July 22, 2018 – 10:00 AM
“To Seek the Truth in Love” – Tom Hearne
Tom believes we’ve all experienced events in our lives that were not just surprising, but inexplicable – so filled with meaning or wonder or insight as to defy any scientific theory. Yet we rarely acknowledge these experiences, let alone share them. Why? Are these experiences not part of the truth we seek? In this service Tom will explore the mystical side of our otherwise reason-able UU lives. Bring your stories of wonder, visions and synchronicity! You are not alone.
Bio: Tom got his BA degree with a double major in Math and Philosophy and a minor in Economics, then spent the next 20ish years of his life as an agnostic capitalist. About 20 years ago he finally acknowledged the inexplicable in his life. He and his partner, Berta Russell arrived at TUCW in 2006. He sings in three choirs, is active in Small Group Ministry, the Chaplains, and Voices Cafe. His tenure on The Committee on Ministries ends with the Annual Meeting.
Worship Associate: Doug Flam
Pastoral Care Chaplain: Lindy Hennessy
July 29, 2018 – 10:00 AM
“Aging to Saging” – Cheryl Dixon Paul
Was there a special teacher, mentor or relative in your life whose memory you carry with you to this day? Cheryl hopes that these stories on the magic of intergenerational relationships can inspire you to reach across the aisle in our sanctuary and make a new friend.
Cheryl Dixon Paul has been part of the Unitarian Church in Westport for 23 years. She had the good fortune of knowing all of her great grandparents as well as her grandparents, great aunts and great uncles. Their generosity in sharing their time and stories has fueled this sermon as well as her interest in making friends of all generations.
Worship Associate: Mary-Megan Marshall
Pastoral Care Chaplain: Shari Brennan
August 5, 2018 – 10:00 AM
“My Journey with Nature as Teacher” – Jim Francek
A series of personal reflections, poetry, chanting and drumming will be shared. The core of this experience will invite you to engage nature as a primary source of discernment and inspiration. In the sounds of the wind, the flight of the hawk and the silence of the trees there awaits answers to almost all life’s questions. The mandarin duck leaves us lots to reflect on. Jim is the oldest of ten children, a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. He has functioned as a minister, social worker, executive coach, group facilitator, organizational change consultant, “minister at large” and Emergency Room chaplain. His current work is best described in his two web sites: ceremonieswithoutboundaries.com, and tavafullcircle.com. He draws inspiration and support from his study and practice of an indigenous earth based spirituality and involvement with the UU community here in Westport.
Worship Associate: Jamie Forbes
Pastoral Care Chaplain: Ravi Sankar
August 12, 2018 – 10:00 AM
“Love” – Donna Thomas-Bennett
Donna Thompson will preach on how she and her husband seek to love their children Brittany and Ahmad and their grandchild Nylah, who they seek to raise in the power of their faith, family and culture. Sister Thompson is a child of God who seeks to be a woman of faith each day. Donna and her soul mate Pastor Anthony L. Bennett are blessed to love, live and serve in Bridgeport, CT with the beautiful people of Mount Aery Baptist Church. Donna’s servant leadership with God has included work as a youth & women’s ministry facilitator, spiritual teacher, social justice advocate, retreat presenter, as well as a prayer and meditation leader. Donna is a graduate of Spelman and Georgetown University Law Center.
Worship Associate: Cheryl Dixon Paul
Pastoral Care Chaplain: Jim Francek
August 19, 2018 – 10:00 AM
“Going for Refuge” – Bob Bevacqua
Bob will lead the congregation in an experience of meditation upon an object or idea, such as love. He will address the human urge to escape suffering and pain, which may take one down a path of greater suffering. He will guide us in accepting the reality of our mortality, and how to go for refuge in the divine. Bob found wisdom in Eckert Tolle’s Power of Now, is a dedicated practitioner of Kadampa Buddhism. He serves by offering several hours of spiritual counseling a week and as a resource for our UU congregation’s Addiction and Recovery Ministry. He lives and works in Westport, where he cultivates orchids. Bob will lead a discussion following the service.
Worship Associate: Janet Luongo
Pastoral Care Chaplain: Ron Taylor
August 26, 2018 – 10:00 AM
“Broken to Unbreakable” – Pat Francek, Janet Luongo
Pat and Janet and others will weave poems, readings and stories about their personal journeys to transform their lives from what had been to imagine what could be. They will share how they managed memories and emotions. They will reflect on the process of grief and loss, and new understandings of living and dying, and the steps they took from feeling alone to connected, from feeling broken to awareness of something within and beyond that is unbreakable. Classical music by Florence Romanov. Pat is a licensed clinical social worker and leadership coach; Janet is a holistic coach, yogi, art teacher and memoirist of a broken year, 1967. Both serve as chaplains and co-facilitate a grief support group at TUCW. Following the service, they will facilitate a support circle.
Worship Associate: Janet Luongo
Pastoral Care Chaplain: Charles Harrington
September 2, 2018 – 10:00 AM
“The Garden of Eating” – Jenna Jacobs
Explore ways to connect our faith with the every-day act of eating. As UUs, we believe in the inherent worth of all people, the interdependent web of existence, and in actively seeking truth. For many of us, it may be easy to connect our values to issues of racism, poverty, immigration, climate change, animal cruelty, and personal health. But do our values and issues relate to our food choices? Yes. Join us to discover how. Jenna is a member of The Unitarian Church in Westport, along with her family. She is active in the Music Ministry and a nominee the Committee on Ministries. Jenna graduated from The Natural Gourmet Institute and began her career as a vegan chef in 2015. She is now launching the Food Ministry at TUCW to bring new thinking to the UU community and beyond. Lunch and discussion will follow the service.
Pastoral Care Chaplain: Joanne Orenstein, and Connie Rockman
September 9, 2018 – 10:00 AM