UU Church of Annapolis Podcast
Sermons by the ministers and guests at UUCA -Living boldly and compassionately in Annapolis, MD for over 60 years!
 
Join Rev. Kathleen as shed discusses our monthly theme Faith from a UU context.  What does it mean to lose your religion and find it again?  Tune in to this podcast...
 
 
 
Image result for kathleen Rolenz
Direct download: faith-Rev.Kathleen.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:02pm EDT

It’s taken us a long time to realize our value and our worth. It’s easy to forget how a social justice movement can forget or simply fail to acknowledge the other. When UUs raise our Black Lives Matter banners, this sermon will give a voice to the forgotten.  

 

Direct download: Shuantee_91.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am EDT

 
It is time to open our minds to the messages our bodies get through music, all aspects of music-major/minor key, rhythm, timbre, volume, and their changes-that can help to develop our spiritual expression. Music frees us from the confinement of thought that bogs us down and keeps us from moving forward in life.
 
Direct download: Thornell_825.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:39pm EDT

American Zen teacher Bernie Glassman developed Street Retreats to push his students to give up their fixed ideas and pay attention to life around them. We go out without money, sleep on sidewalks, and beg. Back in 1991 when Bernie first started his street retreats, folks would ask him: How much money do you bring to the people on the street? And he would say: “No money.” Clothes? Blankets? Extra shoes? And he would say: “None of these. We bring ourselves.”
 
Direct download: Bob_Ertman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

We have rituals for many occasions in our lives. We live by them and they are important. We need to honor rituals and create new ones to satisfy our continued lives. 

Direct download: Jane_Carrigan_72819.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm EDT

The Fourth Source of Unitarian Universalism is Christian and Jewish Teachings calling us to love. In the aftermath of 2 mass shootings, we will reflect on how the book of Leviticus in the Hebrew Scriptures can inform us how we can change, atone, and act for justice in these difficult times. 

Direct download: Josh_Long_8419.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

We Americans swim in the waters of a gun culture that increasingly threatens our well-being as well as our lives. Can we keep from drowning? How can we respond effectively? 

Direct download: Lisa_Fleeharty_72118.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am EDT

The intentional deepening of our faith can benefit not only us but also future generations. Let's explore how living in a purposeful multi-generational community can be fulfilling and also an act of social justice. 

Direct download: Dayna_Edwards_7719.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Cishet, pansexual, genderqueer, aromantic... As a Welcoming Church, we invite people to bring their full selves, but the spectrum of beautifully diverse identities can sometimes feel confusing to allies and some members of the LGBTQ+ community alike. This sermon will use the Gender Unicorn, a graphic by Trans Student Educational Resources, to explore identity, expression, and attraction.

Direct download: Pride_Sermon_Leika.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07am EDT

In late 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned the world that we have only 12 years to prevent catastrophic damage to the Earth. Let’s take a realistic look at climate justice and why choosing hope is our way forward.

Direct download: Josh_Climate_Change_sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

Why do we sleep?  Why did Arianna Huffington leave her job to devote her life to teaching people to live healthier lives through sleep and intentional self-care?  Here's why we sleep and why we must prioritize it in our lives.

 

Direct download: R_20190616-102951.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

Every day we hear about a new crisis arising; whether the threat to women’s reproductive freedoms, measles outbreaks, looming tensions in the Middle East, asylum-seeking families being cruelly separated or deported, white supremacy asserts itself at every term, glaciers melting – it’s a Hot Mess! Every day we must practice a few core principles of our faith which allow us to persist and resist. Buy Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd’s new book: After the Good News: Progressive Faith Beyond Optimism for some advance reading!

 

Direct download: R_20190609-102716.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm EDT

In this Memorial Day sermon, Interim Minister, Rev. Kathleen Rolenz, gives a compelling and riveting message on the racial and controversial events in Charlottesville, Virginia last year over the removal of the Confederate statue of General Robert Lee.  Rev. Kathleen asks "What if the narrative you are telling yourself is a lie?" and boldly shows why one's personal stories can create false narratives that lead to war and violence.  What can we do differently?  Listen to this message.

Direct download: StatuesRolenz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EDT

Fear and love are powerful motivators. Some say fear is more potent while others say love is the thing that links us all. We will examine curiosity, fear, fight and flight and show that we must do what the author Susan Jeffers says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Direct download: John_feel_the_fear_may_19_2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

On May 5, 1819, The Reverend William Ellery Channing preached a controversial sermon at the Unitarian Church of Baltimore. Channing's sermon went "viral" and quickly established the Unitarians not only as religious liberals - but theological radicals.

