On the Sunday between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, I want to share reflections on life, death, aging, and losing loved ones. I preached a similar sermon on this Sunday a year ago at the Longview Fellowship, after having just returned from my 50th college reunion and reflecting on aging, the loss of friends, and based on the titles of two poems I have written recently, I’m reflecting on life and death, searching for meaning, and finding myself reading obituaries a lot more, checking to see how old the people are. I’ve just submitted a proposal for a book of poetry I’ve written titled, “Stardust to Stardust-Poems for Memorial Services” to the UU Skinner House Press.
After nearly 30 years in ministry, Rev. Art Severance retired and returned to his hometown of San Antonio. He served as minister at First UU Church from 1991-2006 and has since been honored with the title of Minister Emeritus. Originally from New Hampshire, Rev. Severance has been married to his wife Cathie for 50 years and they have three married daughters and six grandchildren. Throughout his career, he has served several UU Congregations in states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Colorado, Texas, New York, and Ohio in various capacities, including interim, part-time, full-time, or Developmental minister. He has also served on the old District Board and was one of the district’s Ministerial Settlement Representatives. In addition to his ministry work, Rev. Severance is also a talented folksinger and songwriter with a CD titled “Listen to the Whirlwind” and has contributed to a book titled “After the Sabbath” by members of the UU Retired Ministers Writing Class, as well as some small books such as “Sermons, Songs & Scribblings; Searching for Truth, Love, Meaning, and Perhaps Even God,” and “Sermons & Scribblings: Book the Second.” In his free time, Rev. Severance enjoys photography, antiques, HGTV, and learning about world religions and psychology. He also enjoys reading mysteries and has a fondness for New England.