Letting Go

By Rev. Michael Schuler

Many of us feel a deep-seated need to exert control over our surroundings and circumstances. And indeed, it can be painful and even frightening to admit that in certain key respects we are not in a position to call the shots. From a psychological standpoint, holding on seems to be our default position. Letting go is harder, but sometimes it is precisely the right solution.

Rev. Michael A. Schuler has served for twenty-six years as the Parish Minister of the First Unitarian Society of Madison. He is the author of various essays in Dharma World and UU World magazines and the book Making the Good Life Last: Four Keys to Sustainable Living. He is a life-long distance runner who also practices t’ai chi and yoga.

Saying Goodbye

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

As I announced last spring, I will be leaving the Fellowship next summer, just short of my twenty-fifth anniversary here. It’s no exaggeration to say that this whole year is one of leave-taking and saying goodbye. In this sermon I’ll explore what this might mean–for you and for me–and how we might do this well.

Going on a Quest

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

One of the central concepts in my spirituality is pilgrimage. I’ve preached about this before and want a last crack at it here. I’ll particularly focus on a variety of pilgrimages I undertook during my sabbatical last fall–from visiting the prison cell in Transylvania where one of the founders of Unitarianism died to the sacred abbey on the isle of Iona in Scotland to Strawberry Fields in Liverpool.

Cultivating a Culture of Risk

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

Anne Lamott writes that when we stay we are, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die. To live life fully, we need to get skilled at taking risks. I’ll explore how we might do this–as individuals and as part of a spiritual community.

Lessons from Matisse

Rev. Leah Hart-Landsberg

Impressionism is often credited with presenting “a different way of seeing.” French master Henri Matisse, known especially for his paintings and sculpture, remains one of the most highly regarded artists of this period. Some Fellowship folks met up to experience the Paine Art Center exhibit of his lesser-known prints and contribute to this service, where we will highlight some lessons we might learn from considering his life and work.

Why I’m Praying More

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

I’ve never believed less in a God who gives us what we pray for than I do now. After praying for rescue when in a pinch (let’s say a turbulent airplane ride) for most of my life, now I find that I don’t really do that anymore. Yet I am more drawn to prayer than ever. What’s going on?

From Sugar Pills to Photons

By Mark Marnocha
Relationships are the everyday mysteries, and have significant impacts upon health. Within relationships are powerful expectations, and the foundations of faith, hope, pessimism or despair. While most health-care research examines healing via drugs, such investigation comes around again and again to the gold standard for a panacea: positive expectations in the context of a healing relationship. Even as US healthcare becomes more technological, there is a call for person-centeredness. Its roots are found variously in placebos, nocebos, addictions, adherence, empathy, mindfulness, and, perhaps, quantum physics. Let’s inhabit this sacred space together!

Pet Sunday: “The Gift of Unconditional Love”

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

I walk in the door after four minutes or four months and, after momentary barking because he assumes all who enter are hostile entities, our cranky old chihuahua Louie acts like my arrival is the greatest event of all time. What a gift! Pets and humans alike are welcome to come to our annual Pet Sunday service. The service will conclude with a blessing for the pets among us.

This I Believe 2014

by Penny Robinson, Rikki Profant, Mark Boushele, Mia Ljung

Each year diverse persons from our Fellowship give us intriguing glimpses into their spiritual journeys in the “This I Believe Service.” Here they briefly describe themselves. Penny Robinson, baptized in a nondenominational military chapel in Japan, eventually sought out two different Protestant churches, then Catholicism, before joining the Fellowship last fall. She aspires to be an“active contemplative.” Rikki Profant is a 4 year WI resident, a jack of all trades, master of none. She has been UU since 2012 and is looking forward to the years to come as a part of the Fellowship. Mark Boushele became a Fellowship member in 1997. He is married to Sherry Boushele and together they have 4 children. He is also a teacher, athlete, and long-term cancer survivor who continues to question and search. Mia Ljung became a UU in 2011 when she moved from Sweden to Appleton, and calls the Fellowship her first spiritual home. She lives here with her partner Brian and their two year old daughter Alice.