Beverly Unitarian Church at Christmas
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Who are the Unitarians? Watch our video, Voices of a Liberal Faith and learn about our growing faith.
 

SUNDAY May 27 ~ 10:30 AM

Rev. David Schwartz
Sermon: "Fasting for Ramadan"
Active and intentional spiritual practices open a door for transformation, a different way of being in the world. As our Muslim neighbors and friends enter the second week of Ramadan, we explore the hard wisdom of fasting.

BUC Spotlight

The Little Moments Matter

The following is an excerpt from "From the Minister, Contact May 2018 Issue
"I heard a story that physicist Richard Feynman described the experience of a new fundamental insight into the way the universe works as a euphoria lasting for days. How many times did that happen to you, a friend asked him. Only three or four times in an entire life, was the answer.
The big, profound, intense, dramatic insights and realizations in life—the ones that turn your world upside down, the ones that change the shape of your life—happen rarely. Mostly, it’s little moments of hope or grace or beauty that sustain us and feed our heart and spirit.
We gather in community partly to train ourselves to pay attention, to notice, to give our lives to these: the silence when singing ends; the color of light on the stones of the castle; a smile and a hug; the person who says “here let me pour that cup of coffee for you.” Nothing dramatic, all easily missed, ten thousand tiny things.
Last month we hosted a Passover Seder for 29 kids and adults, I was so glad to share this part of my religious heritage with our community. The ritual itself is a remembering and a recommitment – that in every generation new oppressions awaken, and our job is to persistently, steadily face them. The meal, the words, the telling, all give a sense of hope and connection and dedication to those who gather.
For me, another moment that gave joy and hope was after it was all done. Without fuss, without drama, everyone pitched in to help clean up. We took plates upstairs, folded up tables, washed dishes, organized leftovers. Of course that’s what we did after the meal, that’s just how we do things, that’s who we are! It’s such a common thing we take it for granted.
But it’s a reminder that community is a sort of a magic trick: we made something from nothing – a beautiful meal in a beautiful space made only from people working together, each doing a little bit, helping each other, making community, investing our lives in each other.
Washing dishes together in the kitchen upstairs may not produce a euphoria lasting for days, but it can be one of those little moments of hope that sustains a life.
...
We are stronger together!
In hope,
Rev. David"

The End is NOT Near!

This is our Minister's message in our April newsletter, CONTACT.

"In New Yorker cartoons (and possibly in real life) you see people walking around with sandwich boards pro-claiming “the end is near!”
I am here to tell you that the end is not near. Nothing is coming to destroy us, and nothing is coming to save us. I’m not optimistic—believing that good things will happen no matter what we do; and I’m not pessimistic, believing that no matter what happens, we’re doomed. I’m hopeful.

Hope, says Rebecca Solnit, “is the belief that what we do matters, even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know of them afterward either, but they matter all the same.”

- Voting is an expression of hope: we may not know the impact or effect of our one ballot, or our conversations about the election, but we believe that it matters all the same.

- A Sunday morning service is an expression of hope: that gathering together we ourselves may be transformed in ways we may not know or anticipate or perceive at the time – and that our presence, compassion, connections with others may be transformative to them as well.

- Service work is an expression of hope: when we serve at an overnight emergency shelter, we don’t know who will be there, or their circumstances: where they’ve come from or where they’re going. Nonetheless, we believe that little bit of service matters in ways we may never know.

When we are a people of hope, we are keeping faith with the ancestors who brought us to this moment: the ancestors in our own lives, and the generations before us who have created and kept vital this church community. Keeping faith with our ancestors doesn’t mean to do what they did. It doesn’t mean to live their lives over again, to make the same choices, to stumble in the same places. It means to do what they made possible for us.
To be true to the generations that brought us here to this moment in this house is not to do the same things they did, expecting different results, but instead, to look back and lift up those enduring values and hopes we still hold that we can go forward here and now in ways that make sense for this era and its future.

“The end is not near.” It means the end of the world isn’t coming. It means there’s time. It also means we’ve got our work to do always to live our mission and to keep faith the generations past and those yet to come.

Let’s go to work.
In hope,
Rev. David

The "Hope Soap" Project

The children of Beverly Unitarian Church are lovingly referred to as our BUC Kids and they are an integral and cherished part of this church community. Their Unitarian Universalist (UU) education centers itself around the seven UU principles, which is our moral guide and an expression of our values.

In our church, the children are taught these values through project-based learning. The focus of their work this Spring is one fine example of what this means. They are making what they call “Hope Soap” to bring to those who are homeless. (You can see photos of the children at work on our Facebook page.) Our children are living at least three of our UU principles, demonstrating the values that we want them to have. Compassion. Respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Recognizing that all of us are connected.

They are in the process of creating a website and their plan is to make soap for six weeks. Then they will deliver their fun shaped soaps, each good for at least one use, to shelters and outside locations like tent cities. The kids are now thinking about selling their soap to generate donation money for organizations who support those who struggle with homelessness.

Let's Do What We Can!

This is Reverend David's March article in our monthly newsletter, CONTACT. His message remind each of us to not be overwhelmed but to keep our focus on what we can do to fight for justice.

“Don’t let the everything that you can’t do keep you from the something that you can.”
I keep returning to this theme because it isn’t easy to remember. Our culture says everything is up to you all by yourself, and everything is the result of individual choices. Everything comes down to your personal guilt and responsibility -- and you should do everything you can to minimize it.
So you get paralyzed, or overwhelmed, or numb, and let go of a commitment to change the world for the better. But all that inward-looking keeps us from seeing the scale of the effort underway, keep us from appreciating all the groups and teams fighting for justice.
Our task is to stay focused: what's incumbent on each of us is not to do everything but to do something.
“Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,” writes the Apostle Paul to the early church -- which was still an underground church, an illegal church, a church whose people had to live inside empire: a community of resistance which called its people to hope in a time of despair.
“Do not be conformed to the world,” this may be the most dangerous verse in the Bible, suggests Rev. Robin Meyers, because conformity is what comes naturally to us: there no other verse which so upsets the status quo.
Nearly two thousand years later, our theology may be very different, but we are like those early Christians, gathering to keep their identity and keep their moral commitments intact while living in empire.
So that, when the days come, when we are asked to be complicit in the unconscionable, we can say no.
The poet Charles Bukowski charges us this:
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you
In Hope,
Rev. David"

Buddhist Meditation

Reverend Marcia Curtis invites you to participate in a Buddhism-based meditation in a group setting. Join us Sundays at 7:30pm in the church sanctuary. Newcomers welcome.

Religious Education

       

Childcare for our youngest is available during services.
                

                        All children are welcome!   

 

 

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