The concept of community can become so well worn that it is taken for granted as a social phenomenon and, perhaps, hardly considered spiritually. Recently, as the result of much work and discussion, USG was presented with an elegantly written statement of what community can mean to our religious Society. The document combined with a recent illness encouraged me to think deeply about the nature of a religious community and the place of faith in my USG membership. Tom Ott is privileged to serve as president of the Unitarian Society of Germantown and teaches English at Community College of Philadelphia.
It was less than one year ago when 17 year old Trayvon Martin was tragically and fatally shot dead. This violence happened within a landscape author Michelle Alexander has prophetically labeled “The New Jim Crow”. We have a raging
prison-industrial complex, public school systems like ours in Philadelphia gasping for breath, and a multitude of other policy challenges for disenfranchised folks. Within this context how do we say “No more Jim Crow, Remember Trayvon Martin, Remember Dr. King!”
The practice of mindfulness calls us to pay attention to and embrace what is and who we are now. Self-acceptance, however, does not come easily for most of us. As we begin again a new year, how can we mindfully cultivate deeper compassion for self and for the world?
Come celebrate with the energy of this six-piece Dixieland jazz group. In the New Orleans tradition, we will have a wake for the Old Year, lay down our burdens and lift our possibilities for the New Year. The spirit will be alive with great music
including “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.” The spiritual theme of the month is mindfulness. How can we mindfully let
go of the old and embrace the new?