October 1 is one of my anniversaries with Unitarian Universalism -- probably the most important one. October 1, 2006 was the first time I attended a UU worship service, in the congregation where I was to find my spiritual home. The congregation that loved me and called me to ministry, again and again. The congregation that ordained me along with my internship congregation. The place that has mapped itself on my heart as what a UU church and a UU congregation are -- and what they have been and what they will be.
October is also the beginning of a roller coaster of honoring dates in my heart, body, and mind. Birthdays for friends and family, death anniversaries for friends and family, "gotcha day" for my beloved cat Paisley who I had to put down earlier this year, so many holidays, as well as liturgical events, like Ingathering and Water Communion.
Back at home in Ohio, my family members are using words like "pants" and "wind chill," and I can imagine the air becoming crisp and I know the leaves will begin to change soon. Halloween is a beloved holiday in my family, extra because it was one of my grandmother's birthdays, and I think about trick or treating as a child -- at least once bundled in a winter coat and walking through the snow. (My guess is that was a short-lived outing).
October also marks one year that this congregation has been reopened for worship, after being closed for a year and a half with the pandemic. There's been a shift in energy in the last couple of weeks. Last year we waited to do Ingathering and Water Communion until October, when the church was reopened, and are continuing that tradition this year as folx seem to settle back in about this time.
Our spiritual theme for October is Courage. Worship will be fun, with Erin Powers returning October 2, Ingathering and Water Communion on October 9 -- this will be our first multigenerational worship service! -- and other fun services in the works. We also have some great activities coming up, including Coffee Hour Trivia on October 9. We'll be telling stories of courage this month. What are your stories of courage, past and present, to share? I'm looking forward to what this year brings -- and to seeing you soon!