Direct download: Kathleen_Channing_Sermon_5_5_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT

On Easter morning, the women disciples of Jesus came to the tomb, only to discover that he wasn't there. Fast forward some 2,000 years, and we'll discover a Jesus whose message of radical hospitality and inclusiveness is still very much alive and still in need of our purposeful engagement.

Direct download: Kathleen_Easter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17pm EDT

As your interim minister, Rev. Rolenz has been on this journey of transition several times. There are certain experiences that are common to all churches in transition; others are unique to specific congregations. Rev. Rolenz will reflect on the journey of UUCA towards the next chapter of its life, with some help from the five spiritual touchstones which can frame our life's journey. 

 

Direct download: Rev_Kathleen_3_24_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:31pm EDT

Freedom is not a single destination, but a series of roads we journey on together as we seek wholeness for ourselves and our world. This service will reflect on the lessons of Passover and the ways in which the journey of the Exodus still speaks into our own lives as we embrace and uplift freedom.

Direct download: Leika_4_14_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm EDT

How do you choose to do or NOT do a certain thing? When or how do you know that your choice was the right one? In this message, Rev. John will utilize the social science scholarship of author Jonah Lehrer as he explores the intricate processes and decisions involved in finding and living in wholeness and happiness. 

 

Direct download: John_4_7_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm EDT

In celebration of Women's History Month and the commitments we make together to justice, this sermon explores epic journeys in myth, history, and our own lives.

Direct download: 20190331_1115AM_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

What happens when we die?  Today I examine spiritualism, reincarnation and life after death using some personal transcendent experiences, history and current writings, Rev. John explores the mystery of death and the afterlife.

Direct download: JourneyofsoulsFINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT

Unitarian Universalists generally believe that we are autonomous, independent individuals who have the right to do with our lives whatever we wish-including the right to end it. This sermon was inspired by the book Stay by Jennifer Michael Hecht who argues that suicide violates not a moral law but a human ethical imperative to stay alive with and for each other.

Trigger Warning: This sermon contains sensitive content on suicide and discussion around mental health. Please be advised with children listening and seek help if you are having thoughts of depression or suicide. Ministers are available for Pastoral Care and can direct you to proper mental health agencies. 

Direct download: Kathleen_Thanks_for_Staying_2_24_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm EDT

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was an African-American abolitionist, suffragist, poet, teacher, public speaker, and writer. She was active in social reform and was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, which advocated the federal government taking a role in progressive reform.  Her writings, poetry, and theology all leaned towards Universalism.  Within her powerful life story, we may find lessons for our own to encourage, challenge and inspire us.

Direct download: E_F_Harper_Sermon_3_10_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:35pm EDT

We talk of our journey to the beloved community all the time.  We aspire to create a place that is diverse and welcoming to ALL.  What does that look like when it is realized?  How will we know when we get there?  In this service, Rev. John will share his vision for the UUCA congregation, in particular, and Unitarian Universalism, in general, with great hope, and determination.

Direct download: John_Journey_3_3_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

Who do you trust? Why do you trust them? Have you lost trust in someone or something? How do you get trust back? In this interactive service, Rev. John will lead you through some of the Soul Matters materials to get to the heart of the matter: Trust but verify!

Direct download: John_Trust_sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT

The theme for February is "Trust" and there are many ways in which trust can be both eroded and built.  The Ministry Team will reflect on the role of vulnerability, forgiveness, and mercy as it is experienced in the hard work of building relationships, dismantling oppression, and working for justice in our community. 

 

Direct download: Trust_in_mercy_2_3_19_minister_team.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

It is said that old wounds fester. Could it be that we are still fighting the Civil War in America? Is it possible that the Civil Rights Movement was a continuation of a quintessentially American story about tribe, race, resources, and power? 

In this message, Rev. John looks at history and suggests that we are fighting a war for civility.  

 

Direct download: OurCivilWar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am EDT

From the cold vacuum of space to the lush wilds of earthly jungles, Wanderers have been heading out to explore the unknown since the dawn of time. No matter how intrepid these explorers, though, some of the small-some might say silly-reminders of home have traveled with them on their journeys. This multigenerational service will examine the ways we strike out to know mystery, and the things that keep us grounded on the way. 

Direct download: Leika_12_30_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

Does God exist? Perhaps we've all thought about this question? I have, often, and have drawn a few conclusions. Are you atheist, deist, theist, or none of the above but still believe in a greater good? How do you celebrate the holidays when they are based upon a narrative that says God entered the world through the birth of Jesus to lead humanity to salvation? In this holiday service, Rev. John will tackle the mystery of God and posit that everyone believes in a higher power.

