This I Believe

Welcome to the new This I Believe web page and archive!

Thanks to a diligent team of volunteer members and staff, you now have access to dozens of talks delivered from the mid-1960′s to the present. There are more to be located and new talks will be added continuously to the archive.

This beautiful preservation of our living history offers the latest opportunity to share what we value about our faith and our spiritual community. Take some time to read, reflect, and discover how our unique and common experiences have led us to this particular spiritual community over the decades.

We’re sure you’ll be moved by the wealth of insight and wisdom housed in this archive.

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It is a longstanding practice here to invite members of the congregation to share with us their journeys of faith. It is a rare opportunity for us, to be given this glimpse not of opinions and ideas and knowledge – but of wisdom, and doubt mingled in with the faith, and questions circling the answers, and convictions hard-won and wonder still emerging. This I Believe is a hard assignment; we ask of these speakers that they speak the truth as bravely as they can, that they tell us a story, that they model for us this essential spiritual work: making a narrative out of all your experience, making meaning out of the days we are given.

The presenters are charged with speaking to us as openly as they can, and we in turn are charged to listen as openly as we can. This circuit of speaking and hearing is important because religious life unfolds in community. There is the solitary journey of the soul on its own, and there is the return to the circle of companions who will hold our story as sacred (and ordinary), companions who both embrace us and challenge us to deeper growth. (That’s your job at coffee hour – to challenge and embrace our two speakers, in love and gratitude).

Victoria Safford

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This I Believe: Rachel Xydes (2021)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

When I think of the word god, the way that I feel when I listen to stirring music comes to mind, or the awe that I feel when I walk in the woods…the love I have for my children. When I think of the word god, the childlike fascination I experience every time I learn something new, comes to mind. The excitement for knowledge yet to be obtained, the unknowing and the mystery, the feeling when I create something with my hands. When I put something beautiful into the world. That feeling of being in community. And what happens when an...

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This I Believe: Mark King (2021)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Like most middle-class boomers, I was brought up culturally Christian.  My family attended the local Methodist Church where Mom taught Sunday school and Dad served on the church Board.  I was confirmed into the faith more as an exercise to make Mom and Dad happy than from any real belief.  One recollection I have around those confirmation classes was asking Dad about the claim that one had to accept Jesus as savior to get into heaven.  I was concerned that somewhere out in the world there was a good person who never got the hear about...

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This I Believe: Sally Niemand (2021)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I was born into a Missouri Synod Lutheran family. The Bible was my first sacred text.  My memories of church as a young child are not of the stories I was being taught in Sunday school but mostly related to how I looked and how I behaved. I spent grades 1-8 in a Lutheran parochial school with so much dogma and indoctrination. Every day. We were required to memorize much of Luther’s Small Catechism in 7th and 8th grades. Holy cow, Martin Luther. You can tell by the looks of my catechism that my mind was elsewhere. In case you couldn’t read...

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This I Believe: Rev. Dr. Alan Hagstrom (2020)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Underneath the Ordinary Readings: The Second Music by Annie Lighthart from Poetry of Presence, An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, (Phyllis Cole-Dai & Ruby R. Wilson, Editors, Grayson Books, 2017, p. 36) Now I understand there are two melodies playing, one below the other, one easier to hear, the other lower, steady, perhaps more faithful for being less heard, yet always present. When all other things seem lively and real, this one fades. Yet the notes of it touch as gently as fingertips, as the sound of the names laid over each child at...

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This I Believe: Debra DeBroux (2020)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hello, Everyone. First, I want to thank the Worship Committee for inviting me to present my “This I Believe.” I am honored to have the opportunity to speak to you—my Unitarian-Universalist community…this community that has given me SO much. I hope my words can give back something to you. And now, This I Believe: I am a person of faith. Yes, UUs. Faith. My left brain (or is it my right brain?)….One of my brains acknowledges that “faith” is having knowledge about something while having little or no rational evidence to verify it....

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This I Believe: Bob Ganger (2020)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Good Morning, I’m Bob Gagner. I’ve been a member of White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church just enough years to have lost track of how many. I think about eight. And during those years I have had the opportunity to hear other members of our church give their This I Believe presentations. I remember thinking how wonderful they were, and thinking how brave they were to do that. I also remember wondering, ‘What would I say if given the opportunity?’ What would I say I Believe? We’ll the first two things came to mind pretty...

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This I Believe: Bob Meyenburg (2019)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Good Morning everyone.  I’m honored to have been asked and grateful for the opportunity to take part in this long-held church tradition. When I was looking for ideas for this morning, I reviewed many of the past “This I Believe” presentations.  They’re very good, and online.  I recommend them. Among varying approaches I choose Nature and Nurture as the best way to frame what shaped me and led to my beliefs.  So I attempt to answer a personal question, one that perhaps you’ve asked  yourself: “Why me?” In the fall of 1982, I...

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This I Believe: Tehya Daniels (2019)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hello. My name is Tehya. Sometimes I have random moments where life is too amazing for my brain to comprehend. It feels as though my thoughts are outside of my body for a split second, and I can see how incredibly big the universe is and how small I am. Then, as quickly as it begins, my awareness shrinks back to normal. I always sit for a second, stunned, silent. Usually I start to laugh because I am so overcome with love and gratitude. When I was younger, I had these moments frequently. I was so intrigued with the mysteries of the universe,...

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This I Believe: Dana Boyle (2019)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

As I enter my eighth year as a member of WBUUC, now is as good time as any to introduce myself more intimately to you and to honor my relationship with our church. To give you context, I was born in Seattle in 1957. My father worked for 3M and so we moved every few years, living in Minnesota multiple times, as well as in many other states. During high school – we were transferred to Milan, Italy, and in the early 80’s, I chose to return to the Twin Cities. All that moving was great, but I longed to be part of a community where I could...

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This I Believe: Jonathan Lubin (2018)

Posted by on Jul 17, 2021 in This I Believe, Uncategorized | 0 comments

You’ve heard it and I’ve heard it:  “I’m not religious, but I am spiritual.”  For me, it’s just the reverse: I’m not particularly spiritual, but I do consider myself to be religious.  I relish the discipline of showing up to Sunday services every week, I look forward to the moral insights from the sermons, I enjoy the beauty of our music and the comfort of our liturgy, and I appreciate the vitality of the community that we have here. It’s important to me that our congregation is linked with a religious denomination, one that...

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