Seeds planted last year have sprouted, flowered, born fruit, and nourished our community with wonder, beauty, wisdom, and friendship. Tradition calls on us to count our blessings at this time of year, so let’s do just that. With so many to celebrate, I’d like to highlight those that feature you and your incredible talents – as teachers, artists, musicians, and caring citizens.
Teachers and Artists
Last summer the Adult Education Committee launched a series entitled “Your Turn to Teach” inviting members of the congregation to share their passions and expertise with us all. The touchstone for this effort was the “Tuesdays with Morim [‘teachers’]” program, lining up a different teacher and topic on the first Tuesday of each month. For example, Robbie G. on Gossip, Bonnie H. bringing Hebrew Bible to life, Susan B. helping us draw our pets, Stephen T. linking Biblical and American Law, Steve M. guiding us in mindfulness practice, Lauren G. and Steve B. offering tips to promote physical and fiscal health respectively, and outside experts enlightening us about “Jews and Genes,” “Islam,” and “Enneagrams and Kaballah,” and more!
And, there’s more to come this month and next, with Russ A. equipping us to encounter those other faiths, and Jonathan M. providing a forum to discuss the complicated realities surrounding Israel. Of particular note, DON’T MISS an exciting culminating event on Sunday, June 12 (Shavuot) from 3 -9 PM during which many of these teachers will be returning and tag-teaming to perpetuate these incredible conversation and communings.
In addition to these offerings and opportunities, over the next two months we’ll be continuing and concluding our interfaith/intergenerational book study of Art Green’s “Judaism’s Ten best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers.” A recap of those top ten ideas: 1) Joy, 2) dignity (all made in divine image), 3) Community of Doers, 4) Partnering with God in repairing the world, 5) Shabbat, 6) faith in human Change, 7) Torah and the power of written word, 8) Education, …and still to come 9) affirming life (in this world) in the face of death, and 10) oh, yea the ‘One God’ thing. Join me on Saturday mornings, May 21 and June 25 at 9 AM, for fun, frank and fruitful forays into innovative (and perhaps unexpected) Jewish views about death and God.
The musical talents of CBE’ers seem to just keep coming, with new folks joining in musical services and (of course) the annual Purim Shpiel. This year also saw the revival of a Beth Evergreen choir, or the CBE Singers, also called Havurat Shirah, conducted by beloved Mandi Ogle. Lending choral magic to high holiday services as well as the James Taylor service this past fall, the gang is back, rehearsing Sunday evenings and preparing to lend their voices to the Mostly Music service set for Friday, June 17. Don’t miss it.
A mentor of mine, Rabbi Leonard Gordon, once offered this as a measure of successful community: “it’s when no one falls through the cracks.” This winter many of us stepped up to help organize and implement an effort to offer food and shelter to Evergreen folks who find themselves homeless during the coldest Colorado nights. Both outside and within our communal walls, we want to make sure no one falls through the cracks, and as the article in this Shofar from Leslie and the Mitzvah Committee articulates, we’ll need everyone involved to fully realize that vision.
This is a community with heart. The care is there. The creativity, musical and artistic talent, the expertise and wisdom to share – it’s all here, as we saw this year. It’s here at CBE and ripe for harvest. Let these next few months (or full seven weeks of Counting Omer blessings!) be filled with days that we can proudly say we made count. This season let us come together to share the bounty of this communal harvest – whether the seeds be sown from abundance and joy or hardship and loss. As the eccentric English poet, Edith Sitwell penned,
“Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.”