***Alternate*** First Reading: Excerpt from The Medicine Wheel by Steven Charleston

A reading from The Medicine Wheel, by Steven Charleston

Archaeologists have identified Sally Hemings’ bedroom at Monticello. It was adjoining the one Thomas Jefferson used, the man with whom she may have had as many as six children.  They lived side by side but in very different worlds.  Jefferson, a national icon, Sally, a woman of color, a nonperson of her time.  It is good to remember Sally and Tom, the reality behind the myth.  It reminds us that gender, color, and justice are still at the center of what we are striving to become.

Let us be transparent, one to another, in this spiritual community.  Let us not conceal our different beliefs, but announce our varied forms of faith. Let us openly profess our desire for peace among all people, for the right of every human being to sleep in safety and wake up in hope.

There is nothing broken that will not be mended; nothing wrong that will not be put right.  The power behind the universe is not only aware, but kind.  Justice and mercy are woven into the nature of creation.  We exist within a sacred context of goodness and restoration.  Our challenge is to come, stand together on these truths until they become the ground of our new beginning.

The words of Steven Charleston.