Charge to Minister: Bret

Bret Lortie

Whether you want to say that this music comes from the Spirit of Life, as it evolves through and among us; or whether you prefer the metaphor of the music of the spheres, the mathematics of the multiverse manifesting as melody; or in more traditional language, that God is singing and playing through every being in creation; whatever you call its source, the music is calling us to join. ~read more~

Poems in the Lap of Death (service; 140223)


Not only do I not believe in that literal version of the monotheistic God, I have very little interest in trying to prove or disprove its existence. It is not a very nuanced understanding; I want us to deepen our appreciation of the complexities and paradoxes of life. ~read more~

visions of sugar plums


“While visions of sugar-plums danced in [our] heads.
And [ma] in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled [down] for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash…”

And what I saw there
was the Spirit of Life,
clamoring for my attention.

For the next sixty minutes,
and for ~read more~

from The Living Dead service 131027


the veil between worlds gets very thin around this time of year. Many people, who believe there might be *something* beyond this lifetime, have rituals and routines to communicate with, or protect themselves from, anything that might exist beyond our usual perception. This morning, may we be fully aware of those who have passed from this earth, and of the many ways that we still feel their influence; may we grow beyond any negative effects they’ve had, and grow further into the positive ways they’ve influenced us; and may we note the ways that *we* affect others…
So may we be. ~read more~

coffee and dignity


There’s an old joke, that if the building were burning, the priest would run in to save the sacraments, and the rabbi would run in to save the Torah, and the Unitarian Universalist minister would run in to save the coffee pot. As today *is* National Coffee Day, I do lift up that wondrous beverage…and I lift up the idea that we UUs are much more interested in seeking justice than the perfect blend of magic roasted ~read more~

Memorial Day prayer

memorial day

We call to Iphigenia, and her patron, Artemis;
we call to Utnapishtim, and to Confucius;
we beckon to all the goddesses and gods
who ever received an offering;

we cry to the God of the Israelites,
who taught our ancestors
which animals made the right sacrifice;
we cry to Jehovah,
who gave his only begotten son;

we remember all of our human cousins
who risked their lives,
or their status,
or their health and wellbeing,
in service to their higher values;

both emboldened and humbled
by the power of these ideas,
we ~read more~

Opening Words, post-Boston


After a week that included violence, terrorism, depressing political battles, and some frightening weather, it is good to gather together. It is good to confirm that we are okay; it is good to seek support if we are *not* okay; and it is very good to arrive and give stubborn witness to the power of our liberal religious values: freedom, reason, tolerance, compassion and courage. ~read more~

strictly humanist prayer entrance


we cry out to our ancestors,
from Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha,
to Jeshua ben Joseph, the Christ…
we call to Mary Magdalene, Moses, and Mohammad;
we call to Katherine Vogel
and Faustus Socinus,
we call to Charles Darwin and Marie Curie;
we cry to Olympia Brown, Frederick Douglass,
Harvey Milk and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz;

we hold in our minds
every human being who ever believed
that a better world was possible;
we think of all those who acted
to help create such a world;

and, simultaneously emboldened ~read more~

holiday lamentation 2012

Digital StillCamera

The “lament” is one of the oldest of human art forms. These poems of sorrow, usually including a request for divine intervention, go back several thousands of years. From Beowulf to the Illiad, from the Hebrew Bible to the Hindu Vedas, we find our human ancestors crying out in suffering, asking for relief, and promising to live better lives if only their dire circumstances might be changed.

If you are wondering about the difference between lamentation and ~read more~

Coleridge at 240 (121021)


Today is the 240th anniversary
of the birth of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Coleridge almost became a Unitarian minister—-
he did preach in two different Unitarian churches,
but a wealthy patron paid him to keep writing.

Coleridge wrote,
“Thou rising Sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!
Yea! every thing that is and will be free!
Bear witness for me, whereso’er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still adored
The spirit of divinest Liberty.”

Let us indeed bear witness
to the gladness of blue skies and warm sunlight,
and to ~read more~

so may we categorize: