[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”37836″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/DKGmIZThFTk” el_width=”80″ align=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Back when COVID started, we thought for sure, by the fall, we’d be re-opening our church.  Just like when we were getting-by in online school last spring – we could “get by” because we’d be re-opening by fall.  But here we are, and we’re not sure if or how or when we can re-open any of these “normal” gatherings safely.

There’s so much uncertainty and anxiety it can feel like we can’t make any decisions about anything – like life is just on hold.  Everything we thought would be one way, is something else, and a lot of our usual coping tools are cut off.  So, how do we keep our hearts open in this time when it feels like we’d be better off shutting off and shutting down?

And that’s not just about the pandemic.  It’s also just life all the time – shifts in relationships, health, jobs, safety – the shifts that even when they lead to happy new beginnings still come with a lot of loss that can be really destabilizing and disorienting.  How do we keep growing and learn to love life – even when it feels like life isn’t doing such a good job of loving you back?

Our series kicking off on August 23rd explores this question and offers guidelines for re-opening your heart.  Together we’ll name and release all that is ending or has ended.  We will cultivate patience with all that is unknown.  And prepare ourselves for what’s yet to emerge.

In the midst of all that’s changing around us, we need to equally tend to the shifts happening within us. So that we can feel the presence of courageous love that is here, and respond even now to its call.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Series Spiritual Practice

At the heart of this series is our week of Water Communion! This ritual will invite us to release both as indviiduals 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 particiapte 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!

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.


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 acknowledges the waiting we are doing together, and connects us in with our longing for the world that is emerging.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”37928,37915,37914,37913″ img_size=”full”][vc_message icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-heart”]Join us online every Sunday at 9am & 11am at foothillsuu.org/livestream![/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/bDNVtSKLe-Y”][vc_column_text]

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 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.


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