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COMPASS ROSE: THE UU SAN MATEO BLOG

Ministerial Musings on Play: July Pastoral Letter from Rev. Stefanie

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Curious about this month’s theme of “play” I found out that in Old English the word pleg(i)an meant ‘to exercise’, and plega meant ‘brisk movement’. So, play was a pretty active/physical affair back in the day, building strong bodies for the necessary labors of pre-industrial society adulthood.


Although play is most often still associated with childhood antics, we never actually outgrow the need for “playtime”. Play builds not only needed physical strengths, but also social and spiritual strengths and skills.


We never outgrow the need to learn how to deal with “rules” that feel unfair or arbitrary, how to invite one another into shared activities, how to “play nice” and “share toys”. As adults we are often called upon to “wait our turn”, to think outside the box” or “color outside the lines”, to think briskly, imagining our way into or out of all kinds of scenarios, to be a “good loser” and to celebrate any team’s success.


A playful spirit keeps us connected, flexible, and resilient!


When play remains a part of our routine we learn to take ourselves less seriously and focus on our shared experience; we discover our own courage and ability to respond generously and creatively to life.


As we move into this month’s focus on “play” I encourage you to consider that it’s not “just for kids”. And it just may be exactly what’s called for when the seriousness of life threatens to depress or isolate.


Also, please remember that your Pastoral Care Team is here for you when things really are feeling “too serious” for all of that. If you’re needing support or accompaniment, or would like to be a support to others in this community, please reach out to pastoralcare@uusanmateo.org


In Awe & Gratitude,

Rev Stefanie



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