Kindred in Christ,
Happy New Year! I am excited to witness and participate in God’s unfolding future for us at U Gathering in 2023! And to kick us off, we are beginning a new worship series titled Serenity: Courage, Wisdom, and the Presence of God. As you may have guessed, the series is inspired by the famous Serenity Prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr (above). This prayer has personally shaped my spirituality deeply, as it reminds me that there are things that I cannot change or others that do not deserve my worry. Yet, it also empowers me to have the courage to act when God prompts me to speak up and act for change in our world. And lastly, the wisdom to know the difference saves me from being passive or angry all the time.
Often our lives are filled with anxiety. And the temptation may be to try to solve everything, or just check out from any responsibility at all. Yet, God offers us the deep serenity to remain present and rooted, and to see clearly through the lens of divine wisdom.
As a church we will also gather this Sunday to hear an important update regarding our building project. It will invite us into a month-long discernment process of further conversations and decision making. My prayer is that we can rely on God’s wisdom to accept the things we cannot change and the courage to act together to bring about the change that needs to happen for the sake of our continued ministry in the U District.
Rev. Paul Ortiz