New Years has come and gone and many in our American culture are pondering New Year’s resolutions. There is a desire to continue growing and improving as ever-evolving beings.
Today consider a New Year’s resolution not by improving and fixing but as unfolding and deepening. We will plant seeds and consider ourselves as a seed that is perfect just as it is, full of potential, and, with enough resources and care, ready to grow into something not yet imagined.
Dr. Cheste Fontenot, a Baptist Professor of English at Mercer University’s Africana Studies Program, will be our guest for this month’s Black Lives UU Service. His topic will be from the Text: Galatians 4: 1-7 (NRSV) and the Subject of his talk is Adopted By God.
The Dali Lama says, “Compassion is one of the principle things that make our lives meaningful.” This Sermon looks at the ways in which we may as individuals and as a religious community cultivate an attitude of compassion.
This month we explore mystery through the senses, and this day we explore the sense of hearing through the absence of sound, silence. Silence was with us before we were born and silence accompanies us after we die. It surrounds our blue green planet earth in the vast silent darkness of space. And yet as scientific as silence is, silence is not neutral. A moment of silence can be a life-line for the single mother of three who longs for a moment void of chaotic noise, a moment she can claim for herself. Yet silence can also be an unwelcome companion for a person who’s life is filled with the silence of loneliness. Join us as we consider what kind of silence we want to cultivate together.
How do those surrounding them respond? We recently watched a story of sexual assault unfold on our television screens — a somber sonata with three movements. Movement One depicted the long-term devastation a rape victim experiences. Movement Two described the unreasonable expectation that the victim provide irrefutable evidence. Movement Three enabled us to witness the reactions of “the crowd” and their frenetic operations to protect and exonerate the alleged perpetrator.
This story is no new thing. It happens every day, and has for centuries. As a compassionate and caring people, might we answer this question: Can our hearts truly hear a victim’s story of pain and will we respond in the way of hope?
Kathy (Kalliope) is an ordained Baptist minister who worked for years with victims of violence. She founded Safe Places in Little Rock, AR to do this work.
Today we lift up the other side of our monthly theme on Memory by looking at the unexpected gifts of those living with Alzheimer’s. In a religion that has so often emphasized self-reliance and cerebral knowledge, how do we make sense of diseases that take those two things away? What resources do we have to make meaning out of this cruel disease?
Where leads our call? It is a workshop for UU Ministers but it is also a relevant question for congregations. A call is often thought of as something deep, unshakable. But it can also change, and should change, depending on the larger circumstances. Come join us this Sunday before Election Day as we seek to both remember who we’ve been and recommit to who we are called to be as UU’s in this beautiful and broken world.