A weird thing that happens if you have kids, work in schools or work in a congregation like ours at UUCC, September is a little like New Years. And New Years is more like a halfway break. And the end of the year is in June. This makes late August a weird time. Summer isn’t over. But school is about to start. Ingathering is on its way, so the church year is about to start. Everything is getting ready for the new thing, but the old thing is still with us.
It’s liminal time. We’re in liminal space.
Liminal spaces are all about inbetween-ness, when you know what is behind you and you aren’t sure what’s ahead. It’s a grey area. It’s often full of anxiety and a sense of preoccupation because of what is uncertain. But it can also be a time full of hopefulness and a sense of possibility. It all depends on what we carry in to our liminal spaces with us.
It got me thinking about getting ready for school to start at this time of year, and all that is at stake when you are about to start school — a time when you may need some new outfits, some new supplies, a new backpack maybe? All the things you need when you’re getting ready for the year to come!
So, what might we want to pick up for ourselves in the year ahead, in this liminal space of preparation and expectation? What outfits might we wish to wear? I know I think a lot about the patience and empathy I try to be wearing when I am getting ready to do meaningful things in the world. What supplies might we need? What learning and wisdom can we carry with us this church year at UUCC?
How about the things we are carrying? I’ve been working on some intentional spiritual practices because I’ve learned that having specific traditions to build upon makes me ready to receive new ideas and new wisdom when they come along. How about you? What are you going to carry with you this year?
The truth is that all time is liminal in some basic sense. All time is expectant and forward looking. And anxiety can carry along with us even if we didn’t mean to put it in our proverbial backpacks. All the more reason to take this time at the end of August seriously and think about what we are carrying with us this year.
Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**
Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD