2009

A New Day, A New Year, and the New Century Summit

“Hope is my philosophy, just needs days in which to be. Love of life means hope for me, borne on a new day.” These lyrics, from the song “You Are the New Day” by Airwaves, underscore a common theme that runs through all the spiritual practices that I know. Whether our spiritual practice involves meditation or yoga, running or reading, singing or simply sitting, these daily or weekly practices promise to reconnect us with what we hold of highest worth, with our spiritual center or source. Through that recentering, we tap into a deep well of hope and compassion for ourselves and others. In the Present of such centering, we experience each new day as a gift; we recognize where we have choice about how to spend this new day, as well as where our choices may be limited but are present nonetheless. “Love of life means hope for me, borne on a new day.”

            Ah, I had my hands poised to type my wish that this New Year will bring you just such recentering, with its renewed hope, compassion, and empowered choice. But my fingers paused on the keyboard with this thought: We so often wish for what the New Year may “bring” to us. Yet such passivity doesn’t square with our Unitarian Universalist faith. We believe that it’s up to us to help make ourselves, each other, and this world a better place. So this year, let us focus on what we will bring to the New Year!

            Here at the First Unitarian Church, we have much to offer each other in 2010: Through this winter’s Listening Campaign, we will offer the gift of deep listening; in the process we will build relationships and establish a renewed and strengthened foundation for our social justice work. With a much-anticipated (and still in the planning) Music Summit, we will look at how to enrich our music program for years to come. With each Monthly Worship Theme, we will nurture our spirits and discover new ways to help heal the world. With community events like the Service Auction (on January 9) and the PACT Tea (on January 30), we will enrich our friendships and our coffers so that we may continue to deepen and expand our shared ministries. Throughout it all, we will work and play, laugh and cry together, making meaning of the breadth and depth of our lives.

            I am excited about a new resource for such meaning-making that we will be sharing at the Pacific Central District’s New Century Summit on January 29 and 30. We will take a team of congregational leaders and leaders-in-the-making to this summit, to take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley. You can find out more about it at this web address: http://www.pcd-uua.org/currents/summit.htm. Please take a look, and if it calls to you, please contact Program Officer Tamara Payne-Alex, tpaynealex@gmail.com ASAP to join our team. If we take six or more people (and we surely will), the cost is $50 per person—and my experience at the “preview” of the summit promises that it will be worth every penny.

With a love of life that is borne on the new day, and with gratitude for what we will bring to this New Year together, I send you my love and warmest wishes! Welcome to 2010!

Nancy

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