Past Sermons

January 2023

As we continue our spiritual theme of the month, we explore relationships as a way to find and find again our center. With a dash of the feminist mantra: "stay curious, build empathy, and raise heck," how do we center relationships in our spiritual lives? 

Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage. Special music by Adrian Graham on flute with Justin Furnia on piano.

January 15th Service: "Finding Our Center: Service"

On this Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & 30 Days of Love Sunday, we embrace service as our prayer, and a way back to our center. We will bless Rev. Rebekah as she begins her sabbatical, and we will also bless each other for this special time in the life and history of UUCR. 

Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage. Special music by HALO and the UUCR Community Choir; Justin Furnia on piano.

January 22nd Service: "Finding Serenity"

The Serenity Prayer, which is attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, emerged in the late 1930’s in the face of a rapidly changing society not unlike where we are today. We will explore this simple prayer based on a profound principle: finding serenity and wisdom in knowing the difference between what we can, and cannot, change.

Led by Rev. Morgan McLean. Special music by the UUCR Chamber Ensemble; Justin Furnia on piano.

January 29th Service: "Dare to Love Again"

Do I dare to love again? Many of us have asked that question at one time or another. I know I have. Whether after death, disappointment or betrayal, life is always asking us to give love another chance. But do we dare? And how?

Led by Rev. Dr. Robert M. Hardies. Special music by the UUCR Community Choir; Justin Furnia on piano.

February 2023

February 5th Service - "Accepting Mistakes: Opening Our Hearts"

What is the best way forward with the most love possible? By allowing ourselves to show up as imperfectly perfect human beings. In doing so, we can make space for growth and the mistakes that come with growth. As Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin write in the book Mistakes and Miracles, "Although [we] may make mistakes over and over, [we] also can face [our] failures and try again, with broken-open hearts, to build the kind of multicultural, antiracist Beloved Community that is truly countercultural."

Led by Ministerial Intern Brenna Clanton. Special music by Julie Graf, Amy Heath, and a Women’s Ensemble; Justin Furnia on piano.

February 12th "We Are A Global Faith"

There are Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist groups around the globe. This service will explore and celebrate our connections, and our differences, with our siblings in faith. Rev. Morgan will also reflect on her own work of unlearning our American expectations and learning anew to center emerging voices.

Led by Rev. Morgan McLean. Special music by the UUCR Community Choir; Justin Furnia on piano.

February 19th "Threshold of Beauty"

Things will come. Things will change and grow. We must be wise and patient as we prepare. We must have a plan, pull the weeds, and prepare the land.

Led by Rev. Morgan McLean. Special music by WildBerry Jam; Dick Gilbert on piano.

February 26th "New World Waking"

Frayed tempers and rising world tensions. Vulnerable youth and polarized politics. In a world in which so much seems at risk, the need for dynamic and deeply rooted progressive faith community is greater than ever. What comes next?

Led by Guest Minister Rev. Audette Fulbright Fulson. Special music by the UUCR Community Choir; Justin Furnia on piano.

March 2023

March 5th Service: "Joy!"

The youth group (grades 7 through 12) will lead a service on Joy and Love. They will start the service with something that gives them joy and then broaden it to what brings you joy in difficult times. Please wear clothes that bring you joy.

March 12th Service: "Our Vulnerable Selves, Our Vulnerable World"

Vulnerability is important for connecting with others and for people seeing who we truly are. Sometimes it gets to be too much, and managing that becomes an important act of self-love. And sometimes things shock us and remind us how fragile we really can be, and the care that we owe to those that are exposed to unwilling vulnerability.

March 19th Service: "Gods of Space and Time"

Science. Story. Mystery. And us, in between.

March 26th Service: "Slings and Arrows"

Pain and suffering are an inevitable part of life. None of us can avoid what William Shakespeare called “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” But sometimes we compound our suffering by the way we respond to it, and by the stories we tell ourselves about it. How can we be more gentle with ourselves and minimize these self-inflicted wounds?

April 2023

April 2

What is your relationship with joy? Join Greg Bonin to explore the role that joy plays in this month's theme of resistance.

April 9

With songs and stories from the musical Godspell, we take a look at Mary Magdalene, sin and being imperfect people as we build a Beautiful City together. Come and join Rev. Kären as we enjoy some music from Godspell and take a little look at our all too human imperfections.

April 16

Resistance is often thought of as an active process. What if we can resist in ways that are more subtle? Listening to our bodies, our intuition, our selves can all be ways of resisting the fast-paced norm of our culture. In the book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer recounts how planting sweetgrass and weaving baskets can be acts of resistance and a return to one's roots, and to one's own self. 

April 23

Join us for a fun, multi-generational worship experience as we commemorate Earth Day with words, music, movement and rhythm. Children will share about their exploration of trees in their RE classes this year, and Sue Hedges will reflect on stewardship of our UUCR grounds and the world beyond. Following the service, there will be outdoor planting activities for everyone, so come prepared to dig in the dirt! Families will gather in the Children’s Garden for garden activities and a potluck lunch for families with children.

April 30

Where do you find hope when hope is hard to find? When communities come together to create hope, we can bend the arc of the universe toward justice. Let's imagine together a future based on hope.

May 2023

May 7th Service: "Creative Inspiration"

As Unitarian Universalists we have diverse sources of creative inspiration. For some of us, we draw creative inspiration from the strength of our spiritualities, belief in a god or gods, trust in our ancestors or connection to the web of life that surrounds us. For others, we are inspired by Science, Sociology, Psychiatry, Neurology and the observable ways that our minds create. Many of us feel influenced by more than one of these sources. Regardless of where we draw inspiration, we all acknowledge the universally accessible nature of creativity and its manifestations as both a spiritual and neurological concept. Join the Worship Arts Team this Sunday as we tap into our individual creative process and demonstrate the utility of creativity as a pathway to mental clarity, spiritual enlightenment, and self-empowerment.  Virtual attendance on Zoom does not require registration.

May 14th Service: Our Foremothers

Mother’s Day was born out of peace groups in the United States.  Many of our Unitarian and Universalist foremothers have been leaders in peace and justice movements.  This service will honor them, as well as the mothers we have in our own lives.

May 21st Service: The Blessing of the Shells: Creativity in Community

What does it look like to express our creativity in community? When we come together to express our creative gifts, it is an opportunity to connect deeply. To do so, it is important to take some time to covenant with each other so we can be in right relationship. 

May 28th Service: No Child Goes Hungry

It's unbelievable isn't it, that any child ever goes to bed hungry?Come and join Rev. Kären Rasmussen as she talks about the challenge of childhood hunger and how we can solve it together- one child and one meal at a time. Let’s talk about how we can solve a tough problem together in community.