Wednesday, April 22, 2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, an observance that Earth Day Network hopes will be an “historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery … read more.
Speaker: Jerry Lazzaro
We Unitarian Universalists should be gratified and motivated by our heritage of leadership in social, economic, cultural and political reform. Speaking truth to power and challenging inequality and injustice is in our DNA, a core feature of our liberal religious faith and spiritual practice. This essential feature of our identity manifested itself widely and deeply in the struggle for universal suffrage, a struggle culminating in the passage in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that accorded women in the United States the right to vote. On this first Sunday of Women’s History Month, in this the centennial year of the Amendment’s ratification, we’ll honor some prominent UU women leaders of the Suffrage Movement, among them Mary Wollstonecraft, Judith Sargent, Margaret Fuller, Lucy Stone, Mary Livermore, Julia Ward Howe, and Rev. Olympia Brown. Their work on behalf of human rights in general, and women’s rights in particular, was firmly grounded in a faith which held, as its highest ideal, the liberation of the human spirit from narrow thought, lifeless creed, and social codes that fail to serve human needs, including the deeply experienced need for self-determination and spiritual fulfillment.
We Unitarian Universalists can be uncomfortable with traditional religious terminology. We often have difficulty, sometimes even resist, integrating language central to those traditions into our own belief system and spiritual practice. “Oh,” we say, shaking our heads, “that language come with so much baggage!” One … read more.
How often do we find that our expectations of ourselves and others haven’t been met? How many times do we wonder if we’re just expecting too much? Then, again, just how little should we expect, and how much disappointment can we, or should we, be willing and able to accept? Question like these have been asked and answered in interesting, provocative, sometimes rather discomforting ways, at least since the time of the Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium (circa 336-265 BCE), the father of classic Stoic belief and practice and the forefather of contemporary psycho-social therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Let’s take a bird’s-eye view as well as an up-close-and-personal look at ways we develop expectations and handle disappointment when expectations (inevitably) aren’t met, and how doing so can be a sustaining spiritual practice.
Love it or hate it, most of us have to, or had to, work for a living. Work and work experiences occupy, sometimes preoccupy, much of our time and energy, help define who we are, and greatly influence our sense of personal worth and fulfillment. On this Labor Day weekend, three of our members—one just starting out in the workforce, one mid-career, and one retired—will share their views of the work they’re doing and/or have done and the role work plays in their life and in their personal and spiritual development.
We live, literally and figuratively, in an excessively “noisy” world. Scientific research, as well as anecdotal evidence, documents the toll all the noise exacts on our bodies and spirits and underscores the urgent need to dial down the clatter and chatter. Spiritual and religious texts, … read more.
In a piece commemorating Father’s Day decades ago, the late syndicated columnist and renowned humorist Erma Bombeck wrote, “Fathers used to be a lot like a kitchen clock. They had a familiar face, were always in the same spot, kept pretty good time, and were never missed or appreciated until the day they stopped ticking.” Obviously, the roles, identities and traits of fathers have changed much over the past six decades and continue to evolve. Father’s Day 2019 affords an opportunity to reflect on what our own fathers have meant to us. Several of us will share memories of our fathers and what we learned from them, for better or worse, about the experience of fathering in these changing, and often confusing, times.
Rev. Kathleen Rolenz once said, “Throughout history, we have moved to the rhythms of mystery and wonder, prophecy, wisdom, teachings from ancient and modern sources, and nature herself.” Those “rhythms” are evident in Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey, the two hymnals from which we draw much of the music used in our worship services. In honor of National Poetry Month, let’s celebrate famous poets throughout the ages whose words of wonder, prophecy, and wisdom call to us in melody and rhythm from the pages of our hymnals. Let’s also seek insight into the spiritual lives of these poets and their sources of inspiration. Lots to think and wonder about, and lots of music, await!
The rise to prominence of Unitarianism and Universalism in the 19th Century is associated with a lengthy roster of distinguished men. Often overlooked is the role women played in the development and dissemination of the new approach to religion and spirituality that challenged established dogma and laid the foundation of our liberal religious faith. So, let’s take some time to highlight the words and deeds of an A-team of 19th Century UU women such as Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Harriet Martineau, Louisa May Alcott, and Julia Ward Howe who helped shape our liberal religious faith and influenced its trajectory.
In seeking personal growth and fulfillment, we’re often pulled in opposite directions. American culture is riddled with narratives plugging individualism, unworthiness and scarcity, narratives that urge us to push ourselves to the limit, to “Look out for Numero Uno,” “Grab the golden ring,” “Be all that you can be!” On the other hand, for the sake of our sanity—and our souls—our faith tradition encourages to let go of self, walk humbly, and be grateful for and content with what we have and, most importantly, with who we are. How much is “enough,” not just in terms of material possessions but also in terms of who and what we are? When, if ever, can we comfortably assert that we are, that we have, that we have done “enough?”