Despair and the Need for Worship

What I want to write about is our summer worship services. In the summer we sink into the season with an informal worship in the round in our air conditioned sanctuary. This summer our theme is “Spiritual Mentors” and each week I will talk about the people who have helped form my faith. There is an art project to accompany the theme that allows us all to share images of the people who have shaped our spirituality.

What I feel compelled to write about, but dread writing about, is all the violence in the world. This is been such an awful week. Between the awful terrorist bombings around the world, to the latest incidents of black men shot by police, to the horrific sniper shooting of police officers in Dallas, it all builds to a tidal wave of pain and sadness. The latest shooting is even more disheartening because the police were working to protect peaceful Black Lives Matters protesters. Today my prayers are with the families of the selfless police officers shot in Dallas. This is such a sad event–i can hardly put it in words. it also elicits fears of “what’s next?”

I want to scream, “stop the madness!” and then run and hide in my basement. I don’t think I am alone in my inclination to despair. The feeling is palpable in the air. Etched on people’s faces. Seen in children’s incomprehension.

What we all need is space for peace and to restore our souls. So that is why i really need to write about worship. More and more our national crisis is being described in spiritual terms. Have we completely lost the capacity to see the common humanity in each other and to live together as if that is so? Disagreeing may be done with compassion. This requires an inner strength that resists lashing out or name-calling without consideration of the other as a human being.

Sunday morning is our time to find that peace and build that inner strength. Our focus on spiritual mentors reminds us of eternal truths that we learned from those who cared about us. it is these lessons that may continue to feed our souls. it takes an intentional effort, though, to remember them and to be re-filled by them.

I hope you will join us as we work together to make the beloved community where all people are respected and loved. When you come to worship this summer, please bring a picture of someone who was a spiritual mentor for you to add to our interactive art project.

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