Pastor’s Message – November 16, 2021

What is Bringing Us Joy in November

Once a month, I enjoy sharing with you about my latest favorites in music, movies, TV shows, books, and podcasts. One of my favorite questions to ask friends when we get together is, “What is bringing you joy lately?” I love hearing the variety of answers to this question! My hope is that in sharing what brought me joy will help you to reflect on what brought you joy.

Faith of My Father by Steffany Gretzinger (music): Worship songs of the 80s and 90s were very formative to my spiritual growth, as they were for worship leader and recording artist Steffany Gretzinger. On her newest album, she has recorded some of these familiar, powerful songs at the church she grew up in and where her parents served faithfully for years. She lost her father last year, and she wrote that sitting on the floor, around the altar, of the church he served brought much healing in the midst of her grief. We practiced yoga to this album last week, and I hope you find it as peaceful as we did.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (book): How do you write a sequel to a beloved book, with all the expectations and pressures? For Elizabeth Strout, who waited 10 years to write the sequel to her novel, Olive Kitteridge, the passage of time aged her characters and story like fine wine. I would even say I liked this sequel better than the first novel! Olive is such a memorable person, and the people we meet and re-meet in each chapter are snapshots of a town where we want to spend a little more time ourselves.

Wind River (movie): This was a very difficult movie to watch, and I want to acknowledge up front that it contains severe violence and mature subject matter. It is not for everyone. I recently re-watched it and remembered that it was not a movie I wanted to see but one I needed to see. It is about the murder investigation of a young woman on a Native American reservation, and though the story is fictional, the reality of crimes against women on reservations is very real and under-reported. Films that educate us can be such an eye-opening gift, and Wind River does so with a balance of truth-telling and beauty.

all good things to each of you,
Dr Darian

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