Sermons & Other Thoughts from Rev. Brian Chenowith

Tag: Unitarian

With All Earnestness

I’m convinced being a Unitarian Universalist requires us to reconcile ourselves, as much as possible, to mortality – to the inevitability of death. For so many of our stories as a tradition begin with death or lead to it – they visit upon us in quiet reflective moments, come rushing to us in the martyr’s flames, or steer us to claiming fully our lives while we still have them.

It is true, death is a constant companion for most of the world’s religions – perhaps the companion that originated the impulse to be religious, but so much so for us – a religion whose focus is squarely on the here and now – anything beyond we leave to you to discern.

It is a challenge, in the modern world but especially as Americans, to even talk about so universal a condition – that of living and dying. But, still, we will venture there.

Our story begins, however, with life – stories tend to require the living to bring the alive. And we find ourselves in what should be a familiar place for Unitarian Universalists – New England – Boston – the mothership of our tradition. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Road to Geneva

Our story begins with a realization that we don’t know when the hero was born. It’s a peculiar start. But that is the start of our story. Miguel Serveto was born sometime during, before, or after the year 1511.

His life was one that necessitated him to lie about his place of origin and date of birth so he could survive another day. What we do know is that he was born in Spain, in the Kingdom of Aragon, under the reign of King Ferdinand II the Catholic – and he would become a great theologian and physician.

He was also a Unitarian. And we’ve come to know him not as Miguel Servto, but as Michael Servetus – one of our best known Unitarian martyrs. If the name is unfamiliar to you, you are not alone. He is often lumped into the expansive history of our faith tradition as a sidenote.

When the history of your heresy, ours in particular, goes back thousands of years, it really depends on who is telling the story and what parts they feel need to be emphasized. I commend to you the thousands of years of history our tradition holds within it. Michael Servetus is but one piece. Read the rest of this entry »