When we say we are giving praise, what, exactly, are we praising? As a faith that embraces a diversity of beliefs, from theist to atheist and everything in between, what are we praising on Sunday mornings? Are we even praising? Join us as we explore Unitarian Universalist thoughts on the subject of our worship, and what, if anything, do we praise collectively.
Pastorally we are called to meet people where they are, and many times that is in a space of complaining. “Try to look on the bright side” isn’t exactly the most pastoral of responses to someone who has had their world turned upside down. At the same time, praise is not just for when things are going well. It is most important, and transformative, perhaps, for exactly those times when our world has turned upside down.
(November 1st) falls between All Hallows Eve (October 31st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd), the three forming a triduum (3-day event) known as Allhallowtide. But who/what are “dem saints?” We all probably can name some of the “official” saints, but what about those unofficial saints (or, as Nadia Bolz-Weber refers to them, “accidental” saints)? We know there are Catholic saints, and Orthodox and Episcopal and maybe even Lutheran. Could there be Unitarian saints? Could I be a saint? Could you?
There’s a reason you don’t hear the word “sacrifice” much in Unitarian Universalist Circles. Sacrifice has been unfairly carried by people of color, indigenous people, women, the earth. It brings up hierarchical arrangements and cruel dieties. What are some other, more life-giving ways of thinking about sacrifice, or living with generosity, principle and courage?
Today we explore what is often described as the ultimate sacrifice, that of giving your life as a martyr. Whether you believe martyrs gave their lives up or had their lives taken away from them, we have a lot to learn from those who have died for our faith’s name. Join us as we celebrate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the faith they loved so deeply.
Often we associate play with things we like to do and work with things we “have” to do. But what if everything is play? More specifically, how would our world change if we stopped saying “I have to do ____,” and started saying, “I get to do _____,” or, for taxes, and a few other more obligatory engagements, “I choose to _______.” On this last Sunday in September we take a sneak preview at our October theme of “sacrifice” and wonder what would happen if everyone did great and loving deeds not out of a sense of sacrifice, but because each one wanted to.
One of the lessons my children are teaching me is that we first have to meet one another exactly where we are (in child’s play this could be understood as parallel play or copy cat) before we can actually play together. Meeting each other where we are is one of the skills taught in seminary. It is a great pastoral skill. How else is “play” a resource for our relationships with one another? Rev. Cassandra will be using the book “Improv Wisdom” by Patricia Madson to deepen our exploration on play.
Our Jewish and Christian heritage teaches us that labor fulfills God’s work of creation and thus is an act of dignity. Our second principle calls us to create just, equitable and compassionate human relations. Our UU faith calls us to concern ourselves with the plight of the working class. Come help us celebrate Labor Day by recommitting ourselves to worker’s rights.
While Unitarian Universalists are confident that this life that we are living, this world we are in, is filled with the holy, and is ripe with opportunity for healing and wholeness, we also don’t claim to know what happens to us after we die. What is the nature of the human person, what some might call the soul? Where do “we” come from? Where are we going? Join us as we talk about UU beliefs of the afterlife, reincarnation and past lives.