Celebration, Lament, Action – From Sandra’s Study

Recently I heard a colleague describe the congregational work of the coming year as threefold: celebration, lament, action. For many of us, the arrival of summer and Pennsylvania’s reopening mean we have more freedom to gather with friends and family and to participate in activities we love. This time feels celebratory in so many ways. I know that I am grateful to be gathering with friends, family and church members as well as attending more in-person activities.

Yet I recognize that these opportunities and feelings of celebration are not universal for a variety of reasons, and that each of us has been impacted by the traumatic events of the past few years. Those traumas are not behind us but also live in us and our world, and we know there are those who have been and continue to be disproportionately traumatized. This necessitates that we make space in ourselves and our church community for lament. We need places and rituals to give expression to our individual and collective grieving, losses and traumas. We need embodied spiritual practices to heal and build resilience in ourselves and our community.

The third piece of that unfolding work is continued engagement in actions of witness and justice. These actions give expression to our joy and our grief and our commitment to collective liberation. As UUs we are called to cultivate compassion for the suffering in our own lives and in the world and then to transform it into action that changes people’s lived experiences.

Like so many of you, I am eager for us to be able to gather in worship in our building to celebrate, lament and take action. I can’t wait for our ingathering water ceremony in September. This summer we are continuing to develop the multi-platform options that will make that experience as inclusive as possible, ensuring that everyone can participate either virtually or in person. Meanwhile, we have planned some terrific summer worship opportunities, including worship with other congregations.

Yours in faith and love,

Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

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