Karen G. Johnston

A smiling Rev. Karen Johnston

Rev. Karen G. Johnston (she/her/hers) is the Senior Minister at First Unitarian Universalist Society Burlington in Vermont. Before becoming a minister, she spent 20+ years as a clinical social worker. Buddhist meditation, her befriending death practice, and the Work That Reconnects all sustain her spiritually.

Karen is the founder of Date with Death Club, a secular, justice-affirming, and enlivening curriculum to explore mortality in community, which she sometimes leads and actively encourages others to bring to their communities.

From Karen G. Johnston

Displaying 1 - 10 of 30

Harm of one is harm of all.

Reflection | By Karen G. Johnston | May 1, 2024 | From Braver/Wiser
Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Character, Compassion, Connections, Direct Experience, Empathy, Ethics, Humanism, Interdependence, Poverty, Privilege, Responsibility, Secular, Suffering, Worship

In our lived lives, family comes in different shapes and sizes and constellations.It is in this variety—this diversity—that our lives are made fuller and our individual selves made more whole. It is in this variety, it is in this diversity, that we look back to the ancestors, recognizing no...

Reading | By Karen G. Johnston | August 17, 2023 | From WorshipWeb
Tagged as: Family, Generations, Integrity, Love, Memorial Services, Truth, WorshipWeb, Worship

Today we celebrate the new name that reflects a truth long-hidden, now revealed.

Ritual | By Karen G. Johnston | March 9, 2023 | From WorshipWeb
Tagged as: Acceptance, Caring, Identity, Inclusion, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer, Life Transition, Naming Ceremony, Self-Respect, Transformation, WorshipWeb, Worship

How much notice would I want ahead of time before I die?

Reflection | By Karen G. Johnston | October 26, 2022 | From Braver/Wiser
Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Choice, Death, Ending, Psychology, Secular, Spiritual Practice, Unitarian Universalism, Worship

Preparation: acquire a wooden block tower building game (similar to Jenga ©). If possible, consider getting a jumbo version of game because its size lends itself to more visibility for the congregation and more space for more kids to participate. Other supplies: signs or name tags that state...

Time for All Ages | By Karen G. Johnston | October 17, 2022 | From WorshipWeb
Tagged as: #8thPrinciple, Compromise, Conflict, Covenant, Relationships, Trust, Unitarian Universalism, WorshipWeb, Worship

Maybe if we add an 8th Principle, we will get closer to the BeLOVEd Community we dream about.

Time for All Ages | By Karen G. Johnston | June 5, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
Tagged as: #8thPrinciple, #BlackLivesMatter, Seven Principles, WorshipWeb, Worship

It’s through our shared interdependence that we are sheltered and saved.

Reflection | By Karen G. Johnston | May 10, 2021 | From Braver/Wiser
Tagged as: Compassion, Connections, Fear, Interdependence, Relationships, Service, Worship

Can you imagine what it was like to be inside of that house, afraid that it might fall all apart from the destructive force of the wind and the rain, from the whole storm?

Time for All Ages | By Karen G. Johnston | January 7, 2021 | From WorshipWeb
Tagged as: Community, Interdependence, Justice, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity, Relationships, WorshipWeb, Worship

Arm's length: What was once a defensive or suspicious expression has now become a gesture of care, an indication of love and protection.

Reflection | By Karen G. Johnston | October 14, 2020 | From Braver/Wiser
Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Caring, Direct Experience, Environment, Humanism, Interdependence, Nature, Climate Justice, Worship

Tip if you are video recording this story: you can have a clip of an adult stretching out their arm in one direction, then another clip of a different adult stretching out their arm in the other direction, so that when you edit it, it looks like they are stretching towards each other. It would be...

Time for All Ages | By Karen G. Johnston | October 13, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
Tagged as: #COVID19, 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Caring, Earth, Earth-Centered, Environment, Humanism, Nature, Responsibility, WorshipWeb, Worship

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