Growing up in Oregon, Reverend Dennis always felt the true months of summer were July, August, and September rather than the school break that began in June. Yet, hotter and drier Junes have shifted our sense of season beyond the old Memorial Day to Labor Day boundaries in recent years. As this sometimes easy, often challenging summer season comes to an end, let’s look back at what we experienced and lessons learned and embrace new notions that will serve us well in the seasons to come.
Rev. Dennis Reynolds
Often the journey towards being the person we want to be, begins with unpacking baggage we have accumulated along the way. We are all taught things that we need to unlearn to truly have an open mind. Are all encouraged to accept as normal cultural constructs that do not serve us well? We each have our stories of our own journey and sharing them can offer guideposts for all.
This summer, Rev. Dennis and his wife Suzanne attended the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association (GA) held in Portland. At GA, he was reminded, in hallway conversations, in workshops, and in worship, why he is proud to be part of this unique faith tradition. At one worship service the question of “why go to church” was lifted up. This morning let us all ask ourselves that question and look into our minds and heart and souls to deeply ponder how this faith serves us and how we might serve it.
After what seems like an especially long winter and two years of being shadowed by Covid, this spring dawns, filled, with as yet unmet, potential. In the face of global conflict and dissension close to home, we need a season of resurrection and renewal of love and hope. Let us gather together to wish and dream and to begin anew.
Many of us want most of all for the pandemic to end, but with relatively low vaccination rates globally and increased likelihood of mutations, that will not come soon. Yet, perhaps the Christmas stories, both the myth of Santa Claus and the sacred story of the birth of a special child, can gift us all with hope and greater peace and joy.
In her GA Sunday worship sermon, Rev. Karen Hult uplifted the notion of ‘fugitivity’ as something many on the margins of our culture and in our faith have experienced. Let’s explore what the concept might mean for UUs who have embraced a non-creedal and perhaps, sometimes fugitive faith.
The 19th century Unitarian preacher and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said “A person will worship something, have no doubt about that… It behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping, we are becoming.“ In our fraught times, his words have new meaning. Let’s explore the why and the how of what we worship as individuals and as communities.
Buddhist poet Gary Snyder advises that “This dew drop world is but, a dew drop world / and yet …” Life is indeed impermanent and ever changing, the skies are alternately filled with sunshine and smoke. The election, on the horizon, offers either a refreshing renewal or fear filled retrenchment, Our hearts and minds move between hope and fear and yet … Let’s explore how we might best find practices and attitudes that ground us in perilous times.
These are difficult times in the USA and around the globe. Corona virus infections, hospital admissions and death rates have continued to increase in many places. Additional excessive violence by the police against people of color has forced many to begin to respond to the realities of our country’s racial history. Perhaps this disruption-filled time may provide an opportunity to birth new possibilities. We need to acknowledge the pain before we prepare to begin anew.
We all have heard about angels, those supernatural benevolent beings who serve as intermediaries between the divine and humanity. Sometimes they are doing good works, other times they herald good news or are simply present to watch over us. In recent weeks angelic individuals have served us and eased our passage through the shadow of the pandemic. They come in various form, delivery people, store clerks and health care professionals. This morning let’s explore the concept of angels and how nurses might be a real life manifestation of such beings.
Our building is closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but we’re live streaming our Sunday services via Zoom. Please begin checking in at 10:15.
Use this link to sign in, experience, and participate from your computer, tablet or cell phone: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/176735758
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Call (669) 900-9128, then enter meeting ID: 176 735 758