What do you do with a broken Buddha? Each day, when Jizo greets me from the garden, I am reminded that we are all broken Buddhas. Beautifully imperfect in some way. Messy. Chipped. Cracked. Patched up. How can we accompany ourselves and one another in our struggles and suffering? Join me in reflecting on how we can tend to both the brokenness and the wholeness within ourselves.
Reading: Excerpt from “Broken Buddha” by Rev. Meg Barnhouse (shared by Rev. John Luopa)
Preached at University Unitarian Church in Seattle, WA
This sermon grapples with the call by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the creation of an International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment. How can the stirring of "divine discontent" call us into creative action?
Story for all Ages: All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Reading: From the speech “Creative Maladjustment" by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. given at UCLA on April 27, 2965
The Path of Wonder
Wonder: a marvel or a miracle. A feeling closely associated with awe. A move away from words into an experience of vastness, connection, or beauty. Wonder is often the result of paying attention and being curious: of approaching life with an open heart and an open mind. When was the last time you experienced wonder? What did it feel like?
Story for All Ages: I Wonder by Annaka Harris,
Illustrated by John Rowe
Reading: "Mysteries, Yes" by Mary Oliver
Unfolding Our Full Powers of the Soul
What is the end and the essence of life? For William Ellery Channing, a Unitarian ancestor, it is to unfold the full powers of the soul. What might this be like? What if our religious communities committed to this as our central purpose and practice? Join me in engaging with teachings from Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, William Ellery Channing, and Parker Palmer.
Story For All Ages: “The Story of Brave Raven,” as told by Rev. Sara Lewis
Reading: From “Education As Liberation,” by Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker
Committed to Our Collective Thriving
I invite you to take a moment and go back to the kitchen table you sat at as a child. What stories were you told about work? What were you taught about the economy? What core values were imparted? Join me to explore some of these ideas and what it may take to create a future of cooperation and collective thriving.
Story For All Ages: “The Table Where Rich People Sit,”
by Byrd Baylor, Illustrations by Peter Parnall
Reading: “How to Survive the Apocalypse” by Rev. Sean Parker Dennison
When Falling Leaves Become Butterflies
Impermanence and loss are part of life. We grieve these losses because we love. Do we know how to mourn? When we allow ourselves to feel our grief, we open up to the possibility of being transformed by it.
Reading: "Wanting Memories," written by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell and performed by Sweet Honey and the Rock
A Culture of Reciprocity
Delivered the Sunday before Thanksgiving, this service invites us to reflect on the many ways our lives our sustained and to express gratitude throughout the year. As we grapple with the impacts of colonization and work towards right relationship, how can we dismantle a culture of domination and work towards embodying a culture of reciprocity?
Story for All Ages: “We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah),” by Traci Sorell, Illustrated by Frané Lessac
Reading: "Remember" by Joy Harjo