Direct download: John_12_9_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

We spend much of our life trying to figure things out - where we came from, who and what are we and where we are going; yet woven in and amongst all of these questions persists randomness, uncertainty and deep mystery. This sermon will explore the spiritual practice of engaging with the unknown.

Direct download: 20181202_9AM_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03am EDT

The holidays can be a time of joy and also a time of struggle. This service will open space for all the complicated feelings we carry during this season of light and darkness.

Direct download: R_20181125-900AM_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:54am EDT

Unitarian Universalists 5th principle encourages us to affirm and promote: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. In a joint sermon following the mid-term election, Revs. John and Kathleen will reflect on the meaning of democracy in a nation divided by the threat of tribalism. Can this election serve as a wake-up call for a new era of civic engagement?  Or, is democracy in deep peril? 

Direct download: 9-30-18_900AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am EDT

"Be welcoming" we are told.  It's actually hard to be truly welcoming. Why?  As religious people, however, it is what we do.  It's who we are.

In this message, Rev. John tells the story of UUCA's Black Lives Matter sign and the confession of a young man who stole it.  He ends with the call for UUs to not think small and even though it's counter-intuitive, to open its doors even wider to welcome the strangers looking for our UU sanctuary.  Enjoy...

 

Direct download: welcomingthestranger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51pm EDT

In the midst of the fight for justice, how do we care for the spirit? This sermon will examine the history of armistice, and what that means for the ways we create sanctuary.

- Leika Lewis-Cornwell, Intern Minister

Direct download: Leika_10_14_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34pm EDT

In liberal circles being woke is a popular saying these days.  It's in to be aware-but aware of what? Rev. John delves into why there are woes and wows as we awaken to the true realities of what life really is.

Direct download: John_9_30_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

There are plenty of misconceptions about the role of forgiveness in our lives.  Some of these are indeed grounded in religious teachings; others are secular attempts to express the need to forgive.  But what about the commitment of acts which are unforgivable?  What do we do with those?  Rev.Kathleen delivers a message that explores forgiveness, resentment, and moving through some of life's most difficult and heartbreaking moments. 

Direct download: Kathleen_9_16_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm EDT

Shauntee Daniels, Worship Lay Minister, examines the words of Frederick Douglass It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. Right now, children of color are at risk, we know that for sure. But when we examine the facts all children are at risk. What are the risks? How can we look at ourselves to help all children be strong?

Direct download: Sermon_Shauntee_8_26_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm EDT

Current science is discovering that trees and other organisms can and do communicate with each other. Hear how Lisa Fleeharty explores how this informs our understanding of our seventh principle and its connection to the first (and eighth!).

 

Direct download: R_20180819-095943_Lisa_Fleeharty_Sunday_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EDT

Listen to UU seminarian and former DRE Dayna Edwards as she explores the ways in which life and death conspire to keep us in balance whether we like it or not.   Her words are timely given our recent tragedy.


 

Direct download: Dayna_Edwards_Worship_Service.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05am EDT

We all think about our own life and how it will change over time. It is prudent to think about how our church
will change. Even though we are addressing our documents and taking an inventory of our activities today, we have taken a major step in adopting the 8th Principle. How will this affect the church community and help us grow our faith? How will this expand the breadth of our reach?
 
Direct download: Thornell_August_5_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

When our bodies are wounded, the body kicks into high gear to begin the process of healing. From the common cold to more serious diseases or injuries, our body intuitively knows how to heal itself.  When we are faced with trauma, grief and/or loss we need to pay equal attention to how our we heal emotionally and spiritually.  The good news is that healing can, does, and will occur.   As we seek to heal from a collective trauma, we'll look at ways to continue that process in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Direct download: Kathleen_sermon_july_22_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54am EDT

This interactive service will draw from multiple sources and traditions to examine the "golden rule" and what we can learn from each other about embracing the joy in life.
Reading is by Whitney Houston, The Greatest Love of All
Read by Worship Leader Alethea Shiplett 
 
 
 
Direct download: Leika_Joy_7_15_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12pm EDT

Join Worship Leader, Jane Carrigan and she explores forgiveness, letting go and reconciling her relationship with her sister through the spiritual practice of "Ho'oponopono".

 

Direct download: JaneCarriganFinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EDT

This is the entire service save the first 15-minutes, unfortunately.  There is a live stream and also a videotape version coming soon.  This version is 2:22 minutes but worth every second.   Thank you Wendi for your bravery and love of what you do!

Direct download: Wendimemorialservice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52pm EDT

On June 28 at 2:33pm, We lost an incredible member of our congregation, Wendi Winters.  Her service was too large to be held in our sanctuary with a 250 capacity.  We moved the service to Maryland Hall which holds 726.  There were over 1000 in attendance (standing room only); and another 1,000 watching our live-stream.  "This is the biggest thing to happen in the life of our congregation to date," many said..  We have all been profoundly hurt and changed.  

On this UUCA podcast, Rev. John Crestwell, shares his Eulogy to/for/of Wendi Winters, our hero.  He wants all of us to do what Wendi would, "Not cower in tough times" and to "Be the change we wish to see," as Gandhi said.  We will never forget you Wendi!

Below is the picture she took of Rev. John in 2008. It's a good picture!

 

Direct download: WintersEulogy-Crestwell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10pm EDT

In 1920, Olympia Brown gave her final sermon entitled, "The Opening Doors," few weeks after the passage of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote in America. This victory sermon was a reminder to the Universalists in Racine, Wisconsin to remember their shared salvation and how they are called to be a blessing to others. A century later, this message may still ring true for us.

Direct download: Josh_Universalism_our_saving_Grace.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

"It only takes a spark to get a fire going...That's how it is with love.." Kurt Kaiser's words guide this message about generosity--lighting the flame within; and the power giving has on people, places and things!  Check out Rev. John's message on Father's Day 2018.

Note:  This message was not recorded live so this is a re-recording.

 

 

 

Direct download: flame2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:25pm EDT

Rev.Kathleen Rolenz & Leika Lewis-Cornwell
What do you do when you find yourself between a rock and a hard place? As we look at the monthly theme of "Blessing" we find that many blessings aren't visible until we are going through troubled times. The Worship leaders reflect on blessing and struggle in this sermon. This was a multi-sensory service in which the entire worship team was involved so we do acknowledge their dedication for producing such a meaningful service. 
 
Direct download: Between_a_rock_and_a_hard_place.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EDT

SSECCUS with Rev. John Crestwell, Jr. 
 
Is this title creative?  Creativity is our monthly theme.  I spelled success backward because I think many have it all wrong. Today I examine ideas and definitions of  success that may be opposite to what you may have considered success to be. 
 
NOTE:  Sermon wasn't recorded live so Rev. John did a manual recording for this podcast.  
 
Direct download: SUCCESSBackward2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EDT

Surrendering is seen as cowardice by many but it actually is very courageous and is one of the hardest things in life to do. We hold on--sometimes too long--and in the process lose the very thing we wanted so badly. Using strategies from Dr. David Hawkins, Rev. John will help us with one of the hardest lessons of all--letting go. 

Direct download: John_5_20_18_law_of_surrender.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

Mum's the word is British slang for "keeping quiet." Today, however, we're not keeping quiet about the role that our Mums (or moms) play in our lives. This multigenerational service celebrates Mother's Day and included our annual Flower Ceremony. 

Direct download: Kathleen_Mothers_day_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EDT

We are restless souls yearning to be understood and evolve. What is emerging in ourselves and in humanity? Inspired by the words of the Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda, Rev. John explores how learning to understand our emerging selves and each other allows us to live into the Beloved Community. 

 

 

Direct download: John_4_29_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm EDT

Heloise's household hints column was begun in 1959 to help readers clean up life's spills, stains and stinks. Our greatest household - the planet - is desperately in need of action if we want to preserve the home for present and future generations. Rev.Kathleen Rolenz shares her thoughts in this Earth Day Sermon. 

Direct download: Kathleen_4_22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

This Sunday combines two seemingly opposite holidays; the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the tomb and April Fool's Day - a day of pranks, merriment and the opportunity for those in positions of power to be foolish or to be exposed as fools. Yet, much of Jesus' ministry was to show those in power how foolish they truly were.  Regardless if you identify as a Christian or not, the practice of resurrection is both a foolish hope and a possibility still in the making.

Direct download: Kathleen_Easter_4_1_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34pm EDT

Are you angry? Have you struggled with anger? There are many schools of thought about anger and its productive and counter-productive qualities. Rev. John Crestwell analyzes the many angles of anger and how we can balance our own internal fire, productively, before it becomes fury and does harm to ourselves and others.  This is a continuation of last week's message focusing on the success of the March for our Lives, toxic masculinity, and transmuting our anger energy into positive change. 

Direct download: John_March_25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

Leader of the Harlem Children's Zone in New York City, Geoffrey Canada, told his story of how things escalate into violence in his book  Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun. Canada was able to turn many New York blocks into safe zones for children to be educated. We can do the same in our own way if we develop the moral courage as a nation. As we prepare to march for our children on March 24th, let's discuss what de-escalation and balance could look like in our society.

