Sermons & Other Thoughts from Rev. Brian Chenowith

Tag: Paganism

A Hint of Loveliness

Our reading today comes to us from the poet William Wordsworth, titled, “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud.”

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

You never know what you’re going to get when you buy a house — especially for the first time. And all throughout searching for a home you find that you are so glad you are not required to buy the first one the realtor shows you. And the next one. And the one after that. When you buy a home, you get very good at saying no or contorting your face in a way that the realtor automatically knows you want nothing to do with the home you are looking at.

I was disappointed to learn that buying a house was nothing like the tv show “House Hunters” — but also relieved to see that sitting down and figuring out exactly what you want with your impossible must have lists is as close as you would ever get to that show. If you don’t watch that show already — don’t. Hours will fly by. And now you know what I do on my days off. Read the rest of this entry »

[BLOG] Are You There Odin? It’s Me, Brian.

Hail Odin!  And Thor.  And Freya.  And Tyr.  And Balder.  And Heimdall.  And Frigga.  And Idunna.  But not Loki.  There are more that I am missing, but we are of course talking about the pantheon in Asatru (Heathenry, Odinism, Norse Paganism).  I was, up until recently, unfamiliar with this path in paganism and it has become a topic of interest in the past seven months.

mjolnir_by_mandioca

Mjolnir, the Hammer of Thor.

Upon moving to Lexington, Kentucky to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church as their minister, I began to learn more about the sizable Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) group that was affiliated with the church.  This is nothing new to me.  I know CUUPS.  I’ve been a part of CUUPS.

The church I grew up in had a lovely mix of humanism and paganism that informed and inspired all areas of church life.  My own mother has a connection to paganism on some level.  But what was new to me was just how many followers of Asatru and Heathenism were present in the group.  In the Bluegrass.

I like to imagine that wherever people gather, the stars align and the spirit moves them to shared traditions and beliefs.  We see this with ancient paganism and the sharing of similar gods and goddesses across cultures.  So, too, it appears to be true today as well.  Odin (and friends) have found a home in Kentucky. Read the rest of this entry »

Retelling the Story

This is my favorite time of year, period. There is really nothing that can compare. Sure, there is a warmth in Christmas and Yule traditions, there is the freshness of Easter and Spring, and the freedom of Summer are near and dear, but something about Autumn — something about Halloween, Samhain — just lets my innermost self melt away into the rhythm and flow of these days.

It’s a wholly internal experience — a feeling of coming home to myself. Halloween, and in my family, Samhain, was always full of anticipation, excitement, and an eagerness to participate. I never much cared for the actual act of finding a costume, putting a lot of thought into it, and showing it off — there’s nothing wrong in that, it just wasn’t for me.

I always appreciated seeing the talent and inspiration of others rather than put in the effort myself. Perhaps I was just lazy. The real joy for me in Halloween as a child was in being the most efficient and quick trick or treater you’ve ever seen, running between homes, hoping my friends could keep up, covering as much ground as possible, so I could get to the important work — bringing the candy home. Read the rest of this entry »