About: Wandering, wondering, wading in…

My name is Yael Lachman. I live and work in Salem, Oregon, where I am the Minister of First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.

My greatest joy is to help congregations become places of deep spiritual practice, where individuals, families, and entire communities listen together for the call of God in our lives. To accompany one another as we go singing to the river, and to hold safe space as we wade together into the deep currents of life and change: I believe this is the holy and always surprising work of a faith community at its best. It is my extraordinary joy to be called into the midst of congregational life—a life of listening together for the longings of our souls, and of renewing and deepening our relationship with the One who longs to carry us forth on streams of blessing, and healing, into this world that God so loves.

What you’ll find here are the things I’m thinking, wondering, and praying about these days—often in the form of sermons, but also in a looser form of storytelling and conversation that doesn’t always translate to the page, but that I love to use in worship.

If you’re in the neighborhood, please drop in and visit us  at First Congregational Church. We’re an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, and we gather every Sunday at 10:30 as a community of all ages and all kinds of families. You’re invited, anytime, to come experience God’s extravagant welcome!

2 thoughts on “About: Wandering, wondering, wading in…

  1. What a joy it was when Christy told our poetry meditation group that you are again posting some of your marvelous meditations on RIVER OF JOY! I’d like to receive emails about your new posts. Thanks for offering that option!

  2. Eagle Poem
    -BY JOY HARJO

    To pray you open your whole self
    To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
    To one whole voice that is you.
    And know there is more
    That you can’t see, can’t hear;
    Can’t know except in moments
    Steadily growing, and in languages
    That aren’t always sound but other
    Circles of motion.
    Like eagle that Sunday morning
    Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
    In wind, swept our hearts clean
    With sacred wings.
    We see you, see ourselves and know
    That we must take the utmost care
    And kindness in all things.
    Breathe in, knowing we are made of
    All this, and breathe, knowing
    We are truly blessed because we
    Were born, and die soon within a
    True circle of motion,
    Like eagle rounding out the morning
    Inside us.
    We pray that it will be done
    In beauty.
    In beauty.

    Joy Harjo, “Eagle Poem” from In Mad Love and War. Copyright © 1990 by Joy Harjo.

    Yael,
    I like this poem by our new national poet Laureate and thought you would like to see it in case you haven’t come across it yet.
    And I love your ‘Holy spirit’ sermon talking to your church about being open and affirming. Thanks for speaking out!
    I went to a cool day-long at Insight Santa Cruz on Saturday called ‘Beyond Duality, Mindfulness of Gender’. It was led by four (not very binary) teachers from the East Bay Insight Center. By the end of the day (though not at all at the beginning cuz I was sorta nervous) I felt like we were one wonderful supportive group of people exploring gender in modern society and trying to make the world a safe place for all of us.

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