The Minister’s Musings on Courage

Our Soul Matters theme for the month of October is “Courage,” and I’m excited to see where our shared exploration of this theme will take us! 

At this time of year, we see people from different cultures honoring their ancestors, drawing courage from their stories. And at the same time, we have playful displays and costumes depicting scary ghouls, monsters, and all manner of frightening creatures. Some of us watch scary movies or visited haunted houses. We test our courage as we play with ideas that scare us. 

I think this is something we tend to forget: Courage isn’t courage without fear. If we don’t acknowledge that we are facing risk – or if we don’t care – then we are being foolhardy, not courageous. As people of faith called to take courageous action in this world, we are not called to be foolhardy. We know we have something to lose in living out our lives as Unitarian Universalists. We recognize there is risk when we stand up for justice – perhaps not always risk to lives, but most certainly risk to our self-understandings, our reputations, and our pocketbooks. We recognize there is risk to our hearts when we commit to a community of faith such as Tree of Life, a group of fellow fallible humans who will undoubtedly let us down at times. We recognize there is risk when we step into an unknown future, as this community will be doing during the upcoming search for a new minister.

It’s okay to be a bit apprehensive about any or all of this. As Unitarian Universalists, we are not called to foolhardy denial that we have something to lose. We are, however, called to walk the path of courage and continue the journey. I welcome you to this month of walking together as we discern what courage means for us today, as individuals and as a congregation.

In faith,

Rev. Jenn

Interim Minister

Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation

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