Notes from Home

Keith and John return for another summer music/sharing service. We will offer some new songs and old favorites to share. A few original songs will be offered as well. Join us for a time of music and memories. One service at 10am. John Paynter is a retired builder who repairs antique clocks, pilots a small plane and has been playing banjo and tenor ukulele and singing for many years. Keith Prairie works as a computer technician and has been a folk-musician for about 45 years. He plays guitar, hammered dulcimer, penny-whistle and sings. Both are long time members of A2U2.

The Journey of Self-Acceptance

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Gautama Buddha
I agree with Buddha, but I’ve also found self-acceptance to be elusive, especially when I think of how I don’t fit into expected norms. And I know I’m not the only one. Join me for some inspiration as I explore the journey of self-acceptance.

Erica Bartlett is long-time member of the Worship Committee and of Allen Avenue. Among other things, she enjoys writing, reading, traveling, cooking, walking, hiking, and appreciating all the wonders of the natural world.


After spending the last three years working as a homeless outreach minister in the shelters and on the streets of Portland, I have a very intimate view of what life is like for people on the margins. My sermon mourns for the tragedies that are every-present on the street, but also celebrates the small triumphs, and the great generosity and loyalty that many in this community embody.

Rev. Logan spent 14 years as a Shakespearean actor in NY City, 20 years as an acupuncturist in Portland, Maine, and was ordained as an Interfaith Minister by the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine in 2015. He has worked as a co-pastor at Grace-Street Ministry for the past 3 years.

Thoughts While Brushing Our Teeth

How should we use our brain when mindless moments grace our days? Switch it off completely, and our whole body shuts down. Work it too hard, and mindless isn’t mindless anymore. But run it at idle, then set the mode to receive, and lo, great wonders may visit – as we scrub and as we floss, and whenever else the thought gauge needle points to empty. But that’s the simple answer. Join us at this service for the details.

Tirrell and Rick Kimball are the little old guys who often sit in the center of the front row during Sunday morning services. Rick is the one with the camera. Tirrell is the one with hair the color of fresh snow. Rick is moderator of the church, a choir singer, a member of the Worship and Religious Education Committees, and an occasional RE leader. Tirrell is a choir singer, a member of the Social Action Committee, an occasional RE leader, and former Director of Religious Education, a job she held for 26 years. Tirrell and Rick both sometimes become so lost in thought while brushing their teeth that their gums get sore.

Creating “Swagger” and . . .

Creativity can be a spiritual process when everything aligns and you feel you are tapping into something beyond yourself. That was the case for Mark Chimsky as he wrote his musical about William Shakespeare called Swagger – and it happened again with his newest musical that he is in the process of creating. Join Mark as he discusses the lessons he learned from working on these original, thought-provoking works of musical theater. The service will include brand-new songs from these two shows!

Mark Evan Chimsky is an editorial consultant who has edited a number of bestsellers, including Johnny Cash’s autobiography, Cash. He is also an award-winning poet, a blogger, and the co-creator of three musicals. In addition, Mark teaches at Emerson College in Boston.

Happiness – A Celebration

Happiness can be a gift, a carefully cultivated achievement, or an unexpected byproduct of change. In the end it is personal and doesn’t bear too much analysis. So we will celebrate it and share what makes us happy, with readings, discussion and music. No experts here. Come and share.

John Howard is a member of the board and the choir and is making some adjustments that hopefully will ease him into retirement soon. A member since 2000, this church means a lot to him.