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UU Ingathering and Water Communion

By Inspirational Talks
I started thinking about what to say today the same way I prepare all of my talks – by asking myself some questions. The first question I had was: why water? Water communion is a common ritual for this ingathering service among the UUs, but as I thought back on those I’ve participated in, I couldn’t remember ever hearing how…
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Love Letter to the Earth

By Inspirational Talks
A love letter to the Earth - how to begin? Dear Sir or Madam? Wait, is Earth a sir or a madam? Dear Sir AND Madam? Thich Nhat Hahn started his love letters with “dear Mother Earth.” Numerous cultures consider Earth mother and the sky or the sun as father, recognizing the dual energies that fuel creation. But is Earth…
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The Hard Work of Standing Up

By Inspirational Talks
As last summer began, I paid the final month’s rent on a lease on a building that had been empty since March of 2020 because of the pandemic, and watched the yoga studio I had started from nothing and expanded into two locations, fade again into nothing. Back pain that had been intensifying over a few years had gotten to…
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Spiritual Ecologies

By Inspirational Talks
During my second year of seminary, one of our monthly assignments was to pick a person off a list of religious and spiritual “big names we should know” to research more. Being who I am I looked for the environmentalist on each month’s list. One of the first I found was Reverend Sally Bingham. She really inspired me. Reverend Bingham…
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All Those Souls

By Inspirational Talks
This talk is about death. I have changed it several times, right up until yesterday, because current events have brought death into the spotlight in ways I didn’t anticipate. The conflict in Gaza, Otis slamming into Acapulco as an unforecast category five hurricane, the mass murder in Maine – death has been in the news this week a lot. And…
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A Shamanic Life

By Inspirational Talks
I’m going to begin with a story I rarely tell, because at the beginning I did something stupid that I am still embarrassed about. But it was also one of the most magical experiences of my life, and the story needs to be told. In 2019, I traveled to Washington State and out onto the Olympic Peninsula where I joined…
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