At our Thanksgiving multigenerational Community Hour, Director of Family Ministry Michelle McKenzie-Creech led us in a bit of magic, asking us to use our imagination (and some technological know-how) to answer the question, "What about UUCMC are you thankful for this year?" We migrated in real time to another website to enter the sources and objects of our thankfulness, and—voilà!—the word cloud you see above was generated by our intentional energy.

The cloud itself is a crazy quilt of everything we brought to the exercise, assembled in a graspable way, like a piece of art symbolizing our ongoingly created community. The very process of assembling a representation of thankfulness for our community demonstrates a lot about what it takes to create that community—that it starts with the active imagination of all involved. This was not the expressed point of the November exercise, but it all came back to me as I pondered our January congregational theme of Imagination in the context of our upcoming February theme of Beloved Community: what does it take to imagine ourselves into community? I will be suggesting that, at the very least—and this requirement is also the fulfillment of the project—it takes all of us.

Remove one word from the cloud, and the artwork is changed, the community garden is altered. Join together with others in emphasizing a particular word, and the size of that word in the cloud increases—but no words in the cloud ever completely disappear. Our cloud of witnessing members and friends is ever changing, ever shifting in its beauty, in its textures, in its emphases—all generated by the use of imagination in service to one another and to the community of our creation.

I offer a poem by Australian aboriginal poet John Graham that uses a tactile metaphor to express the yearning toward community:

The braille of our nation’s Soul
Like someone putting their hand up
Like someone digging deep
The braille of our nation’s Soul
You feel it across all communities
And all communities feel it
Feeling our way, young and old
We’re all feeling our way,
For a feeling called home
The nature of our tears,
is to find a home in each other’s eyes,
find some reason, some way,
between the tides
The nature of our blood is to find,
every other heart that’s not our own,
and still recognise home

See you Sunday, in community,

Rev. Craig
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January 31, 2021

Imagining Ourselves into Community

Rev. Craig Rubano

What does it take to become the world about which we dream? Rounding out an inspirational month in our lives, we take some time to celebrate our progress and to step boldly down new paths of mutually accountable community.

Music by Elaine Held, Thomas Cannizzaro,
Kirsten Norberg, Richard Sachs, and Rev. Craig

Thank you for your support of UUCMC as we bring our current situation into focus.