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  • Writer's pictureTom Emanuel

HOPE IN THE DARK... This Week at UCC Watertown

“To hope is to gamble. It's to bet on your futures, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk.” --Rebecca Solnit

Have you felt discouraged about the state of the world lately? I know I have. Climate change fueling deadly wildfires in California. Mass shootings in bars and yoga studios and houses of worship. Hate groups emboldened by politicians who fan the flames of fear, distrust, and racism. Even the weather is gloomier of late, with grey skies, cold temperatures, and ever-earlier sunsets.

In response to that chill in the air, both literal and figurative, our “Good Books” study group has chosen to read Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit. All are welcome to join us at 4pm on Sunday afternoons, starting November 25. Books will soon be available for $10 in the church office. A little more about the book from the publisher:

She makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argued that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, [and] that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable.

There are other great opportunities coming up for us to encourage one another as a family of faith:

  • Tonight (Wednesday, 14 November) presenters from My Happy Place will be here to share with our youth about their work building safe, fun spaces—“happy places”—for children with disabilities and chronic illness. Their presentation will begin at 6:45pm as part of Wednesday Youth Church, but all are welcome to stop by!

  • This Saturday (16 November), from 10am-12pm at the Bramble Park Zoo, Healing Earth Watertown is hosting our inaugural seminar on environmental stewardship, “Water: Our Most Precious Natural Resource.” Where does our water come from? Where does it go? How can we play our part in ensuring that our children and grandchildren have a future filled with hope and plentiful, clean water?

  • On Monday (November 19), Fermenting Faith will meet at Dempsey’s at 7pm and seek to answer the question: “Where are you finding hope in our troubled times?”

  • Then a week from today (Wednesday, November 21) we’ll gather at 5:30pm at the church for our Thanksgiving Eve Service. Join us for a reflective evening of song, silence, and sharing as we offer up our gratitude for all the ways in which our world has gone right.

May we find hope in the coming week, even in the most unexpected of places. And may we offer that hope to one another, trusting that although the world may fill us with despair, there is a Light at the heart of things that shines in the deepest darkness.

Blessin’s, --Tom

QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: Where do you find hope in times of doubt? What (or Who) inspires you? What role does spiritual community play?



Wednesday 11/14

  • Tom at LATI community office hours 9am – 12pm

  • Guilds I & II,  1:30 pm

  • Wednesday Youth Church 6 pm

  • UCCW  Choir 7pm

Thursday 11/15

  • Tom’s Community Office Hours, 9am-12pm @ Gather 

Saturday 11/17

  • Water: Our Precious Natural Resource, Bramble Park Zoo 10am to 12pm. Program for adults, 16 & over, admission is free will donation, bring pencil and paper

Sunday 11/18

  • Adult Bible Study, 8:45am

  • Sunday Worship 10am, Church Council meeting following the service

  • No Book Study 

Monday 11/19

  • Fermenting Faith, 7 pm Dempsey Brewery & Pub 127 N. Broadway

Wednesday 11/21

  • Thanksgiving Eve Service, 5:30pm

  • No Wednesday Youth Church

  • No UCCW Choir

Thursday 11/22

  • Happy Thanksgiving! (office closed)

Friday 11/23

  • Newsletter deadline for all reports

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