Ministry

Rev. Mike Morran grew up a city kid from Chicago, attending the Unitarian Universalist Church of Evanston. With an atheist father, a mystic mother, Catholics in the extended family, and friends who were Jewish and Greek Orthodox, comfort with religious diversity has always been a part of life. Unitarian Universalist churches were caught up in social activism in the 1960s, and Mike remembers thinking that religion is what happens when you pitch in with your friends and family to help someone out. Recycling drives, serving soup to the poor, visiting nursing homes, and cleaning up city lots with rakes and garbage bags were early and formative church experiences. Teen trouble and a strong independent streak led him to drop out of high school for a few years of itinerant manual labor. To this day Mike appreciates the saying by Mark Twain, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Facility with math and mechanical things eventually took him to engineering school and a decade of productive industry, much personal searching, and some dark and groping places of the soul. In 1990, he went back to church and some light found its way in. Church was a lifesaver, and religion again happened when friends pitched in to help him out. Called to the ministry in 1993, seminary in 94’, married in 95’, first child in 97’, ordained in 98’; a bright and busy time with abundant blessings. Settled at 1st Unitarian Church of Denver since 2002 with a second child and a strong marriage, he finds serving this thriving congregation a joy and a privilege. These days Mike is on fire with a vision for Unitarian Universalism for the next generation, Unitarian Universalism as a spiritual path, Unitarian Universalism as a transformative faith for troubled times.. This great journey of the mind, the heart, and the spirit, is an open invitation to all people of good will.

 

Core Circle - Exploring Evil

Opening Words:

"The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome.  The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valley to traverse."

- Helen Keller

 

Core Circle - Worship

Opening Words:

Core Circle - Learning from Failure

Opening Words:

We gather to affirm the potential we all share:

for building community, for undertaking constructive change,

Core Circle - Who is Your Family?

Opening Words:    

Core Circle - Work and Vocation

Opening Words:

"Formal religion always gives us hints about the depth dimension on anything in daily life, in this case the idea that work is not the secular enterprise the modern world thinks it is.”

- Thomas Moore

Core Circle - What We Love

Opening Words:

From the UU Hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, use selection 490, “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

 

Check-in/Sharing

 

Corce Circle - Living Simply

Opening Words:     “Why should we live in such a hurry and waste of life?  We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.  I wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.  I wish to learn what life has to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I have not lived.  I do not wish to life what is not life, living is so dear, nor do I wish to practice resignation, unless it is quite necessary.  I wish to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.  I wan

Core Circle - Timelines

Opening Words:

From the UU Hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, use selection 440 by Rev. Phillip Hewett

 

Check-in/Sharing

 

Core Circle - Community

Opening Words:    

"Each of us brings a separate truth here, we bring the truth of our own life, our own story.

Did You Hear the One?

The story goes... In a time of great crisis, there was a meeting of religious leaders from around the world, each one representing the point of view from his or her faith tradition. Going around the room, the Rabbi began by saying "The Torah says..." and proceeded to present the Jewish point of view. The Buddhist monk began by saying "The Buddha once said..." and presented the Buddhist point of view. Likewise the Catholic referred to church doctrine, the Protestant to the Gospel, the priestess to a pagan ritual. The Hindu started, "In the Gita, it says...," and presented the Hindu position. The Muslim began with, "In the Qur'ran, Allah tells us...," and so on around the room, each person making reference to the source of their faith. Finally they got to the Unitarian Universalist who began, "Well, it seems to me..."

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