Monday, September 1, 2008

Vesper Service Thoughts

The second of the two late summer Vesper Services conducted by the Rev. Richard Beal was held at the Norway UU church on August 31, 2008, at 7pm. The previous one, a week earlier, was at the West Paris UU church at 7pm. These were interesting services, the highlights being attendees reading quotes from little slips of paper passed around in a basket from person to person. The quotations were on any conceivable subject from a wide range of authors and all the quotes were thought-provoking. The idea was for the individual reader to give a reaction to the quotation and generate a little discussion. However, perhaps because there were so many of us, about 16 or 17, little actual discussion got generated beyond the reader's reaction. The basket circled the group twice, and I fear I was left in a state of information overload! One of my two readings was a small paragraph by Paul Tillich which alone had enough meat in it to create a full fledged discussion. The same could be said for many of the other quotations. But still, I think the idea of this exercise was an excellent one: people can carry away many different ideas and thoughts without getting bogged down too much on any one thing. So, is this information overload, or highly useful intellectual stimulation? Incidentally, there were fewer of us at the previous service in West Paris, and more discussion -- perhaps too much at times -- took place on a smaller range of topics. All in all, very interesting and I haven't even touched on the other aspects of the services, such as the feeling of community and togetherness generated.