September 13 Service: See No Stranger: Loving Others – Wonder

Beginning September 19th is the Week of Campaign Nonviolence that has been going on now for six years. We are participating in this event with our vigil Action for Justice and Equality that happens on Sundays from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. at the rotary of 202 and 302 in Windham. We are inviting you to come join us this Sunday in celebration of Campaign Nonviolence…you can make your own signs or there will be signs there for you…come one, come all!!!

You know you are in the flow when things come together in a way that you couldn’t possibly predict. On Sunday I experienced just that…the music Deana chose for the service was a beautiful song called Seven Wonders written by songwriter David Roth (who we have had as a guest musician) and when I did the meditation, which was one I found on the internet written by Shaun Lambert, it aligned perfectly.

The topic for the message this week was “wonder.” I began a new series on a book that was just published in June by Valarie Kaur called See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love.

I have been a follower of Valarie Kaur after first seeing her at the Parliament of World Religions in 2015. She captured my attention by her passion for justice and equality clothed in love. She began a movement called The Revolutionary Love Project. This is what this project is about…from their website

The Revolutionary Love Project offers calls to action, tools, inspiration, and support to fight for social justice through the ethic of love.

We commit to fight for justice through the ethic of love — love for others, our opponents, and ourselves. We are rising up across the U.S. and around the world in protest, music, dance, and direct action to declare that #RevolutionaryLove is the call of our times.

Your breathlessness is a sign of your bravery. It means you are awake to what’s happening right now. The world is in transition. ~ Valarie Kaur

The world is in transition. We are seeing what were the norms of our way of life crumbling around us. For many of us it feels dark and chaotic; however, take these words from Valarie into your heart and let them percolate there…“The future is dark, but what if – what if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country that is waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor? What if all of our grandfathers and grandmothers are standing behind us now, those who survived occupation and genocide, slavery and Jim Crow, detentions and political assault. What if they are whispering in our ear, You, are brave? What if this is our nation’s greatest transition? What does the midwife tell us to do? Breathe and then push!!!

Here is a practice that Valarie developed I invite you to take it as your spiritual practice this week…

As you move through you day and come across faces in the bank, grocery store or wherever you might be say in your mind…Sister, Brother, Aunt, Uncle, start to wonder about them as a person…when you do this you retrain your mind to see more and more kinds of people as part of us rather than them…practice this also with animals and plants, the earth…

Say in your mind: You are a part of me I do not yet know.

In doing this it is a practice of orienting to the world with wonder…and it is a preparation for the possibility of creating a connection.

Next week we grieve…

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

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