Here, Together: December 2019

December:
a time of paradox.

It’s the darkest time of
year, and for some, the most
lonely. And yet December can be
a time for moments of magic and
whimsy, too. Whether it’s from a
sudden glimpse of holiday lighting, the
pristine beauty of a fresh snowfall on an
early winter morning, or that red bird,
settling back in to your window bird feeder
after a blizzard, December brings moments
when, despite everything, it’s easy
to imagine all is right with the world.

We often talk about Unitarian
Universalism’s seven principles,
but for me December, because
of its paradoxical quality,
is the perfect time
for celebrating
the first
of our six
sources:

Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder,
affirmed in all cultures,
which moves us to a renewal of the spirit
and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life.

Okay. Forgive me. I got caught up in a sudden desire to be — well — less serious about everything. Because I know that despite all that is wrong in this world, we also need moments for rising above this in playfulness and joy. Or said a little more seriously, we all need moments of Transcendence — which is December’s monthly theme.

This month, we’ve planned three services for transcending times of dark, cold and hopelessness: our annual Mitten Tree Sunday, December 15, when we mix generosity and the spirit of giving with a little multigenerational mayhem; Sunday, December 22, a morning for learning about the ancient, yet still resonant, tradition of Yule; and our annual Christmas Eve candlelight service. If you haven’t joined us on Christmas Eve before, our December 24 evening celebration is a time for blending elements of the Christian story with broader wisdom that can be appreciated by people for whom Christmas is more of a secular holiday. All of this will be deepened by astonishing choral music, as well as repeated opportunities for congregational singing — which is why we’ve called this year’s service “Resounding Joy.”

Whatever your beliefs, I hope you will join us during this holiday season. It is so good to be here, together, especially at this darkest time of the year.

In love and service,
Rev. Nicoline