How Are We Going to Do This?

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This has been a question that I’ve been pondering over the summer. There is just so much happening in the world, I wonder just how we are going to do this – to get through it all! We find ourselves in unprecedented times – we haven’t lived through a pandemic like this for close to 100 years, the western world has not lived through times like this since the end of the Second World War. At the same time, I have to acknowledge that there are those living in the world that live through what we would call unprecedented times as a matter of daily life. Talking with a friend of mine from Bolivia who is in her 50s, she tells me that she’s used to living through
coups, famine, and war and so are many people living around the world. It’s only us in the Western world that are facing this anew.

My columns over this year will address different aspects of this question. This month, I focus on how we are going to do this and still remember ourselves home – how are we going to address the question of belonging when we are physically distancing, particularly as the colder months
come upon us. And we are being asked more than ever now to widen our circle of concern to include those who are at the margins and are the most oppressed in our societies. Dear ones – if you think about it – you belong to this world right now! In this place and time your spirit was called into being from a long line of ancestors that came before you. Indigenous peoples are able to call upon the ancestors for close to 6,000 years. To figure out how many ancestors it takes in 10 generations to create the divine spark of life that is you, simple math tells us that it takes 1024 ancestors to have lived, celebrated, grieved, and died for you to exist. It took 1024 people to create you! That is startling.

And yet, somehow, there’s an ache – a longing – a hungering to belong that shapes us in ways that we are largely unconscious of. We feel the deep fissures within our being that ache with the need to find our place in the world and in our lives. For me, this ache only intensifies when I look at what is going on in the world. When George Floyd lay dying on the pavement with a knee upon his neck cried out for his mama, this ache became excruciating.

It is only when we are able to delve into that aching need and lower ourselves into that holy longing that we are able to get a view of who we are meant to become in our fullness – what it took 1,024 ancestors to create. It is here in our silent acceptance of what is, that we are finally able to accept everything just as it is – holy and perfect in just this moment, and then this moment, and so on; for it is the way of nature to accept everything just as it is. When we do that, we see that everything contributes to the whole and trickles down into a gathering river that rushes through our very core with the knowledge that this too belongs – that you too belong – that we belong to each other. And that, my dear ones, tells us that we were made for these times. When we hold onto each other, see each other, be with each other, we fill that aching need with this Beloved Community.

Why I Come to Church? 

Do you feel passionate about coming to church and want to share a brief message with everyone in the community about it? Starting in October, we’ll be adding a new element to our Sunday services where you can share a brief (2-300-word maximum) message about why you come to church. Please contact Rev. Samaya if you have questions, would like to sign up, or would like more information.

When to Call the Minister

Many people wonder when it’s appropriate to call the minister to deal with pastoral care concerns, particularly with such an active caring community such as SFUC and with a three-quarter-time minister. Samaya is available to meet with you in times of difficulty for pastoral guidance visits at a coffee shop, at a hospital, or in your home. Her visit with you would typically be for short-term sessions of listening, support, and spiritual guidance. If longer-term conversations are needed, she would be happy to refer you to someone with skills in the area needing assistance. For more information please contact us.

Services Available from Your Minister

Child blessings, dedications, coming of age celebrations, saging rituals, home blessings, pet blessings, renewal of vows – all of these things share a common element: services available from your minister. If you’re interested in any one of these rites of passages, please feel free to contact Rev. Samaya.

What to Expect from Your Minister

As part of the ongoing information about what you can expect from our minister, please know that when you visit our minister for pastoral conversations, you can expect that your conversation will be held in confidence. What you share will not be shared with any other person without your express permission. Our minister will encourage direct communication to resolve issues you have with other people.

Samaya’s Office Hours:

Rev. Samaya’s office hours are for those of you who are in the area and can drop by and visit with her about what’s on your heart or mind. Office hours are held on Thursdays from 10 am to noon. Here’s where you can find her over the next couple of weeks:

  • On Thursday, June 6th you can find her at Java Express, located at 15090 North Bluff Road in White Rock.
  • On Thursday, June 13th she’ll be at McBurney’s Coffee and Teahouse. McBurney’s is located at 20504 Fraser Highway in Langley.

If these times don’t work for you and you’d like to arrange for a one-on-one in-home visit, please contact her to set up a time. She sets aside Tuesday mornings typically for one-on-one in-home visits, but other times are available depending on schedules. Please feel free to call her at 604-323-4341.

Rev. Samaya will be away from Sunday, June 16th through to Saturday the 22nd to attend the UU Ministers’ Association’s Ministry Days, three days of professional development for UU ministers, followed by four days at the UUA’s General Assembly in Spokane, WA. As usual, she is available in the case of emergencies and she will answer emails sporadically throughout the week.

As Rev. Samaya is our three-quarter time minister, she is available to take your calls on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm, as well as on Tuesday evenings to 9 pm. Emails will be responded to within 72 hours. If you need a response in less time than that, or in cases of emergencies, please feel free to call her.