Question Box Service

Question Box Service

April 24, 2022

The following questions came in (on notecards and through an online form) during the April 24 Question Box service. Here you can read the eleven questions Rev. Claire had time to answer, and the remaining unanswered questions, many of which will appear as “conversation starters” on our Facebook page in the weeks to come. Thanks to each of you for starting great conversations! These questions help us know what is on your mind, and may even inform future sermons.


  1. If a Hollywood styles alien arrived in the Octagon, complete with a full understanding of the English language and familiarity with human behavior, how would you explain to them who Jesus was and what he/He represents (good and bad) today?
  2. Have you read the novel “Search” about the UU Search Committee?
  3. What is your favorite aphorism used around the house?
  4. Is there a question you would like to ask Follenites?
  5. What do you think the Follen community will be like in 10 years from now?
  6. When you were ordained 15 years ago, you must have had hopes and dreams and even concerns about your upcoming ministry. In the last 15 years of called ministry, what has surprised you most?
  7. Do parents keep coming to Follen after their kids go to college? What do they do?
  8. How do you balance congregational decisions with UUA directions and mandates?
  9. What are things that bring you joy? Great or small.
  10. I find it challenging to be “intentionally anti-racist” when I interact with mostly white people at church. Can you say anything to reassure or further challenge me?
  11. What do you think the key elements of a toast at your daughter’s wedding should be?


  1. What is the Unitarian Universalist concept of forgiveness?
  2. Do you think God loves everyone, even if I can’t feel the love?
  3. What things do you most enjoy about your job? What things do you least enjoy?
  4. How do you follow political and Ukraine war news without getting depressed?
  5. Could Follen consider taking on a ‘no plastics’ or a ‘no single-use plastics’ pledge?
  6. What is the role of punishment in a righteous community?
  7. If someone cheats on me should I give him a second chance to trust him?
  8. How do you think about the phrase, ‘everything happens for a reason’?
  9. How much should I give? Everything? Nothing?
  10. Where did we come from? Where are we going?
  11. The 8th Principle sounds nice but what are we actually going to do to become more diverse?
  12. What is the most important thing we learned from Covid restrictions?
  13. Who is your favorite poet for readings?
  14. Is Follen remarkable? Are better times ahead?
  15. What book influenced you most in life?
  16. How long does it take you to write a sermon?
  17. Why do some people try to acquire more power for its own sake?
  18. What is your favorite hymn at Follen?
  19. What is your favorite non-hymn song?
  20. We are anti-racist actives. Do you have thoughts about how Follen could be more active about Climate Change?
  21. Do all people go to heaven? If there is a Hell, who will go there?
  22. Will we ever have ‘widening the welcome’ again?
  23. What is the kindest act you ever witnessed or heard about at Follen?
  24. Has Follen had a same-sex wedding?
  25. Do we expect to continue to use Marshman to temporarily house successive refugees? The need is there…
  26. When may we bring back in-person ‘joys & sorrows’? The immediacy and personal connection make the service even more meaningful. I don’t mind the unpredictability.
  27. You read so many books – how do you choose? What novels have influenced your own homilies?
  28. How do you still be friends with people inexplicably like milk chocolate better than dark chocolate?
  29. How can we keep the benefits of a small church while embracing those of a larger one?