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Table Connection Question - How did it go writing your Statement of Faith or Ultimate Concern these past weeks? What did you notice about how it evolved over the 2 weeks and how your life displayed (or didn't) the faith you professed?

Welcome & Covenant

Poem - The Cure at Troy, Seamus Heaney

Pause - Calling Hope to Attention

Hope - Reimagined: Reading Observations

“Hope is distinct, in my mind, from optimism or idealism. It has nothing to do with wishing. It references reality at every turn and reveres truth. It lives open eyed and wholehearted with the darkness that is woven ineluctably into the light of life and sometimes seems to overcome it. Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a practice that becomes spiritual muscle memory. It’s a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

Discussion Questions:

1. Krista's interview with Brene Brown mentioned hope being born of struggle in that our capacity for wholeheartedness can never be greater than our willingness to be broken hearted. What is your biggest struggle as you move toward hope? How does brokenheartedness play a role in hope's formation?

2. After reflecting on some whose lives and deaths have made the headlines, Tippett muses: “Our world is abundant with quiet, hidden lives of beauty and courage and goodness. There are millions of people at any given moment, young and old, giving themselves over to service, risking hope, and all the while en-nobling us all.” Who in the world you know fits this description? Who inspires you?

3. Krista writes, “I have seen that wisdom emerges precisely through those moments when we have to hold seemingly opposing realities in a creative tension and interplay: power and frailty, birth and death, pain and hope, beauty and brokenness, mystery and conviction, calm and buoyancy, mine and yours.” What seemingly opposing realities are you navigating now in your personal, civic, and/or professional life? How could you find ways to accompany others—and ask for companionship—to make this more bearable and hope more reasonable?

Collective Conversation

Practice for Week - Saying Yes to the Hope Being Born in You

Prayer - Benediction

Announcements - December and January