“Comfort, oh comfort my people,” says your God. ~~ Isaiah 40:1
On Sunday, November 1, we join with our brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe to celebrate All Saints Sunday. It is a time of remembrance of those who have gone before us. While grief and sorrow are sometimes present in the ritual of remembering, we also give thanks for their lives. Trusting that God, who has been faithful before will be faithful to us now, we can celebrate All Saints’ Day with hope.
This year, I felt it was important to expand the list of things we are grieving. People have undergone unprecedented loss this year. Family and friends have succumbed to death in this pandemic, millions have lost economic security through loss of jobs, some have lost businesses they built over a lifetime.
Most of us have lost our beloved rhythms of life that felt familiar and gave our lives the richness of gatherings and adventure. And we can name so many losses related to hatred and violence and environmental catastrophes like hurricanes and wildfires.
It is important to name that sometimes hope, love, joy, and peace are distant feelings when we have encountered so much loss. Ritual helps us move through these feelings and funnel our heartbreak in ways that, while not alleviating it totally, gives space for a tangible remembering. This feels especially important in 2020 because we weren’t able to gather and ritualize our loss in the ways we usually do.
In preparation for worship on Sunday, November 1, please provide the office with the name of someone you’d like to remember, or something you are grieving. We will print out the words and names (anonymously) and create an actual word cloud to display in the sanctuary during worship.
You can call with the names, email them, leave them in the prayer box – but please share so that we can recognize the sadness and strangeness of this year, and present them to our God, who cradles us in large and comforting hands, and gives us hope.
Grace and peace,
Scriptures for November
November 1: Isaiah 40:1, 25-31 – All Saints Day
November 8: Matthew 25:1-13 – Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
November 15: Mathew 25:14-30 – parable of the Talents
November 22: Luke 17:11-19 – Being Thankful
November 29: (First Sunday in Advent) – Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-15 – I Believe in the Sun: Hope for Tomorrow