Simon’s Says

There is much that is beautiful in our world.  There were Maxfield Parrish-like pastel skies over Long Island this morning as I crossed the Connecticut River bridge, and I drove through a near-tunnel of golden leaves coming up Route 9.  Every New England season possesses its own beauty, and we are blessed to enjoy them all as they cycle through the year.

There is also much that is broken in our world.  It is with deep grief and sorrow that we embrace and pray for our neighbors to the north in Maine in the wake of the shootings in Lewiston.  While it is difficult to imagine the pain and horror coursing through that community this week, it is important to name the feeling of brokenness among local residents and leaders.  As well, the carnage in Gaza and Israel remains at the front of our minds, and we are entitled to wonder, Is war really the only solution? 

My colleague Rev. Tara Olsen Allen and I once shared a series of sermons we called “From Broken to Beautiful” where we named the ways beauty may be either discovered, or coaxed from, the pain and tragedy and brokenness we often encounter in life.  I would say that, as people of faith, we are uniquely equipped to find and name the beauty in the dark days we experience.  This is not to say we should rush through grief or gloss over terror, but rather to lift up ways that healing and hope can find their way into and through the fissures left in the wake of violence and hate.

This Sunday, with an eye on the news and another on Hallowe’en, we are going to consider the devils and evils of our world and ways of addressing them.  Whether in person or through the ether, I hope to see you this Sunday.

(PS  My work email has been very wonky this week.  If you sent me something to which I have not replied, please resend; and if you have received multiple identical emails from me, please disregard.  I’m pretty sure I have it straightened out now.)

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United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412. (860) 526-2697


From the North: Take CT Route 9 South to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn left; we are 1 mile on the right.


From the South: Take CT Route 9 North to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn Right; we are .8 miles on the right.

Office Hours

Church Office:

Tuesday - Friday 9-1


Minister's Hours:

Wednesday  - Friday



Mailing Address:  

Post Office Box 383, Chester, CT 06412


Physical Address:  

29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412





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