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Messages on topics of interest to our community from our Lead Minister Rev. Leslie Takahashi .

Break Not The Circle of Witness

Here is a thing I know. The world can break your heart and still not break your spirit. What a week this has been as we have had to face yet another senseless loss of life at the hands of…
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Recent Posts

Break Not The Circle of Witness

Here is a thing I know. The world can break your heart and still not break your spirit. What a week this has been as we have had to face yet another senseless loss of life at the hands of…
read more

Savoring the Morning Stars

The days are getting longer. Soon it will be harder to see the morning stars which are so bright in the darkest months of the year. This winter, those stars seemed poised to answer those unanswerable questions that wake one…
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Blog post 1/26/18

Sometimes things do not seem to go as planned. And still, possibilities for healing and nurture occur…. This last week I attended an “institute” held by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers’ Association. This is a chance for us to learn and…
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Because sometimes you feel like a slug

On my morning walk, today, I saw a mother and her child stopped across the street from my street. She was holding her phone and taking a picture of Mount Diablo which was shrouded in particularly beautiful mist. The child…
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Leslie’s Logos – February 2018

How odd it is to live in this world where it seems when connecting with others is easier than ever from a technical sense, and yet just as hard—and maybe even a little harder—in others. Smartphones social media and email…
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Living in An imperfect World

Once again this week reminds us of what an imperfect world we live in. Trying times. As we keep going amid the stress of watching many things we care about being dismantled, we also need to embrace that this can…
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January 5, 2018

This week I am ensconced in my annual winter week of study leave which I spend engaged in the community at Meadville-Lombard Theological School. As always, I am inspired by the passion and dedication of the students and by the…
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Cleaning Up for 2017

There is a Japanese tradition that I really like which is that you begin the new year with things as orderly as possible. This is something I have tried to practice for the last decade or so and while I…
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Living Our Values

The least discussed of our Make It So goals is the one to live our values.  And it is my favorite goal and the one that I feel is most important for it allows us to practice the wonderful art…
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Joy is a great form of resilience.

Joy is a great form of resilience. In these days of holiday, I have been reflecting on the need for resilience and hope and the ways that we construct meaning out of what happens in our life. The good. The…
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Learning What We’d Rather Not Learn

Dear Members and Friends, My colleague, the Rev. Elizabeth Nyugen writes: “Spirit, I would really rather not learn this. Didn’t think I needed to. thought someone else could do it. Thought a leader was coming to do it. Thought the…
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A cup of tea. An act of friendship. A warm embrace from a friend.

For some of us, this presence might be harder than for others. We may have suffered a loss. We may have hard memories associated with the holidays which we have to shake off during these days. We may be separated…
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Live Our Values

One of our Make It So goals is to live our values. I often think of our congregation as a laboratory where we get to try iut new waya of being and making what we want in the larger world…
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Conversation is a Blessing

This fall I have started a series of informal and open conversations which have been called Coffee and Conversation.  We have had two and they have been very rich. At one this week, a member shared with me that people…
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Feel Like Going Faster

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.” How many of us feel as if we need to go faster and faster in response How many of us feel as if in…
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The Majesty of The Moon

On Thursday, I saw the moon set and also saw it rise. In the morning I was on my way to an early appointment when I saw it set with great majesty and presence. At the end of the day,…
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The Morning Light

A few minutes before the sun rose today, the light was lovely. Soft and yet piercing, warm and yet stark, it lit up the everyday objects of my morning walk and made them extraordinary. Mt. Diablo was cloaked in a…
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Our Growth is Always Being Shaped by Events We Cannot Foresee

I was thinking about this walking with a friend in Civic Park this week. We were noting the different paths our lives had taken and how that had worked or not worked for us. She was talking about a transition…
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I Hear You

I hear you. I hear that you feel as if you’re being treated unfairly. I hear that you feel you are being called into account for something that you did not choose as an active participant. I hear that the…
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Aiming For The Target

For the last two days, my heart has been heavy thinking about the young lives that will be affected by President Trump’s order on DACA. Young people who have known nothing but this nation as their home are the latest…
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20,000 Steps

This was posted on my Facebook page on the wee hours of last Monday morning…. Yes, I am up very late. It is because I took a nap. I took a nap because I logged more than 9 miles today…
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We Are Stronger Together

Dear Ones, Once again we find the summer coming to a close wearing the veils of grief and tragedy. This time our hearts are overwhelmed by the shocking events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. These terrorizing acts, which go beyond…
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How Does Love Conquer Fear?

