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 […]

I am very allergic to poison ivy. All it takes is a little brush and days later I am scratching itchy blisters on my hand wondering where I even encountered the plant. One time in my teen years I chased a baseball into a big patch of it without realizing, and ended up with such […]

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 […]

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 […]

[Put on Red Sox hat] For those listening to the podcast, I started this sermon about faith development by donning a Boston Red Sox hat. It was a powerful symbol of devotion in my family growing up. We started going to a UU congregation when I was seven years old, but by that point, I […]