Reverend Mike’s Wayside Pulpit


Finding Hope

Dear friends,

Our Worship Theme for September is Finding Hope.  Where do we find hope?  Alexander Pope once wrote that “hope springs eternal.”  Is that so?  Then why is life such as it is?  Why is the state of the nation affecting the mental and emotional well-being of millions of people?  One thing that I have learned, since deciding to answer the call to ministry in 2005 (an act of hope, if ever I have had one), is that so many people seek out communities of caring people and spiritual homes to find some measure of home.  When our churches experienced what some have labeled the Trump Bump, we find that the new folks that found us in that time came to us with a deep desire that “hope will never be silent,” in the words of Harvey Milk.  So, this is a part of our mission.  Not only are we seeking out some sort of hope, we are finding ways to impart hope to others.


            Speaking of Worship Themes, here is what our amazing Worship Committee came up with for this coming church year. 

·         September                  Finding Hope

·         October                       Life Cycles

·         November                   Feeding Your Spirit

·         December                   Holidays with All Their Ups and Downs

·         January                        Justice and Countering Oppressions

·         February                     Art, Music, and Beauty

·         March                         Living Life as a Unitarian Universalist

·         April                            Stewardship of the Natural World

·         May                             Making Your Church Work

·         June                             Transitions and Accepting Change


            Finally, I’d like to share some personal news.  I’ve spent many years in discernment and discussion with others about the future direction(s) of my career (i.e., after I leave SFUU).  I have long wished to pursue a Ph.D. and have just been accepted into a Clinical Psychology program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.  My intention is to continue working in churches, while also having the option of opening a private clinical practice and/or teaching at the graduate level (I have done some adjunct teaching, but need a Ph.D. to become core faculty.)  All of this is to give Glenn and me some options so that we can settle in one place and not have to move if I change jobs. 

My studies will be in Depth (Jungian) Psychology, with a personal focus on the Psychology of Religion and how religious experience has helped or harmed  people in their lives.  Pacifica’s programs are designed for working professionals, so I will go down there once per month for in-person courses using vacation days for my time away), while the rest of my school work will be online and self-study.  The schedule seems to fit well with the standard ministerial schedule—how many times have you heard: ‘our minister is in the pulpit an average of three times per month…?’  I’m happy that this worked out well, scheduling-wise, and I’m pretty excited to see where this takes me in the future.  Thank you for your support.

Here’s to finding hope, in all the places we look.

May it ever be so and blessed be you all!

Rev Mike