January 31, 2023

Centering, a variation on the Soul Matters theme, is the focus of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey. A very important topic, one that we need reminders about often or even a reintroduction. If you are not centered, everything can seem out of whack. If you are off center, you are off balance. You may even feel lightheaded or dizzy. Stress will often cause this along with a host of other circumstances. Once you are centered, you can... Read more

December 31, 2022

Intern minister Sabrina Trupia’s recent sermon titled “Joyful is the Dark” has me thinking how I have grown. That entire service at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey, where I attend, was focused on darkness.  The Time for All Ages adaptation from Lemony Snicket’s story “The Dark” vividly brought me back to my childhood. Although I have mentioned my childhood fears in my previous blogs, this is an important topic and needs to be shared again.  I had... Read more

December 1, 2022

Recently, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey’s Mental Health Task Force held a Creative Arts Wellness Day. This was perfect timing for me. For the past two months my mom has been in the hospital and rehab interchangeably. The task force held three workshops — Sound Rejuvenation, Fiber Fun and Soulful Collage simultaneously. I chose the Sound Rejuvenation which was a sound bath led by Scarlet Gorton, MDiv and MSW. Gorton is a sound practitioner who works with... Read more

October 31, 2022

Fear is a word we all are all accustomed to in some degree or another. For me, it is something I know far too well. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey’s recent service “Courage to Grow” dealt with fear. The whole month the congregation focused on courage as part of the Soul Matters program. The skit based on the Buddhist tale – “The Way out of Fear,” had a student warrior battle with fear. The Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael,... Read more

September 30, 2022

About a month ago I was sitting in the sanctuary readying myself for the weekly worship run through. Looking over the script up in the Tech Booth, I immediately see the headline for that week’s sermon — daydreaming. I thought that sounded very interesting to me and wondered where it was going. I didn’t have time to read it, nor do I particularly like reading the sermon beforehand. Unfortunately, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey had a tragedy... Read more

August 31, 2022

A recent Sunday morning, the Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, senior co-minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, NJ had us thinking. He asked, “What would you say God is? What would you say God is not?” in his similarly titled sermon. There were many different responses to these questions and all like-minded and agreeable to a point. However, there were no Pagan responses that I heard in person or have yet seen online. I was running the live stream, other... Read more

July 30, 2022

The only constant is change. This is true with everything that we do in life. The Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael, senior co-minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, NJ reminded me of that. She wrote in our summer gazette about the way things in the congregation are changing, partly due to the pandemic. One example is our virtual-only participants — some from outside of New Jersey. However, other adaptations and growth include our soon to be new music intern and... Read more

June 29, 2022

What a month… June had its ups and it had its downs for all of us. Following the Soul Matter’s monthly themes this month the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey focused on “celebrating blessings.” Since the Supreme Court’s terrible decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, many people, especially women, are not feeling so blessed. In addition, there is talk on outlawing contraceptives and then same sex marriages and other LGTBQIA+ rights. Florida already has the “Don’t Say Gay”... Read more

June 15, 2022

When the world gets scary, the comfort of home becomes even more important. We need places where we can let our guard down – where the hypervigilance so many of us adopted during the pandemic can ease a little bit. For a lot of us, relaxing has become difficult. Devices that keep us connected to the 24 hour news cycle constantly ping with new stimuli. The social media worlds that bring us so much joy also bring stress and sadness... Read more

May 29, 2022

This month the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey, where I attend, is focusing on the theme of beauty. Beauty is everywhere, especially in nature. The Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael said in his sermon that entire industries criticize how we look. He said they tell lies that we need certain make-up, surgery, or some new diet to begin to approach “beauty.” This made me think about our rituals and how we are always looking for the perfect items to make... Read more


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