I still have a lot to learn and adjust to, but so far, the adjustment has been lovely. Several times a day, I say to myself, “I can’t believe I live here.” I’m surrounded by natural beauty everywhere I turn, it’s almost overwhelming. And being back in New England, even if Vermont is new for me, truly feels like being back home. I had so missed the quiet, stoic, understated New England kindness that I’m now privileged to experience daily.
One thing that’s been a little jarring, I’ll admit, is being so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and beauty, and then being reminded of the divisions and the chaos that seem to have enveloped this country. On Tuesday night, I put my phone on do not disturb a little earlier than usual because I didn’t want to get drawn into any presidential debate drama or anxiety. I read in bed while I listened to the rain drizzling on the fallen leaves and eventually drifted peacefully to sleep. In the morning, I woke to dozens of notifications on my phone– from news sources, texts from friends, social media– I definitely made the right choice in not looking at my phone that night.
But turning my electronics off is one thing; turning my mind off is another. Of course it’s good (necessary!) to have healthy limits and boundaries of how much one can take in, but I know I can’t just look at the rolling hills and beautiful leaves and pretend everything is just fine. I’m realizing I’m going to have to learn how to truly experience and appreciate the natural beauty and human kindness that surrounds me, while remaining aware of and being intentional about my place, our place as the church, our place as Christians, in the angry and divided world we live in. I want to make sure we remain full of gratitude and joy while also doing what we can to understand the concerns and fears of the oppressed and working to make this world a livable and peaceful place for all. Easier said than done, of course– the task is daunting, but I’m excited to confront it head-on accompanied by all of you! (And if anyone has any tips/strategies on being fully present in Vermont’s beauty while remaining in tune to the struggles of the world at large, feel free to share them!)
I didn’t intend on my first weekly blurb to be this involved, so thank you for humoring me! So excited to see you all this Sunday!
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Some Music for you to enjoy in preparation for World Communion Sunday!!
Monday Bible Study!
From Daun Smith: “Hi all, I took a course this summer on lamenting and grieving in the time of Covid. So…. if you have been missing Bible study because of summertime and Covid-time, I’d love to do a Bible study on Laments — Psalms, lamentations, people from the Bible who grieved, Lament music from psalms to hip-hop, and possibly Job and Ecclesiastes. Monday from 5PM to 6:00 PM by zoom starting the Lament study on October 5!”