Letter from Cressida Pryor
September 19, 2019
Autumn Equinox 2019
Hoping this season of harvest and storm finds you well...although we gather at this time to celebrate and honour balance, the balance of light and dark, mild temperatures and reaping the fruits of earlier labour...paradoxically our world seems to be, as many climate scientists attest at a very real tipping point off balance beyond which there is change that effects future generations for the worse.
Some of you may know that as part of my Interfaith Ministry training I came across Unitarians and found there a spiritual home that encompassed honouring the divine feminine, earth based practice and a respect for other world religions including free Christianity. This has opened the door to things I closed off very firmly in my more radical teens and beyond. When I reflect on this I am always reminded of Olivia’s firm voice stating how the fellowship must be welcoming to people of all faiths and none...how forward of the founders to be clear on this; a voice that is so important now to counteract the ‘othering’ so prevalent in current right wing movements.
This Sunday we had a service celebrating Mary, mother of Jesus. It started with the lay service leader reading the Magnificat through.
Initially I was rather confused by the choice of this ‘old school’ sounding canticle...not one for us dissenters I thought...I decided to keep listening and was so glad I did as after the service one of our older and experienced retired ministers informed us that the Magnificat had been seen as being very radical and close to revolutionary to the main body of the church. A woman’s voice actually stating: ‘Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed’...it was seen as quite heretical in fact.
I was intrigued as my religious cultural knowledge was stuck at a very early stage when I slammed the door shut on Christianity as a teenager. Now I listened to these words without so much prejudice...I learned that it is known as the song honouring Mary and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn.
So, Blessed Mary help us now with those difficult decisions we all have to make at times. May we all also be open to change our minds; to think again when the world moves on and new evidence emerges. May those who lead and are in positions of power have the courage to change their minds too when it is right to do so, to benefit all for the greater good.
May we honour nature’s balance and sit humbly with our fellow creatures who live the wisdom of true presence, in the name of the sacred feminine, so may it be.
Have a happy, grateful and blessed Equinox and harvest.
Cressida, FOI Steward
FOI Letters & Correspondence
(Much gratitude to Cressida for sharing her seasonal letters.)
All Rights Reserved.