Sermon Texts (PDF)
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Saturday morning television when I was 10 or 12 years old was unencumbered by adult supervision. My younger brother and I would park in front of “Tarzan,” with Johnny Weissmuller. We watched “Sky King.” In between was a documentary slot for boyhood dreams like rocket sleds, the X-15 and land speed records at Bonneville.
Sally keeps NPR on the radio in her car, so I know that is where we were one winter night in 2010, listening to a man speaking who did not have a body. It was ten minutes or so before I realized he did not actually have a voice either. He was breathing through a machine and speaking through a synthesizer.
“Mary, Don’t You Weep” – it’s an old song known in the world of black gospel music as a “house-wrecker.” Get it on a live recording if you can – Marion Williams with organ and gospel choir in her home church, Aretha Franklin on her “Amazing Grace” album from 1972 – also in a packed church. They do bring the house down.
One of the best gifts we can give, and receive, is the gift of listening. Why is it so powerful, such a compelling spiritual discipline?
Our culture habitually uses binary thinking, evaluating objects or situations as good or bad, A or B, black or white, 0 or 1, even male or female. This has significant implications, though, for our understanding of the possibilities in our own lives, and our responses to others.
How do we “give life the shape of justice?” What happens when our traditional model of social justice/action stops working, even temporarily, and are there other ways we might engage in social justice work that would promise greater transformation, not only of the world but also of ourselves?
Have you ever felt the presence of someone you loved who had died? How did you understand that experience? How did it affect you? How do we talk about these sorts of experiences?
The poet Robert Frost was right. We do have promises to keep. And miles to go before we sleep. Thank goodness. We tend to like the prospect of those miles.
We will honor National Mental Illness Awareness Week by exploring the prevalence and impact of serious mental health issues in our world, and what our just and loving responses to these realities might be.
Love is a word with rich and diverse meanings. What does it mean when someone we love is in pain, both for us, and for them?
Each person that comes to worship in the church brings gifts with them, and each person receives them as well. What are some of the gifts our Unitarian Universalist tradition offers us today?
Beginning ministry with a new minister is a time of excitement, renewal and adjustment for a church. As we hold hands together and jump off the waterfall’s edge, what do we want to remember about our shared ministry?
“How then, shall we live?” That’s how we ended our unison chalice lighting this morning. As a faith community united not by what we believe, but by our promises about how we will live out our shared values, this is our core question: “How, then, shall we live?”
It’s been quite a journey to reach this day, hasn’t it? You and I have both been on a quest these past two years, a quest to find the right combination of minister and congregation.