Sun, 29 January 2023
Last weekend, we carried an awareness of the grieving communities in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California. Then, on Monday, two high school students were shot and killed at a charter school in Des Moines, Iowa in an apparent feud between rival gangs. Three days, three shootings, three settings: community dance center, workplace, and school. As a nation, we hold space, tending these open wounds, these seemingly unending cycles of violence. And we are back to that question: What is it about our society that so effectively waters the seeds of violence in us?
Sun, 22 January 2023
Last week, the completely terrifying and avoidable tragedy of Larry Eugene Price’s 2021 death in an Arkansas jail came to light. As shocking as his story is, the painful reality is that we have managed to create a society where these kinds of tragedies happen with horrific regularity. The settings change: prisons, hospitals, schools, workplaces, religious institutions, homes. The relationships between the inequities and oppressive systems shift emphasis: race, gender, class and poverty, disability, age, sexuality, and more. And each person’s story is unique, but these experiences also form a pattern. Understanding those patterns, and transforming them into action, is the continual responsibility for all communities of resistance, so that everyone can have a chance to recover wholeness and health.
Sun, 15 January 2023
It’s easy to divide the world up into the foolish and the wise. It’s harder to take the time to really discern how our actions impact one another. We easily forget that our friendships train our minds. Whom we spend time with is also a question of how we spend our time. What activities do we do together? What do we talk about? Where do we go? The people in our lives both reflect and influence what we think is important, how we treat one another, how we understand life and the world, for good or for ill. Being intentional about community helps us create habits the help and heal, instead of harm.
Sun, 8 January 2023
We continue to face head-on the injustice in the world, because honestly engaging with that suffering is essential to change. But we also understand that this emphasis alone can be disheartening and exhausting. If we are going to have the energy to carry us through, to keep working together to help birth a beautiful, caring, and just world, then we must be equally committed to cultivating our wellbeing in the present moment. During January and February, David will be offering reflections on the Buddha’s “Discourse on Happiness,” with the hope of helping us explore ways we can encourage each other to cultivate happiness and wellbeing right now, even as we continue to engage with and transform the injustice and cruelty of the world.
Sun, 1 January 2023
New Year's resolutions can be a very meaningless exercise unless you take seriously the awareness that we really can change ourselves by conscious decision. This sermon addresses the substantive need to take personal responsibility for the path we are following.