Minister’s Moment, September 2020
September has always felt like a true beginning to me. As the weather cools and the apples ripen, we head into a new season, a new school year, and a new church year. Usually I find it all exciting and invigorating. But not this year. This year I am coming in already tired. And I suspect I am not alone.
It has been a difficult year so far and we have all been through a lot. As we head into autumn, tired and grieving, some things feel welcome and familiar, but other things just feel overwhelming. Which is why I am so glad our theme for the month is RENEWAL. How refreshing! I trust we could all use some renewal and revitalization of our spirits, passions, and commitments right about now.
The word renewal itself speaks to a paradox which feels particularly poignant this year. “Re” indicates a coming back, a return, a repetition of something known. But “new” indicates the opposite, the novel, original, different, or brand new. It is almost like doing two opposite things at once. In other words, renewal invites us to return to the familiar and leap into the unknown.
This month we will fully live into this paradox of renewal. For example, we will return to the familiar with our annual Water Ceremony on Sunday, September 13. But instead of doing it in the sanctuary like we usually do, we will be trying something brand new. This year the service will take place outdoors at the Indian Creek Nature Center (to accommodate social distancing best practices).
There will certainly be other aspects of this month that will feel both familiar and odd. So, let us be kind to ourselves and generous with one another. It will be an interesting season. But we will get through it together. And in the process, we just might find ourselves comforted, made whole, and renewed.