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Desert Notes

Love is our Doctrine. Service is our prayer. Justice is our calling.

Desert Notes

January 05, 2023

Happy New Year! 
Christmas seems like it was a month ago, which I think means I have had a good and full break, even in the short time I’ve been away.  We had a wonderful Family Christmas service with Christmas Yoga (you had to be there!), stories, songs, and Rev. Ms. Santa Claus who stood in for Santa (who was sick!)  Parents enjoyed having a space where children could be children.  Our evening candlelight service was full of joy and the gifts of music.  I was overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit that made this service possible.  It was perfect as a gift of presence.  My daughter, home from college, helped Libby in the tech booth as we were short handed.  Singers and musicians added rehearsals to their already busy schedules. Both my kids came early and stayed late, as did many members who welcomed attendees, counted money, performed music, and helped set up and clean up.  To me, this is what community is all about–being together, taking risks together, and offering to participate in creating an experience of connection and care.  I can’t wait to see what this next year brings!

A number of us also gathered to be with the Casillas family for a celebration of life for Marcos Casillas. What a gift it was to see the beautiful prints of Marcos’ photography of so many beautiful places!  Next to the mountains, with beautiful music, good food, many stories, and the comfort of family and friends, we shared all of what life has to offer–from joy and connection to loss and grief, humor and adventure and spiritual grounding.  It is always an honor to walk with each of you through life’s complex challenges and rewards.  

I had the opportunity to travel with my daughter to Chicago to retrieve a passport and visa for her international travel to Spain.  It made me appreciate the weather in Arizona, flights that don’t get canceled, free museums, public transportation (trains!) and so much more!  I know many of you traveled and some of you got stuck in the mess of weather and airline debacles.  I hope you are home safe now.  

As we move into the New Year and begin working on our budget for the next fiscal year, working in our sanctuary, and developing our partnerships with other congregations and organizations, there are so many ways we are growing and transforming!  This month we will gather together on the education side of our campus for Camp VUU, complete our new member class, start new faith formation classes, and continue planning our recovery from the impact of COVID.  How will you get involved?

In gratitude, Reverend Sarah