Being a Community of Welcome
One of the wonderful resources we have at Tree of Life is our subscription to the UU curriculum, Soul Matters. This program is the source of the themes used for our worship calendar and through it we receive ideas and materials for developing worship services. Monthly “packets” are available to the whole congregation and are used by our Chalice Circle discussion groups. Many UU congregations participate in this program and it’s an uplifting thought, knowing that every month we are reflecting on the same subjects as other UU’s across the U. S.
With this posting, we are introducing a blog series on the soul matters of Tree of Life. For September our community is invited to reflect on how we can better understand and become a community that is welcoming. Celebrating Water Communion with the UU Fellowship of DeKalb on Sept. 10, considering the issues of White Supremacy on Sept. 17, and, on Sept. 24, through the music of February Sky, honoring stories of Welcoming Immigrants — our worship experiences will encourage us to expand our thinking about the avenues for offering kindness, greeting, and comfort.
Welcome and its attendant hospitality both have deep roots in the connection we share with all of humanity. Rev. Tom Owen-Towle reminds us that “Hospitality isn’t a mere social grace; it’s a spiritual vocation …. It evokes our need to know and be known, to embrace and be embraced.” In this month’s Soul Matters packet, we are encouraged to reflect on how “expanding community and welcoming newcomers requires right-sizing our needs and putting our preferences second. Welcoming regularly involves the smallness of humility and willingness to listen and learn. … a key to feeling at home in the universe is seeing ourselves as a tiny but precious part of a greater whole.”
May we come together as a community in exploring and experiencing the meaning of “welcome.” This month’s resource packet can be accessed here. If you need a printed copy, please feel free to use the copies that are available in the fellowship room (or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken). You are also invited to join discussion through one of our Chalice Circles – please look for the Community Blog giving details about these circles.
Wishing you joy in community, M.E. Tanabe