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MLK Day observances planned

A couple of observances take place on Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

‘The Fierce Urgency of Now, Tomorrow is Today’
An MLK Day celebration is planned for noon Monday at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St. in Ashland. The celebration is inspired by the quote, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late…There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect.”

‘The People’s Supper: Healing in the Now’
A potluck supper takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Parish Hall at Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 N. Second St. in Ashland. Members and friends of the Ashland Interfaith Clergy Circle will host a potluck conversation around healing and resilience and nourishment in this fiercely urgent “now.” Interfaith clergy and friends will host the tables, using “The People’s Supper” template. Guests are invited to bring bread, cheese, fruit or spreads for bread to add to the soup supper meal. Gluten-free and vegan options will be available.

RVUUF’s own Rev. Sean Parker Dennison is assisting in the planning of these events and will be hosting a table.

Community Christmas Dinner, free, at Historic Ashland Armory

Ashland Christian Fellowship will host its 38th annual free Community Christmas Dinner, noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St. at B Street in Ashland.

Come and enjoy a freshly-prepared buffet-style turkey dinner with ALL of the trimmings and dessert. Enjoy the holiday decor and live music.

Since 1980, Ashland Christian Fellowship has hosted this very special event by joining with merchants and community volunteers to feed a traditional Christmas dinner to as many as 900 people.

Volunteers for the dinner (days before and the day of), plus Holiday Meals to-go deliveries (in the Ashland/Talent area), can email Cheryl or Wanda via AshlandChristianFellowship@gmail.com.

‘So many reasons to be grateful and to be hopeful’

Head-and-shoulders view of Rev. Sean Parker DennisonIt’s mid-December and it feels like time is flying by at unbelievable speed. This time of year is extra busy and I do hope you are taking care of yourselves: your body, your mind, and your spirit.

The Soul Matters theme for this month is Hope. In our Sunday services, we’ve been exploring what hope means and how to put it into action in our lives and at RVUUF. We’ll be talking about Hope in the Hanukkah story, at Yule, in the traditional Christmas story, and as we enter the new year. One of the goals of our Worship Team is to take each month’s theme and bring it to life in ways that are relevant, thought-provoking, and real.

No matter what the holidays hold for you: hope and joy or grief and stress (or maybe all these at once) here are some ideas I hope will help you get through these next few weeks with a little more ease and kindness:

December 14—Write down three things for which you feel grateful.
December 15—Spend a few minutes just sitting with your eyes closed, listening.
December 16—Indulge in reminiscing about a favorite happy memory.
December 17—Come see your RVUUF family and learn about Hanukkah.
December 18—Give something away.
December 19—Say “I love you” to yourself and mean it.
December 20—Make a phone call to someone you love.
December 21—Tonight’s the longest night of the year. Revel in the darkness.
December 22—Look for a reason to smile, chuckle, even belly laugh! Do it!
December 23—Think about the people who helped you make it through the year.
December 24—Come to RVUUF twice! First at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate Yule and also to the traditional candlelight Christmas Eve service at 4:30 p.m.
December 25—Look for real gifts and say thank you.
December 26— Make time to rest, relax, recover.
December 27—Be a secret giver now, when no one’s expecting it!
December 28—Give a hug—to yourself or someone else.
December 29—Think about your hopes for the next year. Say “yes.”
December 30—Take time to say goodbye to the things you want to leave behind.
December 31—Come to the 10:30 a.m. service for a time of looking back and looking ahead.

Thank you for all you do for RVUUF. There are both so many reasons to be grateful and to be hopeful.

Love will guide us,

Rev. Sean

View and sign up for Rev. Sean’s monthly messages, as well as RVUUF’s weekly “News to Note” via RVUUF’s email campaign archive.