Our community is full of beauty of all kinds. In recent weeks, I’ve been witnessing and experiencing the beauty of generosity. Whether it’s incredibly successful church auction, all the gestures and gifts of support for Katherine and me as we prepare for the arrival of our son, or all the families who brought their children to the youth roundtable last week to listen to what our kids like and want from church, there is so much beauty to experience.
There is one gift that feels particularly special– a kind of gift you only get in a multigenerational community like ours. A congregant asked me if I had a baby-wipes warmer, a device that warms the wipes you use to wipe a baby’s bum, because they had one they did not need. We didn’t and I gladly accepted the gift. And then I asked “if you don’t mind me asking, why do you have a wipe warmer?” This person did not have a baby in their life that I knew of. “Well, when I was taking care of one of my parents….”
I know this may sound silly, but there is something incredibly beautiful and powerful in thinking about warming the wipes that I’m going use to wipe my child’s bum at the very beginning of his life with the same warmer that this congregant used to warm the wipes they used to wipe their parent’s bum at the end of life. Talk about the interdependent web. And we need to rename those wipes– they are not just for babies, they are for any of us when are bodies are in a tender state where yes, we need some help wiping our bums– we start out in that tender state, our bodies enter that tender state after surgeries and illnesses, and we end our lives in that tender state. And in our age segregated society, this is a beauty our congregation has to offer: the beauty of passing down a wipes-warmer.
I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday: Pomegranate and Persimmon Communion–“If I were to teach a course on God, I would begin with a plate of persimmons” writes UU minister Nancy Shaffer. We will give thanks for the abundance of our valley and offer one another a special pomegranate and persimmon communion. Worship leaders: Rev Darcy and Sharon Arpoika.
P.S. I hope to see many of you this Monday evening November 20th at 6:45pm for the 21st Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration Service. This year, it will be held at The Redeemer church, 820 H Street, Modesto (corner of 9th and H Streets). I will be offering the invocation. This is a special time when our community’s diverse faith communities (Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Latter Day Saints, Sikh, Christian, and UU), join together in a service of thanksgiving with words, prayer and song. The Celebration’s host church is new to the event and we welcome The Redeemer Church, the first evangelical church to be host. As in past years, you may make a donation of canned goods or monetary offerings before and during the service for Inter-Faith Ministries, Stanislaus County’s local food pantry and clothes closet. Sponsored by the Stanislaus County Interfaith Council.