Sermons & Other Thoughts from Rev. Brian Chenowith

Tag: resistance

The Sound of One Voice

Our reading from this Sunday was titled “You Reading This, Be Ready,” by the poet William Stafford. This sermon also drew heavily on “10 Ways to Build Resilience” from the American Psychological Association.

I remember my first evening as a chaplain – it feels like it was a very long time ago.  There is no way I could ever forget it.  When you study to become a Unitarian Universalist minister, you are required to serve as a chaplain in a hospital for a semester, a summer, or sometimes even a year.

It is often a mix of emotional boot camp with the normal duties of a chaplain – visiting patients, talking with families and doctors and nurses, being there in times of great joy, and more often than not, being there in moments of complete and utter sadness. Trauma, despair, confusion, death, and the breadth of human sadness with bits of bittersweet mixed in.  The particular hospital I was serving at was the very same hospital I as born in, a fact that somehow terrified me even more in the work that waited me as I began my first overnight shift on the floor with my supervisor. As we left the chaplain’s office she said, “Let’s go hang out in the emergency room.  It hasn’t been too busy today.”  Famous last words.  Before I knew it it was nearly five in the morning. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the Resistance

Our reading from this Sunday was titled “Good Bones” from the poet Maggie Smith.

On Friday, January 20th, the year 2017, around noon, Eastern Standard Time, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.  He had never held elected office once in his life.  He is known primarily as a reality television star and real estate mogul.

And he defied all odds and was elected on a platform of nationalist populism.  A nationalism that has been sweeping democracies from the Philippines to India, from France to the United Kingdom.  A nationalism we should be paying attention to here and abroad.

And for us, in this country, a nationalism that was unapologetically misogynistic, irrational, xenophobic, racist, isolationist, anti-fact, and downright nasty.  Should those words surprise you, I assure you my judgements of President Trump’s nationalism are taken directly from his own words, his own platform, and now his official Presidential agenda.  He is now here to stay.  For how long, we do not know.  He is our President.  And we are his employers. Read the rest of this entry »