In July, we referenced recent articles for ideas to guide our exploration into the world waiting for us on the other side of pandemic isolation. Re-entry anxiety is a common experience for most of us. We’re both eager to come out and yet hesitant. As isolation began, our world was confronted with challenging issues and choices.

Racism, climate change, and attacks on our democracy from within are demanding attention as we craft a new normal together. Is it safer to remain in isolation? It’s hard to avoid feelings of darkness springing up from within us.

Our book for August was written by retired Episcopal priest and professor of world religions Barbara Brown Taylor. Her book, Learning to walk in the dark, questions our tendency to associate all that is good with lightness and evil and dangerous with darkness. In understanding more about the dark, perhaps we can discover a way to find comfort in those times when we don’t have all the answers.

Thankfully, God works in both darkness and daylight. Her book encourages us to confront our fears and anxieties long enough to explore what God has to teach us in the dark places in our lives. Taylors contrasts walking in the dark to what she calls “solar spirituality” based on sunny skies and pleasantries while avoiding the dark. Instead, we can learn and exercise “lunar spirituality,” which waxes and wanes like moonlight.

We find courage in darkness as we experience the world in new ways. Freeing us to feel God’s presence around us and guiding us through both the seen and unseen. It may be that we grow the most in the dark.

Learning to walk in the dark offers guidance through a spirituality of the nighttime. Helping you and me to find our footing in times of uncertainty and giving us strength and hope to face life’s more challenging moments.

While our regular attenders are vaccinated, we realize that there remains a large number of persons that are not vaccinated. Therefore, we require masks in our building for all persons when not eating or drinking. We strongly urge all persons to get vaccinated as soon as practical unless advised not to by your doctor.

We each make our own arrangements for lunch at this point. We look forward to returning to pot-luck lunches later this summer if the national targets for vaccinations are met. The CDC relaxes recommendations for wearing face masks.

If you prefer to avoid groups or live too far away I encourage you to join us online for our Wednesday gatherings. Alternatively, you can call in by phone, be heard, and hear what others say by calling (929) 436-2866 — enter the meeting ID, 282 039 5568#.

We are a diverse group, and we are delighted when new persons join us. I hope that you will join in on our discussion.

You can contact our office with questions, by phone or simply type your question on our website’s homepage — FlintAsbury.org.

1 Barbara BrownTaylor. Learning to Walk in the Dark: Because Sometimes God Shows Up at Night. Harper One, 2015.