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Rev. Vicky's Message November 30, 2023

I have always loved all things Christmas – and having young grandchildren now is reminding me of all the magical and mystical aspects of the season. Originally, the four-week period known as Advent began as a time for converts to Christianity to prepare for baptism. And in timely fashion, I (and my son-in-law, Salvador) will be baptizing all three of my new grandchildren on December 23rd, while the whole family is in town. Predating most of today’s Christian holidays are early pagan practices that are actually at the root of our Christian traditions, including the season of Advent. Long before the time of Christ, pagan communities, worldwide, set aside the weeks before the Winter Solstice as a time to honor the coming of the light (the inspiration for our own Winter Solstice Interfaith Celebration of Light). Beginning in the 5th century, in northern Italy, Christians began observing weeks-long spiritual preparation for the feast day of Christmas. Unity adopted this tradition, understanding that any reason to focus our attention on our spiritual practice and nature supports our spiritual growth. And, as the Christmas season has become increasingly commercial – our Advent focus and practice is especially helpful to remind us of the true reason for the Christmas season. You should have an Advent booklet by now (if you need one mailed to you, or left in our church mailbox for you to pick-up, let us know by emailing unityofmontereybay@gmail.com). Let’s take a moment each day to breathe and center ourselves into the Hope/Faith, Peace, Love, and Joy that reflect the Christ light being rekindled in each of us this Christmas. For the first Sunday of Advent – focused on Hope and Faith, I share with you this blessing by Glynn Cardy: Blessed is an aroma of hope… Blessed is an aroma of hope that can come when a smile and hospitality expand into friendship, or it’s possibility. Blessed is hope’s delight that infuses us when our lamp is burning low and despair can loom, unbidden. Blessed is a refreshing wind that blows gently, soothing our worries and fears, inviting us to feel the breath of hope. Blessed is hope that comes through the front door or back, stays a while, puts the kettle on, giving comfort that lingers long after. Namasté…Rev. Vicky





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