The Rev. Ellen Rowse Spero
I hope that everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Many thanks to the Worship Committee, the Pastoral Care Team, Steve, and Matt Meyer for covering the worship service this last Sunday.
The Worship Theme for December is Centering. We chose this theme because it can be such a crazy, busy time of year, demanding in its expectations and its special events, and emotionally and spiritually challenging with the growing cold and longer nights. Centering is about finding practices that help us stay grounded in what matters most, and help us find calm and hope in times of struggle and chaos. This is actually the meaning of Advent: a time for introspection and contemplation, waiting to see what is going to emerge from the mystery of birth, the darkness of hibernation.
For this coming Sunday, I will be reflecting on the core spiritual practices of Unitarian Universalism, as articulated by the UUA’s New England Regional Staff. On December 9, I will explore more deeply the meaning of Advent as a time of centering and introspection. December 16th will be our wonderful annual Winter Solstice Intergenerational Service, with the UU School of Rock and a cookie communion. December 30 will be our traditional post-Christmas “Pancakes and Carols” in the vestry.
Of course, on Monday, December 24th, we will hold two traditional Christmas Eve Services: our family service at 5 pm and Lessons and Carols at 8 pm, complete with candle lighting (hopefully not a test of our new sprinkler system!).
What about December 23rd? Well, in consultation with Dolores, with Caroline McMullin (the new chair of the Council of Faith in Action Ministries) and the Worship Committee, I would like us to try a “working worship” service. Already, it has been bitter cold and who knows what this winter will bring. We have neighbors without shelter and without family. The Lowell Transitional Living Center offers a place for people to stay and they would love our support in offering their clients something of Christmas. So, for that Sunday, we will meet in the vestry to decorate and put together gift bags with much needed items for folks who are homeless like socks, chap stick, and toiletries. We are still working on the logistics in terms of how to do this, what is needed, how to collect it all and how to get it to the LTLC. Please stay tuned. I am excited, though, to try this out and see what emerges