Meditative Moments

Rev. Jennifer Brower provides Meditative Moments on Fridays, available thereafter here, on the UUCSR YouTube channelFacebook, and Instagram. Rev. Brower holds a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She has an uplifting and positive style that she brings to workshops on Spirituality & Health, Spiritual Practice and Small Group Ministry. She is the author of an essay on faith, spirituality and aging for the FRONTLINE documentary, "Living Old." Jennifer is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan. Brought up in the Presbyterian tradition, she had many "near encounters" with faith that eventually led her to the Unitarian Universalist faith.

It’s a pandemic. Do you know what day it is?! Hoping we can make room for our own and others mental messiness as we begin the slow work of healing.
It’s a Pandemic, shared by the Rev. Jennifer Brower

Meditative Moments

"Give Yourself Permission" by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

Before COVID-19 arrived on the scene, we didn’t take seriously the need for regular rest - for some kind of Sabbath, religious or otherwise.

Over the last year, with the lines between the different aspects of our lives blurred, we’ve found it increasingly difficult to turn off, to tune out and just be.

Friend, take the rest you need.

No one is going to give you permission to unplug from your tasks, to pause, to ponder, to read, to make love, to meditate, to prepare interesting meals, to throw a ball with the dog or workout or write an overdue letter or whatever you need.

Rest and experience the magnificence of being alive.

There is so much more to each of us than just our daily tasks.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

“Every year, I wait for the blossoming.  I hope to see the moment when the marvel occurs... “
Waiting To Blossom, shared by the Rev. Jennifer Brower

As we mark the passing of one year of physical distancing, let us hold close the truth of our interconnectedness and take in the beauty within one another and in our world. "Even During a Pandemic, There is Beauty in the World" shared by the Rev. Jennifer Brower

How do you answer when asked, “How are you?” As part of today’s reflection, the Rev. Jennifer Brower shares with you the adapted words of Howard Thurman.

“Take Courage” Pandemic living feels isolating - even if we are surrounded by other humans. Today, the Rev. Jennifer Brower offers you brief words of encouragement from Rev. Wayne Arnason.

The Rev. Jennifer Brower shares the poem "Good Morning" by Rudy Francisco. May we notice every single one of our days.

"In Whose Image?!" The world offers us plenty of ways to divide ourselves into "us" and "them," to focus on our differences. But as members of the human family, part of creation, there is far more that we share than what separates us. The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower delivers an adaptation of the Rev. Cynthia Frado's prayerful words.

"There Will Be Better Days," shared by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower. In our times of fretting and days despair, may we never forget that there will be better days.

The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower offers "Clarity" from The Book of Qualities by Ruth Gendler. May these many months of living through a global pandemic help us to see, with clarity, what is most precious and essential in our lives and for our global community.

Let us each extend such radical hospitality that the tables around which we gather - in our homes, workplaces, across our nation and around the world - reflect our glorious human diversity and our commitment to welcoming and caring for one another.

As in Denise Levertov’s poem, Making Peace, what we imagine for lives, our families, our nation and world is possible. But we must together bring those imagined possibilities into being. Spoken by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

As we consider the greatness and the rough "growing edges" of our nation's past, promise and possibility, the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower offers the words of poet Langston Hughes, Let America Be America Again.

From our house to yours, we, at Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock (UUCSR), wish you all good things in 2021.

A modern meditation upon the meaning of Christmas in our lives.

Holiday magic abounds - not just at this time of year. Inspired by the music of Willy Porter and The Cosmic Orchestra you're sure to find it.
- The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

"Lighting Our Way," shared by the Rev. Jennifer Brower
At times, all we need is a little light to show us the way...
Music performed by The Cosmic Orchestra

Rev. Jennifer L. Brower shared the words of the late Rev. Gordon (Bucky) McKeemen on this perfectly ordinary day in this extraordinary time in our world.

"Crowded" shared by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

In this pandemic-shaped year, as we are encouraged to maintain our physical distance, our deep need for connection and community is greater than ever. This Thanksgiving, may we find creative ways to joyfully crowd around the table together; the table where there is a place for every single one of us. Join us on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrcO2qqjMvGN2P1kz651j-G0oGvPlBq9e0%20

Music performed by The Cosmic Orchestra

If we are committed to one day there being peace in this world, we must actually build it. The Rev. Jennifer Brower shares the words of the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tze. "One Day" - Music performed by The Cosmic Orchestra.

Life is a near death experience. Don’t let a moment of your living be wasted on small things...

The Rev. Jennifer Brower shares “Let Me Die Laughing” by the Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed

Paraphrasing this insightful Stevie Wonder song: evil has engulfed so many hearts... and destroyed so many minds…. It is at the root of hatred and robs the world of love… by clouding our eyes… and breaking the spirit within...

Daily we see the face of evil in this world.
We feel its destructive touch.
We know it's damaging effects.
And in the face of that terrible truth there is another truth: we are the ones with the power to stop the evil in this world from engulfing more hearts, destroying more minds and devouring our nation and world.
Evil is powerful. But so are we.

Music performed by The Cosmic Orchestra

Jimi Hendrix said, “Music is my religion.” Music speaks to our hearts in ways that words alone cannot. Today’s meditation, by Australian cartoonist Michael Leuing, is a prayer for the music makers.

"When I Talk to You," presented by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

"The Souls of Animals" Some of the best pandemic companionship, and wisest, wordless counsel has come from our four-legged companions.

In anticipation of the Feast of St. Francis Assisi, celebrated in Christian communities, the Rev. Jennifer Brower offers the adapted words of the Rev. Gary Kowalski, a UU colleague.

We have each been challenged by these days of COVID-19. But there is another truth: this too shall pass.    ~Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

"This Too Shall Pass," performed by The Cosmic Orchestra.

