UU Church of Annapolis Podcast
Sermons by the ministers and guests at UUCA -Living boldly and compassionately in Annapolis, MD for over 60 years!
 

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

Rev. Fred Muir steps out and declares that UUCA must become a Sanctuary Congregation in this very moving and bold talk. 

He says, "I'm a Liberal. There - I've said it! Identifying oneself as a Liberal is risky business nowadays. As a faith, UUism is identified as Liberal Religion. It always has been. What's that  mean? What are the risks?" Join him in exploring these questions.

 

Direct download: 01_Risk_of_Liberalism.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT

Rev. Fred Muir
 
I saw a link for the "New York Times" the other day that read - "Read the Times: Just the facts. No alternatives." Are we living in an "alternative facts" world? Truthful living is at the core of our Unitarian Universalist Principals. How do we make sense of it all?
 
Direct download: 01_Living_Truthfully.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:10am EDT

In this sermon, Rev. John looks at his own identity and asks the listener, "Who are you, anyway?"  Let's examine who we are and how taking responsibility for our core-Self (with a capital S) is vital in living and being our best self.

 

Direct download: 01_Who_Are_You_.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:46pm EDT

In this the era of identity politics, everyone seems to have a definition of who they are and what is important. What are the different communities that have shaped your identity? Let's think about this together. 

 

Direct download: 02_Preaching_Identity.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:54pm EDT

My Last Darwin Message to You

Rev. Fred Muir shares his last Charles Darwin sermon commemorating the life of one of his role model's--a man who shaped humanity's view of life, living and death in profound ways...

Direct download: 02_My_Last_Darwin_Message_to_You....mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:22pm EDT

Pastoral Message from Rev. Fred Muir

In this time of uncertainty, Fred reminds us of facing fears and looking at our fragility boldly and with love...  Please listen to his pastoral message...

Direct download: 02_Fredmessage.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:14pm EDT

2017 Wheel of Life Service

In this annual service we remember births, weddings and deaths from the previous year.  Every year this service is moving and reminds each of us that we are always in transition.  

Direct download: 2017-01-29_UUCA_MP3-256.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

Good for Business

With the election and all of this great liberal forces converging, this is a RIPE time for our UU message if we can remember 4-things and 4 Ps.  Let our business/faith boom in the next four years!  

Direct download: 2017-01-22_UUCA_AudioOnly192kbs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:35am EDT

Dream Deferred

In this 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Rev. John takes on poverty, moral will and how to connect to King's vision of Beloved Community.  

Direct download: Dream_Deferred-final3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:54pm EDT

The Prophethood of all Believers
"The Prophethood of All Believers"
Eleanor Piez, Intern Minister 
 
James Luther Adams, beloved UU professor of theology and ethics, understood our faith as "the prophethood of all believers." But prophets are often unpopular in their own times and communities. What does it mean for us to be a prophethood today? You will hear an update on UULM-MD's work during the upcoming legislative session.Music by Sara Jones.
Direct download: 01_The_Prophethood_of_All_Believers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT