Doubt and Confusion – 15/10/23

Musical Prelude: Schumann’s Romanze, op 28, no.2 (played by Brian Parsons)

Opening Words of Welcome:

Good morning everybody and welcome to this Sunday morning gathering of Kensington Unitarians – here in person in Notting Hill London as well as online – an especial welcome to those of you joining us today on Zoom and those of you listening to a recording of this service as a podcast or watching a video on You Tube some time in the future. It’s good to think of this congregation stretching outwards in time and space like this. I hope you are all comfortable wherever you are. If I’ve not met you before, I’m Sarah Tinker, a friend and member of this congregation that I used to minister with a few years ago. It’s good to be back, though let’s spare a thought for your current minister Jane Blackall who should have been here today, who is recovering from Covid and who has managed to do the needed tech support for this service from her sickbed – thank you Jane and get well soon.

Let’s take a moment to settle ourselves in the here and now, wherever that may be for you. Aware as we are of the tumult of the life of the world churning along, yet we can create together a time of peace and presence, making this a sacred time by our gathering, by our intention, by our yearnings for connection – with our selves, with our community and with that which we hold to be divine, of greatest worth. Let’s take a conscious breath and as we breathe out let us release anything that burdens us, let’s sense an easing of our burdens, a release of tensions, a softening of our hearts.

Chalice Lighting:

We light this chalice each week as a symbol of the Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist communities around the world with whom we are joined in a liberal religious faith. We like to consider ourselves as a religious group that tells its members to think for ourselves but we’re not alone in that message. Buddhism too has long been telling its followers to think for themselves, to consider their own life experiences and the promptings of their own hearts and minds as the basis of their spiritual lives – these words are from the Buddha.

Believe nothing because a wise one (man) said it.
Believe nothing because it is generally held.
Believe nothing because it is written.
Believe nothing because it is said to be divine.
Believe nothing because someone else believes it.
But believe only what you yourself judge to be true.

May this our chalice flame beam out the gift of free and responsible thinking to a world where people’s thoughts and identities are too often controlled by others. May our thoughts be free, responsible and loving this day and all days.

Hymn 42 (green): ‘A Dream of Widening Love’

Let’s join in singing our first hymn today – number 42 in the green hymnbook, with words also on the screen, words written by Frank Clabburn who was a minister with this congregation in the 1980s, a fine writer who died far too soon. All the words of this hymn speak to me but I particularly chose it today for the lines ‘yet here within the silence, we question what we know, that through more honest persons all humankind may grow’. That really seemed to fit today’s service theme of doubt and confusion. So feel free to sing, stand, sit or simply enjoy the music – a dream of widening love.

We rest awhile in quietness,
The world not to forget,
But rather shape the silence
And words and thoughts we’ve met
To nobler ways of living,
To hope-filled truth, above
Our narrow selves, to seek one
Great dream of widening love.

We share a world where sorrow
And poverty and greed
Live side by side with privilege
Of wealth beyond true need;
Yet though we cannot alter
All ways of humankind,
We ask a strength within us
To right the wrongs we find.

We know that strength is weakened
By narrow truths and fears,
That still we claim true knowledge,
Deny the changing years:
Yet here, within the silence,
We question what we know,
That through more honest persons
All humankind may grow.

To find Eternal Meaning
Deep in each passing hour,
To seek beyond the confines
Of our small powers, one Power.
Strength deep within our being,
Arise as hope and will:
Come, silent living Spirit,
With peace our spirits fill.

Candles of Joy and Concern:

Each week when we gather together, we share a simple ritual of candles of joy and concern, an opportunity to light a candle and share something that is in our heart with the community. So we’ve an opportunity now, for anyone who would like to do so, to light a candle and say a few words about what it represents. This time we’re going to go to the people in the building first, and take all of those in one go, and then I’ll call on the people on Zoom to come forward.

So I invite some of you here in person to come and light a candle and then if you wish to tell us briefly who or what you light your candle for. Please do get up close to the microphone as that will help everyone hear (including the people at home). You can take the microphone out of the stand if it’s not at a good height and have it microphone pointing right at your mouth. And if you can’t get to the microphone give me a wave and I’ll bring it over to you. Thank you.

(in person candles)

And if that’s everyone in the room we’ll go over to the people on Zoom next – you might like to switch to gallery view at this stage – just unmute yourselves when you are ready and speak out – and we should be able to hear you and see you up on the big screen here in the church.

