Why I Pray

by Rev. David A. Miller.  Aug. 7, 2016. Have you ever sat down at the computer and, whether you are a believer or not, you thought, “God, if you are up there, or anywhere, please give me the inspiration to write this report, or paper, or if you are a minister, for instance, this sermon.” I have, that has been me, I admit it. There have been times when I sat down, stared at the keys on the computer and I closed my eyes. I’ve said please god, if you exist, give me inspiration to write this sermon. Then, like sometimes we do when we make prayers of petition, I […]

A Radical Revolution of Values

by Rev. David A. Miller. It is late on Sunday night and about 24 UUCF folks have just returned from the Moral Revival at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Rev. Dr. William Barber II is the central figure in this effort and he is leading an organization called Repairers of the Breach. This is the description from the website: “Repairers of the Breach, Inc. is a nonpartisan and ecumenical organization that seeks to build a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square. Repairers will help frame public policies [that] are not constrained or confined by the […]

We Can Welcome the Stranger

by Rod Paolini, Chair of UUCF’s Muslim Liaison Group. I’ve noticed lately that refugees are no longer on the front page of newspapers. There are no longer videos of columns of refugees trudging through a countryside nor confrontations with armed guards preventing their entry to a European country. So where are they? As best I can tell, they are “settled in place.” The least fortunate languish in refugee camps. Where’s the hope? According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at the end of 2014 there were an estimated 14.4 million refugees (up 19% from the previous year). According to 2015 statistics, it is estimated that there are more […]

Building Relationships, Deepening Connections

by Rev. David A. Miller. As we are preparing to join together from whatever summer brought us, there are a few things that I have been thinking about and processing with colleagues and friends. It is inescapable to note the increase in worry, not only because of this summer’s tragic events, but also the current political campaign season and the endless stream of commentary in the news and social media. In observing the cultural phenomenon that is social media, it does seem to connect us in a myriad of ways never before seen in modern life. My concern is that although it does seem to help superficially increase our connection, the demands […]

“We Are More Alike, My Friends, Than Unalike”

by Linnea Nelson, Director of Religious Exploration. I love August! It’s hot and sunny and the Olympics have added a true bonus to the month. I was also lucky enough to spend the first week of August at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY, which for me became a place of spiritual renewal through the arts and spoken word. The week’s theme at Chautauqua was cities, but the underlying message was the importance of equity in thinking about oneness and wholeness. During the televised opening of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, a phone ad (of all things) mimicked my summer spiritual learning. I heard Maya Angelou’s unmistakable velvety voice reading […]

Reflections on My First Year as Lay Minister for Social Justice

by Wini Atlas. Social justice is one of my passions. It is a joy of my UUCF membership that many in the congregation share this passion. This community is so much more together than merely the sum of its parts. As I reflect on my first year as lay minister for social justice, I’m more aware of this than ever before. I started my tenure with joy, anticipation and a bit of trepidation. I was lucky to have the support and encouragement of Martha Ades, the outgoing lay minister for social justice. Rev. David A. Miller, at that time starting his ministry with us, made it clear that social justice […]

Church Time Takes Time

by Linnea Nelson, Director of Religious Exploration. If you know me at all, you have probably noticed that I’m a “doer.” I like to get things done and I get more than a little joy from ticking off to-do items. Once in a while, someone asks me if I have another job during the week, and I chuckle and tell them that this one keeps me busy “doing” all week long! So, what is “church time”? It’s my name for getting things done inclusively in a way that values relationships, takes into account the varied ideas of stakeholders and leaves time for the amazing effects of collaboration. Sure, we could […]