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
Sing of joy while hammering each nail. Sing of hope while pulling every weed, So shall we sing together and prevail; May every Alleluia bear a seed. ~ Elizabeth Alexander, last verse, Hymn #1060 As We Sing of Hope and Joy
Here we are once again! The summer is long gone, the fall fleeting and readying to give itself, and all of us in the Northern Hemisphere, over to winter. I wish to every one of you the joy of this season, and hope that whichever of the many celebrations of gratitude, giving and light that you hold most dear, fills you with happiness, awe, song, and hope. I pray that you all have ample time to rest, think, pray and play, to consider the depth of meaning in your lives, to hear just how much you mean to you have helped and those you love. I hope that you will find time to be with your community here at KUUC, or return to a loving welcome if it has been awhile.
This is also a difficult time for many of us who feel alone, who are sad for losses recent or from long ago. It can be a hard time to those who haven’t great means or struggle with illnesses that make for “Blue” Christmases; or just feel tired, fearful or disappointed with their lives. Perhaps it is good to remember that those trials come unbidden, and that depression is not exclusive to this season, though for some this hardest time of year.
I often talk about Love as “all-conquering,” as somehow connecting us, each to all. I think of it as the truest path to a higher sense of purpose, as what drives us, body, mind and spirit. Love humbles us, inspires us and holds up for every person (and every living thing) a greater purpose, exposing our strengths and allowing for our limitations. But I should qualify: Love is all of those things AND it is absolutely ours to use: to share, to gift to others and to grow into. Love is at the root of creation, it emboldens us to help others, protect the planet and bring light where it is most needed.
With Heart and in Hope,