Speaker: Rev. Larry Peers

I Felt as If My Legs Were Praying

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in returning from the voting rights march in Selma Alabama said, “I felt as if my legs were praying.” In our own lives and world, sometimes we have to move in a different direction, prayerfully and intentionally through uncertainty and toward an uncertain freedom. What are the steps that are beckoning to you right now? On this Sunday, Christians commemorate “Palm Sunday” as Jesus’ deliberate entry into Jerusalem on a donkey on the first day of Passover. Contemporary scholars understand this as a spiritual act and also a political parody that had dire consequences for Jesus. Later this week (April 19th), Jews and others from around the world will begin gathering in Passover Seders to commemorate a march to freedom, “an Exodus.” Both Palm Sunday and the Exodus commemorate a journey that began with one step, just one step.

The Stories We Have, and the Stories that Have Us

In our individual lives and in the lives of congregations, we are guided by our stories. We organize events into coherent ways of making sense of our experience. Sometimes the stories we compose open horizons of possibilities before us. Other times, our stories can serve to limit our possibilities. Being human religiously means to become conscious of our creative role in shaping and reshaping not only the circumstances of our lives, but how we interpret our circumstances. The Unitarian Universalist social ethicist, James Luther Adams puts it this way: “Humanity lives both in and above history. We are fatefully caught in history, both as individuals and as members of a group, and we are also able to be creative in history.”

The Knowing Heart

Of course, there is more to the heart than heart-shaped Valentine’s products! The Sufis, a living mystical tradition within Islam (who many of us know through the poet, Rumi),  teach that the human heart is not a “fanciful metaphor but an objective organ of intuition and perception.” A contemporary Sufi teacher, Kabir Helminski, conveys a practical education of the heart. Likewise, contemporary understanding of “heart intelligence” has expanded some of our understandings of what it means to be human. Both Sufi teachers and scientific research from the HeartMath Institute may offer us perspectives and practices to help us more fully value our heart’s guidance and intelligence.

A Love Letter from the Future

Ta-Nehsi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me, is a book-length letter from the author to his son who was 15 years old at the time. Coates’ book adopted the same structure that James Baldwin took in his book, The Fire Next Time, which was also a letter (in part) to Baldwin’s nephew. Each book addresses from their own perspectives and times African American experiences in the United States. Though Coates’ is a “harsh realist,” he is also not without hope. How does our own “world” skew our perspective on “what is real” and “what is possible?” What letter might we write to a future generation (to children and teens today) from our experiences and our own “world” that convey our wisdom, recognize our faults, and express our hopes for them?

Joining the Dance of our Life

The depth psychologist, Ira Progoff, once wrote, “We are dancers joining the dance of our life as it is going on and continuing it toward its fulfillment.” As we enter this new calendar year, perhaps we can draw some insights from a dancer and from Progoff on how to engage with the movement of our lives. What is wanting to unfold in your life this new year? How might you attend to and tend your life?

TPUUF Christmas Eve Candle Light Service

There will be NO SERVICES on Sunday December 23rd.  Please Join us on December 24th, Christmas Eve, at 7pm as the Fellowship Singers, our Fellowship Community, and Rev. Larry Peers celebrate with story, song and carols and reflect upon the meanings of a Holy Night.  … read more.

A Christmas Eve Candle Light Service

Join the Fellowship Singers, our Fellowship Community, and Rev. Larry Peers as we celebrate with story, song and carols and reflect upon the meanings of a Holy Night Bring family or guests. Refreshments will follow the service.

Wonder Needs No Apology

The experiences of wonder and awe are our birthright as human beings. We admire these qualities in children and remember during this holiday the “wonder of the season.” Yet, wonder is not limited to one time of life or one season of the year. It … read more.