Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Together is a good place to be!

By Rev. Jeanne Randall-Bodman, Pastor

January 4, 2023

New Years Invitations 2023 01 04
As many of you know - because I’m pretty open about it- the gloom of an Oregon winter is not something I look forward to. In order to prevent my brain from drifting into a gray fog to match the sky, I follow the good advice I received from a friend who grew up in Alaska: a full spectrum light every morning, lots of cheerful music and fresh cut flowers, and a walk outside every afternoon no matter what the sky is doing. This year I am adding pickle ball and a day or two of snow shoeing to my winter regimen as I look forward to spring and longer days. I stay vigilant.

One thing I don’t do is make New Year’s resolutions. I know that for some folks making resolutions is energizing and inspiring. All my previous attempts have felt more like ultimatums than inspiration, so I’ve given it up.

Instead, during this season of short days and often gray skies, I like to offer myself invitations. This year’s invitation: to spend more time reading the books I already own and have been looking forward to, but have not yet read, and the books I’ve started but set aside in favor of something else I thought I “should” be reading.

Up first: 

  • David J. Silverman’s “This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving”
  • Cole Arthur Riley’s “This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us”
  • Victoria Lopez’ “Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred.

If those titles sound intriguing to you, I invite you to join me.

I’d also love to know what resolutions, or invitations, are feeding your spirit right now.

One thing I know for sure, I am grateful to be entering another new year as part of our courageous, gentle-hearted, justice seeking community.