How Does a Weary World Rejoice?

Greetings, A2U2!

It’s so wonderful to be back in action after medical leave. I have healed well and am, as one of you said, “put back together.” Still a little tender so if I’m shyer than normal about hugs that is why. And it was clear the moment I walked in the door that I have returned to a busy church! Gloriously so. The decorations are up, preparations for the Artisans Market are underway, groups are meeting… Memories of pandemic holidays are still fresh in my mind and our gathering feels nothing short of miraculous.

I have other news that is less uplifting but important to share with you, which is that my partnership with Laura has ended. You may have met her at the 200th anniversary party or the Zoom gathering we co-hosted for Hanukkah, or even know members of the congregation she serves in MA. These separations are never easy. Thank you in advance for respecting my privacy. I want to assure you that I am OK and have a strong network of people supporting me. I’ll be spending much more time up in Portland beginning in January, and the ability to finish this church year with more in-person time at A2U2 is certainly a silver lining.

And that is, in so many ways, the theme of our upcoming month of worship. The four Sundays services in December will attempt to answer the overarching question: How does a weary world rejoice? Because we know that the weariness, the injustice, and the sorrow of our world exist alongside hope, joy, love, and peace. It’s complicated… but true! So this month we’ll wrestle with this question together. I imagine our wrestling will be generative and fruitful as it always is.

If you can’t quite place the phrase…

it comes from a line in the song “Oh Holy Night”–

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…

for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 

There are so many reasons to be weary.

And there are so many reasons to rejoice.

In our beloved community, there is room for it all. I thank God for that!

With much love,

Rev. Tara