We gather each year in September as a beloved community and ask what hopes, intentions, and dreams you have for the new church year. With the tragedies of the pandemic, the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and one the most significant attacks on women’s rights in a generation, the world can feel like a pretty gloomy place right now. We are all longing to be able to regather with each other and our larger families and friends as we once did without trepidation. How can we continue to kindle the flame of hope and faith and love? What intentions do you want to set for how you show up for and co-create beloved community? What new gifts of time, talent, wisdom, or resources might you bring to our congregation to help us thrive in this new church year?
Our worship life this month will include exploration of this month’s potent spiritual theme of Possibility, our traditional honoring of the High Holy Days of the Jewish tradition, our annual Ingathering and Water Communion service, and more! We had hoped to be able to worship together in our sanctuary this month but unfortunately the conditions of the pandemic don’t allow for it just yet. We are taking steps towards that goal by bringing our worship leaders back to the sanctuary and livestreaming while following all necessary safety precautions. This will help to relieve some of the pressure that has been upon our worship team as we produced digital content from our homes and then crafted them into our beautiful online services. We are once again breaking new ground and expanding the ways our community can reach our larger society by offering live worship at 10:30 am from our historic chancel.
We are now able to livestream from the sanctuary because we applied for and received a generous matching grant offer from the Spirit Level Foundation for technological infrastructure upgrades and staffing. To receive the grant, we need to raise $10,000 this year to have the same amount matched by the Foundation for a total of $20,000. This grant covers comprehensive audio and visual upgrades and onboarding a professional technician to produce the services. I hope you might consider donating and having your contribution matched dollar-for-dollar. This is an incredibly worthwhile investment in our congregation that will last long into the future and open so many doors of possibility!
Let us continue to be a community of open-heartedness, innovation, and liberal religious witness in the year before us. I am glad you are a part of this community and I am excited to journey with you into this new church year!
With love and faith,
Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae