Hildegard von Bingen: Visionary Woman, Charles Gabriel

Hildegard von Bingen was a Benedictine nun and abbess who lived in the area of Bingen, Germany in the late 11th and early to mid-12th century. She experienced visions from early childhood throughout her life and from these visions she wrote several books on religious philosophy; composed many plainsong hymns including the first opera in Western civilization; painted many illustrations of her visions; wrote two books on holistic medicine and pharmacy; and was advisor and frequent moral scourge to bishops, popes and emperors. In short, she was the renaissance woman 200 years before there was a renaissance man. Her religious philosophy centered on love, justice and the interdependent web of creation and was entirely consistent with modern day Unitarian Universalist beliefs.

Charles Gabriel was raised in the Catholic Church, wandered aimlessly through a 35-year period of atheism and finally developed a spiritual center to his life through the gift of his step-son’s drug addiction and the 12-step program influence of Nar-Anon and Al-Anon.

Charles joined USG in October, 2004 and has held several volunteer positions including Budget & Finance Committee member, Buildings & Grounds committee co-chair, Strategic Planning Council chair and Board of Trustees member.

Currently Charles sings in the USG choir and is now retired from church leadership. Today is his eighth sermon at USG.