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 Moment: February 2021
I’ve HAD It! I want my Senior Lunch Bunch and my receiving line right by that door where I left in last March. So make it happen, RIGHT NOW!!!
~Rev. Michael F. Hall, From My “Reminiscences of the Past Year”
OK. I have to say that I have had enough of equanimity; I am tired of being calm. I want a refund of this whole year-ish—how long has it been?
I really don’t know what set me off, maybe it was the perfectly sound idea that our Soul Matters theme for the month should be “Commitment.” Commitment, what else would you call what we have been doing these past 12 months? When we get on our screen just to catch a glimpse of each other—that’s Commitment. When we call each other up or help someone learn how to view the service on Zoom, what do you call that. Could it be commitment?
When people continue to send in their pledge checks in and gather up their committee (virtually of course) —that’s commitment. When they pull their masks up above the nose, and down over their mouth, because they have to set the temperature gauges in the church, what’s that? It is commitment, not just to church but to life! Just as it is when our folks go in to the church to produce worship or clean the bathrooms, when they haven’t even been able to see their own grandkids in person. I only know what I see with my eyes, but I think you are all set on commitment.
Nonetheless, I can talk to you about Commitment all month if you want. But, just in case, I want you to hear some of my alternative “themes.” How do you like “Bleary?” No? Alright, alright. “Boredom?” How about “Weepy?” There is always “Slap-Happy.” Alright, one more, you’ll love it: this month’s theme is “Shagginess.”
Yours in Faith, Good Humor and All-Encompassing Love,