Rev. Craig Rubano
“To give one’s full attention is to look closely, to linger upon, to delve, to immerse oneself into something that at first seems “other” but soon seems “one with.” To give attention, in the end, is to be grasped.” — David Seaburn
November will begin with attention paid to the experiment in co-ministry that all of us have embarked upon this year. At a congregational meeting on the 3rd, Rev. Virginia and I will give our own perspectives on how things are going and, spoiler alert from my camp, I have been invigorated, moved, and challenged by the work, as well as feeling that I’ve been understood or appreciated by you. As in the quote from David Seaburn above, I have given this congregation my attention and—sometimes imperceptibly, yet powerfully—I feel that I have been grasped, claimed, become a part of the “we” that is the heart of this community. And so, it is with great excitement that I anticipate being together for some of the year’s most beloved services and seasons.
The month begins with a commemoration of All Souls Day (Nov. 3), when we pay attention not only to those who have left this plane of reality during the past year, but to the grief that dwells inside us as a result of the love we have for souls we’ve lost. Later in the month (Nov. 17), I’ll take us alongside a project upon which I have embarked to practice joy, paying enough attention to make space for happiness in my life. In this process, I realize, more and more, how many things and people and experiences there are for which I am grateful. Thanksgiving comes late this year, so we’ll celebrate together on the 24th, celebrating our differences through the foods that we eat, breaking the breads of many heritages in a communion service of gratitude. What a wonderful cycle this month provides, from remembrance to gratitude, just as we enter into the time Christian tradition knows as Advent, a period of waiting and awe.
Outside the walls of this meetinghouse, but not disconnected from the passions we share within, November 5th is Election Day, an important reminder that it takes all of our attention and participation to make change in this world. This coming year will likely be one of the most consequential and dizzying times of national reckoning in many of our lifetimes. I’m glad that I will spend it alongside—in Seaburn’s words, at “one with”—you all.