I Love Supergirl


I have confession to make.

I love Supergirl.

I watched it last year as it aired, and recently my seven-year-old daughter asked to watch it. So I’ve been watching it again, knowing what’s coming, and experiencing it through her eyes for the first time.

Like most freshman shows, it takes an episode or few to get its bearings, to figure out what it is and what kind of stories it’s going to tell. So if you passed on it last year, I’m here to tell you to try it again, as the full first season was just added to Netflix streaming in anticipation of season two beginning on The CW this month.

You may be asking yourself, “But why on earth (or on Krypton, for that matter) is this worth a mention in our congregational newsletter?”

Without going too far into spoiler territory, the narrative arc of season one is about how unregulated, thoughtless consumption of resources destroyed one planet, and asks how far one is willing to go to prevent that from happening to another. It tells a story about love of a planet not just for what it can give us, but how we can exist on it and with it. Supergirl asks us to look at how the interdependent webs of our lives are inextricable from the physical water, earth, and air around us.

Like all the best stories, the external conflicts are directly related to the internal ones. Kara Zor-El was old enough when Krypton was destroyed that she has a young girl’s memories of its culture, its ethics, and her own family members. Now that she has grown up, she is discovering the nuance required to navigate worlds full of multi-faceted, multi-layered beings, who often have as much conflict within themselves as they do with others. Loss, grief, and isolation exist alongside joy, satisfaction, and belonging. And as she’s learning about what it means to be a human, she is also passing on the lessons she learned from Krypton about working together, sharing burdens, and bonds of love that go beyond family ties.

Ultimately, for me, the show asks us about our choices. How much will we sacrifice for the greater good? How will we find ways to work together when we are afraid? When we are angry? Supergirl, like all good stories, helps us to think about our own lives and the choices we make every day to live into our covenants with each other.


We Gather


As you may be aware from recent worship services and Rev. Gail’s weekly email, the Worship Committee has been retooling the welcome we give on Sunday mornings. As a newcomer to this congregation, and a member of the committee, I have watched this process unfold over the last four months, and seen in it a representation of not only our Unitarian Universalist principles, but also the FUUN covenant we have as a congregation.

Part of my preparation to see the Ministerial Fellowship Committee is to review the sources and history of our tradition, one of which is The Cambridge Platform. In this document is the origin of our congregational polity, our rights to decide how we govern ourselves, and how we determine membership and leadership. At the core of this system is the idea of covenant, a commitment not between humans and deities, but between the members of the congregation. It’s a call to working towards right relationships with each other, even in times of conflict or disagreement.

The FUUN covenant speaks of a creating a safe and compassionate community, and recognizes both our interdependence and the beauty of our differences. Our small group ministry, the Covenant Groups, also each have their own covenant written by the members. My advisory committee works together within a mutually agreed-upon covenant. Even the seven principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association are part of a covenant between the member congregations to “affirm and promote” those principles, to work to make them a reality in the world.

But, as we all know, words on paper are sometimes hard to live up to, especially when multiple people, with a diversity of perspectives are involved. Our covenants are here to remind us to stay at the table, to give each other the benefit of the doubt, and to treat our fellow congregants, and those who visit us, with kindness and respect. The reason I’m writing this today is to tell you how I have witnessed all of these things happen over the last four months of rewriting and redesigning the Sunday morning welcome.

It has been collaborative on multiple levels — between the Worship Committee, the Membership Committee, and the FUUN staff; between members of the Worship Committee themselves, and then among the sub-committee formed to “wordsmith” one of the most important parts: talking about our covenant to both visitors and members during worship. While writing about our covenant, they embodied that covenant. Everyone contributed their opinion, everyone was heard, and everyone changed, in some way, the final paragraph that was agreed upon. It was, in a single word, beautiful.

So, whether you are new to FUUN, one of our longtime members, or one of the many in between, as we end 2015 and enter 2016 I invite you to think about covenants. Perhaps, if you like, meditate on the congregation’s covenant as a form of lectio divina:

We gather in safe and compassionate community, seeking our spiritual truths. We affirm our interdependence, celebrate our differences, and create a thoughtful and harmonious voice for liberal religion. Through the practice of the principles of our faith, we promote social, economic and environmental justice and continue our legacy of respect and acceptance. We covenant together in a spirit of love and freedom.

What does it mean to you to feel safe? To experience compassion? To have your differences celebrated? To understand your interdependence with others? How do you live out this covenant in this community? Why do you gather here?

In gratitude,
Meghann Robern


Through the Veil

This was published in the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville October 2015 newsletter, and adapted for publication on Nature’s Path, the CUUPS Patheos blog.


Blessing For Those Not Here An extra place setting at dinner. Photo by Julie Gibbons 2010(cc)
Blessing For Those Not Here
An extra place setting at dinner. Photo by Julie Gibbons 2010(cc)

October 31st, which most of you know as Halloween, is also known as Samhain. In the Wheel of the Year, it is the Wiccan New Year, the time when the Blessed Lady mourns for her dead Lord at the same time she prepares for the rebirth of his incarnation on the Winter Solstice. This juxtaposition of grief and hope is, to me, one of the most poignant fundamentals of the human condition.

Once upon a time I had some toxic, manipulative people in my life — people who tried to take away my exuberance. My ability to find joy in little things, or efforts to follow my bliss, were either repeatedly mocked or deliberately silenced. And I let it happen, until a few years ago when I simply could not take it anymore.

I have spent a lot of time since then trying to figure out exactly how I broke free. I had a support system in place, yes, but it had also been there before I escaped that awful situation. Over the years I’ve come to the understanding that it was the memory of my grandfather, Dada, that gave me the strength to persevere and make a new life for myself.

He was not broken by his months of torture as a POW in Korea. He loved his wife, and understood that even a storybook romance requires effort to maintain. His sense of honour and commitment were so profound that he was selected for service to the President of the United States as a pilot for Marine One. I know all of these things are true, and yet the things about him that have survived the years most clearly for me are his smile, as broad as the horizon, and his laughter, which came freely and loudly and proudly.

I believe it was this memory of his presence, and knowing his story through others, that saved my life all those years ago. If finding joy and laughter in as much of the world as possible was good enough for this man, who had every right to be angry and hard… then surely it is good enough for me as well.

This Samhain, as the veil between the world gets thin, like the Blessed Lady I, too, find myself at the juxtaposition of grief and joy. I cry that Prudence and Percival will never know his laughter, that he and Josh’s dad will never discuss the beauty of God manifest in nature. I wish he could have seen me realize my call to ministry. But I am also overwhelmed with joy at my life — that I refused to settle for anything less than the standards he set in love and life, and that I will no longer wear the masks others try to set upon me. I remember the dead by making them part of me, and using their wisdom to help me follow a path of living justice — not just for others, but for myself as well.

Blessed be.