Spirituality

May From the Minister

When we speak about what is of worth to our congregation, I think each person who comes regularly might have a slightly different answer: our building, our art, the music program, the social justice work . . . . But what is it that we worship every Sunday? What is it that we do together that makes the people come back to the building to see the art, to hear the music, to participate in the social and environmental justice opportunities? To what do we give worth—what do we “worth-ship?” I think we “worth-ship” relationship; I think we “worth-ship” spiritual depth and...

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April From the Minister

There is something special about transformation. Especially when we aren’t expecting it, change can seem like magic—sometimes, even when you are expecting it. When those first spring flowers start to push their way up through the barely-thawing ground, their hearty stalks giving birth to beautiful blooms—that feels like magic after a long winter. Maybe you planted those bulbs yourself, or they popped up unexpectedly on the roadside. Either way, the mystery and wonder can fill you as you know that spring is on its way at last. On my path to ministry here at White Bear I planted bulbs,...

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March From the Minister

In this church we are all held in community, by a fabric stronger than our own thin cloaks. In this church we are held in a graceful and forgiving theological narrative that insists without exception that all are beloved. In this church we’re held by each other and by a larger Love that will not let us go. That is the radical, heretical, saving message of Universalism. We ourselves, in human form, in mortal, messy, clumsy form, are not just the image of God, but the very shape, the actual ears, eyes, hands, beholding you and holding you when the weight of the world is too much. In this...

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February – From the Minister

“There’s no academic way of making someone compassionate…It happens through experience.” -Tony McAleer Cofounder of LifeAfterHate.org In a spate of articles after the 2016 election, speculations were made about why so many big cities went blue and so many rural areas went red. Some speculate that people who live in big cities are more likely to be younger and more educated, because they moved there to find work, so they are inherently more liberal and adaptable. Some speculate that living in areas with denser populations make people more likely to think beyond their immediate...

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January – From the Minister

What do you want to be when you grow up? When we were little, we were encouraged to say astronaut, astronomer, dancer, doctor, lawyer, writer, waiter, President, pianist, plumber. Without knowing it, we were rehearsing for all the awkward moments later on when a surface answer will suffice if someone asks, “So what do you do?” Even if your job—if you have a job—is one you love, still your work is just a partial story; it might say everything or nothing about the state of your soul. But if someone asked you now, not “What do you do?” but the children’s question, “What do you...

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December – From the Minister

On a Wednesday evening here, we sat in a circle, about eight people, very quiet, very still. It was a perfect silence, companioned and deliberate. We heard the rain outside, clattering softly into sleet. We heard cars on the road. We heard a distant dog. We heard someone laughing in the Social Hall. We heard the heat come roaring on. We heard the choir practicing, and the clamor of chatter and farewells. We heard children racing in the hallways, and the clink and clank of dishes in the kitchen. These were not intrusions, just signals of our common life, its right location in the midst of...

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