First Unitarian Church of Worcester

Sermons, Memos and other writings from the newsletter and worship services of the First Unitarian Church of Worcester. The First Unitarian Church is located at 90 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608. Our phone is 508-757-2708 and our webpage is A audio CD is produced for almost every one of our regular services. Call our office or send a note to the office at our website to request that one be shipped to you.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"Here We Are" by Tom Schade; Pastoral Reflection

The following is the pastoral reflection from the September 10, 2006 Ingathering Worship Service by the Rev. Tom Schade.

It is good to be here together, is it not?

One of the good results of our practice to not have worship services here in the sanctuary during the summer, to not have a program for all ages of the children, and not have all the talents of the choir and the Musical Director all summer, is that when we return in the fall, it seems fresh and new. We can appreciate it anew and have that satisfying joy of returning.

So let us just sit for a moment and look about, in a silence, but not the silence of the silent prayer, when so many of you close your eyes, but let’s sit for a moment in an observant silence, looking around, enjoying this light, this space and these people.

Here we are.

Life is so full right now. We are all alive at this time in the history of the world. We are remembering the attacks on New York and Washington five years ago tomorrow; events that were so shocking and terrorizing then have become part of the world we know. The nation argues over what it meant and what should have been done about it; such was inevitable and even healthy. The war in Iraq continues. We are approaching an important election this fall, which is like a triple shot of expresso to the national nervous system. Everybody is talking louder, and faster, and more forcefully than usual.

And yet, the human stories of life, love, illness and death continue all around us. Over the summer here at the church, people received terrible diagnoses, and people underwent medical treatments, and people got in trouble with the law, and people lost their parents to accidents and illness and advanced age, and young people went off to college, and planned weddings, and children had birthday parties and picnics. Terrible, wonderful, frightening and beautiful, it is life.

This is the time to consider Life, your life, from all the angles. You wouldn’t change your job, or buy a car, without considering all the angles, would you? Here, we make a space and time for each of us to consider our lives from the angle of our highest and best values, from the point of view of eternity, with an eye on God, and in the context of our most private and tender dreams. Now we try to remember what really matters, and try to remember all that we don’t know, as well as what we do know and usually forget.

As we worship, we consider our lives from the point of view of this religious tradition, one that urges us to live with confidence in the love of kind and generous divinity, to be forthright and honest about our sins and shortcomings, to approach our fellow human beings with love and compassion, and to strive for justice and fairness, or as the ancient prophets said :to love mercy, to do justice and to walk humbly with God.

In this hour, may there be that comfort and that challenge for you.


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