Blogs

Reflections of the ministers and senior staff.

Blogs

Reflections of the ministers and senior staff.
Rev. Deborah Cayer

Politicking on the Side of Love

Photo Credit: Rev. Jacqueline Brett  There is urgency in the air this fall about voting and democracy. There were folks in line at 7:00 am on the first day of early voting at ERUUF. By 8:00 am the line stretched from the Fellowship Hall, past the front of the CARE Building, around the side, and down into the back parking lot. Some voters broug
One of my favorite calendars comes as a set of four pages that are three feet long by 12” high.  At the top are pictures of the rising constellations, and it also depicts the phases of the moon and sun.  On the land and underground, it depicts seasons of bird and animal migrations, hibernations, gestations, and the time for rearing the next generation. It also shows growing and harvest seasons for various plants. Everything rises and falls in its own season, its own good time.  
More than once in recent months I’ve come across this beautiful calendar from 17th century Japan. It was created in 1685 by the court astronomer, Shibukawa Shunkai, who noted 24 distinct seasons based on natural phenomena ranging from Risshun (Beginning of spring) through Daikan (Greater cold) at the end of winter.
Thunder rumbles overhead and I’m trying to remember…is this a part of a normal early August afternoon? I hope so, because otherwise it’s way too easy to view it as an ominous foreshadowing of what’s still ahead with the pandemic, racial justice, hurricane season, climate change, the November elections, and more. This summer I’m trying hard to ackno
This week we wrapped up a 30 Day Racial Equity Challenge at ERUUF. The purpose was to create a compassionate and supportive learning space where White people could lean into our sometimes deep discomfort as we begin to recognize and dismantle racism within ourselves and our institutions. Over 100 participants and facilitators engaged in one daily l
My husband had this interesting conversation with our (at the time) six-year-old grandson. Husband: “Are you going fishing?” Grandson: “There are no fish in that lake.” My husband, puzzled, looking at the boats full of people fishing just offshore: “Why do you think there are no fish in the lake? Grandson, full of logic and self-assurance: “Well, I
I hope you were able to attend the online June 28 UUA General Assembly Sunday service, because it was deeply moving. And did anything look familiar? In addition to a great sermon and music, the Rev. Mykal Slack, who lives in Durham, was one of the preachers and Mykal recorded his parts of the service in the ERUUF sanctuary. The programing at GA is
Friends, I’ve been thinking of you and hope you are well. I hope that you are keeping your mind and heart open as the pandemic of racism has been laid bare on our screens these past couple weeks. Some among us have long known the real story about race in our country; some of us are just now waking up to it. If you are a Person of Color, I’m holding
"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness...because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace."                                   &n
“It’s a huge danger to pretend that awful things do not happen. But you need enough hope to keep going. I am trying to make hope. Flowers grow out of darkness.” (Corita Kent)   I do not know how this happened, but really, a full moon, Friday the 13th, spring forward into Daylight Saving Time, and the impact of COVID-19 all in one week? Se
Social scientists say that resilience is our ability to bounce back. While this seems quite true, I have a hunch that spiritual resilience is about an even deeper connection that can help us survive a killing season. Like a tree bent by prevailing winds, how might resilience help us stay vitality alive in body, mind, and spirit even after terrible
It finally feels like winter around here, and for this short season I welcome it. The chance to slow down and eat dinner in front of a fire, flip through a seed catalog, doodle and splash some color onto a clean page, make a call to a longtime friend for an overdue chat, all beckon with promise. Outside by day bare winter branches reach for the cle
Many have asked for a recording of the spoken word piece I delivered at Jazz for the Holidays on December 18. The service was unrecorded but the text is available below in this longer than usual blog post:   Life is veiled and hidden, even as your greater self is hidden and veiled. Yet when life speaks, all the winds become words; and whe
In the midst of uncertainty of many varieties, this fall I’ve been looking for renewal everywhere I can find it. A great source has been a new garden that Chris and I designed and helped install in our backyard in October. After heavy rain that caused our basement to flood with “compost tea” (solid compost that was originally intended for the garde
