Sermons & Other Thoughts from Rev. Brian Chenowith

Tag: wonder

Renewal of the Spirit

The reading for this Sunday was the poem, “Pied Beauty,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately” – and so begins of the great American stories.  The story of a naturalist, a freethinker, a rugged individualist, and a man that did what he thought best for his own life and experience –

The story of Henry David Thoreau moving to Walden pond to live off the land, away from society, and to draw upon his own experience and the lessons of the natural world.  To suck the marrow out of life.

Henry David Thoreau is a name we hear often in Unitarian Universalist congregations.  It’s a name we proudly speak of.  It’s a name that most Americans are familiar with, having been forced to read Walden in high school or having some passing knowledge of the Transcendentalists and, in the very least, their individualistic spirituality.

Thoreau has a rather grand mythos attached to him.  He is seen as an intentional hermit, someone that had to escape the rush of society, someone that did what he wanted when he wanted to, and a great spiritual thinker that transformed American society and, by extension, informed Unitarian Universalism. 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 »