Spirituality

February – From the Minister

An older couple I know and love are both in their late ’90s. Creatures of habit now by necessity, they are also no strangers to the constant disruptions of daily living and frequent betrayals by their physical selves of the vibrant people that they are still “inside.” One of them lives increasingly with both hearing loss and memory loss; he can’t always understand why the world has gone suddenly so quiet. “Speak up! ” he shouts, to people in the room, to the Jeopardy contestants on TV, to the teller at the bank. His partner sometimes strains her voice, both with loud speaking and...

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January – From the Minister

I can’t think of a better time of year to contemplate discipline than the month of January in the North. A month for homebodies and introverts and mystics. A month for the weary and disillusioned. In its cold, dark embrace we can withdraw and reflect – whether in hopeless dismay or patient faith. January is a time of rest in the wake of the holidays – the race from Thanksgiving through Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, and into the New Year. It is a time of waiting for the renewal promised in the coming of Spring. Allowing ourselves the luxury of rest in this busy world takes...

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December – From the Minister

Our search process for a new Assistant Minister is well underway. I would like to give thanks to a capable and visionary Advisory Committee appointed by the Board in August, as well as to you for your participation in six Congregational Conversations held this past month. We’ve been asking you three questions: How does this church matter, in your life and in the world? What do you want our candidates to know about our congregation? What are we seeking in our new minister? Your answers have been strong and clear: When in crisis, this is the place to be for whatever you need. It is a beacon...

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November – From the Minister

I was recently given the gift of reuniting with some old friends that I worked with 20 years ago in Tacoma, WA, at a homeless shelter called Nativity House. This reunion brought back all sorts of memories of my time with the “guests” of Nativity House, and there is one in particular that has stayed with me. One afternoon, I was busy helping to get lunch prepared when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to find Andy, a regular guest, standing behind me, quietly crying and desperately trying to stay on his feet. Andy was extremely drunk and, by the looks of him, had been for several...

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October – From the Minister

Some years ago, I joined Jill Schwendeman, our Youth Director, in guiding our 7th and 8th graders through a whirlwind tour of the bible. We met with them on Sunday afternoons, packing plenty of pizza to wander with them through the desert of the ancient world to see how these sacred stories speak to their lives as young Unitarian Universalists. Jill, their teacher, gave them a beautiful gift in the first session: she translated the meaning of each of their names into ancient Hebrew, and spoke their names in that beautiful, strange language. She wrote each one out for them to copy from right...

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September – From the Minister

On the day of the eclipse I was in an airport. We were not near “the path of totality, ” but people were excited anyway, pressed to the plate glass windows, squinting their eyes and snapping pictures, sharing news from friends across the country and arguing adamant armchairastronomy with strangers. Little kids clutched snack-box pinhole cameras and grandparents traded memories of past eclipses, where exactly they were standing in 1970 and what it felt like when the world went dark at noon. Under one sky, headed for a thousand different destinations, for a couple of hours we were all...

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