Pastor Rick's Letter to the Congregation,
 November 2021

As we enter the month of November I am grateful for all of you for the way you support and care for one another in our shared ministry. While I was away on vacation Lamont Wiltsee and Jennifer Garbarino stepped up to lead some marvelous Sunday services! Bill Salmon has joined the illustrious group of liturgists, and Rich Cheatham and Holly Thompson did a great job co-leading last week’s service. Holly has been co-managing our Zoom services ever since we began them and her expertise and assistance has been an enormous blessing for our expanded Sunday morning ministry. Thank you one and all!


Two days before I started my vacation, Arthur Latimer died in his sleep at Carmel Valley Manor. His two sons, his sister, and a dear friend were at his side during his last days. I was able to visit him the night he died and express to him our love and gratitude for his presence in our community, and offer a final blessing. We will all miss Arthur. His intelligence, wit, compassion and caring, and the way he affirmed and appreciated everyone he met was a gift we were given whenever he was around. Coming up on Sunday, November 14 at 2 p.m. there will be a memorial service for Arthur and Kate at Hidden Valley Music Seminars. I hope you will be able to join us as we remember and celebrate their lives.


Finally, I think most of you know by now that my recent “vacation” was not at all what I was hoping for. About a week into it, as I was getting ready to go up to the mountains, I was hit by a car while walking across the street about a block and a half from my home. And yes, I was in the crosswalk. I suffered an AC joint separation type 3, which has been one of the most painful and traumatic experiences of my life. The good news is that I am slowly healing and will likely recover in another six to eight weeks, without needing surgery. I can truthfully say this was the worst vacation ever!


In the midst of an awful experience I was amazed by the kindness and grace offered by friends, family and strangers. A woman who lived in the house on the corner where I was hit came out and helped me out of the street. She later offered me a blanket so I wouldn’t be cold. Someone called 911, and an ambulance and police were on their way. While I was being examined by the EMTs a good friend just happened to be driving by. She pulled over, came to check on me, and ended up taking Bodhi with her so the ambulance could take me to the hospital. Many of you called, sent cards/flowers, and offered meals. Dan and Judie Riley took Bodhi for two weeks as I was recovering. The Beloved Community in action. I don’t know how to fully express all my gratitude.

 

It has also been a time to marvel at the miracle of the body. Having a left shoulder injury that doesn’t allow me to use that shoulder or hand as I normally would has made me aware of just how marvelous our shoulders and hands are. I know the difference between full range of motion and extremely limited range of motion, and I don’t take for granted all that a healthy shoulder can do now. And when I recover a full range of motion with my left shoulder it will be another wonder of the body’s capacity to heal and recover.


It is clear to me now that being able-bodied is a temporary condition, one that can change at any moment. This means not taking for granted all that we are able to do, and being in solidarity with those who are not able to do the things that most of us can. Another call to gratitude, compassion, and justice.


Thank you for the love you share with the world!


Your partner in our shared ministry,


Rev. Rick Yramategui