David Miller lesser smile - 2by Rev. David A. Miller.

As we enter the uncharted waters of this post-election world – with so many uncertainties that can lead to stress and anxiety – I feel it’s important for us to be gentle with each other. Frustration with the status of the world may lead to frustration in our personal or communal lives that may not look like a reaction, but could have its roots in deeper fear and anxiety.

It is also an especially important time for us to be loving and welcoming at UUCF. We are a people of many preferences and opinions. There is no way for everyone to have things exactly as they wish they could be. There will be people attending UUCF in the coming weeks and months with vastly different perspectives and feelings about all kinds of issues and the invitation must be how we live into the love that resides at the core of this faith tradition. One thought that has always been a part of the 5th Principle for me is how do we stay in community and covenant when we don’t get our way? This is a question facing us right now in so many areas of life.

As we face these questions, fears and struggles, one of the benefits of being part of this community is the opportunity for grounding during difficult times. Let me invite us to consider how that might look in this holiday season. There will be much music and meaning to be found at UUCF this holiday season. Aside from the beautiful music in each service, there will be a special music service on Dec. 11. On Dec. 18, Peter Mayer will be here with a special holiday concert to share across all of our generations. We continue to have educational opportunities, meetings of our small groups and plenty of service opportunities including the 4th Annual Action of Witness for Gun Safety in front of the NRA on Dec. 14, 10-11 a.m.

As we navigate the emotional waters of family, shopping, events, our religious past, present and future, and the state of our nation, let us reflect on what we hope for in the world. If things are not currently feeling like they are moving in the direction we hope, they certainly will not if we do not model them with our thoughts and actions. How we model our actions and how we work to create the world for which we dream has deep ramifications for the future.

So, for this holiday season, I offer a prayer that I wrote 11 years ago and have shared every year – with a few little tweaks this year:

Let us wish for true peace for the world, a peace built on mutual need to create a sustainable earth for generations to come.
Let us wish for open hearts toward those in pain, for we are all one, and in this interconnected world, what happens to one truly does happen to all.
Let us wish for the blossoming of compassion, for all faiths have a compassionate core and all lives crave the kindness of others.
Let us wish for our lives, our homes, our congregations and our communities to be places where neighbor loves neighbor and we engage each other with open minds and open spirits.
Let us wish for love that “stands” firm in opposition to fear and othering and calls us all to our best selves.
Finally, I wish for you, your families, friends and loved ones, the gentleness of spirit that lies at the heart of the songs and rituals of the holidays. May that spread out beyond to touch us all.

This year, as every year before, I believe it takes more than wishing, now, let us begin.