From The Shooting Star. Copyright 2010, Ellen Rowse Spero. All rights reserved.

My sermons do not come to me fully formed. I learn as I think, I write, I talk out loud, I read through sources, until I get to Sunday morning. And even then, I learn as I go—sometimes right in the middle. What I learned in preparing the sermon for this past Sunday is how essential joy is to our Unitarian Universalist tradition. It is at the heart of our Universalist heritage: the very heresy they preached in response to the Calvinist doctrine of sinners in the hand of an angry God, with only a select few chosen for salvation, by God’s grace. Instead, Universalists preached the universality and depth of God’s love for each and every human being and how the joy of that experience moved them to respond to God’s love by working with God to make the world a better place for all human beings.

At a Unitarian Universalist Ministers’ Association meeting last week, we were asked by the leader to articulate our vision of Unitarian Universalist theology: what is our good news? I realized that is grounded in joy. Joy is our good news: we are all beloved of God, it is a blessing that each of us was born, we each have an inherent worth and dignity, we each, in our own unique and imperfect way, are created in the divine image, and what an amazingly diverse and beautiful image it is.

I take great joy in being your minister, in walking with you in that "brave and reckless act" of being joyful in the universe (to quote Molly Fumia).

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824