Formation Resources: Connectedness

by: 
Bob Scott, Kathryn Carroll, Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones


Contemplative photo by Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.”

—Margaret J. Wheatley

 


 


This Sunday
 

To prepare for Sunday, see this week’s readings.

 


Adult Learning 
 

On Needing One Another

Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.”

—Thomas Merton

Feeling connected to others is a fundamental human need. Dr. Brené Brown defines connection as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Research suggests that people who feel cared about are less likely to focus only on their unmet needs and more likely to put energy toward concern and caring for others. Moreover, regular reflection on feelings of strong connection can actually increase one’s desire to be kind and strengthen their motivation to help others. Happiness and improved relationships are the result of cultivating these experiences.

This data supports what we already know at Trinity from personal experience: our dedication to social justice, at the core of what we do, is sustained and motivated by our interpersonal connections, some new, and others spanning decades. Who knew that these connections could be maintained lovingly — and even strengthened virtually — with great caring in this difficult time. We look inward; we look to one another; we look out and turn toward those in need.

Reflect

Think about a time when you felt a strong connection to another person in the Trinity community of friends, neighbors, and partners and describe the experience in writing. Choose a specific example — it could be a memorable conversation, a time when you gave or received support, or shared a loss or an important moment together. Spend 5 minutes writing about a specific example. In particular, consider how the experience made you feel closer or connected to the other person. To the community. To your faith.

 

 


Adult Practice
 


Contemplative photo by Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

The Orchids

Fr. Mark Bozzuti-Jones (orchid whisperer!)

The orchids are beginning to tell me goodbye
They have been guests for a few months now
They sing a sweet lullaby
all good things
and friends
say goodbye
Assuring me that this is the way things are: bud, bloom, let go, fall to the ground
Orchids are so beautiful and so sensitive
sensitive in a most sensible way
Vulnerable little beautiful things
I cry as I watch them fall
they smile
and tell me to pull myself together (I can’t)
Only orchids smile when they fall and sing as they fall and love as they fall
And do they take forever
I think they linger so long and take so long to fall, because I am so slow learning about blooming about being vulnerable and beautiful and falling and saying goodbye and trusting the right amount of water and light
Good morning, orchids, good night ... take your time

 


Children and Families
 

Improbable Reconciliation

Kathryn Carroll

In this season after Pentecost, we have heard stories about God’s presence in the human family, beginning with “the people’s” first parents, Abraham and Sara. And recently we have thought a lot about the things that Jesus said and did to help us consider God’s presence in our relationships with each other, from family dynamics to societies, and back again to all of humanity.

This Sunday, we’ll go way back to an earlier story of sibling rivalry: Joseph and his brother. This year, we may be able to connect to this story more closely, during our season of plague, famine/scarcity, revolution, mistaken identity, and improbable reconciliation with siblings. For a refresher, here is the Godly Play story of Joseph.   

Family Worship: Home Edition

See Family Worship: Home Edition to see this week’s activity for children and families.

 


Song of the Week
 

Each week, we’re sharing a song of the week to help you go deeper with each Sunday’s theme. The playlist will be updated weekly, and the song of the week will sit on top.