Tonight, in the suburb where I live, it was Midnight Madness. The main street was closed, there were food trucks and performers and the Christmas tree at the top of the hill had the lights turned on, and the main street was lit up and now, officially, the holiday season has begun.
Of course there are seasons and seasons. In New Zealand it is the end of high school exams, and the university year has finished, and summer is coming. In the US it is the post-election season, Thanksgiving is coming. In Canada Thanksgiving has been and gone, and in some places it is decidedly wintery, with the first snows falling. And in the church, Advent is almost upon us.
What’s the season at your place?
It is book launch season for some of our RevGals. Jan Richardson’s book of blessings for seasons of grief had its publication day this week.
Elizabeth Hagan’s book ‘Birthed’ has also been published, and there are reviews on several RevGal blogs: Martha Spong recommends the book “to women grappling with infertility, to doctors and nurses, to pastors and counselors, and to women who want to better understand how to be a friend and a support”. Amy Butler shares some of the foreword she wrote for the book, writing “this is a story about becoming fully human”. MaryAnn McKibben Daba has a Q & A with Elizabeth about her experience of writing the book.
Laura Stephens-Reed offers us questions for reflection in a time of crisis. Laura has generously made a pdf available of her graphic, and the questions are not only thought-provoking but hopeful and encouraging in seasons of fear or struggle.
In a season of intentional anti-racism work, Ashley Goff reflects on communion practice and disrupting the centre.
If you are in a season in which you need emboldening these words offered by Lindsay Freeman as she reflects on Huldah the prophet might be for you: “Do not hold back what you know to be true in your heart. Stand up and speak out, even when those around you might be uncomfortable. Don’t stay in the shadows of religious, political or social structures. With God as both your anchor and sail, speak the truth.
Melissa Bane Sevier invites us to be looking for light, even as we inherit it.
Whatever season you are experiencing right now, may you know God’s presence with you.
Jemma Allen is an Anglican priest and counsellor in Auckland, New Zealand. Her writing these days is mostly for her graduate research portfolio, but sometimes still on her blog.
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