Imagine 2021

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by Colleen Appel

“Maybe our most important work is to re-imagine imagination,” writes Scott Tayler about this month’s Soul Matters theme. Colleen Appel asked congregants to submit images and six word descriptions about what they imagine for 2021 and pulled them together in this Sunday’s message.

View the special slideshow by clicking the button below.

Our Opening words today come from the article “Imagination in the Time of Pandemic: This is when ‘pretend’ really comes in handy,” by Cathy Malchiodi.

Imagining what the future will bring post-pandemic is daunting for most of us. Our brains are wired to choose negative scenarios over positive ones. I know that my worst days so far have been those on which I cannot visualize anything other than my current narrative—unending physical distancing, donning a mask to go pick up groceries, and staring at the computer screen for yet another meeting, webinar, or session with a patient. But in order to get through this marathon, we now must begin to see beyond it with not only imagination, but also with a sense of self-efficacy. What I call “pretend skills” are key to how we will arrive at the finish line months from now…

Morning Has Come
Words and Music: Jason Shelton
Used with Permission
Performed by Eva Riebold

Soon the Day Will Arrive
Words: Ehud Manor
Music: Nurit Hirsch
Performed by This is LEA and Jason Kaufman
Shared with Permission

Auld Lang Syne
Trad. Scottish Folk Song
Words by Robert Burns
Public Domain Work
Performed by Emily McKinney

Meditation on Loving Kindness
Words: Trad. Metta Lovingkindness Meditation
Music by Emily McKinney
Performed by the First UU Virtual Choir

Our closing words are “Be generous with your dreaming…” by Gretchen Haley

Cast your vision here
in the middle of the hardest moment
the turning of the new year –
this life with so much worth
saving, this fragile faith –
For the children born
now, into the world as it is
with the threat of war and whole continents
still, while the memory lingers
of holidays chaotic
and miraculous
into this day,
offer the vision you’ve
tried to talk yourself down from,
your wildest dream,
your audacious aims,
the beauty that whispers to you
to follow, and build, and become
For this world coming undone
by distraction, and greed
and fear – this world
divided by made-up borders
fake fights
and all that needs forgiveness –
Here, stir up your steadfast hope
your resolute clarity of what remains
possible – be generous
with your dreaming
and brave –
All paths to the future
are born in this courage
of imagination – this willingness
to shed, to salvage, to
start again
to be this blessing
for each other
to be this blessed.

Categories: Sermon