This Sunday we explore the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. What meaning does it hold for our Muslim neighbors? What are the spiritual gifts of this sacred time? And what meaning can it hold for us as Unitarian Universalists?
They were a suffering people, and they were a determined people. They were a people in bondage, and they were a people of faith. The Israelites lived a life of enslavement to the Egyptians, and yet what we celebrate today is their journey towards freedom. We celebrate their commitment to that which was much bigger than their individual selves – their God and their community and their faith. Their commitment to a better life. We celebrate their exodus – the flight of the Hebrew slaves, a people who freed themselves from bondage and created a nation.
I wonder about those pieces of identity that can’t be a part of a physical mosaic but that nonetheless work to create who we are as a faith – a wealth of religious backgrounds or no religious background, a tapestry of theologies, a patchwork of needs, desires, and expectations, a vibrant bouquet of races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, physical abilities, state of mental well-being, addicted or sober – here and held firmly together by covenant – by that hardy, dependable, stable grout. In this way, when we commit to our faith, when we commit to this church, we commit to the interconnectedness of it all.
By the Rev. Jane Smith at Channing Memorial Church, Ellicott City, Md. “We all need practices of self-care if we are to fully engage with ourselves and the world around us. We are living in difficult times. Without time to center and be, our minds and our beings can be overrun by the needs, anxieties, and rush of the day. If we…
As a people, we are working towards building Beloved Community – a place where anyone can be accepted – any race, ethnicity, education, class, gender, sexual orientation, any physical ability, any state of mental wellbeing, sober or not sober, any background or identity. We are working to construct this within our own sacred community that is Channing Memorial Church, and we are working to do this as Unitarian Universalists, within our denomination.