Recent Sermons & Services

June 9, 2024: “Living Passionately” The Rev. Angela Herrera Koren
On this Pride weekend, a sermon for everyone who dreams of embracing courage, vulnerability, playfulness, and self-expression.
Music: Susan Peck

Living Passionately – text version


June 2, 2024: Bridging with UU Youth, The Ministers, and Alana Rodriguez
Some of the most important things we can do for our youth to support them into adulthood are to keep them connected to Unitarian Universalism, and to continue to minister to them as they become adults. Our Bridging Ceremony celebrates this important transition and reminds the congregation of our commitments to our youth. We will honor Yony Mostoller and Evan Sadek. We’ll also celebrate Founders Day!
Music: UU Youth Band


May 26, 2024: “Connection in a Creedless Faith” by The Rev. Bob LaVallee (delivered by the Rev. Angela Herrera Koren)
Unitarian Universalism is a covenantal faith, and every UU congregation has a covenant. During this year, we’ll gather as a community to develop a new covenant to meet the needs of our new reality and awareness. Rev. Bob will explain how the church will do this important work.
Music: Lydia Clark & Susan Peck

Connection in a Creedless Faith – Text version


May 19, 2024: “Altar of the Everyday” by The Rev. Angela Herrera Koren (delivered by The Rev. Bob LaVallee & Kristin Satterlee)
Simple rituals, practices, and sacred objects can be incorporated into each day. They help us live more deeply, without necessarily “doing more.” This enriches our lives in good times and becomes a source of strength in hard times.
Music: Lydia Clark with jazz violinist Muni Kulasinghe

Altar of the Everyday– Text version


May 12, 2024: “The Names of God” The Rev. Angela Herrera Koren
There are countless names for the Ultimate or Divine. Let’s explore some! How do they help us understand existence? In what ways are they true?
Music: Chalice Choir
The Names of God – Text Version


May 5, 2024: “Beltane: Faces of Paganism” The Rev. Bob LaVallee with Members of Coyote Willow Covenant of UU Pagans
Like better-known Christian holidays, Pagan holidays have common names but many different beliefs and rituals. Sara Wofford and the First U Covenant of UU Pagans will join Rev. Bob to explore pluralism in Pagan beliefs.
Music: Vance Bass, Keith Morris, and Susan Peck


April 28, 2024: “Disobedience” The Rev. Angela Herrera Koren 
Sometimes we have to break a few rules. Good thing there are so many good role models!
Music: The Bird Cage Quintet, chamber musicians from Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, with Lee Ann Klombies, 1st violin, Dr. Bronwyn Wilson, 2nd violin, David Trujillo, viola, Dr. Eric Lew, viola, and Sherilyn Urben, cello.

Disobedience – text version


April 21, 2024: “Earth Day: The Common Living Dirt” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Marge Piercy’s poetry is celebrated by Unitarian Universalists for the way it weaves across the breadth of politics, gender, and environmentalism. We’ll use her poetry and more to celebrate this Earth Day.
Music: Chalice Choir directed by Susan Peck, with Nicia Rae, Vance Bass, and Keith Morris.


April 14, 2024: “How We Change” The Rev. Angela Herrera Koren
How does change happen in a person’s life? How much change is possible? A sermon about the spiritual and the psychological.
Music: Lydia Clark

How We Change text version


April 7, 2024: “Calling All Holy Troublemakers” Heather Vickery, UU Service Committee
As many of you know, our trans and gender expansive beloveds are under attack and being criminalized in many US states right now. This is so serious that they fit the criteria to be designated as internally displaced people (IDPs) by the United Nations. This isn’t the first time fascism has reared its ugly head, and we at UUSC know how to respond. UUSC has been dedicated to aiding people being targeted by fascism since our founding in 1940. Our faith calls us to make holy trouble for the powers that would deny anyone’s full humanity and divinity. Join us, holy troublemakers, now is the time!

Music: Sol Singers with Susan Peck. Sing justice songs with us!

Heather (she/her) is the Coordinator for Congregational Activism at the UU Service Committee and as such, works with congregations, state action networks and other groups that want to do their social justice work more effectively and faithfully. She is part of the Congregational Accompaniment Project for Asylum Seekers (CAPAS) team that matches (and supports) congregations with asylum seekers needing sponsorship and coordinates with UUSC’s frontline trans partners working to get our beloveds free and safe through the Pink Haven Coalition. Outside of her paid work, Heather co-coordinates the Beyond Bond & Legal Defense Fund which is part of the wider Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network in Massachusetts and is an active member of her UU church, First Parish Malden and an aspirant to UU Ministry.

