Today, in a staff retreat facilitated by a member of the excellent New England UUA regional staff, we talked about how long we have been at Follen Church. The answers ranged from 13.5 years to eight weeks – and I won the newbie prize. Eight weeks seems like nothing at all and yet, as I think of all that has transpired in that time, it seems like months! It’s funny how time starts to blur sometimes; how you fall into rhythms of what happens at particular times and seasons and on specific days of the week.
In the calendar, some of us recently observed Mabon, the cross-quarter holiday that occurs on the equinox (also the start of Autumn). We now travel, in the wheel of the year, toward the darkness and the time, at the end of October, when Celtic and ‘old’ religions celebrate the veil between life and death being at its thinnest. It is a time of harvest, of drawing in, of gathering those we love around us, for the winter that is to come.
And it is the time of the end of the year in the Jewish calendar, and the celebration of the New Year that comes with Rosh Hashanah. In the coming days my family – and perhaps yours – will join together in worship to welcome in the New Year and to take stock of what has happened in the year past. We are encouraged, during the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to look on the Book of Life which sits open, now, for our contemplation and review. And with it comes opportunity: to reach out to those whom we might have fallen out of relationship with, those who need our love and kindness, those with whom we wish to renew our deep connection.
On Yom Kippur, the Book of Life closes and with it, we acknowledge that “what’s done is done,” as Rev. Rob Eller-Isaacs says. But now – right now – there is the opportunity for reconnection, for restoration of relationship, for renewal, for embracing an opportunity that was, perhaps, just a little out of our reach. I encourage you, in this complex time in our country and our world, to talk with those you love, your children and your friends, about the ways in which we can “begin again in love” and renew our connections to one another. There has never been a better time than for forming or strengthening the bonds that can keep our complex lives healthy and loving.
Interim Director of Religious Education