(zoom candles)

And I’m going to light one more candle, as we often do, to represent all those joys and concerns that we hold in our hearts this day, but which we don’t feel able to speak out loud. (light candle)

Time of Prayer & Reflection:

Let’s join now in a time of reflection as I call on the divine spirit of life and love to be with us now and to bless all that we do and say together here today.

Let us pray for our world, with all its grievous troubles. Our hearts ache for those suffering through violence in Israel and Gaza, as well as so many other places where violence rules. May the spirit of peace and possibility whisper its healing message in the ears of all who seek vengeance. May the spirit of love and compassion touch all whose hearts are hardened or despairing. In a shared time of silence now let us pray for all who are suffering.

Let us pray too for the peacemakers, those who dedicate their lives to finding solutions to the most difficult of situations and the medics who seek to heal the wounded, sometimes in the hardest of circumstances. May they be inspired and strengthened in their work. May they be protected and supported in all they do.

At times many of us feel that we live in a far too complex world, with too many matters calling for our attention and too many irresolvable issues filling our awareness. Life is confusing and we get lost and make mistakes. In such moments of error may we be generous and forgiving both to ourselves and others. When we find ourselves in a mess may we slow down and re-consider, rather than rushing ever onwards. May we discover once again the simplicity of stillness and balance, a quiet calm centre in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of both our inner and our outer lives.

May we remember when we claim to be certain and sure that there is indeed so much for us yet to understand. When we are assailed by doubts and uncertainties, may we discover an inner strength that allows us to rest gently in our unknowing. To be human is to be at times lost and confused; may we remember that when we are about to judge other people or ourselves and resolve to be a little kinder than we might sometimes be.

Let us take time now in quietness for our own thoughts and prayers, for those we love, for the aspects of our lives that are troubling us, for all that we are carrying this day …

That all who are troubled might know the comfort of a loving presence and a helping hand. And may this be so for the greater good of all, amen, so may it be.

Stories: ‘Of things that get lost and other confusions in life’

Those of you here in person today will note that your order of service says that you’re about to hear stories of ‘Things that Get Lost and other Confusions in Life’.

I suspect I’m not the only one who has endless stories of getting lost, losing things, people etc etc. Life can be so very confusing at times. And there are some people who do seem to specialise in such confusions. I still remember a teenage friend’s mum who was a truly lovely person with a great sense of humour who was so skilled at telling amusing storied about herself and making all of us laugh. That’s just as well because she did get into some very funny situations at times. I’ll never forget the night she told us she’d just seen a hedgehog outside in the back yard and that she’d put out a saucer of milk for it. Next morning when we looked out there, we saw the old yard brush with a saucer of milk pushed up underneath it. Not a hedgehog after all

Another story she told about herself was of standing peacefully in the queue at the Post Office, getting out her purse, then inadvertently putting it away again in the handbag of the woman standing next to her in the queue. Then when the woman found someone else’s purse in her bag and raised it up to the assembled queue to say there was a purse in her bag that was not hers – my friend’s mum exclaimed ‘Oh that’s a lovely purse, and I’ve got one just like it.’ She then spent quite a while searching for her purse in her bag to show everyone the coincidence until it slowly dawned on her that it was her purse that they were all staring at.

And a story from the Sufi tradition: In one of his many stages of life Mulla Nasrudin, the holy fool of Sufism, would daily take the train to work as a long suffering commuter. One day, as usual the ticket collector made his way down the train checking everybody’s tickets. “Tickets please” he said and Nasrudin started fumbling around in his pockets for his ticket. He looked in his trouser pockets – no ticket – nor in his jacket pocket. He opened his briefcase and looked in there. No ticket. He even started to look in other people’s bags for his ticket but it was not to be found. Eventually the guard said to him, “Nasrudin, why don’t you look for your ticket in the breast pocket of your shirt – that’s where most men keep it.

“Oh no” came the somewhat anguished reply from Nasrudin. “I can’t look there. For if the ticket wasn’t there, I would have no hope.”

“I can’t look there for if it wasn’t there I would have no hope.”

That Mulla Nasrudin certainly knew a thing or two about being human didn’t he – our yearning to cling onto hope as a refuge against life’s ultimate doubts and confusions.

