This sermon written and delivered by Vanessa Hewitt
Anyone who has been around me long knows I LOVE Star Trek. Saturday afternoons as a young child often included watching Spock, Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov save the day as their five-year mission took them where no man, and no one (at least no one they knew) had gone before. If you come to our home, you’ll find various Star Trek captains on coffee mugs, a tri-dimensional chess set, too many fan fiction novels to count, and at Christmas, our tree is filled with various Star Trek themed ornaments – even a Tribble! It doesn’t end there — our daughter, Hannah, had ST:TNG Captain’s onesie for her first Halloween costume. I have seen every episode of every series multiple times, as well as every movie. I am not alone in this love of Star Trek. Millions of people around the world are “trekkies” or “trekkers” depending on when you joined the fandom. Star Trek has permeated pop culture, including our phones – check out your emojis and you’ll find one for the Vulcan greeting of “Live long and prosper”. Its influence has even reached outer space — Mae Jemison, NASA’s first Black female astronaut was inspired to become an astronaut by Nichelle Nichols’ ground breaking role as Lt. Uhura.
All of this and more from a TV show that barely made it three years on network television.
Why does this fictional world capture our imaginations? Why do we quote imaginary Captains and long to “boldly go”? Is there truth in the idea that “All I Needed to Know in Life I Learned from Watching Star Trek”? Maybe not everything we need to know, but the longevity and diversity of Star Trek are a great indication that the stories told within its universe offer truths that resonate widely. Today we are going to spend some time looking at the two most recent additions to the Star Trek universe – Picard and Discovery. Season 1 of Picard and the second half of season 2 and all of season 3 of Discovery aired during the pandemic.