As we conclude our Gift of the Dark Woods series, we will consider the story of Peter’s failure as a primary spiritual gift. Peter’s story so parallels our own failures, fears, and missteps. Even towards the end, Peter fails to keep his promise to Jesus, denying any association with him three times when the going got rough. But again it is this utter failure that will guide and strengthen him for what came next. It was Peter who helped the church build and expand to include others considered “other” or “unworthy.” Where do we go from here? So too our failures beckon us into extraordinary life.
The path of life is rarely clear or straight-forward. We find ourselves lost in a Dark Wood, unclear which direction to go, perhaps having strayed from the path we thought we were on. It is at these times that the gift of getting lost is that we begin to pay more attention than we usually do. Perhaps we are looking for blatant signs when the subtle nudges from the Universe are already right there.
The idea of temptation may conjure remembrances of small or significant longings. But instead, this week we will explore the temptation we face to live by the “shoulds” dictated only by logic, outside expectations, or shiny “rewards” instead of follow-ing the path our intuition and imagination suggest is right for us—the path that helps us bring the best of our energy and joy to the world.
Ancient civilizations and religions all metaphorically describe the voice of the divine coming through thunder and lightning. We often describe experiences of insight as a “sudden flash,” “seeing the light,” or “rocked my world.” The storms of life can make way for moments of insight that can offer us direction. Rev. Anastassia preaching.
When we allow ourselves to accept the journey within the Dark Woods, the resiliency of the human spirit tends to shake things up a bit as we begin to awaken to nudgings toward a fuller life. But life is messy. Life is uncertain. Rather than a problem to be solved, what if we saw uncertainty as a gift helping us let go of all we cannot know so that we can live more wholeheartedly? Rev. Anastassia preaching; Greg Sanders on piano.
The Rev. Dr. Fred Muir speaks about how UU churches have gone astray by practicing a “trinity of errors,” and how we need new practices to have a vital ecclesiology that allows the church to be vibrant in our personal and collective lives. What core understandings can we take away from Muir’s message for our own practices of church? Rev. Anastassia preaching.
Church is where we learn what it is to be human. It is the place where we return to our most basic feelings and longings, our most true essence. It is the place where we are pulled into our most complex challenges of living together in community. In what ways can you more fully grow into your humanness?
Though our constitution prohibits our governments interfering with or promoting religious beliefs or practices, our religious expressions have always influenced our civic sphere. In this time when the bonds of our society are fraying, how might the practice of our congregational democracy be just the balm needed?
All Souls choir celebrates the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birthday with a performance of The Lark. Bernstein wrote music to accompany a Lillian Hellman adaptation of the French play about the trial and execution of Joan of Arc. The play examines themes of courage, resistance, sense of self, and fire of commitment.
We hear music that lifts our spirits and enhances the messages we hear from the pulpit every week, but why do we rarely see dance in church, or associate it with being spiritual? Sandy Reiberg (pictured), former dancer with the Ballet Theater of the Virgin Islands and local dance teacher, describes the historical connections between dance and religion and how it can enhance what we do to enrich our own spirits.
Cultures around the world are marked and differentiated by different dances, which help us to remember our traditions, culture, and our duties to ourselves and others. We can sometimes see this more clearly when we explore beyond our original culture, as Wole Soyinka's "Death and the King's Huntmen" allows us to do.
The theme of our sabbatical period with Rev. Anastassia was "Dance,” and its purpose was to allow us mutually, as minister and congregation, to discover and practice a new “dance” together. In this three-week worship series we will explore how congregational life and shared ministry is a dance. What are its patterns and rhythms? How do we partner, leading and taking cues? What emotions do we experience? What accompaniment do we need? How can we learn to move nimbly or quickly when needed, and ultimately ensure that we are enjoying the dance in the process?
We delve into the reality that some of us have less abundance in our wells, and how we can ensure all have access to clean spiritual and literal wells. Come hear from our past Student Minister Cindy Schaefer about Coal-Ash contamination in our reservoirs - and what we can do about it.
Rev. Anastassia Zinke returns!
Join us in saying "Thank you, Rev. Bill" on his last Sunday before Rev. Anastassia's return!
A multi-generational service including a Backpack Blessing and Water Communion. The sermon will be the first in a five-part series on the theme of Wells.
Let's celebrate our natural religious curiosity by answering questions given by the congregation!
Julica Hermann de la Fuente is in our pulpit for one last time this summer to complete the series on exploring the Cycle of Change. This time around, we won't just talk and think about change, we will also experience it together. Join us for a celebration of the power of community through music as we experience what it's like to hang together through change.
How do you find comfort amindst chaos? Where do you turn to feel safe and peaceful when the world is harsh and cruel? Let's explore the symbol of water as a rejuvenating source.
What can we learn from Unitarian and Universalist history that can inform how we engage with major justice issues of today? How has our history shaped where we are called to move in this moment in history?