September Spiritual Exercise: Return

Regret; repent; return; renew; and begin again. In honor of the Jewish holy time of Rosh Hashanah, beginning this month on September 29, have an encounter with the ritual Tashlich, Hebrew for “cast off.”


You can do this ritual on your own, or with your covenant group. (Rev. Claire does it with her family and Jewish relatives every year!) Find a body of water—the pond behind Follen/Waldorf will do quite nicely, but a creek or river is also symbolically appealing, it’s your choice. Hold in your hand a small stone or a small piece of bread. While holding this ritual item, take a minute to silently reflect back on the year before.


What harm, large or small, have you intentionally or unintentionally caused through your actions? What have you learned and how have you sought forgiveness for this harm? What changes are you making or will make going forward?


The stone or bread in your hand now embodies your regrettable, repented acts, or in traditional language, your sins. (Ugh!)


CAST OFF YOUR SINS INTO THE WATER! They are gone now! Return to the day refreshed, renewed, re-energized, ready, joyful. It’s a new day. Blessings upon your new year, and may your name be written once again in the Book of Life!


Spiritual Exercises and Covenant Groups: We print the spiritual exercises every week for individual use and also for discussion in Covenant Groups. If you would like to learn more about Covenant Groups, see or speak to Membership Director Andy Wells-Bean. Note: Catherine Collins is covering for Andy during his parental leave until October 12.