Warm Cookies and Cold Milk are Good for You by Dr. Laura Bernstein

Well, this is it.  Tomorrow we welcome our new clergy.  We form a new leadership team.  We have a new Board President.  We take a significant step forward on our congregational journey. It is a moment for which we have long planned and anticipated.

If you weren’t at the annual meeting, you missed Ginny Rosenberg sharing that we are on a path going from strength to strength.  She likened this moment in time to standing on a bridge.  We are now in the “to” stage of that movement from strength to strength. I appreciate this analogy.  It is comforting. It is informative.  And, it helps us to stay grounded and remember where we are.   We are moving forward but don’t have all the answers.  We are taking significant steps but have not yet arrived.  The journey will take time.

As we walk together across this metaphoric bridge, we are connected to the path from where we have come as we respect and honor our past and we are connected to our future as we plan the best path forward. Ginny’s analogy gives us permission to stop and take a deep breath before we carry on.  This “to” place is feeling pretty good to me.

Remember the poem by Robert Fulgham called “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten?”  It eloquently provides a list of sixteen universal practices that, as adults, many of us wish we remembered to do all of the time. It includes items such as sharing, playing fair, putting things back where you found them, and my personal favorite, “Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.”

Item thirteen in the poem tells us to “hold hands and stick together.” That is the perfect wisdom we now need. This teaching echoes the words of our creative prayer for redemption, the Mi Chamocha, found in our Reform Movement’s prayer book, Mishkan T’filah.  While I am not likening our current transition to the journey from slavery to freedom, we are continually on a journey to a more promised place of bettering our congregation and world.  The prayer states that, “there is no way to get from here to there except by joining hands, marching together.”  It is apropos, don’t you think?

I’m on the bridge.  Our new Leadership Team is on the bridge.  Our entire staff is on the bridge.  Our Board of Directors is on the bridge.  Our Community of Leaders is on the bridge.  Many congregants who have been connected during the past year are on the bridge.  Some congregants may not yet be on the bridge. Standing where we are standing is a beautiful spot.  Please don’t wait for the High Holy days to join us on the bridge.  I invite all of you to participate in one of our summer events and join us on the bridge.

I’ll bring the cookies and milk.