It has been a good week. On Monday the Rabbi included Native American voices in the annual community Sedar. Today, the pastor at our local UU church mentioned the ongoing crises at Pine Ridge. Jennie and I have been advocating for the inclusion of Native voices at synagogue and church or many years, and it is a joy to have this finally happen; may it continue.
Today was also choir Sunday at church, the yearly service devoted to showing off the rich talents of our choir. It is also a truly lovely, warm and sunny, day. I went to the early service which was a bit sparsely attended; the music was transportive. I hope the second service has an overflow audience, as the choir, Jennie included, have worked hard in preparation for this day.
Sitting in the service, in which the idea of sorrow and lamentation provided counterpoint to the choir’s music, I found myself thinking about the Pope’s recent efforts to forefront climate change as an immense social ill, and the U.S. Senate’s vote this week insisting climate change is not people made. I wondered what priests were telling their congregants this week in local congregations all over the country. I was curious how the Senate’s conservatives felt about being at odds, yet again, with the Pope, and whether any of this will matter in next year’s elections.
As I pondered these things I became aware that I am aging, and although I am doing my best to challenge the status quo on any number of fronts, and to give young people tools for facing the crises of the world, there is a limit to what I can do. Still, I join other elders in encouraging those younger than myself to keep heart, and to be engaged in the world. There is much work to be done.
This business of keeping heart is at times daunting. One one hand, in order to make a difference in the world one must be aware of the immense suffering therein; as the minister stated, there is much to lament. Yet, there is also hope that must be nurtured and shared. We must hold all of it, gingerly and firmly, and dream large dreams that encourage us, collectively, to reweave the very essence of the human experience. We do all this knowing full well we cannot, with any certainty, predict the outcome of our labors; we do not know whether the movement to the next world will allow continuity or will, yet again, require a fresh start. So we hold the most compelling dreams we know, work for transformation, and trust the next world will be a place of renewal.
Speaking of renewal, I am planning to take a few weeks off from blogging. It seems to me this might just be a good time to make space for rejuvenation and renewal. I look forward to returning at the end of the month!