Archive for the 'Sermons' Category

September 16, 2018 - Start In the Middle

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Here in the middle of it all, we are called to do what we can with what we have, right where we are, to create the world we dream about. But the story does not start or end with us. Here in the middle, how can we know and do our particular part?

Call to Worship by Taylor Putz, Sermon by Rev. Jen Crow


September 9, 2018 - Here. Now. Start.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Every time we gather for worship, we begin anew. We set intentions for the week and for our lives. We chart the course we hope to travel, as we become the people we long to be. During the week and during our lives, there is much that distracts, snags us, pulls us off course. Church and worship are a time to course correct.

On this intergenerational Water Communion/Homecoming Sunday, we gather and merge the Waters from sacred places, as we reconnect with the story and power of this life-sustaining and life-giving resource. We  begin a new church year together. We begin again in love.

Message for All Ages by Rev. Jen Crow, Homily by Rev. Justin Schroeder


September 2, 2018 - Seen and Heard

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

What if we all spent some time listening to our neighbors who seem so different from us? The illusion that we are separate would disappear. There would be no us and them, there would be only us!

Call to Worship by Rev. Justin Schroeder; Sermon by Rolf Lowenberg-DeBoer, Executive Director of City House


August 26, 2018 — Backpack Blessing Sunday

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

In this season of returning and restarting, we affirm the boundless worth of each and every person, and encourage one another to act with courage and compassion. The multigenerational service offers children, youth, and adults of all ages the opportunity to reflect upon how we might carry the love of our church community and the tools of our faith with us wherever we go. Expect some fun and surprises!

Children and youth are invited to wear their school backpacks to church so that we can include them in the Backpack Blessing ritual.

Call to Worship by Lauren Wyeth, Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries at First Universalist Church and sermon by Rev. Jen Crow. 


August 19, 2018 - Emerging Gracefully

Monday, August 20th, 2018

The poet, John O’Donohue, suggests that our inner teacher emerges: “In the out-of-the-way places of the heart, where your thoughts never think to wander, this beginning has been quietly forming, waiting until you were ready to emerge. For a long time it has watched your desire, feeling the emptiness growing inside you, noticing how you willed yourself on, still unable to leave what you had outgrown.”

This Sunday we explore how we might listen to our longings and learn to slow down and dance with life in a new way – not as an obstacle course to get through, but as a host of holy voices calling us to greater loving and living.


Call to Worship: I Worried by Mary Oliver, read by Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink; Sermon by Andrea Johnson, Director of Congregational Programming at Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship


August 5, 2018 - Centering De-Centering

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Our racial justice commitments lead us to know that in the face of white supremacy, we should “de-center whiteness,” but what then? This service will explore the dynamics of centering and de-centering and what they might mean for us as a church and denomination.

Call to Worship read by Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink and Arif Mamdani from the writings of Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd, Sermon by Arif Mamdani


July 29, 2018 - Next Gen: Helping and Hoping

Monday, August 6th, 2018

We often say that kids give us hope for the future. And clearly that’s warranted, with so many youth leading and living in courageous, compassionate and creative ways. If we’re placing our hope in them, how are we called to support the young people in our communities? Admiring them from a distance is not enough. This Sunday we’ll explore ways we can help ensure our hopes are realized, while still leaving the next generation plenty of room to spread their wings.

Call to Worship: Let Our Children by Jeanne Harrison-Niewejaar, read by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie; Reflection: My Other America by Rui Rui Bleifuss; Sermon by Lauren Wyeth, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries


July 22, 2018 - In the Boat Together

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

​In most ​Danish churches, a model of a​ ​sailing ship hangs ​suspended​ from the ceiling​ somewhere above the congregation.​​ The boat shifts ​and sways ​​with the breath of ​those gathered, reminding ​everyone who enters and worships ​that we are meant to sail together. We explore our emerging understanding of community, not simply as a group of like-minded people, but as a covenantal community, tapping into something larger than our individual wants or longings. We explore the question: What would it mean to be in the boat together, particularly using our racial justice commitment as our nautical compass?

Call to Worship and Sermon by Rev. Ruth MacKenzie


July 15, 2018 - No Going Back

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Our world is changing quickly, so often in ways that are in deep conflict with our values. From immigration, to climate change, to foreign affairs, we wonder what to do with our despair, fear, and disorientation. Historically, religious liberals have seen ourselves as charged to keep catastrophe at bay by fixing the world’s brokenness and re-building the world in its proper shape. Instead, what if we imagined the Apocalypse not as a future event, but as one that is already behind us? How would we understand the task at hand? How might this worldview help us understand our role in the emergence of our shared future?

Call to Worship and Sermon by Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink


July 8, 2018 - Awakenings

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, it becomes essential to have open and honest discussions about consent, sexuality, and relationships. Every culture has specific (usually implicit) codes for dating, sex, and intimacy, and these codes are changing and adapting. Our lives also are an ever-evolving journey of awakenings, and we regularly emerge into new ways of being as do our partners, family, and friends. How do we realize and express these emerging desires in mature and healthy ways?

Call to Worship by Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink, Sermon by Jack Gaede