Minister’s Letter

Minister’s Letter

From the Minister

As part of my 14-year ministry as senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock (Long Island), I served on our Veatch Board of Governors which made annual grants totalling approximately $12 million to social justice organizations throughout the country. One segment of grant making important to us was faith-based community organizations which bring people together across racial, religious, and socioeconomic lines to pursue social justice in their communities. From reviewing grant proposals, taking part in site visits…

From the Minister

Last Sunday I ended my sermon encouraging participation in our upcoming capital campaign with a quote from the late Rev. Dr. John B. Wolf, for 35 years senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa. At the virtual coffee hour after the service I agreed to share it again in the newsletter. So here it is. I share a more complete rendition I have found of the quote and believe it still reads well though it was written decades…

From the Minister

The issue of “truth” has become a deeply significant issue in our country during the Trump presidency and its aftermath.  I take counsel from Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) in his poem “Advice to Pilgrims.”  I share them with you not as being the definitive word on the subject but as containing some helpful suggestions.  Most importantly I suggest that you regularly attempt to catch your intuition “clean and stark naked.” Advice to Pilgrims That our senses lie and our minds trick…

From the Minister

We are coming up to the anniversary of the most emotionally challenging year in my life. Perhaps it has been so in your life as well. The challenge of the worst pandemic in a century together with a tragically inept federal response, persistent presidential prevarication across the board until January 20, concern for personal safety and that  of family and friends, police violence against minorities, lack of sufficient response to Russian assaults upon us, continued fraying of relationships with our European allies, unrest…

From the Minister

I was pleased with the good-sized group which joined me for “Unitarian Universalism—Then and Now” on Sunday afternoon, February 7. The intent of the presentation was to show how our seven core principles have drawn on mystical traditions, humanist teachings, Judaism, Christianity, prophetic traditions, world religions, and nature-based religions to create current Unitarian Universalism. The genius of our faith has been its enrichment by several traditions in support of the common values to which we are committed.  I would like…

From the Minister

Last fall I delivered a sermon on “What About God” in response to suggestions made in the meet the minister sessions.   A request was made for a written copy of the sermon which I did not have readily available but I did send on a copy of a paper entitled “God and Evil” which covers the same ground.  The suggestion was made that I distribute it through our newsletter and Facebook page which I am happy to do.You can download by clicking…

Message from the Minister

As we embark on a new year I want to share with you an ancient reading from the Sanscrit  poet Kalidasa which is found in our hymnbook (#419). I have memorized it and often say it to myself during my morning walk. Look to this day!For it is life, the very life of life.In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence:The bliss of growth,The glory of action,The splendor of beauty;For yesterday is but a dream,And tomorrow is…

From the Minister

The last report I received from Virginia, our administrator, put the total of  pledges for the coming year at about $189,000, which leaves us $11,000 below the amount necessary to receive a challenge grant of $41,000 from a generous anonymous donor. If we don’t make this goal by December 31, the finance committee and board will have to significantly reduce the budget for 2021 which we approved at the December 13 congregational meeting. It would be a shame if we didn’t…

Minister’s Letter

The day after Thanksgiving the holiday lights and other decorations were installed by the management of the complex where Carol and I live. Something deep within me registered a note of delight and joy. Hindu Diwali, Christian Christmas, Jewish Hanukkah, Pagan Solstice, and African American Kwanza all feature light as a symbol of deep-seated virtues and aspirations this time of year. It is as if we are completing our year-long voyage around the sun and pausing for a time in…

Letter from The Minister

My favorite nineteenth century Unitarian minister is James Freeman Clarke who served the Church of the Disciples in Boston for nearly 40 years. He is responsible for inaugurating a great number of the features of our contemporary congregational life. One aspect of his religious vision escaped him during his lifetime—extensive, systematic, and effective cooperation among all religious denominations in Boston in furthering common social justice and social service aims.   I experienced Clarke’s vision come to life in a remarkable way…