Sunday
Aug052018

Getting to Know You

August 5, 2018

Who is this new person in the pulpit? In her first sermon, Terry introduces herself and shares some of her thoughts about the exciting journey she and the congregation will take together in the coming year. As the congregation sets about the task of searching for a new settled minister, we will reflect on our shared vision, past and present.

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Sunday
May132018

Connection Heals Everyone in the Room

Reflection by Caren Greenberg

Whether you believe that blessings are random, luck, or a gift from the gods, I have to say I've had many in my life.  Probably the greatest one was the gift of being a social worker—of knowing I had to be a social worker—in NYC, with people who were about as unlike me as possible.  Initially they were adolescent males of color who were addicted to street drugs and were homeless.

Anyone who has worked in the helping professions will tell you that over-identification can blind you.  If this person is too much like you, you start thinking they are JUST like you. That is why I always found it so much easier to span a wider gap-- to walk like those people who tiptoe across the Grand Canyon on a pole.  You can't take any baggage, most shoes don't help, you focus on your balance and mostly you focus on what's ahead, on that person at the other end.

By the time you get there, by the time you make contact, by the time you connect, the only tool you have left is the language of your own humanity.  It's the only thing you have in common.

So I always felt that these encounters healed me, as well as that human at the other end of the gap, awaiting my arrival.  That these encounters lifted my own humanity to the fore and helped it strengthen and regenerate. That the scabs fell off and even the scars softened and became part of the dermal whole again.  I may have risked a great deal on that trip across the gap, but I didn't lose anything. I didn't give away anything that I had to somehow get back. I always came away with more: not out of a zero-sum idea that then that other person had lost something they'd given to me, but rather because, together, we created an abundance of humanity that exceeded what we each brought to the relationship.

Often, I was faced with that confrontation.  Many a mini-gangsta, with his jeans slumping to reveal his plumber's crack—and threatening to reveal even more—gave me that remarkably childish, asymmetrical, challenging look, and then  said, “What's a rich white lady like you know about me?” I won't get into how, in the early days, I had to keep back a guffaw about the “rich” part (he probably made more in two hours selling drugs on a street corner than I did in two days as a social worker), but it did take a while for me to get it that it was an observation of class and of white privilege, even though I'm sure he meant it as pure income.  “What's a rich white lady like you know about me?” To which my answer invariably was, “Not much. You're the expert here. It's your job to make me understand.” And these young people gave me so much. And their humanity moved to the fore, as well, because giving is part of being human.  I think I trusted the people my job brought into my life more than I have ever trusted anyone.  Because we connected through the profoundest part of our beings, and because, for them to trust me was probably the hardest thing they'd had to do in their young lives.  I felt privileged and honored by them.

Connection is both self-care and care of the other.  And it even heals onlookers who are either not supposed to be involved, or just happen to be around.  When I watch the incredibly good parenting that goes on right up here in this play area during services, I am healed. When Lena reaches out to us with the amazing vibrations that we call “music” and touches us with what is familiar or what is not, I am healed.  When we sing together, I am healed. The first sentence in the mission statement of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is “Welcome the stranger.” And I would add, the stranger the stranger the better, because, as we help to heal with the connection of welcome, we heal our own humanity.

Sunday
May062018

Building Resilience

May 6, 2018

Rev. Lisa McDaniel-Hutchings

As Unitarian Universalists we love to recall our leadership in reaching moral victories such as abolition, women’s suffrage, equal marriage. However since the election, policy changes affecting race relations, climate change, income inequality, immigration, and more assault us continually. How can we sustain ourselves as we resist divisiveness and hate? How can we stay strong for the fight? How can we remain resilient?

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Sunday
Apr152018

Earth Day

April 15, 2018

A service filled with inspiring music, a Climate Ribbon Ceremony, and a play presented by our youth.

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Sunday
Jan282018

Walking the Path of Justice, Singing a Song of Love

January 28, 2018

Meg Bohrman

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