Dear Ones,

Greetings from fair Brewster on Cape Cod Bay where I have been reeling in inspiration for the congregational year that takes off this September 10th with our 7th annual Homecoming Sunday service. On that morning, don’t forget to bring some water in a small container (maybe a cup or two, but could be less). This can be water you collected from some distant sea or river or glacier or lake you loved on your travels this summer. It could be water from our own long island water-ways and -bodies. It could be water from a neighborhood puddle or from your tap or from Splish Splash or your own pool. Wherever you find it, water is the fluid through which Earth circulates the nutrients we need to live. In all indigenous traditions water is held sacred, cherished and protected. And water is the substance we share in this year’s Homecoming communion. Bring yours to our confluence on the green outside our sanctuary windows the Sunday after Labor Day. Wear clothes the color of water—blues and teals and maybe white for the rapids and whitecaps. We will be awash and a wave, drizzle and flow, a delicious cool communal sharing to start out a promising new year.

Here’s a little taste of how I’ve been spending my time during study leave (I’m in week two of four). I watched the eight-part TV documentary mini-series on Native American history that aired on PBS in 1995. Watch it yourself here.  You will come away wiser. On your courageous path into undoing racism in your life and in our world, try this: “Under Our Skin,” Seattle Times , short videos of people of various races and ethnicities defining in their own words today’s vocabulary of race and privilege. I’ve devoured the second of two books by Octavia Butler: Parable of the Talents. It is a continuation of the story of a utopian dreamer in a dystopian world that resembles ours in uncanny ways. Start with Parable of the Sower and read on. Google “Eli Saslow, ‘The White Flight of Derek Black,’ Washington Post (10/15/16) for the story of the education of a white supremacist. Fascinating and heartening. Other books: Nate Walker’s Exorcising Preaching; Paula Cole Jone’s Encounters: poems about race and identity; Robin Wall Kimmerer's, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants; and Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau (who turned 200 on 7/12). Wishing you each summer ease and joy, and I’ll see you soon,