Calling All Holy Troublemakers – text version


March 31, 2024: “A Hope You Can Count On” The Rev. Angela Herrera Koren
If you wonder what hope there is, if you’re feeling hopeless, if you’re afraid being hopeful will only lead to disappointment, or if you think of hope as a form of wishful thinking, then this intellectually honest, nourishing sermon is especially for you. And everyone else will probably appreciate it too! With an uplifting message and an easter egg hunt for kids, this is a great day to invite new friends to try our church.
Music: Lydia Clark and special guests.

A Hope You Can Count On– Text Version


March 24, 2024: “A Principled Decision” The Rev. Angela Herrera Koren
In a few months UUs will have a big decision to make at our denomination’s annual general assembly: whether to transform the Seven Principles into a new kind of statement for our new era. Here’s what’s being proposed, and how our congregation can get involved.

Music: Chalice Choir, Nicia Rae, piano

A Principled Decision– text version


March 17, 2024: “A Pandemic Elegy” The Rev. Bob LaVallee

Four years ago, our lives were upended by a virus. The most deadly phase has passed, but we haven’t returned to “normal” and we certainly haven’t acknowledged all that was lost in that time.
Music: Spare Parts, with Keith Morris, Chris Paul, Susan Peck, and Evan Sadek-Kennedy


March 10, 2024: “Another Way Is Possible” The Rev. Angela Herrera

In the polarized rhetoric around Israel and Palestine, each side gets dehumanized in the service of “justice.” Fathers Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan, a Palestinian and an Israeli who both lost daughters to the violence, want us to know that another way is possible.
Music: Lydia Clark

Another Way is Possible– Text Version


March 3, 2024: “Less Is More” The Rev. Bob LaVallee

The global economy is built on constant growth, creating and consuming more regardless of whether we need it or not. The result is the devastation of our planet and the creation of a tiny class of ultra-rich and the impoverishment of the rest of us. Degrowth is the idea that we scale down this destructive cycle and focus instead on human needs and the planet’s well-being.
Music: Linda Myers, singer-songwriter

 


February 25, 2024: “Repentance & Repair” The Rev. Angela Herrera

“Repent” is a religious word with a lot of baggage. It brings to mind shame and threats of punishment. But there is another side to it: one that has to do with healing, repair, and peace. This sermon draws from the UUA’s Common Read, On Repentance and Repair by Danya Ruttenberg. You can learn more about the Common Read program here. (https://www.uua.org/read)
Music: Lydia Clark & Tom Godfrey

Repentance and Repair – text version


February 18, 2024: “Thriving Together” The Rev. Christine Robinson, Minister Emerita

We all want to thrive, and what that means differs during our lifespan. There are plenty of hints and tips about that, and I have a few of my own, especially about the life stage of “retirement.” However, almost all the thinking I can dig up about thriving assumes that we can thrive all by ourselves, and I doubt that. We believe we are all connected, after all… and that would mean that we need to put some thought into how the thriving and non-thriving of others impacts us. The puppets will have some thoughts to share about thriving as well.
Music: Chalice Choir, directed by Susan Peck. Nicia Rae, piano.

Thriving– Text Version


February 11, 2024: “Love, Not Legalism” The Rev. Bob LaVallee

We are a covenantal faith, but what does that even mean? First U’s Mission Covenant has great aspirations but very little on specifics. How do we know when we’re out of covenant? How do we return to covenant?
Music: Lydia Clark and Susan Peck


February 4, 2024: Eulogies – The Ministers with Kathryn Probasco and Spare Parts

The popular, annual service dedicated to regular yet notable people who died in the last year. We’ll celebrate some of the people whose lives touched ours, even if we never knew their names. Inventors, activists, scientists and more… come for good music and good stories; leave with a spring in your step.


January 28, 2024: Question Box Sermon-  The Rev. Angela Herrera & The Rev. Bob LaVallee
You’ve got questions, and we’ve got… well, we’ll do our best! Today the ministers draw your questions out of a hat.
Music: Susan Peck


January 21, 2024: “A Liberating Love” The Rev. Angela Herrera
Love is a liberating gift, but it doesn’t come for free. A sermon about what love—especially self-love—asks of us. We’ll also collect questions today for next week’s “Question Box” sermon.
Music: Chalice Choir, directed by Susan Peck. Nicia Rae, piano. Anthems include O Love by Elaine Hagenberg, and Show Us How to Love by Mark Miller

Text: A Liberating Love