Of the many insights I have drawn from these past difficult years, one that stands out for me is the need to learn how to live within a world of varied opinions and experiences. We live within real differences and, yes, divisions. How do we live in a world rife with conflict, differences, and division when so much seems to be at stake?

In the coming months, I invite us all into an extended journey to reflect together on this theme of encountering difference. How do we respond to people different than ourselves? Why?

There are many kinds of differences that can be explored, and I hope many will be considered in the coming months. As a religious community, it feels fitting that one place to start is to explore religious difference. In the coming year, each month will feature a different religion in printed resources, social
media, worship, and programming.

As we embark on this new program year, my hope is that we grow in our capacities to name, celebrate, manage, and encounter differences within and beyond our walls as a community. As we do so, may we also hold fast to our vision to be a vibrant, multi-generational community and a sanctuary for diverse beliefs and passions, joyfully offering our hearts and hands to foster a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world.

This post is an excerpt from the Rev Dr. Stephanie May’s September newsletter article.