After a series of intense visions Julian of Norwich penned the words “but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Living during the 1300’s she and her contemporaries experienced the devastations of plague, famine, and war. We will be sharing ways that human beings through time have coped with tragedy and loss, and remained resilient and hopeful. Copied, cherished, and rediscovered, her words of hope have resonated with many for nearly 700 years.
Churches measure time differently: not in years, or fads, or decades, or generations. We’re here for the long haul, longer even than human lifetimes. When the church says, “We will get through this” that’s a promise.
A homily about our instinctive need to come together during times of crisis, and, when the crisis demands we don’t gather physically, how we can gather in other ways.
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Spring Forward! Time change occurs at 2:00 am, March 8. Adjust your clocks! For some, the goal of religion is not directed at improving the self but is directed outward toward improving the lives of others. The spiritual question of purpose, “What should I do?” becomes the generous offer, “What can I do, for you?”
The spiritual sense of “right” begins with intuiting a standard beyond our personal preference and then working to conform our lives to that standard. For some the standard exists in God, or a sacred text. For Unitarian Universalists the standard more often exists in a personal intuition about the best and highest for ourselves.
For many the goal of religion is simply peace. Indeed, “spirituality” often conjures images and feelings of peace, calm, stillness, equanimity. The spiritual goal of peace is not to overcome the challenges of life but to distance oneself from them, not to “win” with one side of the struggle against the other, but to unite the sides and forget the struggle.
Unitarian Universalists have had a difficult relationship with power, lately. But we don’t need to feel ambivalent about having power, only be more cognizant and careful about how we use it. Power is merely the ability to effect change in the world. Without it, no goal for a different future would ever be reached.
Some religious experiences are grandiose: miracles, theophanies, resurrection. But the unlikelihood of that model of instant total transformation can make spiritual growth seem impossible. In truth, the more reliable route to achieving our faith goals is through slow, steady work, and patience for incremental change.
Reclaiming sacred words can provide a powerful reflection point for Unitarian Universalists. Join us for an exploration of the word ‘grace’ for this Sunday service.