Recent Sermons & Services

Worship Calendar with Sermon Topics

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November 28 “Mostly Grateful” The Rev. Angela Herrera
A sermon about practicing gratitude, even if we can’t do it perfectly. Updated for today, Angela originally preached this sermon in 2013.

November 21 “Settler Colonization” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Settler colonialism is the ongoing process of non-Native settlers occupying Native land, demanding their world views, morals, and economies be followed, and attempting to erase, assimilate, and replace the original inhabitants. How do we understand our roles as UUs in settler colonialism?

November 14
“The History We Are Making”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Regardless of what came before, your history—your story— is still unfolding. By bringing our full selves to the present we have the power to shape a story we can tell later with gratitude, peace, a sense of wholeness and pride.
Sermon Text:

November 7 “Regret & Redemption: Living With Our Histories” The Rev. Bob LaVallee Judgment is a function of experience, but gosh, getting experience can be painful. To live is to make mistakes and even inadvertently cause other people pain. As we get older, how do we make peace with our pasts? In the spirit of Samhain and All Souls Day, today’s service includes a special candle lighting and prayer honoring the deceased. Zoom attenders: have an extra candle handy. In person: candles will be available in the sanctuary.

October 31
“Scaredy Cats”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
A Halloween-y sermon about our relationship with fear. Family-friendly costumes are welcome at church today, and all are invited to join a costume parade through the courtyard after the 11:00 am service.

October 24
“Affirming Life, Affirming Choice”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Barriers to abortion on the state and federal levels have increased in the decades since Roe v. Wade, a trend that is escalating rather than slowing. As we watch with horror the events in Texas and elsewhere, it’s important to know that there are theological and spiritual grounds to support reproductive choice.

October 17
“The Spirit World”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
The end of October/ early November is a time when many believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, and spirits walk among us. Do you believe in this kind of thing?
Sermon Text:

October 10
“At the Risk of Being Myself”
Matt Pargeter-Villarreal, Ministerial Intern
As we celebrate LGBTQIA+ History month in October and continue committing ourselves to Side With Love, join Matt for a reflection on what it means for those of us in the LGBTQIA+ community to make the decision to come out and be ourselves—often in the midst of insurmountable odds—and how we can love, support, and celebrate all of those in the LGBTQIA+ community who are important members of our church family.

October 3
“Journeying Towards Spiritual Wholeness: The 8th Principle” The Rev. Bob LaVallee.
There’s a movement happening in Unitarian Universalism to add an additional principle to our current seven. This principle would call UUs to intentionally work to dismantle racism and other oppressions. Rev. Bob will talk about the history and future of the 8th principle.

September 26
“The Possibilities of Gratitude”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Everything is just so much more these days, and it’s hard to stay present, joyful, and above all, grateful. We talk a lot about how being grateful changes the way we see and feel, but how about the impact on other people? And why is it so hard to accept gratitude from other people?

September 19, 9AM Zoom service
“The Possibility of Imperfection”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
The rest of this sermon title might as well be “and the Impossibility of Perfection.” We all know it’s impossible to be perfect, and, well, sometimes that really stinks. But it also opens the door to one of our superpowers as humans.
Sermon Text:

September 12, 9AM Zoom service
“Embracing Possibility” The Rev. Angela Herrera
Sermon Text:
First Unitarian has had two Sunday services for many years. Now that one is on Zoom and one is in the sanctuary, what possibilities lie before us? In our personal lives as well as at church, how do we embrace possibility?

September 5
“About Hope”
Matt Pargeter-Villareal, Ministerial Intern
In the midst of the global pandemic and rising new cases due to the Delta variant, there is much uncertainty about what the future will hold, and whether we will ever return to a sense of “normal” again. Matt offers a message of how we can find hope, inspired by the life and the words of Julian of Norwich and the music of UU minister/songwriter Rev. Meg Barnhouse.

August 29 “Question Box Sermon”
The Revs. Angela Herrera & Bob LaVallee
This month we’re tackling some big questions in church… and giving you a chance to ask yours! Throughout August we’ll collect your spiritual, moral, and theological questions via email and the chat box. Today, Bob and Angela will take turns responding to them.

August 22
The Rev. Christine Robinson
Last March, we felt resilient for locking ourselves down for the greater good, and last September we hunkered down for a long winter, and last Spring we got our vaccinations so we would be able to breathe freely and see each other’s faces and travel the world again, and now…here we are, masked again, worried, and, perhaps, sticking close to home. In the meantime, the world is not just heating but burning, and it looks like that is going to go on for the rest of our lives. How is your resilience? Are you ready for the long haul? If not, let’s talk about it. We get some help from my dog, Mosby, who had a trauma of his own to deal with last year and sailed through. Christine Robinson is our Minister Emerita, after serving as the Minister, then Senior Minister of this congregation from 1988-2017. She says she learned a lot about resilience from us!
Text Version:

August 15
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Doubt has gotten a bad rap in Protestantism, but it wasn’t always that way. In
fact, it is an important part of spiritual growth, and UUs especially embrace it.
Sermon text.

August 8
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Not every church would place giant interfaith symbols in the center of its worship space. As we prepare to return to our beloved sanctuary, we’ll take a closer look at our mural in this sermon about First Unitarian’s interfaith faith.
Text version

August 1
“Braiding Sweetgrass”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
One of the strengths of Unitarian Universalism is our willingness to embrace spirit AND science. In Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass, botanist and Potawatomi Nation citizen Robin Wall Kimmerer does just that. Rev. Bob will explore how her dual wisdom helps us to navigate the climate crisis.

July 25
“Life Hack: Communication”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
From time to time, we all get frustrated in our attempts to communicate. If you’ve ever wished you could understand someone better, or feel heard yourself, then this sermon is for you.
Sermon text:

July 18
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Are you experiencing a transition of some kind? Aren’t we all? Whether it’s a change you looked forward to, or one you would never have wanted or imagined, this sermon on the psychology and spirituality of transitions will offer perspective.
Sermon Text

July 11
“Same Storm, Different Boats: Surviving Capitalism with Your Soul Intact”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Late-stage capitalism has fostered incredible income inequality, exacerbating other issues like climate change, racism, and sexism. In addition, it diminishes our hearts, minds, and souls. How can UUs protect themselves and others from this blight?

July 4
“Freedom Within”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Whether we are conscious of them or not, negative beliefs about ourselves can become like prison bars around the spir¬it. On this holiday, a sermon about freedom of the most personal kind: freedom within.

Sermon Text

Sunday, June 27 at 11:00 am
“Poetry for Life”
Our Worship Coordinators
For many UUs, poetry is an important source of wonder and renewal, speaking to our hearts and souls. Join us for First Unitarian’s not-quite-annual poetry service, and bask in words of insight, compassion, and humor.

2 Responses

  1. Sara Neyer says:

    Today I read “What do we believe,” Rev. Angela Herrera’s sermon from February 10, 2019, at the Prairie Wind Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Gillette, Wyoming. We truly enjoy your sermons here, and since we have no minister of our own, we are a “do it yourself” type church. Thanks for making your sermons available in text form. You give us great ideas and we appreciate your sharing so freely.

  2. I appreciated and enjoyed Rev. LaVallee’s sermon on El Salvador. It was inspiring that he traveled there for a powerful ministry effort. I need to do that, myself. Bob has an excellent ministerial presence in the pulpit, too. Very comforting. xk

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