Minister’s Blog

Teddy Bear Sunday!

Scott J. Neely

December 5, 2019

This Sunday, December 8 we celebrate our second annual Teddy Bear Sunday. Bring new or gently used teddy bears and stuffed animals to donate to agencies working with children who have been removed from their homes or displaced. These will be distributed through Spartanburg City Public Safety and Safe Homes/Rape Crisis. We will bring these gifts forward together during our Sunday service.

Thank you for sharing warmth and light where there is darkness–


The Stars

Scott J. Neely

December 2, 2019

“The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.” (Blaise Pascal, Pensées)

From our earliest memory, we have looked into the night sky and felt a correspondence with our own lives. Whatever we are living, whatever we are feeling, we can find a reflection in the dome of darkness and light encircling us. We draw constellations in the shape of our heroes and ancestors, retelling their stories to guide our wandering over the surface of the earth. We gaze with wonder and dread at the brilliant immensity arcing over us, and awe fills our being. We dream of encounters with life from distant space, to reconceive how we may better live with one another here. We chart the movement of heavenly bodies, discerning in their harmony patterns for our own lives’ unfolding. We have seen in the stars both promise and emptiness, and our deep interconnectedness with all that is:

“Out of the stars in their flight,
out of the dust of eternity,
here we have come,
Stardust and sunlight,
mingling through time and space….

Time out of time before time
in the vastness of space,
earth spun to orbit the sun…
Earth warmed by sun, lit by sunlight…
Out of the stars have we come.

Mystery hidden in mystery, back through all time….
Out of the stars, kindled
by sunlight on earth, arose life.
Ponder this thing in your heart,
ponder with awe….

This is the wonder of time;
this is the marvel of space;
out of the stars swung the earth;
Life upon earth rose to love….
Out of your heart cry wonder….”

(Robert T. Weston, Singing the Living Tradition 530)

However different our understandings of the stars and their silent music may be, our stories through time repeat over and over a deep truth:

We belong here. The universe is our home.

See how beautiful—