About 4 or 5 years ago I had 3 unplanned casual conversations with 3 different people on 3 different occasions, about a missing piece in my spiritual life. They each suggested to me that I might want to, ”check out the UU church in Franklin.” I’ve learned over time that when something is presented to me in 3’s, I need to pay attention. So I eventually made my way here one Sunday to see what it was that nudging voice, inside and out, was trying to tell me.
I’m not someone who jumps in with both feet…I kind of dip my toes in the water and take it slow. So I came and went, came and went, and came and went. But there was something about the sermons, and the service, and the music, that made me sit up and listen and want to come back and listen some more.
But while waiting to hear about the fire and brimstone, the guilt and damnation, the judgment, the ”thou shalt nots”, I heard instead about a love that comes from respect and acceptance… I heard about the connection of every living being and creature, be it animal, vegetable, or mineral, making this quote from John Muir become ever more real for me :
“When we try to pick out anything by itself,
we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe” ….
And I heard about traveling through that universe in “a blue boat” (one of my favorites hymns).
Slowly over the next few years, I found myself baking cakes for coffee house, attending concerts on town commons where people from FUSF were playing in rock bands, helping at the community supper in Milford, raking leaves in the fall, shoveling snow in the winter, doing spring cleanup, walking the labyrinth on New Year’s Eve, manning the 4th of July booth on the Franklin Common, driving members to appointments, cooking and delivering supper for the Meal Train, being a greeter, washing dishes, cleaning the church when everyone had take a turn each week, setting up for things, taking down and cleaning up after things, going to Trivia, attending the Passover Supper and the Thanksgiving pot luck, golfing in the UU tournament, walking in the Pride Parade, feasting at Bella Noche, attending Carol’s seminars, the Pathways to Peace Sangha, and Elder Support Group. And retreating at Ferry Beach.
I mention this partial list of opportunities we all have to be involved to highlight to you where I saw spirituality and sacredness…. each and every time in every person either participating or facilitating….commitment, dedication, and responsibility…..love and care expressed through action, shown to all involved and to this building and its grounds.
And whether or not you’ve ever lit a candle for joy or sorrow, you may have sensed the spirituality and sacredness I believe comes from that sharing and from the support that follows from this community by word, by touch, by cards or e-mails.
The missing piece in my spiritual life was found in a place like this - where what is spoken about, and sung about, and preached about in a Sunday service, is actually lived out on all the other days of the week. Where over these last few years I’ve seen the tragedies and far-reaching heartaches of several of us, become the reason for a deeper connection between all of us.
I’d like to thank my 3 messengers: Karen Grant, Susan Dubinsky, and Pam McIntyre. And also Carol, for coaxing and encouraging me along the way. I mentioned that the sermons were initially what kept me coming back when I first attended. They touched me, resonated with me, gave me pause. I know I will be going through a bit of a withdrawal as Carol’s sermons become a whisper… but the seeds that she planted with those sermons since long before me, have taken root in this congregation and will continue to feed what makes FUSF a place that maybe you can say to someone else someday, “You should check out the UU Church in Franklin.”
Blessed Be. Sandy Fellows