This I Believe

Welcome to the new This I Believe web page and archive!

Thanks to a diligent team of volunteer members and staff, you now have access to dozens of talks delivered from the mid-1960′s to the present. There are more to be located and new talks will be added continuously to the archive.

This beautiful preservation of our living history offers the latest opportunity to share what we value about our faith and our spiritual community. Take some time to read, reflect, and discover how our unique and common experiences have led us to this particular spiritual community over the decades.

We’re sure you’ll be moved by the wealth of insight and wisdom housed in this archive.

sys-divider

It is a longstanding practice here to invite members of the congregation to share with us their journeys of faith. It is a rare opportunity for us, to be given this glimpse not of opinions and ideas and knowledge – but of wisdom, and doubt mingled in with the faith, and questions circling the answers, and convictions hard-won and wonder still emerging. This I Believe is a hard assignment; we ask of these speakers that they speak the truth as bravely as they can, that they tell us a story, that they model for us this essential spiritual work: making a narrative out of all your experience, making meaning out of the days we are given.

The presenters are charged with speaking to us as openly as they can, and we in turn are charged to listen as openly as we can. This circuit of speaking and hearing is important because religious life unfolds in community. There is the solitary journey of the soul on its own, and there is the return to the circle of companions who will hold our story as sacred (and ordinary), companions who both embrace us and challenge us to deeper growth. (That’s your job at coffee hour – to challenge and embrace our two speakers, in love and gratitude).

Victoria Safford

sys-divider

This I Believe: Beth Irish (2006)

Posted by on Oct 22, 2006 in This I Believe | 0 comments

Like many of you, I was not raised Unitarian. I was baptized by a friend of my father –  a Congregationalist – and, not counting my brother’s baptism, I did not set foot in a church again until I was eight years old. My parents decided they wanted my brother Michael and me to be exposed to church, so they picked a local Lutheran church with a good youth program. I enjoyed the church and Sunday school. I loved books, so learning Bible stories about heroes who survived lion’s dens or took out giants with slingshots was a lot of fun for...

read more

This I Believe: Bud Markhart (2006)

Posted by on Mar 26, 2006 in This I Believe | 0 comments

“I sat on a hill and looked all around And thought I saw where the sky met the ground I knew what and I knew mostly how, But why was what confounded me now. The question why has pondered men’s minds Since the very beginning of time But I guess why is what makes men, men, For they need a question with no end. Now that I am going I am beginning to see Why, why can never be.” I read this poem preparing for this talk and something in them resonated with this science guy.  My professional life as educator and researcher has been focused on...

read more

This I Believe: Charlotte Preston (2005)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2005 in This I Believe | 0 comments

You may be familiar with a creation story from the Bible. On the sixth day of creation, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” It is not whether or how God shaped clay which calls me. What calls me is that God, in the midst of creative activity, breathed life into the human form. The story describes us as made in God’s image. I think we are formed, enlivened by the breath of God, created in the image of the Creator, in order to create. Narratives and poetic imagery from...

read more

This I Believe: Judy Ottman (2004)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2004 in This I Believe | 0 comments

The UUSC, Indian John, and Me I believe that grocery shopping is entertainment. I go grocery shopping at least once a day because I think it is fun, rather than a necessary chore. I like going to the store to see products from all over the world, like Albanian apples, Columbian coffee, Polish ham, New Zealand kiwi, and Japanese sushi, which are available for me to purchase. It’s a cheap world tour. I am grateful I can afford to buy everything in a supermarket, like Queen Elizabeth or Bill Gates. As a child, my family couldn’t afford to buy...

read more

This I Believe: Barb Parent (2004)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2004 in This I Believe | 0 comments

I am always impressed with the readings that Victoria finds and then weaves into her sermon.  I particularly liked the one from this spring where the author used crossing a swamp on lily pads as an analogy for her spiritual journey.  I tried to think of a suitably thought provoking analogy to describe how I had gotten to today spiritually and thus to what I believe.  Since I feel most comfortable close to water, I thought I would liken my journey to traveling on the river and moving from a small river to a bigger river to an even bigger...

read more

This I Believe: Laurie Kigner (2004)

Posted by on Jan 4, 2004 in This I Believe | 0 comments

As I prepared for this Sunday I found myself immediately drawn to memories of my first philosophy class in college.  I remember going home on break, waving my personal ethics paper, the final draft laboriously pounded together on a manual type writer assisted with many packets of those little slips of whiteout paper.  I was anxious for my father to read it, to find out who I was, who he had raised, hoping, I think, that he would approve of my thoughts and beliefs.  And, of course, I was sure he would be reading profundities he had never...

read more

This I Believe: Sheila Moriarty (2003)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2003 in This I Believe | 0 comments

These words are an effort to give my personal view to the following questions: What do you believe happens to us when we die? Where does your belief come from? Has it been a comfort to you in times of grief? Are your beliefs different from your parents, family, and friends? What do you say to mortality? Where My Beliefs Came From In Paradisium is the title of the hymn that is sung at Catholic funeral masses. As the body is transported from the church sanctuary to the cemetery, a choir sings the lyrics, ”May the angels lead you into paradise,...

read more

This I Believe: Jeff Janacek (2002)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2002 in This I Believe | 0 comments

I believe a third of people I know should be wondering about at least a third of what I do – if not, maybe I need to change my course a bit.  Those who know me well are wondering how I ever got this far into such a talk without mentioning my interest in boating.  For an excellent example of this one-third guideline, I spend a lot of time and money fooling with boats and recently became a USCG licensed captain, allowing me to take out people for hire in a boat all sorts of places, but have no idea what I will ever do with it.  Sally...

read more

This I Believe: Naomi Baer (2001)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2001 in This I Believe | 0 comments

This from A Universal Man by C.S. Nelson:  “From time to time, I pause (life pauses) to consider my conduct, and I discover that I cannot be selfish, for I can steal only from myself.” I pause and look where I am now.  I agreed to stretch when I said yes to Victoria.  I did not know how much of a stretch this would be for me to face my personal beliefs and see them as uncertainties. How do I come to what I believe?  What is my context?  Where do I come from?  William Blake said, “To generalize is to be an idiot.”  I can only...

read more

This I Believe: Janet Urbanowicz (2001)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2001 in This I Believe | 0 comments

As meaningful as I’ve always found our “This I Believe” programs, I’ll admit to feeling some reluctance to tell my own story – not because there’s anything especially difficult for me to tell, but because it has been a relatively quiet inner journey, in contrast to the dramatic, sometimes truly heroic stories that I’ve felt honored to hear from others here.  With that said, I’ll continue.  I do know from long experience that there’s a listening here for all our stories, whether they’re eventful or more...

read more