The Scripture readings were Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 and Romans 8:31, 35ff, and after the pastoral reflection, leading into the Prayers of the People, Tiffany invited us to spend some time silently writing down our laments (pens and half-size sheets of paper were provided) and then we were invited to share them aloud if we wished and also invited to light a candle on the altar (she had put about a dozen or so votive candles on the altar).
Trelawney was the first to get up and light a candle. She read her lament, which was very poetic, and about her own inclinations toward depression (though she didn't use that word) and apathy as well as her concerns re: those tendencies in her communities. She explained that at the vigil/rally she had after church for Jena (which notice she had sent to the CWM list as well as CAUMC) she was really disappointed by the turnout from her church. She was getting all teary, and when she got back to her seat (which was next to mine), I reached over and hugged her. We hugged for a while, and after we stopped she put her hand on my leg, and I put my hand on hers and held it. She thanked me multiple times over the rest of the evening.
I thought of how I had just quoted to someone:
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,[Not in the sense that I should have come to the Jena thing, but that I was able to be present with her this evening when she needed it.]
what anyone will remember is that we came,
I filled up half a page with laments without even really having to pause. When the Collection was taken, there was a basket for money and a basket for laments. I decided to bring mine home and burn it, 'cause I really liked that idea, but when I took a match to it in our front yard I found it really didn't burn much. So I put it on a burner on the stove and lit the burner until the paper had all turned black, then took it downstairs and crumpled it onto the lawn.
(Oh, I left myself a note reminding myself that today is the autumnal equinox -- because it doesn't always fall on the 21st like I had thought. I feel like there should be a pagan ritual for the equinox, but the closest thing I can think of is Samhain at Halloween/All Saints' Day.)
I just got the following notice from CHPC, which unfortunately I probably won't be able to attend, because it's CWM's
You are invited to a holiday program "Ramadan and the Jewish Days of Awe," sponsored by the Social Action Committee of Temple B'nai Brith in Somerville on Sunday September 30th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., with co-presenters Rabbi Dov Bard, Instructor in Rabbinics at Gann Academy and Dr. Mohamed Lazzouni, Visiting Scholar in Islamic Studies at Boston College, with introduction by Dr. Phil Weiss, the religious leader of Temple B'nai Brith.
Program is free of charge. See attached flyer.
This year, the Jewish High Holidays and the Muslim holiday of Ramadan coincide. In this program, Rabbi Bard and Dr. Lazzouni will help us understand the common themes in Islam and Judaism that are emphasized in these seasons, and the common practices in their celebrations. For both peoples, these holidays are a time for worship and contemplation, for prayer, fasting, charity and strengthening family and community ties.
Join us for a stimulating presentation that will include an ample question and answer period.
Temple B'nai Brith
201 Central Street