As I have returned from vacation, checked in with many of you this week, and heard your stories, I am aware of how heavy many of our lives are right now. Change is afoot in so many ways- through aging, health crises, healing, family shifts, national atrocities, and in the very way we do Ministry at UCH. You are tired, searching, leaning on each other through this energetically difficult summer. Change like this is stressful. And although you know I will not allow us to stick our heads in the sand about what is going on in the world (being able to stick our heads in the sand is a function of privilege). I thought it might be helpful to slow things down as summer wanes and do some gentler soul feeding spiritual work together on Sunday morning.
In Hebrew, Tehillim translated Psalm means “praise” or “music.” Many of us are familiar with the book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible (whether we know it or not). Phrases like “Oh Lord You Search me and know me…” (Psalm 139), or “The Lord is my rock and my salvation whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27). or “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…” (Psalm 23) have accompanied us through the kinds of light and dark we are going through this summer. Even the “Be Still and Know that I am God” prayer that we use every Sunday in our worship comes from Psalm 46.
So, take a deep breath, relax, and open the ears and eyes of your hearts in coming Sundays. Here is the terrain we are wandering the rest of the Summer:
August 11: Create in me a clean heart: The Spiritual Practice of Retracing Our Steps. Psalm 51
August 18: Oh Lord You Search Me and Know Me: Letting God Hold Us (In times personal and national crisis). Psalm 139 and Psalm 27
September 1: Lifting our Eyes to the Hills: Finding God in beautiful places around us. Psalm 121
September 8: Let Us Sing for Joy: The Spiritual Practice of Praise (Celebrating God in music, poetry, and visual arts). Psalm 95
September 15: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever: Exploring how are we called to live and walk in the world as God’s beloved. Psalm 23
More to come as our journey unfolds. I am glad to be home and to be navigating this wilderness with you. –Rev. Jeanne