Loosening, Lightening Up, and Playing

I’m back from my Summer sabbath time!  It’s so good to come back to you all. But let me

Watching World Cup Finals with my parents and brothers.

Watching World Cup Finals with my parents and brothers.

warn you– I’m in a playful mood!  “Play is what aliveness looks like” says Rev. Anthony Makar in this Summer’s edition of UU World Magazine. August tends to be a time of planning for me and many of our lay leaders. The Board will going on a 24 hour retreat together to plan for the year. I will be working with our worship team to plan month worship themes. And I find that it is easy, when doing important things like planning, to become very serious, very solemn. Because we are talking about our spirituality, right? We are talking about what this congregation can do and be to heal one another and the world. Isn’t that serious business?

Auntie time on the beach!

Auntie time on the beach!

In her essay Crib Notes from Bethlehem, theologian Laurel Schneider argues that Christianity, particularly the Christianities evolving out of Puritan Protestantism, tend to suffer from “a sensible lack-an anorexic denial even-of humor and of poetry.”  When we laugh, when we play, there is a spaciousness to our thinking and being that we humans need for our creative thinking and survival.

As we begin our second year together in shared ministry, I want to begin with that sense of play, aliveness, and spaciousness. There are indeed very serious things to address in our lives. Do we not continue to watch horrendous news of Black and Brown people being harassed and killed? Sandra Bland’s case is yet ‘unresolved’ as I write this. It is exactly in these moments, when so much is at stake for so many people, that we must make sure not to tighten up our thinking and being, closing out creative possibilities with anxiety and fear. Here is to loosening, lightening, and playing!

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