Lament for Blue Christmas

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 ~read more~

Grateful Dead – Spiritual But Not Religious

Grateful Dead: Spiritual But Not Religious Service celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of South Bend, on 02 August 2015

see set list only here

WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS {welcome & announcements by Fern}


OPENING HYMN {singing: Touch of Grey (Hunter/Garcia), played by The Ember Jar Duo} Please be seated.


OPENING WORDS Thank you, Kevin and Abby! And thank you, Fern. I reiterate Fern’s welcome. It is good to see you all here, this ~read more~

set list: Grateful Dead–Spiritual But Not Religious

This is the order of service from yesterday’s worship service on the Grateful Dead as the vanguard of the Spiritual But Not Religious movement. The music was played by The Ember Jar Duo; the tapestry was tie-dyed by Cassandra Fisher of The Ecletic Table; the robe was made by the Rev. Ms. Jane Thickstun; and David Wistreich lent us a poster to use on the pulpit–many thanks to all.

I drew on the research from ~read more~

faster each time

Whether addicted or not; whether a teetotaler or not: “just about every person has some trauma” we all face difficult circumstances, difficult decisions, difficult emotions

We may not use marijuana or alcohol or other drugs to cope; instead, a pint of ice cream or a new gadget or a new lover or another hour at the gym…

Maybe we don’t look like the pictures in the magazines maybe we don’t have much disposable income – ~read more~

You Are Enough

“You are enough. You are enough. Though perhaps beaten-down, exhausted, lonely, distracted, overwhelmed by life’s relentless complexities, you are enough.

You *are* enough. You may be behind in your bill payments, and ahead in your calorie intake; you may owe handwritten letters to a half-dozen friends; your bathroom may be messy and your kitchen even worse— whatever the reasons that you feel inadequate or sorry or wrong, you are still enough.

The Spirit of ~read more~

come in and be seated

Come in and be seated, all of you with heavy hearts. Those who have had a difficult morning, or an exhausting week; those who are frustrated, those who are this close to giving up on something, or someone; come in, and sit down, and loosen the hold of your cares for an hour.

Relax into this moment; feel the compassion around you… Of all the places of the earth, this is a good place for ~read more~

Valentine’s Opening Words

This coming Saturday is Valentine’s Day. That means that it is a good time to remind ourselves that a person’s moral worth, and value as a human being, has nothing to do with their relationship status.

Whether you are single, or are partnered; whether you have several friends with benefits,or are serially monogamous—or are celibate; whether you are bisexual, gay, lesbian, heterosexual or whether you are part of the 1% or so who are ~read more~

Book(maker) of Life opening words

Good morning and welcome to the First Unitarian Church of South Bend, a fellowship of seekers after truth, striving for understanding as we serve our human cousins. All who are in sympathy with these ideals are welcome in this house.


In the library of books unwritten we each have a space on the shelf of biographies. Every one of these books contains some tragedy and some comedy; some romance and some mystery. Some ~read more~

Charge to Minister: Bret

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~