Speaker: with Jeanne Foster

From the Burning Bush to Burning Man

Something about lighting a fire signifies: “now we choose actions with serious intent.” Our lighting a UU chalice is one of many types of fire ritual. Fire can symbolize creation and destruction, comfort and cruelty, the eternal and the ephemeral, the power of intense emotion and the illusory nature of all experience, the brightness of Heaven and the torments of Hell. How can a single phenomenon represent so many concepts? What makes fire such a versatile engine of ritual?

BIOGRAPHY: Jim Gasperini is currently writing a cultural history of fire entitled Fire in the Mind. A longtime member of UUCB, he has served as Worship Associate, Chalice Circle Facilitator, and Webmaster. He has authored educational computer games, books for children about history, and interactive multimedia works of art. A longtime “burner” (attendee of the Burning Man festival), he was a member of the High Council of the Burning Man Opera.

Beyond the Eye of the Beholder

While the way we measure beauty varies across time, culture, and individuals, human beings seem to instincutally try to protect things they think are beautiful. This week in worship we will explore this instinct and the role beauty can play in growing our compassion and moral sensibility.

The Possibilities Among Us

Church is one of the last places in our society where people don’t have to be segregated by age, yet so many of our experiences in this congregation are still divided according to how old we are. This week in worship we will consider how worshipping and learning together as a whole community more often could open us up to the possibilities already right here among us.

Becoming Great Souls

An essential element of spiritual growth is embracing and appreciating an ever-wider diversity of contrasting ideas, views, and possibilities. Process theologian Bernard Loomer called this quality S-I-Z-E,” and it calls each of us to enlarge ourselves to find beauty and harmony in ever-expanding diversity. It also applies to the spiritual growth of congregations as a whole. What does it look like?

The Shadow Side

11 a.m.

Often, darkness is equated with despair, what is unwanted, what we want to rid ourselves of. But how is darkness transformed when we approach it from a place of respect, hope, and love? What lessons can we learn from our shadow side? How can we sit in and with our shadow?