2/2 – This Week’s Note from Rev. Nancy

Why Sundays Matter

Dearly Loved Community of UUCG,

This Sunday morning, February 4, 2024—ooh, look at that numerology: 02-04-2024! (and welcome to the workings of my mind and heart!)

Ahem, anyway, as I was saying:

This Sunday, February 4, we launch our real worship journey together, as this is the first Sunday in our new relationship when I get to hold the role of Worship Leader. So for this week “notes,” let me ponder aloud with you, here on the page, why this experience of worship leadership and engagement is so important to me, as a minister and as a person.

In a nutshell: I love how worship creation, and the whole worship experience, are both intricately communal and deeply personal.

All the members of the Worship Team—for days and weeks in advance this includes the Worship Associate, Coordinator of Family Ministries, Office Administrator, Choir Co-Directors, Pianist, and Tech Team, along with Beacons, Greeters, and Childcare Providers on Sunday mornings—all of us collaborate to create the time, space, and content that will, the team hopes, transport the whole community. Every individual’s and group’s contribution—including yours when you attend—is crucial to the overall impact of what we are creating. That’s a huge part of the communal aspect of worship.

On the personal side, we’re each bringing our own selves to the experience. In UUCG tradition, Sunday mornings offer a time, a place, and an experience intentionally set apart from our daily lives. The thoughts and feelings that worship and spiritual formation evoke may go deeper or broader than we usually have time to go. The style of worship may be quietly reflective, joyfully boisterous, provocatively stirring, semi-chaotic, tightly structured, or some surprising combination of any of these and more.

Each of us receives these different experiences in our own ways. For some, the transporting or transcendence may break through in a story or a piece of music; for others, in a prayer or reflection; for others still, simply the fact of being together, online and in person, with intention and commitment, will create the “something more” we crave. Even on a Sunday when our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits are too weary or sad to be elevated or roused, that communal experience can be a comforting reminder that we are not alone.

It matters, both communally and personally, that we each are there, whenever we can be …

Still, there’s another aspect to the journey of worship creation that matters to me personally. This journey really lies at the heart of my spiritual practice: this wrestling with the theme, this conversation with myself, with others, and with God (Love, the Holy). What do I really think and feel right now about “The Gifts of Justice and Equity,” this month’s theme? What’s the deepest personal truth or perspective I can offer, and how do I say or show it? What am I called to be and to do in this moment?

It’s particularly poignant to me that this month’s theme focuses on justice and equity, as you will hear in the services I help to lead this month, as these are lifelong passions that first showed up in childhood.

What is our “Summons” now?

That’s the question! To prompt your own ponderings, I include below the poem that Worship Associate Lydia Patrick and I will use as the main text for our reflections this week. It is a summons, indeed!

What does it mean to you, beloveds? Let’s start there!

With Love at the center,
Rev. Nancy

by Aurora Levins Morales

Last night I dreamed
ten thousand grandmothers
from the twelve hundred corners of the earth
walked out into the gap
one breath deep
between the bullet and the flesh
between the bomb and the family.
They told me we cannot wait for governments.
There are no peacekeepers boarding planes.
There are no leaders who dare to say
every life is precious, so it will have to be us.
They said we will cup our hands around each heart.
We will sing the earth’s song, the song of water,
a song so beautiful that vengeance will turn to weeping,
the mourners will embrace, and grief replace
every impulse toward harm.
Ten thousand is not enough, they said,
so, we have sent this dream, like a flock of doves
into the sleep of the world. Wake up. Put on your shoes.
You who are reading this, I am bringing bandages
and a bag of scented guavas from my trees. I think
I remember the tune. Meet me at the corner.
Let’s go.