Spirituality

March From the Minister

“It hit your heart,” said a tiny Unitarian Universalist theologian, three years old, as his parents were talking about what this congregation means to them. They were a little emotional and he was a little concerned. “You mean it hit your heart?” he asked. “Yes,” said his mom, “in a good way.” It hits my heart. It touched my soul. It saved my life. It knows my kids, and loves them. It makes me cry. It makes me think. It makes me feel. It holds me up. It gives me hope. I’m forced to sing. I’m asked to care. I asked for help. It gave me help. It needs my help. It hits my...

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February From the Minister

Just this week, I was reading about Finland, and I learned a couple things. First of all, Visit Finland has a funny slogan: “Silence please.” As it turns out, they had hired a marketing team, which encouraged them to lean into a celebration of some of the things that they’re known for … the stillness, the silence in nature, and the quiet hush that falls on people who have traveled there to view the Northern Lights, aka “Aurora Borealis.” I also learned that parts of Finland—like Alaska—are north of the Arctic Circle, which means they experience at least one day of...

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January From the Minister

Thanks to the generous vision of lay leaders here, White Bear UU Church grants 8 weeks of paid leave to new parents on the birth or adoption of a child. This leave may be extended by 4 additional paid weeks of accumulated Paid Time Off (PTO). We are thrilled that Rev. Sara and Shawn Goodman, together with big-brother-to-be Jamie, will welcome a new baby later this month. We’re so proud and pleased that they can take the time they need to settle in to the new shape of their family. Rev. Sara will be away on parental leave from January 15 to April 1. While Sara’s away, I’ll serve as...

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December From the Minister

As I contemplate our monthly theme of blessing, I find it impossible not to mention the biggest blessing in my life right now. Next month, January 2020, I will be giving birth to a daughter, a blessing in the life of my family, and hopefully in the life of this congregation. This whole new person will be here, making a space for herself in this world. Being near the end of a pregnancy in the season of Advent, the waiting time leading up to Christmas, is a particularly fascinating experience, imagining the parallels of my experience with the experience of Mary as she anticipated the birth of...

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November From the Minister

At what table will you sit this year? Who will be present and who will be absent, by death, or divorce, or by distance? Who will be kept away by old anger, new prejudice or pain? Who will be welcomed home, returning? Who will be present, but only physically, and who will be physically missing, but fully there in memory, beloved and lively, as if they were seated beside you? Think on empty chairs, and high chairs, long ago children and still to come children, all the way forward and all the way back. Who will be present at your welcome table? Perhaps you will be alone this year, maybe...

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October From the Minister

For me, a church means pushing and pulling, reaching and grabbing on to the things that connect us to each other, the moments of thinking deeply about a topic with others, or a caring hug on a Sunday morning. Church means finding hard, stuck places and working through them together. For me, church means being held by a community of people who care about your wellbeing and safety. Church means we are not alone in the beauty and hardship of this life. When we come to a church as a newcomer, when we gather for the first time with a group of people that we hope to find a home with, often there is...

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