I bought my first persimmons and pomegranates of the season at the farmstand by my house. I have never bought persimmons or pomegranates before, but there is an amazing poem by UU minister Nancy Shaffer called “Were I To Teach A Course On God” that is all about persimmon, pomegranates and pears (come to church on Nov 20th to hear it!). Shaffer grew up in the San Joaquin valley and if there is a place to find “God”, then I think our farm stands are a good place to start. We live a land of plenty and we live in a land of scarcity–on my way home to the farmstand, I drive by folks who look so very hard-up.
This week, I’ve attended the fall UU ministers meeting and part of the time we have spent time in workshops led by Spirit Rock meditation teacher Larry Yang. One of his specialties is around building multicultural spiritual communities and how spiritual practice can support us in the work of building beloved community. Because if you are doing the work of building beloved community, you are going to experience tension and discomfort–so you need something that grounds and nourishes you. I found myself feeling extra grateful for Lori Wong and IMCV– if UU’s adopt a personal spiritual practice, Buddhist ones seem to be the easiest fit for many of us. Hence why we UU ministers spent a few days with Larry Yang! It can seem like a big task to take on a “spiritual practice.” But maybe, if you don’t yet have a regular spiritual practice, you can start by taking an intentional and mindful moment to eat a persimmon, to munch on some pomegranate seeds.
This Sunday, Bernadette Burns and Avonelle Tomlinson will lead worship: We honor this in-between time of Samhain, when the veil between life and death is said to be thin and we are closest to those who have died. Please bring photos of beloveds of yours who have passed away.