Sunday, April 2
When Jesus Became the Christ
Rev. Bill Zelazny
In the early centuries of the Christian church there were multiple views about who Jesus was. The official doctrine being God and the second person of the Trinity was established settled in the mid-4th century – mostly -- but not without violence and court intrigues that could rival Game of Thrones. As we move toward Easter that celebrates the risen Christ in the Christian tradition, Bill will look at this episode in western religious history.
Sunday, April 9
Passover: Ancient Festival, Modern Meaning
Guest Speaker: Len Katzman
The Passover holiday recounts the biblical story of the liberation of the Jews from slavery in Egypt and the exodus journey to a new land. In this service we explore how modern American Jewish families celebrate the holiday, seeking to understand the deeper meaning of the story and its relevance to contemporary life.
Len Katzman is a long-time member of the Newport Havurah, a Reform Jewish congregation. Len often leads worship services of the Havurah for Sabbath and the Jewish High Holidays, and serves on its Board of Directors. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife Jhodi Redlich.
Sunday, April 16
Our Eastertide Story
Rev. Bill Zelazny
While Unitarian Universalists may not observe Easter for the same reason as do orthodox Christians, there is still a message in this day for us. Life parallels the Eastertide story with rejections, struggles and renewal. Join Bill in celebrating Easter by reflecting on the parallels. We will also do a lot of joyful singing and maybe even a few surprises during the service.
Sunday, April 23
Blessed Is the Earth - Baha'i Perspectives
Guest Speaker: Christine Muller
In recognition of Earth Day, Christine will talk about how we can tackle the urgent problem of climate change. She will point out how all religions can offer a spiritual foundation to environmental issues. She will introduce the Baha'i Faith and present some of the Baha'i teachings that are specifically helpful to address the climate crisis.
Christine Muller studied piano at the Conservatory in Basel, Switzerland, and has been a lifelong student of the Baha'i Faith and of the environment. She wrote Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change, an interfaith study course, available online at the International Environment Forum. She serves as a faculty member for the online Wilmette Institute Courses on Climate Change and Sustainable Development and as board secretary of RI Interfaith Power&Light.
Sunday, April 30
Refugees and Suspect Terrains: A Rhode Island Story
Professor Robert M. Thorson
A "suspect terrain" is a piece of the earth's crust that geologists suspect as having come from somewhere else. By definition, it's out of place. Rhode Island is a mélange of terrains welded together and then jostled around. Why does this matter?
Because a "suspect terrain" is a delicious metaphor for a "suspect" group of refugees. Every arriving group in the United States --from the first ice-age indigenous peoples to 21st century Syrians-- is from somewhere else. The same is true for every sliver and block of our crust. Without suspect terrains and boatloads of immigrants we would have no land and no country at all.
Professor Robert M. Thorson is a long-time member of Channing Church, and a much-admired guest speaker at our Sunday services. “Thor" is a geologist specializing in archeological and cultural geology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut. His latest book is "The Boatman: Henry David Thoreau’s River Years,” published by Harvard University Press.