This week as we have been wrestling with power outages, high winds and the threat and uncertainties of what is now our annual wildfire season, I was so glad to be able to think back to last Sunday and the two services we held.
The first marked the historic vote that we took to become a congregation willing to say we care about climate change and doing what we can to address it. Those who attended that service and the Sunday Salon at 1 were engaged in a very spirit-filled conversation about what we can do and the ways we are drawn to do that as faith-filled people.
And the second service was held outside and included our annual blessing of the animals. We had a healthy crowd of four-legged canines (who are most inclined to such events), some stuffed friends, some photos and one hardy hamster! What was more important is that the service reminded us, as we sat in the cool beauty of our campus, of all the ways we are bound together and the ways we are connected to our earth. Climate activist and minister Jim Atvan says that all people of faith should move a few services a year outside so that we can reaffirm our deepest commitments to the earth. And we did. Perhaps next congregational year we will do so on the Sunday nearest Earth Day.
The congregation, which is always so beautiful to behold, was especially so last week. The gentle rays of the sun and the immediacy of being together created a special energy as we heard a pick-up choir sing an old folk favorite about going to the zoo. Spirits, minds, and hearts were nurtured and our connections to the natural world were affirmed.
Our campus is a sanctuary in many ways and one way is as a wildlife sanctuary. The day before the service, I saw an unusual number of squirrels, deer and yes, turkeys. One stag was lying in the shade at the very end of our property, very still and regal as if saying, “I am here to give and receive blessings as well.” That is the nature of our interdependence.
We need one another.