May: A Month for Celebration

Minister’s Blog, by Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa  

It might seem too early to celebrate when we are still in the midst of a pandemic, still witnessing acts of violence and injustice all around us, and feeling uncertain about the future. And yet there are so many reasons to celebrate in order to nourish our sense of hope. I keep going back to Chardi Kala, a Sikh practice which encourages us to maintain a positive and joyful spirit even as we experience fear, grief, illness, and loss.

My friend and colleague Valarie Kaur teaches us that Chardi Kala is not about the future, but about the present and that we last if we are grounded in Chardi Kala: “It’s a way of moving through the world. Grieving with others, fighting with and for others, loving and rising up with others… If we can live into the spirit of Chardi Kala now, we can create pockets of revolutionary love in our homes, in our classrooms, and in our communities…”

My prayer for this month and every day, is that we try not to forget all the reasons we have for celebrating: The gift of life, being surrounded by loving friends and family, our courage to keep moving forward despite the heartbreaks, our strength to help ourselves and others, our compassion to lift someone’s spirits, our loving hearts, the people and things that bring us joy, and this loving community that embraces both our laughter and our tears.

During this month we will create spaces to celebrate our Volunteers, our Moms, our shared Ministerial journey, our work for Peace and Justice, and our Pride. The invitation is to express our gratitude as we lift up all the people that bring the spirit of Chardi Kala into our hearts.