We’re all longing for home. But where we find it is sometimes a surprise...  "Home Welcomes Us In," presented by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

Recalling 9/11/01 with the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower sharing the adapted words of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

How do you answer when asked, “How are you?”
As part of today’s reflection, the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower shares with you the adapted words of Howard Thurman.

With the passing of the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower offers a reflection upon our awakening to pervasive racial injustice. Join us for this reflection in word and song. The Cosmic Orchestra performs “Nina Cried Power.”

Floating through the cosmos together on this blue ball, there can be no "other." There can be no "us" versus "them." Our lives are inextricably intertwined. The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower shares with us "Feeding America."

May you find such beauty in this world that you cannot help but feel awe and your connection to all things.

The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower shares this Meditative Moment with the words of rabbi Lawrence Kushner followed by "Beauty in the World," music by Macy Gray, performed by The Cosmic Orchestra.

As you seek to discover what’s essential in life, I hope you’ll spend time in the Cathedral of the Great Outdoors. There we cannot help but feel awe and find ourselves anew. The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower shares this Meditative Moment "Have You Ever" with music by Brandi Carlisle performed by The Cosmic Orchestra.

The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower has served the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock as Minister for Pastoral Care since 2002. Rev. Brower is responsible for introducing Shelter Rock to the contemporary Worship Service now known as Soulful Sundown, offered on the second Friday evening of each month at 8:00 PM. All are welcome to hear spoken word, offered with live music by The Cosmic Orchestra.

Come, join Rev. Jennifer Brower at UUCSR, where we embrace the Mystery of Life together.

With keen appreciation for the work of poet Rudy Francisco (b. 1982), Rev. Jennifer L. Brower shared with you his poem, "Complainers."

The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower wrote, "As we mark Independence Day, we acknowledge that the lofty principles upon which our nation was founded were not realized for all of her citizens, and that we are still growing into being the best and the brightest America, where all people are truly equal, and each life is equally cherished."

Rev. Jennifer Brower said, "All living things are engaged in the task of transformation and growth. Our individual lives, our nation and our institutions are undergoing profound change. May we be diligent in seeking the resources that prepare us for that growth."

Today, let us be reminded that even in our infinite diversity we are each a reflection of the Wholeness and Holiness of Creation.

 

Spoken word, and then Matisyahu's One Day, performed by the Cosmic Orchestra.

According to Wikipedia, "The song expresses a hope for an end to violence, and a prayer for a new era of peace and understanding. In an interview with Spinner, Matisyahu told them: "'One Day' is the song I've been wanting to make since I started my career. It is an anthem of hope with a big beat, the kind of song that makes you bob your head and open your heart at the same time." The song was sung at a vigil for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in the Jewish community of Squirrel Hill."

"Heavy Heart," Presented by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

Mason Bolton is a queer, trans writer and poet. He currently lives in the Boston-metro area with his fiancé, Doug. His work has been published in Epiphany Magazine, Kelsey Review, The Black Napkin, and is forthcoming in the Lambda Literary Poetry Spotlight.

We join with others in worship, online and in body, to find grounding, to feel our connection to others and to the Creative Source of life.

Presented by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower, who wrote, “when forced from a place of comfort, may we find deep solace in ordinary things...”

Rev. Jennifer Brower reminds us that "relationships matter."

"I Belong," presented by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower

We longed for community before social distancing. Many of us ache for it now. Let us find creative and safe ways to reach out with our hearts and pull each other near. 

Macy Gray's song "Beauty in the World" was featured at a Soulful Sundown Friday evening Service with the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower. We're channeling @Thich Nhat Hanh and celebrating nature during this week of Earth Day.

On Friday, April 10, 2020, Rev. Jennifer Brower shared "The Soul," by Kahlil Gibran.

Khalil Gibran (1883–1931) was an essayist, novelist, and mystic poet. He wrote The Prophet, a collection of philosophical essays that went on to become one of the bestselling books of the twentieth century. Though he was born in Lebanon, he moved to Boston’s South End as a child and studied art with Auguste Rodin in Paris for two years before launching his literary career. Much of Gibran’s work contains themes of religion and Christianity as well as spiritual love. The Rev. Jennifer Brower is the Minister for Pastoral Care at UUCSR in Manhasset, NY.

 On Friday, April 3, 2020, Rev. Jennifer Brower posted a recorded reading, "The Courage of Patience," by Richard Gilbert.  The Rev. Dr. Richard S. Gilbert retired in 2005 after serving 44 years in the Unitarian Universalist ministry in Cleveland, Ohio, Golden, Colorado, Ithaca, New York, and for 32 years at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York.

..."May we learn how to cope."

On Friday, March 27, 2020, Rev. Jennifer Brower posted a prerecorded reading, "First Lesson," by Philip Booth. Rev. Brower is the Minister for Pastoral Care at UUCSR.  (See Meet the Ministers, here.)

On Friday, March 20, 2020, Rev. Jennifer Brower presented, "Fault Lines," by Robert Walsh. "Fault Lines" is from Noisy Stones: A Meditation Manual, Skinner House Books, 1992. The Rev. Robert R. Walsh is minister emeritus of the First Parish Church in Duxbury, MA., and is also the author of Stone Blessings.  Rev. Brower is the Minister for Pastoral Care at UUCSR.  (See Meet the Ministers, here.) 

Monday Meditation and Poetry-Rev. Dr. Fenimore
Wednesday Messages-Rev. Brooks
Wednesday Conversation
Thursday Contemplations-Alia Shinbrough
Friday Meditative Moments-Rev. Brower
Soulful Songs and Stories
COVID19 Personal Protective Equipment