January: A Month to Imagine
The theme for January is Imagination. We will explore this concept from many directions this month: in online worship, check-ins and reflection, religious exploration, and more. We offer these readings and inspirational words to accompany you as you explore imagination. May you find inspiration here.
“As we part ways with 2020 and move with tentative hope into 2021, let us acknowledge what we have been carrying. It is hard to imagine a new year with creativity and fullness, whilst struggling against the burden of ‘what is.’” Read more here: Minister’s Reflection
“It begins now in the imagination…” by Rev. Gretchen Haley
It starts here
In this moment
In this breath
You feel rising
In your chest
This beat building between us
The healing, the hunger, the hope
The courage, the calling, the commitment
The drawing out
of a new day
It begins now
In the imagination
In this story we weave
this song we sing
we bring into being
from our hearts
to our lips
from our hands
to our life
Our shared life
It starts here
With praise, and thanksgiving
Forgiveness, and this humble
that we could be wrong –
that we make –
to keep learning
to keep trying
to keep our sense
to keep close
that we are all
Come, let us begin
Empathy is a bridge across human experience, perhaps our most fundamental way of connecting to one another. For a deeper exploration into empathy, I invite you to explore where an unbound heart connects with this experience of poet Priya Malik.
“Where Are You Really From” by Priya Malik
Read by author here: https://youtu.be/TSkXdX7Bjto
“Yes I’m brown like my mother’s puris that she only savors on special occasions. Yes I’m brown like that little birthmark on my father’s wrist. Yes I’m brown like my sister’s cinnamon coated laughter.
I should be lucky for my natural tan but I’m not brown for the love of your solarium.
I am not an exotic sauce for your stir fry.
No I will not be your token foreigner friend.
So next time you ask me where I’m from—where I’m really, really from?
I will tell you that I’m from my mother’s goddamn womb. Why, how about you?”
Forgiveness is the act of moving through the experience of being victimized into a place of power and intentionality. I invite you to explore this in the poem by Clint Smith.
“Aristotle” by Clint Smith
Read by author here: https://youtu.be/U6lifKTbFTw
“I’m just a 25 year old public school teacher who continuously questions everything he’s ever known. We have skin of a common complexion but a lifetime of experiences more dissimilar than the solar system. So who am I to come into this classroom and tell you what to do. A quarter lifetime’s worth of missteps have taught me that my savior complex is something I need to shed from my skin so trust that I’m not trying to save you because I’m still trying to save myself. Honestly, how can I teach him to believe in Plato when gentrification taught to me is nothing more than Plato, something to be moved and molded at will by those doing the sculpting so there’s only one thing left to do—become the sculptor and not the sculpted, become the statistician and not the statistic.”