 Note:  Rev. John said the first school shooting was in 1964--he meant 1764.  Here is the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

Direct download: John_march_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

If Unitarian Universalist were reviewed in a local magazine would it read "the best kept secret in town?" If so, why is that? Why is it, when people discover Unitarian Universalism, they exclaim: "where have you been all my life?" If the nature of religious life is to make the "invisible visible" then there is much spiritual work to be done. In this sermon, Rev. Kathleen Rolenz sheds light on how we as Unitarian Universalists can become more visible in a way that is true to our values.

Direct download: Kathleen_march_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02am EDT

This past year the nation witnessed an unprecedented reporting of sexual harassment and assault against women as well as some men. The coverage has revealed not only the pervasiveness of inappropriate conduct, but a nation's own uncertainty about what the next steps should be in creating an environment where all people feel welcome, safe, and valued. Rev.Kathleen Rolenz receives a standing ovation for a message that acknowledges the pain, trauma, and abuse many people have experienced while calling us forward into more awareness, love, respect, and wholeness. 

Direct download: Kathleen_march_4_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Have you ever had your heart broken by life? English poet, David Whyte, says that "heartbreak is how we mature." It doesn't feel that way when it's happening does it? Rev. John will discuss how your setbacks are actually setups for spiritual growth.

Direct download: john_feb_26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10am EDT

Memory lingers long - until it doesn't. When memory fails or fades, what happens to the person or the institution? How does memory shape our understanding of the past and prepare us for the future? This sermon, Rev. Kathleen explores the persistence of our memories and how we make meaning of them.

Direct download: kathleen_2_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EDT

Charles Darwin gifted the world with the theory of evolution, which remains the gold standard by which we understand the evolution of the species. Understanding the ways in which human beings evolve emotionally and spiritually is no less complex, fascinating, or controversial. Rev. Rolenz shared the sermon with Leika Lewis Cornwell, currently in seminary studying for the Unitarian Universalist ministry. 
 
Direct download: Leika_Kathleen_2_11_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm EDT

In recognition of Black History Month and UUCA's traditional focus on humanism during the month of February, in this sermon, Rev. Kathleen reflected on the influence of humanism on people of color in Unitarian Universalism. It's a story filled with both triumph and tragedy and has telling implications for the future of this faith.

Direct download: kathleen_2_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48am EDT

A spirit-filled service around our monthly theme of Intention - what it means to chose to intentionally see both sides of a conflict. Life is both intentional and ambiguous. This service Rev. John demonstrates how we as humans can be both complex while trying to meet our most basic needs 

 

Direct download: John_1_28_Both_And.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

UUCA has done much work on racial justice and engaging with the realities of white privilege and white supremacy. And yet, the struggle to turn our ideals into real, lasting institutional change continue to challenge us to dig deeper and to be more resilient in our resistance to everyday racism. There are two essential things we need to do to continue to build the world we dream about. Our Interim Minister Kathleen Rolenz enlightens us on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Service. 

 

Direct download: Kathleen_1_14_Beyond_the_Pale.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Join UUCA's new Interim Senior Minister, Kathleen Rolenz, in exploring change and transition in our lives.  When familiar routines are disrupted; beloved people move or die; what once seemed solid and predictable changes and shifts and with it, so must we.

Direct download: BestofIntentions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Stories are the ties that bind us together at UUCA. In this last Sunday service as our senior minister, Rev. Fred Muir shared stories from my 34 years of ministry with you, stories that will bind us forever. Included in this podcast is the ceremony commemorating Fred's 34 years of service to our congregation. He is named Minister Emeritus along with the wood behind the church building are now called "Muir Woods." Finally a blessing and laying on hands to send the Muirs off to the next chapter on life's journey. 

 

Music: 

"Hush, Somebody's Callin' my Name" - African American Spiritual

"Natural Woman" written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King

"I've Got You Under My Skin" written by Cole Porter

 

UUCA does not own any of the rights to music performed during the service. 

Direct download: Blessed_be_the_tied_that_binds_Rev_Fred_12_31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05am EDT

At this time, the darkest of the year, we beckon the light forward to fill the darkness and help us see more clearly. The theme of an emerging light in the darkness is present in several of the December holidays. In this multi-generational service, we have 4 candles representing four faith traditions who must figure out how to be with one another and understand the meaning of the holiday traditions. Welcome to Holly Day's Shop! 

