Hello fellow travelers!
What a journey we are on. It’s almost Friday, and the night sky is clear and beautiful in Austin. It’s hard to believe that the same natural world renders things like hurricanes, or a deadly virus, into being. As the fall approaches, I feel and observe the accumulated fatigue in my own life and in many around me. Gearing up for a virtual semester feels a bit like the sentiment in this New Yorker cartoon: that is, skeptical and resistant. And yet inspiration and perseverance are all around us and in our midst. I find it in our community every week, and further afield I found these bits to help us take heart:
*With so much changing daily, let us not forget:
–The struggles that continue around our country for racial justice
-The deep toll that Coronavirus is taking on communities near and far
-The recent upending of so many lives in the wake of Hurricane Laura.
*I found this article on a renegade priest in Brooklyn important and inspiring as we learn to live in thoughtful solidarity with all the undocumented folks experiencing this crisis within deeply complicated and difficult circumstances. A long read but worth it!
*News of this fishing boat made headlines and provided some much-needed encouragement that herd immunity may be happening whether we pursue it or not.*This enterprising school teacher in Iowa encourages us to see the non-binary possibilities of educating kids this fall. It reminded me that ingenuity might still play a role in some of these overwhelming situations yet!
*May God give each of us the fortitude, and the joy, of Mabel Owens Clarke.
*I’m not sure who I find more compelling in this story: The tortoise with quarantine angst who daringly made a break for it, or the community that wouldn’t rest until he was home.
*Congregation and community life is all about shared life, shared grief and shared work. How are we actualizing this during the pandemic and how might we yet? I appreciated this heartwarming (and very Austin) story of how time and space blurred for one woman to create a deep sense of connection during the pandemic.
*This fantastic idea featured in the always-uplifting Good News Movement seemed like a great way to pair students at home with others in need for the communal good (and school credit!)*I loved this opinion piece from a Lutheran pastor in The New York Times, charging us to embrace this scattering journey, and in a sense, communalize the idea of our isolation as a collective call to adventure, change and finding God’s next new thing. It seemed like a helpful re-framing as we consider the call of this time in community life.
Rest well friends. Here’s a beauty of a poem by Jean Toomer to take you into next week. May our common landscape, no matter how bleak, continue to bloom with grace and may we be granted the wisdom to wonder.
Wishing you a lovely and restorative weekend,