"Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."

― Oscar Wilde

"Look to this day, for it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities
Of our existence:
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow only a vision,
But today well lived
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day."

Sanskrit proverb

Week of August 11

Where is your querencia?  

Do you know this word? It comes from the Spanish verb “querer” which means to desire or to want deeply. A metaphysical concept, querencia was first used in bullfighting, to describe the particular spot in the ring the bull would stake out where it felt strongest and safest during the fight.  It has since come to be understood as the place where one’s strength is drawn from; the place where one feels most at home and most authentically oneself.  In English, we might describe this as our “happy place,” but I don’t think that phrase does justice to the concept the way “querencia” does.

Where is your querencia? Where do you feel most authentic and safe, from where do you draw your strength?

Perhaps your querenciais not one particular place at all, but a person, or a series of places, or an act of doing. My husband said his querenciais on the soccer field—any soccer field in the world—playing his heart out. A friend of mine said it is when he sits down to play his guitar, wherever that is. Another said for her it is the happy work of toiling in her gardens.

I just returned from several weeks at our cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan, a place I have gone nearly every summer since I was born. It is where I connect with friends, have a chance to pause and draw breath, and check in with myself. In many way, this summer community in northern Michigan is as much a “querencia” for me as any earthly place can be— but even there I always feel a restless longing and vulnerability.  

Maybe that’s because, ultimately, no earthly place, no matter how safe or beloved, can totally remove us from the world, and all the challenges life brings. Maybe, in the end, our only true “querencia” is God, who is, paradoxically, both everywhere and place-less, totally intimate and utterly transcendent.  

We need our earthly “querencias”—thank goodness for them!--  but what a joy to know that in God we have an immovable Querencia from whom we can always draw our strength and breath, where we are always home and with whom we can always be authentically ourselves. 

Yours on the Journey,



“On the surface, we are all different. We ascribe to a variety of belief systems, attain our identity from various stories, get our customs from diverse cultures, and so on. And, rightly or wrongly, we generally define ourselves by these differences—there is no denying that. However, when we look beneath the surface, we discover an equally valuable truth – our shared humanity and the universal elements of the human experience."

--Gudjon Bergmann

Week of June 2

Dear Friends:

 This Sunday June 2nd at the 10:30 a.m. service we are delighted to be joined by Rabbi/Cantor Shira Sklar in worship. Shira is the Cantor at Temple Shalom in Norwalk. If you are unfamiliar with the role of a cantor, typically the cantor is an ordained clergy member and trained vocalist who leads the congregation in song and prayer throughout the service, and presides over the religious life ceremonies including weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitzvahs. Cantors are also professional educators-- teaching and preparing the congregation, and often running the synagogue's music programs.

It will be a gift to have Shira in worship, and I encourage you to attend the 10:30 am service if you are able. (I heard Shira singing the other day, and her voice is utterly transporting.) In word and song, Shira “will share the message that so beautifully and powerfully guide the identity of her community. In faith, hope and love, we will hear how the Jewish tradition remembers God’s salvation and redemption, and how each generation prepares to receive the divine gifts of law and love so that they can be share in the world around us.” (check out our Instagram post…)

As Christians, our faith is grounded on and built upon our Jewish roots.  When we forget that Judaism is our mother religion, we miss out on one of the richest aspects of our faith, and lose sight of who Jesus really was.  When asked in Mark what the great commandment is, Jesus answered with that which is at the very heart of Judaism: " Hear, O Isreal the Lord our God, the Lord is One; you shall love the Lord your God with all thy heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’… and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Hope to see you in worship on Sunday!

 Yours on the Journey,