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: September 2021
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. ~ Alexander Graham Bell
Let’s make a deal:
To remember all that we have been able to accomplish together since March 2020 in spite of formidable challenges: a frightening contagion spreading through a divided country, bringing with it confusion, business closings, dealing with changing protocols and quack alternatives.
To remember that we didn’t survive it by folding our tents, but by keeping our heads and moving to meet the reality before us as it was, and as best as we could.
Let us remember too that rather than taking a timid posture, we kept our heads up, our minds open. We looked for opportunities while making smart decisions, we kept trying, scheming out new and different ways to be in community, to make quality worship happen each week, to smile through all those interminable Zoom meetings.
Let us remember how good it felt to be together however that togetherness was accomplished, especially when we got our first taste of the dual platform worship and several of us were actually able to attend worship in the Sanctuary.
Let us remember to take nothing for granted.
Remember how hard it was when we got sad or became frustrated and pulled away from this community.
After what we have learned, I know we are better suited to anything that the future brings, especially if:
- We keep our heads up, looking for new opportunities, making bold decisions.
- We keep creating new and exceptional worship and other programming for all ages. • We each put in all the time, treasure and talent that we possibly can into KUUC.
- That we do not shrink from spreading the message of our faith, that we don’t pooh-pooh its potential to heal a broken spirit, a hostile world or desecrated earth.
- That we never forget that this church, (like any other), is only ours in trust and by choice.
It is our responsibility to recognize that we are part of the continued life of this church and congregation. It is always evolving; it never is completed.
Our work is not simply to preserve what we have but see that it is ever green, always growing through inspired people embodying an inspiring mission.
Yours in Faith, Hope and Loving Service