Archive for the 'Homily' Category

November 13, 2022- The Company We Keep

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

We are members of many things: families, gyms, affinity groups, and faith communities. Our culture likes us to think of “membership” as an administrative task: a series of tasks that lead us to checking off a box. This Sunday, November 13, we welcome and celebrate the commitment of our newest members of First Universalist, and invite you into reflecting on- and participating in!- membership as a creative, relational process, one in which we change and by which we are changed by the company we keep.

Hymn for Gathering- Morning Has Come- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (:29)

Words of Welcome- Rev. Jen Crow (7:52)

Time for All Ages- The Messiah Lives Among You- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (14:46)

Hymn- Woyaya- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (20:37)

Prayer, Meditation, Cycle of Life - Rev. Jen Crow (25:49)

Offertory- What Wonderous Love is This- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (35:27)

New Member Ceremony- Liz Farmer, Rebecca Slaby, Daryn Woodson (38:35)

Singing Together- Come and Go With Me- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (45:24)

Homily- The Company We Keep- Liz Farmer (48:12)

Singing Together- Be Thou My Vision- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (57:04)

Benediction- Liz Farmer (1:03:02)


October 23, 2022- A River of Stars

Monday, October 24th, 2022

As we continue exploring our monthly theme, "You Can Count on This," we move from heart, body, and mind to…space? Many may wonder how the vast field of galaxies can be counted on. But our ancestors have always traced stories onto constellations. Humanity navigated dangerous waters using those reliable but distant stars. During our own times of loss and alienation, how can the mysterious, interdependent universe provide solace and hope?

Singing to Gather- We Are- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Franco Holder (:29)

Poem by Nancy Scaffer (3:34)

Words of Welcome- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (5:18)

Story for All Ages- Quilatzli and the River of Stars- by Lóre Stevens, inspired by Aztec and Greek mythology (10:38)

Body Meditation- Michael Tangen (16:02)

Body Prayer- Lóre Stevens (20:04)

Prayer and Cycle of Life- Rev. Ashley Harness-Jiminez (22:25)

Invitation to Give - Rev. Ashley Harness-Jiminez (27:33)

Offertoty- Into the West  by  STØLACE- Michael Tangen (31:35)

Homily- A River of Stars- Lóre Stevens (40:44)

Hymn- A Firemist and a Planet - Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (50:43)

Benediction- Lóre Stevens (53:57)



October 16, 2022- Mental Health Sunday

Monday, October 17th, 2022

This Sunday, October 16 is Mental Health Sunday, a service where we commit ourselves to creating a world where struggles with mental health are normalized and where seeking mental health care is destigmatized. Through word, song, and ritual we will make visible these commitments of our hearts, bodies, and minds, knowing that mental health care is something we all need access to, and that while not all illness can be cured, in community, we all can find healing.

Opening Hymn- Come Thou Fount of Ev'ry Blessing- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (:28)

Words of Welcome- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (3:17)

Story for All Ages- Rev. Ashley Harness-Jiminez (9:56)

Hymn- I've Got Peace Like a River- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (17:43)

Meditation and Message- Rev. Arif Mamdani, Carol Jackson (22:14)

Ritual (32:14)

Song- Sending You Light by Melanie DeMore- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (49:55)

Singing Together- For All that is Our Life- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (53:26)

Benediction- Rev. Arif Mamdani (56:08)

September 25, 2022- A Topography of Belonging

Monday, September 26th, 2022

Rumi and Jung agree on at least one thing: paradox is our greatest spiritual gift.

As Rumi notes:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

And isn’t that what we long for – that space of paradox, out beyond rightdoing and wrongdoing, beyond belonging where event the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense?

This Sunday, we explore the topography of belonging and the paths that may or may not get us where we long to be.


Words of Welcome- Rev. Jen Crow (:40)

Story- The Green Grass Grows All Around- Lóre Stevens (7:38)

Prayer and Silence- Rev. Arif Mamdani (10:41)

Practice of Giving: Beacon Interfaith Housing- Lóre Stevens (19:32)

Message- A Topography of Belonging- Rev. Arif Mamdani (22:41)

Singing Together- Love Will Guide Us- Franco Holder, piano (38:43)

Benediction- Rev. Arif Mamdani (40:22)

August 28, 2022-Ready? Set? Go! (Backpack Blessing)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

How do we prepare ourselves for a new year? A big transition? New experiences? With the help of stories and spiritual practices, our worship leaders will guide us through our annual Backpack Blessing ritual.

Music for Gathering- I'm On My Way- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout and Franco Holder (:25)

Words of Welcome- Rev. Jen Crow (4:46)

Time for All Ages- Lauren Wyeth (11:13)

Song- There Is More Love Somewhere-Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout and Franco Holder (17:36)

Prayer and Cycle of Life- Rev. Arif Mamdani (21:26)

Homily- Rev. Jen Crow (29:18)

Invitation to Give- Lore Stevens (41:02)

Backpack Blessing- Lauren Wyeth and Youth Staff (43:58)

Music for Going- I'm On My Way and Where You Go I Will Go (48:43)

August 21, 2022- Air and Breath

Monday, August 29th, 2022

The First Universalist Choir, Dr. Randy Buikema, Aimee K. Bryant, Franco Holder, Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Rev. Arif Mamdani, Rev. Jen Crow, and Lauren Wyeth will lead and inspire us through music, story, and message.

