The qualities of Advent are faith, hope, love and joy, the indispensable elements of a meaningful existence. Hope may be the least understood of the four. Hope rises and falls any number of times during the course of a single day. The Oxford English Dictionary has 60 different examples of hope, but all with a common feature: hope is a perception of a condition in which a desired goal will be achieved. Emily Dickinson wrote: Hope is a thing with feathers – that perches in the soul – and sings the tune without the words – and never stops – at all.
Phil Sweet is a long-time friend of UUFDC, and a marvelous and insightful storyteller. He served as minister of Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay and two rural churches in western Minnesota.