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Topic “Minister's Message”

Message from Rev. David

The following is an excerpt from our minister's column in the November issue of Contact, our monthly newsletter. Thanksgiving brings thoughts of pilgrims and Puritans. David reminds us that while we have abandoned our religious ancestors' belief in a cruel God, the earliest colonists have a lot to teach us about focusing on the common good.
FROM OUR MINISTER
"Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones
you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values."
Ralph Ellison
"Among our ancestors are the Puritan Separatists who founded Plymouth. Nearly two centuries after the colonists landed, those congregational churches would vote to call Unitarian ministers. The First Parish Church in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the very one founded by the pilgrims in 1620, is Unitarian today. Like us, they bound their churches together by covenant, the promises they made to each other about how they would dwell together. Like us, they had a congregational polity which knew no higher human authority than the congregation itself, in which the minister and teacher were elected by the members.

The Puritans were on the one hand, wholly invested in their relationship to the all powerful, terrifying, cruel god of their understanding they were closer in years to the middle ages than to the present day. But they also believed deeply in the commonweal; the common good, the welfare and wellbeing of all. Their commitment to the common good became so fundamental to the New England psyche that when the time comes for statehood, the citizen of Massachusetts did not become a state, but rather, a commonwealth.

The Puritan colonists invested their lives in each other. They did not think of themselves as private, autonomous people. Instead, they fundamentally understood that they were part of a body: they were one single, whole people, all together, and that their lives depended on each other. Not just their livelihood, not just their survival, but their lives. And in this, they are our ancestors."
Click on CONTACT to the left of this page to read David's article in full.

Message from Rev. David

If ever you were thinking about attending the Beverly Unitarian Church, our minister's message in the church's October newsletter will have you running to the castle on a Sunday for a front row seat.

He writes, "This castle church is no sandcastle to be washed away. Against the rising tides of the world and the storms of our spirits, this house will hold us. Against the steady erosion of rights and dignity, and the whirlpools of half-truths, this house will hold us. Not as a mighty fortress, not as a defensive wall to hide behind, but to lift up and renew the steadfast endurance of our spirits, so as we go into the world again, week after week, we take something of this calm repose with us.We come together to lift up and renew the steadfast endurance of our spirits, so as we go into the world again, week after week, we take something of this calm repose with us."

You can read Rev. David's complete message by clicking on Contact to the left.

FROM THE MINISTER

Rev David Schwartz is a very interesting guy, to say the least! This month we celebrate our first year with David, who continues to awe us with the thoughtfulness of his heart and mind. He's made a brilliant connection in his article in the June Contact, our newsletter.

"I only ever have basically one response to the hand-wringing about the future of the liberal faith and church and religion. I usually say something like:
Look, it's fun and interesting to talk about all that, but my sphere of influence is this church right here. I don't know where the whole thing is going, I can't control it, I can't cure it. I care about: where are these people going? What can I do to lead here: what's the vision, the mission, how do we stay on it right here?
Listening back to a Mos Def track off "Black on Both Sides," he says of hip hop exactly what I mean:
Listen.. people be askin me all the time
"Yo Mos, what's gettin ready to happen with Hip-Hop?"
(Where do you think Hip-Hop is goin?)
I tell em, "You know what's gonna happen with Hip-Hop?
Whatever's happening with us"
If we smoked out, Hip-Hop is gonna be smoked out
If we doin alright, Hip-Hop is gonna be doin alright
People talk about Hip-Hop like it's some giant livin in the hillside
Comin down to visit the townspeople
We are Hip-Hop
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is going where we going
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is going
Ask yourself: where am I going? How am I doing?
'til you get a clear idea

As we face squarely the reality of caring for the historic building our church inhabits, it’s easy to get stuck in that question: where do you think this church is going? Can we do it? Can we live here? Next year? In thirty years? Where are we going?

But the harder question, the realer question, the more important question is: Where are you going? How are you doing? If we’re doing alright, this church is going to be doing alright—wherever it meets. We’re the caretakers of this space, and it serves us. But the real and enduring substance of the church is only ever the people. It’s us, united by the commitments we make to travel this road together: to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, to help one another—a promise to nurture our spirit and help heal the world.

At the end of my first year with you, I am filled with gratitude. Most important for me this year was to get to know you: to build relationships, lead worship, sing together,
laugh together, talk together. I’m proud to serve this church and all the committed, complex, curious, fierce, funny, wondering, beautiful people who weekly create and re-create it.

Thank you to you who brew the coffee and serve on committees. Thank you who sing and lead worship, who organize protests, who tend to bylaws and business, who put on parties and potlucks. Thank you to you who say hello to newcomers and take them out for lunch. Thank you to everyone who gives of time, and talent, and treasure.

And thank you to each person who comes on a Sunday morning needing relief from the whirlwind of life and shelter from the storm: this is your church.

In hope and gratitude,
Rev David"

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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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