 

Direct download: Multi-generational_holiday_service_12_17_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

In this season of hope and, for some, hopelessness--how can you use your power to have an impact on the current paradigm that perpetuates inequality and hatred?  Rev. John Crestwell offers his thoughts on hope and action in his latest message to the UUCA congregation.

  

Direct download: usepwersermn.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:10am EDT

Am I naive to be hopeful? In spite of 2016's cultural and political turmoil and disappointments, I enter the December holidays with hope in my heart, with a spirit shaped by hope. Actually, my faith leaves me no choice. Please join me as I consider the case for hope. 

 

Direct download: Case_for_hope_Fred_12_3_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

What are you grateful for? Shout it out this holiday season. This past worship service we looked at secular and spiritual understandings of abundance and generosity and why giving thanks opens the path to abundance. 
 
Music included on podcast "Grateful" by written and performed by Hezekiah Walker and Love Fellowship Choir
 

 

Direct download: John_11_26_Abundance__Generosity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT

Politicians and clergy have frequently evoked this powerful image from Jesus's "Sermon on the Mount." Even before the first Europeans settlers came ashore, their leaders held out this ideal which has shaped the U.S. in ways we might not completely understand. On this Thanksgiving Sunday, we explored this religious/political imagery and its' lasting significance. 

 

Direct download: Fred_Muir_sermon_11_19_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am EDT

On this very special Sunday honoring the legacy of our Senior Minister, Rev. Dr. Fredric J. Muir, we heard from past UUCA Interns. Reverend Kimberly Wildszewski serves at the UU Church of Washington Crossing, New Jersey. She shares her experiences and memories with Reverend Fred and her time as a UU intern many years ago.

 

 

Direct download: Rev_Kim_9_am_1112.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

St. Paul wrote: "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (Romans 7:15) St. Paul meet Richard Thaler. Thaler just won the Nobel Prize in Economics and explains why we (people) make irrational decisions. As we enter the holiday season - what has been called "Hallothanksmas" - the opportunities for poor decision-making will be abundant. Let's explore how we might keep the faith, act religiously, and make it through what for many can be an unsettling time.

Direct download: Doing_What_We_Want_-_Fred.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:33pm EDT

This year is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  All Protestant denominations got their start on October 31, 1571 - and that includes Unitarian Universalism.  It's been a long journey and this Sunday I concluded the story of how we got this way by continuing to unravel the many twists and turns that our journey has taken.

Direct download: How_We_Got_This_Way_pt._2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

This year is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  All protestant denominations got their start on October 31, 1571 - and that includes Unitarian Universalism.  It's been a long journey and this Sunday Rev. Fred will start to unravel the many twists and turns that the journey has taken. 

Direct download: 02_How_we_got_this_way.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:03pm EDT

In this message, dedicated to Rev. John Crestwell's mentor and colleague, Rev. Dr. Fredric John Muir, John tells the story of how he found Unitarian Universalism and why he remains a UU even though his faith has waned and even faulted in the process.  He boldly proclaims that his religion gives him the space for this questioning and evolving as a human being--space we all need to grow.

 

 

Direct download: 02_Why_I_am_a_UU_2017.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

It's not just the times we share that require courage, it's likely that each of us must face challenges of all sorts that require courage. When seeing another act with courage, I often hear someone comment, "How do they do it?" My response: "Take courage friends. You too have what it takes." Really? Do you believe that? This Sunday we take a on the new monthly theme of courage. (At the start of the second service - at 11:15 - we will gather outside, at the Black Lives Matter banner, to rededicate it and us to this courageous work).

 

Direct download: 02_Courage_IAF.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

Scrabble became famous in the 50's in America.  In this message, Rev. John uses the more recent digital scrabble game and a sports metaphor (I know some of you hate board games and sports) to make his point about living with hope.

Direct download: 01_Words_with_Friends.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

Join Rev. Fred Muir before the start of the Jewish High Holy Days by considering forgiveness and what that looks like today, which is a quintessential theme of the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Direct download: 02_challengeofforgiveness.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:15pm EDT

FYI

In this message, Rev. Fred answers questions from the congregation.  The questions vary from spiritual to self-help, to perspectives on current events.  Enjoy and ponder his responses...

 

Direct download: 02_FYI.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT

A renowned author noted: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Or as Yogi Berra is supposed to have said: "It's deja vu all over again." The last six months have been challenging times for religious liberals, especially Unitarian Universalists. Just when we may have thought our past was dead ... here we go again. Join Rev. Fred as he continues looking at how our way of faith has been a harbinger of America's path.

