Mary Beth Writes

“St Augustine wrote; “Thou has made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”

In Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen sings; “The door is open but the ride ain’t free.”

We have work to do to find worthy scriptures that will inspire us.”

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What does it mean to say “That’s inspired!”?

What’s a canon and why do theologians care whether it’s open or closed?

What’s the difference between feeling “warm and fuzzy” and “Amazing faith, how sweet the sound…I once was lost but now am found”?

I list five characteristics of holy and inspired revelation so that we as people of faith can tell the difference between what makes us feel good and what gives us strength...

 “Today we’re going to talk about spiritual inspiration and scriptures because people like us in times like these need inspiration. We need abiding truths that come from the earth and universe, and that comes from deepest parts of others – truths that can touch our feelings and move our hearts and give us courage. We need moments when a burning bush or someone’s burning heart motivates us to become more than we thought we could.”

Love, Communicate, Show Up, & Love.

Our congregation is United Unitarian Universalist in Waukesha, WI. I only preach a couple times a year; it is the one of the hardest things it is my privilege to do. 

Sunday I preached to my congregation. The topic evolved as I was working on it during the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, and as we learned more about the life and gentleness of George Floyd.

Here is my sermon in two forms. 

This is the service on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmul8-f7sZI 

Sanctuary: Safety or Invitation? 10/7/2018

Sanctuary is Our Claim that Hope Can Become Truth  

 Sanctuary is more than a concept. Sanctuary is our claim that the realm of God and goodness is here, now, in this time and place. Sanctuary isn’t the room where we wait for things to get better. Sanctuary is the space where we claim peace and justice, hope and love right now, among us.

In sanctuary - hope becomes truth.

 

A Path of Integrity - Sermon

 I recently preached on the topic of Integrity. I had this sermon completed before Christmas because I wanted to not stress about it. Good for me. 

The day after Christmas I realized it wasn't "right."  I wasn't sure what was wrong, but as I do when I'm looking for more than I have, I delved into quotes by people I think know what I'm trying to figure out.  James Baldwin amazed me.  

Then I watched the movies I reference in the sermon. 

Then I wrote the sermon that is here. 

Sermon - Servants of the Quest

The park ranger described the paths one could choose to hike across the island. I picked the that one he said was the easiest.  When he was done talking, I walked to get a drink at a building that was a distance away, behind some trees. When I came back out, I couldn’t quite see what was a path and what was the field, so I walked back to where some people seemed to be hanging out. However, they were photographers and they weren’t going anywhere.

And that is how I got myself separated from all other humans who were going to be hiking across Bonaventure Island that day.

Where & What is Beauty?

This was this last Sunday’s service in the United Unitarian Universalist congregation in my town.  This was entirely written by five of us - the “United We Writers.” I told friends that I would post this on my website. The service was wonderfully received.

"No Felons Here"

I preached this sermon at United Unitarian Universalist /23/2019.

The photo is of the sanctuary of Grace United Methodist in Chicago. It's the church in which Len and I met and then married. We happened to be driving by earlier this year on a Sunday morning. They were voting that day on what to do with their building. I took this single picture with my phone, capturing the affection we all feel for our friends and fellow-journeyers in our congregations. 

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