Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
One of the many pros of receiving my SeasonsFUSION online is the ability to save it to my tablet and smartphone for access while “on the go.”
This morning (Monday), nestled comfortably in a favourite coffee shop, I opened the Pentecost 1 file on my tablet, as I also opened the morning newspaper. The headline on page 100 (July 15) of SeasonsFUSION is “Brought Together,” and the headline on page 22 of the morning newspaper was “Faith leaders spruik benefits of united front.” The newspaper article described a recent multi-faith service of lament for asylum seekers who had drowned on their way to Australia. The gathering was organized by Rabbi Shoshana Kaminksy, of the Beit Shalom Synagogue, and held at the Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide, South Australia.
Rev. Jana Norman from Pilgrim Uniting Church was quoted, saying, “while society focused on the differences between religions, multi-faith gatherings reveal the similarities. We’ve got so much common ground to work with, even when we come at it from our particular angle, it all leads to this common ground around basic compassion, humanity and a desire for people to be united.”
The national paper The Australian, July 9 carried a similar headline — “Faiths unite in prayer to mourn asylum-seekers lost at sea.”
I finished my latte and reflected on the gift and grace of friendship shared with Rabbi Adam Morris, Rabbi for Temple Micah, a reformed synagogue in Denver Colorado, who serves as consultant to the Seasons of the Spirit team.
I hurried home and poured over some of his many writings to and on our behalf. “Who could have known” he said in a letter, “that searching for a Jewish book in such a non-Jewish city would begin such a rich dialogue between a rabbi and Christians?” Adam’s is a friendship I value more than words can say.
In a letter to his congregation, Rabbi Mo, as he is also known, spoke about the time he spent at one of the Seasons development events… “after six years of being a part of this creative endeavor I was able to participate face to face. I spent three days with them. My role? It was the same as it has been the past few years: share historical and religious perspective about the Jewish aspect of their sacred stories; offer my knowledge about Jewish customs and practices; help sensitize these Christian educators toward telling their sacred stories in a manner that is honest and respectful of the Jewish faith and religion…serving in this role for Seasons of the Spirit project means a great deal to me.
“Attending this writers’ and editors’ meeting raised the bar on its significance for me as a rabbi and as a Jew. Sitting for a few days, in the midst of these inspired individuals who were working to create a dynamic way for their community to interact with their sacred stories re-energized me to do the same. Watching them work to mine the truth and divinity from their tradition while wrestling with the pieces that diverge from their sense of justice and mercy encouraged me to continue to do the same. Engaging with them as they sought (through me) to know, understand and love another faith in all of its beauty and complexity and in all its inspiration and intolerance challenged me to do the same.
“Even though I went to this meeting in Burlingame as a ‘teacher,’ I left a grateful student. As Ben Zoma teaches us in Pirke Avot: ‘Who is wise? One who learns from every person.’ I thank my teachers of the Seasons of the Spirit, your inspiring lessons enhance my spirit.”
As I read this and other writings from Adam, and recall times of meaningful conversations over coffee, in Burlingame, Minneapolis, Adelaide I am reminded (to quote again from Adam) “how divinity shows up in our world. “
Finding unity, even amid difference, is so worth it!
Be sure to read “The Cosmic Elephant in the Room” (by Rabbi Adam Morris) on page 117 SeasonsFUSION, and take a moment to listen to The MicahCast 2 – Connection.
You can also meet Adam at http://www.modrash.blogspot.com.au/.
A reminder: this is a place for you to share insights and stories that are prompted as you prepare for worship, learning, and serving; and to ask for the communities’ wisdom in places where you might need a spark to get you started.