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

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

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

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


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



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! 



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

Countervailing Resonances

The election is a part of a narrative where countervailing forces are being called to rise up!  This is a pattern and cycle in our human evolution.  If you need some post-election context in the spirit of the holidays, this message is for you.

A special thank you to Dr. Mike Houge at Meadville Theological for his inspiration for this sermon.

Rev. John

Direct download: CR-sermn.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58am EDT

Once Upon a Time
'Tis the season for ... presence (which is this month's theme). So many of the holiday stories, songs, greetings and themes are all about presence - of looking for those spaces and places into which we can step and experience centering, wholeness and hopefulness. Think of the words, people and contexts in your life that reflect presence ...
Direct download: 01_onceuponatime.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:18pm EDT

Whose Story?

Who gets to tell the story of America?  What is His-story and Our-story?  What must we do now in this polarized time to promote our principles?  Rev. John answers these questions and more as he examines perspective and some of the stories that have led up to the new president-elect.

Direct download: WHse_sr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:09pm EDT

The Sunday After

Our divided nation has gone to the polls to elect a new President; what do we do now? Is there any hope of becoming "The Reunited States of America"? Join me on this Sunday after the election as I assess where we might go from here.

Direct download: 2-01_Fred_Muir.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

The Sunday Before I.

Very soon the nation votes for a new President. The country is divided.  It has become mean, ugly, and stress-filled. What's behind the divisiveness? Join me on this Sunday before the election for part one of this two part sermon. [This sermon was purchased by Charlie Gross at last November's basket auction.]

Direct download: 04_Sunday_Before.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

Healing Alongside Death

Death is an inevitable part of life, but for those of us remaining after a loved one dies, we are left with myriad feelings, and perhaps wondering how to heal as we move through grief. El Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican celebration of death, that seeks to find joy in remembering our loved ones.

Direct download: death-stina.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:54pm EDT

Blessed Are The Healers

It seems that our culture is in desperate need of healers - people who can erect bridges to wholeness and health for the wounded and marginalized. Many talk with such admiration for people who are in positions of healing. Yet, healing comes in many different versions and styles. Join me as we look at healing and healers and decipher their power.

Direct download: 01_Track_1.wma
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:20pm EDT

Healing Neen - Trauma and Transformation

How do we develop our I AM, our self-worth in a world that labels us as less than worthy?  Hear the story of Tonier Cain and how she made her mess of a life into a powerful message of hope and transformation.  

Direct download: 01_NEEN.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

Do Over

"An opportunity to try or perform something a second time."  That's a do-over.  As we enter the High Holy Days, this sermon reminds us that each day is an opportunity to shout "do over!"  Let's look at this meaningful opportunity.

Direct download: 01_Do_Over.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

When the Two Become One

In this message, Rev. John Crestwell uses the Gospel of Thomas to remind us to "look up!" when faced with conflict and polarization.  Move the mountains out of your life! 

                  GOD / IDEALS

ME You

-Rev. Christina Leone Tracy

Direct download: 01_When_the_Two_Become_ONE.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:11pm EDT

Covenant of the Brokenhearted

A covenant is not a set of rules or a contract.  It's a promise that we make, over and over, to come back to community.  Not in spite of our mistakes, but because of them.  Because we mess up over and over, we need to practice how to come back.

Direct download: 01_Track_01_7.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:08pm EDT

Grace-full Living and Labr

You get up in the morning, ready to start a new day.  What is your frame of mind, your purpose? When you return to bed in fourteen or eighteen hours, how will you think about your day of work, leisure or relationships?  Let's set aside some time to imagine what a grace-filled day or life might look like. 

Direct download: 01_In_Your_Own_Sweet_Way.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

Mystical Moments

We often think about the existence of the divine as either “out there” or “non-existent.” What if there’s another way? What if the holy was in us all? What might that look like? How would it change our outlook on life? Join us as we explore the roots and wings provided by a mystical, experiential, or pantheist view of Unitarian Universalist faith. This service topic was the request of basket-auction-winners Scott Eden and Jan Bird.

Direct download: 01_Christina_Leone_Tracy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:13pm EDT

Spiritual Nourishment

In the second sermon of this series, our Summer Minister, Hannah, will explore how our Third Principle calls us to nourish one another spiritually.

