Sunday UU topic: ‘My Universe Story’


By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The need to find meaning, the need to understand, to make sense of our surrounding — this more than any other trait distinguishes the human species from all others. Unitarian Universalists (UUs) have codified this need in our fourth principle — “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning” — one of the seven principles which we hold as strong values and moral guides. The ultimate quest for meaning asks questions about the universe. Where did it come from? How will it end? What is it made of? And what is this thing called life that dances on the surface of our planet? And does it dance elsewhere?

The Sunday’s message is titled “My Universe Story,” and we can expect our speaker, Dick White, to engage with this kind of questioning.

In his words, “Scientific understanding of the universe amplifies its wonder, without dispelling its deep mystery. How might we find meaning in the experience of the evolutionary moment we occupy in this vast unfolding?”

White is professor emeritus of astronomy at Smith College (MA), where he taught for 28 years. Taking early retirement in 2002 to pursue climate protection and sustainability, he moved to Durango in 2003. He served on the boards of several local sustainability organizations, including the Sustainability Alliance Southwest Colorado, for which he was the founding chair. After serving on the steering committee for the La Plata County Climate and Energy Action Plan and on the citizens working group for the county’s (failed) comprehensive plan, in 2011, he ran successfully for the Durango City Council. He recently completed his two terms of city council service, during which he was mayor for a year in 2013-14 and again in 2017-18. He also has authored three book chapters on the subject of global food insecurity.

Ours is a welcoming congregation; we invite everyone to share in our faith community. Usually, leadership is by Pastor Dean Cerny on third and fourth Sundays; this Sunday a lay leader will preside with our speaker, White, coming from Durango.

The Religious Exploration program has reached its end for this school year, but will start up again in September. For more information, contact Anna Ramirez at

Find us in Unit B-15 of the Greenbriar Plaza. From North Pagosa Boulevard, turn right onto Park Avenue and right again into Greenbriar Plaza, then turn left and continue around the complex until you see the Unitarian Universalist sign as it faces the mountains. Join us. For further information about the Pagosa UU Fellowship, visit or call 731-7900.