August 4 – “Earth Alive!” Janet Powers & Renu Bostwick leading worship
August 11 – “Deeds, Not Creeds” led by Jerry Ross and the Peace & Justice Committee
The service will present a perspective that social action lies at the foundation of Unitarian Universalism and that a spiritual framework can energize our social justice efforts. The service will draw heavily from two books: “The Prophetic Imperative” by Richard S. Gilbert, and “Reclaiming Prophetic Witness” by Paul Rasor, as well as various other sources on the history of the social gospel . We will bring home these ideas by asking various individuals to talk briefly about their social justice work at First Parish in the areas of immigration, humanitarian assistance, climate, peace, etc. Jerry Ross will lead the service with assistance from other members of the Peace and Justice Committee. Members present from the other First Parish social action committees mentioned will be invited to speak about how their work expresses a spiritual or moral framework. There will be a time at the end for discussion and informal dialogue.
August 18: “Through a Glass Darkly: Spiritual vs. Material Value”
There is an episode in the Life of St. Ite (sixth century Irish saint) which centers on the difference between material and spiritual value. We often speak of qualities like health, happiness and youth as being more valuable than money, but none of these are spiritual (can they have a spiritual dimension, though?). What about things like humility and regard for each other? This little story suggests that there is often a disparity in what we say we value and what our attitudes toward wealth reveal.
August 25: – “To See The World in a Grain of Sand”
Deborah Weiner, Interim Director of Religious Education, leading worship
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
So begins William Blake’s poem, “Augeries of Innocence,” one of the most evocative offerings of romantic verse, written in the early part of the nineteenth century. Having spent some of the summer traveling in the Northwest, I’ve had a number of experiences which lift up all that can be seen in miniature, at unexpected moments and even in odd spaces. We’ll explore the ways in which such surprises of the spirit can move us and bring learning, growth, or joy. Child care will be provided and there will be music to enjoy as well.