March 26, 2023: “Love in the Time of Pandemic”
Susan Peck. The last three years have been difficult for all of us. Living and singing through an airborne pandemic has been especially poignant for singers, whose art is created by sharing breath. Join Susan Peck and the Chalice Choir for reflections on grief and hope in the time of pandemic.
March 19, 2023: “When They’re Mean”
The Rev. Angela Herrera. When we have the courage to show vulnerability, it can transform many of our relationships for the better. But what if others respond with meanness? How do we protect ourselves?
March 12, 2023: “Beautiful, incidental moments”
Kristin Famula. Dozens of books were published last year – with the aim of supporting people in managing their time. But is time management really what we’re after? How else might we approach the reality of time in our lives? And yes, make sure you “spring forward” so that you don’t miss this service.
March 5 – Vulnerable Planet, Vulnerable People
Rev. Bob LaVallee – UU principles affirm that the active care of the natural world is fundamental to spiritual life and social justice. In a state driven by extraction economies, what are we called to do?
February 26, 2023: “What Even Is Love?”
The Rev. Angela Herrera Love, like “soul,” is hard to define. We know it when we see it. But it’s also a skill we can get better at. And who doesn’t want to be great at love? Music: Chalice Choir, directed by Susan Peck, Nicia Rae, piano
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February 12, 2023: “The Souls of Animals” with The Rev. Angela Herrera
Do animals have souls? How can such a thing be assessed? A message about our existential and moral relationship with the non-human critters of the world. This sermon topic was a winner at last fall’s Social Justice Auction.
Music: Lydia Clark
February 5, 2023: “Eulogies” with the Ministers and Musicians
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.
Music: Spare Parts, with Vance Bass, Jayson Capps, Tania Hopkins, Keith Morris, Chris Paul, Susan Peck
January 29, 2023: “Cringe” with Kristin Famula, Intern Minister
Finding the sacred gift of cringe-worthy moments. How might we harness the power of embarrassment and find a center of vulnerability within our community?
January 22, 2023: “Self Centered” with the Rev. Angela Herrera
Author and activist Christopher Heuertz says, “We all find ourselves bouncing around three very human lies that we believe about our identity: I am what I have, I am what I do, and I am what other people say or think about me.” A sermon about knowing (and forgetting) the true self at our center.
January 15, 2023: “Creatively Maladjusted” MLK at the 1966 GA, with the Rev. Bob LaVallee
As we observe the MLK holiday, we’ll share Dr. King’s remarks spoken to UUs at the 1966 General Assembly, our denomination’s annual business meeting. How can we continue to “Not sleep through the revolution?”
Music: Lara Manzanares
January 8, 2023: “Centering Our Bodies: Physical Anti-Racism” with the Rev. Bob LaVallee
Resmaa Menakem’s powerful book My Grandmother’s Hands discusses how racism lands in our bodies, regardless of our race. How can our bodies undo the consequences of that racism? This service will include gentle movement suitable for all bodies.
Music: Lydia Clark and Lowell Burton
January 1, 2023: Web of Connection with the Worship Coordinators
This year, instead of examining our individual selves on New Year’s Day, let’s consider the context of community. What can we learn from the web of life that connects the forest floor? Stay in your PJs at home and join us for a Zoom-only service, or join other congregants to watch the service together, starting at 10:30 am in the Social Hall. Coffee and other beverages will be served. Have writing and coloring tools available for our annual worship stations! Download the coloring page for the Creation Station here.
Music: Lydia Clark, piano & vocals
December 25, 2022: Christmas Day with The Rev. Bob LaVallee
December 18, 2022: “A Very Musical Solstice Service” Susan Peck, Director of Music and The Ministers
The poet Wendell Berry writes, “To go in the dark with
a light is to know the light./ To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,/ and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,/and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.” Join us in celebrating the longest night of the year in this service featuring the Chalice Singers Choir, our band Spare Parts, Revs Angela and Bob, and Intern Minister Kristin Famula.
December 11, 2022: “What’s So Bad About Being Woke?” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
“Wokeness” seems to be easily dismissed by the some, but in an era of growing Christo-fascism, our progressive values are more important than ever. This topic was chosen by the winners of the Social Justice Auction.
December 4, 2022 “Wholeness in Beloved Community” The Rev. Angela Herrera & The Rev. Jane Davis
Rev. Jane, co-chair of the 8th Principle Explorations Task Force, joins Angela in reflecting on our work this year toward dismantling oppression and a big congregational decision coming up in January.
November 27, 2022 “Changing How We Love: Attachment Theory” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
The new science of attachment theory gives us some surprising insights into how we form relationships. Can we love better? And what does attachment theory tell us about being members of a church?
November 13, 2022 “So…Here We Are.” Kristin Famula, Intern Minister
Intern minister Kristin Famula reflects on this week’s election with a message of moving forward with love. Artist in residence, Francisco Ruiz leads the First Unitarian choirs and the congregation in song.
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.
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
Thank you for being open about why First Unitarian does not have a land acknowledgement in your sermon on ‘Settler Colonialism”, Rev. Bob Lavalee. I feel very inspired to join or start a conversation about what we can do as a congregation to start more actively engaging in decolonization to the point where we can feel comfortable creating a land acknowledgement. One start would to be to find a way to add one or even several symbols of Indigenous Spiritual beliefs to our wall of religious symbols spanning the world. We are blessed to have several nations historically and currently tied to this land on which we reside. Let us not overlook that Dine (Navajo), Jicarilla Apache, Mescalero Apache, are also a part of this land’s history. (Which brings up an interesting question… If we tie our acknowledgements to land specifically, then how do we remember nomadic nations? Does this support an idea that nomadic civilizations are “less than” which is just another layer of settler colonialism?)