In a time of struggle and strife, when the world seems out of sorts with itself, remember that fear is a tool. Fear keeps us safe and helps us to survive. Fear deserves to be named and shared and brought…
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Random Acts of Resistance By Goats

This has been a summer of being reminded to find Joy where you can. Yesterday was a long and somewhat strenuous day marked by a number of disconcerting things including a gauge going off in my car where I was…
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A Year in Refusal to Behave

This has been the year that refuses to behave. So we may have to. We may have to behave by engaging in those activities that keep us whole in this time of fracture, that make us stronger when so much…
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Leslie’s Logos

What is the hope within your control? In these days when many feel powerless to affect the many events in our world, it is worth reflecting on the hope that is within our control. Too often we spin our wheels…
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How Do We Risk New Life and Growth?

In the spring, bright green shoots poking their way through the dark loam of soil. We welcome them and sometimes miss other forms of movement and growth. In celebrating new life, we often miss the explorations and risks of existing…
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A letter to the Editor of the Washington Post (Submitted and Unlikely to be Published):

The article “Turmoil Over Diversity Strikes Unitarian Universalists,” suggests that seeking to be diverse when a majority white religious organization is a disconnect. It is and it isn’t. The difficult truths that my chosen faith is wrestling with have come…
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MDUUC Remains A Sanctuary For Our Time

Dear Ones, Last week was a difficult week for our beloved Association. Three difficult events prevailed. First, an on-going conversation about racial bias in the hiring practices of the Association sounded loudly and became an increasingly divisive conversation on social…
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A Prayer for Our Times

Here is a prayer for our times: Spirit of life and love, God of many names, Infinite mystery of the more. We are grateful for the power of our religious heritage which gives us the belief that the world can…
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Let There Be Laughter 2/24/2017

“It was not the privileged and the fortunate who took in the Jews in France. It was the marginal and damaged, which should remind us that there are real limits to what evil and misfortune can accomplish. If you take…
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We always have a choice. 1/27/2016

We always have a choice. Sometimes the world gives us what we want and sometimes it does not.  And we always have a choice. The choice that we have is HOW we respond. We can respond with indifference or engagement,…
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Prayer for the people on this day. 1/20/2017

Spirit of life and love and unity, God of many names whose living form is love, let our heart be with those who need to know that hope is still with our grasp. Be with the ones who are hurting and…
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Prayer in defense of acting when times seem hopeless. 01/14/2017

Spirit of life and love and unity, God of many names. Remind me to take the actions that I know I should take, even when it seems as if those actions may not always have the impact I might want.…
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Spirit of Life and Love — 1/10/2017

PICO National is asking that we have 20 days of prayer as we enter into this 2017. I am planning to share the amazing ones they are posting on my Facebook and Twitter account and also offer my own every…
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Learning From Yoga – 12/21/2016

When I can now, I take time for yoga practice.  I took my first yoga class last summer and this sacred movement meditation has been strong line from that time of rest to the more frenetic days of this fall…
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A Prayer – 12/13/2016

And here is a prayer for this time: Spirit of life, be with us in this time as we wrestle with what it is to be a human being in this moment in our particular history. Be with us as…
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Countering Hate – 12/06/16

This week on National Public Radio, I heard a commentary about how the media can deal with a national leader who is fomenting hate. Journalists are debating whether episodic Tweets about hate are news—or just distractions. The commentators was making…
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This About Advent

The Unitarian Universalist Association says this about Advent.  “Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus. The name derives from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming.” Marked over the course of the four…
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In the Spirit of Love and Unity

Each year I have chosen an intentional signature to my email.  In a medium in which one can move too fast, it is a way for me to remind myself to think before I send.  In past years, I have…
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Recommit for love. Resist despair.

I say gently to all who are in shock this morning that I am not. I am in mourning. That ignorance and fear could have such power is something that many of us already know. That the world will touch…
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Leslie’s Logos 11/1/2016

A visitor to our congregation asked me recently if we were talking about the election because we were trying to have a veiled endorsement of a candidate. My answer was that we are concerned with something larger. We are, as…
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28 More Days to Resist Despair

A great many people are feeling a great deal of despair in our Nation right now. There is the unspoken despair of those who aren’t really sure that the economy that emerged after the skid down of 2008 had any…
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CO-GITATIONS October, 2016

Born and raised on the east coast, I always feel a little twinge at this time of year when I feel in my bones that the leaves should be turning. I am always grateful when a few mislocated maples oblige and apples appear in the stores and…
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Leslie’s Logos — September 2016

This past summer, I ruminated on our beloved Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church. I reflected on what makes us, when we are at our best, such a loving community. Unitarian Universalism requires no creed, and yet we gather to celebrate a living tradition which has…
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Leslie’s Logos — August, 2016

This summer I am taking time for rest and rejuvenation. I am especially grateful to the Board and the congregation which allowed Ranwa Hammamy to serve as our summer minister. I am also taking time to read and listen and to delve into new experiences and…
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