Hymn 36 (green): ‘Earth Born Children of a Star’

Our next hymn is number 36 in our green hymnbooks and it’s addressed to earthborn children of a star – that’s all of us. It gives a cheerier view of human existence speaking as it does of embracing cosmic wonder. Let’s stay seated as we sing and I’ll ask Brian to play it through once in case it’s not a well-known tune.

Ye earth born children of a star
Amid the depths of space,
The cosmic wonder from afar
Within your minds embrace.

Look out, with awe, upon the art
Of countless living things;
The counterpoint of part with part,
As nature’s chorus sings.

Beyond the wonder you have wrought
Within your little time;
The knowledge won, the wisdom sought,
The ornaments of rhyme;

Seek deeper still within your souls
And sense the wonder there;
The ceaseless thrust to noble goals
Of life, more free and fair.

Ye earthborn children of a star
Who seek and long and strive,
Take humble pride in what you are:
Be glad to be alive!

Reading: ‘Cherish your doubts’ by Robert T Weston and ‘Living the Questions’ by Rainer Maria Rilke

Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth.
Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.
A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.
Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.
Let no one fear the truth, that doubt may consume it; for doubt is a testing of belief.
The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing:
For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure.
Those that would silence doubt are filled with fear; their houses are built on shifting sands.
But those who fear not doubt, and know its use, are founded on rock.
They shall walk in the light of growing knowledge; the work of their hands shall endure.
Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help:
It is to be the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the attendant of truth.

Rainer Maria Rilke – Living the Questions

I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Meditation: ‘Skilful doubt – a Buddhist practice’

The Buddhist practice of skilful doubt encourages us to question everything, to accept nothing just because a person in authority tells us it or we read it in print or online, or hear it on the television. Buddhism encourages everyone to be their own seat of authority. But as you continue with Buddhist practice, skilful doubt is also applied to the self. We are encouraged to challenge all our strongly held thoughts, opinions, beliefs and to hold them up to loving yet critical scrutiny. This is the work of a lifetime of self-awareness and in today’s meditation I merely ask you, if you wish, to bring skilful doubt into your thinking and to apply it to some aspect of your own thinking or way of living. Is there some fixed way of thinking or being in life, some habitual attitude or behaviour that you could challenge perhaps. Are some old certainties ready to be shaken up? Or are you currently in dispute with someone or some thing, where taking a different perspective to your usual one could make a difference.

So let’s ready ourselves for this quiet time together. Let’s make those small adjustments in our posture that might help us feel more at ease. Be aware of our feet on the floor, our bodies resting wherever they are right now, the gentle rhythm of our breathing allowing us to rest awhile, softening our gaze or closing our eyes, perhaps straightening and adjusting our spines, imagining a gentle wave of relaxation that soothes us from the crown of our head, across our sweet faces, down our whole body, releasing any tensions down into the floor and to the earth beneath our feet. As we enter this fellowship of stillness now which will end in three minutes or so with a chime from our bell, followed by some lovely piano music played by Brian Parsons our pianist today, I invite you to bring some skilful doubt to ourselves and the living of our lives. Is there something you might challenge in your thinking or your living? What loving yet critical scrutiny could be helpful for you today in considering your thoughts, your opinions, your beliefs?

Period of Silence and Stillness (~3 minutes) – end with a bell

Musical Interlude: Grieg’s Notturno

Address: ‘Doubt and Confusion’ by Rev. Sarah Tinker

I’ve been re-reading a book that Karen Armstrong published back in 2010 called Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. This book accompanied her global project called The Charter for Compassion.

The chapter that really spoke to me is entitled How Little We Know. Her writings are too full to précis yet I think most of us here would echo her views that despite the remarkable strides forward that scientific discoveries have helped humanity to take, yet still “unknowing remains an essential part of the human condition”. Unknowing remains part of the human condition and Karen Armstrong puts forward the view that it is the healthiest of minds that admits the limits of its knowledge. From philosophers like Socrates and Plato in ancient times to Albert Schweitzer and Karl Popper and scientists such as Einstein – Karen Armstrong underlines that each of them has embraced the mystery at the centre of existence. One of Schweitzer’s guiding principles apparently was that “the world is inexplicably mysterious”. I should best mention here and now that this address has lots of quotations in it – about this theme of doubt and confusion. People here in person have a copy of some of the quotes and if those of you with us online would like to read them too then can be found at the end of this service script on the Kensington Unitarians website. Look for ‘sermons’.

