Author Archives: Rev. Karen G. Johnston

Minister’s Musings – May 2017

The month of May has much to offer this year. It begins with our beloved Affirmation Credo service, where the youth share their reflections on what it means for each of them to be a Unitarian Universalist at this time in their lives. They participate in this service after having spent over half a year reflecting on … Continued

Minister’s Musings – April 2017

What promises have you made to the world? To this place? To this people? To yourself? These four questions are from last October in one of my early sermons. On April 30, the installation marks our shared ministry. It seems like a good time to revisit promises we make and what it means to be in covenant with … Continued

Minister’s Musings – March 2017

In anticipation of our Bring a Friend Sunday on March 19, I have been practicing my UU “elevator speech.” Just what is an elevator speech? It’s what you would say if, while on an elevator going from the lobby to the sixth floor (or back again), someone asks, “What is a Unitarian Universalist?” You don’t … Continued

Resilience & Resistance

Resilience and resistance. Notions that visit during both waking and sleeping hours. Here we are, bearing witness that America has always been an evolving mélange of humanity and cultures, with aspirations of fairness and justice, always stuck in the mess of not-yet-there. This new chapter in the American story offers, for people of conscience and … Continued

Minister’s Musings – February 2017

It is nearly February and I am thinking about love. Not the Hallmark card kind and not the box of mediocre chocolates kind and not the heteronormative dinner and date kind. I have been thinking about love and sexual orientation and gender identity, about power and trust and consent and intimacy. I guess I have … Continued

Minister’s Musings – January 2017

The poet Annie Dillard says that we are here to witness our generation and our time. I keep hearing and reading the phrase, “resilience and resistance” and I think it has something to say to our generation and our time. My initial impulse – right or wrong – when it comes to resilience and resistance … Continued

Minister’s Musings – December 2016

With December upon us, I am aware of the clarion call of consumerism, wrapped in the alluring packaging of generosity and giving, disguising the corporate strategies manipulating this natural, loving impulse. I hear the promises of true happiness and lasting satisfaction that never seem to deliver the goods, leaving us feeling alone, inadequate, a freak. … Continued

Minister’s Musings – November 2016

There is a Japanese art form originating in the 15th century called kintsugi. It is the process of repairing broken ceramics by mending them with a clear lacquer resin that is mixed with gold powder (or other powdered metals). In filling these cracks, these broken aspects of the pot or the jar, the cup or … Continued

Minister’s Musings – October 2016

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, … Continued

Minister’s Musings – September 2016

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” In his famous book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki offered this wisdom that I am trying to live into. It asks me to appreciate that I am new to this thing – new to called ministry, new to TUS, … Continued