A Community of Risk

March 26, 2017: A Giant Leap

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

– William Faulkner

Janet Bowering and Robert Weston wrote:

“The human spirit has its winter but also its spring.

This is the truth that must be retold each time the earth renews itself and restores our souls.

We know that impetuous green shoots and fragile blossoms do not alter

the fact of sorrow and loss, and yet …

And yet we are uplifted by the vitality and hope in the beauty of the awakening earth…

Only as we open ourselves to light and warmth and growth can we set ourselves free.

This is the truth that passes understanding, this is the joy to all forever free.

Life springs from death and shatters every fetter,

and Winter yields to Spring.”

“There is a desire within each of us,
in the deep center of ourselves…

We were born with it,
it is never completely satisfied,
and it never dies…
It is the Human desire for Love.

Every person in this Earth yearns to love,
to be loved, to know love.
Our true identity, our reason for being
is to be found in this desire.”

– Gerald May

“The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources—because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.”

– Lyndon B. Johnson

“Building bridges takes us further than building walls.”

– DaShanne Stokes

“It occurred to me that no matter where I lived, geography could not save me.” 

– Isabel Wilkerson

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

 “I was and still am that same ship which carried me to the new shore… I am the shore I left behind as well as the home I return to every evening. The voyage cannot proceed without me.” 

– Luisa A. Igloria

“Beneath all our diversity, behind all our differences, there is a unity of the spirit that makes us one, and binds us forever together in spite of time, and death, and the space between the stars.”

– Rev. David Bumbaugh

March 19, 2017: Taking the Next Step

“There is a desire within each of us,
in the deep center of ourselves
that we call our heart.

We were born with it,
it is never completely satisfied,
and it never dies.
We are often unaware of it,
but it is always awake.

It is the Human desire for Love.
Every person in this Earth yearns to love, to be loved, to know love.
Our true identity, our reason for being
is to be found in this desire.

Love is the “why” of life,
why we are functioning at all.
I am convinced
it is the fundamental energy
of the human spirit.
the fuel on which we run,
the wellspring of our vitality…

Love should come first,
it should be the beginning of,
and the reason for everything.”

– Gerald G. May

As we gather here together
May we be attentive one to another.
May we listen carefully, [and] freely speak.
May we be respectful of one another.

May we be serious, yet not somber…
Light of heart
And full of good cheer.

As we gather here together
May we work toward common goals.
May we be mindful of our religious community
And aware of our responsibilities.

May we look into one another’s eyes
And see ourselves reflected.
As we gather here together
May we be attentive to one another
And to the task at hand:
[Building the beloved community,
A circle of kinship, a congregation working together,
Nurturing the world of our dreams.]

“This willingness to bind ourselves into communities, into voluntary associations of choice, is the essence of becoming a Unitarian Universalist.”
~ Rev. David Pyle

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable…”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk  

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.”
~ Drew Barrymore

“Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”
~ Leo Buscaglia

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
~ Helen Keller

March 12, 2017: The Risky Business of Sailing with Angels and Fools

In Memoriam A.H.H., Alfred, Lord Tennyson:


I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Unitarian Universalist minister, Patricia Shelden wrote:

Here is where we gather in the presence of the Sacred.
Here is where we gather to experience the Holy
Here is where, together, we face the unanswerable questions
and acknowledge that not knowing is as sublime as it is frustrating.

Here is where we unite in the midst of Life and all the glories
and suffering it can hold, knowing both are ever present.
Here is where we ask, think, risk, discuss, ponder and offer what
might not be welcomed or even acceptable somewhere else.

Here is where, if we allow it, we are deeply moved.
Here is where we encounter each other in deep and powerful ways
that surprise us, yet without which we would not survive.

Here we gather to worship, to experience something happen –
perhaps something different for each of us according to our beliefs,
something unnamed, uncategorized, and unusual yet absolutely necessary.
Here we are so gathered: our minds, our hearts, and our souls.

And, so, our worship begins.

“He who hesitates is lost.”

“Look before you leap.”

“For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.”
Alexander Pope

“Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.”
Gertrude Stein

“Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted.”

“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller

“Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
Amelia Earhart

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
John A. Shedd

March 5, 2017: A Community of Risk

“If the center holds, if the spirit lives, there are no limits to what we may constructively do together for the sake of inspiration and mercy, justice, personal growth, or just plain fun.”


– Rev. Alice Blair Wesley, Unitarian Universalist.

Unitarian Universalist minister, Stephen Shick, wrote,

This sanctuary has been waiting for us…

To gather our dreams of justice and peace.

To honor it by opening our hearts and speaking our minds.

To fill it with compassion and loving kindness.

To draw from it a breath of common purpose.

To listen to the wisdom of silence.

[To learn from the youngest and the wisest among us.]

To fill it with the urgency of new possibilities.

[To enact in it life rituals that make life transitions sacred.

To open it to all people of all identities.]

To make it sacred by our gathering.

“The achievement of freedom in community requires the power of organization and the organization of power.” Rev. James Luther Adams

“What you risk reveals what you value.” Jeanette Winterson

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“…it’s the most terrifying thing in the world, really—taking someone on faith, hoping they’ll take you on faith too. It’s such a precarious balance, It’s a wonder we do it at all. And yet…” Libya Bray  

“You have to take risks… We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” Paulo Coehlo

“Happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.” Sarah Addison Allen

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anaïs Nin