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First UU Blog

Columns and occasional online reflections from First UU Ministers, staff and members of our community.

 

 

Tuesday Blog: Brian Hagemann - Reaching for the Sun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Hagemann   
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 14:27

7th principleThe February theme of ‘desire’ (and the news I’m about to share) had me thinking about my deeply held longing and hope for a green and vibrant world teeming with biodiversity and humans living in harmony for generations.  As UU's, we all desire a healthy and sustainable future that reverses some of the damage the Earth’s ecosystems are struggling with.  I’ve spent much of my activist life working with a variety of environmental groups (from Earth First! and Student Environmental Action in college to the Green Party and other special interest groups) to help bring about such change.  But now, as a parent, with the ever growing spectre of climate change my worry and sense of urgency is heightened.  Sometimes, fortunately, desire can transform into hope.

You may have noticed by now a new addition to the First UU facility on the roof above the main entrance.  As part of our Green and Growing capital campaign, we now have a medium sized solar array providing clean, renewable energy right here at First UU!  We’re not sure, but as Rev. Eric mentioned in his sermon this past Sunday, we may be the first church in the area to have installed solar.  As a visible commitment to our Unitarian Universalist 7th Principle (respect for the interdependent web of all existence), this is a tangible and concrete way that we can live out our faith’s values and contribute to the healing of our larger world.  Renewable energy such as solar will be necessary to address climate change as it represents a reduction in our ‘carbon footprint’, mainly by offsetting coal-burning energy production here in this region.  Our congregation should be very proud of this small step in that direction.

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Tuesday Blog: Rev. Lane Campbell - Desire PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 00:00

heartAs I read about this month’s theme, Desire, I have to admit I got a bit squirmy. Desire? Really?! It seems that in having grown up in New England, I have developed an aversion to desire that probably has its roots in some sort of Puritan values. I received the message that desire was wrong- that wanting something for yourself or for others was being greedy or selfish. And I wonder if others in this community grew up with similar messages. I wonder what messages you have received about desire throughout your life and how these learning’s have shaped you.

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Tuesday Blog: Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Beyond Appearances PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Jennifer Brooks   
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:00

milkywayOnce in the middle of a starry night, I turned my face upwards to that beauty and mystery and felt my own longing. I couldn’t then articulate what it was I longed for, but I knew there was something—something I should do or be—that wasn’t yet part of my life.

That moment changed my future. I had been happy with my life and continued to be happy with my life. But in that moment of conscious longing, I planted a seed of desire that gradually sprouted and blossomed.

I began to be more mindful of what I was doing. I’d ask myself, “Is this what I long for?” I began to look attentively at new possibilities. “Is this what’s missing?” Somehow this awareness of my inarticulate longing opened the door to discovery. I finally figured it out. I became a Unitarian Universalist minister.

What do we desire? In this February when “desire” is both the worship theme and a Valentine’s Day message, each of us might take a moment to consider what we want. What we desire. What we long for.

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Tuesday Blog: Rev. Eric Meter - Wants and Needs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 14:15

There are times when not being raised learning the Bible brings me up short.

treasureYes, there was a class in Bible studies in the Unitarian Fellowship my family attended when I was young, and I was given a red letter King James leather bound Bible for a confirmation present (this was long before Coming of Age classes were the norm). Which was a sweet, but odd gift. Beyond that one class, we never talked about the Bible.

So, when one of the religious education classes in a previous congregation I served took a look at Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” I mistakenly thought they had the quote wrong. But the teacher was correct. And maybe because I was wrong, that passage has stayed with me ever since. It helps keep me both humble and honest.

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Eric's column
 
Tuesday Blog: Rev. Eric Meter - Coming 'Round to Yes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 12:17

resistanceflag2When I think of resistance, two images come immediately to mind.

The first is the catacombs of Paris, which those resisting the Vichy regime used to stage their operations, moving throughout the underground passageways out of sight. The notable feature of the catacombs is that many passageways and rooms are filled with the interred bones of countless Parisians.

When the graveyards across the city filled up, the remains that hadn’t been visited as often as most others were systematically “relocated” to the catacombs, leaving space the the remains of others. To this day, as I understand it at least, families can hire professional grave visitors in order to keep their deceased loved ones 6 feet under as opposed to much deeper. In any case, during the last world war, the French partisans did not have to look far for reminders of who they struggled for or for reminders of their own mortality.

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Eric's column
 
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