ACPE's weekly digest to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
September 18, 2017
Trace Informal
ACPE's Monday Briefing is a weekly digest from ACPE Executive Director Trace Haythorn
Each week you will receive related articles and updates on ACPE transitions. Also included are helpful links to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
So much cleanup in Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Prayers for all those affected. Thanks for your patience while the national office staff catches up after power loss throughout metro Atlanta. We are deeply grateful that members of our communities and families are safe and that despite significant damage the result was not as bad as predicted.

Shanah Tovah to our Jewish sisters and brothers this Rosh Hashanah!
Last call for Registrations!
If you haven't registered for your region's fall meeting, please click here. There are big plans for celebrations and times of remembering. We hope you can attend!
Foundation Appeal
At least once a week, someone in the ACPE has an idea for a new program, for a creative innovation or for a new international partnership. Inevitably, the greatest barrier to making these ideas become realities is funding. Help us make these possibilities become realities by participating in the annual campaign. To learn more, click here .
A Poem for Reflection
With thanks to Board of Directors Chair-Elect Amy Greene for introducing me to this poem, I offer it as many of us are still awaiting power in our homes, cleaning up messes in our neighborhoods, and offering prayers of gratitude knowing it could have been so much worse. The following text accompanied this poem from Terrance Hayes from the September 8, 2017 edition of the New York Times Magazine.

"This poem speaks with the authority of a sermon. A case for divine imperfection is made from the pulpit. Pretend you are in the audience, a member of a strange congregation. Is the preacher reprimanding your devotion, is she praising the gods' humanity, is this a call for spiritual revolt? Unfortunately, you are not allowed to raise your hand with questions during a sermon. Instead the message must be absorbed, inhaled, hummed and pondered in the quiet after the service." 
"Even the Gods" by Nicole Sealy

Even the gods misuse the unfolding blue. Even the gods misread
the windflower's nod toward sunlight as consent to consume. Still,
you envy the horse that draws their chariot. Bone of their bone.
The wilting mash of air alone keeps you from scaling Olympus
with gifts of dead or dying things dangling from your mouth -
your breath, like the sea, inching away. It is rumored gods grow
where the blood of a hanged man drips. You insist on being this
man. The gods abuse your grace. Still, you'd rather live among
the clear, cloudless white, enjoying what is left of their ambrosia.
Who should be happy this time? Who brings cake to whom?
Pray the gods do not misquote your covetous pulse for chaos,
the black from which they were conceived. Even the eyes of gods
must adjust to light. Even gods have gods.
Something Extra
One of the earliest memories I have of my experience as a "basic" student in CPE is of how difficult it was to learn to talk about emotions. Developed by the Dalai Lama and emotion scientist Dr. Paul Ekman, the "Atlas of Emotions website offers tools "to help us better understand our emotions and their causes, our responses, and strategies on how to handle them." Check it out: Atlas of Emotions.
This Week on the Calendar
 Wednesday, September 20
*Ra's al-Sanat al-Hijriyah: Islamic New Year [First of Muharram] - Islam
Commemorating the migration of the prophet Muhammad and his small band of followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E., in order to escape persecution and to establish the first Muslim community. The Islamic year 1439 begins at sundown.

*Rosh Hashanah begins - Judaism
Beginning at sundown is New Year's Day for the year 5778 and the anniversary of the creation of the world. Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah with the blowing of the shofar (ram's horn) and apples and honey, marking it as the first of the Ten Days of Awe [or Repentance].

Thursday, September 21
*Navaratra or Navaratri Dusserha - Hinduism
The beginning of a nine-day festival of the divine mother, honoring Shiva's wife Durga and seeking her blessings. It is also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna. Fasting and prayer are practiced.

Friday, September 22 autumn equinox
*Shuki-sorei-sai - Shinto
A memorial service similar to the March equinox service (Shunki-sorei-sai), this day is marked by the cleaning and purification of gravesites and the reverence of ancestors as kami, or divine spirits.

*Ohigon - Buddhism
A celebration of the equinox that is of particular importance to Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan Buddhists. During this festival, the six Paramitas [virtues] are emphasized: generosity, morality, wisdom, honesty, endeavor, and patience.

*Autumn Feast - Native American spirituality
A day to honor the harvest end and the coming and going of the seasons, including prayers, songs, and the telling of tribal stories.

*Mabon [Harvest Home] - Wicca
Marking the second or continuing harvest, this festival celebrates life's encapsulation as a seed to survive the cold winter, as well as the Harvest of the Vine, which symbolizes the divine power to transform the nectar of youth into the wine of elders' wisdom and spiritual maturity.

Sunday, September 24
*Fast of Gedaliah - Judaism
A fast in memory of Gedaliah Ben Ahikam, the governor of Israel during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia, who was assassinated in 581 B.C.E. Following his death, the Jews who had returned to Judah fled to Egypt, thus vacating the land of a Jewish presence and completing the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem.
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