Emerson’s essay, The Over-Soul, begins, “There is a difference between one and another hour of life, in their authority and subsequent effect. Our faith comes in moments…”
It’s a disarmingly simple statement. His friend, Thoreau, said, “Simplify. Simplify!”
As we moved away from November, into December, I couldn’t help but think of some very special hours we shared here in one month.
The tribute to our wonderful Minister of Music, Ed Thompson, was a celebration of his 30 years of making music, and an affirmation of the man behind the music. In April of 1997 we ordained Ed, giving him the ministerial status he had earned – the best decision we’ve made together during my tenure. He has been a wonderful partner. At his celebration I said, “Ed does not just do ministry, he is a minister in everything he does.”
Another November event was the debut of the new album produced by our own Andy Gundell, with Suzanne Sheridan, Scarlett Moore and Ed. The group is called Exit 43 and the wonderful album is “Home at Last.” It expresses our UU-values in songs made by members of our congregation and it is ready for holiday gift giving!
Then there was the play, Doubt: a Parable, produced and directed by our own Jim Luongo, with an all-star cast of four of our members: Bob Perry, Meg Jones, Sarah Bell and Scarlett Moore. The play digs into the question of beliefs, at all levels: why do we believe whatever we believe? What happens when you start to doubt your own perceptions? Your former sense of certainty falls away, and other people’s adamant certainty seems silly, and you become a Unitarian for life! “A liberal is someone who thinks he might be wrong.” Beware of certainty!
One thing that was certain was the delicious Chowda Fest, initiated by our own Jim Keenan. There were wonderful soups and chowders from a variety of area eateries. Our first annual Chowda Fest was a great success with proceeds donated to the Connecticut Food Bank.
During these important events, Ed’s 30th, Exit 43’s new album, and the play, Doubt and the Chowda Fest, we’ve been watching the Darfur tent of Hope come to life with colorfully painted panels, each of which is a symbol of hope and taken together they form a powerful parable of Biblical proportions — a reminder of the parable of the Good Samaritan.
November also brought the election of Barack Obama – we connected the dots from our Unitarian forebears, the Transcendentalists, who worked for abolition of slavery, human rights, including religious freedom, to the first African-American president. They’re smiling down on us!
Now we make the transition to December, trying to figure out how to do the holidays in a time of economic uncertainty. The theme for the season is hope. Who can live without it! I hope you are well and I look forward to seeing you again real soon. Take good care.