Weaving the Web: Gather in Peace, Gather in Thanks . . .

” . . . gather in sympathy now and then. Gather in hope, compassion and strength, gather to celebrate once again.”

This is what we do–we are a congregation, and we congregate for all these purposes and more. It is good to be together. Even we introverts like to know we’re not the only ones, and may sit quietly at the back or listen from our Zoom square.

On May 5, UUCPA hosts the Human Library’s first appearance in Palo Alto. This international phenomenon brings people together with “Human Books” who are open to having a vulnerable dialogue about what it’s like to be them: autistic, transgender, Muslim, bipolar, disabled . . . Come unjudge someone and feel your world expand.

Also on May 5, the Empty Nest Parent Group meets for the first time. Your nest doesn’t have to be completely empty! If your relationship with one or more of your children is shifting to adult-adult, and your relationship with your community is shifting away from the network of parents of school-aged kids, you may occasionally wonder, what now? You’re not alone. Come be with people who get it.

And also on May 5! We dance the Maypole on the labyrinth in the front garden, as we do every year. Come celebrate spring together in the Pagan spirit.

Throughout the week every week, we gather in so many other ways, of which these are just a few:

to talk about books, events, and ideas (Forum)

to sing together (Harmonic Circle) (and choir) (and Sacred Harp Shape Note Singing )

to go deep, invited by a few poetic words (Sacred Text Reading)

to connect about important topics and share our lives (Chalice Circles)

to be with other people who share our experience of being a parent, a person of color, a humanist, a woman, a man

to talk about books (Sci-Fi / Fantasy Discussion Group)

to sit in silence (Saturday Meditation).

and did I mention talking about books?

When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we particularly need to be with others who are also mourning the person we love. I know I will see many of you at the celebration of the life of Bill Hilton, husband of Kristi Iverson, which is set for Saturday, June 22, at 1 pm.

On Sunday, September 1, at a time to be determined, we will celebrate the life of Dick Clark, husband of Glenda Jones.

And on Saturday, June 15, at 11:30, Pat LandmanHerriot invites her friends and family to join her in remembering her husband Bob.

As the Zulu expression “ubuntu” wisely reminds us, each of us is a person through our being people together. “I am because we are”: even when we are alone, we constitute one another and draw our being from each other. Thank you for helping us each be ourselves.