The theme for this very special, intergenerational worship service is “Peace, Love and Joy.” Our magnificent guest musician, Elaine Silver, will create two 20-minute periods of music, poetry, spoken word and audience participation for all ages. Elaine has a singing voice you’ll never forget: it is stunningly clear, rich and supple. She sings a cappella or accompanies herself on guitar and (sometimes) banjo. Kids and adults of all ages will love this spiritual, joyous time of worship.
Famous Universalist John Murray said, “Go out to the highways and byways and give them hope, not hell.” It is also great advice to go out and give them joy, not suffering. We human beings have lots of power to cause pain for others. We also have power to bring joy. The art of happiness is not just about what we do for ourselves. How do we make the hearts of others sing?
What do the King Arthur stories have to teach us in the 21st century? The Unitarian Holy Grail is the revelation that every spiritual path leads to enlightenment and is easier to walk in church communion.
Mark Bernstein has served as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County since April 1987. He has been appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to many committees, which make recommendations for the improvement of Justice and has written extensively and lectured to Judges and lawyers around the country on the law and courtroom procedure. Mark has been an active member of USG for over twenty years. He has served in many capacities including Treasurer of the Endowment and President of the Society.
A few years ago I took the time to reflect on how my life was going in all areas: family, ministry, physical fitness, spiritual well being, friends, etc. I was surprised by a reality that I could not escape. I had a consistent fun deficit. I was becoming too serious about life and yes about myself. I realized that one solution was simple. I needed to commit to engaging in activities that would bring more fun into my life. The spiritual theme of the month is joy. What can we do to have more joy in our lives?
This September is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam (aka, Sharpsburg). William Jonathan Reichard was a 20 year old private in Mr. Lincoln’s army during that battle, writing many letters home. Thinking about these letters, noting popular representations of this time, shows a remarkable, living legacy of UU principles in action, which can buoy us today, during the current polarization of our culture. How can we better comprehend our past, and live our future? How can our USG community help us define our present social goals?
Elaine Hills has been a member since 1985. She has been a member of the RE Committee, taught Sunday School and Women’s Spirituality classes, and gave an earlier sermon based on her Great Grandfather’s Civil War letters in 1990, following her Chairing of the Worship Arts Committee. She married at USG, brought up her daughter here, and organizes the December poinsettia display. She is currently active on the Membership Committee, helping to maintain the Member Directory.