A Season of “Rest and Renewal”: A Christmas Message from the MESA Board

Dear MESA Community,

With Christmas upon us once again, many of us have practices to help reconnect us to the deeper significance of the holiday. We focus on Jesus’ mission and example, finding ways to serve those in need, speaking up for peace on earth, and reconciling our divisions, big and small. We find ways to simplify the holidays, reducing our consumption and impact in favor of experience and the magic of Christmas–love, generosity, and inclusive community. Every year we find inspiration in the gospel and in the actions of others’ to heal the pain of the world.

These practices and meditations are the heart of the holiday and our cyclical return to them surely helps to deepen our understanding and love, to develop and revitalize the awe that heals all hurt. Such balms are key to healing, but we must also remember the other part, which is to rest. Rest facilitates healing, eases the integration of new ideas, new practices, and sets the stage for reinvigoration.

Katherine May speaks of ‘wintering’, where we come to see the wisdom of seasonal renewal, both in the earth and in our lives, and the integral role of winter in making the new life of spring both vibrant and possible. Any time we feel depleted, we need rest and self-care to renew ourselves and our efforts to create the changes the world so urgently needs. We might even call it sustainability.

May you find this Christmas season a time of rest and renewal, that will sustain you in both in your personal life and the work we share of creation care. As Isaiah reminds us, “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

With gratitude for you all, we wish you a happy and restorative Christmas and a rejuvenated new year.


The MESA Board

Rachael Lauritzen (Chair)
Page Checketts (Board Chair)
Marc Coles-Ritchie (Secretary)
Soren Simonsen (Treasurer)
Dr. Ben Abbott (Member)
Giles Florence (Member)
Jared Higgs (Member)