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Sermons

Music Sunday Homily by Guy Urban – May 3, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, a student at Wheaton College, where I used to teach, emailed me with some questions. She was writing a senior thesis on the role of music in church, and her advisor, an old colleague of mine, told her I was a church musician and she should contact me. Being totally caught up in preparing the virtual choir for today’s Music Sunday service, I struggled to find the time to think about her questions, but even when I found some time, I discovered that our current quarantine...

Earth Day Homily – April 19, 2020

Recently I read a story in the Christian Century magazine about something that happened in September at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. It was included in a book review by Isaac S. Villegas of Mari Joerstad’s book The Hebrew Bible and Environmental Ethics: Humans, Nonhumans, and the Living Landscape. It seems that students at Union held a worship service in the chapel and decided to invite, as their special guests, some potted plants. The plants were not mere chancel decorations...

Easter Homily, April 12, 2020

There’s honey in the rock for all God’s children. Feed every child of God. What a perfect song for us to sing after the story that we heard about Jesus and the disciples feeding the 5000, sometimes known as the story of the loaves and fishes. It did not seem to the disciples like it would be possible, any more possible than finding honey in a rock, but somehow there was enough to feed them all. The first song we sang together, Lean on Me, may seem like an odd choice for Easter Sunday. But...

Church in the Time of COVID-19

This month, before our plans were changed, we were going to be focused on the theme of abundance and generosity. But now we’re having to give so much up because of this pandemic: our usual routines, the physical presence of co-workers and classmates and teachers, our visits with friends and extended family, and our peace of mind, to name a few. Some of us are so busy trying to work from home and keep our children productively occupied that we may not have had time or space to feel our...

“Community, Conflict and Covenant” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – February 23, 2020

Two weeks ago, I talked a little bit about the difference between “true belonging” and merely “fitting in.” I quoted Brene Brown, who wrote in her book Braving the Wilderness, that… Belonging is being accepted for [who] you [are]. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else… If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit it. (160) This morning, I want to continue on our theme of “Identity and Belonging,” by reflecting a little bit on the meaning of the word...

“Longing and True Belonging” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – February 9, 2020

Our two readings sum up rather well our human condition when it comes to this month’s theme of identity and belonging. Each of us is unique, and yet we are connected. All of us long to belong, and yet we all too often find ourselves feeling disconnected and lonely. Brene Brown begins her book, Braving the Wilderness, which is subtitled The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, by talking about her own longing to belong as a child. She grew up in Texas in a community where...

“Brigid of Kildare: Goddess or Saint?” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – February 2, 2020

This is a holy weekend. Today, many of our Christian friends are celebrating Candlemas, which commemorates the day the baby Jesus was presented by his parents to the priests in the Temple. It is also the day when the candles for the church year are traditionally blessed. Today is also Groundhog Day and Superbowl Sunday, and I imagine that some of us celebrate one or both of those. And yesterday, February 1st, our friends and neighbors from pagan and earth-centered traditions – including,...

“Reflections on White Rage, White Grief, and White Fragility” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – January 19, 2020

A Reflection on White Rage We began this morning with the dream. And yet we hardly need reminding, that the ideal which we seek lies in stark contrast to the reality in which we live. Have we made progress in this country in terms of race? Yes, but it has not been straight forward. Every inch of progress has been met with a countervailing counterforce. The end of the civil war and the eradication of slavery was met with the Black Codes in Mississippi and nine other former confederate states,...

“Envisioning Our Future” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – January 12, 2020

It’s hard to believe that we are almost a quarter of the way through this two-year interim period. I have thoroughly enjoyed beginning to get to know you, and hearing some of your stories. And I thank you for welcoming me in and sharing with me some of your concerns and some of your hopes. When people ask me what interim ministry is about, I sometimes say that it is about journeying with a congregation as, together, we look back, look around, and look ahead. This morning I invite you to look...

“Seeking a Word” by Rev. Wendy L. Bell – January 5, 2020

Happy New Year! During this first month of the new year we will be looking ahead and reflecting on the theme of vision and possibility. According to the Soul Matters staff writers who pull together and distribute a lot of our theme material each month, “Of all our topics…possibility is arguably most central to our faith. It has distinguished Unitarian Universalism from the start. Historically, when others saw depravity and sin at the core of human identity, we saw potential… When many were...

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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