Radiance and Darkness

“Knowing ourselves radiant, may we know God radiant, beautiful as a clear-eyed child blinding us in glory. Knowing ourselves dark, may we know God dark, beautiful as sun-kissed skin, fertile as the deep rich earth.”

--The Rev. Natalie Fenimore

Last Sunday I shared the story of Elizabeth and Mary joyfully greeting each other while pregnant, and we reflected on opening our hearts to joy. Have any of you been seeking, finding and savoring small moments of joy this week? I hope so. (If not, it’s never too late to start!)

The congregation is the source of many such moments- most of them unseen- as people reach out and connect with each other, or listen to music during the Sunday service, or send a bag of food off to a nearby home.  As we approach the end of 2021, I want to thank those of you who have been able to sustain the community financially- by participating in the Red Bow Fair, paying towards your pledges or including the church in your year-end giving. We don’t have a development or alumni office at North Parish, so we rely on you all keeping North Parish in your hearts… and deciding we are worth sustaining and capable of becoming the best UU congregation we can be!  And whether or not you have any money to give, thanks to everyone who has supported the congregation in the past year when we have fed so many in body and in spirit!  If you are in financial need this Christmas, please just email or call me; the community can help hold your head above water. That’s just part of what we do.

As we enter into the darkest time of the year, the pinnacle of the Solstice and Christmas seasons, may you each experience moments of radiance and rest, merriment and quiet joy, giving and receiving love. May we feel embraced by the long, dark nights, perfect for quiet rest. May we feel lifted up by the sparkle of the holiday lights and stars and children’s eyes.

Yours, Rev. Lee

P.S. If you are looking for some last minute Solstice or Christmas presents for your favorite UU, the UUA’s InSpirit Bookstore has plenty of good reading, books for children and youth and small UU meditation manuals. If you’d like to read meditations by some of our UU ministers of color, you might seek out the meditation manuals Love Beyond God by the Rev. Adam Lawrence Dyer, A Long Time Blooming by the Rev. Marta Valentin, Voices from the Margins, an anthology edited by the Revs. Jaqui James and Mark Morrison-Reed, Spilling the Light by the Rev. Theresa Soto or To Wake, To Rise edited by the Rev. William Sinkford.