This I Believe

This I Believe: Mary Duncan (2012)

I was born the first child of a young Lutheran minister and his 20 year old wife on a country parish in northern Iowa. I was grounded in Lutheran theology from the time of my baptism, through the early years of bedtime bible stories, followed by Christian day school beginning in kindergarten and not ending until I left the Lutheran junior college I was attending after my freshman year to attend the University of Minnesota. Even my first and long-time piano teacher was Lutheran. This training gave me a great deal of stability. By hearing Bible passages over and over, I let many of them sink in...

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This I Belive: Louise Pardee (2011)

HOW DID I GET HERE? How did I get HERE? It does seem like a strange place for someone brought up as an evangelical Christian and who spent half of her life as a Presbyterian. Last April, I signed the Membership Book. The ink was barely dry when an old friend, Laurie Kigner, called and asked if I would be a summer speaker. I happily accepted. How DID I get here? There is no brief answer. It involves a process of change in thinking throughout my life, affected by family, church, friends, books, music, politics, and then a fateful fall, which hastened my decision. The poet, Muriel Rukeyser, said...

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This I Believe: Klay Eckles (2011)

I Believe in the Four Leaf Clover I was with the kids in the backyard playing kick ball. My daughter fell down in the grass, and quickly proclaimed, “Hey a 4 leaf clover.” I was excited, having never successfully found one. As I was trying to explain the rarity and good fortune of finding one, my son spits out, “Hey here’s another one!” After 10 minutes on my knees I gave up in frustration and returned to the life lesson about how lucky they were to find these. So months later when I rediscovered the preserved clovers in a counter junk pile, I remembered back over the past months....

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This I Believe: Jane Bacon (2011)

My Religious Journey We all have stories.  It’s an honor to be able to share mine. Childhood into adulthood:  I grew up in a family of ex-Catholics.  My mother had been deeply wounded by the Church; she thought religion was dangerous and should be avoided.  My father also had been wounded; he thought that religion was irrelevant.  My aunt had a more positive experience at a Catholic boarding school, staffed by liberal nuns. Although we never attended church or read the Bible, I knew that in the outside world religion was important.  When I was about five years old, another child asked...

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This I Believe: Lisa Wersal (2010)

Experiencing the Divine Last spring, my mentor and friend, Sister Brian Spain of the Order of St. Benedict, passed away.  Louis and I were privileged to be at her bedside a few days before, and sat quietly in prayer and meditation, as she slept.  I offer my remarks today to honor her and her Benedictine Sisters, who nurtured my spiritual development during my college years and beyond.  They demonstrate many of the values we UUers hold dear: extending hospitality; being environmentally conscious and responsible; encouraging free thinking, listening, and reflection; and being peacemakers and...

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This I Belive: Ken Stewart (2010)

Let me begin by telling you a story.  After all, it’s the stories we remember, not all the high-minded principles.  When I was a young seminary student at Boston University School of Theology in the late 1960’s, Abraham Maslow’s studies of peak experiences intrigued me.  Maslow was a humanistic psychologist who was interested in studying healthy people, self-actualized people.  He studied peak experiences: those moments in our lives when we achieve profound insights and see how things fit together. Peak experiences are described by Maslow as especially joyous and exciting moments in...

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