Homeward Bound

aerial view of Mohammad Ali's funeral procession going past his childhood home

I think to go home is to get beyond the sentimentality of nostalgia. Instead, it’s about shooting down like a taproot into the rich, black soil of our souls. To be homeward bound is to be on a spiritual journey toward our most essential self . . . that place that knows who we are and to whom or what we are connected.

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An Instrument of Peace

black stone sculpture of prayer hands in a lavender filled garden

As we go from here, may we be reminded that the Prayer of St. Francis, our Unitarian Universalist faith, and Northwest’s own covenant, invites each of us to be an instrument of peace. Let’s remember that accepting this invitation means doing the work of changing our attitudes and actions.

It means having faith that when we seek to give to others the things we desire for ourselves – such as love, comfort, forgiveness and hope – we will receive these in return. And, it means taking bold steps to challenge unjust and unreasonable laws so that more peace is possible for more people.

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A Not So Peaceful Journey

On this personal spiritual journey I have learned quite a bit about Unitarians and Universalists who have long preceded us. I have learned that their collective journey in the never-ending evolution of our faith tradition has been filled with times of peace and times of challenge.

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Give Me Peace

tea being poured from a plain black teapot into a handle-less matte black tea cup

As we go from here, may we recognize that our effort to cultivate more peace in our personal lives is for us . . . and for so much more. When we empty our tea cups and regain a feeling of peace and wholeness, may we also in that moment see that we have a responsibility to help bring peace to others.

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Mother Nature: Handle with Care

Small silver car at electric car charging station on London street

My message to you on this 46th anniversary of Earth Day is that we need to follow in the footsteps of Roger Johnson and so many people like him. We have an opportunity to build on the awareness Earth Day and environmentalists have created about the plight of our planet – and particularly about climate change.

We need to continue to devote ourselves to handling Mother Earth with care.

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I Swear to Care

Caregiver in scrabble tiles

As we go from here, may we remember that when it comes to caregiving, we also have the right to take care of ourselves. As Jo Horne states, this is not an act of selfishness. It will give us the ability to take better care of others.

May we find self-compassion we need as we continue our journey of giving and receiving love.

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Because We Care

A huge bunch of dates hanging from a date palm tree

Acts of giving and receiving can be thought of as aspects of generosity. And, as this morning’s reading suggests, generosity is a human quality that we may have possessed initially for the survival of our species, but has possibly stuck with us because it feels good.

It feels good to give . . . to care about someone or something other than ourselves.

Why is that?

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Easter and Flower Communion Sunday

A prolific home veggie garden growing

As we go from here . . . as we watch our children find their Easter eggs . . . as we perhaps get another glimpse of Santa and the Easter bunny . . . as we eat together and enjoy the fellowship and friendships we find here . . . may we once again experience Easter’s message of hope and its invitation to wonder.

May our fears and sense of separateness die a necessary death so that our child-like joy and sense of connection to the holy can be reborn.

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Brave, Brave, Brave

Bronze full-size statue of Rosa Parks sitting on bus seat with flowers

My message to you this morning is this: if we truly care about ending the racial injustice that pervades our criminal justice system, if we care about fair and humane treatment of all prisoners, if we want to abolish the death penalty, if we want to end the policies and practices that push our most at-risk children out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems, if we want to give ex-inmates real opportunities to rejoin society and rehabilitate their lives, then we’re going to need to learn the truth about oppression. And, we’re going to need to be brave.

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Renew You

A field of yellow and white daffodils

Perhaps this is the place where you experience a sense of renewal. Perhaps this is the place where you have discovered some important truths about yourself that have changed the way you think and act in the world. Perhaps this is the place where, on Sunday mornings, the beauty of this natural setting and its springtime daffodils remind you that you are connected to the Earth . . . that your body and the soil are one . . . Shin to bul ee.

And, so I invite you to consider what makes you feel fresh and new and strong. I invite you to consider what encourages you to make a commitment to pursue these experiences. And, I invite you to consider what it is that helps you return to your natural state of harmony and peace.

Now, I want all of us to do this: I want us to run like hell toward them and invest deeply in them – invest your time, your energy, and your financial resources. Because there’s likely nowhere else or nothing else that will nurture us like these places and experiences do.

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