Jamestown, N.Y. – Writer, spiritual director, educator and author Melina Rudman is speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) virtual service on Sunday, May 16, 10:30 a.m.
Rudman will talk about the “Tree of Life.” Describing her presentation, she says, “The ancient symbolism of the tree of life teaches us about interconnection with and interdependence upon our sisters and brothers and all of creation.”
In the 15 intimate essays in her book, Sacred Soil: A Gardener's Book of Reflection, Rudman explores the pain of loss and the joy of connection, all within the context of her garden. She writes of gardening as a spiritual practice, one that has the power to ground us in the seasons and cycles of Nature. Gardening, she says, plants us firmly in the circle of birth, life, and death, “smack dab in the middle of life's gore and glory.” While gardening focuses on the world of touch and sight and scent, it also opens doors to deeper realities. It teaches us resilience; it shows us how to let go; it comforts our aching hearts; it leads us to repentance—and it offers us a conduit to the Divine.
The message addresses the seventh principle that Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Rudman currently serves as Interim Coordinator for Union Theological Seminary's Doctor of Ministry program. She lives in central Connecticut, with and near her family, where she loves to read, garden, cook, walk and eat delicious food with good people.
The service will be led by member and Master Gardener Janet Forbes.
Because of COVID-19 limitations, UUCJ Sunday services are currently virtual instead of at its 1255 Prendergast Avenue location. Anyone is welcome to participate by emailing UUJamestown@gmail.com to receive a Zoom link for the 10:30 a.m. service. The link goes out as part of “This Week at UUCJ” on Friday afternoon, but you can request to join until the start of the service on Sunday.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to promote and provide a community where diverse people of all ages may explore the meaning of existence, give expression to liberal religious values, and work for a just, sustainable society.
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