Author Archives: Peter Connolly

The Art of Discernment

A sermon delivered by the Reverend Peter Connolly on 17 January 2021 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Good morning, friends.  I am here this morning, during this, a most tumultuous time in our nation’s history and our shared political life, to talk with you about a spiritual discipline I’ve found useful … Continued

Same Storm, Different Boats

Same Storm, Different Boats      I suppose we all mark the beginning of the pandemic that we’ve all been living through by the date that we first felt its effects in a way that altered the patterns of our lives.  For me, today marks the beginning of month 3 of the pandemic.  On March 16, … Continued

Reflections on Ministry and Departure

I expect that most of us here have come across questions during a job interview that ask us to state one of our strengths and one of our weaknesses (though this last question is often phrased these days as “an area for growth” or “challenge”). And, though answering questions about our strengths may be difficult … Continued

Lessons Learned

By my rough estimate, this is the 85th time I’ve written a Minister’s Message for our church newsletter. That adds up to a lot of words. I hope that some of them, at least, have been helpful in providing our church members and friends with some hints and guideposts for your spiritual journey through this … Continued

Celebrating Our Heritage

Today, I’m going to talk to you about celebrating our heritage as Unitarian Universalists and as the UU Church of Bowling Green, but before I do, I’m going to ask you to think outside the box a little bit.  There are ways that we share a common heritage, but there are many ways that our … Continued

On Membership

As I’ve been preparing for our upcoming Heritage Sunday (April 9, 2017), I’ve also been thinking about what it means to be a member of something, whether that is an organization, a club, a family or a church community. Most of us can say that we are now or at least have been a member … Continued

Hosea Ballou and the Universalist Message

As most people in this room today know, the Unitarian Universalist religious tradition which we claim and which we celebrate here is a tradition that originates from two separate Christian denominations: the Unitarian and the Universalist. Both have long traditions. You can make a case that each goes back to Biblical times. The two traditions … Continued

Love and Fear and Everything in Between

When I was a child, I thought like a child. And I was taught by those who invested their time in teaching me, as a child with a child’s understanding. I expect that that was true for you, as well. As a result, we learned to identify two strong proclivities towards things and persons: “I … Continued

The Cost of Freedom

In early April, 1963, just about 54 years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., announced plans for a demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama to gain civil rights for African American citizens. On April 12, he was arrested for violating an injunction issued by the state circuit court against holding that demonstration. He was placed in … Continued

Credo: I Believe

It’s a long-standing tradition, of course, that when a new year begins, people make resolutions to change certain behaviors that seem to impede their growth in one way or another. I thought that it might be a nice change to instead focus on those things we claim as our core beliefs, those things that allow … Continued

A Space Between Stories

I stumbled upon an interesting website this past week. It’s curated by a Presbyterian minister named David Hayward. I hesitate to share the name of the site—oh, well, I will—it’s called No—don’t even go there! I was introduced to it through a cartoon that popped up on my Facebook page. Two men are sitting … Continued

A Voice for Fairness and Justice

There are religious traditions that encourage passivity. A common teaching is that there is a God who controls everything and that it is the role of human beings to believe that everything that occurs is an aspect of God’s will, and that it is our duty to submit to that will, trusting that in doing … Continued

Social Media and Spiritual Growth

We met here last week for our annual Day of Remembrance service. It was a time set aside for us to remember those loved ones we lost in the past year and loved ones we lost in years past. It was a time for reflection and for story telling and for allowing feelings to rise … Continued

Seeking Peace Amidst Violence

If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, … Continued

Stop Asking So Many Questions!

When I was a child I was told that I asked too many questions. Often. Mostly, I was told this by my mother, as she was the most available person to ask. “Stop asking so many questions!” I expect that she said this because she (1) was busy with other things, adult things, and that … Continued

Moral Mondays

The leader spoke these words: “We have heard the prophet’s call to repair the breach, and we know our Constitution’s goal of a more perfect union.” We replied in unison: “We reach back to our sacred texts that affirm life, love, and justice. This is what the Lord says: ‘Do what is just and right. … Continued

The Depths of Thoreau

When you think about Henry David Thoreau, what do you think about, what do you know? My guess is that it goes something like this: he lived in the 19th century. He built a cabin in the woods near Walden Pond where he lived for a few years. He was a friend and protégé of … Continued

The Allure of Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson is best known to the general public as a 19th-century American writer and philosopher, essayist, poet, and transcendentalist. Unitarian Universalists know him in this way, too, but also as a Unitarian minister and an important influence on the development of our religious tradition. To read and appreciate Emerson today, you will face … Continued

Living in the Real World

Social change is slow, and it doesn’t start at the center; it starts at the edges. And we all live at the edges. At the edges of the “real world.”

Growing Spiritually

The word “growth” connotes various things to various people. For most of us, the first thoughts that come to mind are positive. We all want to grow, don’t we, in wisdom, in strength, in proficiency, in maturity? But, growth also means encountering obstacles and overcoming them. For some of us, there is excitement in that. … Continued