Message From The Minister

Friends,

Love is a powerful thing. As stated in Corinthians 13:13, “Three things will last forever — Faith, Hope and Love — and the greatest of these is love.”

Love can take many forms. Agape (Koine Greek) Love is a love beyond, a spiritual love. Mudita (Pali) Love is sympathetic joyous love, a love for others and a higher level of empathy. We call into action The Spirit of Expectancy.

In a deep way, we love when we expect the world to get better. We expect love to triumph. That we can help individuals experiencing poverty, that we can build bridges between those who are excluded by means of White Supremacy and Racism and those benefiting from it. This Spirit is the hope that we ignite by doing the uncomfortable things by looking both inward at ourselves and our psyches, and looking outward at the stumbling blocks in front of our siblings.

We love when we listen to one another. There are so many ways to do this. We expect love to triumph politically, by helping one another vote: helping our neighbors register, offering rides to the polls, volunteering at polling stations, etc. We manifest the spirit of expectancy socially, when we are there for one another, listening to hear, imbuing empathy and chipping in to help.

The Spirit of Expectancy manifests when I don’t have to explain what “Love is Love” means. The Spirit of Expectancy is invoking and evoking the Beloved Community… not just checking privilege, but wielding it, within the intersectionality to speak and to hear the pain and joy happening, to tell the stories of hope and love.

Paul Massari said, “Love means that we are called to nurture health in one another…to nurture community with one another, to nurture the wholeness and vitality of every person, and to lift one another up. It can’t be reconciled with putting children in cages, with erasing transgender people, with racism, or with poverty. It means we are connected with one another. In this way, God is a powerful form of love.”

Let us work together to democratize our community as an embodiment of Love.

May it be so and Amen.
— Rev. Will

Message From The Minister

Friends,

Winter can be hard: The pounding winds, the cold weather, the accessibility inhibited, the extra money burnt up as heat. Winter can make us feel alone and isolated, making us long for warmer days, for old friends, for old times, or safe times. From the Buddhist traditions, we can cultivate a sense of renunciation. Buddhist nun, Rev. Pema Chödrön, says that this means to realize

“our nostalgia for wanting to stay in a protected, limited, petty world is insane…Once you begin to get the feeling of how big the world is and how vast our potential for experiencing life is, then you really begin to understand renunciation. When we sit in meditation, we feel our breath as it goes out, and we have some sense of willingness just to be open to the present moment. Then our minds wander off into all kinds of stories and fabrications and manufactured realities, and we say to ourselves, ’It’s thinking.’ We say that with a lot of gentleness and a lot of precision. Every time we are willing to let the story line go, and every time we are willing to let go at the end of the out breath, that’s fundamental renunciation: learning how to let go of holding on and holding back.”

In the spring, the trees will flow with sap, but if we allow ourselves to stay frozen, like the trees now, like some of us feel, then we’ll remain in this frozen state, like a dam ready to burst. But if we remember to have right-intentions, to cultivate presence with one another, to see the joyous things around us, then we can let go and experience a type of freedom, a type of Love.

We look at February in many ways: as a time for romance, as a time for Justice, as a time for cold and winter. In each of these let us love more deeply than yesterday.

On Love ~ Thomas à Kempis

Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good. Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God. Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength. Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. It is strange and effective, while those who lack love faint and fail. Love is not fickle and sentimental,
nor is it intent on vanities. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

Peace,
Rev. Will

Message From The Minister

Friends,

January brings a new year and many challenges. We have a dialectic—hope and fear. We are hopeful, yet we know situations are coming that challenge us to advocate for those without a voice—ending genocides around the world, bringing reconciliation to rivalries, extending rights to more and more people, and comforting those experiencing a loss. Let us ring in the New Year, by sharing our church and community as a safe place; for those who are weary we are sanctuary, for those without a voice we are sanctuary, for those in need we are sanctuary.

All Souls is needing to build a team to celebrate our bicentennial in 2022, as well as members to serve on our justice teams.

There are a great number of initiatives seeking ‘feet on the ground.’ The UUJO is advocating local Ohio issues. The UUA is putting out the “UU the Vote” for advocating democratic response to the issues of the next election.

The #LoveResists campaign continues to work against hatred-fueled policy.

https://www.uujo.org
https://www.uua.org/justice/vote2020
https://www.uua.org/loveresists

Let 2020 see justice clearly and beloved community abound.

Peace,
— Rev. Will

Chalica 2019 – Day 5

Happy 5th day of Chalica!
Today we honor our 5th principle: the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
Use your voice. Make yourself heard.

Chalica 2019 — Day 1

Today starts the first day of Chalica, a week of celebrating our 7 principles. On each day, a chalice is ignited, the day’s principle is read, and ways of honoring the principle are enacted, such as volunteering or donating to a social justice cause.

1ST PRINCIPLE: THE INHERENT WORTH AND DIGNITY OF EVERY PERSON

Reflection on the First Principle

“Reverence and respect for human nature is at the core of Unitarian Universalist (UU) faith. We believe that all the dimensions of our being carry the potential to do good. We celebrate the gifts of being human: our intelligence and capacity for observation and reason, our senses and ability to appreciate beauty, our creativity, our feelings and emotions. We cherish our bodies as well as our souls. We can use our gifts to offer love, to work for justice, to heal injury, to create pleasure for ourselves and others.

“‘Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy,’ the great twentieth-century Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote. Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent worth and dignity of each person as a given of faith—an unshakeable conviction calling us to self-respect and respect for others.,”

—Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker

http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles/1st