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Senior Minister’s Message. . .

      We are embarking on the holiday season. As I write this, I look to the calendar and see that tomorrow is Halloween. By the time you are reading this, Halloween will be behind us and all these holidays lie ahead… November, 1  All Saints Day – Christian and Samhain - Beltane * Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres. November 2 All Souls Day - Catholic Christian, 4 Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib – Sikh, 12 Birth of Baha'u'llah * - Baha'I, 15 Nativity Fast begins - ends Dec. 24 - Orthodox Christian, 23 Thanksgiving- Interfaith USA, 24 Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahdur – Sikh, 26 Christ the King – Christian and Day of the Covenant * - Baha'I, 28 Ascension of  'Abdu'l-Baha * - Baha'I, 30 St. Andrew's Day – Christian. December has these, 1 Mawlid an Nabi * - Islam, 3-24 Advent – Christian, 6 Saint Nicholas Day – Christian, 8 Bodhi Day  (Rohatsu) ** - Buddhist and Immaculate Conception of Mary - Catholic Christian, 12 Feast day - Our Lady of Guadalupe - Catholic Christian, 13-20 Hanukkah * - Jewish, 16-25 Posadas Navidenas - Hispanic Christian, 21  Solstice, Yule – Christian, Yule * - Wicca/Pagan northern hemisphere, Litha * - Wicca/Pagan southern hemisphere, 24 Christmas Eve – Christian, 25  Christmas * - Christian, Feast of the Nativity ** - Orthodox Christian, 26  Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra) ** - Zoroastrian, St Stephen's Day – Christian, 28 Holy Innocents – Christian, 31 Watch Night – Christian, Holy Family - Catholic Christian.

     This is quite a list and I’m sure I still missed a few. (If you actually read the entire list, congratulations) So, when someone says “Happy Holidays” what they are saying is I respect your right to celebrate whatever holiday you want and you can tell me about it if you want or not. Either way, I celebrate our freedom to observe whatever customs we want.

     Having said that, the holidays can be difficult for some, as well. When you’ve lost a loved one around the holidays or you’re facing the holidays for the first time without a loved one, it can be depressing and overwhelming. I lost my mom about five years ago just days before Christmas and the last few years have been challenging for me. With the birth of my first grandchild this summer, I am actually looking forward to Christmas for the first time since my mom passed. Since I grew up celebrating Christmas, it’s the one that is the hardest for me to deal with. You may have a similar experience yourself.

     Ernest Holmes wrote, “To carry peace, love, and givingness to everyone is the meaning of Christmas.  To feel that we all are a part of the Divine offering is to enter into the spirit of the birth of Christ in the human mind and heart.” As we embark on this holiday season, let us take Dr. Holmes’ words to heart and “carry peace, love and givingness” to our families, our communities and the world during this holiday season.

In your service,

Rev. Timothy

This Great Love Inside Me

I am so small I can barely be seen.
How can this great love be inside me?

Look at your eyes. They are small,
but they see enormous things.

Trans./Compiled by Coleman Barks. 
The Essential Rumi. Harper San Fransisco, 1997.

A Season for Everything