Milestones

Click image to enlarge it… page from UU World.

Well, the start of my “settled ministry” is listed in the UU World‘s “milestones” page, so it must be true… May the settlement be long and good.

It’s been a great month so far at First Church Unitarian. My office is pretty well set up now, and I even get visitors. I love the activity in the church. There’s always someone here up to something good. The staff is awesome, and so are the members.

The summer services were well attended. This coming Sunday, being Labor Day weekend, there will be no service. Then on Sunday, September 9, we all join together in the sanctuary for our ingathering and the Water Ceremony! I can’t wait!

Before that, on Saturday, September 8, there is the Littleton Town Fair. It’s at Fay Park from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss it!

 

Saturday sermonatin’

blogtypeIn spite of my best intentions, I now find myself doing something I do all too often on a Saturday afternoon: “sermonatin'”.

Everyone procrastinates some, and I’m no exception. But really, I’m not a big procrastinator as a general rule. Still, weeks get busy, and you think that sermon will be finished on Friday. But no. It is not.

Some of my colleagues say that writing sermons on Saturday is quite natural, and that really it’s just as well… because if you wrote it earlier in the week, you’d just keep coming back to it and obsessing and trying to perfect the imperfectable. I’m sure there’s truth in that.

And of course, the focus gets sharper on Saturday as the time grows shorter. I suppose that’s a benefit of sorts.

So here I sit… procrastinating just long enough to write this blog post. Back to it!

A new blog for me — first post

Today is my normal “day off”. And so it felt like a good time to set up my new website. The mlarahoke.com domain will point to this site’s homepage from now on. This will be a WordPress site; my old site was hosted at blogger. I will leave the old site up indefinitely. For now, it seems right that the site remains up. However, it’s possible that at some point in the future I might delete that site — who knows? For now, I’m playing it by ear.

This is a time of transition for me. I’m so excited for the possibilities! And yet, change is always bittersweet. Every change — no matter how positive — involves some loss. Right now, I’m trying to remain open to all the feelings that come, remembering the famous word’s of Rumi’s “The Guest House“.

Holy Fool smallerCurious about this site’s title (“Fool of Spirit”)? Yesterday, on Easter, I preached a sermon about Jesus as holy fool. Frankly, it wasn’t my best sermon. (I even misspoke at one point and will have to make my first-ever “audio errata” for the live recording intro. Well, to err is human, I suppose.) In any case, I do like the central notion of the holy fool, which is found in many world religions. I would not elevate myself to holy fool status; however, as my misspeaking can attest, I am sometimes an “ordinary fool”!

I like the idea of being a “fool” in the sense of prioritizing “holy values” over “worldly values”. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he talks about becoming “a fool for Christ’s sake”. (1 Corinthians 4:10) That’s what I want to be: a fool for Jesus… a fool for Guru Nanak and other prophets that I esteem highly. I want to be a fool for the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism! I want to be a fool for justice. I want to be a fool for love, always expanding my circle of compassion. These are my highest aspirations. I want to be a “fool of spirit”.