Join “Twinkle” Marie Porter-Manning this weekend at the Second Annual Fall Folk Festival at The Commons in Dover-Foxcroft. In addition to her Women of Spirit, Exploring Sacred Paths of Wisdom Keepers anthology, “Twinkle” will be debuting two newly published books: The original “Blessing Book”for women’s rituals and “Family Blessing Book,” ((Scroll to bottom of page for links)).
“Twinkle” will also have select pieces of one-of-a-kind art, goddess-jewelry, and holiday ornaments available.
I am so grateful to have seen this video in my YouTube queue today.
Rev. Bishop Carlton Pearson is an affiliate minister of All Souls Tulsa UU. I’ve shared his work many times. He is an evangelical minister ordained in other traditions and brings with him a metaphysical approach to Unitarian Universalism similar to the one I bring. At this moment, given recent collegial happenings, this message resonates profoundly with me. He speaks of what covenant is, with ourselves and with each other. He talks about the importance of agreement and the even greater importance of disagreement. He reminds us that we are committed to diversities, and that, “We have to agree to disagree in order to be in covenant. You cannot be in covenant unless you make a decision to disagree on certain points.”
Rev. Pearson emphasizes this with a quote Alfred P. Sloan, American business executive and CEO who built sustained business through agreement, “If we are all in agreement on the decision, then I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about.”
And, with emotion, he reminds us how important it is to honor our covenants and our bonds with each other. That we need each other. That we are divine.
This year we did not create our ofrendas and other altars for the dead. Instead during this season that houses two important family traditions, Samhain and Día de los Muertos, we kept our altar space intact as it is everyday with family portraits and pictures of our lost family members posed in celebration with us while they were still alive. We did not single any nor all out for altars dedicated to our deceased loved ones. Not this year. We wanted to keep everyone together, if only in pictures and our memories. Our recent loss is too deep to do otherwise, and impossible to articulate beyond that. There was trick-or-treating on Halloween, and the children did beautiful Day of the Dead arts and crafts. (the skulls below done by Orion and friend). We told stories. We danced. And we rested.
Samhain, Samhain, let the ritual begin, We call upon our sacred ancestors to come in Samhain, Samhain, we call upon our kin, We call upon our dear departed loved ones to come in
The Veil between the worlds is thin Our hearts reach cross the sea of time To bring our loved ones in Samhain, Samhain we honor all our kin We honor those who’ve gone before As the Great Wheel turns again
They sat with me for hours in this spot. Sometimes talking. Much of the time just being still, gazing at Autumn’s tranquil beauty and listening to the sounds of the Lake.
For some this may look like healing.
I know with experienced certainty it is not.
This, this is the perpetual triage of raw grief.
Keep the body still.
Regulate the breath.
Quiet the mind.
Assess the wound.
Allow tears, laughter or lethargy to come.
Keep in check the anger.
When there is energy, do something useful, purposeful.
Ardently cradle the sorrow when it assails.
Thank you to everyone who has brought us meals, and sent us cards, and held me in your arms or with your spirit. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. You are a blessing to us, to me. Thank you.
Rev. Kate Braestrup is an ordained UU Minister residing in Maine. She has helped countless people cope with acute trauma and navigate unimaginable grief. Her viral video on The Moth Radio Hour introduced millions to our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. She has received many accolades and awards for her work in the mental health field. She has been given an award by the UUA recognizing her contribution to religious liberalism. Recently she has shared this blog post.
Two questions that are paramount: Who can claim Unitarian Universalism as their own…and who is claimed (or rejected) by Unitarian Universalism? What are the standards for UUs in general in regards to how we are to treat each other?
Due to the tragic death in our family, many of our Autumn-time events have been cancelled or postponed, including retreats in Pittsfield and on Moosehead Lake. If you were registered for an event, please see your inbox for details or message us. The monthly women’s book group at Twinkle’s Place will resume in December. Weekly silent meditations and Hygge teas will begin in November.
Events and speaking engagements that will remain as scheduled include:
Pulpit supply of previously scheduled Sunday mornings (see calendar for dates and times);
Maine Municipal Association presentation on October 3rd;
Orion’s Hallowe’en Party, Día de los Muertos crafts and storytelling, and our annual Samhain Ritual.