Minister’s Corner

Minister’s Corner August 2017

For August, I’ve been reflecting on the last 9 months. The blessing it has been to be a part of this community, to be able to learn what it’s like to live as a progressive person of faith in the Midwest. The worship themes for August are “Resistance” and “Courage,” and those are truly pieces of life here. Resisting the call to stop fighting for reproductive rights and comprehensive sexual education or health care. The courage to call people back into community when we hear racial slurs against Native people and immigrants. The courage to tell a local zealot that we have nothing to repent for in our acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. People concerned with self-growth and spiritual depth are … Continued

Minister’s Corner July 2017

July’s themes are Paradise and Transcendence. Themes that might tell us there is something beyond the here and now that if or when we find it, we will be at peace. My understanding of these concepts is not of some afterlife, I have no way of knowing what awaits after my time on this earth is finished, but are of states of interaction and being in the present. Paradise is how I perceive the world when I am not forcing things, when I am part of the flow and ebb which occurs naturally. Transcendence is when I awaken, for however short or long these occurrences last, from the trance-like state of habituation and forgetting to rest in this moment.    … Continued

Minister’s Corner June 2017

June’s worship themes are Love and Grace. Love and Grace can be elusive in understanding, but I believe they are known once they are experienced. As a child, you might have experienced love from friends, family, a pet, or even a favorite tree. Then, people who have a need for romantic and/or sexual connections might experience the infatuation of pop songs and ballads then a steadier love of a different form. Those who have children experience yet another kind of love. So it continues throughout life. Grace can feel even more evasive than Love. Some might say that they know a very gracious person—meaning polite or giving or something else. My working definition, or sense, of Grace is kindness with … Continued

Minister’s Corner May 2017

May’s worship themes are Belonging and Interconnection. This comes at a time when the UUA is in leadership transition and the denomination at large is taking some time for self-reflection and examining internalized, unconscious racism—specifically the ways that White Supremacy is reflected in small actions by generally good people who aren’t members of hate groups. It can be a painful conversation for people of color in our movement who have dealt with this through out their lives, and an uncomfortable one for white folks who haven’t dug into the topic much before. If you’re interested in more information on the topic, I suggest looking at the work of Leslie Mac, Kenny Wiley, Lena Gardner, and Robin diAngelo. Knowing ourselves is … Continued

Minister’s Corner April 2017

This last month has been one of waiting. What a coincidence that the worship themes for April are Musing, Patience, and Waiting! I found myself waiting for my appointment to see the Ministerial Fellowship with excitement and nerves—a very normal combination for big moments in life. Now that I have been welcomed into Preliminary Fellowship, I find myself musing over the steps to planning an ordination. More waiting, more musing, more patience required. Looking at the still fairly gray landscapes outside, my California-Arizona mind doesn’t quite know what to make of a late March that looks like my former January. But, I know that green and warmth are on the way. I hear the birds singing more and more. The … Continued

Minister’s Corner March 2017

As I write this, snow is steadily falling, but just yesterday I was walking around in short sleeves. From those few days of heat and sunshine, I gained renewed energy and hope. This month’s themes are “Faith” and “Hope”… or is it “Faith and Hope”? These two things are connected, as is much of life, but not exclusively so. Faith is a hot topic, and it only takes a peek at history to know it always has been. (The Crusades, anyone? How about the Inquisition?) Right now, there is a strange and insidious movement for using “Freedom of Religion” as a mode of oppression. Faith is being defined by a small group of anti-LGBTQ+, anti-choice, usually white, usually upper middle … Continued

Minister’s Corner February 2017

As we continue this new year, moving toward spring and the lengthening days, I feel the anticipation of warmer weather and also know there is more time to wait. Our themes for worship this month are Longing and Wonder, which fit so well any time of year, but particularly so in these “just before” moments. Just before the holidays, just before the spring, or just before summer vacation. Instead of being the middle of a pattern, we are in the middle of the shift. Temperatures peak but promise to fall again. Teasing the winter away for a bit of flirtation with the Sun. Imbolgc, celebrated on what many know as Groundhog’s Day, is a European-rooted pagan celebration of this anticipation … Continued