The wonder of the Winter Holidays takes a pause between Christmas and New Year. We will gather in this liminal time to contemplate, reflect, and gather our energy for the future. Let us say we will be “Drawing a Breath.”
On this night begins the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the eight day period of remembering the miracles of the unlikely Maccabean military victory and the miracle of the enduring light in the desecrated temple. It is a holy day with no biblical foundation and is relatively insignificant theologically compared to other higher holy days in the Jewish year. But Hanukkah is still rich with metaphor and meaning. Join us as we consider the Hanukkah miracle of the light that lasts and what it means for us today.
It is understandable that Unitarian Universalists as a whole are a bit skeptical when it comes to miracles. Miracles by definition defy natural law and science has long been a highly respected source of our faith. But it is important to acknowledge that while we may be a little more hesitant to believe in miracles, having a belief in miracles is not contrary to being UU. Today we explore some miracle stories within our UU tradition and what believing in miracles might mean for us today.
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.