Mary Beth Writes

 

What does “the path of faith” mean, anyhow?  How do we find and get on it? How do we grow in faith to become people who shine with courage and compassion?

In this sermon I acknowledge my own story from my strict beginnings in a Fundamentalist home and church.  (I can pretty much promise there will be some laughing.)

I acknowledge that what pulled me forward into my life weren’t other people’s answers, but my questions.

“So the question became – and still is – how does one find one’s path between religious mandates - and the messages around us about following our dreams and building our bliss?

“Be spiritual. Be passionate. Join our cause, fight this fight, wear this but not that. Eat this but not that.” There is strictness to even modern liberal spiritual life. We still work hard to pay attention to what it is we think we ought to do.

What and where is a “discipline” that can help us find a path between the “oughts” of faith and the “oughts of modern secular life??

I think the answer isn’t an answer – but a question.  Or more accurately, one question after another for as long as we live.

Questions are the open and seeing eyes in a conversation, in a family or community.

Questions are where we say no, I’m neither mindlessly obeying nor mindlessly running away from this moment.

Questions are where we ask, “What’s going on here?”

Questions are how we continue to discover our own character and desires and fears.

Questions are where we truly see each other. 

Asking questions is how we build peace, love, and respect.”

"Something Happened Here"

What's your opinion on the High Holy Religious Holidays?

I don't necessarily believe the beliefs that the Christian Churches say one ought to believe. I did for decades and then in short order and long practice, many of those dogmas faded away.  I don't think that means I am right and doctines are wrong. I mostly believe one learns more about faith by trying to live a generous and kind life (anyone who thinks being kind is for sissies hasn't done enough of it yet) than argue shades of theological pronouncements that have come to us, too often, via powerful white men. 

What It's Like (for me anyways) to Preach

This is what it’s like to preach if you hardly ever do it.

This coming Sunday (2/25/18) I am preaching in my own church, United Universalist Unitarian at 506 N. Washington in Waukesha, at 10:30. You are very welcome to attend. 

My sermon is “645 Years Later / Julian of Norwich and the Spiritual Art of Perseverance.”

I have been working on this sermon a little and then a lot for the past several weeks.  It is a peculiar adventure to invent a sermon topic, write the sermon, and then preach it. Women and men who do this every week have my utmost respect - and disbelief.

Where I am Preaching 12/31/2017

I am preaching this Sunday, Dec 31st in Beaver Dam, WI at this church.

http://www.trinitychurch-unitedmethodist.org/

The service will start at 9:30 in case any of you live close and couldn’t think of what else to do Sunday morning (hah).

 My sermon is “Something Happened Here”

“One innocent day last spring my husband asked me if I would like to take a little getaway to Chester, Illinois, In August.  Because we all know how appealing southern Illinois is, in August.

“What’s in Chester, Il?”

Sermon – Something Happened Here

One innocent day last spring my husband asked me if I would like to take a little getaway to Chester, Illinois, In August.  Because we all know how appealing southern Illinois is, in August.

“What’s in Chester, Il?”

“It’s in the Path of Totality. There is going to be an eclipse in August and there will be a 60-mile path that goes from Oregon to South Carolina, and Chester is inside that path. If we go there we can see a total eclipse.”

Sermon – Roses on the Columbia

The word courage comes from the Latin Cor – which means heart. Core – the center of things. Cor - to go towards the essence of what needs to happen, to be at the middle of an event. Courage is to act from our ‘cor” - our center, our heart.

While on the space shuttle Columbia, which would explode during reentry a few days later, astronaut Laurel Clark wrote some emails to family and friends. This is from one of them: Subject: Hello from 150 NM above the Earth

Invite Me to Speak - It's not SIMPLE life, it's Simpler Life

I can speak to the luxuries and adventures that happen when one pursues a simpler life.

What are things to consider and enjoy?

Knowing oneself well enough to know what you want from your mortal life.

Where to live.

What to drive (or not drive).

What projects to tackle and which ones to let lie low.

What to wear.

How to splurge with joy and not worry.

When to go out and when to stay home.

Friends, company, cats and pups.

How do you design and live your own authentic, generous, rewarding life?

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