In a year of previously unexplored firsts, the deadening and depressive effects of the pandemic have been countered to at least some degree by human adaptability as our minds stretch for new modes of communication and relationship.
Among those adaptations has been the virtual church service, increasingly refined to stand in for the currently silenced and empty sanctuaries that await the return of live, in-the-flesh worship.
It was my privilege two days ago to make my first such presentation as a guest preacher at one of my longtime spiritual homes: the Unitarian Universalist Community of Lake County, tucked into an old country church it shares with a Methodist congregation in the hamlet of Kelseyville, some 70 miles north of my former home in Santa Rosa.
I’d been making the trek to share thoughts with the good people there for the better part of a decade, and figured to continue doing so after my move east by scheduling guest appearances during the few times times a year I’d be returning to California for visits with family and friends.
That was but one of billions of human plans laid low by Covid-19.
The 16-minute You Tube video of the sermon itself, presented from the spare bedroom of my Durham home and titled “The Dynamics of Faith, Belief and Hope,” is below, a digital variation on my usual posts and one I hope you find worthwhile.
Some of it is specific to my tradition of Unitarian Universalism, some recalls my Catholic upbringing, but all of it, I trust, has relevance to the universal quest to reflect on matters central to human identity and community. Amidst the clamor of competing truth claims and encouragements, calls to keep faith, to believe, and to hope often get jumbled up together as synonyms for what it means to lead a spiritual life.
This sermon seeks to sort them out and let them stand on their own, so that we might do the same.
And one of the musical selections from the service…
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