March – From the Minister

Posted on Mar 1, 2017 in Spirituality

Our lives are frittered away by detail; simplify, simplify, simplify! These words from Henry David Thoreau, transcendentalist, naturalist, writer, and Unitarian, are as much a challenge today as they were in the mid 1800s when he wrote them. The call to simplicity, by its very nature, seems like it should be, well, simple. Wouldn’t it be nice, to sift through the complex matrix of our lives, appointments, tasks, agendas, responsibilities; to break out of the tangled thicket of a life, a world, complicated by frenetic news feeds and incomprehensible conflicts. Wouldn’t it be nice, to have...

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February – From the Minister

Posted on Feb 1, 2017 in Spirituality

A staunch humanist minister, while serving a historic humanist congregation, had a steel plaque hanging in her office that read: poetry is prayer. She had a lyrical heart, and mind, and spirit—recalling and reciting prayer and prose, favorite writings and readings by memory and by heart. It is as if the words that point to meaning and depth and intention and hope and love found their way into her mind and settled into her heart as a guide, an inner poet—and she held it like a prayer. Prayer isn’t a word to fear. We tend to get lost in the questions of who prayer is addressed to, or what...

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January – From the Minister

Posted on Jan 30, 2017 in Spirituality

“I’ve been a Christian all my life,” said one man, who said he was a Baptist, “but if my church can’t say yes to this, I’m not sure what my church is for.” One woman, a Roman Catholic, stood to say, “The Church can’t exist just to give me the sacrament once a week and make me feel good about myself.” Three people at our table, all members of a synagogue in the western suburbs, nodded their assent. We were at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul, a small group from WBUUC on an icy, late November night. We joined 200 others from many congregations, at a quickly...

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December – From the Minister

Posted on Dec 1, 2016 in Spirituality

Defenceless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame. -W.H. Auden September 1, 1939 The snow came just in time this year, just before Thanksgiving, to blanket our beleaguered world in quiet beauty for a time, softening the harsh, excruciating edges of November’s desperate news. It’s only weather- and in the midst of climate change, we can’t let ourselves be...

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November – From the Minister

Posted on Nov 1, 2016 in Spirituality

The tools of the trade in Worship, for what we do on a Sunday morning and what communities of faith all around the world over centuries have done before us, are ancient and yet modernly powerful tools: silence, scripture, spoken word, music, presence. In an increasingly fragmented world, filled with immediate information any time we want it, schedules and task lists too overwhelming to even begin— our Sunday mornings together have a seemingly foolish and unproductive message—sit. breathe. be. reflect. notice. To hold the things that matter most, which is the root of the word Worship (from...

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October – From the Minister

Posted on Oct 1, 2016 in Spirituality, Uncategorized

The THEMES we choose each month for Sunday services (carried into discussion groups and classes) seek to reclaim a powerful spiritual vocabulary from the dusty dungeons of outworn theologies. Some strong old words still carry useful power, even if we’ve left behind the religions where first we learned them. To me, COVENANT is such a word. Someone (one of you, a member here) said to me not long ago, “Covenant is a promise I keep to myself, about the kind of person I want to be, the kind of life I mean to lead, together with all kinds of other people, and with all other living things.”...

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