‘The world is inexplicably mysterious’ says Schweitzer. No wonder then that we ordinary mortals find life quite confusing at times. And no wonder that we liberal thinkers recoil from the certainties provided at times by more mainstream religious organisations than ours, though they offer certainties we might quietly yearn for. There’s a terribly old Unitarian joke but I still like it – that asks what do you get if you cross a Unitarian with a Jehovah’s Witness – the answer being – someone who goes round knocking on other people’s doors – for no apparent reason. Or another feeble joke goes:

For the members of any religion…
To have a few doubts is normal.
To have many doubts is a crisis of faith.
To have constant doubts is a conversion to Unitarian Universalism

Ha ha very funny. Yes we Unitarians can embrace doubt in matters of faith. Now a common assumption is that doubt is the opposite of faith but I wonder if a healthy mature kind of faith might more correctly be described as strengthened by doubt. This is perhaps the skilful doubt of Buddhism that we explored in our meditation earlier on, which Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg describes thus:

“for doubt to be skilful we have to be close enough to an issue to care about it, yet open enough to let questioning come alive … which brings us closer to exploring the truth”.

This is the questioning that Karen Armstrong recommends that we engage in as part of a move to a more compassionate way of life – refusing to be limited by our own long held and cherished viewpoints – ever conscious that there is so much more to all of this than meets the eye, ever aware that by loosening our certainties we open ourselves to the transformational power that teaches us that nothing stays the same, all is in constant flux and movement – including our own identities and the identities of all those we meet. How can we then presume to know anything or anyone? For all is mystery.

Forever to be seeking certainties in life might also be an attempt to deny or avoid the reality of life’s pains and complexities. Canadian priest Henri Nouwen puts this well I think when he writes
‘When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.’ For Henri Nouwen a caring friend is one who can sit beside us in our times of pain and powerlessness, someone who doesn’t rush in desperately trying to ‘make things better’. I hope we all know people who can be there for us in such a way.

This then is the paradox – that when we are able to face doubt and confusion full on, accepting them for the inevitable part of the human condition that they are – then something in us may shift and new insights may emerge.

“The person with the clear head is the one who looks life in the face, realizes that everything is problematic and feels lost. As this is the simple truth – that to live is to feel oneself lost – the person who accepts it has already begun to find…firm ground,” writes Jose Ortega y Gasset – the early 20th century Spanish philosopher and essayist. In the face of difficulties we may rush around seeking outside sources of authority, yet strength may better be found in returning to ourselves, admitting our powerlessness and waiting to sense what then emerges in the constant flux that is life here on earth.

Although I took a first degree in literature it’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable with poetry – mainly because I was rarely sure what a poet meant. Having read a poem I would often be left wondering – what do they mean. I was expecting there to be one right answer, one correct meaning. It’s only in later life that I’ve realised that this is precisely the joy of poetry – that a multiplicity of responses can be sparked by just a few describing words, by an image or an occurrence.

Poet Robert Frost writes in the preface to his Collected Poems that “a poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom; it assumes direction with the first line laid down, and runs a course of lucky events ending in a clarification of life, not necessarily a great clarification such as sects or cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion.”

‘A momentary stay against confusion’ – what an evocative description, not just of the power of poetry but of the human condition itself. Living here in this busy and oft times chaotic world, on a planet that is floating in a corner of some unimaginably vast universe, our beloved planet earth that orbits at 66,000mph around our sun – no wonder we feel a bit confused and doubtful from time to time. And which of us has not been brought to our knees, perhaps literally, by some life occurrences: some personal loss or failure, illness or accidents, betrayal, cruelty or violence? Which of us does not feel concerned at the current state of our world with all its dreadful troubles and uncertainties. These are the times when we feel shaken to our very core. Little wonder that they leave us doubtful and confused. Yet those very feelings of doubt and confusion, when accepted and embraced, may paradoxically give us a re-assuring sense that this is how life is, that we’re in this together, for this is what it is to be human, this doubt and confusion we are experiencing is a shared experience. And when we hear those voices of certainty and assuredness – be that our own voice, or the voice of some eager politician or confident religious leader, or a beloved friend who’s doing their best to cheer us up – when we hear those voices of certainty and assuredness we can choose to be comforted by them and maybe also choose to give a wry smile at humanity’s periodic insistence that it’s in charge and it knows what’s going on.

