March Ministers’ Message from Rev. Aaron White:
There is a line from one of Mary Oliver's poems that gets quoted often in Unitarian Universalist communities: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"In that question, she is tapping into the power of remembering that we get to live this life one time. This is what the practice of Lent means to me. Lent, the six week period in the Christian church year that leads up to Easter, is often associated in people's minds with giving something up. For me, it often includes that, but it means so much more.Rev. Kanter has said before that he thinks there is a deep relationship between Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, and our UU theology. In Ash Wednesday services, participants often leave with ash smeared on their heads or hands having heard the words, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." It is a physical acknowledgement that this one life we have to live is a worthy and valuable thing. For me, Lent sometimes includes giving something up. But it always includes asking myself, "What do I really need? What do I have to share? What am I specifically called to do and be in this life?"During Lent this year, you will certainly hear us reflect on such questions in worship. Also, I'll be joining a team of people from our congregation who are traveling to Haiti for a week in early April to participate in a learning and service trip through the Unitarian Universalist College of Social justice. Some, like me, will be going to Haiti for the first time. Others are making a return trip. I don't know all of what we will learn or experience on this trip, but I know we will be reflecting on what we need, what we can share, and what this life asks of us.Wherever you are, and whatever the coming weeks bring for you, this time of year asks, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Or as Mary Oliver asks, "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"