January 31st Monday Musings with Rev. Amanda Schuber


I’ve begun to think I should rename this email from “Monday Musings” to “Midnight Musings”, as I continue to find myself writing late in the evening, long after my household has finally wound down for the night. It’s in these moments of quiet that my mind finally has a chance to focus and settle into deep thought. Since becoming a parent I’ve learned to cherish this quiet time.

This evening, I found myself staring up into the vast expanse of the night sky, filled with billions of stars. As a child, I used to wonder, “Who else is staring up at the same sky right now? How different or alike is their life from mine? Are they wondering about me too?” As an adult, I find I have the same questions running through my mind as I marvel at twinkling sky.

I’ve long thought that it is a shame that Unitarian Universalists seem unwilling or unprepared to step into the world with proud proclamations of our faith tradition. In our effort to be unassuming, I fear we miss the opportunity to extend a true and joyous welcome to those outside our circles. As we enter the month of February, our theme is “Widening the Circle”. This theme is based on the published report from a commission, tasked with looking at the ways in which our denomination has yet to extend a true welcome to marginalized communities.

The report calls on us to live our values, and going beyond just a welcome to full and valued inclusion within the life of our congregations. There are wonderful suggestions, and some very hard truths laid out in the report that are well worth the time to read. As UU’s we sometimes think that we have done the work by attending the occasional training, participating in the annual book reading group, and listening to the Sunday message. Perhaps we give money to our favorite charity, or attend the rallies when we are asked as well. I wonder though, if we are willing to hear the painful truth of less than perfect selves? Will we center the voices of the marginalized within and outside of our circle of community? Can we hear how we have fallen short, and commit to begin again in love.

As I stare at the stars filling the night sky, I know that there are others out there doing the very same. I’m curious about them, as I hope they are curious about me. While I sit in the still of the night, I’m reminded that my values call on me to seek out the stranger, to widen the circle of my community, to invite them in, set the table to include them and be present with them in their grief and their anger.

I must say, I very much prefer the quiet of the evening, where so many questions come to the surface and so many prayers are released to the heavens. May your week be filled with moments of quiet contemplation, and together may we continue to ask how we can widen the circle.


Rev. Amanda Schuber