Category Archives: Death

Opening to Joy: Psychedelics, Ancient Medicine & New Science (sermon)

The Unitarian Society, East Brunswick, NJ December 5, 2021 Reverend Karen G. Johnston This video contains the spoken version of this sermon. Part I If you die before you die, then you won’t die when you die. This is an … Continue reading

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Denial Isn’t Only a River in Egypt (sermon)

Let us choose to be like the lover of Skeleton Woman, perhaps afraid at first, but willing, in time, to embrace mortality, that life might be sweeter, fuller, fleshlier. Continue reading

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What Future Are We Preparing For (sermon)

Part I I have some challenging questions for us, which I pose with love for you, for us, and for this aching world. I cannot promise you hope in this sermon, but as a good modern Universalist, I can promise … Continue reading

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On Not Waiting to Be the Hummingbird (redux)

The Life and Death of Lee Hawkins First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque July 14, 2019 A quarter century ago, I asked the coordinator of my grandmother’s hospice care, how my grandmother was doing – not medically, but spiritually.  She said … Continue reading

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A Visit to Steelmantown Cemetery

I don’t remember ever needing or wanting a burial spot, though I do remember thinking about it from an early age. When one looks at my family, there are many ways to respond to the dead human body and the … Continue reading

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Befriending Death: An Excursion (sermon)

The Unitarian Society, East Brunswick, NJ Our reading can be found here. Dylan Thomas’ most famous lines are these: Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against … Continue reading

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A Prayer for Liminal Time

A liminal time, this… when the veil between life and death grows thin, when the rhythm of day drawing breath shows itself in the crackle of umber leaves, in the moon rising low in blue autumn sky. Many named: Samhain, … Continue reading

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Adieu Enlivened Stardust

The enlivened stardust called Otis these past twelve years has been returned to the earth. We knew it was coming. Thought it still yet days away, but the night just past harder than any soul should have to bear, so … Continue reading

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On Not Waiting to be the Hummingbird (sermon)

On Not Waiting to be the Hummingbird: The Life and Death of Lee Hawkins First Parish Church of Groton May 24, 2015 [For audio version, click here.] Two decades ago, I had the chance to speak with the coordinator of … Continue reading

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Tiny Resurrections: Easter Sunrise 2015 (sermon)

The loss has been real. The darkness. Its apparent permanence. Hope cruelly stolen. Two millennia ago, we could not speak in the past tense, as we do now. We wouldn’t have found the rock rolled back, not quite yet. We … Continue reading

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