So Be It. See to It. (04-07-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

So Be It is a petitionary prayer: may this vision come to pass. May this dream become reality. So Be It is a prayer, like may it be so, or blessed be, but See to It is a charge, a commission, a summons to her own spirit. So may it be – now make it happen. It is a beautiful, powerful, audacious, inspiring spell. It makes me wonder what it would feel like here if at the end of our services when we say May peace dwell within our hearts and understanding in our minds…and love of truth forever guide us, we were to look right at one another and say, So be it. See to it!

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “So Be it. See to It.”
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So Great a Cloud of Witness (03-24-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Sometimes I still do what I did when I was very small: close my eyes and try to picture them, my relatives, my people, close my eyes and wait to see if I can see them walking toward me, see if someone’s face or hand or voice will reveal itself to me – and of course they never do. And then I open my eyes, and here we all are, writing our names in the family bible. We’re defining and refining all our lives a worthy answer to the question about who our own people are, the ones to whom we feel grateful and accountable- ancestors, descendants, heroes and teachers, beloveds close beside us, strangers far away, expanding that circle ever wider till those on the margins are brought to the center and the whole family is truly whole.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “So Great a Cloud of Witness”
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Hurry Up and Slow Down (03-17-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Mar 19, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

What would happen if you were to slow down? Not just take a walk in the woods, or sit in a bath for an hour a week – although I wouldn’t begrudge you those luxuries, it can be lifesaving to take those pauses. But what if we slowed down all the time? What if we prioritized relationships over productivity? What if we prioritized sustainability over convenience? What if we prioritized community over individuals?
-Rev. Sara Goodman, “Hurry Up and Slow Down”

All In (03-03-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

I remember playing “hide-a-go-seek” as a little kid.  As the sun went down, the person who was “it” would call out , “Oh-lee, oh-lee, in come free!” It varies all across the country:  “Olly, olly, all in free, or oxen free, or outs in free” : meaning all those on the outside can come in now, without penalty. Some linguists say it may have come from a mix of French and German across the sea to Appalachia, “Allez, allez, auch sind frei” or “kommen frei.”  However you say it, the signal is clear: it’s safe to come out now. It’s safe to come in.  Everybody, come on home.  Instead of a church bell, we could shout that every Sunday from our roof, like the call to prayer from a minaret.  I’m thinking today of beloved friends in the United Methodist Church, wishing they could shout like that this morning: everybody, come on home.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “All In”
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The Defiant Birds and Grasses (02-17-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

All over this globe right now people are swarming. We move in swarms, in herds, in flocks, like locusts and antelopes and wooly mammoths, always moving toward water, always seeking food, always migrating toward safety for our young, and in our case, the case of our specific species, toward love and home, compassion.  This is very old, this longing for welcome and home, almost as old as the longing for life that we share with all the other animals,and plants.  I was a stranger and you welcomed me, says one ancient holy text. This is our shared experience as human animals.  My father was a wandering Aramean, says another sacred text, one of the oldest in the Hebrew bible, and essential: we come from wanderers, all of us: aliens, exiles, migrants, flocks and families. The land belongs to no one, nor can it, in the end.

I’m not saying we should open the border, or abolish it.

I’m saying the wall is a travesty and a tragedy.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “The Defiant Birds and Grasses”
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We All Go High (02-10-19 Sermon)

Posted by on Feb 13, 2019 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Unitarian Universalists are direct descendants of Eve, who did not make a “mistake” in the garden and thus bring down all humanity. She was not tricked by a snake or anybody else.  We are the children of Eve, the woman who said plainly, “I don’t want to live in this garden, this gated community, if I don’t have full access to the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I’m ravenous for wisdom, and moral agency, and I’m ready for the messy work of ethical discernment.  This neighborhood’s too small, too homogenous, Adam, and I want to draw wide circles of empathy, so wide they insect and overlap into one great universal circle,  and this paradise is too precious and exclusive. I don’t like that there’s a wall around it. I don’t want dominion over the animals or anybody else. It’s time for us to go, and if you won’t go, don’t hinder me.”   That’s our biblical lineage right there.  We are called to the deepest, most radical compassion we can muster, for ourselves, for one another, for everyone and everything within the widest circles we can draw, the widest ring of love we can imagine.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “We All Go High”
Download 02-10-19-sermon .pdf