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For Work that Is Real

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

Seeking Purpose One of the longest-lingering effects of the pandemic, I suspect, will be a deepening examination by many of their life’s purpose. One of Covid-19’s silver linings is the reminder that life is short and good health not always guaranteed. Add in the frustrations of juggling the pandemic’s new demands, and many begin to wonder if they’re living their “best life.”

In the spring of 2002, when I was serving on staff at Arlington Street Church in Boston, we were in the process of hiring a new bookkeeper. I recall being inundated with resumés. Few people had the actual accounting skills we were looking for. Many were vastly over-qualified for the position. I was struck by the large number of applicants with advanced degrees in completely unrelated fields. Their cover letters revealed the reason why they were applying anyway: in the wake of the September 11th attacks a few months earlier, they were seeking deeper meaning, and hoping that working for a church would help them find it.

I am hearing echoes from that time today in the voices of people in our congregation and beyond. I hope Sunday’s sermon on this month’s theme of Purpose will be of help to those grappling with their sense of direction—their sense of call—in these times.

A couple of reminders:

I’ll be offering two courses next month, one on Living for a Good Death and the other on Meaning Making, in which we’ll dig into UU theology to sort through answers to life’s big questions. You can find more information in First Light.

And, if you’re not in a Journey Group (our monthly small group meetings), I encourage you to join one for this year. I promise that your participation will help you to feel deeper connection to yourself, to others, and to the congregation as a whole. In this time of being together but apart, we need to do all we can to strengthen the ties among us.

Take good care.

In faith and love,
Shawn

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