July Renewal

Dear Ones,

Over the past month, I have taken much-needed time away from the congregation to renew my spirit and reflect. July was spent enjoying time with family, my partner, and my pets, with reading and gardening, and with noticing and pondering our changing world. Study Leave time was also spent planning the 2023-24 calendar with worship themes, reflections, and classes for the months ahead, and setting the spiritual groundwork for our work together in Religious Education, Social Justice, and Community Care.

During this time, I read and wrote on themes that I hope will inspire our journey together in the coming months– some light and fun, others more serious. Two books, in particular, which I highly recommend are This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories that Make Us by Cole Arthur Riley, and On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World by Rabbi Dayna Ruttenberg. This second book is also this year’s UUA Common Read, and the first book we will look at in the new UU Reads group (read more below). I have also read books and essays related to science, climate crisis, and healthcare inequity across lines of race and class. In a very concerning season of floods and record-breaking heat, I am reminded of the importance of building our spiritual, emotional, and community resilience to face the challenges impacting our world.

Joy is also also necessary for cultivating resilience. In addition to reading, my time away also included lots of joy with loved ones: badminton and swimming at a beach in Vermont; a Taylor Swift eras dress-up party with my nieces; a super fun outing to the new Barbie movie; and an invigorating afternoon bike ride in the pouring rain!

I look forward to catching up with the congregation this week and hearing your stories of July adventures, your reflections and concerns, your joys, and your dreams for our shared journey in the year ahead.

In peace,
Rev. Terri