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

On UUCA's inaugural Science Sunday (aka Darwin Sunday) Rev. John continues his message about why we are both/and not either/or people and uses quantum entanglement as his proof.  This was a wonderful multigenerational service so there are beautiful kid voices in the audio.  We need that level of innocence and curiosity to move our thinking forward...  Enjoy.

Direct download: Scienceandreligionbalnacingpolarities.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10am EST

Leika Lewis-Cornwell, Intern Minister
"I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached to my body," the old joke goes. But what about when it's the body itself doing the remembering? This sermon will examine the ways our bodies and minds manifest our environment and history, and explore what that means for how we build resilient communities together.
Direct download: prickthumbs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53pm EST

Rev. Kathleen Rolenz
All of us are aging; and all of us are dealing with the realities of our aging in different ways. This sermon will reflect on the various life stages, with a particular focus towards the last 1/3 of life—on its challenges, its gravitas and its grace. 
Direct download: soulslastdance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49pm EST

The late Rev. Martin L King Jr.'s arrival as a leader and messenger of peace marked the apex of a repeating paradigm shift in America; a pattern that Rev. John believes occurs every 50 or so years.  Obama/Trump is part of this historical pattern as we reconcile our original sin from 1619 when the first blacks arrived to the New World (which of course wasn't "new").  In this sermon, Rev. John gives new insight into old problems about race and human relations and offers his simple solution.  Enjoy.

Direct download: 90_Years_Later_-_MLK_2020podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04pm EST

Ten Rules for Living
Rev. Kathleen Rolenz, Interim Minister
 
Happy New Year! If you’re like most, you see the new year as a fresh start; a chance to break an old habit and start a new one.  Jean Vanier, a spiritual leader of the L’Arche communities was asked the secret of life and by way of response, he provided “ten rules for living.” Let’s start living!
Direct download: 10RULESFINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm EST

Rev. John shares his findings and response to the wonderful book by Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd, After the Good news, which asks are liberals really progressing or just in a delusion of conscience? What happens if you give up on the idea of progress?  What comes after?  And, how does Rev. John see progress and the karmic patterns of history?  Check this important message out...

Direct download: AFTGOONEWW.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm EST

Reverend Kathleen Rolenz, Interim Minister

December’s Soul Matters theme is “awe” - a theme which invites us to reflect on the places which we find awe-inspiring. At the same time, the daily news brings one alarming and distressing reality after another. Couple that with the fact that the holidays are not always awe-some, how do we find awe and wonder? The answer may surprise you.

Direct download: Everythingisawe-full.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EST

Join Revs Kathleen and John as they discuss the past, present and future of our congregation.  Rev. Kathleen begins with honest dialog about her experience at UUCA; while Rev. John shares his personal vision for the congregation.

Direct download: StateofourUnion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35am EST

Join Rev. John as he explores part 2 of a sermon where he analyzes the primary and secondary religious stories that undergird our lives.  In this message he states that we must move from linear to non-linear thinking--toward quantum thinking.  He says that the West is in the midst of a major paradigm shift that will lead us to the world we dream about.  

 

Direct download: newamericantranscedentalism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41pm EST

The Sum of All the Parts
Rev. Kathleen Rolenz, Interim Minister
 
While in between churches, I spent a year serving as a full-time Chaplain Resident at the University of Virginia Medical Center, covering the oncology, emergency room and psychiatric unit. It was there-- in the midst of life, death, chaos and healing I learned of the importance of paying attention, and had the experience of losing faith and finding hope. This sermon was born out of that chaplaincy and won the Richard C. Borden Sermon Prize of $10,000. Come see if you think the sermon was worth it!
 
 
Direct download: 11-17-19-kathleen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm EST

"The end is near!"  What does it all mean?  In this sermon, Rev. John tackles old ideas with new insights to tackle the hard topic of fundamentalism and symbolism as the primary and secondary story, respectively, of humankind.  He shows us that the world we seek is inside of us.  "The Kingdom we seek is within and manifests inside before it does outside" he says.

