Author Archives: Peter Connolly

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About God?

What do we talk about when we talk about God? It might seem an odd question to those of us who grew up in what we call “mainstream” churches, whether by that we mean Christian churches of a liberal bent or ones with a more “fundamentalist” perspective– though the fact that that distinction exists should … Continued

Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography

Beginning on Wednesday, September 21, the Rev. Peter Connolly will be leading an adult Religious Exploration class called Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography.  Over the course of eight Sundays, participants will engage in drawing and writing exercises and community-enriching conversations, culminating in the creation by each participant of an 8-to-10-page autobiography written from a spiritual perspective. … Continued

Contemplation and Action

To talk about contemplation and action means inevitably to talk about an inner world and an outer world and the relationship between the two. The population of the world as of March, 2016, was estimated to be about 7,400,000,000: seven billion, four hundred million. As far as we know, there is only one outer world … Continued

Memorial Day and Our Civil Religion

Two days ago, President Obama visited Hiroshima, Japan in advance of the 71st anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs there and at Nagasaki, the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II. His remarks, if you heard them, offered a chance to put the human propensity for war and aggression into a larger … Continued

Priorities

We all have certain things we think of as priorities in life, but it’s easy to lose track of what we value most highly by getting caught up in our perceived responsibilities and a variety of attractive distractions. Today, we’ll work on clarifying our personal priorities.

Question Box Sermon 2016

For seven years now, we’ve given congregation members an opportunity to ask questions of the minister to be answered on a Sunday during a “Question Box Sermon.” Sometimes questions are submitted on paper and deposited to a real enough “question box” left out for that purpose. Other questions come up in conversations during the year. … Continued

Heaven in a Wildflower

To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour. –William Blake Mr. William Blake, English poet of the 18th and 19th centuries, was a mystic, no doubt. He was one of those who could look into the … Continued

Telling a New Story

“It is a moral imperative for us to be good and responsible stewards of the earth.” Fifty-three years ago today (April 17), the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) gave official recognition to a new fellowship in the movement: the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bowling Green. The year was 1963. The President was John F. Kennedy. The … Continued

The Legacy of James Luther Adams

(The singer Merle Haggard died a few days before this sermon was presented.) You know, the only song of Merle Haggard’s that I was really familiar with before this week is Okie from Muskogee. It didn’t make me a fan of the man when I first heard it years ago, as I felt like my … Continued

On Joys and Concerns

Our mission is to be a caring community that encourages spiritual growth and actively works to improve our society and the environment. One of the ways that we try to be a caring community is by offering our members and friends and even visitors an opportunity to share the important events in their lives at … Continued

A Strong and Supple Faith

If you are like me and most Unitarian Universalists, the word “faith” is, let us say, suspect.  For many of us, it’s a word that stands in opposition to “reason,” and reason holds a high place in our pantheon of values.  One definition of “faith,” is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”  Another … Continued

Reflections on the Resurrection

Easter marks the end of Holy Week in the Christian calendar and the high point of the Christian year: Easter, the holy day marking the resurrection of the Lord. As Unitarian Universalists who prefer to question rather to embrace blanket faith statements, this is, perhaps, the day that questions the most significant assertion of the … Continued

Black Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.

Some of you have heard me talk about my friend Emerson before. I met Emerson about 25 years ago now at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. He was 66 years old then and nearing retirement. Now he’s 91, still living independently with his wife, Judith, who is perhaps 12 or 15 years … Continued

Speaking of Obscenity

A friend told me last week that he was going to celebrate the first day of Black History month by listening to James Brown records. I thought that was inspiring, and so we are celebrating the first Sunday of Black History month by listening to that lively and irrepressible anthem “I Got You”, otherwise known … Continued

A Busy Church

Ours is a busy church, very busy for a church of our size. In various ways, we continue to serve out our mission to care for one another, to encourage spiritual growth, and to actively work to improve our society and the environment. Here is an update on some of the ways we remain active … Continued

Faith, Peace, and Love

On the last Sunday of the year, after those who celebrate Christmas attended their Christmas Eve service, exchanged their gifts and enjoyed their Christmas dinner and before the New Year’s revelries began for those still young enough to enjoy those celebrations, our church hosted a service devoted to exploring Islam and Muslims. An unusual choice, … Continued

A Monk in Kentucky

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?  This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.   –Thomas Merton I’m one of those people who believe that life … Continued

Eulogy for Norman Fuqua

Norman Fuqua Memorial Service on December 9, 2015 at Hardy & Sons Funeral Home Good evening, everyone, and welcome to this memorial service dedicated to celebrating the life of Norman Fuqua and allowing us, his friends and fellow church members, to mourn his loss. Norm was born in Fordsville, Kentucky, in 1926 and died here … Continued

Mindfulness or Mind Control?

“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them (as) good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.” That’s the definition (and a commentary) that … Continued

Emotional Intelligence

How impoverished our lives would be without our emotions. How deeply unsatisfying our lives are when our emotions are out of control. Our opening reading is from Kay Redfield Jamison, who is a clinical psychologist and a writer. She’s also someone who suffers from a bipolar disorder. “Restlessness and discontent are vital things,” she says, … Continued