You, Me and We

Mural in Memphis. "This is You," in curly script. "This is WE," below, much bolder and larger.

Seeking to understand the Other – capital “O” or lower-case “o” – without judging or attempts to persuade, is perhaps the most vital thing we can do when we seem to be stuck in a You and Me or You vs. Me place. It requires humility to enter into a conversation with no other objective than to understand another’s point of view. To do so suggests that we’ve made an important shift in priorities. It means we’ve put our connection to and relationship with another person ahead of winning an argument or getting someone else to see our side of things.

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Cherish Water, Cherish Life

water drops on a bright green leaf

Clean, fresh water is not in abundance – less than 3 percent of our planet’s water is freshwater. And, most of that is inaccessible, still locked in frozen icecaps and glaciers. So, let’s not, in the words of Barbara Kingsolver, be too slow to give up on the myth of Earth’s infinite generosity. Let’s see where we might use less of this precious resource and where we might partner with others to advocate for its protection.

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I’m Saved . . . Right?

black and white sketch of hosea ballou

Delivered Sunday, July 31, 2016 by Worship Associate Jay Kiskel Poor Jack. That’s not his real name, but names don’t really matter in this instance. I only invite you to join me in the sense of despair I felt for Jack back in the 1960’s. I met Jack in the ninth grade after eight years at St. Philomena’s Catholic School. Jack […]

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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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