Direct download: aquariangospel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52pm EST

Listen to guest minister, Rev. Keith Kron, from the UUA Transitions office, as he describes what a T-Rex named Penelope, Pittsburgh, and a theologian can teach us about the future of religion and our commitment to equity and justice.

 

Direct download: BeyondCatgthinking11-03-19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EST

Rev. Kathleen Rolenz, Interim Minister
 
Direct download: White_Fragility_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:40pm EST

 
Leika Lewis-Cornwell, Intern Minister asks, "What is the cost of life freely lived?"   
This message will explore the stories of those who have been asked to live hidden--to "pass" in race, gender, and/or sexuality.  We will consider, together, the price they paid to fit in, and the space we create to belong.  This is an auction sermon purchased by Carrie Kotcho,  and will be in observance of National Coming Out Day. 
 
 
Direct download: leika10-13-19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm EST

In this message, Rev. John discusses Atonement, the Brotham Jean case, and how to change the world through forgiveness.

Direct download: Highholydayssermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am EST

Rev. John Crestwell

 

Direct download: R_20190922-092325.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm EST

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 EST

 
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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

"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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

"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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

Trans 101

Learn the basics about our friends who identify as transgender.

Direct download: Trans_101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am EST

The Tao of Water (The Way of Water)

In this message, Rev. John shares his worldview of oneness, interconnection and shared realities admonishing us to "Be like water." 

Direct download: thewayofwater.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:08pm EST

No, Thank You

It's been said that we should hold our "no" as sacred as our "yes." Saying "no" and honoring our own boundaries can even be an act of love to ourselves. But how can we maintain a posture of gratitude and abundance while still honoring our "no"? Come and learn to honor your "no" with gratitude.

Direct download: 09_-_No_Thank_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm EST

Abundance Join us - young, old, and in-between - for our first "Celebration Sunday" of the church year. You might have noticed we're honoring "seasonal" themes instead of monthly ones. Today we'll celebrate the end of our Abundance Season with story, song, ritual, and a special surprise you won't want to miss!
Direct download: Abundance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm EST

Calling, Courage and Committment

Unitarian Universalism is not a "peace church" like the Quakers, but we do have a strong thread of pacifism in our heritage. How do we honor our pacifist leanings, oppose war, and simultaneously support and honor our veterans? Military veterans or their families are encouraged to bring a photo or item from military service for our altar this morning.

Direct download: Calling_Courage_and_Commitment.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm EST

Choosing Your Religion
In this sermon Rev. Fred Muir says "how we revere freedom of choice, in nearly everything we do and most especially in choosing our beliefs. The abundance and generosity in our way of religion is reflected in how Unitarian Universalists have blended these two theological histories to such a point that we forget the radically different paths the traditions took and how they each continue shaping us. Let's pull apart our UU history and look at how we/you got here."
 
[This sermon was paid for and selected by Jamie Harms at last year's church auction.]
Direct download: Choosing_Your_Religion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EST

Abundance in the Desert

Oftentimes we associate the desert with "not enough", but the desert can also be a place of great abundance.  What happens when we approach the deserts in our own lives as offering abundance rather than scarcity?  Our new Intern Minister, Hannah Villnave, explores how the deserts (both literal and figurative!) in her own life have brought abundance and grace.

Direct download: 01_Track_01_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Flower Communion Sunday

It's Mother's Day! It's our annual Flower Communion! It's Spring! It's our Bridging Ceremony! So many meaningful journeys (this month's theme) and all of them are full of opportunities and insights. Are you ready? Are you ever ready? Really?! Bring a flower for the Flower Communion vase and let's explore what being ready for our journeys is all about.

Direct download: Flower_Communion_Sunday.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EST

What does it mean to be part of the interconnected web? On this Green Sanctuary Sunday, please join Intern Minister, Kimberly, and Green Sanctuary members, in a spirit-filled exploration of ethical eating. Whether you eat meat, or think tofu is the only way, every time we eat we make a statement of belief, we act out our principles, and we participate in the interconnected web of life, of which we are all a part.

Direct download: For_the_Beauty_of_the_Earth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:10pm EST