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Time

My mind has been thinking about time and how it seems to be different now with all of what is happening. First there is COVID-19 and our stay-in-place semi-lockdown.  For those who have full-time jobs, and even for those who don't, we schedule things around moments in time.  Our lives are routine-based:  when we get up, when we eat, when we work, when we have time for family, when we have time to ourselves, when we sleep, etc.  When our routines are disrupted, many of us feel out of sorts or even lost.  What happened?  Why is this happening?  When is it (routine) coming back?  I've heard that there are many Americans who find it difficult to take a vacation, a real vacation of a week or two, because it takes them away from their work for too long.  As we are gradually allowed to come back to our former lives before COVID-19, perhaps we will have a better sense of time, our old time.  But then again, maybe time will never be the same.
     George Floyd was killed senselessly an…
Recent posts

Make even these days count

One of the most popular features on a local newscast of a small TV station is something rather surprising. It is a feature called- “The Day of the Week”.  Today is…….. Monday!  The station put forth this as a kind of joke at first, but it was so popular that it became a regular daily addition to the morning newscast.  Apparently, so many of us have lost track of what day it is that we need a reminder. During this stay-at-home time, every day seems to blend into the next.  It is truly difficult to remember how many days we have all been quarantined at home, what the date is and what day of the week it is.  Many of us have a few markers that help- jobs that pause for the weekend, celebrations of Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays- special days of worship.  But even with these, the days seem to bleed into each other like a striped shirt washed in hot water. The period that we are in right now in the Jewish calendar is ironically, a time of counting. A time when we purposely try to keep track of…
I did not want to write about this virus-time. I did not think I could.  Another piece was in my mind this week, not quite yet taking shape. But when I sat to write, the virus took my attention and I could not wrest it back.  
There are useful and funny memes online, and stories of good will and good works, and words of inspiration and comfort. And terrible stories, too. 
Mostly at a distance, we have been sharing dance and art and music, facts and opinions, cautionary tales and fairy tales. We miss hugs and doing projects and working and learning together in person.
Sometimes we are in a bubble for a while that lets us just be, free of anxiety or fear.  Sometimes we cannot get out of bed.  Sometimes we cannot sleep.  Sometimes we eat all the chocolate and sometimes we eat nothing.  We who are privileged live like this. 
We are grateful to the people who work at the jobs we need to have done even in the face of the danger and I believe we do not understand a fraction of what it costs…
Compassion
On the radio a few days ago there was a piece about refugees arriving by boat to the shores of a country that in the past had been welcoming, but this time people were yelling angrily and running into the water to block the boats from landing.The boats were full and there were children on board. The turmoil and anger in the crowd was audible. I don’t speak their language, but the reporter said that people blocking the boats were shouting “Go back home. We don’t care about the babies.”
I was repulsed. I could not stop thinking about it. “We don’t care about the babies.” What would it take for me to say that? For my friends to say that? My neighbors? Horrible thought, that people I know might be moved to yell at desperate people “We don’t care about the babies.” I started to ask myself how that could happen, what it would feel like to push away needy people and shout “I don’t care about the babies.”
Please don’t stop reading when I tell you that suddenly my heart leapt to t…

A Moment of Holiness

"Think of a a time in your life when you experienced a moment of holiness".  This was an exercise often used by a teacher and colleague of mine, Rabbi Bob Abramson at various seminars and gatherings of educators and spiritual leaders.  He purposely left the words 'moment of holiness' undefined, leaving it up to the participants to define for themselves.  I was a participant a few times in this activity, and adopted it myself in various programs and sessions I have led.  It is always powerful and thought provoking.

People give widely differing responses to this charge.  Some are simple and elegant; such as the hush of a morning dew, or the smile on a child's face.  Others list crucial moments- birth of child, a wedding, or sunrise at the Grand Canyon.  But all share something in common.  All of these moments help transport the individual out of the ordinary into the extraordinary.  The experience is transformative, if even for a moment, and some say, it gives them…

‘A Memory of Assisi’ - Rev. Steven Kim, Pastor of Setauket United Methodist Church

‘A Memory of Assisi’ Rev. Steven Kim, Pastor of Setauket United Methodist Church
In January 2020, my wife and I made a trip to Italy along with another couple who are my colleagues. We stayed the first two nights in Rome and drove to our second destination in the Tuscany area. On our way to the world-wide famous winery region, we stopped by the medieval town of Assisi. It is built on the slope of a mountain which boasts a picturesque scenery. Especially the sunsets, they were breathtakingly beautiful which was a bonus to us. 
Our primary goal in Assisi, however, was to trace the remnants of St. Francis. I guess you are familiar with the life story of the saint. We walked about 10 minutes from the mouth of the old town to the Assisi Monastery or Basilica, which is located at the northwestern corner of the town. It consists of three different sanctuaries on three floors. Unlike many other magnificent cathedrals in the country, the Assisi Monastery is not commercialized. Tourists are not a…
Journey by Frank Kotowski
In the religion I follow, Spiritualism, there is often talk about each person’s journey to the next world, the World of Spirit, where we go after physical death, since we believe that life continues for us as spiritual beings devoid of physical matter. It is in this other world, called the Summerland, that our souls reunite in a more intimate way with God, what we call Infinite Spirit or Infinite Intelligence.
This is not to say that there is little emphasis on the life here on this physical plane. Spiritualists strongly believe in and emphasize personal responsibility. We “make our own happiness or unhappiness,” as stated in our 7th Principle.Life is to be embraced with joy and courage and interconnectness with all beings and with the Earth itself.Understanding those of other faiths and beliefs is an ethical and humanitarian necessity.Spiritual progression and attunement are certainly goals many of us strive for, but physical pleasures are healthy and life-affi…