Spirituality

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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September From the Minister

We’re living in a time of terse declaratives: tense and anxious tweets quivering with rage, itching for a fight; over-eager, shiny candidates full of answers, primed and ready for their timed debates; a president who knows exactly how many well-placed, hate-laced words, and precisely how few, can set ablaze the white supremacist violence smoldering always and everywhere, just beneath the surface. It’s exhausting and depressing and demeaning to live and work and go to school amidst the constant shouting; it’s strange and sad to catch yourself tempted to shout back, increasingly afraid...

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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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