Peace With Pain

Privilege provides us the choice to pay attention to pain and seek to relieve it, or to insulate ourselves in sophisticated resignation and anesthetizing slumber. How we choose determines whether we become compassionate, or something less. UU minister Antal serves as a staff chaplain at the Veterans Administration medical center in Philadelphia. He completed his Doctor of Ministry at Hartford Seminary, where Rev. Peers was one of his professors. He has presented several programs based on his dissertation topic, moral injury, most recently at the 2018 UUA General Assembly.

Since What We Choose Is What We Are

Scholar of religion, Karen Armstrong, says that, “Religion isn’t about believing things. It’s about what you do. It’s ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness.” In this service we’ll build upon the theme of compassion and look at practical ways to cultivate compassionate that changes us as well as our actions.

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Making Sense of Meaning

Life provides us with many welcomed and unwelcomed opportunities to try to “make sense of” our experiences and the world around us. Sometimes we find meaning in very positive experiences and sometimes in adversity as well. Emily Esfahani Smith says that there are four “pillars” upon which meaning rests.” We’ll explore those “pillars” and some common everyday practices that can help us to savor “all that is our life.”

Reclaiming Sabbath

If we want to build healthy communities, we need to tend to our individual health, to be mindful and intentional about how we choose to live. But in our fast-paced world, with its expectation that we be plugged in and ready to respond at a moment’s notice, it can be hard to claim the quiet time to go deeper and do that formative work. Remember when things slowed down for one day a week? Could we reclaim a sense of Sabbath time in our lives?

God is Not God’s Name

Religious language can never adequately satisfy our human desire to capture and to express our most profound experiences. Recent research by a Jefferson University Hospital neuroscientist and his colleagues confirm how prevalent and diverse spiritual or poignant experiences are and the lingering impact they can have on our lives. Even when we use religious language, we don’t all mean the same thing by the words that we use. I believe that Unitarian Universalist minister, Rev. F. Forrester Church expressed it well when he said that “God is not God’s name. God is our name for that which is greater than all and yet present in each.”

Let UUs All Be Grateful

Following a format our Congregation has found “gratifying” in the past few years, several TPUUF members and friends will share the pulpit this Thanksgiving weekend to reflect on the spiritual roots and rewards of thankfulness and to share what cultivates in them an attitude of gratitude.