The Chalice Blog

This Sunday and Rev. Peter's June Poem

The spiritual theme for June is "Blessing"

This Sunday June 17, 2018 - "Fathers and Daughters"

On this Father's Day, Rev. Peter will lead a service that offers a female perspective on fatherhood. Liss Small, Ruth Hendry and Chrissy Bushyager will each offer a personal reflection on their relationship with their father.

"Sense of Blessing"  by Peter A. Friedrichs

I know what a blessing looks like,
and I’m not talking about a picture of 
the Pope placing his cupped hands 
on a child’s head.
It looks like the midnight delivery 
of a stunned and wide-eyed Indian orphan 
to her adoptive parents at the baggage claim
carousel in Terminal E of Logan Airport; 
and a full moon rising over Mt. Katahdin 
on an autumn night so clear and cold 
it makes your teeth ache.

This Sunday & Rev. Peter's May Poem

The spiritual theme for May is "Creativity"

This Sunday May 27, 2018 at 10:00 only - "The Power of Creative Tension"

This Sunday, Rev. Peter and Worship Associate Kathy Alston will explore an unlikely source of creativity: tension and anxiety. How can we harness these emotions, which have the power to paralyze us, to our advantage? The UUCDC Choir will provide our music.

"From Hope"  by Peter A. Friedrichs

You can stand on the stage,
the most skilled illusionist, 
madly conjuring card after 
card from thin air, or
producing doves like some 
crazed, relentless peacemaker, 
astounding even the most 
jaded, jeering crowd.

This Sunday and Rev. Peter's Poem for March

This Sunday April 1, 2018 - "Resurrecting Hope"

Join us as we celebrate Easter Sunday at UUCDC! Rev. Peter, Director of Religious Education Chrissy Bushyager, and Worship Associate Kathy Alston will help us Unitarian Universalists make meaning out of this age-old story that is foundational to the Christian faith. 

Rev. Peter's Poem for March: Equipoise

It must be some kind of 
magic trick, with hidden 
wires and pulleys,
or maybe a confederate stands
behind the curtained valance.
How else could the sun, 
the moon, the earth hang 
in such perfect balance?
The earth dances through 
this empty space
like an ingénue, resisting 
the suitor sun’s embrace.
And, all the while, the moon 
is there to pull the seas 
with strength enough
to shift and mold her sister’s face.

Media Food Bank Benefit Concert, This Sunday and January's Poem

February 3 from 3:30 to 6:15 - Media Food Bank Benefit Concert - A fun afternoon family friendly event for a great cause!  See the concert poster here and feel free to send it to friends and family.

This Sunday Feb. 4 - The Dreams They Dreamed - Stewardship Sunday

This Sunday marks the kick-off of our annual Fund Drive and the launch of our new monthly theme of "Persistence." Rev. Peter and Worship Associate Nathan Rivera will reflect on the idea of "Legacy." What does it mean to stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and what responsibilities do we have to both those who came before us and those who will come after us? Music at both services will be provided by Dr. Richard Veleta.

Rev. Peter's Poem for January's theme, "Intention"

"For Chester"
I am tired of writing poems
that make us feel good about
ourselves. Poems written from
the comfort of a La-Z-Boy in
my living room, where the house 
is a cozy 70 and my bank account 
is set up to pay off my credit card
in full each month without needing
to worry the balance.

Happy Holidays and Rev. Peter's Poem

One Service on Dec. 31 at 10:00 am.

Rev. Peter's Poem for December's Theme, "Hope"

"Wish List" 

World Peace. Of course.
I mean, what kind of person
wouldn’t wish for that?
The end of hunger? Poverty?
Discrimination? I’m not sure what
should come next.
Compassion. For everyone.
Just so the list doesn’t
seem too sanctimonious,
a 1956 Gibson Les Paul
would be nice. Oh, and 
the chops to play it.
What about a week without
a disturbing revelation about
a man we admired, or any more
tweets from the White House?
I’d like Black Lives to matter, 
a tax plan that actually
helps the middle class, and
universal health care coverage.
Probably too much to ask,
but a guy can dream, can’t he?

This Sunday and Rev. Peter's Poem

Sunday Nov. 26 at UUCDC: "Service is Our Prayer"

One Service only at 10 am.

The call to serve others is at the heart of our faith. And when we have more than we need, it's easy to answer that call to serve.  But when our own lives don't feel so abundant, it may be harder to remember that serving others also helps ourselves. Kathy Alston will serve as worship associate and music will be provided by Dick Veleta.

Rev. Peter's Poem for November's Theme, "Abundance"

"Autumn Light" 

I wish I could write poems
with the soft autumn light,
with vocabulary of ochre and umber;
And words that slant through
streaked afternoon windows,
glowing, contented.

Rev. Peter's Poem, "The River" and "Reflections on Las Vegas Shootings"

The River (October's theme is "Courage")

All your life, a river has run
past your door.
You’ve chosen, finally,
to enter its flow.
The raft you’ve built is sound
and well-provisioned.
The paddle’s grip 
fits firmly in your hand.
Now, all that’s left to do 
is to push off 
from the safety of the shore.

Rev. Peter's Reflection on Las Vegas Shootings

And, so, we find ourselves reeling from yet another horrific mass shooting, this one of unbelievable proportion. The latest body count is 59 dead and more than 500 injured. Within a matter of minutes, an outdoor concert venue filled with revelers became a killing field. As one commentator put it last night, “This is the largest mass shooting in American history. Until the next one.” Words cannot describe the depth of my sadness for the families who lost their children, parents, friends in Las Vegas yesterday, and for those injured who will live with the trauma for the rest of their lives.

Rev. Peter's Poem "Welcome", our monthly theme


I welcome you…
The way the soil opens itself to rain,
and leaves absorb sunlight, 
exchanging it for breath.
As a bird spreads its wings to 
a rising current of air, sure it will be lifted,
and as the moon partners with the sun,
seeking only to reflect its brilliance.
The way a mother extends her arms to 
receive her newborn,
and the stars, pulsing with delight, 
receive us in the end.
As the glove receives the hand,
and the heart, though broken, love.
I welcome you.


Starting Sept. 17, there will be two services, one at 9:30 and one at 11:15 am. 
(Click "read more" for Rev. Peter's in depth reflections on his recent sabbatical.)

Two Reflections by Rev. Peter

1)  "Stand Against Hate" Rally for Delaware County on Aug. 13, 2017

Thank you to the organizers of this event and thank you to all of you for showing up. Because showing up is what we need to do. And we need to keep showing up, again and again and again. Fatigue and despair are not an option. So thank you for being here today. We are here today to condemn the violent display of white supremacy that occurred in Charlottesville yesterday. While we support every American’s right to peaceably assemble, just as we have assembled here this afternoon, there can be no doubt that assembling peaceably was not on the minds of the “Unite the Right” marchers in Charlottesville. You do not come to assemble peaceably armed with torches, clubs, shields, pepper spray, and semi-automatic weapons. Yesterday was a violent assembly aimed at the heart of our nation and all it stands for, and we are here today to say, in no uncertain terms, this will not stand.

There are some who want you to believe that there are “many sides” to what happened in Charlottesville yesterday. So, let me be clear: There are only two sides. On one side there is violence. On one side there is fear. On one side there is despair. On one side there is scarcity. On one side there is desperation. On one side is divisiveness. On one side there is moral bankruptcy. On one side there is hate. This is the side that showed up spewing Nazi slogans yesterday in Charlottesville yesterday. This is the side that wants to take us back to the dark days of division, where white power and white supremacy reign and black lives don’t matter.