Ever since the tragic death of Trayvon Martin there have been many who, in solidarity with the slain young man, have proclaimed, “I am Trayvon.” I haven’t yet heard anyone admit to identifying with George Zimmerman. We will understand the true meaning of Beloved Community only when we can identify with the part of ourselves in both of these young men. This Sunday we also bless and send off our Sankofa Pilgrims who leave for a ten-day journey to Ghana.
Often when we hear of the “Beloved Community” we understood it as Dr. King’s vision of a community where people of all races, classes, and faiths live together in harmony, justice, and peace. Is this community just a byproduct of Dr. King’s dream? Is it just a hoped for future that we seek after like Nirvana? I believe we create such a loving and just place—not instantly, but gradually, with each other one step at a time.
The old adage says, “To forgive is to forget.” But real forgiveness asks us to remember more than forget. What must we remember in order to forgive? This Sunday we join with our Jewish brothers and sisters in marking Yom Kippur, a day of atonement and reconciliation.
One of my favorite hymns begins “We would be one, as now we join in singing.” Church is one of the places where people who can’t carry a tune join together with those who can and sing…but for what do we sing?
We all say we believe in economic justice, but when it comes to decisions we make in our own lives – or in the life of the church – it’s easier said than done. How do we wrestle with the tensions of living out our values?
In his address to the 1963 March on Washington, Dr. King said, “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.” Yet in our own time, the demands for justice are also fierce, also urgent. What lessons does the past offer for our urgent present?
The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time.” We each hope to leave behind something meaningful when our short time on earth is over. How do we measure the impact of our lives? What kind of legacy will we leave behind?
Intern Minister Abbey Tennis preaches her final sermon at All Souls before returning to her studies.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States. While much has changed in 40 years, issues related to reproductive decisions—and sexuality overall—are still hotly contested in culture and politics. What’s going to move us forward, and what’s religion got to do with it?
Racism not only causes inequality in our material lives and communities, it fractures the very core of our souls. Each of us carries the wound of racism, regardless of our race or ethnicity. When we have been taught to be divided, how can we become united? When a wound runs this deep, where can we find healing?
We worship in a diverse, historic, and yet gentrifying neighborhood. What is our relationship to our neighbors? What is your relationship to YOUR neighbors in your neighborhood? What exactly is a good neighbor?
Nearly eight years after the decimation of Hurricane Katrina, those who call New Orleans home are still struggling to recapture a normal life—a task made harder by institutional racism and classism. Why does home matter? How do we face devastating loss and systemic injustice? Where can we look for support, healing, and transformation?
Remember when you fell in love, and the relationship fell apart? You vowed that you'd never be that vulnerable again. Many of us open our hearts to lovers, family, and friends, and sometimes things happen and we give up on love. As fearful as we are of being hurt again, let's look at how we can be courageous lovers. What we can do to salvage something sweet, that is about to go sour.
What if living an ethical life was not about closely following a list of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots,” but was instead about coming to know true beauty and dedicating our lives to protecting and nourishing what is beautiful? Join us as we connect to the age-old human challenge to live a nourishing and principled life.
Carl Jung said, “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness. Take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.” We don’t mind when the answers to prayers are yes and no, but we have a difficulty with “wait.” How do we handle the holding patterns of life?
Our Vision Statements carry the dreams of All Souls, our hope of Beloved Community. Today we reflect on the blessings of abundant life at All Souls through the lens of our shared Vision.
The most pervasive image of fatherhood in our culture—God the Father—can also be the most disturbing, if not destructive. To celebrate Father’s Day in the modern era, we need to focus on a different form of fatherhood.
The Buddha said “Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.” This morning, we look to nature for lessons on living a life of abundant peace.
What comes to mind when you think of "abundance"? Money? Definitely. We are practical people, and money is critical to our quality of life. It aids us in meeting our own needs, and the needs of others. But after our financial needs are met, isn't there something else we need to fulfill our lives?
“Sabbath, in the first instance, is not about worship. It is about work stoppage. It is about withdrawal from the anxiety system of Pharaoh, the refusal to let one’s life be defined by production and consumption and the endless pursuit of private well-being.” – Walter Brueggemann. But is that really possible in this day and age? We’ll explore possibilities for savoring the Sabbath this summer.
Desmond Tutu said, “Forgiveness is taking seriously the awfulness of what has happened when you are treated unfairly. It is opening the door for the other person to have a chance to begin again." Are we ready to forgive? Really?
The All Souls Choir, directed by Scot Hanna-Weir, premiers this new choral work by composer Scott Gendel. More info here.
“Our wager in this fragile life is a wager against all hope,” writes ecofeminist Ivone Gebara. This fragile earth and her people are being devastated by climate change, yet we keep placing our bets on hope. How can we inspire each other to keep on keeping on?