By Fred Kuhnen

A week ago I started thinking about what my theme might be for this time with you. I thought about the question I’ve heard from Ashley more than once “why do you show up here on Sunday mornings?”

While I have a number of reasons I might list out, my first response to that question is “the world is still confusing”. Even though I’ve reached middle age (plus), I am still working on the assembly of a reliable framework for this life I am given.

A year ago dear family members (who themselves were key to my framework) died in a tragic way.

Tuesday a baffling and painful election happened.

And as I went to bed Tuesday night I felt shock and I felt an ugly, too-familiar pall of grief come over me. I experienced it like a grey veil hanging above me and surrounding my personal space. I didn’t sleep much. I chugged through anger, denial, fear and once again, confusion. Confusion about how others see the world so differently. About how so many fellow citizens are so fragile themselves that they make such poor bargains.

Confusion and disappointment reign.

And so, I show up here, in this place, to sit with my grief and confusion, to hear your words, to learn from you, to witness a healthy community, to be grounded once again.

This community comforts me when I am afflicted.

This community challenges me when I am comfortable.

This community has always been helping me to build that reliable framework: of hope, of steadfastness, of understanding many words for love.

It is good for me personally


It is good for the world. For I carry YOU ALL with me to the other places I move through.

Thank You.

I welcome you to consider Ashley’s question once again as you make your plans for giving to this community in 2017.