This excerpt video of Twinkle’s Anam Ċara & the Divine Echo sermon was delivered at Starr King UU Fellowship last year on October 6th, 2019 just two weeks after Twinkle’s son died tragically. The sentiment of this sermon is timeless and relevant to this moment when so many are experiencing deep grief.
“For some believe it is the hard times that make us stronger….I don’t believe that so much… I believe it is the good we are wrapped up in while facing hard times that help us carry our broken pieces: The love of our family, our friends, our community, these are what make us stronger, keep us whole when our hearts are shattered, keep us moving forward. This good is the beloved community we all seek to belong to.“
Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Manning, founder of UU Women’s Heart, member of the Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministries and UUWomen and Religion leadership team, speaks about the importance of multi-media outreach.
This video was inspired by All Souls Tulsa’s video featuring a member that lives in the UK, found here:
I LOVE THIS! Stories like this are why I use many forms of media and outreach to live into my call.
It is why we created projects like UU Talks and virtual Minerva Potlucks.
It is why so many entrepreneurial ministries are using innovative outreach and service platforms. It is why when I do consulting for groups and congregations, encouraging all to incorporate a media component, at least audio and digital-text copies of sermons and services online, but whenever possible integrate video into their ministries. (my background is television so I aim for the highest quality production possible, but seriously – – if you have an iPhone and a gmail account or Facebook account, you have all the technology you need to expand the reach of your ministry – – it may not be the highest quality, but it is a viable option) People are looking for us. Let’s help them find the kind of salvation we have to offer. Help them find a safe and fulfilling place to call their spiritual home. #UUTalks#UULife#UUWomensHeart#StandingOnTheSideOfLove#UUWR
More than a social club, Church can be one of our spiritual homes. Intentionally it can be where we find the most sacred place of belonging, where our inner light recognizes and is recognized by those in our presence. It is where our whole-broken selves, our gifts and our flaws, are accepted and rejoiced in. It can be where our Beloved Community resides and grow from. Where, with our chosen actions and activities, we can bless and be blessings to each other, and to our larger community. Not just the principle or ideal of “belonging” but the active creation and cultivation of an environment that allows genuine belonging to occur. The place where we bear witness to each other, are held tenderly in difficult times and are accompanied during celebratory occasions. It is where we not merely know of each other, but, rather, have the opportunity and responsibility to really know each other.
This applies wherever you gather in spiritual community, by whichever name you call it.
As we begin to engage in our theological conversations, may we find courage to reveal the windows we find most illuminating, and honor those most illuminating to others, as we share the light of our faith.
First because it is a wonderful opportunity for a DLRE to work with one of the most amazing ministers I know: Tony Fisher! We’ve stood side by side on social justice projects, including speaking together at Standing on the Side of Love/One Billion Rising events in Concord, MA (press references: 2013 and 2014).
Secondly I am sharing this because of the way he describes his congregation as an Oasis and one that is experiencing accelerated organic growth – something I feel each of our UU congregations can create with this kind of thoughtful approach.
Join Twinkle this coming Friday in Boston at the UUA Headquarters as she hosts this amazing inaugural UU Talks event. Peter Bowden will emcee this UU Talks event and both he and Twinkle will be available to answer questions about how local congregations can host their own UU Talks event. Click the link below to check out the wonderful speaker line-up for this first UU Talks event.