Dear beloved community,
An author I enjoy talks about the gauntlet that is May for parents of kids – with all its graduations, proms, appreciation weeks, celebrations, toasts to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. “I just want you to remind yourself,” she says rather cheekily, “you could run marathons; you could climb Mount Everest; because you have figured out how to get through May with kids.” (Relatable content for me!)
Yet, May and its sister June bring with them another set of markers – those of Mother’s and Father’s Day. And for so many, these holidays lack the wry amusement of that aforementioned gauntlet. Rather, Mother’s and Father’s Day are days of dread, of stinging reminders of grief, or loss, or heartache, or abandonment, or emptiness, or severed relationships, or unmet expectations, or … or … or. Countless of us have experienced the complicated at best, painful at worst emotions that surface when facing these holidays.
For you — for all of us – we will hold a time of worship called “Forever Beloved: A time of worship for all the complicated feelings that Mother’s and Father’s Day evoke.” Simple and spare, our worship will unfold around tables in Kelly Auditorium, where we’ll share stories and communion, prayers and silence, blessing and healing, all wrapped in the hope we know from God in whom we are forever beloved. We’ll gather between the two holidays – on Wednesday, May 31, from 6–6:45pm – a day of added resonance in the Christian life as it is the day we mark Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth with complicated feelings and disorienting news of an overshadowing Spirit and a stirring in her womb.
If you’re someone who has lost a parent or child, has lived with infertility or infant loss or the inability to become a parent, has suffered or grieved the fraying of a relationship with parent or child, has felt isolated in the particularities of your struggle with parent or child, or simply needs a space to process and lament and grieve and hope for these foundational roles in life, our Forever Beloved worship service is for you. As May turns toward June and all the promise that summer holds, I hope you’ll join us; your presence and story will honor our shared worship!
In all things, may gratitude toward our Holy Parent whose love for us never, ever ends guide us through the days and weeks to come.
Together in God’s work of Love,