Rev. Michael F. Hall
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’d rather) has sought to build a “Multigenerational Culture,” by creating an atmosphere where each generation is equally 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, the United Campus Ministry to Keene State College and was a member of the City of Keene’s Martin Luther King/Jonathan Daniels Committee (now the Human Rights Committee). Michael 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.
Rev. Michael has taken two sabbaticals while at KUUC. In 2018, he spent much of his time studying historical Universalism in the Monadnock Region. He also focused on contemplative practices and building a model for spirituality centered in the captivating, restorative powers of Nature. He went on to deepen his own contemplative practice as part of the first class of the Genesis School for Contemplative Living in Westfield, Massachusetts. Rev. Hall’s second sabbatical was centered on pilgrimages: formal and informal, healing and challenging, and how they fit into the ultimate pilgrimage—life itself.
Michael is a native of the Bay State. His first career was in “living history” at a well-known museum in Plymouth, MA, where he portrayed many of the so-called “Pilgrims,” and trained newcomers in the art and craft of historical “interpretation”. 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 two of their children.
REV. MICHAEL’S MOMENT: FEBRUARY 2024
“Awareness itself is what mindfulness is all about.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” is what I say, just as you hear in that cheerful seasonal song. But it is nearly February, and it isn’t just a “snow day” that I want, but a good old-fashioned winter.
There are many things that one may dislike about this season: the school cancellations and the driving delays, the shoveling, slippery walkways and the cold. Yet winter also brings a blanket of downy white for the body of the Earth, lending to it a sparse and frosted beauty and an added sense of clarity and quiet.
Beyond what the accelerated threat of climate change might mean for the planet, I think that we would miss the stark difference of winter compared with the other seasons. Winter lures us into its mysteries, (something summer needn’t do), and also beckons us to go inward, to deepen our awareness of ourselves, to consider our own roots and core. Still the earth is still with us, it still lives under the snow and ice; it never stops bringing forth objects of necessity, loveliness and wonder.
Take it all in; breathe into your depths, welcome the chill and see that nature still attends to life, still offers possibility. Breathe out, and see the contours of your breath, feel the joy of winter living, let go of all the preoccupations that hinder you: the cravings and fears that hinder you, and the possessions you no longer need as they spoil your view of the world.
Yours in Faith and Service,
Worship: 10:00 AM Sunday Mornings
The services will be live-streamed on YouTube at 10:00 Sunday Mornings. KUUC is a Welcoming congregation.
Keene Unitarian Universalist Church,
69 Washington Street, Keene, NH 03431