Jan. 21 Minister Moment

Deep Breaths…

This Sunday our teens will be learning CPR from our Youth Program Coordinator and certified instructor, Paul Greggs.  Being trained in CPR is one way to be helpful in an emergency, and less anxious when bold action is required. Deep breaths…

While they are learning CPR, the members of the congregation will be holding our mid-winter meeting (and this time it really seems like winter)! On the agenda are items about elections and finding a new minister.  I am not a member, so I won’t be there, but I wish you all good listening skills and understanding as you share your opinions and ideas. Deep breaths, deep listening.

The 10:30 a.m. service Sunday will be a presentation by retired, United Church of Christ minister,  Rev. Mike Morse. His topic is “The Landscape of Living and Dying,” and he is here representing the Final Exit Network (FEN), http://www.finalexitnetwork.org, which is a nationwide group advocating for death with dignity. Their mission is: “To provide practical education about self-deliverance with dignity for those people who qualify and are facing intractable pain, unbounded suffering, or an unacceptable quality of life, and to provide a compassionate presence for those who so choose.”  

As with the “Death Cafe” sessions, I think you will find the message one that lowers anxiety and may even give you hope. Deep breaths, deep peace.

As part of the service I will be lighting candles as we remember our congregation’s 2017 births and deaths. May our hearts be open to both joy and sorrow. Deep breaths.

Thank you to the Yarmouth Chamber Singers for last week’s music. I spoke on Bayard Rustin, a gay man who was the organizer of the March on Washington. If you’d like to learn more about him, it seems Youtube has an excellent free documentary, “Brother Outsider” https://youtu.be/F9NE_LzmGU0

You might also want to read a long article from 1965 in Commentary magazine:

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/from-protest-to-politics-the-future-of-the-civil-rights-movement/

As for me, I survived the snow and chill, and look forward to warmer weather. About a dozen “UCNers” attended the ODU President’s Lecture Tuesday evening, given by author and criminal justice advocate, Michelle Alexander. If you haven’t read her book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” I urge you to borrow a copy (UCN has some!) or get a copy out of the library. On Tuesday, she spoke of how our nation is not colorblind. Instead it has a constructed racial undercaste — communities of people trapped for life without the possibility for reintegration into full citizenship. Deep breaths, deep listening, deep contemplation, bold action.

Our Racial Justice Task Force is planning all-day “Living the Pledge” workshops for March 10th and 24th.  Our Caring Team is hosting another “Death Cafe” for April 13th.  

From our hymnal:

Deep peace of the running wave to you.

Deep peace of the flowing air to you.

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.

Deep peace of the shining stars to you.

Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

I love you,

Rev. Charlie