Sept. 16, 2020

Dear Ones,

It was wonderful to see all of you at the Homecoming service.  And may your return to the home that is CVUU serve to renew you.

Some of us have been paying attention to the wildfires on the West Coast because of family and friends we may have there.  We are not in California, Washington or Oregon but we are experiencing grief and anxiety when we think about the people who are.  Even though we are all the way over on the other side of the continent and have not been directly affected, we still feel concern and empathy for the persons living there who have undergone such heart-rending loss, whether we know them or not.  But, in truth, the distance from coast to coast is not really enough to prevent us from being untouched by what is happening there.

Depending on where you were, on Monday evening the sun was a glowing orange-red orb and the sunset was particularly beautiful.  And, sadly, most likely the reason for this was that the smoke from the fires in the west has been making its way to the east.  While the quality of the air has not yet been affected, as far as we can tell, the smoke in the air is changing the way the sky looks in many parts of the country.  It is bringing vibrant colors to the sunsets and sunrises that we will see.  I was struck by the fact that something so beautiful could be caused by something so horrible.  How is it possible to reconcile these two things?  Can we really appreciate the coming beautiful sunsets knowing their cost?

But so much of the world is like this.  There is bad and there is good, often inextricably connected to one another.  While it is not necessarily possible to do much about the raging wildfires except try to contain them and get people to safety, in other areas of our life, there are things we can do to bring about positive change so that we do not have to be so conflicted by the beauty we experience.

Change and the hope of change can be a source of renewal in us.  We can always hope for change and better days.  But if change is going to come, we will have to work for it. As Sam Cooke says, change can be a long time coming, and he says it most beautifully here: Change IS going to come.  We just can’t give up.

 Don’t forget to stop and visit me at the Check-In and Chat on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. And beginning this month, each month on the fourth Thursday at 6 p.m, we will have a reflection on the monthly theme.  This month it is Renewal. I hope you will come and share your thoughts.

 See you at worship this Sunday at 10:30am!

In peace and love,


Rev. Viola Abbitt
Pronouns: she/her/hers
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