Leader Letter

Subscribing congregations should share this letter with congregational leaders.  Being oriented to the month’s theme, and equipped to help others in the congregation get aligned with it, builds the whole congregation’s engagement with the theme.  Which, of course, means unity and energy for the community.

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"Sabbath"

Dear Friends,

As the story goes, there was a rabbi who was known for telling people of the importance of daily prayer.  “Every day!” she would say.  “Make sure you set aside at least one hour to spend in the presence of God.”  Her congregants, who had busy lives of their own, sometimes grumbled and other times outright complained about this advice.  One of the leaders of the congregation finally said to her, “Rabbi, you’re a very busy person yourself.  All those hospital visits!  All those community meetings!  Surely, there are days when you can’t get around to it.  Surely, you skip a day now and then. Aren’t there times when you are too busy to fit it in?” To which the rabbi replied, “Yes. On days when I’m too busy to pray for an hour, I do what I can to make sure I pray for at least two.”

Our culture of busyness and doing does not value rest very much.  We trade it away so easily. To get the next thing done. To send the next email.  To fill up our time, so that we never sit still.  And yet, as we do, we miss the fruits of stillness.  The perspective.  The awareness that might help us discern what, in our busyness, is essential and what it inessential.  At this point in human history, at least in western culture, it is counter-cultural to advocate for rest and for stillness.  It’s radical to claim Sabbath time.

In July and in August, the FaithRocket theme is Sabbath.  It will be a challenging theme for some of us, I am guessing.  We will try to relate to it as if it meant something else.  We’ll try to avoid it, just as we try to avoid the call of rest on our lives, even the call of sleep in our days and our nights.  So, this is encouragement that, especially when it is challenging to claim rest, and to contemplate the meaning (or potential meaning) of Sabbath in your life, you might consider following the example of the rabbi in the story, and extending your rest to be at least twice as long! Good luck and blessings on your experiments.

Faithfully,

Jake

Rev. Jake Morrill
Lead Minister ORUUC
Executive Director UUCF
Launchpad Partner