May 25 2018

June Theme: In Our Own Voices – What does it mean to be a people of BLESSING?

Published by at 8:10 pm under Minister's Musings

In Our Own Voices: What does it mean to be a people of BLESSING?

 

Blessing is another beloved word for me, which all too often we Unitarian Universalists think we must not use for fear of offending someone. How can we *imagine* (May’s theme) our own Unitarian Universalist way into blessing each other and the world? How can we imagine a way of feeling blessed that may or may not be tied to the agency of Something More?

Here’s what makes this theme of Blessing simple and clear for us in June: This month we celebrate two people who have been enormous BLESSINGS to our congregation. In worship followed by a special congregational meeting on Sunday, June 10, we honor Rev. Geoff Rimositis as he completes 24 years of service as our Associate Minister and sets off into retirement at the end of the month. And the next Sunday, on June 17, we lift up our thanks for Rodney Lemery—and he offers his thanks to us—as he completes his two-year part-time internship with us and sets off on the next stages of his journey into ministry.

When I think about these specific blessings, I have no trouble shouting that word from the rooftops in gratitude and joy for having known and worked with these two glorious human beings! Please join us this month to celebrate all our many blessings!

 

With love,

Rev. Nancy

 

“In Our Own Voices” shares congregants’ free-flowing responses to the theme of the month. We draw these responses from on-line surveys and use them in creating worship, small-group ministry content, and other opportunities for spiritual growth.

 

Congregants’ Responses: 

  • People value us for our positive influence on themselves and others.
  • Appreciating the blessings that we have? Trying to do more for others, so they’ll have more blessings?
  • Count your blessings. To be a people of Blessing is to be happy and thankful. It’s to be aware of even the smallest of blessings and is confident that more will come. Not that life will be easy or without pain, but that being a people of blessing means also to be a people of patience. Blessings will come.
  • I struggle with the concept of blessing. Who am I that I could bless someone or something? What is it that one gives, when one gives blessings? I find myself drawn to thinking about privilege and unearned privilege. Is it a blessing to be born into a family of financial means? Is it a blessing to have had an inspirational teacher? Why would one person deserve to receive that blessing when another doesn’t get it? Is Blessing a commodity that can be given and received? Does “I give you my blessing” mean the same thing as “I approve of what you’re doing and I will support you”?
  • To get it right! Not as others proclaim it, but as a result of all of the prayer, study, and imagining that our normal days prevent us from noticing. It’s very hard to realize that the blessings are all around us with the clamor of those who want us to need and want, rather than just be blessed.
  • From etymonline.com/word/bless, verb: Old English bletsianbledsian, Northumbrian bloedsian“to consecrate by a religious rite, make holy, give thanks,” from Proto-Germanic *blodison “hallow with blood, mark with blood,” from *blotham “blood” … Originally a blood sprinkling on pagan altars. This word was chosen in Old English bibles to translate Latin benedicere and Greek eulogein, both of which have a ground sense of “to speak well of, to praise,” but were used in Scripture to translate Hebrew brk “to bend (the knee), worship, praise, invoke blessings.”

 

Note: For this column each month in the coming year, our Worship Associates—a group of almost 20 members who help us to create and offer our worship services—will offer their reflections on our themes. You can contribute, too! Take a look at next year’s themes, and send us your thoughts about how these themes relate to your life, to our life together in community, and to Unitarian Universalism as a whole. What questions, stories, images, and songs do these themes evoke? You can send your thoughts on one or more of the themes to Worship Associate Co-Coordinators Marnie Singer and Alice Lynch: marniesinger@sbcglobal.net, lynch.alice@gmail.com.

 

Congregational Themes for the Coming Year:

September 2018-June 2019 

  • September: What does it mean to be a People of Vision?

The practice of intentional imagination

  • October: What does it mean to be a People of Sanctuary?

The practice of finding sacred space within and ensuring welcoming space for all

  • November: What does it mean to be a People of Memory?

The practice of honest remembrance and honoring the shoulders of all our ancestors and predecessors on whom we rest

  • December: What does it mean to be a People of Mystery?

The practice of embracing life with humility and awe

  • January: What does it mean to be a People of Possibility?

The practice of personal unfolding and prophetic vision

  • February: What does it mean to be a People of Trust?

The practice of commitment and faith in a love that won’t let us go  

  • March: What does it mean to be a People of Journey?

The practice of pilgrimage, courageous growth and patient change

  • April: What does it mean to be a People of Wholeness?

The practice of repairing what is broken and knowing we are enough

  • May: What does it mean to be a People of Curiosity?

The practice of moving from fear to broken-openheartedness

  • June: What does it mean to be a People of Beauty?

The practice of savoring life’s gifts  

 

Comments Off on June Theme: In Our Own Voices – What does it mean to be a people of BLESSING?

Comments are closed at this time.