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Making Holidays Relevant Today
Making Holidays Relevant Today

Barbara Ford – Prayer

Spirit
In these times of limitless grief
We have but two choices

Our hearts can break
Or
They can break wide open

The broken heart can fall
Clutching and desperate
Into a deep chasm of loneliness

The heart broken open
Joins with the pain
Of a million other hearts
And knows
Finally
That it is never alone.

May we choose
The communion of broken hearts
Over isolation

And with that choosing

May we act together in love
Toward the healing
Of the Heart of the World.

February. Black History Month. I celebrate Black History every day of my life so I find it odd to devote one month in the year to celebrating Blackness.

I am keenly aware that many Unitarian Universalist congregations struggle with what to do all month. This month. With the escalation of obvious racial injustices, coupled with our Unitarian Universalist commitment to dismantling systems of white supremacy, it is important to honor and to commemorate the painful legacy of the Black experience in this country. And yet, it is important to keep the hope for a more just future alive, not only by praying, but also by doing.

Valentine’s Day is one of February’s special days. A day when Love is celebrated, commemorated, longed for, or…. Though it only lasts for 24 hours it permeates the entire month of February offering each of us another opportunity to share the love that we have within our hearts—even, or especially—when they are, or have been broken. Valentines Day, like Black History Month, should be celebrated every day of the year.

And there is Washington’s Birthday, commonly called Presidents Day that began as the celebration of President George Washington’s Birthday as a Federal Holiday in 1885. With time it came to celebrate all U.S. Presidents. Then over the years it has somehow become one of the biggest sale weekends in this country. I do wonder what is really being celebrated this Presidents Day, but that is another blog-post….

I encourage congregations to embrace the joy—and the challenge of finding meaningful ways to make holidays relevant to today. This might well be a good time to involve all ages in a shared project—finding new stories that bring our UU values to life; perhaps creating a timeline, or a service project. Consciously taking a difficult decision to live our values. There are many resources available through uua.org. And, there’s still time to work on something special this February. And, remember that there are eleven other months ahead….

Rev. Hope Johnson

 

About the Author

  • Hope Johnson will serve as Congregational Life Consultant for the UUA's Central East Region and the Southern Region. She brings specialties in conflict resolution and multicultural congregational development. She is the former minister of UU Congregation of Central Nassau, NY,...

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