Minister’s Message – Light a Candle

As I write this, still pre-Thanksgiving day, I am even now filled with the gratitude of this congregation’s generosity at our Thanksgiving intergenerational service. So many people brought canned goods for South Hayward parish and such a number contributed to the special collection to help sustain the food program. We collected $1300 from just this one Sunday service. I felt proud to deliver the food and funds to the director. We have a generous community.

Yes, this is the time of the year when we consider generosity of spirit, when gift-giving sits at the top of our lists of important undertakings, when we not only think of ourselves, and our loved ones, but acknowledge those around us who may be struggling, this year especially. In the months of November and December in particular, we are encouraged and requested to give. With all of the various stresses that come with the many demands during this time, our giving as a gathered community seems like one of the major antidotes to that worry. When Sharon, Lane and I reflected together after worship that day, we were filled with the warmth and energy you inspired in the service. We can carry on this warmth and energy as we move through this holiday month and into the coming year.

It’s good for us to remember that the fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose. More than that, these gifts demonstrate our faith in action. This congregation lives our values through gifts to the community all year long through its special plates. I wonder what other ways we can reach out? The theme for our worship this month “Light One Candle,” was inspired by the song written by Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary. Yarrow wrote the song celebrating the Macabbee’s fight for justice and the continuing search for justice of the Jewish people. He wrote it in 1985 for the peace process in Israel.

We haven’t yet reached peace in Israel nor in other areas in the Middle East, but as we light one candle or give one gift, or Welcome a Guest at Your Table, or continue to remember that our efforts matter, we will carry on our mission of making a difference in the world. The song’s chorus repeats the lyrics and ends with those same words, “Don’t let the light go out!” May we too, keep our light shining bright and strong. With the Love and Light inspired by the season,

Love, Katie