As Unitarian Universalists seeking to live by our Seven Guiding Principles, we find ourselves living in a juxtaposition of seeing the inherent worth and dignity of all humans while all around us is evidence of humanity’s arrogance and greed, of working toward a global community of peace, justice and equity while dodging the bullets of conflicts and war. This makes us “odd”–according to those who cede victory to the power and greed that is all around us. But it is important, especially in this time of growing darkness, to remember to look for the breath-taking awe of all the goodness that is around us as well. In this series we will look at how we can seek beauty in the midst of the storm, and turn our vision always to what is just and inclusive and loving. We may be odd but we can also be awed by the potential within us all.
Odd as it may seem, we can seek—and even find—peace in the midst of conflict. As we celebrate United Nations Day, Rev. Rost will explore the pockets of peace in our world as we look for ways we can continue to be bearers of peace in our family, our communities and our world.
On this Sunday, many of us might be experiencing PTSD, remembering the 2016 election. While we wait on pins and needles for the mid-term results, Rev. Rost will explore that, regardless of who holds elected positions of power, we each have within ourselves the power to choose love in the midst of hate. Come be awed by the power we have within ourselves to be agents of love.
Whether your candidate won or lost, whether the issue you worked so hard on passed or was defeated, we have access to joy. This post-election service will recognize that somewhere in this nation, people are feeling despair over the results. Even if we are not, we will face times of despair at some point in our journey. Odd as it sounds, despair is the perfect incubator for joy. Come find out why.
Religious Exploration – Our Air Element class (for younger kids) will take a look at Habitats. Its quote is “Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”- Henry David Thoreau, 19th-century Transcendentalist. Our Fire Element class (for older kids) is entitled The Blessing of Imperfections and its quote is “If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice its knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.” – Matthew Fox, theologian.
We wonder what one person, or one church, can do and we despair at the injustices of the world. When hopelessness makes us feel weak in the hands or feeble in the knees, we are reminded of the power of the people. To paraphrase Margaret Mead: never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world; in fact, it is the only thing that ever has. In this service we can be awed at the way hope never dies and a single candle can dispel the darkness.
Religious Exploration – Team Game Day – woot, woot! The multi-talented Rosie Love will be leading the morning so come join us as we play and bond together.
A 2016 survey of more than 2,000 Americans conducted by the Harris Poll last month on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, showed that almost three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans experience loneliness. And for many, it’s not just an odd occurrence — one-third said they feel lonely at least once a week. Join us as we explore how All Souls can be a Presence of Love and Inclusion for all people.
According to a survey done in 2014 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, every year, about 42.5 million American adults (or 1 in 5) suffers from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Yet still our society stigmatizes people dealing with it. Join us today as a panel of people from our own congregation share their personal stories of dealing with mental illness in their families or their own lives and how gratitude is one of the most powerful antidotes to the despair it can often bring. You will be awed at the resilience and dedication of these amazing people.
One of the odd things about our culture is how we tend to categorize our senior citizens as having lived their lives already. The reality is that our seniors have a lot to teach us about how to live fully at whatever age, while letting go of things that once seemed so important. Join us at our annual SAGES service where we will celebrate the gifts and wisdom of our older folks and welcome new SAGES into our midst.
What an odd church! What an awed church! People come together from every walk of life, every faith or philosophy tradition, every race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. We gather from many identities that can isolate us in the larger communities and find that here, all of who we are is welcomed. Let us celebrate the inclusive nature of our faith!