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Come in from the Cold

Friends,

I want very much to thank you for braving the cold in our Sanctuary first on Sunday and then, the next day, at Marge Nicholson’s memorial service.

For those of you who may not know what I’m talking about, we detected a leak in one of our gas lines last Thursday and we had to shut off the gas, which meant no heat, no hot water, and no stove in the kitchen. We sent an email advising folks to bring a warm jacket and perhaps an afghan to share and I kind of expected a low turnout on Sunday, but in fact Sunday’s attendance was significantly above average, and when we all cuddled together we stayed warmish. Being later in the day, Marge’s memorial service wasn’t quite as cold, but still the heat generated by bodies in a full sanctuary was significant.

I think there is a spiritual metaphor for us in the cold weather because, while I hate to speak ill of the winter, still, by next Sunday our nation will be living in a new political order which feels a little bit the reversal of the opening lines of Shakespeare’s play Richard III:

Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this son of York;

And all the clouds that lowered upon our house

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,

Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments,

Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,

Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front,

And now, instead of mounting barbèd steeds

To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,

He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

While I don’t enjoy being given to pessimism, I find myself worrying that, as of the end of this week, such glorious and golden days as have graced the United States are now winding down into a discontented cold spell.

If my fears are realized (and I sincerely hope they are not), then we will need one another for mutual warmth and support in the season to come. Please find your way to Celebration whenever possible, please share your warmth, please join the company of those who long for warmer and sunnier days. Together we can stay warm; together we can open our church doors to the outside, to welcome any who would join us.

Put on your woollies. It’s going to be cold, but only in the political arena. I say this touching wood, but if all goes well, the heat should be restored to the sanctuary before the end of the week. Bring a jacket Sunday anyway.

Warmly,

Ben

P.S. We still have spaces available for our trip to Geneva, September 15-20, 2017. Please let me know if you are interested.