Sinners & Saints: Week 1

Last Sunday we launched our series Sinners and Saints, and for the next 4 weeks we’ll be talking about the bigger questions that come up after things get personal – when we start dealing with the challenges of getting real with real human beings.

In my sermon, I talked about Esther Perel’s book The State of Affairs and how it breaks open the conversation on broken trust. There’s one moment Perel talks about that I keep thinking about – the moment when everything changes. The moment we discover that someone we love has broken our trust.

Like, the moment I described on Sunday when I overheard my friend talking about me…..or, the moment we discover alcohol in our sober parent’s cup, or that our child has been skipping school, or, the text on our partner’s phone that is too intimate. The moment when the hero we held up as a model for our lives does something – despicable.  

In these sorts of moments, not only do we lose trust in a person we love, but we lose trust in ourselves. We feel foolish, like we should’ve seen it. 

But what Perel reminds us is that actually – we couldn’t have seen it.  Our brains won’t let us. It’s a “sophisticated self-protective mechanism known as trauma denial – a type of self-delusion that we employ when too much is at stake and we have too much to lose.”

I find this so helpful.  It reminds us that there’s no way to see what we cannot see.  We can’t be more alert to it, or somehow “sufficiently” suspicious.  We can only see what we can see – knowing that there’s a lot we can’t see.  And it’s not defective that we can’t see everything – it’s protective.  
To live and to love is to risk trust being broken – it’s a part of the deal.  And yet choosing to trust, to lean in, to believe that even if/when trust is broken, it need not be the end of the story – it’s worth it.  It’s what makes life LIFE.  

I hope you’ll join us this Sunday when REV(!) Kristen keeps the conversation going this Sunday with a service on blame and responsibility.  

The Tao says, “if you don’t trust the people, they become untrustworthy.” Usually from this, we lean into the corollary – when you trust people they become trustworthy. But adrienne maree brown invites instead, is the realization that when we trust the people WE become trustworthy. This week, lean into this awareness – and the power that comes when choosing to trust.
In partnership,
Rev. Gretchen 
Senior Minister
Foothills Unitarian Church
Unleashing Courageous Love 
P.S. Since some of you have asked….I can’t remember if I won that 7th Grade election! Isn’t that funnyI remember the fight, but I can’t at all remember the result of the thing we were technically fighting about….hmmmm…

Notes from Sinners & Saints: Week 1 – Trust Me 

Text / Readings 


  1. Lovingkindness Meditation. Here’s the lovingkindness meditation we offered in our third service.  If you’re looking for a meditative community of practice, join us on Monday nights.  
  2. Soul Collage. If you’re new to this practice, we’re offering a Soul Collage Workshop on October 12th – sign up here.  


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