Blessed Rosh Hashanah


We feel the season turning. The early sunset glancing through the red-tinged leaves. The newspaper arriving in the cool morning air. The flock of migrating swallows. A feeling of being on the edge of something new. These are the Days of Awe. A time to welcome a new year and a time to make the old year right before we lay it in its place on the shelf of our memories. We bless the wine and drink. We bless the braided bread and eat. We dip apple in honey, and savor its sweetness. May the sound of the shofar carry us across the threshold where lie the possibilities we imagine for ourselves and our children.

The Opposite of Connection

Rather, the people who are the most happy the most often are those who are pursuing a sense of meaning in their lives, and the author unpacks that experience as having four main pillars. The first of these is a sense of belonging, and I’ll come back to that in a moment, in the light of some other research I want to tell you about. The second pillar is purpose; the third is transcendence, and the fourth is story-telling, or what I would call narrative coherence. Each one of these four pillars is at the heart of what any competent church is meant to do; these are the functions that religious community ought to be providing for its members, regardless of what theology it represents. This is why church is good for you, because it is helpful to have a committed purpose, a practice of transcendence, a framing narrative, and a sense of belonging in community.

A sermon (text here) by Rev. Kendyl Gibbons, All Souls Kansas City