Direct download: 02_Track_02_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:22pm EDT

It's about this time every year that we read about the tensions and divisions in religious denominations (we hear about it now because they are having their annual gatherings). Such tensions are a part of our faith history too; in fact, UUs often experienced tensions and divisions before others. Join Rev. Fred as he shares one of our faith community's most tumultuous times and see if it sounds familiar.

One correction:  Rev. Fred mentioned that Anne Frank lived in Prague instead of Amsterdam.  Enjoy!

Direct download: 01_Is_Unity_an_Illusion.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT

In this third part of a three part sermon-series, Rev. John discusses the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, its ramifications, and why moderated behavior along with forgiveness are the ways human beings can move beyond the tribal toward the transcendent.  

Reading by Rev. Fred Muir is from the book "In Praise of Doubt"; and interlude and postlude music is by Jeannie Gagne singing "In My Quiet Sorrow".  Enjoy...

 

Direct download: 04_Fanatics_part_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT

In the second part of a three part message, Rev. John elaborates on his understandings of fanatics, fundamentalists, and extremists and argues that we can all be dogmatic about our beliefs; but there are limits--a line--we should not cross.  In a country wondering why we are so disjointed, Rev. John adds his reasons why.

Interlude music is an original piece, "Creation" by Joshua Long 

 

Direct download: Fanatics_part_2-final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

Saying goodbye is often necessary, and almost always hard. In the words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." This sermon is Eleanor's last time in the pulpit as our intern and summer minister.

Direct download: 01_Love.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

 

 UUCA PODCAST

Ralph Waldo Emerson's disciple, Henry Thoreau wrote from Walden Pond: "We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn." Thoreau's expectations were and remain robust in our nation, and in Unitarian Universalism. Join me as I continue looking at how our way of faith has been a harbinger of America's path.

Direct download: 02_AWAKE_Thoreau.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:04pm EDT

In this message, Rev. John looks at why fanatics are the "squeaky wheels that get the oil" in society and why we need to understand fanaticism and become an equal and opposite force of love over and against their traditionalists/fundamentalists message of exclusion.  Before the sermon, there was a reading (below).  Enjoy...

Reading before the sermon:

Excerpt from David Foster Wallace's Commencement address at Kenyon College in 2008

Here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship, be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some unbreakable set of ethical principles is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing. And the so-called real world will NOT discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self.

Direct download: 01_Fanatics_Part_1__Be_a_Zealot.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:48pm EDT

In this message, Rev. Fred Muir shows how Ralph Waldo Emerson had his finger on the pulse of our nation.  Ahead of his time, his "Harvard Divinity School Address" - called by one Unitarian colleague "the latest form of infidelity" - was simply carrying forward the spirit as witnessed in the birth of the nation.  Listen to how UUism has been a harbinger of America's path.

 

Direct download: heartknoweth.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

We may have heard a few sayings like "Count it all joy" or "God is good all the time"; but, really, life is full of challenges and hardships that can bring us great despair. How do we "count it all joy" amidst a rough political landscape, conflicts amongst our peers, and hardships in our daily lives? Soon to be seminarian, Joshua Long, who is also UUCA/AWAKE's Contemporary Music Directory, explores how joy can move beyond our feelings and into the affirmative goodness of/in life.

 

Direct download: 01_Count_it_all_joy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

"The struggle is eternal," is a favorite revolutionary saying, and it's true; we even feel it in church. Church should engage us in struggle, by challenging us to live more faithfully. The faith journey draws us inward toward one another, outward to embrace the unknown, and onward toward a visionary future. Even while these different motions sometimes collide, their interplay is where we find joy.  A message from our Summer Minister, Eleanor Piez.
 
Direct download: 01_Joyinchurchfinal.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

In this episode, Rev. Christina Leone Tracy powerfully and passionately says goodbye to the UUCA congregation.  "I have three sermons I preach to you," she says and then explains why these lessons are more important now more than ever before. 

This was an emotional message that touched us all.  Goodbye Rev. Christina.  You shall be greatly missed...

 

 

Direct download: 03_GoodbyeStina.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:20pm EDT

In this message, Rev. John T. Crestwell delves into the complicated arena of authenticity, individuality, and individualism and shows that there is a fine line between altruism and hedonism.

Special music before and after the message from Guest Musician, Bob Sima

 This sermon is dedicated to the memory of Lt. Richard W. Collins III.

      

 

 

Direct download: Authenticitylimits.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

Rev. Christina explores themes from the book Coming of Age the Rite Way, the chosen topic from auction winner Jen Mendez. She considers what it means to be the village to raise our children and thus live into our collective future.

