My prayer this season is that through the holy darkness of winter's rest we will be renewed for the loving tasks of caring for the earth and for one another. This was the theme of Starr King's Symposium 2013, "Loving our Earth" held in August. Enclosed are two gifts for you: a montage of music and images showing the beauty and spirit of Symposium 2013 and a poem from me composed for the winter solstice, building on the Symposium's themes:
A Winter Blessing
In the shadowed quiet of winter's light
earth speaks softly
of her longing.
Because the wild places are in tears.
Come, she cries to us.
Kneel down here
on the frosty grass,
and feel the prayer buried in the ground.
Bend your ear to my heart
and listen hard.
Love this world, she whispers.
Distill peace from the snow
and water the cities
Weave wonder from the forest
and clothe grief
Rest in the rhythm of the turning year,
Trace the bending arc
Rounding the curve toward justice.
And vow anew to do no harm.
The winter trees stand watch
haloed in the last gleams of the slanting sun.
Glory sings here.
Heaven echoes the call:
Repeat the sounding joy.
Make your life an answer:
Symposium 2013 montage - Loving Our Earth (4:49)
Symposium 2013 was just one of the ways that Starr King School for the Ministry is building a hopeful future. Please consider making a year-end gift today from our secure donation page.
One of our students captured her learning this way:
"There is no individual salvation; there won't be winners and losers in this world. We're all in this life together and I believe it's our job as religious leaders to change people's hearts, to pull us out of our individual preoccupations and into community."
- Laurel Gray, SKSM M.Div. student
"Through the Symposium, I learned that environmental justice hinges on our ability to acknowledge the interconnection of race and class inequalities with environmental injustices, the need for an economic and cultural paradigm shift and personal responsibility... Knowing this allows me to find my voice and use it to make a difference."
- Amanda Weatherspoon, SKSM M.Div. Student
And a graduate celebrated:
"Symposium was a much needed refresher in the prophetic love that embodied my Starr King experience as a student... I returned to my work and communities with a clearer sense of hope, and a renewed capacity to fiercely engage the world with love, for the liberation of all beings."
- J. Tyson Casey, MASC grad, 2010
Collaborator at LeaderSpring, Rockwood Leadership Institute
Your year-end gift in support of Starr King's mission to educate people for Unitarian Universalist ministry and progressive religious leadership for society will enable us to continue to inspire and educate the spiritual leaders who will bring more love, joy, compassion, justice and peace to the world.
For me, there is no greater priority than the education of our future religious leaders. I warmly invite you to join me in a gift that honors their devotion to a life of courageous love.