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Wednesday Reflections

December 13, 2017
 
Dear Members and Friends, 
This month we are exploring the theme of HOPE. What does it mean to be a People of Hope?
 
As a congregation, we have the opportunity to participate in hope in a concrete way, providing a sanctuary home for a young man who has been in detention but was then abandoned by immigration officials while in a hospital. Donal is 22 years old and came to the United States from Guatemala. He was fleeing persecution because he is out as a member of the LGBTQ community. Here in the United States, he was detained by immigration officials. During his detention, he was diagnosed with a rare form thyroid cancer. From the moment he entered the hospital, he had been chained to his bed. But once the seriousness of his diagnosis became clear, the immigration officials gave him papers to be released from detention so that his medical bills would not be their responsibility. He was left in the hospital without clothes, shoes, or a coat.
 
UTUUC's Immigration and Refugee Resettlement Team met with leaders of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church to explore the possibility of providing sanctuary to someone in need. Donal's case was presented, and the two churches agreed to take Donal into our care as he does not have any close relatives here in the United States. We agreed that St. Christopher's will provide the space and UTUUC will provide the lion's share of the support.
 
Today Donal is being moved to St. Christopher's Episcopal Church. Last night, members of our IRR team set up his room with furnishings and some clothing. Our Immigration and Refugee Response Team has already shared a link to a page of what he currently needs. Already much has been provided. Password: 60304. You can learn what else is needed HERE
 
A meal train has been set up to provide him meals. You can access that HERE.
 
There is also a need for companionship and emotional support. The opportunities are listed HERE(Note, PASSWORD for all three is 60304.)
 
This is a very real and human way our congregation can be of support to a fellow human being in need.
 
What better way to participate in hope during this Holiday Season. Here are some readings for your reflection.
 
Warmly,
Rev. Alan Taylor
 
 

Hope rises. It rises from the heart of life, here and now, beating with joy and sorrow. Hope longs. It longs for good to be affirmed, for justice and love to prevail, for suffering to be alleviated, and for life to flourish in peace. . . . Hope can be disappointed especially when it is individual rather than shared, or when - even as shared aspiration - it encounters entrenched opposition. To thrive, hope requires a home, a sustaining structure of community, meaning, and ritual. Only with such a habitation can hope manifest the spiritual stamina it needs to confront evil, endure through trouble, and "hold fast to that which is good."

- from House of Hope by John Buehrens and Rebecca Parker

 

The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before... .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God's [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.
 
- from Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas by Jan Richardson

 

I still value hope, but I see it as only part of what's required, a starting point. Think of it as the match but not the tinder or the blaze. To matter, to change the world, you also need devotion and will and you need to act. Hope is only where it begins.
- from The Case for Hope by Rebecca Solnit