Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spiritually Speaking: The Theme-less Days

This month and next month at the Piedmont UU Church, we are theme-less! 

Breath in peace, breathe out love.  No cause for alarm.  This is the time of year when we intentionally step back from our regular schedule, themes and leadership meetings.  In part, there are many of us with kids at home this time of year, family visiting, or even day-vacations planned for relief from the muggy weather. 

But this time from July 1st through the beginning of August is also about intentional action, reflection, and leadership development.  It’s the time of renewal for your leadership team as we consider intentions for the coming year.  As we set forth our worship calendar and lay out our themes, this is a great time of year for new ideas or creative energy.  If you have a program idea, a theme in mind, or just an affirmation of something in the life of our ministry you hope will continue, then please send an email to your leadership team.
Perhaps it is a good time of year for all of us to set aside a little time to turn inward, and get in touch with the still small voice.  Nature is blooming around us, the rains seem to continue and the earth is renewed by green.  It’s a time of growth and anticipation of harvest.  In the midst of the refulgence and the rain, it can also be a time of profound spiritual planning.  The growth all around us, with kids readying for a new school year and many of us finding even a moment to gaze into petal and poetry, this time of year can be the perfect time to slow down, look in the reflective waters and set forth our intentions.
I think often in these days of Mary Oliver’s words in her poem, The Summer Day:
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Brilliant spiritual questions for a summer stroll.  While New Year’s is so often the time of resolutions and renewal, there is some wisdom in knowing the spiritual is present in all seasons, as surely as the invitation to be idle, to pray, and to pay attention rests in the seasons of our own lives.

In the month of July, you won’t see me in the pulpit for three Sundays.  This time away includes an exploratory trip with 11 of our Piedmont UU Church members to Guatemala, as well as time to gaze in the reflective waters and set forth some intentions.  I’d love to hear from you via email with any intentions you are considering, reflective insights for the next year, or creative ideas for spiritual growth in community.  This coming year promises to be a year of depth and vision.  We have much to celebrate and give thanks for in the midst of this refulgent summer-to quote Emerson.

Of those blessings, I count each and every one of you.  Happy strolling through the fields, see you on the unpaved paths.

With gratitude for the journey, and the companions,

Rev. Robin

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