I’ll close with Wendell Berry’s inspiring and very short poem The Real Work, which I used for the front of today’s order of service along with a sweet picture of the cartoon characters Tintin and his dog Snowy in a state of confusion. Herge’s cartoons manage to convey life’s mysteries with great humour and compassion I always think. And Wendell Berry does too, using words to make pictures in our minds. In this poem he explores the ways that doubt and confusion and impediments are the stuff of life itself.

‘It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.’
A poem by Wendell Berry. ‘The impeded stream is the one that sings.’ And may all the impediments of our lives, and the lives of our world, still have a song to be found within them, an inner song, lifting us beyond the clamour and the tempest, to a place where love prevails. Amen.

Hymn 133 (green): ‘How Can I Keep from Singing’

And so let’s sing together hymn 133 – an old Quaker song of resistance – with its message of strength to be found in adversity.

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentation:
I hear the real though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing:
It sounds an echo in my soul –
How can I keep from singing!

What though the tempest round me roar,
I know the truth, it liveth.
What though the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I’m clinging:
Since love prevails in heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing!

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knells ringing;
When friends rejoice, both far and near,
How can I keep from singing!
To prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts of love are winging:
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing!


Thanks to our readers. Thanks to Ramona for tech-hosting and Jeannene for co-hosting at home. Thanks to Brian Parsons for lovely music. Thanks to our greeters and coffee makers. For those of you who are here in-person, please do hang around for a cuppa and a chat. If you’re joining us online stay on after the service for a chat with Jeannene.

Margaret Marshall is here with us today and is offering her regular monthly free singing workshop. No skills and confidence needed as Margaret is such a great teacher – she can improve every voice. And it’s good for our breathing too. That class is from 12 to 12.45.

We have various small group activities during the week. Heart and Soul, our contemplative spiritual gathering, takes place twice a week online it’s a great way to get to know people more deeply. This week’s theme is ‘Humanity’. Email Jane for Sunday and Friday.

In-Person ‘Heart and Soul’ Contemplative Spiritual Gathering, this coming Wednesday 18th October, 7pm: Monthly in-person Heart and Soul gatherings are starting again (now upstairs in the church hall). This month’s session is titled ‘Coming Home’. The contemplative hour (or so) will be followed by refreshments and fellowship. Please let Brian know if you are planning to come along.

Nia Classes with Sonya Leite, Fridays from 12.30-1.30pm, in-person here at Essex Church: Join Sonya on Fridays for Nia Dance, holistic movement for body and soul. Cost is £10 per session.

As I said earlier your minister Jane has been poorly but she plans to be back leading your regular Sunday service next week. And her induction service is now scheduled for Saturday 27th January – so that’s a date for our diaries – everyone’s welcome – in-person and online.

Congregational Outing, Sunday 29th October after the service: To a Thai restaurant buffet in Shepherd’s Bush, cost £10, organised by Carolyn Appleby, please let Carolyn, or Jane and Jeannene, know that you would like to join this outing.

The community singing group met on Wednesday evening for the first time this week and it was good fun. Eventually it’ll have a regular fortnightly date – but it will next be on Weds 1st November.

This congregation very much has a life beyond Sunday mornings; we encourage you to keep in touch, look out for each other, and do what you can to nurture supportive connections. I think that’s everything. Just time for our closing words and closing music now.

Time now for our short closing words followed by music by Debussy.

Closing Blessing: ‘Fragments of Holiness’ by Sarah York

‘We receive fragments of holiness, glimpses of eternity, brief moments of insight. Let us gather them up for the precious gifts that they are, and, renewed by their grace, move boldly into the unknown.’ Amen, go well all of you and blessed be.

Closing Music: Debussy’s Petite Suite

Some Words About Doubt and Confusion

‘The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.’ – Ursula K. Le Guin

‘How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.’ – Barry Lopez

‘I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.’ – Robert McCloskey

‘If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.’ – Tom Peters

‘The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.’ – Molly Ivins

‘Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.’ – Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

‘I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.’ – Gilda Radner

‘Life is rather like a tin of sardines – we’re all of us looking for the key.’ – Alan Bennett

‘When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.’ – Henri Nouwen

‘The person with the clear head is the one who looks life in the face, realizes that everything is problematic and feels lost. As this is the simple truth – that to live is to feel oneself lost – the person who accepts it has already begun to find…firm ground.’ – Jose Ortega y Gasset

‘To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.’ – Martha Nussbaumn

Rev. Sarah Tinker

15th October 2023