Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.
We gather this Sunday at a tender time in our national life, newly reminded of how precious life is, and how fragile. The violent events of this week have stirred a range of emotions, from sadness and anger to fear and pride. We’ve been confronted with our vulnerability, but also shown the depths of our resilience. The sights and sounds of this week leave us with unsettling questions we will likely grapple with for some time. On Sunday, at 12:15pm, I will host a Sharing Circle in the library for all who wish to grapple together. This will be a respectful time of deep listening to what’s on our hearts as we try to understand the meaning of what has happened and what response we hope to make, as individuals, as a community, and as a country.
This Sunday, we will also, during our annual celebration of the Day of the Dead/Samhain/All Souls, honour the lives of beloved family and friends who have gone before us. You are invited to bring their photographs and other mementos to place on our Altar of Memory during the prelude or the opening hymn. Later in the service, we will lift up the names of those we’ve loved and lost, and collectively affirm their continuing presence in our lives: ¡Presente! My sermon will explore the seeming paradox that we so often find life in the midst of death.
Finally, I’m delighted to invite you to join a delegation of members from First Unitarian who will attend the Installation Service at the Unitarian Congregation of Mississauga. Happily, their new minister is our former Intern Minister, the Rev. Fiona Heath. The service will take place at 3:00pm on 1 November.
In faith and love,