 
 
Rev. Christina will explore themes from the book Coming of Age the Rite Way, the chosen topic from auction winner Jen Mendez. We'll consider what it means to be the village to raise our children and thus live into our collective future!
Direct download: 01_Rev._Christina_Leone_Tracy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:21am EDT

In this message on a very special "Teach-in on White Supremacy" Sunday, Rev. Fred Muir tells some personal stories and references the book, "Waking up White" to emphasize his message about White privilege, fragility, and society and his culture's need for personal growth in this area.

 The video referenced is from Buzz Feed.  It's about privilege and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ

 

Note:  Over 100 members and friends participated in conversations after church. 

 

Direct download: 02_Dear_White_People.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

After a reading by Pesha Gertler, read by Seminarian and AWAKE Music Director Joshua Long, Rev. John shares why we must say yes to turmoil, controversy and confusion.  He calls it all "holy work" and shares stories about his journey, UUCA's changes, and the current UUA controversy to make his point about resurrection.

Direct download: YES.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:50pm EDT

In a very passionate sermon, Rev. Christina Leone Tracy discusses transformation, change, UUCAs present and future, as well as the current UU/UUA Climate.  How can we give away our church to gain a true and just UU faith?  Listen to this sermon.

The first 3-minutes are missing so the written text is below:

I love the story that I read to you earlier, Brother Juniper, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6051.Brother_Juniper, because it is a sweet, funny, kind story, a story that tells of a man who lived his faith so fully that he took enormous risks, even if he didn't mean to...

Here at UUCA, we celebrate a new theme each month--and back in March we celebrated the theme of Risk.  Brother Juniper indeed took some risks--in fact, when his companions returned to find him standing in that empty hole they yelled at him, "What have you done!  You've ruined our church!" 

We've all felt that way sometimes, when a risk we take doesn't pan out the way we want at first.

But life is about change, and that's what we're talking about this month.  April's theme is transformation.  This month we have celebrated the Passover, when the people of Israel are freed from bondage and transformed again into the chosen people -- We also celebrated Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus, a transformation of death into life.

Transformation is a powerful theme and it feels like we talk about it a lot.  I remember when I was a couple years into my time in this ministry here, and we had experienced a number of changes.  The beloved DRE had left after 23 years, and I had come into this role.  I hired a new RE Assistant to replace the previous one who moved away. The choir director changed a couple times, and the Administrator too.  Then the new RE Assistant who everyone loved, decided to take on a bigger job elsewhere and I needed to hire someone new.  I remember talking about the changes that were coming, and someone said, "Once all these changes finally stop, we will be able to really do the work we want."

"Ohhhh..."  I remember saying... "Do you think these changes are going to stop?  Oh.  I'm sorry.  I don't think that's going to happen.  I might go on maternity leave at some point (I did), I might have to move on to another ministry at some point (and that point is coming soon).  These changes are going to keep happening.  Here at church and throughout life, the goal is not to wait out the changes until some change-free time arrives."

If you're honest with yourself, there is NO time in life where there are NO changes.  The goal is to find a way to go with the changes so that we can continue to grow and thrive with them, to use each change as an opportunity for reflection, curiosity, and improvement.  The goal is not just to weather the changes but instead to truly transform!

When we think about Transformation, we think about growing, getting bigger, improving, fixing, changing, adding things.  I mean, the story of Passover is a celebration of the power of God to perform miracles and free people! 

(THE AUDIO PICKS UP HERE) 

 

Direct download: 01_Brother_Juniper.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

This Easter day, Christians are celebrating the resurrected Christ - the quintessential event of the Christian tradition. Yet most Unitarian Universalists reject this moving and core concept. Still, there is a growing group of UU Christians at UUCA and in UUism. This Easter day, let's look at Christ.

 

Direct download: 05_Easter_Without_Christ.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

When we think of transformation, we often imagine a big, dramatic change. But profound changes can also take place more subtly over time through practice. The Christian story of Palm Sunday offers a lens through which we will examine the nature of transformation.

Direct download: 01_Its_the_little_things.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:22am EDT

In this message Rev. John examines one of his favorite poems, If, by Rudyard Kipling and helps the listener see that the old-time virtues of integrity, courage and honesty are not so old and sorely needed today in a world where truths are "twisted by knaves".

 

Direct download: 01_If_by_Rudyard_Kipling.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT


What does Trapeze have to do with being a UU? As it turns out, quite a bit! Let's talk about the risks we might need to take as we leap into a very uncertain religious and political future.

 

Direct download: 01_Trapeze.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:19pm EDT