Minister's Blog

Picture of Rev. Hannah Petrie

The Softening

December 11, 2020

I am not Christian, but I love the teachings of Jesus and Christianity. My favorite (and sometimes most dreaded) time of year is Advent, these weeks leading up to said birth of Jesus. No one really knows when the man was born, or even has proof he ever existed - these things don't really matter, however, because the example of ...

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Holidaze and Electiondaze

October 29, 2020

Last Sunday I assured the congregation that for THIS Sunday, we would not give lip service to secular matters (aka the election) but instead focus on the sacred and the spiritual in our observance of the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. Not to be confused with Halloween. Or Samhain. Indeed, we'll review the distinctions of these different holidays that ...

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It’s a Lonely Kind of Thing

October 15, 2020

That's the title of a Fred Rogers song. Fred Rogers, of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, never shied away from difficult emotions - he said, don't avoid them, embrace them. This is how we learn who we are and how we can become mature adults, and loving parents. It's in that spirit that we continue our "What Is Really Going On?" inter-generational ...

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Democracy Amok

October 1, 2020

I'm excited that I have a new podcast co-host, Ellen Snortland, who has been an award-winning Pasadena Weekly Columnist for many years. When I was guffawing about the presidential debate on Wednesday morning, she stopped me and said, "That was not a debate. That cannot be considered an actual debate. In fact," she went on to say, "this country has ...

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Why Is Democracy a Spiritual Matter for Religious Liberals?

August 27, 2020

What a week.  Another inexcusable police shooting of a black person, this time in Kenosha, WI. And major sports teams opting out of playing their games in protest.  Police tossing water bottles to armed white "militias" saying, “thanks guys, we really appreciate you,” as if they're on the same team.  Could we be steps away from civil war? When the ...

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Every Tomorrow is Juneteenth.

June 24, 2020

Check out this short, powerful YouTube video, of a young black man sharing his mother's unwritten rules . . .Until black Americans are not afraid to interact in public, lest they make a mistake that lands them abused or killed by police;Until police are trained to never shoot anyone in the back;Until police are trained to not cut off the ...

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Pride Sunday

June 11, 2020

A big shout out to Barbara Allen, Chair of the Welcoming Congregation, who has put a wonderful Pride service together for this Sunday! We will also return to Facebook Live-streaming so that more people can find us who would take comfort in our message of service, hope, community, and justice. If you have concerns about privacy, you may turn off ...

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2020 Commencement for Justice

June 4, 2020

It is the season of endings and beginnings, a time of commencement.  We congratulate the graduates in our midst who did not get to have ceremonies:  Polly Pierone graduated from college, and Mary Wood graduated from high school.  Both were influenced by growing up in our church, growing up Unitarian Universalist.  Milestones completed, they are beginning a new phase of ...

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What Brings You Joy?

May 14, 2020

That's a loaded question, isn't it? You might answer it sheepishly, like binge-watching TV (if the show is good), or relaxing with a few drinks (if you're a drinker), or using medicinal marijuana (if you have any), or sex (if available). Then there's taking early morning or sunset walks in your neighborhood, gardening, dancing in your living room, Zooming with ...

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Mother, I Forgot to Tell You…

May 7, 2020

Many years ago, I used to go to "church camp." This was an annual, week-long event put on by the Unitarian Universalist Association for young adults aged 18 - 35. It was called OPUS (nope, oddly enough, that's not another UU acronymn, just its name). I went to OPUSes all over the US and Canada. In the mornings we all ...

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What the Hell is Happening to 2020?

April 29, 2020

It's quite something to realize it's about to be May, the 5th month of the year. I vaguely remember celebrating New Years, Valentines, and St. Patrick's Day . . . then all hell broke loose. Lately in my worship services, I've done my best to have a pastoral theme, something that comforts us personally. Meanwhile, there are social justice issues ...

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Love in the Time of Corona

April 23, 2020

I thought I was so clever when I came up with that snappy saying! I was day-dreaming, trying to orient my disoriented quarantined-after-two-weeks self. I remembered the famous novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. How I read "Love in the Time of Cholera" when I was about 19 or 20, when it was hot, deep into a Michigan summer. I was ...

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