30 Days of Love 2023

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“The Clearing”
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself to this world
so worthy of rescue.
–Martha Postlethwaite
Happy 2023, Beloveds, and welcome to 30 Days of Love, Side With Love’s annual month of spiritual nourishment, political grounding, and shared practices of faith and justice!
Having recently marked both the Winter Solstice and Gregorian New Year, this is a period of pause and contemplation – a time to reflect upon what has been, take stock of what is, and dream about what could be. And as we do so, both individually and collectively, we are all aware of how hard it is to be human in these times: to maintain hope for a just and sustainable future in the face of all the broken systems that surround us, to muster compassion for one another in the midst of extreme polarization, to find the energy to keep fighting for liberation when our bodies and our spirits often feel so depleted.
At its core, the work of Side With Love is to build communities of relationship and power that tap into the power of Love to both sustain and free people. Through our many programs and campaigns, we invite UU individuals, congregations, organizations, and movement partners to collectively ground our spirits, grow our skills, and act for justice. And, we are keenly aware that the world we are fighting for is literally and metaphorically on fire – which often means that we struggle to find the time to cultivate the practices and seek the spiritual nourishment that will sustain us in our long-haul work for justice. We too often are compelled to address the urgent at the expense of the important.
In that context, this year’s 30 Days of Love is an offering to our whole community – a love letter, a warm hug, a spiritual balm for all of the individuals, families, religious professionals, partners and communities that embody our values and work for justice and liberation year round. It is an invitation to slow down, to create that “clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently,” as the poet Martha Postlethwaite writes.
Each week will be grounded in a spiritual theme overlapping with one of Side With Love’s intersectional justice priorities, and will feature an array of offerings to help nourish your spirit and give gratitude and affirmation. We invite you to engage with and share these resources as part of your daily spiritual practice, around the family dinner table, in communal worship, in committee meetings – however feels useful to you and your community. Read more about this year’s weekly themes and the kinds of resources you can expect.
This first week of 30 Days of Love, our resources focus on the intersections between the spiritual theme of Interdependence and Side With Love’s work on Democracy, Voting Rights, and Electoral Justice. We are delighted to offer you a blessing from the Rev. Duncan Teague, a Time for All Ages from JeKaren Olaoya, a body practice from Katie Resendiz, a prayer from the Rev. Wendy Bartel, a grounding practice from Canedy and our Fun & Spiritual Nourishment Squad, and a reflection on the week’s themes by the Rev. Ashley Horan. See all of this week’s fantastic resources at our website.