Today, we not only celebrate TOTJO anniversary but also the community of people who meet here.
Today we are celebrating everyone who visits and are members here no matter what walk of life they may come from nor in what way they may participate.
In the Force each individual is unique in his own image where everyone has different talents. And just like the ingredients in a recipe we all bring different elements into the community.
In addition to celebrating all the different groups and people who are part of our present community, we also remember the people who came before us. We remember the people who founded this Temple years ago and we remember the people who built this Temple site 4 years ago.
The purpose of this remembering is not to dream nostalgically about the past, but to thank the Living Force for the life, work and witness of those people. We remember how they lived and the love and the concern they showed to us, and we acknowledge all of that before Community and Force.
Human relationships are not always easy, and the difficulties we have are part of being human and part of the risk of being a member of a community.
Relationships are at the heart of what it means to be human. Some relationships are easy and some are difficult. Some take a lot of effort and some very little effort.
TOTJO has shown that our relationship to the Force can be like that too: sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s difficult. Sometimes, our relationship to the Force flows swimmingly for weeks, months, or years, and other times we struggle: either with faith, with closeness, or with perceiving the presence of the Force.
But to acknowledge the difficulties as well as the goodness in our relationships is a truthful thing, and an authentic thing. And the best relationships are the ones in which we are free to be truthful and authentic. Because, when we acknowledge our differences, our disagreements and even our faults, we can make amends and start to move forward constructively.
We can learn to forgive and we can learn to be forgiven.
There is one group of people here not mentioned yet. We’ve mentioned the people who are part of our community today. And we’ve mentioned the people who have come before us. But we’ve not mentioned the people who will come after us.
As we think about who we are now and who we want to be in the future, some of us will have different ideas; I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some disagreement, but all of that is OK.
Let us be mindful as we move forward into what is for us a new year, that the Living Force will move with us and give us the strength to continue to be a community which is forgiving and forgiven.
May the Living Force open our eyes and our ears to it`s work in our lives and in the world and help us to respond as we are each called.
May The Force Be With Us!