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

I’m currently basking in the after-glow of my mother’s memorial service on June 16. My family is so grateful for the help of all of you who pitched in to make it a heart-warming gathering. And we appreciate that so many of you were able to be there with us to hear about her life, her art, her feminism, and her passion for justice.

Many of you especially liked the excerpts I shared from her sermon in 2005 on becoming an elder, which she called “the last chapter” of her life. Here are two bits of her advice: try not to ask “How are you?” (Mom: “In response I have to lie or relate a litany of woes you do not want to hear and I do not want to relate.”); smile at your elders and elder strangers, or wave or say hello when passing by on the street, and teach children to do the same. (Mom: “..when you are older, it is depressing to have people on the sidewalks, in line, everywhere look right through you as if you didn’t exist.”).

Mom preached that elders do not need strategies for fighting to live longer as if old age was a battle that could be won. Instead, she said, they crave “the recognition, expressed in countless different ways, that they are still the same individuals they were before they got old.”

One thing I didn’t share was a post-sermon note acknowledging that her text made no mention of spirituality. She said that was deliberate because she felt she had figured out her “relationship to the uni- verse” and the meaning of life, particularly her life, before reaching “the last chapter.” She hoped others had too. She mused that was probably the topic for another service titled “When Did You Wake UP?”
I love how “UP” she was about this question. To be spiritually awake is a kind of heaven. May you have an “UP!” summer, whether or not we see you at CVUUS…..

Blessed be, Rev. Barnaby