Recent Sermons & Services

September 24, 2023: “Welcoming the Disenfranchised and the Rejected” The Rev. Jane Davis
A reflection about welcoming those in recovery and those re-entering our community from incarceration. Jane is an Affiliated Minister of First Unitarian.

September 17, 2023: “Here, Hold My Fear” The Rev. Angela Herrera
We’re taking some chances in this church: trying to make a difference when the odds seem stacked against us; siding with love when hate is so threatening; and stepping up to hard work when people can always just opt out. Where do we get the guts?
Special Musical Guest: Peter Mayer

Text Version: Here Hold My Fear

September 10, 2023: “The ‘Welcome’ Paradox” The Rev. Angela Herrera
Welcoming each other means practicing hospitality, compassion, and non-judgment. But what if the person we would welcome does not share those values? Is it unwelcoming to set boundaries?

Text Version: The Welcome Paradox

September 3, 2023: “Atheists DO TOO Have Songs” The Rev. Christine Robinson, Minister Emerita
We started the summer series on a wide variety of world faiths with a song called “Atheists Ain’t Got No Songs,” which was funny in the context of the service, but I found myself frowning …. because it’s just plain wrong! Come and hear some good atheist songs, and about the wide variety of human faiths which don’t center on a spiritual figure—Atheism, Agnosticism, Humanism, Stoicism, Taoism … among many.
Music: Lydia Clark, Vance Bass, Susan Peck

Text Version: Atheists Do Too Have Songs

August 27, 2023: “Exploring Native American Religion as Place, Power, and Protocol” Rev. Randy Granger
Rev. Randy Granger explores Native American spirituality and religions through creation stories, music, and common beliefs amongst Native Peoples, sharing with us how Native American ideas of the 7th Generation and Walking in Beauty resonate still in our society and can help guide us in our personal lives.

August 20, 2023: “Barbenheimer? or Being Jewish in the USA.” Rabbi Darah Lerner
This Sunday, in the 8th installment of our “summer seminary sermon series,” we welcome pulpit guest Rabbi Darah Lerner, a rabbi in the Reform Movement of Judaism. In 2022, Rabbi Lerner returned to Albuquerque from Bangor, Maine, where she is the Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth El after serving there for 17 years.

August 13, 2023: “Science & Religion” The Rev. Angela Herrera
Why do religion and science often seem to be at odds? And why does First U have a science display right in the front of our sanctuary? From the “greatest hits,” this is the sermon Angela preached when the display was installed five years ago.
Music: Lydia Clark, piano & vocals

Science and Religion Text Version

August 6, 2023: “What Is Religious Liberalism?” The Rev. Christine Robinson, Minister Emerita
We call ourselves religious liberals but have a hard time explaining what we mean. There’s a national effort afoot to help us understand ourselves better by focusing on our values.
Music: Spare Parts Trio with Vance Bass, Tania Hopkins, and Susan Peck

Religious Liberalism Text Version

July 30, 2023: “Christianities” The Rev. Angela Herrera
How many kinds of Christianity are there and why are there so many? What do they have in common and where do they differ? A sermon about the religion we probably think we know best.
Music: Susan Peck & Lydia Clark

Christianities Text Version

July 23, 2023: “Islam” Imam Abdur’Rauf Campos Marquetti
The Imam, of Minara Muslim Community, is our pulpit guest today, with a message about Islam. Minara shares First Unitarian’s campus, along with the Abq Center for Spiritual Living. He will be joined by the Rev. Emily Wright-Magoon.
Music: Susan Peck & Nicia Rae, with a special performance by the Roots Summer Leadership Academy.


July 16, 2023 “Noble Truths” The Rev. Angela Herrera
The Zen Priest angel Kyodo williams asks, “What does it mean to be born in this human life and so bothered by it?” Buddhism has wisdom about life’s big questions, and encourages each person to test those teachings out to see whether they feel true.

“Noble Truths” Text Version

July 9 “The Third Largest Religion” The Rev. Angela Herrera

Fifteen percent of the global population identifies as Hindu—that’s one billion people! In this first Sunday of our “summer seminary sermon series,” we’ll learn more about the oldest of the world’s major religions.

“The Third Largest Religion” Text Version

July 2 “RESTORATION” Susan Peck, Director of Music

Our hymnals include many tunes from the Southern Harmony and shape note tradition. These tunes support a variety of texts, from traditional to modern. Susan Peck and guest singer Peter Tras will lead the congregation in singing through a history of these American hymns.


June 25 “What Is Religion?” The Rev. Angela Herrera

Is Unitarian Universalism a religion? How is religion defined, and by whom? (It’s trickier than you might think.) A message to get us ready for a “summer seminary” sermon series, where we’ll explore major world religions one Sunday at a time in July and August.

“What is Religion” Text Version

June 18 “Wiser Now” The Rev. Angela Herrera

When we embrace new approaches to inclusivity and justice, does it diminish the work of the past, or build on it? How do we become good ancestors, knowing that things will continue to change? This service also includes a Fathers Day candle-lighting ritual. (To participate on Zoom, have a candle nearby!)

June 11 “Delight-full” The Rev. Bob LaVallee

On Rev. Bob’s last Sunday before taking a four-month sabbatical, he’ll tell stories about the wonderful things that the First Unitarian congregation accomplished in the last four years.

June 4 “All the Flowers” Kristin Famula, Intern Minister

100 years ago (on this exact day) a new UU tradition was born: The Flower Ceremony. Bring a flower (from your garden, the store, the farmers market) this Sunday as we bring back this special ritual marking the diversity and beauty of us all. We will also celebrate our “Bridgers,” honoring the graduating seniors moving from youth to young adulthood.