“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

― Wendy Mass, The Candymakers

Photo of white flowers with greenery in the background.Last weekend I saw the movie Thelma which features 94-year-old actress June Squibb in her first starring role as “the most unlikely action hero”. The story was written by Josh Margolin who was inspired by his own 103-year-old grandmother’s experience. It also stars Richard Roundtree who turns in a wonderful performance at Thelma’s friend; this was his last big screen appearance as, sadly, he passed away in October 2023 at the age of 81.

Not only did I like the movie with its humor, suspense, and sweet portrayal of the bond between a grandmother and her young adult grandson, but I was glad that it conveyed something that I often feel: the courage it takes just to be human… and especially to be an older human. The movie reminds us that our society doesn’t do a great job of taking care of all our elders, and it reminds us of the quiet superhero status of the elders among us.

And not just the elders! Sometimes I walk around silently amazed by every pregnant woman I see. And then I’m amazed by the courage of every struggling teenager, or every parent, or every Pantry guest- you get the idea. We hear so much about the bad that humans do and often spend far too little time honoring the courage of ordinary human beings. There are superheroes all around and we are lucky to know them. As the Richard Roundtree character says at one point, “The least we can do is take care of each other.”

Meanwhile, I am preparing to start my vacation/sabbatical time on Saturday, and I am still feeling bowled over by my 25th anniversary party and gifts! The $2,500 for charities has been given to five groups with long-standing North Parish ties: The People’s Pantry, Bread and Roses, Community InRoads, the Black History Month project, and McVagly. I trust good work will be done by them all, thanks to your generosity!

NP member Ruth Race, who lives now in CO, wrote me a lovely note about the 25th anniversary. In it she noted, “I am remembering when you came to give an introductory talk as part of the interviewing process. Some had wondered how it would be to have a woman minister, but after that talk, there was no question!”. Doesn’t that seem funny now, that gender-based hesitancy? Yet hesitancy about change is a normal human reaction. If you are wondering “how it will be” to have a sabbatical minister, I hope that in no time at all there will be “no question” that you’ll enjoy getting to know Sabbatical Minister Li Kynvi and will benefit and grow from experiencing their ministry.

Take care of one another, folks; have courage! And “fare well” until I see you again.

Gratefully and with full heart,
Rev. Lee