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REflections: the Universality of Hope

By Beryl Aschenberg, Director of Religious Education

“If only for the season, let us banish cynicism and welcome wonder”

— Edward Searle

Throughout human history, people have gathered in the coldest, darkest time of the year. They offered each other comfort, warmth, and hope. In ancient times, people needed hope to believe that the sun would return and the land would once again be fertile. The Jewish people find hope as they recall the old story of an inexplicable flame from a Menorah that should not have stayed lit. Our Christian friends find meaning as they recall the story of Jesus’ birth in a lowly stable. And those who celebrate Kwanzaa look to The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) to help them know and honor their past, while engaging in and improving their present, and imagining an expansive future.

No matter what our beliefs, our lives are enriched by our ties to other people, past or present. In our church programs, we strive to bring this heritage to our multigenerational community to show the magic of human connections, to build the traditions that will enrich lives. I hope you and your family will join us at First Church this season to create meaningful celebrations and memories!

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