Each week during Lent this year we will sing a Settling Song.
As our congregation continues to move toward becoming Beloved Community we also continue to find ways to understand our own brokenness as individuals and as a congregation, as well as our deep connections with each other. There are many ways to do this. Singing is one simple way of getting in touch with our own bodies and spirits as well as the bodies and spirits of others in our congregation.
In addition, ECLC is deeply involved in the work of racial reconciliation and racial justice. To that end, one way to begin to address as a country and as individuals the scars we bear from our brutal racial past, is to first understand how the trauma of that past effects all of us and to learn to settle our bodies in the midst of that trauma. Without first settling ourselves, it is difficult to move ahead with racial reconciliation and understanding.
In My Grandmother’s Hands - Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem, the author suggests that “the first step in (racial reconciliation) is settling our own bodies, one by one. When, over time, enough bodies heal from historical, intergenerational, and personal trauma and learn to harmonize (with other bodies), that harmony can turn into a culture of resilience and flow.” He lists numerous ways we can do this. Singing together is one of them.
The Settling Songs will be short, one verse songs that we will repeat several times in a row. This will allow us to focus on settling our bodies and becoming more deeply connected to those around us. While singing these songs, you’ll be invited to consider adding one or more of these simple, centuries-old settling techniques:
…rocking back and forth to the music
…being aware of your breathing to relax and slow it down
…gently rubbing your stomach or solar plexus to help release tension
…if you’re next to a loved one, holding their hand or leaning into one another
As we worship together in the weeks, months and years to come we will continue to look for ways to be even more fully human, vulnerable, and authentic as we share our time together on Sunday mornings.