The Community Church of New Orleans can begin anew

The Community Church of New Orleans can begin anew

I wanted to take this cyber-moment to remember Katrina and lift up the hope and hard work that are still required in the gulf areas hit hard by the storm. My colleague the Rev. Jim VanderWeele reminds us not to forget. This picture is of the old church building being razed. The church had paid off the mortgage for the building in 2003, its 30 year anniversary. And they recently, finally saw their building clawed down and dragged off in bits to be recycled. As the Rev. Jim says, “It ain’t over yet.” Healing is slow going (especially when FEMA is involved!)

At the vigil for the Knoxville churches, Tennessee Valley and Westside, I mentioned that disasters will take their toll well into the months and years ahead. So it is with our Greater New Orleans congregations. In fact, so it is with most momentous tragic events in our lives. After they happen, nothing is as it was before. Our lives our forced into a new reality- life without the life-partner, life without a feeling of safety, life without the job that defined us…and so a new life is born through loss.

Our Unitarian Universalist congregations have the opportunity acknowledge the new lives and new realities that spring out of loss, helping us grapple with the reality of it, daring us to navigate the new life and respond out of a place of hope, creativity, and faith. Through commitments to ourselves and to the life of the church we can make meaning of the new realities in our lives. I am inspired by the Greater New Orleans Churches. Go figure that on September 6th the Community Church UU of New Orleans is having a jazz funeral in memoriam of their old building. Brass band, hot dogs, cold goodness it’s a party!

What’s not to celebrate?