“Becoming” is a wonderfully apt theme for this month, one year since we were sequestered in our homes, as more and more people are vaccinated and daring to look forward, and us spring unfolds under, within, and everywhere around us. The ancient religious themes of liberation and resurrection make perfect sense every year at this time, and with a heightened relevance this year.
Our Sunday services this month will invite us to notice our own journeys of becoming, from early in our lives to the very present moment. We’ll draw on the religious themes of Easter, its ancient earth-centered imagery as well as its Christian metaphors. We’ll invite you to call to mind your childhood expectations for your life path and also invite you to notice your current becoming in an interactive service of sharing. We’ll honor Earth Day by calling to mind and heart our own place in influencing the earth’s future. And we’ll end the month looking at the future of UUCM and your place within it, particularly in regard to how you bring yourself to its journey.
What and who are you becoming?
(For food for thought and reflection on the theme, see the end of this page.)
April Sunday Services at UUCM. 10:30 AM Pacific via Zoom
April 4 – Hope Beneath the Stone – Rev. Kevin Tarsa, with Gail Johnson Vaughan, Worship Associate
This Sunday is the first Sunday following the full Moon that occurs on or just after the spring eqinox – the date chosen centuries ago for the Christian celebration of Easter. Christianity is not the only religious tradition to celebrate the springtime rebirth of life. And religious or not, we all hold hope for what will spring forth from beneath the stone of winter. In this service we will reclaim this ancient celebratory time as we begin our new theme of what it means to be a people of becoming.
April 11 – What Do You Want To Become? – Beth Karow, Worship Associate, and You!
All life long we are in the process of becoming. Sometimes we experience powerful threshold moments, and sometimes we notice the transformation only later, as we look back at our lives. In this interactive service, complete with small breakout group sharing, reflect on your own unfolding journey, your own process of becoming, even now.
April 18- Coming Together to Restore our Earth – Rev. Kevin Tarsa, with Jeff Stone, Worship Associate
Let us work together to restore the earth from the damage we have already caused by production of atmospheric carbon, depletion of forests, and pollution of the oceans. We can do this through science and spirit, by awareness of the interconnectedness of life, and the global consequences of our actions. Let us affirm both the science of climate change and a spirit of wholeness as we celebrate and restore our connection to the earth.
April 25 – A Community of Communities – Rev. Kevin Tarsa, with Gail Johnson Vaughan, Worship Associate
As individuals we are all becoming, evolving, hopefully growing into who we are meant to be. Like cells in a growing organism our individual evolution defines the way in which our church evolves. What are we becoming? What has gestated through this womblike time of pandemic? How are we being changed? How do the many ways our members volunteer our varied talents and skills fuel UUCM becoming what UUCM is meant to be? How are you called to be part of this becoming? Come join us in this service of celebration.
See you online!
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Food for thought from Soul Matters
What Does It Mean To Be A People of Becoming?
It’s become popular in our society to talk about spiritual journeys as a process of living into your full or true self, of letting the authentic seed inside you unfold. We UU’s agree. We even enshrined it in our principles that celebrate each of our unique seeds (inherent worth) and unique journeys (a free and responsible search).
At the same time, there’s something deep within UUism that pushes in the opposite direction. Historically, we’ve been “leavers” – people who struggled not so much to find ourselves but to untangle ourselves from the religious identities we were given. Our spiritual journeys did not begin with a blank slate; they began with the hunger to wipe that slate clean and begin anew.
So we have this important awareness that spiritual journeys are not simply about unfolding your true self, but also about untangling from your old self. We agree with Albert Schweitzer who wrote:
“The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are. Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not.”
Which means we are also sensitive to the fact that most spiritual journeys begin with a goodbye -a separation, a decision to walk away. We know that the first step is often laced with mourning, difficult endings and, all too often, isolation. We know that “unbecoming” is not easy work.
We also know that it isn’t a one-time thing. We find ourselves routinely tempted into and thus tangled up in all kinds of identities and journeys that aren’t truly ours. “Unbecoming who you are not” is a journey we walk every day, over and over again.
So what does all this mean for us this month? Well, first, it’s an important reminder that we’re not just here to help each other hold steady and persevere on our current paths. Often our primary gift is to help each other find and take the exit ramps.
It also means remembering that being a people of becoming involves tenderness. We are here not just to make room for each other’s unique stories; we are also here to make room for each other’s pain. Again, “unbecoming who you are not” involves bravely walking away, enduring isolation and navigating grief. And so, if we are going to complete our journeys of unbecoming and becoming anew, we’re definitely going to need pit stops of kindness and tenderness along the way.
May this month be a time of pulling into one of those pit stops, together. Let the unraveling begin!