“Holy Envy” by Mark W. Harris – UUs often say that we don’t believe in that resurrection story, but that we believe in science where dead people don’t come back to life. Yet do we sometimes long for one transforming belief, and have holy envy towards those who do believe?
“The Power of Ideas” by Mark W. Harris – I have long been fascinated by the power of ideas, and how certain “truths” get inside our heads and remain there as gospel, even if they only contain a kernel of truth. How much does the power of an idea have a hold on you?
Tidying Up and Sparking Joy” by Mark W. Harris – Do you ever feel overwhelmed with stuff? Getting ready to move to Maine has meant an ongoing purge of books, furniture, clothes and files. What items have I kept because they bring me joy, and what does tidying up do for my sense of balance, letting go and spiritual growth? Let’s explore the religious implications of Marie Kondo’s quest for tidiness.
“Living Your Values” by Mark W. Harris – The theme of this year’s pledge drive is “Living Your Values” – How do you make your values manifest in your life?
“Nothing Left Unsaid” by Mark W. Harris – How often do our words become a reflection of what we think others want to hear? How often are they a projection of our own fears? How often do words get in the way, or too much is said?
“Rewarding the Responsible” – Mark W. Harris – Is there any reward for being responsible? For those who answer emails promptly and are on time, what is the benefit? The responsible people often end up waiting or not hearing from someone, but there is no penalty for irresponsibility. What to do?
“Among the Cloud of Witnesses: David O. Rankin.” In another chapter of First Parish history we will look at the ministry of David Rankin in the 1960’s – What did he show us about UU evangelism? What about justice?
“Dream On” by Mark W. Harris – People often remember Dr. King for his I Have a Dream speech. Do you dream? I don’t mean those odd, colorful and strange visions at night, but rather visions for your life, or the life of the church, or the life of the world.
“An Ageist Story” by Mark Harris – Is American society ageist? Old people are put out to pasture, and no one pays any attention to them. To compensate we all pretend that we are forever young. Many us, even if we are old, can be ageist, too.
“Strength for the Journey” by Mark Harris – On Epiphany we celebrate the arrival of the three magi at the end of their journey to find the holy child. What journeys will you have in the new year? For me, I will have a journey into retirement, and a big move. Where will your journey take you?
“Lost Sheep” by Mark W. Harris – Christmas Eve Homily- I was a young shepherd in those days wandering the hills and valleys with a fairly large flock of sheep, at least 100. . .
“Silence of the Season” by Mark W. Harris – Silence has always played a critical role in religious journeys. Does silence play a role in your life? Do other people silence you sometimes with their words or looks? When is silence a weapon, and when is it a source of strength?
“Longing for God” by Mark W. Harris – Many members of UU congregations are humanists who usually say that all religion is an expression of human longing for meaning , connection, and hope, to make life and memory meaningful or “sacred.” But what about God? Do we still have a longing or desire for the divine, and how does it play a role in our lives?
“Blessing the Curse” by Mark W. Harris – We feel terrible when some difficult event occurs in our lives, but sometimes what seems like a life changing failure or disaster turns into a blessing.