The Chalice Blog

Rev. Peter's Poem, "The River" and "Reflections on Las Vegas Shootings"

The River (this month's theme is "Courage")

All your life, a river has run
past your door.
You’ve chosen, finally,
to enter its flow.
The raft you’ve built is sound
and well-provisioned.
The paddle’s grip 
fits firmly in your hand.
Now, all that’s left to do 
is to push off 
from the safety of the shore.
 

Rev. Peter's Reflection on Las Vegas Shootings

And, so, we find ourselves reeling from yet another horrific mass shooting, this one of unbelievable proportion. The latest body count is 59 dead and more than 500 injured. Within a matter of minutes, an outdoor concert venue filled with revelers became a killing field. As one commentator put it last night, “This is the largest mass shooting in American history. Until the next one.” Words cannot describe the depth of my sadness for the families who lost their children, parents, friends in Las Vegas yesterday, and for those injured who will live with the trauma for the rest of their lives.

Rev. Peter's Poem "Welcome", our monthly theme

Welcome

 
I welcome you…
 
The way the soil opens itself to rain,
and leaves absorb sunlight, 
exchanging it for breath.
 
As a bird spreads its wings to 
a rising current of air, sure it will be lifted,
and as the moon partners with the sun,
seeking only to reflect its brilliance.
 
The way a mother extends her arms to 
receive her newborn,
and the stars, pulsing with delight, 
receive us in the end.
 
As the glove receives the hand,
and the heart, though broken, love.
 
I welcome you.
 

Note:

Starting Sept. 17, there will be two services, one at 9:30 and one at 11:15 am. 
 
(Click "read more" for Rev. Peter's in depth reflections on his recent sabbatical.)

Two Reflections by Rev. Peter

1)  "Stand Against Hate" Rally for Delaware County on Aug. 13, 2017

Thank you to the organizers of this event and thank you to all of you for showing up. Because showing up is what we need to do. And we need to keep showing up, again and again and again. Fatigue and despair are not an option. So thank you for being here today. We are here today to condemn the violent display of white supremacy that occurred in Charlottesville yesterday. While we support every American’s right to peaceably assemble, just as we have assembled here this afternoon, there can be no doubt that assembling peaceably was not on the minds of the “Unite the Right” marchers in Charlottesville. You do not come to assemble peaceably armed with torches, clubs, shields, pepper spray, and semi-automatic weapons. Yesterday was a violent assembly aimed at the heart of our nation and all it stands for, and we are here today to say, in no uncertain terms, this will not stand.

There are some who want you to believe that there are “many sides” to what happened in Charlottesville yesterday. So, let me be clear: There are only two sides. On one side there is violence. On one side there is fear. On one side there is despair. On one side there is scarcity. On one side there is desperation. On one side is divisiveness. On one side there is moral bankruptcy. On one side there is hate. This is the side that showed up spewing Nazi slogans yesterday in Charlottesville yesterday. This is the side that wants to take us back to the dark days of division, where white power and white supremacy reign and black lives don’t matter.

"Reflections on Sabbatical" and Other Summer Happenings

Chrissy Bushyager Named New Director of Religious Education

         

Please welcome Chrissy in her new role!  She will begin serving as of August 1, 2017.  Read more about Chrissy and her qualifications here.!

"Reflections on Sabbatical" by Rev. Peter Friedrichs

Rev. Peter was on a sabbical from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2017 and has written his reflections of this time, which follow. He is very interested in hearing reactions/responses/feedback from the congregation by clicking here.

Introduction

Late last summer, as I was standing on the patio behind our house with the canopy of a giant oak and a smaller maple spread over me, I found myself longing for the sky. In fact, I came inside and remarked to Irene, “I need more sky.” I was feeling closed in. Limited. Unable to see very far in any direction. Something was stirring inside of me, demanding my attention, and I knew I needed to listen to what it was telling me. My sabbatical was on the horizon, and I knew that it would give me the chance to pay attention to the “still, small voice” that some people call God. And, so, the timing of this sabbatical was perfect.

 

Poem for June and Other Happenings

The spiritual theme for June is "Joy"!

  "Morning Song" by Rev. Peter

Birds do not worry the morning
nor fret the rising sun.
They wait, expectant,
until its rays caress their downy necks.
Then, stretching,
They turn to face the day
and sing!

Chrissy Bushyager Named New Director of Religious Education

Please welcome Chrissy in her new role!  She will begin serving as of August 1, 2017.

 

Major Happenings in April!

1) "Questions to Ponder" from Erica Shadowsong, the Interim Direcetor of Spiritual Exploration

IT’S APRIL!  I am excited.  I am excited for you, because this is the month when all the plans for next year’s spiritual exploration begin to take solid form!  This year, you get to imagine a new year with a dynamic new religious educator.  I have no doubt that you will find that perfect fit.  I have always felt that UUCDC has much promise.

Click here for some things to be thinking about this month as we all anticipate meeting our permanent Director of Spritual Exploration!

2) Church Spring Clean-up on April 22 was a enjoyable success in the rain. :)

Property team leader, Dave Demarest, was pleased and thankful that all items on the check list were prefessionally completed by a great bunch of helpers!

3) Gala Banquet and Share the Plate to support Chester Eastside.

Our community outreach partner Chester Eastside Inc. transforms people's lives in Chester City every day.  You can support this organization in two ways this month; by contributing through the monthy "Share the Plate" Sunday April 9th, and attending the April 29 fundraiser dinner gala.  Read about it here!  

Major Happenings in February!

1) The Annual Fund Drive is underway!  Learn all about it here!

2) Search for a new Director of Religious Education

UUCDC seeks a DRE to lead the congregation’s Religious Education program.  The DRE facilitates the delivery of programming for the spiritual enrichment of children and youth in accord with the congregation’s core values.  Click here to learn all about it!

3) Rev. Peter's poem this month is based on the spiritual theme for February, "Identity".

 
"Searching"
 
‘Searching’
Somewhere, there is a place
where the earth yawns open,
and only you may enter its mouth.
 

A Popular Event and the January Poem from Rev. Peter

Chile, Chocolate and Home Brew Challenge!

Dont miss this fun, popular community event on Feb. 11, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm!

Rev. Peter's poem this month is based on the spiritual theme for January, "Prophecy".

"Let the Future Come"
 
If twenty, thirty years ago,
you were told the truth 
of your life today,
Would you have embraced
it as a friend,
or run the other way?
 
Is the path you’re on,
the place you are
where you thought you’d be?
Or are you on a journey 
of adventure
and discovery?
 

Happy Holidays! and The December Poem from Rev. Peter

Find Peace and Love at the UUCDC December Services! (See Events Calendar below)

 

Rev. Peter's poem that follows for this month is based on the spiritual theme for December, "Presence".

 

       "Beauty Awaits its Audience"
 
It is the poet’s task to give words
to experience, and to connect the reader’s 
synapses with their soul. 
But metaphor and simile are dull chisels
in my hands tonight,
as I sit, awestruck, at the sight of
the moonrise over Madagascal Pond.
 

The Monthly Poem from Rev. Peter

Rev. Peter's poem that follows for this month is based on the spiritual theme for November, "Story".

 

                      "Catastrophes"
 
She lost her balance getting out of the tub,
her head glancing off the sink as she went down,
and lies lifeless on the bathroom floor,
her blood staining an eclipse across the 
sunburst bathmat that she loved so much.