The Reverend Michael F. Hall has been the settled minister at the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church since the summer of 2012. From the outset, Rev. Michael (or just plain Michael, if you please) has sought to build a “Multigenerational Culture,” by creating an atmosphere where each generation is engaged, included and reverenced for its unique and timeless contributions to our unified community.
Among his most treasured memories of congregational life in Keene are the beautiful, poignant community vigil in 2016 to honor the memory of the 49 lives lost in the horrible violence at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida; the joy-filled service the church put on when he was installed as its 23rd settled minister on St. Patrick’s Day 2013—what a celebration, complete a jazz combo and chocolate fountain; and the annual process he shares with lay-leaders in creating the innovative, whole-church experience known at KUUC as “Month of Sundays.”
During his time in Keene, Rev. Hall has also served as chair of the Keene Interfaith Clergy and the United Campus Ministry to Keene State College and is a member of the City of Keene’s Martin Luther King/Jonathan Daniels Committee. Michael also was honored to participate in the presentation, “Learn, Love, Act: The Morals of the Minimum Wage” at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Providence, RI in 2014.
Michael took his first sabbatical in 2018 which he spent studying historical Universalism in the Monadnock Region. His sabbatical also emphasized contemplative practices and the captivating, restorative powers of Nature. He is currently deepening his own contemplative practice as part of the first class of the Genesis School for Contemplative Living in Westfield, Massachusetts.
Michael is a native of the Bay State, and his first career was in “living history” at a well-known museum in Plymouth, MA. He also spent several years as a Case Manager on the Dual Diagnosis Unit of detox where, among other duties he developed spirituality-based group therapy sessions. He lives in Keene with his wife Jill and their three children.
Sharing Ministry: Rev. Michael’s Moment
It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Wisdom. What is it? Some might say it is the distillation of many years study, curiosity and lived experience. Others point to wisdom that comes from the mouths of children, from whom it sometimes springs forth so naturally, like spring water, without a host of grown-up qualifications: no “well of courses,” “perhapses” and “maybes.” Some search scriptures for wisdom, some seek it through travelling the world or pushing the limits of their body, mind and spirit. Not all people find wisdom in a100 years. Some gain wisdom through pain—some seem to lose it for the very same reason.
What is the way to wisdom?
Who knows? Each month the good folks from the Soul Matters Sharing Circle, of which we are a part, choose a theme and ask us all to consider: “What does it mean to be a people of______?” This month the theme is Wisdom. With all that is going on at KUUC, we might do well to ask it of Wisdom. For the people of KUUC, what does it mean to be a people of Wisdom? How would wisdom, (not just numbers or knowledge, comfort or tradition) guide us in our going forth together as a congregation, as a shared ministry?
But Soul Matters also has another approach, which is to look at the monthly theme as if it were a spiritual practice. As individuals, families or households you may wish to think about and try to live into the spiritual practice of Wisdom. Soul Matters suggest the spiritual practice of Wisdom might involve either:
- The practice of untangling yourself from what you’ve been taught OR.
- The practice of wedding cleverness with compassion
I think there may be other ways to make wisdom a spiritual practice, how about you? I would love to hear your thoughts on Wisdom. What wisdom have you learned and from whom? What wisdom have you learned from Life, (or discovered along your path)? Please send me your thoughts.
Yours in Faith and Service,