Sunday Sermon, September 2: Embracing Uncertainty: Exploring the Power of Agnosticism

Throughout August and September, Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists will be welcoming guest speakers and religious leaders from a diversity of faiths, to give members and guests an opportunity to better understand our religious and spiritual neighbors.

On Sunday, September 2nd, at 11 AM, local author and photographer, Theresa Willingham, a long time Spirit of Life UU member and current congregational president, will share her thoughts on the agnostic value of embracing uncertainty and how, in the spirit of a Unitarian Universalist hymn, “even to question truly is an answer.”

“We have a very human tendency to seek patterns and lend them a narrative, from which we then try to draw conclusions,” observes Willingham, in an article on the topic at her website at “But sometimes – often – the patterns we see and the narratives we derive from them are just are own imperfect efforts to create order out of the natural chaos of life and living. Most of the time, our narratives are workable, creating a functional and comforting linearity along which we can move forward in our lives. Sometimes, however, our narratives paint us into a corner, or lead us down blind alleys. Sometimes, there simply aren’t any answers to the problems we encounter. Sometimes, especially if we’re honest with ourselves, our narrative boils down to an essential and enduring unknown.”

Willingham is an experienced writer with over 25 years’ experience in journalism, including extensive coverage of education, health and family issues, the author of two books on allergies, and an avid outdoor photographer and as well as founder and current president of the non-profit education resource organization, Learning is for Everyone ( which annually produces TEDxYouth@TampaBay and the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire, among other programs.

Adult Discussion and youth programs begin at 10 am. In Adult Discussion, we’ll consider Neil Armstrong and American Heroism.  Neil Armstrong was “ happy to become a professor of engineering in his native Ohio in later life, and in no way vainglorious. That was an admirable side of the American character of which we have lost sight as the bogus cult of celebrity has taken hold. It is, of course, the antithesis of the ancient world’s vision of a hero.”

All are welcome to join to services and religious education programs and for coffee and conversation after the service.

Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists is covenantal faith community in Odessa that welcomes seekers from all spiritual, theological and philosophical backgrounds who wish to join in a free, rational and responsible search for truth and meaning in their lives. Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists is located at 18412 Burrell Road, just off Tarpon Springs Road, east of Boy Scout Road) in Odessa. Call (813) 792-1622  for more information.