"Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places," said the Neo-Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. We are well aware of what people commonly express gratitude for at this time of year, ranging from family to home and health. But what unlikely events, people, and delights grace our lives? During our Moment for All Ages, we will celebrate a sunflower seed ritual.
Much attention is given these days to resilience: how we can encourage resilience in ourselves and our children so that we learn to "bounce back" from inevitable hard times. But is bouncing back really all that is needed in a time when traumas seem to come at us constantly? The recent #metoo revelations suggest that for many resilience is an everyday need.
As members of a faith whose First Principle affirms and promotes the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and as citizens of a country that doesn’t, what are we called to do as religious people? As our country’s political culture disintegrates before our horrified eyes, this becomes an urgent question. Perhaps the blues can offer guidance as we confront today’s version of the white supremacy that once kidnapped people from Africa and enslaved them on our shores — the people whose experience gave the world the gift of the blues. FRS member Tom Stites will be our pulpit guest in his ninth jazz and blues service in this church, and the FRS Jazz Vespers Band will provide special music.
We often speak of the theological diversity in our Unitarian Universalist congregations - God/ No God/ UU Christian/ Buddhist. Does that diversity need to get in our way? How do we navigate it in a way that is mutually respectful, on the one hand, and rich and meaningful on the other?