Soul Matters at Tree of Life: Being a Community of Memory

Often we think of “memory” as a habit of looking back at the past, but with this month’s Soul Matters theme we’re asked to reflect on this from a wider perspective.  In the introduction to the November packet we are offered these thoughts:

“What is it that takes you back, and where does it take you?”  These may be our most important questions this month.  “What takes you back?” invites us to see memory as having its own volition.  Not a skill we manipulate, but a sacred energy that “wants” something from us, or “hopes” something for us.  And “Where does it take you?”   Well, that’s a big question too.  The space of memory is elusive.  Mysterious.  Seemingly beyond our grasp.  Who can really say “where” it is?   But here’s what we do know: it is in the space of memory that we are somehow held together, and also re-assembled.   As we remember, we are re-membered.  In that space, memories become these self-animated threads that weave the pieces and parts of us into this more complete thing we call “me” and “you.”

When we see memory as a kind of “nostalgia” or “tradition,” we tend to imagine it as something that holds us back and that impedes our being present to life.  But this month we’re invited to explore “memory” from different avenues and broader ways of thinking — maybe even considering it to be “like soil that clings tightly to our roots in order to nourish and stabilize us.”

The November Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning of “memory” – as we consider how we experience it in our lives and how it is a part of our experience in community.   We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles.  The Soul Matters resource packet can by contacting the office If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take one from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken.   You might also like to consider joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – there are chalice circle flyers in the fellowship room with information about this program.

Wishing you joy in community,

M.E. Tanabe

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