Author: Michele Dubuc

Worship Services 

Sunday, November 4: Rev. Bill Zelazny

You Belong Here: Building a Beloved Community    

Not feeling apart of a group costs us something, whether as an individual or a cultural group. It takes a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. We all hope to someday find a home in a beloved community.  A Beloved Community is a place where everyone is welcome (though not every behavior is welcome) and a place that can be a prophetic witness against larger systemic injustices. Bill will discuss the concept of building a beloved community as part of the notion of creating sanctuary


Sunday, November 11: Professor Robert M. Thorson

Down Time –A Spiritual Practice

For equipment, “down time” is a period of inactivity, perhaps for maintenance and repair.  For society, it’s time set aside for relaxation and unwinding, perhaps a vacation without the travel.  For me, “down time” is the spiritual practice of getting down to the basics of all things, the stripping away of superficial complexity to reveal the bedrock simplicity beneath our lives.  Caring for my new grandson has given me new insights about this lifelong practice.


Sunday, November 18: Rev. Bill Zelazny

The Intersection of Faith and Land

In a few days we will be celebrating the bounties of the land. We should us this time to remember that he land and the food stuff it produces connects all of human kind. But as we celebrate on the one hand the gifts of the land that sustain us, on the other we abuse the land in many ways. However, faith can inform decisions about caring for the land and managing and consuming our food. This Sunday before Thanksgiving Bill will discuss how land and faith converge

This Sunday we will conduct our traditional bread sharing ceremony.   Members and friends of Channing are invited to bring some kind of bread that represents their ethnic heritage or in some way represents them or their family.  [We hope that some gluten free bread will also be brought so that everyone may share in the Bread Communion.]  We will cut the bread into pieces and distribute it so that we may share the ancient custom of breaking bread together to give thanks for this faith community.

The children and youth children will go directly to the Parish Hall at 10:00 for their community meal baking activity but will join us later in the service for the bread ceremony.  

Transgender Day of Remembrance Service  

Following the regular Sunday worship service on November 18, Channing Interweave will host a Transgender Day of Remembrance service in the Sanctuary.   to memorialize transgender people around the world who were killed this year.  A moving service of music and readings along with the reading of the names of the victims.  Free and open to the public. 


Sunday, November 25: John Prevedini

Meaning in the Arts

How does a piece of art convey meaning? What factors come together to create this meaning? And how do we, as observers, contribute to the meaning of the art we experience? Composer, educator, and public speaker John Dante Prevedini will explore these issues in a discussion that relates to the fields of music, painting, cuisine, and the broader arts in general.

Worship Services 

Sunday, October 7:  Rev. Bill Zelazny

The Joy of Actively Noticing

Approaching the world with mindful awareness can enable us to more accurately assess and respond to situations, release judgment and stay open to possibilities. Limiting beliefs are pierced and we can be truly aware in the moment.  It’s the essence of engagement.  Bill will talk about what noticing means and how it can make life more fun.

This is our first official All Family Sunday where the children will be in the sanctuary for the service.  We will take a few minutes and join our children in an active noticing exercise, perhaps seeing something new in our sanctuary.


Sunday, October 14: Channing Caregiving, Channing Choir & Friends, Musicians

Caregiving Worship Service

Experience How Music & Other Sounds Restore and Comfort!


Sunday, October 21: Rev. Bill Zelazny

Creating Our Own Sanctuary

A sanctuary is a place that restores us, replenishes us, nourishes us. In this renewal, we are reminded, once again, of what really is important.  Everyone needs a sanctuary and that sanctuary is holy space, because it has the power to bring us back to what really is important. Bill will take a look at the concept of sanctuary and its importance in our lives.


Sunday, October 28: Rev. Tom Schade

Our Story is Our Covenant

What binds Unitarian Universalists together is the lessons of our journey together. What have we learned together through our experiences in the tumultuous 75 years of our country. I will try to sum up the lessons of our history.

Rev. Tom Schade returns for his fifth service at Channing.  Rev. Shade retired in 2012 after serving for thirteen years as minister of First Unitarian Church of  Worcester, and lives in Providence.

Worship Services 

Sunday, September 2:  Eleanor Doumato

What Jeff Sessions and the Rev. Channing Can Teach Us About Islam

Everyone likes to prove a point by quoting Scripture, even when quoting nonsense. Our Rev. Channing will have none of it, and with a little help from Bob Kieronski he’s paying us a visit, just to make sure we [and people of other religious traditions] get it.  Also visiting us is our friend and one-time Channing member Fredric Sirasky to play his ukulele and clarinet.

Eleanor Doumato is a retired professor of Middle East History who studies the religious underpinnings of the Islamic State.


In gathering Sunday, September 9: Rev. Bill Zelazny

The Value of Religion

A Religious Landscape Study done in 2014 found that Americans, as a whole, have become somewhat less religious in recent years by traditional measures of religious.  But, many people still are involved in religion.  It is, therefore, logical to ask, why do people — why do we — come to church and participate in religion?  What is the value of religion for people and for society?  On this in-gathering Sunday, Bill will explore what religion can give us that science and other institutions cannot.

Water Ceremony: As part of our in-gathering, we will have our traditional water ceremony where we will mix together the waters brought by congregation members.  Everyone is invited to bring a small amount of water from their home spigot as a symbol of bringing our home and secular lives into our church and religious life.

Congregation “Welcome Back” Potluck Picnic in Touro Park; The annual congregation potluck picnic will be held immediately following the service in Touro Park, weather permitting, or in the Parish Hall should the weather be inclement.  Help make it a sumptuous feast by bringing your best dish to share.  Don’t forget to bring a chair or blanket! 


 Sunday, September 16: Rev. Bill Zelazny, Irene Glasser, Channing Memorial Members and Guest Musicians

The Ancient Jewish Tradition of Introspection

In the Jewish religious tradition, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the Day of Awe — is the time for personal introspection.   This Sunday, we will look at the Days of Awe, through personal stories, songs, traditional Hebrew music, prayers, and reflections.

Channing Community Fair: The Channing Church community fair, sponsored by the Program Council, will follow the 9/16 service. Stop by the committee tables to find out what the committees do and how you might incorporate your interests in with church activities and functions.


Sunday, September 23: Rev. Bill Zelazny

It’s Not What Vision Is, but What Vision Does

Sometimes people focus on the wrong thing, like having a vision for a better life or a better world, and not on what is important, having their vision be a reality.  Bill will reflect on how pursuing a vision is a way to live in harmony with one’s deeper intention.


Sunday, September 30: Rev. Jeanette Bessinger

Letting Go:  The deepest act of faith

In our very human attempts to improve or “fix” our external and internal environments, we often overlook the simplest and most powerful tool for life balance: letting go. Join us as we address the elegant art of letting go as receiving, as forgiveness, as surrender and as the shortest path to peace.