Archive for the 'Call to Worship' Category

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)

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 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 1, 2019 - Love the Hell Out of this World

Monday, September 9th, 2019

When the culture around us doesn’t encourage us to our best selves, how do we model the kind of world we want to live in? Guest speaker and musician, Matt Meyer, will reflect on the good and bad of middle school, the time he picked the very best costume for a high-stakes 5th grade costume party, and how we find the skills for beloved community.

Matt is a musician and community organizer who has led hundreds of services for UU congregations across the country. He has a degree in hand drumming and has studied abroad in Cuba, Ghana and Central America. Matt serves as Director of Community Life for Sanctuary Boston, a contemporary worship community in Boston, and is a founding resident of the Lucy Stone Cooperative in Roxbury.

Welcome- Rev. Jen Crow (:22)

Call to Worship - Matt Meyer (3:11)

Story for All Ages - Matt Meyer (8:05)

Sermon - Matt Meyer (15:37)

August 11, 2019 - Is Your Breath Happy Here?

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Our breath is the very essence of our lives and a doorway into presence and connection. This episode, Arif Mamdani preaches his first sermon as First Universalist’s new Director of Membership and Adult Ministries, in an exploration of breath, relationship, and hospitality.

Call to Worship - Rev. Justin Schroeder (:32)

Sermon - Arif Mamdani (1:52)

July 14, 2019 - The Congregation is the Curriculum

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

“Faith development is all we do. Unitarian Universalism is the faith we teach. The congregation is the curriculum.” Connie Goodbread is a credentialed religious educator who consults about healthy congregations and transformation for the Unitarian Universalist Association. Her words remind us that faith development is not just for children; in fact, it is a thread woven through all our activities. What are we teaching and what are we learning at church, on purpose and by accident? How might a focus on faith development help us manifest the sweetest, most dangerous promises of our UU faith?

Call to Worship- (:30)

Reading- It's Hard Work, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt (3:57)

Reading- Even This Is Enough, Vanessa Southern (5:17)

Sermon- The Congregation is the Curriculum, Lauren Wyeth (7:43)



July 7, 2019 - In the Middle of It

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

A core spiritual practice at First Universalist is to “listen deeply to where love is calling us next.” Since early January, a group of congregants and ministers have been following this call, working toward sponsoring a detained (imprisoned) asylum seeker. Dozens of congregants are part of this effort, and at the end of May, a young, indigenous, Guatemalan woman arrived in Minneapolis, sponsored by congregants. This Sunday, we members of the core Asylum Support Team share reflections on this journey, describe how our faith calls us to this ministry, and invite congregants to support this effort in whatever ways they can. The service is in English and Spanish.

Call to Worship: Laura Schlatter (:31)

Reflection 1: Ron Schlatter (8:13)

Reflection 2: Karen Heegard (14:41)

June 30, 2019 - The Work We Need to Do

Monday, July 1st, 2019

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. We know that mental health conditions do not discriminate. Anyone can experience mental health challenges. Yet, background and identity often determine access and quality of care to mental health treatments. This week, Isha Caldwell (Navigator at Mental Health Connect), Daryn Woodson (Worship Associate), and Rev. Ruth MacKenzie lean into questions of stigma and access, cultural strengths and wisdom, and the call for transformation, to choose strength over silence, and love over fear.

Call to Worship- Daryn Woodson (:28)

Reflection- Isha Caldwell (4:51)

Reflection- Rev. Ruth MacKenzie (15:21)

June 23, 2019 - Who is Afraid of Power?

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Executive Director of Black Lives of UU and First Universalist member, Lena K. Gardner, will be exploring the importance of a grounded, principled understanding of “yes, and…” that doesn’t eschew responsible action in the world for tepid inaction or hollow half-steps under the guise of thoughtfulness and embracing “all sides”. We will explore what a principled “yes, and” could mean in the midst of power structures that define all aspects of our lives even how we think about ourselves, our bodies, our children and the circumstances of our lives. If you have heard Lena Gardner preach before, you know she will raise many questions and offer sustenance for spiritual deepening. Lena states: “I do believe that in seeking together — the responsible search for truth and meaning — we find paths that bring us closer to love and justice, rather than comfortably embracing the ways of the world that are marred by injustice, greed, and racialized inequality.”

Call to Worship- Rev. Karen Hutt (:29)

Sermon - Lena K. Gardner (4:31)


June 16, 2019 - Our Second Sound

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

On May 12, in her sermon, “Our First Sound,” Rev. Karen Hutt reflected on the complicated, lovely, weird, fun, scary, and joyous relationships we have with our mothers, and all of the nuance that exists around Mother’s Day. This Sunday, Rev. Hutt and Rev. Schroeder, along with several congregants, reflect on what it means to be a father, what it means to be a father in this #MeToo era, what it means to be a “white father,” or a “father of color,” and more. Finally, they reflect on the spiritual dimension of fathering. 

Call to Worship: Keven Ambrus (:30)

Reflection 1: Drew Rosielle (4:38)

Reflection 2: Andrew Tralle (9:49)

Reflection 3: Rev. Justin Schroeder (14:33)

Reflection 4: Rev. Karen Hutt (17:30)