Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of Northern Chautauqua

companionship on life's sacred journey

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
— Rabindranath Tagore

Message From Our Minister

From the Heart

In this lush springtime on the Lake Erie shore, my heart is filled with gratitude for the many natural gifts we see all around us – the blooming flowers, the fields filled with the promise of greening crops, the majesty of the trees and the forests, and the blue water stretching to the horizon. We are blessed here in so many ways.

In my heart, these and other blessings are the grounding for all the work I do. I rise to the challenges we face with energy and drive arising from praise and gratitude. Hear these words of Sharon Welch, a contemporary Unitarian Universalist ethicist and thinker:

“The ground of challenging exploitation, injustice and oppression is not a vision of how the world could be or will be in the future reign of God, or after the revolution. The ground of challenging injustice is gratitude, the heartfelt desire to honor the wonder of that which is; to cherish, to celebrate, to delight in the many gifts and joys of life.” – Sweet Dreams in America, p. 136

If I can experience these gifts and joys of nature in some measure, then surely it is right to work to preserve our natural world for the use and enjoyment of future generations. If I have experienced the benefits of human love and caring community, and used these to reach my own potential, then of course I will work to unravel patterns of injustice and oppression. I know these patterns unfairly block others from full realization of their potential.

I hope and pray the congregation I serve, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua, will continue to be place where are grateful for these everyday joys, and also a place where we join together to heal the wounds of the world and break the bonds of injustice and repression.

May it ever be so.
Reverend George Buchanan