Author: Graham Bell

▶️ Water Communion

This morning we will reflect on the role of water in our lives. We will explore how it is that the indispensable source and biproduct of life-giving processes is in such a precarious shortage. We will look at how water wields power and influence, as well as how it reveals graft and greed and moral corruption. We will consider how, historically, it has served as a barrier between nations and cultures. And we’ll explore how, in the future, it can serve as a bridge.

▶️ A Labor Day Faith

The origins of the Labor Day holiday have been all but lost in the 127 years since it was created to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the contributions of laborers to our society. This day we explore both the role of faith as the glue that binds together the notion of the common good and the meaning of the word itself.

Courageous Conversation Resources

This year, the Committee on Ministry is committed to helping us learn some of the conflict management skills to meet both our individual and collective needs for a more cooperative, collaborative community.

Here below, we provide some resources for those who are ready to begin empowering … read more.

▶️ Courageous Conversations and the Spiritual Art of Reconciliation

He had bumped up against it his whole life: condemnation, derision, contempt, exclusion… But he could never wrap his head around it. He couldn’t understand it. ‘How can they hate me, if they don’t even know me?’ he asked. This simple question propelled him. It transformed his anger to energy, his fear to curiosity, his despondency to courage to confront his oppressors. This service is about one man’s story of learning how to challenge ‘haters’ without ingesting hate. It is about taking the prejudice that builds walls and using it as energy to build reconciliation.

▶️ The God of Our Misunderstandings

The road to reconciliation has a great advocate and nemesis all in one: religion. On the one hand we hear religion’s testimony of peace, harmony and compassionate co-existence. Yet, that’s often countered by its absolutes, extremism and division. In this service, we look not at what ‘they’ (religious organizations) get wrong, but where ‘we’ (human beings) struggle in our instincts between connection and protection.

▶️ Difficult Decisions and Leaps of Faith

Faced with a difficult decision, such as whether to undergo a medical procedure with serious potential side effects, we may go through layers of thoughts and emotions. But if there’s still no simple answer, we may need to take a “leap of faith”. What does that mean and how do we use it so we are most satisfied with whatever comes?

▶️ Here Is What We Have

How many universes has it taken to bring us here, exactly where we are on the life path? Here is what we have, and “each voice sings its note of eternity” (John Tarrant, The Light Inside the Dark).

▶️ The Power of Choice

Have you ever been worried, frightened, full of anxiety? Did it fully embrace you and swallow up all other emotions? Did it take away all feeling of choice? Calista Ames was faced with just such a situation and found her path through it in an inspiring space full of hope and love.

▶️ Democracy

Democracy is sacred to Unitarian Universalists. This is concretely expressed as one of our values: “The right of the conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large”. But democracy is not a simple word, it is a complex process, a process which includes much more than simply voting, though voting is of extreme importance. Full democracy must both protect the majority from an oppressive minority and protect minorities from an oppressive majority – no easy task. And democracy is not just something to be established, it must be effectively maintained. Our July 4th service will explore the processes of democracy, their historical roots, and our present needs.