May 2022: Nurturing Beauty

Our theme for May is nurturing beauty. I don’t tend to spend a lot a time thinking about the concept of “beauty,” or the concept of “nurturing” for that matter, so pondering both at the same time is a challenge.
It’s hard not to think immediately of April’s workship session, where a swarm of us descended onto the church grounds to welcome spring’s blossoms, but with active assistance to foster their growth. We busily cleared out the remainder of the fall and winter decay, bagging leaves, piling up fallen branches, vigorously raking out dead grass to make room for the new green shoots. We spread mulch, added new loam and seed, fertilized, relocated flowers, mixed in the compost…..nurturing….beauty….yes, that’s it. For me, the goal of our efforts has always been to stand back, admire our work, and gaze at the beauty of spring’s gifts. To stand and stare and feel content.
But our Soul Matters packet asks us to stop staring at beauty – to stop consuming it. Instead, we are asked to listen to it and to hear what it is trying to tell us.
        “What if beauty is here to make us wise?”
        “What if beauty is the way the sacred speaks?”
Well, shoot. I guess I have to dig a little deeper!
        It doesn’t just say “Love and appreciate me.”
        It says “Protect me! Fight for me!”
These words offer a helpful reframing. They add another layer to our communal effort to “beautify” the church grounds. They make me think not just of the flowers, but of the neighbors who stopped by to get much-needed supplies from the community cabinet while we worked. They shine a light on how we all came together that day to toil and sweat, out of love for the grounds, the building, the town, but especially the people and the experiences we share.
Let’s not just stand back and gaze at the gifts of spring this year. Let’s dive in and support the church – let’s fight for it, let’s protect it. Let’s move it forward, grow it, and achieve new and great things together. Let’s accept the challenge to nurture beauty.
In gratitude,
Jess Miner, on behalf of the Board of Trustees