December 26, 2012
On behalf of the kids and families served by our Y, I would like to send a very special note of thanks to all that helped make Christmas with Character our best community holiday party ever. Check out photos and video at http://www.facebook.com/JackieRobinsonFamilyYMCA. It won’t take long to see how the YMCA of San Diego County Holiday Toy Drive brought smiles to a lot of kids on another Saturday before Christmas.
Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon, tells of her father's special Christmas present one year in her book "Jackie's Gift." Read more: http://bit.ly/ReadAboutJackiesGift. I think you will like it!
And here's something else I think you will like.
A busload of "Active Older Adults" (can't call them seniors) from the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA attended the Annual Holiday Luncheon hosted by the San Diego Rotary Club as we have done for the past 15 years on the Thursday before Christmas. Presenting the Invocation was fellow Club 33 Rotarian and retired United Methodist minister, my friend Reverend Mark Trotter, who served twenty four years as Senior Minister of the First United Methodist Church of San Diego, located in Mission Valley.
I know Reverend Mark impressed our delegation with this blessing. I feel Jackie Robinson would have been equally impressed by his comments below.
ONE CHRISTMAS MY CHILDREN GAVE ME A T SHIRT WITH THE PRINTED MESSAGE –
PLEASE DON’T ASK ME TO HAVE A NICE DAY –
I AM TEMPTED TO PRINT ONE FOR MYSELF THAT SAYS –
PLEASE DON’T ASK ME TO HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY –
LET ME SAY IMMEDIATELY – AND WITH EMPHASIS –
I APPRECIATE THE REASON FOR THE UBIQUITOUS HAPPY HOLIDAY GREETING –
I REALIZE IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE A PLURALISTIC NATION –
AND INCREASINGLY SO -
OUR CITIZENS ADHERE TO SEVERAL RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS –
AND SOME TO NO RELIGION AT ALL -
AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT –
THE DOMINANCE OF CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS IN SUCH A MULTI-ETHNIC – MULTI-CREEDAL CULTURE - IS A KIND OF TYRANNY –
PEOPLE EMIGRATE TO AMERICA BECAUSE IT PROMISES FREEDOM FROM TYRANNY OF ANY KIND –
AND OUR HERITAGE AS AMERICANS IS TO RESPECT EVERY PERSON’S DIGNITY – WHICH INCLUDES THEIR BELIEFS -
SO I AM FOR A NEUTRAL PUBLIC SQUARE –
BUT NOT FOR THE INSIPID – HAPPY HOLIDAYS –
I HAVE A SUGGESTION – HAPPY HOLY DAYS –
PEOPLE WHO SAY HOLIDAY ARE REALLY SAYING HOLY DAY –
HOLIDAY IS A CONTRACTION OF THE TWO WORDS – HOLY DAY -
JUST AS THOSE WHO SAY GOODBYE - ARE REALLY SAYING GOD BE WITH YOU –
SO WHY NOT JUST SAY IT –
STOP PUSSY FOOTING – JUST SAY IT –
HAPPY HOLY DAY –
HOLY DAY BECAUSE THE CELEBRATIONS TRADITIONALLY HELD THIS TIME OF YEAR ARE RELIGIOUS IN ORIGIN –
IN ANCIENT TIMES THE CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE THROUGHOUT EUROPE –
WAS A RECOGNITION OF A POWER GREATER THAN OURS –
UPON WHOM WE ARE DEPENDENT -
A POWER THAT ENDS THE DARKNESS AND COLD OF WINTER AND WITHOUT OUR AID – OR OUR DESERVING –
BRINGS THE SUN - AND ITS GIFT OF SPRING – AND NEW LIFE –
AND THIS YEAR ESPECIALLY - LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER YET ANOTHER INSTANCE OF THE DARKNESS OF EVIL THAT DESCENDS ON THE LIVES OF INNOCENT CHILDREN –
INTO THAT DARKNESS COMES THE HOLY SEASON WITH ITS MESSAGE OF HOPE AND NEW LIFE –
AND ITS ENCOURAGEMENT TO BE BEARERS OF LIGHT –
AND RAIL AGAINST THE DARKNESS IN THIS WORLD -
BOTH HANUKKAH AND CHRISTMAS ARE TIMES OF CELEBRATION AND GIFT GIVING – ANYONE CAN ENJOY –
AND IN THAT SENSE THEY ARE HOLIDAYS -
BUT THEY ARE ALSO HOLY DAYS –
BECAUSE THEY POINT TO MOMENTS OF TRANSCENDENCE IN HISTORY -
WHEN A POWER BEYOND OUR POWER TOUCHED OUR LIVES -
HANUKKAH REMEMBERS ANOTHER TIME OF DARKNESS IN JEWISH HISTORY – WHEN A LIGHT IN THE TEMPLE MIRACULOUSLY COULD NOT BE EXTINGUISHED –
CHRISTMAS REMEMBERS THAT IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER –
A BABY WAS BORN -
AND THAT BIRTH WAS LIKE LIGHT COMING INTO THE DARKNESS OF THE WORLD –
AND THE DARKNESS COULD NOT OVERCOME IT -
THOSE HOLY DAYS WERE DESIGNED TO CREATE SACRED SPACE IN OUR LIVES –
WHERE WE TELL STORIES TO OUR CHILDREN THAT WILL IMBUE THEM WITH THE VALUES WE CHERISH –
WHERE OUR FAITH AND HOPE ARE RENEWED –
WHERE - WHEN WE SURROUND OUR FAMILIES WITH LOVE –
WE REMEMBER THAT WE ARE PART OF A MUCH GREATER FAMILY OF ALL HUMANKIND –
SUCH MOMENTS ARE RARE IN OUR WORLD ANYMORE –
THEY ARE CHERISHED – LIFE TRANSFORMING – AND HOLY –
I AM NOT NAÏVE - SO I KNOW YOU’LL PROBABLY CONTINUE TO GREET ME WITH – HAPPY HOLIDAYS –
BUT I HOPE YOU WILL ALSO REALIZE YOU ARE REALLY SAYING -
MAY YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES FIND JOY IN THIS HOLY DAY -
May the Lord richly bless you and your family this Holy Day season and throughout the new year.
Together One Y!
JACKIE ROBINSON FAMILY YMCA
151 YMCA Way, San Diego Ca 92102
(P) 619 264 1451 (M) 619 977 0774 (F) 619 263 7445
(E) firstname.lastname@example.org (W) jackierobinson.ymca.org (S) facebook.com/JackieRobinsonFamilyYMCA
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