Music for Gathering- Where Do We Come From?- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout and Aimee K. Bryant (19:24)

Words of Welcome- Rev. Jen Crow (5:39)

Call to Worship- Eagle Poem by Joy Harjo (10:53)

Singing Together- Open the Window, Children (14:29)

Wisdom from the Choir (19:41)

Homily- Rev. Jen Crow (26:04)

Prayer and Meditation- Rev. Jen Crow and Rev. Arif Mamdani (33:18)

Invitation to Give- Lauren Wyeth (39:13)

Offertory- Loving Will Lead Us On, by Linda Kachelmeier and Rev. Kate Tucker- First Universalist Choir (42:30)

Singing Together - Open the Window, Children; Where You Go I Will Go; (48:42)

August 14, 2022- The Stillness of the Chrysalis

Monday, August 15th, 2022

Following a summer of Sundays exploring “The Bigger Story,” this Sunday we recognize the Biggest Story of all, the story of change, the story of transformation, the story of evolution. It’s a story that applies to living organisms, to communities, and even to patterns of worship. Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout and Rev. Kate Tucker will invite us into that living, breathing Pause that dwells between what was (the No Longer) and what is yet to be (the Not Yet).

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement- Rev. Kate Tucker (:18)

Call to Worship- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (5:30)

Story for All Ages- The Rabbit Listened - Daryn Woodson (8:30)

Invitation to Give to the Offering Plate- Rev. Arif Mamdani (15:34)

Offertory- Franco Holder 

Song- Return Again- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (17:57)

Prayer and Cycle of Life- Rev. Arif Mamdani (20:46)

Homilies- Rev. Kate Tucker and Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (30:22)

Benediction- Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout (59:43)


June 26, 2022- The World Was Made to be Free In

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
This summer, as we explore the theme of The Bigger Story, we reflect on how we live in stories and also how stories live in us. Spiritual growth can mean giving up stories that have become too small.
This Sunday, join us for a message from Minister Emerita Rev. Kate Tucker, who will lead worship alongside Rev. Arif Mamdani, vocalist Aimee K. Bryant, and guest pianist Tim Kraack.
Music for Gathering- Aimee K. Bryant and Franco Tim Kraack (:30)
Words of Welcome- Rev. Arif Mamdani (3:49)
Story for All Ages- Rev. Arif Mamdani (9:36)
Hymn- Circle 'Round for Freedom- Aimee K. Bryant and Tim Kraack (15:54)
Prayer- Rev. Arif Mamdani (17:14)
Message- The World Was Made to be Free In- Rev. Kate Tucker (29:37)
Invitation to Give to Our Justice- Rev. Arif Mamdani (50:25)

June 5, 2022- Flower Communion

Monday, June 6th, 2022

99 years ago, almost to the day, Rev. Norbert Capek led the first Flower Communion ritual. He developed it then, and we observe it today, as a ritual of giving and receiving, of connecting with the beauty in each of us, and the bigger story of that beauty when we come together in community, in fellowship, and in the spirit of love that is this church. We’ll have music from Dean Magraw and his band, and a special guest vocalist, Thomasina Petrus.

Prelude- Feelin' Good by Nina Simone- Dean Magraw, guitar; Thomasina Petrus, vocals; and the band

Words of Welcome- Rev. Jen Crow (3:13)

Time for All Ages- Saying Goodbye to Julica (12:18)

Flower Communion Ritual- Rev. Arif Mamdani (20:15)

Prayer and Cycle of Life- Rev. Arif Mamdani (28:51)

Homily- Rev. Jen Crow (31:42)

Invitation to Give- Rev. Jen Crow (38:28)

Benediction- Summertime by Miles Davis- Thomasina Petrus, Dean Magraw and the band (41:15)

May 15, 2022- Everybody In

Monday, May 16th, 2022

Almost 30 years ago, First Universalist Church dared to dream of a physical space that might mirror our mission – a place where there would always be room for one more, where our sense of who we are is ever-expanding, a building that might embody a love that will not let anyone go. This Sunday, May 15, we celebrate the completion of our capital project, Not for Ourselves Alone: Building an Inclusive Future, as we welcome everybody in and say thank you to our past, present, and future selves.

Music for Gathering- Everybody In- Peter Mayer (:30)

Words of Welcome and Land Acknowledgement- Rev. Arif Mamdani (5:19)

Wisdom Story- Rev. Jen Crow (12:02)

Meditation and Prayer- Peter Mayer and Rev. Arif Mamdani (20:59)

Message- Everybody In- Rev. Jen Crow (33:49)

Gratitudes and Celebration- Rev. Jen Crow (39:41)

Invitation to Give- Rev. Jen Crow (55:23)

Music for Going- The Wonder- Peter Mayer

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