Intern’s Item

Dear HUP Beloveds,

In his April letter, Rev. Tony calls us to consider the hard work of resurrection and renewal. How uncomfortable and messy it might have been in the Biblical context, sans angel and magic, to remove the stone and walk the Earth again, to live life again. Definitely easier to stay dormant. It reminds me of something my older sister said to me years ago before I began seminary. She said that most people go through their lives too afraid to let their soul surface, probably having detached at some tender point of betrayal in childhood. This seemed like a dark assessment of humanity, but with each passing year I seem to collect more and more evidence backing her theory.

Renewal takes courage. Again, we are reminded of Parker Palmer’s message about crashing through the woods. In fact, Palmer’s seminal creation is called the Center for Courage and Renewal, and his work dubbed Courage Work. And it just so happens that the Center for Courage and Renewal and Shelley Francis have just published a book called The Courage Way. In the forward Parker Palmer says this: “It takes courage to “join soul and role” in organizations that make it unsafe to show up with integrity and act in alignment with it. But when we find that courage, our lives become more whole, our work reaches deeper, the people we serve are better served, and, in ways large and small, the world becomes a better place.”

Finding a community in which to be more whole, to serve the world, to do deep work – this is the ideal, right? “A strong community helps people develop a true sense of self, for only in community can the self exercise and fulfill its nature: giving and taking, listening and speaking, being and doing. But when community unravels and we lose touch with one another, the self atrophies and we lose touch with ourselves as well.” (Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness)

It stands to reason, then, that when we renew ourselves and stay connected to each other, the community is renewed as well. But, as Rev. Tony reminds us, it probably won’t feel magical. It might even feel awkward and scary and just wrong. It might feel much easier to leave, to quit, to let the soul lie dormant in the tomb. That’s when we steel ourselves in slowness. We take deep breaths. We pray.

May we follow the courage way. May we have the courage to develop trust in one another, to gather and call forth the soul, and to keep singing in beloved community!

Blessed and Renewed Be,