October 4 Sunday Service: See No Stranger: Loving Opponents – Rage

On October 18 we will be having our Annual Meeting. It will begin immediately following our Sunday service and will be on Zoom; so we hope you will be able to join us.

We have three openings for our Board of Trustees and those positions hopefully will be filled by Michelle Neas for a three-year term and Pat Paine and Jack Cole as alternates, which is a one-year commitment. We are blessed to have such competent folks stepping into service.

Heads up to the men in our community. This Friday the Men’s Group will be having an in-person, safe distancing event outside. They will have food, drumming, and fire circle. It begins at 6 p.m., weather permitting.

As I began my message on Sunday, I shared the topic was a little heavy; however, it was important to be heard. Not exactly what you hear on Sundays at Unity Center Spiritual Growth.

Here is the opening quote that set up the talk going forward: “This moment, for so many, has felt like 1968. It has felt like 1982, but every turn through the cycle, when people rose and grieved together and fought together and raged together and organized together, it created a little bit more space for equality and justice and liberation than there was before.”

As I continue with the series from the book See No Stranger: The Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love, written by Valarie Kaur, this week the topic was “rage.”

Valarie sees it is perfectly legitimate to rage against the wrongs of the world, even to direct your rage, for a time, at those who perpetrate such wrongs. But then if you have processed your own rage, you have to be ready to listen, and finally to reimagine.

That’s revolutionary love. Valarie sees it as a compass, a tool that can guide one’s engagements at home and in the world. We are in the “tend the wound.”

In the book’s introduction, Valarie writes: Tend the wound is about learning how to love even our opponents. When we rage in safe containers to tend to our own wounds, and listen to understand theirs, we can gain the information we need to reimagine solutions.

“Tending the wound is not only moral but strategic: It is the labor of remaking the world.”

Rage is another shared feeling in this moment that can be used for good and our rage carries valuable information. It is important that we find safe ways to engage it and when we do it becomes a kind of dance.

Here are some great quotes from Valarie.
• “To release raw rage in a safe container, in order to send divine rage into the world, like focused fury.”
• “Divine rage is not vengeance it is to reorder the world.”
• “I remember I do not need to feel empathy or compassion for my opponents in order to practice loving them. Love is labor that begins with wonder. So, I wonder about them. I begin to see their pain and understand the wounds behind their words. I see their humanity – I see no stranger. When listening gets hard, I focus on taking the next breath.”

I look forward to this coming Sunday as we welcome Rev. Dr. Ryan Polly, who will be our guest speaker. Please join us at 10 a.m.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

For your safety, continue to social distance and wear face masks. The church building remains closed for gatherings of all services and group meetings. All business with the church office needs to be via telephone or email.


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