For each child that’s born
a morning star rises
and sings to the universe
who we are. – Ysaye M. Barnwell
As we enter this time of increasing darkness, let us be grateful for the light that surrounds us. In worship on Sunday, 12/2, we will welcome several babies and children into our community of faith in a child dedication ceremony.
This Sunday also marks the beginning of the season of Advent, a time of waiting. For Christians, it is a time of awaiting the arrival of Jesus, but older than the Nativity story that we recount at this time of year, is our acknowledgment of our connection to the earth and her seasons. Ancient peoples knew of this connection and took time to give thanks for the bounty of the earth and lived by nature’s clock. As we approach the longest night of the year, we take time to notice the gifts that darkness and stillness bring. We are called into a time of Hope, of faith that once the darkest time has passed, the light will return. As people of faith, we are called to be a light in dark times.
As Rev. Jan Richardson writes:
Hope has work for us to do. It asks us to resist going numb when the world within us or beyond us is falling apart. In the height of despair, in the deepest darkness, hope calls us to open our hearts, our eyes, our hands, that we might engage the world when it breaks our hearts. Hope goes with us, step by step, providing the sustenance we most need.
This fall has seen great tumult in our larger world, especially on the political stage. The dramatic, public testimony of a survivor of sexual abuse stirred compassion and admiration in many of us, and yet, the outcome was not what many had hoped for. We know that in the struggle for greater justice there will be setbacks, and yet each time, our heart breaks a little, and we can be overtaken by despair and cynicism.
As a community of faith, we are called to be sustenance for each other, offering hope, support, encouragement, light, and love. It is good to be together.
Peace and love to you all,
The Reverend Justine Sullivan
Interim Minister, Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists