MESSAGE FROM REV. TELOS WHITFIELD
For Those Who Have Far To Travel
If you could see
the journey whole,
you might never
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not.
one of the mercies
of the road:
that we see it
only by stages
as it opens
as it comes into
(Beginning of her poem by Jan Richardson)
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons)
We rest on the threshold of a new year, together. Again, it feels as though the days and weeks have moved by so quickly, filled with moments of challenge and relief, joy and struggle as individuals and as a community, our own community and the global community of which we are a part. The war in Ukraine with winter making the struggles even more intense; violence being inflicted upon the people struggling for freedom in Iran; facing the challenges with Covid and other viruses still with us; our own individual challenges and the winter coming in close, wrapping us in cold and darkness. But then, the sun slanting on white snow is so beautiful and the cinnamon scent of hot cider wafting and warm food on the plate, simple gifts to be grateful for. I have much to be grateful for with my dad slowly recovering and my mother picking up her flute every day to play from our hymnal. Witnessing the many happy people carrying home the treasures from our Bazaar, cradling their wreaths and intricate ornaments, handcrafted chocolates, cookies, baklavah, beautiful paintings on cards and handmade hats, it is such an inspiring and uplifting event that truly is All Souls! So we look to this new month of the year as a time for reflection. The SoulMatters theme is one that I welcome – Finding Our Center, yet another journey to explore, an inner journey that can offer intense and illuminating findings. What will we find in these inner explorations? Do we feel ready to embark? What new or renewed efforts does our community want to explore together? I am eager to be part of such an exploration with you, my dear ones. You have already given me so much to ponder, to relish in, to reflect on. Again, as I have written many times before, I am grateful to serve as your minister as we move forward into a new year. May our hearts be with those who are struggling with loss and challenge, with those who are grappling with violence or fear; with those who feel they are on the edges or are misunderstood. May we feel a sense of deep gratitude for this community and let our children’s chalice lighting guide our way – we are the church of the open minds, helping hands and loving hearts. It is so true!
With Gratitude and Blessings,
A Century of our UU History Comes Alive – Sharing Stories through Words and Movement!
Rev. Telos is envisioning helping to create a piece with words and movements that will bring the stories and history alive! Please contact her if you are interested in taking part in this project.
Adult Religious Exploration –
What are you interested in, intrigued by, want to learn more about?
Here is a list of possible topic areas:
U.U. History/ Our historic leaders
Exploring Theology and Belief – Spiritual exploration
Faith In Action – Community Justice Work
Engaged Buddhism and Mindfulness Practice
Writing your spiritual autobiography
Please contact Rev. Telos with your ideas, and we’ll coordinate a discussion series!