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

Sermons

The Magical, Mystical, Wonderful World of Trees – July 26, 2020

This reflection was presented with a slideshow of photographs by Carole Smith Berney. My Favorite Trees Many of you may know me as a nature and wildlife photographer. But did you know that I’m a “tree hugger”? Meaning, I love trees, their diversity, strength, beauty, graceful forms, and the benefits they bring to us. From my early years, trees have had special meaning for me. So, here comes a story about how I met some favorites. Once upon a time, as a young teenager, I would climb up and sit...

Poetry Potluck – July 19, 2020

Welcome! This morning's service is a Poetry Potluck - in which you are all invited to join the feast by bringing your favorite dish - in this case poetry - and sharing the poetic nutrition that feeds us - feeds our sense of wonder and mystery, feeds our soul, feeds our sense of shared community: sacred and profane, moving us to tears or making us laugh. Robert Frost wrote that great poetry “begins as a lump in the throat . . a homesickness, a lovesickness.” Poetry stirs something you can’t...

Why Bother? – July 12, 2020

Our opening words today are a paraphrase and extension of words from a speech by John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Some look at things as they are, and ask “Why? Others see things as they could be, and ask “Why not?” Still others take just one look/see, and say “Why bother?” When I was approached about doing a summer service, my partner and I had recently started volunteering with a local Sanctuary Church. I'd like to share a few thoughts from that experience: In the orientation, we were asked not to...

“The Language of the Unheard” – A Homily for Pentecost

We find ourselves once again at the threshold of a new month. Tomorrow is the first day of June, which means the beginning of Pride Month. When we met for our staff meeting on Tuesday, we thought we might focus this morning on Pride and on this congregation’s commitment to being welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons. That afternoon, I started watching the documentary “How to Survive a Plague.” It sounded timely given our current state. It recounts the story of AIDS activists in the 1980’s...

Flower Communion Sunday – June 21, 2020

What an exquisite bouquet of people you are! I am touched and moved, even today, even in this time of physical distancing – or perhaps especially because of it – by this ritual and by Rev. Capek’s original message to his people…the simple message that each person is as beautiful and wonderful as a flower in bloom. Each one of us possesses an inherent worth, an inherent goodness, and an inherent beauty that neither time nor our distance from one another can diminish. That was Rev. Capek’s...

“Heroes” – June 7, 2020

Well, it was another up and down week in national news. My eyes were on the protesters, the police, the military, the mysterious para-military forces who showed up on the streets of DC, and on those who govern at the state and federal levels. There was a lot going on. There are so many images burned into my mind – of police brutality…of armed, masked soldiers standing on the steps of the Lincoln memorial…and of creative, peaceful, and even joyful resistance. Some days I have felt more hopeful,...

Moving Forward When You Cannot See

Last week I spoke of my experience, as a sailor, of having been becalmed…that experience of having the wind, upon which I relied entirely, stop blowing…of having found myself stuck, unable to move, forced to sit still, forced to wait. I quoted Richard Bode from his book, First You Have to Row a Little Boat, who said, “It is perhaps an all-too-human frailty to suppose that a favorable wind will blow forever,” and that perhaps learning to be still, learning to be patient, is “an imperative of...

“Your Life is Precious”

I don’t know who needs to hear this this week, but your life is precious…more precious than any stock holdings…more precious than anyone’s retirement account…more precious than the economy itself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made according to the Psalms. That is what the Christian faith of my childhood taught me. Today there’s an old pseudo-religion masquerading as “Christianity” which tells us that the almighty dollar is more important than life itself. But that is a lie. Of course,...

“Becalmed” – Homily for 17 May 2020

I had the extreme good fortune of growing up with a father who loved to sail, and who instilled in me a love of sailing. As a child, I spent many weeks over the course of many summers, cruising the Chesapeake Bay, exploring its inlets and coves, sleeping in the cockpit under the stars. It was beautiful and lovely…except when it wasn’t. There were plenty of mosquitos at dusk and dawn, and many hours spent sitting still under a hot sun waiting for the wind to blow. For many years, I did not...

Mother’s Day Homily – May 10, 2020

I want to start by wishing a happy Mothers’ Day to you, who are mothers. For those mothers who are home with your children right now, and for those who long to be with their mothers, or their children, but cannot be, this time of pandemic presents new challenges. And I want you to know that I see you, and that you are in my heart. I also want to acknowledge the complexity of Mothers’ Day for some of us, even without a global pandemic. For there is a unique complexity that accompanies our...

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.

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