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.

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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

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This I Believe: Kate Christopher (1999)

Posted by on Mar 7, 1999 in This I Believe | 0 comments

I was raised by religious cynics. My parents weren’t even atheists – that would have required a belief statement. They were good people – committed to community service and social justice issues – but not religious. I envied my friends and their connection to religious practice. I felt a call to the spiritual in life – the unseen, perhaps unfathomable call to another level of perception. During early adolescence I began joining my friends to attend church or the synagogue. I really wanted to be Jewish. I admired the Jewish commitment...

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This I Believe: Ray Savela (1997)

Posted by on Sep 7, 1997 in This I Believe | 0 comments

I’ve been pondering this question for three weeks now wondering what my topic should be. My talk is not particularly about religion but rather a few antidotes [sic] about it. I attended Catholic Church for 38 years with my wife, Lucy, but I never joined. It took me only six years to join this church- now that’s progress. I got along very well with the Catholics; some of the priests were dear friends. My wife nor the priests bugged me to join the Catholic Church- and I never argued religion. The main reason I didn’t join the Catholic...

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This I Believe: Carol Caouette (1997)

Posted by on Sep 7, 1997 in This I Believe | 0 comments

I lose myself when I’m really looking. Once, on a city bus entering downtown St. Paul, I became engrossed in noticing the small architectural details at the tops of buildings. On one building’s alley-side wall, I saw the graffiti image of a swirling sun slowly spinning, frame by frame, into a running man. At that moment, without any intention, I turned to look at the top of a building on the other side of the streets – and there was the swirling sun motif in 100 year old masonry, all along the rooftop edge. Immersed in that moment, I was...

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This I Believe: Dick Grant (1995)

Posted by on Sep 7, 1995 in This I Believe | 0 comments

A few weeks ago, I spent time looking up at the broken off branches of an old pine tree. When the tree was young, these lower branches served the tree by reaching out to the world, taking in sunlight and CO2. As the tree grew, and new growth emerged at the top, the tree reluctantly let go of the lower branches in the storms and winds. As I thought about that tree, I saw a metaphor for my life. The old behaviors, beliefs, methods I used in younger days served me well for their time. But as the new branches of my life were touched by the sun, I...

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This I Believe: Donna Koning (1994)

Posted by on Sep 7, 1994 in This I Believe | 0 comments

I’ve been a member of White Bear Unitarian Church for about three years. Joining the Unitarian Universalist Church was a significant step in my spiritual evolution and I’m happy to be here today to share some of that spiritual evolution with you. I have never attended one of the “This I Believe” Sundays here at church, so I had no preconceived notions of what form these talks usually take. I did not know whether they were typically very upbeat and celebratory or whether they tended to grapple with tough issues, so mine is a mixture of...

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This I Believe: Kathy Graham (1992)

Posted by on Nov 1, 1992 in This I Believe | 0 comments

As I look back over my life, I would say I have been lucky. I had a very stable and wonderful childhood. There was no alcoholism, divorce or abuse. My parents are still together and happy after 56 years of marriage. We never had financial problems. My father provided comfortably for us with his small town law practice. My father is what I consider a true intellectual and is one of the most intelligent, best read people I will ever know. But he was not ambitious and was happy to live a simple life in a small Central Wisconsin town surrounded by...

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This I Believe: Katie Macke (1991)

Posted by on Nov 10, 1991 in This I Believe | 0 comments

I thank Rose Anderson and Bob Stowe for the opportunity to speak here today. I thank Rose for suggesting me to Bob for the “This I Believe” program (which I have since renamed in my head as “Here I Be”), and I thank Bob for asking and encouraging me. Rose, I think, sees something in me that I’m just beginning to see for myself. I thank her. Bob was the first person to roll out the U-U welcome mat for me. His friendly conversation, in addition to the Sunday meetings themselves, convinced me very quickly that this...

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This I Believe: Sylvia Sharma (1990)

Posted by on Dec 3, 1990 in This I Believe | 0 comments

It is an honor for me to be the voice of many here. Although we are separate in physical body we know we are inter-related. I am an expression of your inner- most mental and spiritual thoughts. My remarks are organized into three parts. The first is to describe the personal story. The second is to share the values and priorities of my belief system and third, to summarize. Personal Story It is important to begin my talk about my family of origin because in my belief system, I feel we decide to incarnate upon this planet at a particular point...

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This I Believe: Bob Buresh (1990)

Posted by on Dec 3, 1990 in This I Believe | 0 comments

Being part Scandinavian ancestry, I grew up in a family with a strong Lutheran background. As a loyal church attender and believer as a youth, in adolescence I was impressed with the startling differences between what religions and believers profess and how they behave in accordance with those beliefs. By my sophomore year at the university, my slate of orthodox Christian beliefs had been wiped clean. I continued to maintain an intellectual interest in religious history and thought over the years. For the next 20 years organized religion was...

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This I Believe: Jogn Fortier (1986)

Posted by on Sep 7, 1986 in This I Believe | 0 comments

Well, it’s interesting that Bob Meyenburg chose for his first song the theme of loneliness because it occurred to me while he was doing it that it will feel very lonely up here. I’ve only been to one of these types of services before. I think it is traditional on these occasions to start with “What did I used to be”. Ted has told us about how he used to be a Presbyterian. Or somebody tried to make him a Presbyterian. Some people tried to make me a Roman Catholic. My father was Roman Catholic; my mother was a former Episcopalian who...

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