Welcome back to UCM theme ministry as the 2016-17 theme year begins in October with the theme of blessings. Every service at UCM ends with the words “blessings on us all.” For me, this is an expression of hope: hope that we will all be cared for, hope that we will be able to see the good in our lives, hope that we remember always that we are all in this thing called life together. Blessings can be a difficult word to understand; I encourage you to experience it as an expression of feeling rather than an intellectual concept.
I often say as Unitarian Universalists we are “seeing life steadily and seeing it whole, and this takes time” (Mary Stewart). To see steadily and clearly means we pay attention to what is real and true. We try not to run after fantasies, we try not to hide from pain. Life can be bleak and it can feel like there is nothing but violent death and ecological disaster everywhere. We get overwhelmed by the everyday heartache of loneliness and sorrow.
Seeing the good that exists right beside the just plain awful is how we find hope. We need to find the blessings in life, to widen our vision to see clearly not just the terrible but the beauty as well. To experience a sense of blessing helps us to remember that life includes great joys, whether that is a baby’s grin or the wind shimmering through green leaves.
When we can feel blessed by life in all its ups and downs, we can extend that blessings to others. This month we explore what it means to be a people of blessings; how do we experience blessings in our own life? How can we extend a sense of blessings to others?