Sunday, December 27, 2015

a bit of quiet time before the new year...

Many, if not most, clergy take some quiet, down time between Christmas and New Year's Day
and I am no exception. We have shared a full and challenging Advent as well as a vibrant and creative Christmas. So now, as I have for a long, long time, I am going to chill for the next week. I will finish our Epiphany letter and get it out to friends. I will write my annual report for the January annual meeting. I will practice my bass, complete my on-line retreat at the Abbey of the Arts, walk with Lucie and rest and read. 

One of my commitments to my staff and colleagues is to do enough advance worship preparation so that we can stay ahead of the game. So, this afternoon, I outlined three series that will take us to Pentecost (May 15, 2016.) The first - with a link on the side bar of this blog to an interview with the author - will take up the challenge of Walter Brueggemann in Reality, Grief and Hope. It is his analysis that there is congruence and wisdom between the prophetic critique of ancient Israel's after its collapse in 587 BCE and the US after 9/11/2001. I suspect as share his analysis and my biblical work, this series will amplify our commitment to challenging the immigrant bashing and fear-mongering so prevalent throughout our country. We will also likely study his analysis of Scripture and the current state of affairs in modern Israel during Lent, too.

At the end of January, BIO (Berkshire Interfaith Organizing) will host its first fund-raising dinner. I will start to work with interested clergy and laity on some public challenges to the growing fear of Muslims, immigrants, and Jews that continues to gain traction during this season of presidential insanity. I am looking at a pilgrimage to the mountains of Lent study series based on an Ed Hays text and then an Eastertide study of the book of Revelations. Somewhere in this mix, Dianne will have back surgery, we will share some rock and soul music to raise funds for heating assistance in the Berkshires and host our take on Coltrane's 50th anniversary of "A Love Supreme" suite.   

And then...who knows? So for the next few days I will be off the grid.  Blessings and Happy New Year as we move towards Epiphany.

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