What a frantic week of preparation for a terrifying storm, and what a relief that Hurricane Florence weakened and turned away from our area. And yet, how shocking to watch reports of rising flood waters turning eastern North Carolina cities into islands and major interstates into scenic rivers. On Sunday, September 16 we raised over $3,800 for reli
We Come with a Dream created by the Soul Matters Team We come bound by the threads of a dream Of all walking together side by side, none of us above or below Less or more or forgotten. A dream that more is possible even more than we have yet imagined. A dream of kindness and connection that softens and turns us toward each other with tenderness. A
What was the most fun you’ve had recently? This past July my husband and I went to work on our backyard. For three weeks, he took a saw, pickax and finally a shovel to privet clumps. One large stump was so entwined and heavy that it took three people to carry it away. It looked awfully hard, and Chris would come into the house soaked with sweat, co
Ten years ago this week I began what I thought would be a one year interim ministry at ERUUF. Wow….life is what happens while you’re making other plans, yes? When I visited that June to sign a contract and find an apartment, the moment my feet touched the earth here on campus a strange thought resonated through my whole body as if I were a bell: “I
“It's difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”  The Diary of a Young Girl,
You might have heard that one of Rev. Barber’s latest endeavors is to pick up the civil rights agenda that has lain dormant since Dr. King’s assassination. Rev. Barber has partnered with Rev. Liz Theoharris, a long time anti-poverty advocate from New York. Together they’re leading this spring’s Poor People’s Campaign in 30 states, including North C
It’s been an amazing year at ERUUF. A generous member challenged us last December; they would match what members could raise dollar for dollar up to $250,000. Members stepped up and we more than met the match. As a result ERUUF has been able to pay off its $104,000 mortgage and put the rest into a reserve fund for scheduled maintenance (the big stu
The Black Lives Matter banner at the UU congregation in Winston-Salem has been stolen several times now. So often, in fact, that my intrepid colleague, Rev. Lisa Schwartz, bought a spare the last time she re-ordered. Which was great, because on Sunday April 22, when someone not only stole their banner for the 3rd time, but also spray painted "WHITE
Emma Gonzalez. A tiny young woman who arrested our attention with the way she held space for grief and outrage not with words, but 6½ minutes of silence, the amount of time it took a gunman to kill 17 of her classmates and friends. She could have spoken, and it would have been a significant moment.Instead, her presence, raw courage, and commitment ...
We read the headlines at our house and shake our heads. Is this the Times or the Onion, we ask each other in disbelief. The world that we've known and prepared for is battered daily; institutions take big hits and falter; protections we had come to take for granted are no more. Is this just the way the pendulum swings, part of the big shifts of cul...
The sky this new year has been the pure, clear blue that comes when arctic air rushes down from the North Pole and sweeps it clean. It appears overhead like a bright fresh page that could hold any great vision, every resolution and best intention. But once imagined up above the fray of our everyday world, how do we bring these visions and ideals do...
#MeToo. I have to admit that at first I didn't understand how tweeting about this could make a significant difference. Oh, I believed the women who were telling their stories. But while that's an awesome first step, it takes more to create lasting change. We know, because we've done this before. More than fifty years ago small groups met in living ...
How is it with your spirit? What's holding you in balance after big losses? Amid big political and climate changes? What's holding you steady in the times when life doesn't unfold as you had expected? Me? I've been walking a lot more. I've reduced my intake of the news and have limited my time on Facebook. I try to read balanced reporting from reli...
My husband, granddaughter and I went on a half day rafting trip down the Nantahala River on August 21. We were in a group of about 100 very lucky people who paddled downstream between mountains that rose up steeply on either side of the river. We rested in a cove as the color seemed to drain from the world. The air temperature dropped to 63 degrees...