Minister’s Letter

Minister’s Letter

Minister’s Message for June

Dear Ones,  This month’s theme is Celebrating Blessings. A blessing has traditionally been thought of as a favor or gift bestowed by G-d that brings happiness and well-being.  So, I’d like to share with you an ancient blessing that empowers the speaker to invoke the blessings of G-d. In the book of Numbers it is said that G-d taught the Israelite priests what to say over the children of Israel on G-d’s behalf so that “they will put my name…

Minister’s Message for March

Dear Ones: The theme this month is “Renewing Faith.” Faith is an ambiguous word, like “spirit” and “love,” difficult to define and yet, like pornography, you generally know it when you see it, or in this case experience it. In this month’s Soul Matters material for small group ministry (a link to which is found below) Ernie Jones’s Quora answer to the question “What are the origins of the word ‘faith’?” is quoted. I like his answer and so I share it…

Minister’s Message for November 2021

Dear Ones, The theme for this month is “holding history.” While our history does not have to determine our future, it does have a significant impact on who we are today. The joys and the sorrows, the achievements and the failures, the hopes and the disappointments of each stage in a life leaves its mark on the present. Understanding our personal history is an essential part of spiritual growth and development. For many of us, we choose to remember only…

Minister’s Message for September 2021

Embracing Possibility Dear Ones,  The theme for this month is “embracing possibility.” While congregations have personalities and ministers have personalities; with each new combination of congregation and minister is a new opportunity for them to share a ministry that is uniquely their own. As we begin our journey together, possibilities previously unimagined will emerge.  Our challenge is to embrace them and each other. One of my favorite authors, Richard Bach, issued this caution in his book, Illusions, The Adventures of…

From the Minister

I’m in the midst of an annual June ritual I have missed only once since 1975–Ministry Days of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association followed by the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association where delegates from congregations meet for business, inspiration, celebration, and a general renewal of ties. I readily admit to being a “GA Junkie” who thoroughly enjoys the plenary business sessions (more than 12 hours this year), the ceremonial elements such as the Opening Celebration and the Service…

From the Minister

Every morning at 4 a.m. “First Light Meditation” hits my e-mail inbox from Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich, senior minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City. He suggests that those subscribing read the piece through at least two times and think about it as they start the day. I often find the piece helpful in spiritually centering my start to the day. Sometimes it is a few lines long and on occasion as long as the…

From the Minister

Along with a number of others from our congregation, I attended the ICARE Celebration via Zoom on Monday evening. It was inspiring to hear an update on current projects in our area. The civil citations project for youth has saved many young people from debilitating criminal records while requiring accountability. Sheriff Williams and States Attorney Nelson are committed to further development of an adult civil citations program as well as working at developing an intervention team to deal with mental…

Minister’s Letter

At the 2017 UUA General Assembly in New Orleans delegates called for the establishment of an Article II Study Commission to suggest any changes deemed necessary in our association’s Purposes and Principles which enunciate to ourselves and to the world the traditions we have come from and the core values we hold dear and promote. I have been very much inspired by and committed to them since their approval by the General Assembly in 1985. There has been only one…

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…