The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church exists as a beacon of liberal religious thought and practice. Amid the challenges and changes of a chaotic world, we aspire to proclaim and embody the possibilities of meaning in human life, of freedom in human thought, and of peace and justice in human community.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sunday Service: How Do We Help Each Other? May 24th, 2015

How Do We Help One Another
By Reverend Tom Capo
Delivered on 5/24/2015

      A lot of things drew me to DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church last year: your hunger for social justice/social action causes, your hands-on involvement with PADS and Bridges, helping homeless individuals and families, your eagerness to embrace the use of technology on Sunday mornings.  Another quality that made this church stand out for me was the way you take care of each other, and in particular, the Pastoral Ministry Associates, or PMA, Committee.  Revitalized in 2012, the PMA have been able and effective partners in ministry.  They call people, write cards, monitor our Joys and Concerns Facebook page, and generally reach out to the people here in this community who are in crisis, in need, in pain.  This past year our PMA Committee created an on-call schedule to keep track of and follow up with the many members and friends in need.  And one of the things I love about this congregation is that many of you have formally or informally reached out to people in need in this congregation to give them help and/or support.  This winter and spring in particular, have seen an uptick in the number of members and friends who have needed some support, and I have been so gratified and impressed by the consistently nurturing and caring responses this community offers.  DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church is truly a community of love and truly understands how important expressing that love for one another is.  

      And yet, this community, we, are not like one of Shakespeare’s fictional characters.  Our bounty is not “boundless as the sea.”  And so many times, though we love truly and deeply, we don’t find that “the more [love we] give… the more [we] have” to give.  While there is truth in how our hearts can grow as we share our love with one another and with people in need, unlike a fictional character, our love is not infinite.  We are human, and like it or not, we have limits.  

Many of us have been working long and hard this year helping members and friends who are in need, and I’ve wondered about whether some of us might experience some compassion fatigue.

“You cannot say, I need you
So you say, I like your shoes
I cannot say, I see your gods have failed you
So I say, your eyes look so sad
You fold your arms, the sentences for my crimes is life
I lean in, let’s look at those chains
You look past me, eyes wide, I am alone
And the night is coming for me
My heart pounds
Knowing what waits there
Your breath stops to keep
The next door locked and shut
But my left foot
Is already in it
Outside the trees
Are restless with light
In the settling quiet
Each filament of dust
Streaming in from earth or star
Delivers us, mote by mote
From the hour of undoing
Into the hour of mercy
On what wings
We cannot say”

This poem was written by psychotherapist, mystic, and poet Frances Hatfield. 

      I want to be clear that we will always have people in need in the congregation and we should be willing as a community to step up and be there to help them.  This sermon is not about telling people who are in pain, who are suffering, to “suck it up.”  This sermon is about how we care for others and care for ourselves.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sunday Service: Where is the Love in the Political Parties? Sunday May 10th 2015

Where is the Love in the Political Parties?
By Reverend Tom Capo
Preached on 5/10/2015

In Washington and in most state capitols, finger pointing, blaming, yelling, discrediting, and finding fault in the “other” political party is how our government is working, or rather not working.  Calling Republicans Nazis and Democrats Communists is not uncommon for political pundits on the left and on the right.  Gerrymandering districts and huge amounts of money, with the accompanying political influence, are the way politicians stay in power.  
Here is Political Scientist, Paul Enrique C. Casas’ view of today’s political conundrum.   Liberals feel change is good.  And those on the extreme left want lots of change/change everything. Conservatives want to change slowly and have very little change.  And on the extreme right, they want no change or even want some of the changes that has happened reversed.    Both Democrats and Republicans who are moderate in their political views want to change some things and leave others alone.  At least right now few of those moderates are getting elected or even want to be involved in politics because they believe that the radicals and reactionaries in the two political parties have taken over and are unwilling to compromise.   
With the extreme left and right controlling the political parties, it is not surprising that the party who is in the majority acts like the crocodile man who owns fire and refuses to share it.  Is it any wonder there is so little love between our politicians and political parties?  Where is the rainbow bird to whisk away the fire, to show them how to share that power?