Thirty-four Questions

Today was the Second Annual Question Box Sunday -- a service on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's where all present are invited to write a question on an index card. Ushers collected the cards during one of the hymns. I shuffled the stack without looking at any of them. My first time seeing each question was when I read it aloud just before responding. I gave some kind of response to all thirty-four.
  1. I think there is not a 'typical' UU congregation, but is there a trait that most 'typifies' CUUC?
  2. I am entering a time of deep uncertainty and transition. What would you suggest I do to cope with the complexities of this time?
  3. Why?
  4. Where is the one right angle in the building?
  5. Why does the roof drip on only one side?
  6. How can I be certain of my perception of the world when all my sources of awareness are "fake"?
  7. Is it ever too late to reach a point of compassion? (Can one be too deeply damaged to get there?)
  8. Do you spell shmuck with S-H or S-C-H??
  9. What do we do when fear becomes bothersome? (Please talk about fear)
  10. How would you explain that happiness is a choice to those that think they have no power over the direction of their lives?
  11. What was your personal favorite or notable sermon you wrote this past year? Why?
  12. How can we build community beyond this community?
  13. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in your life, and how did you do it?
  14. How can we keep up hope when our country is filled with so much trouble?
  15. What would you most like to see from members of the congregation: more of, less of, any of? or none of!
  16. (1) Corporations and government use algorithms to extend their influence. Should UU do the same? (2) Conservative religions focus on family mitzvahs and rigorous practices like bar mitzvah. Should UU develop more fixed customs?
  17. Can you please explain our 1st Source: "Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life"?
  18. Why dost thou persicutist me?
  19. How can we spread love and compassion in our world.
  20. If you've read the book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Q: If 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything, what is the question we should ask about life? ELSE: Q: What has been the best advice you've been given and how has it helped you?
  21. How do you, Reverend Garmon, deal with negativity and fear?
  22. How do we handle life transitions and maintain balance (eg not losing focus on important others)?
  23. How did humans evolve from primates?
  24. So many issues and problems you can always do more. How do you know how much is enough. And how do you know what is most important?
  25. What advice do you have for a person who has occasional moments of loss of meaning and purpose despite a full life?
  26. God's grace? Something I have never understood.
  27. So why do so many bad things happen to "good" people and so many good things happen to those who "deserve" it the least?
  28. Is the "bid & bump board" that is a part of our fall fund raiser, a profound illustration of our economic inequity? Should it be continued? Should it be changed somehow?
  29. How can I best share with my loved ones, friends and colleagues the wisdom I have gained here if they will not consider engaging with our congregation or our denomination?
  30. What in our UU tradition grounds our commitment to economic justice?
  31. How does one forgive someone who deliberately and maliciously harmed you?
  32. Where did you get that cool bowl that you what with the little stick to begin Sunday service? It sounds great!
  33. Could you please expand a little on "It matters how you live"?
  34. What was your perception of "Westchester" before AND after you joined us??

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