2011 Sermons








'On Spirituality and Justice' - Love your neighbour as yourself - Do unto another as you would have them do unto to you - Do nothing to another that would be hurtful if done to you - These are some of the most broad reaching moral teachings of the Judaeo-Christian tradition...

'Fred' - A short story.

'This Has Got to Stop' - How should a radically inclusive community of faith respond to the rioting and looting that recently broke out in our city and beyond? A faithful response must be radically open to hearing all perspectives and uncompromisingly insistent on the development of a society with justice and opportunity for everyone.

'To Be of Use' What is a good life? How do we recognize it and how do we find it?

'Bane or Blessing' - On a slow, hot July day, we mark the recent passing of the summer solstice - the longest day of the year. This day gives us the opportunity to ask whether we will live our lives with a focus on the sunshine today or on the loss of light to come.

'Rules of the Spiritual Road' - Unitarians have an a conflicted relationship with rules. We tend to reject them as a relic of a the kind of prescriptive religions that fail to speak to us. We also suspect that following the right kind of rules faithfully may be essential to our own spiritual growth and the progress we wish for the world. In this service, we explore the tradition and value of rules from a free religious perspective.

'Relating to Nature' - On the occasion of national Be Nice to Nettles week [seriously!] we take a look at our relationship to the natural world. It is a mistake to romanticize nature as a perfect spiritual state just as it is to see it as violent, unfriendly, and in need of subduing. Instead of either worshippers or rulers, can we be partners with the natural world?

'To Die For' - This year marks the 500th anniversary of Michael Servetus, who was burned at the stake for his Unitarian beliefs. We ask the question "For what are we willing to sacrifice?"

'Foundations for Action' - What should you do to live by your values in any given situation? Do you have a grounding principle or do you go "with your gut"? We explore and share our thoughts about ethical guidelines for free-thinking liberal religionists.

'The Little Things' - The small things in our world make a huge difference. We talk about the small things in our lives and the powerful effects they can have.

'May Day' - On this day that marks one of the most profound turning points in the cycle of the seasons, we consider the ways in which modernity has both blessed and cursed our lives and draw from feminist theology a different way of thinking about and approaching the quest for a saner, more meaningful existence among us.

'Who is Speaking Now?' - In this Easter Sunday sermon, we explore the radical messages of Jesus of Nazareth and consider how the prophetic tradition has continued throughout history and - indeed - what today's prophets may be saying.

'How Free is Freedom?' - We consider the meaning of freedom in our lives and how internal constraints may be the most significant of our constraints. Discipline - paradoxically - is an important part of the path toward real freedom.

'In the Beginning' - For Mothering Sunday/Mothers' Day, we look at creation - of the world and of ourselves. Our existence is phenomenally improbable. How can we but be grateful and cherish each life?

'Tricky Religion' - The role of "the trickster" in folklore and faith.

'Real Life' - Purim has been an opportunity to think about the messiness of life and how even flawed, imperfect people like us can do great things in and for our world. 

'Women, men, and others' - For International Women's Day, we focus on the broader question of exclusion and the role of subtle and often implicit cultural norms.

'Let your light shine' - There is a sacredness at the heart of each one of us. It doesn't always shine forth as we might like. The encounter of difference in community is a tool that can help us to clear away what keeps our sacredness from the world.

'Bringing the Dream into Focus' - The service that dares to break the last Unitarian taboo - money! We can't make our dreams come real without speaking about this uncomfortable subject.

'Loving the world into wholeness' - Love is not a response to something loveable, but rather an act of faith that changes everything.

'Talking about a revolution' Something astounding is happening in a swath of Middle East nations as the people take to the streets to challenge governments that have held power for sometimes more than three decades. Change has come in a sudden, wrenching way. How do we think about and cope with such change on the geopolitical scene and closer to home?

'Commitment' Acting with commitment and loyalty has become almost abnormal in our current environment, Instead, we have learned to see things as a consumer would, with everything becoming transactional. "What's in it for me?" has become a reasonable way to approach many events and interactions. But that approach has had corrosive effects on relationships and upon the importance of community.

'Putting our Burdens Down' As the New Year dawns, it is common to look forward toward what we may wish to pick up and embrace in the year to come. We pause today to consider what we may want to leave behind in the old year. Could laughter be a key part of doing that successfully?

'About God'  How is a rationalist 21st century spiritual-but-not-religious person supposed to related to the concept of God? Is his word and this concept keeping millions of people away from religion. It need not keep them away from Unitarianism, where concepts of the divine are diverse and open for each person to discern for themselves. If we don't want to chuck God out of the picture entirely, how might this concept speak to us today?
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