Spirituality

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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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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