Paths to Wonderland
There was a period of time a while back when Disney was making some really out there movies. I remember watching parts of Dumbo, especially when the elephants were on parade in Dumbo’s dream sequence, and thinking, “This is just weird.” I remember trying to get through Fantasia, and wondering what the heck was going on, like many others, I’m sure. But I think one of the Disney movies that made me the most uneasy was Alice in Wonderland. Yes, the Red Queen was scary. Yes, the Cheshire Cat was infuriating. But it was the White Rabbit, chasing constantly after an important date, fearing the passing too swiftly of time, that puzzled me so much…that is, until I got older.
It was not until my schedule began to fill up later in life, when the things I needed to get done by certain dates started to pile up, that this character began to make sense to me. The White Rabbit represented that feeling so many of us have that something must be done at all times. For many, what starts as vigilance of keeping our responsibilities, over time can shift into a perpetual sense that our lives may have become spaces between meetings and deadlines…that we are late, we are late, for a very important date.
As a minister who serves a congregation, there may not be anything I want more for my congregation than the chance for each person to enjoy the time they spend in our community. When I see the dates, the meetings, the obligations piling up on people’s calendars, concern sets in that a place that is literally a sanctuary might begin to feel more like one of those things that catapults the White Rabbit through Wonderland, missing all the wonder that there is to see.
This Sunday we will hold a Path to Engagement class. Attending this class is one of the steps those in our community take in order to become members of the congregation. And as it turns out, this is the last class that will be offered in time for those considering engaging this community by partaking in the spirit of our Fifth Principle, the upholding of the democratic process in our affairs, at the annual meeting of the congregation on May 20.
See, part of my dream for us is that more and more of the vital work of the congregation will be shared by enough people so that more and more of our cherished members can be fully, deeply, and spiritually engaged, rather than feeling they might just be late to the next of the several dates they feel they must keep. I imagine that rather than feeling we are late, we are late, for that very important date, we might (forgive me) feel sedate, and relate, in the peace that engagement can create. And in this I know we can create together the wonderland that is possible in this cherished community. And we would love for anybody feeling anything from curiosity to confidence to join us on Sunday in the Fred Harper Room at 11:30 to learn more about these paths we might take together to wonderland.
And may it ever be so.
Rev. T. J.