Poet Anne Sexton describes courage as “a small coal / that you kept swallowing.” It’s a powerful metaphor. As early as 1550 B.C., ancient Egyptians used a certain kind of charcoal to treat poisons and toxins. It absorbs them, renders them harmless. And so we keep swallowing the small coal of courage, so that despite […]

If you have ever entered this sanctuary through the doors right behind me, perhaps you have looked left just before passing through. If so, you will have seen a beautiful metal sculpture of the phoenix. Have you seen it? I love it because it says three things about who we are. First of all, it […]

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges,” says writer Orham Pamuk , “through affection, attention, interest and compassion … open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details, and irony.” And then poet Mary Oliver: she says, Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell […]

PART 1 Mark Gorkin, the “Stress Doc,” offers us a poetic anthem to burnout and beyond: For the phoenix to rise from the ashes One must know the pain To transform the fire to burning desire. Each of the services that makes up the BURNOUT worship series is about knowing a certain kind of pain […]

Some of you know that in September of last year I was 6000 miles away in Transylvania, visiting sites that are sacred to our Unitarian Universalist religious history. There were many fascinating learnings but none were as surprising as this: that there’s no church shopping there. People go church shopping here all the time. But […]