Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

[5774] "The whole / World is secretly on fire"

Before meditation tonight [at First Church Cambridge], I made a couple suggestions of ways to make it more welcoming to newbies and Kate L. made note of them.

I said I felt like my first time at Rest and Bread, when I was the only person not from FCS and Laura Ruth asked me how I'd liked it and I said I liked it but I had a few suggestions.

Kate L. pointed out that I only started coming a few weeks after they started having this, so we're all new.

I was telling H!PS-Chelsea recently and had been telling someone else not that long before that, that when I was initially doing so much church I was really aware of what it was like to be new (to be unfamiliar with The Way Things Are Done Here -- though yes I had the privilege of growing up Protestant, so things weren't as unfamiliar as they could have been) and really actively pushed the worshiping spaces to be more welcoming of newbies. And because I was going to various different churches, I was cross-pollinating (as H!PS-Chelsea put it) with ideas of ways of doing things. And I really liked inhabiting that liminal go-between space -- it felt like a natural extension of being That Girl at college (at home but not in my super-queer super-liberal college, at home but not in my middle-of-the-road whitebread suburb). And as time went on I got acclimated to, and settled in, the spaces I was in. And when I remember how I used to operate, I kinda missed it. (Though really, most all my complaints about church these days are still about not being sufficiently welcoming to those who are Not Like Us, who are not insiders. My hospitality is deeply connected to my desire for structure and process :) )

[Subject line is from the Thomas Merton poem Kate L. read tonight.]


Scott emailed:
Subject: Shanah tova, QED!

May you have a sweet 5774, QED!*


*Note that 5774 is a happy number -- its trajectory under iteration of
the "sum of squares of digits" eventually reaches 1 (see

As has become my custom, reposting this from Amy:
One of the big pieces of the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that you reflect over the past year, and you attempt to (A) accept and forgive anything that has been done to you, and (B) apologize and ask forgiveness for anything you have done to others.


Anonymous is enabled, and all comments are screened. If I've done anything to hurt you this year, let me know. If there's anything you think I might still be upset over, let me know that too. I won't unscreen unless you specifically request I do [...] The goal isn't to start fresh- that's often not possible- but to acknowledge what has happened over this year (or any previous time, if you so choose) as an attempt to not have it happen again.

I promise to treat anything you say seriously and respectfully, and I will seriously be considering it over the next ten days.

I browsed the "Rosh Hashanah" tag on Tumblr, and:
"Head of the Year"
Marge Piercy

The moon is dark tonight, a new
moon for a new year. It is
hollow and hungers to be full.
It is the black zero of beginning.

Now you must void yourself
of injuries, insults, incursions.
Go with empty hands to those
you have hurt and make amends.

It is not too late. It is early
and about to grow. Now
is the time to do what you
know you must and have feared
to begin. Your face is dark
too as you turn inward to face
yourself, the hidden twin of
all you must grow to be.

Forgive the dead year. Forgive
yourself. What will be wants
to push through your fingers.
The light you seek hides
in your belly. The light you
crave longs to stream from
your eyes. You are the moon
that will wax in new goodness.
And from "New Year’s Day" by Kim Addonizio:
I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold

blessing of the rain,
and lift my face to it.
Tags: church: first church cambridge: wed. med, comments: screened, holidays: jewish, people: h: scott k., poetry, poetry: poems

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