Message from Rev. Telos Whitfield
“The choice to bless the world can take you into solitude
to search for the sources of power and grace;
native wisdom, healing, and liberation.
More, the choice will draw you into community, the endeavor shared,
the heritage passed on, the companionship of struggle,
the importance of keeping faith,
the life of ritual and praise, the comfort of human friendship,
the company of earth, the chorus of life welcoming you.
None of us alone can save the world.
Together—that is another possibility, waiting.”
Excerpt from Blessing the World – What Can Save Us Now, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker
The Rev. Rebecca Parker invites us into the experience of living fully, of blessing the world and yes, it can offer us solitude but “more, the choice will draw [us] you into community, the endeavor shared, the heritage passed on, the companionship of struggle, the importance of keeping faith, the life of ritual and praise, the comfort of human friendship, the company of earth, the chorus of life welcoming you.” What does it mean to keep faith, how can we hear the chorus of life or become a true companion of the Earth? Being part of All Souls, these are questions we can ponder together, and we do. We engage each other with the searching questions and experiences of living, that come toward us in every moment. It is an unpredictable, unexpected, beautiful and challenging experience, to truly embrace living. We need to draw on our own sources of experience and strength; for our histories have created who we are. And we need to draw on the resilience and caring that is this community, that is embodied in All Souls. We will be holding our Annual Meeting this month, an opportunity for members to vote and make decisions that guide our present and our future. Our meeting will be a forum for conversation and reflection, and gratitude, much gratitude as we honor those who have served as leaders in our congregation this past year; those who have served on committees or teams. And our meeting will be an opportunity for people to step forward into a new role, follow a path of interest or mystery as a way of supporting our community. It is vital that our voices and ideas are heard and honored. It is important that we collectively decide on what work needs to be completed for our dear building; that we collectively might imagine how our land and grounds might be honored and cared for. I recently learned from John Spicer of trails within our woods that we need to uncover again… There is the possibility of a simple labyrinth, a desire to worship and gather outdoors, a longing to return to our chapel for services and events. And our list of visions goes on. How does a community show its faith and commitment for its own and for the larger community? There are many ways and All Souls is already engaged in this work. We seek to welcome newcomers to our midst and find ways for them to become involved, encouraging them to follow a path this is inspiring or intriguing to them! And actually, this goes for all of us, whether you have just found your way to us or you have been part of this community for decades. We want there to be freedom to become involved in areas that you might not have ever imagined yourself to be – Look, I am offering rides and cooking meals; look, I am leading a project and learning with our children; look, I am speaking from the pulpit about an issue that is close to my heart! Look, I am voicing my ideas at a board meeting? All, all of this and more is available to each of you, to everyone. And we need you, did we say we needed you. It is true! I know, we know that some of you are facing difficult personal challenges with your health, your family, your housing situation; facing the challenges that come with aging, and on and on. It mayfeel like you have no time or space to get more involved with All Souls but perhaps, just maybe, being more involved would ease your suffering or offer a source inspiration that would give you strength to face your challenges. And perhaps just knowing that you are an integral part of this community, that you are not alone, can be an important source of comfort. We are in relationship with each other, this is what being part of a community means. We will take the time to reflect, celebrate and honor this past year, together! I am so grateful, proud and deeply inspired to serve All Souls U.U. Church.
With deep gratitude,