December 4, 2016: Be Here Now

Read the Order of service. When I was a kid, two of my favorite possessions were a copy of The Whole Earth Catalog and Baba Ram Dass’s book Be Here Now, admittedly a pretty trippy book that has been called a “countercultural bible,” and a “seminal” text for the 1970s hippie culture.  And while it’s three-word title is now quite common […]

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November 27, 2016: Sharing Our Stories

Read the Order of service. This month we have said that we are “a community of story.”  On this Sunday after Thanksgiving, many of us no doubt have stories to tell – stories from this year, and stories of years gone by; stories that evoke laughter, and those that bring out tears.  Today we will have […]

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Read the Order of Service. The image of “the welcome table” has been fully embraced in religious metaphor, but if its fruits can be seen nearly everywhere, it is important to remember that its roots are in slavery.  Enslaved African Americans sung about a “welcome table” at which they would one day be free to […]

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October 30, 2016: Healing Our Past

Mainstream American culture acts as if everything important happened today, or will happen in the near future, like a car driving down the highway with no rearview mirror.  Yet the majority of other world cultures know that our past is intimately intertwined with the present.  Día de los Muertos, and festivals like it, are a […]

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October 16, 2016: Help Heal the World

Read the Order of service. In 2007 the Unitarian Universalist Association began a national marketing campaign which had as its tagline:  “Nurture your spirit; help heal the world.”  This might sound like a grandiose objective, were it not for that first word, “help …”  When we set our goal as helping to heal the world we […]

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October 9, 2016: Repentance and Return

Read the Order of Service. Am I in the right sanctuary?  I can see that some of you’re wondering.  Isn’t this a Unitarian Universalistcongregation?  What’s all this talk about “repentance” and “sin” and “God”?  In some religious traditions you don’t talk openly about sex, for instance, or social justice.  In ours …? Yet we know – or […]

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October 2, 2016: The Wounded Healer

Read the Order of service. Most of us take a lot of care to keep our most wounded, most vulnerable parts of ourselves as out of sight as possible.  We want to show the world our strengths, not our weaknesses.  Yet all deep spiritualties agree that our woundedness is, paradoxically, our greatest strength.  Can our wounds […]

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August 7, 2016: Peace in the Heart

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tse said something that many of us have no doubt seen printed on a refrigerator magnet. The shortest version is: “For there to be peace in the world … there must be peace in the heart.” Yet what is “peace in the heart”? Watch or read the news for even a […]

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July 24, 2016: This Is Because That Is

Read the Order of Service One of the essential teachings of the Buddhist tradition(s) is “dependent co-origination” (Pratītyasamutpāda in Sanscrit). This grows out of, and forms the basis of, Buddhism’s assertion that the fundamental nature of things is “emptiness.” What does it mean to say that everything depends on everything else for its existence? And what […]

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July 17, 2016: A Part of or Apart From?

Read the Order of service Our seventh principle states that we, as Unitarian Universalists, affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Yet we humans tend to talk (and think!) as though we are apart from the rest of the natural world rather than recognizing ourselves as […]

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