I always end up writing these words a few weeks before they actually get published so they require a bit of skill in both reminiscing and predicting. It is now one of the very hot moments in the year, but by the time you read this, hopefully the “dog days” of summer will be behind us and, speaking for myself, I’ll be looking to that time when the temperatures are a bit more moderate.
I’m glad to see that, at least so far, we have not lost in the momentum of the church. Yes, the summers will always be slightly slower, but the energy really has been pretty high
this year. It’s the mark of our commitment to being a relevant community of faith in northern Colorado that we have continued to build on that forward movement, rather than fall back into a sleepy summer nap. Certainly the world around us hasn’t appeared to take a break, the President has doubled down on racist comments emboldening vitriol, the government has accelerated programs designed to take people into custody despite either willfully or negligently failing to attend to the basic needs of those it holds in prison, including children separated from their families, and finally our on-going low level hostility. Even if we had decided to take the summer off, it’s clear that the problems of the world wouldn’t have.
We didn’t pause however. We continued to build community and raise our voices. We showed up for the students of Bella Romero at an interfaith service to publicly witness the 20 plus well-fracking operation next to their playground. I was honored to be invited to give one of the three prayers at the service. My prayer is posted in the newsletter. We also coordinated with our partners to host the PRIDE service in Greeley (Special thanks to our Board President Julie Miller for all her hard work) and the potluck that followed. We joined our sibling church at Namaqua UU in Loveland - and we found out how cool it is when your minister can jam on the guitar (Sorry, Folks!). Most importantly, we continued to build our community within the walls of our sanctuary, bringing and sharing so much time, talent and treasure, on Sundays and many other days.
This month, our theme is labor and it is fitting and proper we think of labor, because a faith community is an expression of a labor of love. Much of the human experience is centered around work, what we chose to do, and so our labor says a great deal about who we are theologically- how we make meaning of our lives and this world.
I especially want to thank the board for their retreat last month. Meeting on a Monday for more than half a day is a real commitment and sacrifice by the leadership of this church. I hope you’ll take the time to thank them personally for the work they’ve done for you and us all. At the retreat, we challenged one another and brainstormed for visions about where we were going with this faith community. I was inspired.
I’ve tried to keep up that brainstorming, and I hope you will too. One project that I have been inspired to try is what I’m going to call “Theological Walks” which are something of a riff off of the Walkabouts that Sharlene Meydell and Jane Wheeler ran this spring, combined with an experience I had attending the Babi Yar Memorial park in Denver in
mid-July. The 60ish minute walks will be a mixture of historical tour, Socratic dialogue, walking meditation, and community building. Depending on how folks feel, we’ll probably get lunch together afterwards. Our first Theological Walk will take place downtown on August 26th at 12:00 and I hope to continue them throughout the year on the fourth Monday of the month.
I know I’m not the only one who has been brainstorming about our work. In our past month of regeneration, the pagan group at church has begun making plans to restart some traditions and make some new ones. I hope you’ll consider joining them for a celebration of Lammas. Lammas - an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “loaf-mass” as the first of three harvest Sabbats. More details are in the Unifax.
As we approach the end of summer and start thinking about the ingathering, I want to remind you to collect a little water to share next month for our water communion. It is always a fun experience to mark the turn of the church year with the waters from far and wide- and near and dear.
Enjoy the rest of the summer my friends. You are all in my thoughts.
Yours in Faith and Fellowship, Rev. Aaron