Speaker: Rev. Margret A. O'Neall

Gratitude and Grace

Zoom link here.

To hold a space of true gratitude in complex and challenging times requires intention, focus and a deeply grounded spiritual discipline. On this first day of Hanukkah, let us celebrate the miracle that is our lives, and explore how the gift of gratitude can enrich and enliven our days, our relationships, our lives.

This will be a Zoom-only service.

Our Dreams

Each of us has dreams of our own; some we keep private, and others we share with family and close friends, And then there are the dreams we hold in common with others, in community. In fact, one of the defining elements of a deeply connected community is the dreams we share, supporting each other in our individual dreams, and working for the larger dreams we can only achieve together.

We Dream

As this is a time for dreaming, we inquire with open-hearted curiousity: what are our dreams, what are our hopes and wishes? In sharing our dreams, in hearing the dreams of those with whom we travel the journey, we learn from our diversity and find our common ground, building a base from which we go forward in the world.

Who We Are

Zoom link here.

In RJ Palacio’s book, Wonder, a middle school English teacher on the first day of class introduces his students to the precept that “who we are” is one of the most important things in life. “What kind of people are we … are you … am I?” As we celebrate the heritage of the indigenous peoples of this land, and the liberatory impulse of National Coming Out Day, we seek to understand the realities of who we are, and how we may grow to more deeply value our own true nature and that of each other.

Ministering to Each Other

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Living in a caring, collaborative, democratic community calls us to have open hearts and minds, knowing how to hear one another as we share what is true in our experience. Fellowship Groups provide a setting to deepen our skills for connection, as we create space with a covenant to be fully present to each other.

Backpack Blessings!

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Writer Mahathi Anand said, “Explore the unknown, with a backpack full of desire, intention, and curiosity.” What’s in your backpack? Have you ever gone back to a backpack or bag after a while and found cool things or reminders of memories? Celebrate the kickoff of this year’s Faith Engagement Program with a multigenerational worship including a ritual blessing of backpacks, briefcases, and bags. Bring your own bag!

Water Communion

The Water Communion is our traditional celebration to mark the beginning of the new church year. We will hold our water communion service in person at church outdoors in the parking lot (rain or shine), masks and social distancing will be observed to keep all safe, especially since our children cannot yet be vaccinated. This will be an event for all ages, bring small water gift from your summer time, as we join the waters of our journey through life, coming together in our beloved community.

Endings and Beginnings

Entering the High Holy Days, Jewish tradition reminds us that our lives are woven of endings and beginnings. Over and over we find ourselves making space for what might be — releasing the past and renewing our commitments to life. As summer draws to a close, and we cycle into a season of renewal, let us prepare to deepen into what is best within us, and to embrace what might unfold.