Archive for the 'Sermons' Category

November 10, 2019 - Doin’ Church

Monday, November 11th, 2019

What are the spiritual muscles we need to exercise in order to take our place and make room? How do we tone up our aerobic capacity to lift up the whole of our stories, take in the whole of another’s story, the particular of our community’s story, and within the context of our national story? This week, we will talk about the meaning of “reparations,” and develop a musculature to hold “the full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences (Ta-Nehisi Coates).” In this service, we listen to where love is taking us next in all the complexity, pain, joy, failure, and richness of our multifaceted stories.

Call to Worship- Shawn Neel (:31)

Sermon- Rev. Ruth MacKenzie (4:26) 

November 3, 2019 - You Reading This, Be Ready

Monday, November 4th, 2019

Our theme this month is “Taking our Place, and Making Room.” Both of these practices require noticing our ego and its movement in our lives. Are we willing to step back, make room, and let other voices, experiences, and realities hold center stage? Are we willing to step forward when that feels dangerous, uncertain, and vulnerable? So often, deep spiritual work involves navigating and understanding our egos. But what about when we have an encounter in which our ego totally disappears? What place do we take up then?

Call to Worship- Rev. Jen Crow (:32)

Reading- Rev. Justin Schroeder (3:35)

Sermon- Rev. Justin Schroeder (5:10)

October 27, 2019 - History Is What We Make

Monday, October 28th, 2019

Ever wonder why and how our church was founded? What does it mean to celebrate the anniversary of a minister’s ordination and installation? Are we consciously using our history to inform our future as a faith movement? This week, we remember and dream together.

 

Call to Worship- Monroe Chumklang

Sermon- Rev. Karen Hutt

October 20, 2019 - Where the Sky Meets the Sea

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Disney’s Moana tells the story of a young woman who hears the call of the ocean. In answering the call, Moana embarks on a voyage to save her people, and find the place she belongs in the process. Most of us aren’t called forth into our belonging so dramatically, and few us are accompanied by a soundtrack featuring The Rock. This Sunday, we listen for how the story and music of Moana speak (and sing!) to us in our continued exploration of The Edges of Belonging.

Wisdom Story- Rev. Karen Hutt & members of the congregation (:32)

Reading- Arif Mamdani (3:35)

Sermon- Arif Mamdani (5:25)

October 13, 2019 - Living Beyond the Binary

Monday, October 14th, 2019

One of the most important and powerful longings of the human heart is for belonging. Perhaps more important even than food or shelter, belonging can offer us a sense of purpose, meaning, and connection that can sustain us no matter what ups and downs life may throw our way. On this episode, we explore what it might mean to honor that human longing for belonging, for ourselves and each other. 

Call to Worship- Satya Mamdani (:30)

Sermon - Rev. Jen Crow (4:40)

October 6, 2019 - Mental Health Sunday

Monday, October 7th, 2019

Secrets, shame, and stigma are not helpful when striving for wellness, health, and spiritual well-being. Through great strides have been made over the years, there is all too often a deafening silence around mental health challenges. At First Universalist Church, we aspire to be a place where we can bring our whole selves, as we are welcomed in joy. Join us for our 3rd annual Mental Health Sunday, as we break the silence, speak the truth, and with loving and curious hearts explore the realities of mental health challenges and how that touches all of us.

 

September 29, 2019 - An Open Door

Monday, September 30th, 2019

A “Why Church?” case study by the Rev. Karen Hutt. Come journey back in time and hear a story about how a UU church was founded to serve the needs of those who wanted church, but were denied. 

Call to Worship - Monique Wentzel (:32)

Sermon - An Open Door - Rev. Karen Hutt (4:30)

 

September 22, 2019 - Transmogrify(ing) Church

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

In the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, Calvin invents a transmogrifier that transforms anything into anything else at the push of a button or the zap of a transmogrifying gun. Change, in the world of Calvin and Hobbes, is easy. Octavia Butler added some nuance to this, reminding us that “all that we touch we change, and all that we change, changes us. That the only constant is change, and that God is change.” If these two perspectives represent points on a (non-linear) continuum of transformation, where exactly does church fit in? Is it a vehicle for our own transmogrification? A container for that which changes us? Do we change church as we take our places in this living tradition?

Call to Worship - Rev. Stephanie Vos (:23)

Reading - We Are All Longing to Go Home, by Starhawk (:59)

Reflection - Rev. Stephanie Vos (1:57)

Sermon - Transmogrify(ing) Church, Arif Mamdani (8:29)

 

September 15, 2019 - Joining Our Wildernesses

Monday, September 16th, 2019

The English poet John Donne wrote, “No person is an island…we are all a part of the continent, part of the main.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “In a real sense, all life is inter-related. All people are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” While this may be true, our lived experience is often that we feel terribly alone, separate, isolated. We feel as if there are wild parts of ourselves disconnected from other human beings. This month, we continue to ask, “Why Church?” This Sunday, we explore how church might be the place where we join our wilderness (our wild places) to the wilderness and wild places of others — discovering deep joy and connection with one another.

Call to Worship - Lauren Wyeth (:31)

Reading - Excerpt from The Book of Delights by Ross Gay (4:40)

Sermon- "Joining Our Wildernesses" Rev. Justin Schroeder (7:44)

September 8, 2019 - Water Communion: Daring to be Human Together

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Why Church? With so many options on a Sunday morning, why come to church? Why be in human community? Why wrestle with meaning and purpose? Why be unsettled and provoked and calmed and steadied? What are we doing here, anyway? Why are we at church?

This service is also Water Communion Sunday, an annual service at which we celebrate the many rivers, eddies and waterways of our life experiences, converging in our sanctuary every Sunday forming a river of faith. We embody this truth by bringing water from our homes, our travels, our walks, and our bike paths—and combine them during the service in a ritual called Water Communion.

Story for All Ages: The Journeying Stream - Rev. Jen Crow and Arif Mamdani (:32)

Homily: Daring to be Human Together - Rev. Justin Schroeder (6:40)

Water Communion Ritual - Worship Team (16:24)