October 2, 2020

Message from Pastor Jacqueline Duhart

Greetings from Starr King School for the Ministry. My name is Jacqueline Duhart, and I serve the students of my alma mater and our larger faith movement, as the Director of Spiritual Care.

Oh, what a time we are in.  My beloved grandmother who I named Nana, if she were still breathing, she would be going door to door tending to the elders in her community. She would be proclaiming “It is a moaning time, a weeping and a wailing time.”

I invite you join me for a sacred pause, a time of deep listening. I invite you to give yourself a hug, wrap yourself in something cozy, to find a way to feel into your body and to breathe in my words.

This moment in time, our collective NOW, is bigger than the death of any individual. We lament over the lives murdered with the tools of hate and state sanctioned violence. We mourn our dying and our dead, all those snatched from us by the merciless hands of COVID-19.

Let us pause and hold our magnificent bodies tight as we sense what is true for us.

This NOW, that will NEVER come again, is larger than our current President or the next President of the United States of America. We rail against all tactics and strategies that overtly and covertly work to erase our sense of agency and suppress our freedoms. Freedom to have access to what feeds our hungry souls.

Pause, feel your breath, the air within us, that is our life force.

Right NOW, this very moment is bigger than our climate crisis. We pause to grieve and wail over the devastating losses and suffering brought about by inferno fires, unstoppable rain, torrential winds, sea level rise, day upon day of oppressive heat and so much more.

We pause. We take a breath. We notice. We feel.

This present moment that seems to be teetering on the edges of our future holds all the evil and wonder-filled moments that came before NOW. As summer drips into autumn, we are here, together, in our necessary social distancing to shepherd in and name what SHALL be next. Now, let us pause and imagine what we want in our tomorrow.

Right where you are, I invite you to name your personal grief. While your heart is still listening name the grief that is particular to your communities. If you are able, please name the grief you hold for our great nation.

Breath in. Breath out, as you moan, wail, weep. Feel your ALIVENESS knowing that the healing spirit of sacred community moans, wails, and weeps with you. Together, we take one more breath, we gather strength for each other and with each other and live to rise up for one more day.

Ashay, Blessed be, Shalom, Amin

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