dreams matter

I had the privilege to serve as the lay minister and facilitate the sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro yesterday. The theme: Dreams Matter. You can view the sermon here:

It was a transformational experience for me – and I was honored to have the opportunity to do this and that our minister, the Reverend Sadie Lansdale, had the faith in me to deliver the sermon.

I thought I would use this as an opportunity to share some of the inspirational words, stories, and songs used to deliver this sermon, especially as you think about your dreams for 2023.

Dream Poem by Langston Hughes

  • Hold fast to dreams
  • For if dreams die
  • Life is a broken-winged bird
  • That cannot fly.
  • Hold fast to dreams
  • For when dreams go
  • Life is a barren field
  • Frozen with snow.


Dream Prayer

  • Dear God
  • Thank you for today
  • A new day, to fulfill my deepest dreams.
  • I pray you can help me
  • Pursue my big dreams.
  • We want to live the dreams
  • You put into our hearts.
  • Give me the discipline and patience
  • To work towards those dreams
  • Needed for us to grow
  • In alignment with your will.


Dream Big by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband


What Do You Do With an Idea, written by Kobi Yamada, and adapted for this sermon by Bill Johnson

  • One day, I had a dream.
  • “Where did it come from? Why is it here?” I wondered.
  • “What do you do with a dream?”
  • At first, I didn’t think much of it. It seemed kind of strange and fragile.
  • I didn’t know what to do with it, so I just walked away from it.
  • I acted like it didn’t belong to me.
  • But it followed me.
  • I worried what others might think.
  • What would people say about my dream?
  • I kept it to myself. I hid it away and didn’t talk about it.
  • I tried to act like everything was the same as it was before my dream showed up.
  • But there was something magical about my dream.
  • I had to admit, I felt better and happier when it was around.
  • It wanted food. It wanted to play. Actually, it wanted a lot of attention.
  • It grew bigger. And we became friends.
  • I shared it with other people even though I was afraid of what they would say.
  • I was afraid that if people heard it, they would laugh at it.
  • I was afraid they would think it was silly.
  • And many of them did. They said it was no good. They said it was too weird.
  • They said it was a waste of time and that it would never become anything.
  • And, at first, I believed them. I actually thought about giving up on my dream.
  • I almost listened to them.
  • But then I realized, what do they really know?
  • This is MY dream, I thought. No one knows it like I do.
  • And it’s okay if it’s different, weird, and maybe even a little crazy.
  • I decided to protect it, to care for it. I fed it good food.
  • I worked with it, I played with it. But most of all, I gave it my attention.
  • My dream grew and grew. And so did my love for it.
  • I built it a new house, one with an open roof,
  • Where it could look up at the stars – a place where it could be safe to dream.
  • I liked being with my dream. It made me feel more alive, like I could do anything.
  • It encouraged me to think big…and then, to think bigger.
  • It shared secrets with me. It showed me how to walk on my hands.
  • “Because,” it said, “it’s good to have the ability to see things differently.
  • I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
  • Then, one day, something amazing happened.
  • My dream changed right before my very eyes.
  • It spread its wings, took flight, and burst into the sky.
  • I don’t know how to describe it, but it went from being here to being everywhere.
  • It wasn’t just a part of me anymore…it was now a part of everything.
  • And then, I realized what you do with a dream…
  • You change the world!

Benediction Story

  • An elderly man, in the final days of his life, is lying in bed alone.
  • He awakens to see a large group of people clustered around his bed.
  • Their faces are loving, but sad.
  • Confused, the old man smiles weakly and whispers,
  • “You must be my childhood friends come to say goodbye. I am so grateful.”
  • Moving closer, the tallest figure gently grasps the old man’s hand and replies,
  • “Yes, we are your best and oldest friends, but long ago you abandoned us.
  • For we are the unfulfilled promises of your youth.
  • We are the unrealized hopes, dreams, and plans that you once felt deeply in your heart, but never pursued.
  • We are the unique talents that you never refined, the special gifts that you never discovered.
  • Old friend, we have not come to comfort you, but to die with you.”

Note: If this story doesn’t make you cry, you’re not human.

I hope you enjoy watching the sermon as much as I enjoyed delivering it!


One thought on “dreams matter

  1. The Langston Hughes poem has been a favorite of mine since I was young. It was in a book of poems that I bought back in Jr. High. Love that you used it.

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