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Community News - March 19-26, 1017


Morning Worship                                                        March 19, 2017

11 a.m.                       

“The Most Difficult Thing in the World?”

Rev. Bruce Southworth

The most difficult thing in the world? There are many candidates, and this morning I return to this theme with its continuing opportunity to deepen relationships and expand community.

See you at Community! 


Morning Worship                                                          March 26, 2017

11 a.m.                      

 “Next Steps – Building the Beloved Community”

Rev. Bruce Southworth

This morning I return to the on-going sermon series tracing the history of our 

Congregation with its challenges, transformations, new vision, and prophetic engagment. Much has changed over the years (members, buildings, ministers, theologies), even as core values remain an anchor. I shall again be looking at some of both – change and continuity.

See you at Community!


Annual Congregational Meeting – March 26, 12:45 pm – Assembly Hall


Young Adult Gathering

Sun., March 19, 12:45 pm


Yoga with Nafisa

Tues., Mar. 21, 6:00 pm


AARP Tax Assistance

Thrs., Mar. 23, 10:00 am


Yoga with Nafisa

Sat., Mar. 25, 12:30 pm


Classical Vocal Arts For Children

Sun., Mar. 26, 12:30 pm


Studying Humanism

Mon., Mar. 27, 6:30 pm


Social Tea

with Jerry Brown

Director of Music

Tues., Mar. 28, 2:00 pm


Yoga with Nafisa

Tues., Mar. 28, 6:00 pm


AARP Tax Assistance

Thrs., Mar. 30, 10:00 am


Congregational Retreat

Fri., Mar. 31, 

bus leaves NY 5 pm

Sun., Apr. 2

arrives NY 4 pm




Julio Torres, Ministerial Intern, and I are on the train to Baltimore; and I’m thinking, “a year has passed since I last attended Finding Our Way Home" the annual retreat hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Association for UU

religious professionals of color.  It’s not a pilgrimage but certainly it is a journey. We find our way to a community that holds onto us with a fierce affirmation of who we are and with a love that doesn’t let us go. Last year, I was expecting to travel with Rev. Dr. Orlanda Brugnola, but her untimely death changed that arrangement. We honored her last year with a modified version of her Honey Communion; and this year we will do the same.  The theme is timely: Sanctuary and Solidarity.  There will be spiritual reflection, collegial support, as well as partnering with local community organizations that provide a service project that we can participate in. Our spirits will be lifted up as we, in turn provide solidarity and sanctuary to each other.       Paz, Esther



SUNDAY–March 19

9:30 am           Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am         Worship Service

11:00 am Sunday School

12:15 pm Fellowship Hour

12:45 pm         Volunteer Choir Rehearsal


6:30 pm           Board of Trustees

SUNDAY–March 26

9:30 am           Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am          Worship Service

11:00 am Sunday School

12:15 pm Fellowship Hour

12:45 pm         Annual Congregational Meeting


SUNDAY–April 2

Ms. Bertha Lewis

will be speaking.


SUNDAY–April 9

Rev. Bruce Southouth

will preach.


Minister’s Corner – Democracy as a Spiritual Value


Inspiration, Provocation, Comfort, Challenge, and Community!  


And let’s add the essential spiritual practices of Appreciative Awareness, Service, and Generosity:  all these conspire as we embrace our humbling/audacious Mission “to grow as a caring, justice-making, anti-racist, diverse spiritual community.”


Our congregation was organized on March 19, 1825 as an offshoot of The First Congregational Society (Unitarian), directly inspired by Boston’s Unitarian leader Rev. William Ellery Channing.  His emphasis on Spiritual Freedom and the use of 


Reason in religious living had moved the liberal Congregationalists of New England (and beyond) to differentiate themselves and identify as Unitarians in 1819.


Throughout these years, we have also maintained allegiance to our Democratic self-governance, which is exemplified in our quarterly Congregational Meetings.  The Annual Meeting of the Congregation on March 26th includes Board and staff reports and elections of various leaders. 


All are welcome, and voting members are especially encouraged to attend.                                                                                              Faithfully, Bruce


"The meaning of life is fulfilled only by those who enter into the struggle for justice in history and community.”  

Rev. James Luther Adams 

(1901-1995) Social Ethicist 

and Harvard Divinity 

School Professor


Harlem Night Song


Let us roam the night together



I love you.



The Harlem roof-tops

Moon is shining.

Night sky is blue.

Stars are great drops

Of golden dew.


Down the street 

A band is playing.


I love you.



Let us roam the night together,


Langston Hughes

Caritas, Agape, Love

If you give your committed love to a person, an idea, or a cause, even should that person, idea, or cause be taken from you, or proven false, you will be a better lover – of anyone, of anything – for the experience. Because I am a religious person, I see this in characteristically grandiose, religious terms:  The point of being human is to get better (and better) at caritas, at agape, at love. 

Rev. Kate Braestrup,

Marriage and Other Acts of Charity 


Some – the luckiest – can love 

themselves without narcissism

just saying, Well I am this, 

I could do better now and probably I will.

            Marge Piercy 

(The Crooked Inheritance)


Love I Wish for You 

I wish for you a troubled heart at times

As woes of world and friend come close beside

And keep you sleepless.

I wish for you the thrill of 


Who you are,

Where you stand, 

And why.

Especially why.


Not prosperity, but dreams I wish for you;

Not riches, but a sense of your own worth I wish 

For you.

Not even long life, however proud we’d be to have it so.

But life crammed with living,

Hour by hour.


And love I wish for you;

May you give it frequently.


I wish for you solitude in the midst of company,

And a mind full of company within your quiet times.

Full todays I wish for you, and full tomorrows.

Rev. Charles S. Stephen, Jr. 


You may trod me in the very

dirt, But still, like dust, I'll rise.

                        Maya Angelou


“More Love Stories”

Sermon Brief – Sunday, February 12, 2017 

“The point of being human is to get better (and better) at caritas, at agape, at love.” (Rev. Kate Braestrup)

Like my street corner philosopher friend, we go on with “more strength than we know.”

… Moments of connection may include trepidation or be awkward.  I think of a short story that offers an image, a parable, and a window that in some strange way speaks to me.

It is about tenderness and intimacy, about anticipation, about youthfulness, and about uncertainty about love and its joys and trials.  Dorothy Parker offers this dialogue from a newly married couple:

"Well!" the young man said.

"Well!" she said.

"Well, here we are," he said.

"Here we are," she said.  "Aren't we?"

"I should say we are," he said.   "Eeyop.  Here we are."

"Well!"  she said.

"Well!" he said.  "Well, how does it feel to be an old married lady?"

"Oh, it's too soon to ask me that," she said.  "At least – I mean.  Well, I mean, goodness, we've only been married about three hours, haven't we?"

The young man studied his wristwatch as if he were just acquiring the knack of reading time. "We have been married," he said, "exactly two hours and twenty-six minutes."

"My," she said.  "It seems like longer."

"No," he said, "It isn't hardly half past six yet."

"It seems like later," she said.  "I guess it's because it starts getting dark so early."

"It does, at that," he said.  "The nights are going to be pretty long from now on.  I mean.   I mean – well, it starts getting dark early." (From Indiscreet Journeys, Farber and Farber)

Sometimes, the heart is full, yet the right word escapes us, but spirit blesses anyway….

                                                                                                            Rev. Bruce Southworth          


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