Meditative Moments

Shelter Rock's Ministry Team provides Meditative Moments on Tuesdays, available thereafter here, on the UUCSR YouTube channelFacebook, and Instagram.

"Dust" by Dorianne Laux, shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

We can miss the moment — as Dorianne Laux, writes in the poem, “Dust”:

Sometimes you can be so busy, so tired that the moment of blessing flies by But try to catch it when it comes back around — I believe that it will come back around…

Pied Beauty, shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

As June—Pride Month—draws to a close, Rev. Jaye Brooks celebrates the gifts of 19th-century gay English Poet and Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1888).

As a young man, Hopkins was so distressed by all the ways he was unconventional that he burned all his early poems. Nearly 20 years later, he entered a creative period when he seemed to accept himself and his poetry—and it is a blessing that this work survived to be published 20 years after his death. His poem "Pied Beauty" celebrates the glory of all things in creation that are divergent, different, unconventional, and beautiful.

Let's celebrate those things, too.

Celebrating Blessings, shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

Our faith tradition celebrates the blessings of diversity. Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore shares the words of former UUA President, Bill Schultz.

Nurturing Beauty: "Dr. Jazz," shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

What kind of music nurtures beauty in your life? Rev. Jaye Brooks invites us to reflect on the music we turn to "when the world goes wrong" and we've "got the blues." No matter what musical genres you prefer, what's the song that re-sets your mood and makes you get out your spiritual dancing shoes?
"Dr. Jazz" performed by George Lewis and his band; from the album "Hello, Central"

"Morning Song" by Patrice Curtis, shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

These words of Patrice Curtis remind us of how we must nurture the beauty that exists within and between us.

Nurturing Beauty: "To the Fig Tree at the Corner of Christian and 9th" by Ross Gay, shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

Have you ever had an experience that shines with unexpected beauty? "To the Fig Tree at the Corner of Christian and 9th" by Ross Gay. In this month when our learning and worship theme is Nurturing Beauty, Ross Gay's energetic and evocative poem celebrates how humans sometimes, unexpectedly, nurture each other—and it's a beautiful thing to witness. Rev. Jaye Brooks invites us into this poem's impromptu feast of figs as passers-by on a Philadelphia street corner pluck ripe figs and feed one another. So may we feed and nurture each other's spirits.

The Words of Robert Lawrence Smith shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

When I think of how I am awakened to what is important, I consider the words of Robert Lawrence Smith. He says: "Let your life speak.."Through the pandemic we have been wakened, have we not?..."  To what are you "waking" in this season of your life? 

Awakening: "The Pit Ponies" shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

"The Pit Ponies" by Leslie Norris of Wales, from This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World by Naomi Shihab Nye. Rev. Jaye Brooks invites us to imagine the awakening we might feel if, like the pit ponies brought up into fresh air after years in a coal mine, we saw the green grass as if for the first time.

"Alive Again" shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

This month, as we celebrate and consider awakening, Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore shares “Alive Again” by Robert Walsh (edited). "We are constantly dying and being reborn to new life." What insights have you had that awakened you and allowed your spirit to soar?

"Stretch" shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

“What can be built with an honest mistake?”

Rev. Jaye Brooks quotes a line from “Stretch,” a poem by UU Minister Rev. Theresa Soto. As we end our month-long theme of “Renewing Faith,” Rev. Brooks asks us to consider faith in ourselves. The experience of failing, of being wrong, can lead to insights and growth that (with persistence) teaches us to have faith: the faith that we can fail and rise, we can learn from our mistakes, we can have confidence, with each new mistake, that we are not so much in error as becoming the person we aspire to be.

"You Can Find Renewal, Even In Your Taste Buds" shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

You can find renewal in your taste buds...

It is possible to find renewal in body and spirit in so many different ways. I encourage you to take the time for renewal today. How are you renewed?

"Love is Big" shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

In this month when our learning and worship theme is renewing faith, Rev. Jaye Brooks shares an excerpt from John Roedel's poem, "Love is Big." Calamities may be all around us; if we do nothing else, we can create ripples of love. What's your strategy for facing challenging times?

For Roedel's entire poem, go to www.johnroedel.com/post/in-the-face-of-war-i-m-so-small-yet-love-is-big.

 "Listen and Include to Widen the Circle" shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

There is an old poem by Edwin Markham: "He drew a circle to shut me out..." How can we draw our circles wider? We might start by listening to the stories that diverse communities offer to tell us!

"Famous" shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

What is it you’d like to be famous for?

In Naomi Shihab Nye’s delightful poem, “Famous,” the poet explores the way that people, animals, and all of creation: “The river is famous to the fish.” In this month when our learning and worship theme is “Widening the Circle,” Nye’s poignant wish is to be "famous as the one who smiled back.”

This desire for a type of fame embedded in a simple, gracious act invites us to examine our own ideas of how we’d like to be famous—and to consider the ways that ordinary things we do can widen the circle and invite others in.

"Deliberate Living" shared by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore

We have spent the last two years in enforced isolation and physical distancing. We have sometimes been deeply alone. It has been hard…it has been sad. With these painful moments have come some time to reflect on what is important in our lives…

 “Mitochondrial Gift” shared by Rev. Jaye Brooks

Have you ever done anything wonderful? Rev. Jaye Brooks knows you have. In this brief Meditative Moment, Rev. Brooks shares an excerpt from “Mitochondrial Gift,” a poem by Theresa Ines Soto from their book Spilling the Light.

Meditative Moments from Shelter Rock's Ministry Team
Monday Meditation and Poetry-Rev. Dr. Fenimore
Wednesday Messages-Rev. Brooks
Wednesday Conversation
Thursday Contemplations-Alia Shinbrough
Soulful Songs and Stories
COVID19 Personal Protective Equipment