Spiritual Leader's Message September 1, 2020

Dear Friends,
I love the month of September where the hot, lazy days of summer move into the cooler days of fall. For me, the month symbolizes transition—the movement from one thing or state to another. Transition is a process. We easily observe the process in nature with the changing of seasons or the growth of a plant from a seedling into maturity.
Transition is a natural part of life. In our daily lives it often takes place so subtly that we barely notice it. Big transitions, though, such as births, deaths, or societal changes require resiliency and flexibility. They require us to move out of what once was into something new, different. Transitions, even exciting ones, create a sense of disequilibrium. The changes we currently face in our society demand that we look at uncertainty and embrace what we know intellectually—nothing in the material world is permanent. Nothing stays the same.
As we experience the transition from our usual way of living life into new patterns coming from the Covid 19 pandemic, we must be flexible, patient, and practice acceptance.
In his book Finding Yourself in Transition, Robert Brumet tells us how to use life’s changes for spiritual awakening. He tells us that as uncomfortable as transitions may be, they can be a wonderful time of gaining strength and wisdom. The process of transition falls into three predictable phases. How long each lasts cannot be predicted, but the sequence of the stages is consistent: endings, the void, new beginnings.
Currently our society is in the stage of the void. Life as we have known it has ended. We are in an uncertain state of not knowing what may come. Schools are struggling, businesses face challenges, churches are working to discover how to move forward. We are making efforts to move into the new with not enough information to get us there yet. Many are grieving the loss of what was. Others are already looking forward to what may be.
In this time of “inbetweenness” where we may feel disenchanted, abandoned, and scared, we are called to rest with our feelings. To be still. As uncomfortable as this may be, it is only when we accept the feelings and the situation underneath them that we can move through them to something new and vibrant. We are called to be patient with the process and not attempt to go back to the old or push too quickly for the new.
Being in the void is an opportunity to increase our faith. We must believe in that which is hoped for and not yet seen. It is a time to grow in wisdom. When we pray and meditate with greater consciousness, we may have insights that lead us to understandings we didn’t previously have.
Living in the void is a time to deepen our connections as we support each other through the process. While close contact is discouraged now, we can reach out by phone, email, or by attending small groups that are practicing the guidelines given by the CDC.
Your UCIR leadership is here for you. We ask that you reach out to us with your concerns, needs, and desires. We delight in connecting with you in conversation and prayer. This is your spiritual home. Come to us.
Rev. Carolyn