April Letter to the Community by Rebecca Behizadeh

I spent Easter in a cemetery.

To be fair, it wasn’t totally by design. I’d biked 8 city miles and still wasn’t at Arnold Arboretum, so Forest Hills Cemetery felt as good as anything else - after all, cemeteries have trees, too. It was waning light, so my partner and I found a spot still touched by sunlight and sat down to our Easter ritual: reading aloud news stories that broke our heart.

    I have to say, it was an encouraging activity. I can’t stand the way we “consume” news, as if they were facts that everyone should be able to digest as they digest their breakfast toast, their coffee. I think reading of heartbreaking news should be accompanied by wailing, or it’s all an exercise in repressed pain.

    But, wait! Where does gladness fit here? Easter teaches us to pay attention to the rejoicing, even as (not if - for it will) suffering continues. This rejoicing is a healing act, too, to spend time gladdening the heart with good news.

    At this year’s Love Matters (May 14th from 4-6:30pm at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul...tickets here....), we hope to share both the suffering and the redemption, the brokenness and the hope - all of the stories that knit us together into a community of reconciliation. Come to feed your hearts, not to “consume” news but to be inspired and even transformed by the journeys of your fellow humans, all of us working together toward a vision of a more loving world. And come to thank the Rev. Arrington Chambliss, who has led Life Together for the past 8 years, co-creating this community with us.

    In this Easter newsletter, find the good news of Hannah Pommersheim’s encounter with the School of Love; Life Together fellows preaching sermons; and Life Together fellows signing on for a second year of leadership development. We also mourn the passing of a great friend, mentor and supporter of our program, Tom Shepherd, as we celebrate new life in our community with little Hannah Louis Madsen Gelbtuch, Life Together site supervisor Dave Gelbtuch's brand-new bundle of joy! For the good news in our communities, and the profound support we’ve received throughout the years, we are grateful.

Rebecca Behizadeh is Life Together’s Director of Hiring and Development.