large outdoor chalice with stone base and dark metal shallow bowl surrounded by garden plantings

Sermons

“A Brave People” – May 29th, 2022

  “We have so little faith,” Anne Morrow Lindbergh wisely writes, “we have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid that it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity…” Who here doesn’t love the idea of certainty? Continuity? “On this I can rely…” How often do you insist on...

“The Beauty of Broken Things” – May 8th, 2022

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, our poet writes, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Many of you know that we Unitarian Universalist ministers must jump through a myriad of fiery hoops to reach ordination in our faith. One of these hoops requires sitting before the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, or the MFC, which is an...

“To Be Present” – May 1st, 2022

Back in early fall one of our dearly loved church members Ben Jerome, gifted me with a book entitled ‘Mindfulness’ by the world renown Buddhist Joseph Goldstein who co-founded the Insight Meditation Society–maybe some of you know it. There is one in Cambridge. This book is one of Ben’s go-to’s. He has even offered words from it for a chalice lighting. And I particularly love it’s super worn cover and markings on all the pages. Do any of you have books like this in your life? The kind of book...

“To Be Kindred” – March 27th, 2022

The reading we just heard from the late Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson was a meditation offered at GA’s 2013 Sunday worship service, this is, more or less, the culminating gathering at General Assembly. For those of you who aren’t familiar with GA, it’s what we refer to as the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association–which sounds so terribly dry right? It’s so much more than an annual meeting. In my mind, it’s as close to a revival as we UU’s can get. Four days of worship and...

“Amazing Grace” – March 13th, 2022

Do any of you remember the Cincinnati Zoo story back from 2016? It was a story that not only swept every news outlet, but also every news comment section and social media platform, as well as playground side conversations, school conversations, and water coolers at workplaces. One of those big, gripping, divisive stories.   What happened back in May of 2016 at the Cincinnati Zoo was that a three-year-old boy somehow ended up in the gorilla exhibit. He slipped away from his parents and found...

“A People of Faith” – March 6th, 2022

If you would enter into the wilderness, do not begin without a blessing. Do not leave without hearing who you are: Beloved. How often do we do this? How often do we find ourselves faced with a difficult, harrowing road–a real crisis–that, we know, is going to take some time to get through (we might even fear if we are going to make it!), how often do we begin with a blessing that names us as beloved? Methodist minister and writer, the Rev. Jan Richardson, who wrote the Lenten blessing Lynn...

“Choosing Abundance” – February 27th, 2022

Thank you, Lynn, for that reading. Ross Gay is one of my favorites. And that short, lyrical piece “Sharing a Bag” is one of 102 essays published in his 2019 compilation entitled “The Book of Delights.” Gay spent a year writing them, recording everywhere he went, the small joys, shared bonds, often overlooked delights that swim around us humans all day. In an interview he said that, “in the course of writing this…I became acutely aware [of]…the simple and subtle and almost accidental…kindnesses...

“Room to Grow” – February 20th, 2022

“It’s not that we forgot God or the martyrs or the Prophet’s holy word—quite the opposite, in fact, we were boys built to love what was in front of our faces: my brother and I on the floor draped across each other, laughing tears into our prayer rugs.” I had never heard of Kaveh Akbar, our poet today, until a few short months ago. One of my favorite things to do is to listen to Padraig O’ Tuoma’s podcast Poetry Unbound. Do any of you know it? Padraig O’ Tuoma is a stunning poet himself who...

“Widening the Circle” – February 6th, 2022

Our theme this month is Widening the Circle. This is not a theme that your worship committee, or I, or staff, cooked up, but rather takes its name from the 2020 report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change. They titled it: Widening the Circle of Concern.  I have mentioned it before, and we will continue talking about it. It has certainly put a fire under our 8th Principle work. This formidable commission–a group of eight, back in 2017 were given a charge by the UUA board of trustees:...

“The Beauty of the Thing” – January 16th, 2022

Thank you First Parish Band! Beautiful. Those words that Rev. King offered, closed his ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech, given on April 3, 1968 at the Church of God in Christ headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. The mountaintop that King drew from came from the Hebrew Bible in Deuteronomy. Moses, the great prophetic liberator of the oppressed Israelites, leads his people through the desert, urging them to follow him, follow him for life and freedom waits in the Promised Land of Canaan. But...

Sermons by our minister and homilies by lay speakers call us to reflect on our lives and spirituality, learn from the sources of our Unitarian Universalist faith, and deepen our commitment to social justice.

August 2022
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