September Greetings from the ACC President

My garden is full of vegetables, whose bounty I have been eating and sharing with friends and neighbors now for weeks. A few weeks ago, though, before our first little orange tomatoes ripened, we went on holiday for just barely a week. Not a tomato was yet ready for picking, and watching them day after day did not seem to bring their readiness any more quickly. But of course, when we returned, fantastically, there was the beginning of what has been a daily bowlful of these tiny, sweet gems. The changes were so minimal that I couldn’t see them from day to day, but with the passing of a week, that incremental ripening paid off.

Tiny changes in our lives can also be influential, and this season in our spiritual year becomes not only about the big changes we have to make in our lives, but also or maybe more importantly about the tiny things we often have to do to just get better at being human. It’s those small things in ourselves that, when we change them, have a huge impact. We may focus more often on what we think we see, while missing the larger picture, the greater experience. We look at the trees but don't see the forest; we look at the forest but don't always see the trees which comprise it.

The Yamim Noraim are about an honest accounting of both the big picture and the minutiae that make the picture happen. In parashat Ha’azinu, Moses tells us to see God in the droplets of dew, in the rain which falls upon us--in the small stuff. Moses concludes this poem by reminding the people to take to heart all in the words that he has spoken - to see both the droplets and to see the growth that is nourished by them. To see that in their multitude, they do make a difference; that with each step we take, no matter how small it may seem, we come closer to God, closer to our inner spirit, closer to seeing the big signs that we miss, precisely when we miss the little ones. If we keep looking for blessings in the big signs of the world, rather than in the small droplets that rain upon us, we may miss the true nature of what is bestowed upon us in each day.

There will be many moments of dewdrops this year, in our Conference and in our personal lives: opportunities for growth, for sharing joy, for receiving comfort, for learning and for living. Through our work together, each of your make up our core of volunteers that enable so much of the work of the Conference. Let me extend my personal thanks to each of you in advance for helping to create and participate in what I pray will be a fulfilling year. It is because of the hard work and dedication of each person that steps forward that we can continue to move our agenda forward, in service of our profession and the communities that we serve.

This holiday season, and throughout this New Year, I pray, too, that we all experience God around each and every one of us like the droplets of dew on the grass, and that we all find healing and hope in the promise of the year to come.