Magic and Spirituality: Un-Bound Belief

This Sunday, Zac Young and Jackson Ridd led us in a service titled “Un-Bound Belief: An exploration of belief and truth in the context of modern performance, traditional practices, and academic understandings of magic.” What do we believe, why do we believe it, and what actions, experiences, and group participations can affect our beliefs?


Although Zac Young has been handling cards since middle school, it was at Columbia University that his interests in political science, anthropology, and the ways we make meaning in the world intersected in a seminar called ‘Sorcery and Magic” during his senior year. Since graduating he has worked in social media consulting for political campaigns, as well as on a number of projects where magic, performance, and meaning intersect. For those of you who don’t know him, Zac grew up in this congregation.

During his senior year at Columbia, Zac met Jackson Ridd, an LA-based magician and performer. Jackson’s interest in magic stretch back to his high-school days, during which he was a member of the prestigious Magic Castles Junior Program. With experience in film and theater, both acting and production, he has performed across the United States and Europe.

Jackson and Zac became friends at Columbia University, and have been working together ever since. They co-founded Four Suits, a creative studio focused on magic as a tool in theater, security, and design, and this will be the second year that they host sessions at the computer security conference DefCon in Las Vegas.

Order of Service

Pre-Service Music/Slideshow: Chuck Miller

Prelude: Kate Gridley’s First response to Phillip Glass’s Metamorphosis One

Welcome: Jordan Young, Worship Associate

Call to Worship: Zac and Jordan Young

Chalice Lighting: Jordan Young

Introduction: Jackson Ridd and Zac Young

“What does magic look like?” video: Jackson Ridd and Zac Young

Offering:  Donations will be split between CVUUS and the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, VT

Milestones & Passages

Prayer/Meditation: Music: Kate Gridley;s Second riff on Phillip Glass’s Metamorphoses One

Sermon part 1: Jackson Ridd and Zac Young

Sleight of Hand Compilation video: Jackson Ridd and Zac Young

Sermon part 2: Jackson Ridd and Zac Young

Benediction: Jackson Ridd

Postlude: Kate Gridley playing “Where do we come from”

Thanks to Richard Hopkins, Margy Levine Young, Jordan Young, Kate Gridley, Jackson Ridd, and Zac Young for putting this service together.