Sedona Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

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SUUF Spiritual Reflection

Sunday Morning May 4, 2020 from Rev. Glenn

Virtual Service SUUF May 17th, 2020

Spirutal Reflection https://youtu.be/fkOPrv9bG18

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1) Spiritual Reflection May 17th, 2020 “Anything Can Happen, Anything Can Be.”

A friend of mine has a daughter who is a senior in High School. She is scheduled to graduate this month, but of course, the graduation ceremony has been cancelled due to the global pandemic.

my friend is going out of her way to try to make the occasion still special for her daughter. She is compiling a custom made graduation book for her, filled with childhood photographs, notes and well-wishes, taken from extended family and friends that were invited to contribute to it. She invited me to contribute as well.

I thought long and hard about what words of wisdom I could offer to a high school graduate. I thought back to my own childhood and imagined what I needed to hear. ( Quickly realized I was rather eccentric as a teenage and what I needed to hear probably wasn’t relevant) . So I thought of the time we are living in now, and what would be relevant.

Shel Silverstein was poet i really admired and enjoyed as a young person. A poem from his collection “Where the Sidewalk Ends” is what I submitted to the graduation book.

To Chasie on her graduation from High School 2020:

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...
Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
- Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
“This is the way it has always been.”
“That is the way of the world.”
“This is how it must be.”

I had a professor during seminary who told me that the core oppression, underlying all the -isms we are familiar with (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) is the belief that society can’t be any other way. This is why is it important to study history and anthropology and intellectual history; you quickly realize why they are telling you isn’t true!

Going into the third month of stay-at-home orders and realizing this global pandemic will influence our societal behavior for years to come, policy changes are being discussed at the national level.

- Is tying health care to employment really the best we can when ten of millions of people are suddenly unemployed? (no other developed nation ties health care to employment like the United States does)?

- Is providing minimal income to citizens and maximal income to corporations really the smartest way forward?

Fresh thinking and fresh ideas on policy are called for. We would do well to let go of limiting beliefs on how society must be, especially beliefs that are premised on inaccurate assumptions on human nature.

Our Unitarian and Universalist ancestors in the 19th century tried to steer their religion to focus on the limitless and sublime, rather than limitations and small frameworks.

I will take my leave from you with this prayer from the 19th century Unitarian minister Theodore Parker (reformer and abolitionist):

Be ours a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere;
it’s temple, all space;
its shrine, the good heart;
its creed, all truth;
its ritual, works of love;
its profession of faith, divine living.


SUUF Musician Susannah Martin recorded 'Arms of the Angel' by Sarah McLachlan (attached to this e-mail). We originally planned to sing this song during a in person Sunday service on May 10; and it seemed an appropriate song for what many of us are experiencing during this global pandemic. An MP3 of this piece is attached to this week's email.

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There's always some reason
To feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh, beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
Let me be empty
Oh, and weightless, and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight
In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark, cold, hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here
So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting
Keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make no difference
Escaping one last time
It's easier to believe in this sweet madness
Oh, this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees
In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark, cold, hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here