T is for Thin Places

Dear friends,

It’s getting darker earlier, again. The leaves have begun to flame into that bright beauty that cannot last. By the end of the month, children will wander around as ghosts and pumpkins, hoping for something sweet.

It’s that seasonal transition of harvest and liminality, in which mortality (our own, but also the evanescence baked into the entire natural world) starts to show through, like worn elbows on a favorite old jacket. In Celtic spirituality, there’s a name for this phenomenon, where heaven and earth brush up against one another: thin places. “Heaven and earth,” a Celtic saying goes, “are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter.” I think of October as a kind of “thin place” in our calendar year — a thin season.

This October, our worship hinges around the apt theme of “Meaning and Mortality.” We’ll be exploring how an awareness and appreciation of our own finitude and fragility can help ground and illuminate that which we hold most dear. As stores hang skeletons in their windows in their annual playful flirtation with the macabre, we hope to provide something similar but different: a safe, spacious container within which to dance with the reality of our impermanence while affirming what we cherish about living and why.

Speaking of which, we look forward to a much anticipated Forum following worship on October 29, on “What Matters Most,” in which our own Rosemary Lloyd will guide us through a gentle introduction to end-of-life conversations… with workshop opportunities for deeper engagement to follow.

Look forward to seeing you this thin season, with all your sacredness shining through!

With love,
Kit and Nate

P.S. A reminder from the other end of the circle-of-life, about our upcoming parental leave: Kit is nearing “full term” and plans to work up as close to the baby’s arrival as possible, as long as all continues well. If the baby arrives near his due date of October 27, we will begin our parental leave then. Nate plans to be on leave through November, returning in time for Advent. Kit plans to be on leave through mid-January or so. Of course, our plans may shift up or back depending on when he makes his grand entrance. We will certainly keep you posted. (This Sunday Oct 8, we’ll just be at a wedding – so don’t be too excited by our absence!)

During the month of November, Ministry Associate Sarah Klockowski will be acting head of staff. First Parish member Rev. Rosemary Lloyd will also be providing pastoral care support throughout our parental leave, as well as preaching once. We are grateful to the church for the gift of this time, and to our lay leaders and staff for providing extra leadership as we care for our new child.

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