by Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom
The early November winds carry us to a time of transition: one of seasons, one of spirits, and one of worldly concerns. As the weather gets colder and the trees slowly shed their colorful garments, so too our nation is being laid bare. After months of the worst pandemic in a century, one that has claimed over 200,000 American lives, and multiple recent crisis points boiling up in the centuries-long illness of racism and white supremacy, we face an election that challenges the nature of our U.S. democracy.
We fight for the soul of our nation this month: we reckon with the health of our democracy, and the wellness of the peoples’ spirit. Will we move together towards healing? Or will simmering illness spill over into a fight for our lives? A new First Church team to Defend Democracy has begun.
This national reckoning is laid over our individual lives, which contain as much pain, and need as much healing, as they always have. Even in pandemic, racism reckoning, and threats to democracy, daily life goes on, with its dishes, diagnoses, and deaths. We honor All Saints and All Souls Days at the beginning of November, remembering our beloved dead. I send my care to all of you who are grieving the loss of a loved one, either newly or still, a present pain more important to an individual life than all the societal chaos that shifts to the background in light of personal grief.