Rev. Barnaby Feder, Minister
Rev. Barnaby Feder, Minister

As I write this, we are coming up on the one year anniversary of the election of Donald Trump. In some ways, it seems like the bitter campaign has never ended.    Distressingly, polls show a clear majority of the country believing that things are getting worse, not better, and no political consensus on how to change that.

I don’t feel that things are getting worse at CVUUS. We are in the midst of preparing for an exciting, novel experiment in fellowship we call the Radical Love Party. The Building More Love project for downstairs is moving toward decisions in January or February on when to start the actual work and where to focus our expenditures. We will reach a new high in membership when new members sign our book during the Nov. 19 service just before the Party. A great line-up of guest and lay-led worship services is taking shape for the January through March period when I am on sabbatical. And we are actively working on ways to expand the variety of music in our worship.

For all that, though, I am sensing in myself and many of you profound sadness for what is happening to our country and the world. The temptations to retreat into family and personal pleasures can only mount as the assaults on compassion and justice roll relentlessly on. And our vulnerability to lashing out ineffectively or inhumanely in our anxiety to resist is higher than ever.

We have been talking this past month about these pressures. They are painful, but they are also symptoms that we are in touch with reality and each other.  They are the foundation from which we will, in the words of one of our hymns, “turn the world around.” This November, our radical love theme will bring us to gratitude and other spiritual resources we can share and celebrate in this time of need.

The Sunday after the election last year, 192 people attended CVUUS. That included many people who told me “I needed to be here. You will see more of me.” I generally replied, “We needed you to be here. I hope we will see more of you.” It feels truer than ever as we near the election anniversary.

Blessed be, Rev. Barnaby