Reopening (Your Heart): Series

Gretchen's Introduction to this Series

Join us this Sunday, August 23, 2020
as we kick off our new series, Re-opening (Your Heart)

After the services, we’ll be hosting a drive-by for all parents and children and all others who are beginning a new school year, starting at 12:30 pm.
This all-online home-based school year brings a lot of anxiety and challenge for a lot of us. I mean, how can we keep our hearts open when we’re barely keeping it all together??

One way you can help is to share a blessing from you to our kids as they start the year. Film yourself with your blessing and submit it here. We’ll compile your blessings into a video we share with all Foothills’ families. Just a few moments of seeing you rooting for them – I know it might not seem like it, but I promise, it’ll make a difference!

Sundays in this Series 

Series Spiritual Practice

At the heart of this series is our week of Water Communion! This ritual will invite us to release both as individuals and as a whole community all that we need to release in order to make space for what is newly emerging.

The first of our opportunities for you to participate in this week starts this Sunday – so be sure to check out foothillsuu.org/watercommunion right away! Find your site, and let us know when you’re coming!

Gretchen's Invitation to Water Communion

Beyond the collective ritual of water communion, to explore the messages of this series more fully throughout the series, you might practice (as many times as you’d like throughout the series) what writer Francis Weller describes as Speaking to the Earth.

In this practice, go to a place outdoors where you feel utterly safe.

Then, dig an opening in the earth big enough to place your whole hand in.  Say some words of gratitude to the earth for its capacity to receive whatever you need to set down.

Then, let the earth know what you need.  Say as much or as little as you’re able.

Then, lie on your belly, placing your hands into the opening you’ve dug as you do, and speak, weep, cry, or scream your grief into the earth.

Know she is able to take it in, and she will reshape it into nutrients for new life.  When you are done, thank the earth for her loving and holding.

And then close the opening back to how you found it as much as possible.

Those who try this often report feeling lighter and moved by the goodness of the earth and her witness.  Try it out, see how it impacts you.

Opportunities Beyond Sunday 

Guiding Music

We’ve taken a break from our theme song practice – where we choose a song for each series that we sing or perform in every Sunday in the series – but we’re excited to return to this idea for this series.  We’ve chosen one of our hymns – #146, Soon the Day Will Arrive – as produced by the artist ThisisLEA.  It’s a song that acknowledges the waiting we are doing together and connects us in with our longing for the world that is emerging.

Explore Further

A lot of this series will be delving into William Bridges’ classic work, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s a great time!

We’re also going to be working a lot with grief and with endings in this series.  One great resource you should check out is The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller.  It’s the source of the spiritual practice described above and has a bunch of other practical and poetic resources for working with grief and keeping the heart fully open.

If you haven’t yet watched the film, The Farewell, even though we aren’t dealing directly with the end of life as this film does, the film is also about the question of how we can keep living fully, even in the face of endings.  It’s also just a great film – check it out

Look for Sunday Follow-Ups in the Monday Worship Email

The service on Sunday is just 1 of 168 hours in your week.

Which means that the way to make Sunday have a real impact on our lives, we need to find ways to bring it into the rest of the week. One of the ways we’re doing this is through Monday’s email containing all the major elements of the service. We’ll also be adding in a few resources to check out, as well as questions for contemplation or conversation.

We hope this offers you a touchstone throughout your week to return to and to go deeper – and to pass it on to a friend who you think would appreciate it.

We’ll also post resources throughout the series at foothillsuu.org/reopeningseries