Reclaiming My Time

Fans of the TV show The West Wing are familiar with character President Josiah Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen. President Bartlet is smart as a whip, deeply religious, and a gregarious people pleaser. That can be good at times, but at other times it is a problem. As the press secretary notes on the morning …

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Crazy Wisdom

Humor is a funny thing, isn’t it? Sorry – couldn’t resist. But consider what has happened in this room. I began our service with some troubling news about our institution, with a seriousness about our denomination’s ability to walk the talk when it comes to anti-racism and anti-oppression work. And then I told a funny …

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Give Them Not Hell

A Time for All Ages John Murray and The Winds of Change by Christy Olson and Jessica York Sermon True or false: In April of 1775, Paul Revere rode through the streets from Boston to Lexington yelling “The British Are Coming”. True or false: The Declaration of Independence was signed by everyone on July 4, …

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Shifting the Narrative

Back in the mid 1980s, I moved to North Carolina. Now if you’ve ever lived in North Carolina, you know that the most important question is not “what’s your name” or “what do you do for a living” – it’s “What college basketball team do you support?” Because my friends were graduates of NC State …

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Holey, Holy, Wholly

People find wisdom in a variety of places – folk tales, sacred texts, nature, the words of prophetic people, music. I add to that list popular culture – specifically, movies and tv shows – in particular, those I find well written and which speak to something deeper than entertainment: Star Trek, M*A*S*H, and of course, …

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Scoundrels

This is not the sermon I had planned to deliver today. My plan was much more light hearted – talking about some of our most prized notables in our Unitarian Universalist history and their scoundrel nature – the mean nurse, the secessionist senator, the huckster showman, the tattletale pastor, the murderous daughter, the philandering minister. …

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At Sixes and Sevens

I love words – I am always on the lookout for a particularly elegant word or turn of phrase, and I like being able to use words well. So it sets my teeth on edge when I am unable to find the right word for something. I search and search my brain, but the word …

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The Greatest Story Ever Told

When I was a kid, along with A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the TV lineup would include the movie The Greatest Story Ever Told. It wasn’t my favorite of these sweeping Hollywood Bible epics – I much preferred the big arms of Charlton Heston in the Ten Commandments or …

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Thus Do We Covenant

When I submitted the week’s topic last month, Covenant seemed like a good, fairly neutral way to explore our faith and our relationship to one another. It seemed like a good discussion to have as we embark on the new church year. And then last week, the bad news started pouring in. Another in a …

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A Mother’s Day for All of Us

Unitarian Universalists are great spin doctors. What I mean is that Unitarian Universalists are very good at redeeming holidays and holy days. On Christmas, religious educator Sophia Lyon Fahs reminds us that “each night a child is born is a holy night.” Easter becomes not just a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but of the resurrection …

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With Childlike Wonder

Let’s imagine together. It is a cold night as you bundle up in a winter coat, or maybe a thick comforter, with layers of socks under your shoes, and mittens on your hands. You may be alone, or you may be with someone else; let’s imagine your favorite person is also bundling up like you …

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Eat More Pie

About twelve years ago, I spent a long January weekend on Topsail Island, North Carolina, at a spiritual retreat. Twelve relative strangers came together in a large beach house to listen, pray, meditate, share, and explore our connections to the Divine.  One of our leaders, Donald Engstrom, was a big bear of a guy with …

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Standing On Our Heads

Betina was exhausted. As a beat cop in a small town, she had spent her day answering a series of difficult calls – domestic disturbances, a bar fight, and a car chase over a broken tail light. All she wanted to do was go home, take a bath, snuggle her kids, and watch American Idol. …

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