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
We are of different opinions at different hours, but we always may be said to be, at heart, on the side of truth. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The holidays bring families together, often with hugs and singing and home cooking and rejoicing. They also hold up to the twinkling tree lights and the candles on the window sill—or the menorah—our frailties: who is missing, what divides us, the distances between broken hearts that we cannot bridge. Some of you will travel far from home to visit loved ones. Others will be hosting Christmas parties or New Year’s Eve get-togethers or just holding out for all the hoopla and bell-ringing to end.
As we head into the new year, there will be much for our KUUC community to discuss, much to decide. New issues will arise, lingering problems will be remedied, or put to bed as no longer urgent. We will welcome new people into our congregation; some will fall in love with the open- heartedness, the open-mindedness of our way of understanding and expressing our faith and become members. Some folks will come back from winter getaways, or long hiatuses that were undertaken for reasons we might never learn—and they will be welcomed, embraced, and integrated back into this incredibly durable institution, where we, as a beloved member once said, “have been arguing amicably since 1824.”
I am available to you: to minister, to serve, to lead, to be there, to pastor, or to provide someone with whom you can argue (amicably of course).
Safe Holidays and a Brilliant New Year!
With Heart and in Hope,