Direct download: 01_Hannah_part_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:58pm EDT

Spiritual Democracy

During this season of interconnection, we will consider our responsibilities to one another as Unitarian Universalists by exploring three of our Principles. In the first sermon of three this month by our Summer Minister, Hannah, we will explore how our Fifth Principle calls us to embody the democratic process in our communities.

Direct download: 01_Track_01_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

From Sea to Shining Sea

Happy Birthday USA!  Let's join together and speak of our country's past, present and the nation of our future. Are we truly a welcoming nation?  This sermon examines some of the spoken and unspoken biases many carry when thinking of the future of our country, and religion.

Direct download: 01_Track_01_5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT

Free to Choose Sunday

Our annual summer tradition continues! Celebrate our freedom of exploration by submitting questions for Rev. Christina to answer (on the "fly"!)

Direct download: Free_to_Choose.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:12pm EDT

Perspectives & Fathers

Join us for an inspiring Father's Day service on "perspectives" and how we each have our own position, view, and outlook that defines and also biases our ways of thinking. What is the difference in informed knowledge and an opinion?

Direct download: Perspectives__Fathers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:50pm EDT

Ice Cream & Steak

Sounds like the menu for a summer cookout! While for some this might be appealing, a summer picnic was not the topic under consideration in a radio program I listened to recently; they used this phrase as a way to describe the future of our most reliable, taken-for-granted institutions. For me, it applies to faith communities too. Please join me as I chew on this topic with what for some will be a startling and unexpected conclusion.

Direct download: Ice_Cream__Steak.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:55pm EDT

Just War

Just war theory (jus bellum iustum) is a doctrine, also referred to as a tradition, of military ethics studied by theologians, ethicists, policy makers, and military leaders (Wikipedia). Today I will look at this concept and determine if there is such thing as a “just war”.

Direct download: Just_War.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:59am EDT

Freedom & Mistakes

Noticing our mistakes, honoring them, and trying again and again is what it means to be a covenantal people. We will come together this Sunday to remember when we as a people, historically and in the present, have made mistakes, to sit, and to move forward. Sometimes, we just need some silence.

Direct download: Freedoms__Mistakes.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04pm EDT


Rev. Fred discusses why we must go deeper in our understandings to "test" them and see if we are getting to know things on the surface or in a personal and intimate way.  Test your experiences by thinking deeper about them.

Direct download: Tested.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:10pm EDT

Hope in a Handbasket

As we enter our Freedom season in worship, we will explore how we can have hope for freedom even in trying times

Direct download: Hope_in_a_Handbasket.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Modern Plagues

On this Passover and Earth Day Sunday let's remember that there are still modern plagues that threaten our human existence and commitment to building a Beloved Community.

Direct download: modernplagues1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:02pm EDT

Praying for Prosperity

I haven't heard a presidential candidate (or any political candidate) who doesn't have a plan for justice and prosperity.  So, I wonder, just how does that work? Depending on your place, family of origin, faith, etc., these can look very different.  Join me this morning as I look at prosperity through the lens of justice.

Direct download: Praying_for_Prosperity.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:34pm EDT

It Was the Women Who Stayed

On this day we typically look at the man on the cross and consider what new life might mean for us. Today, instead, we'll be looking at the women-- the ones who stayed; loyal, heartbroken, and supportive-- and consider their message to us, 2000 years later.

Direct download: It_Was_the_Women_Who_Stayed.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

Emotional Intelligence

In this sermon Rev. John looks at emotional intelligence/literacy  as it relates to the use of force in our world.  He shows that true power calibrates at a much higher level of energy than force.  He also shares with us two books that support his findings.  Enjoy...

Direct download: Emotional_Intelligence.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:39pm EDT

That's Not Fair

Intern Minister, Hannah Villnave takes us on a journey through public transportation showing us how there are lessons we learn from the space(s) we take up.

Direct download: Its_Not_Fair.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17am EDT

Partners In Justice (Part II)

I'm often asked by newcomers (and longtime Unitarian Universalists) where our community's commitment to justice-making comes from.  Last Sunday I started an exploration of one chapter in this commitment; this Sunday continues that exploration. You decide how we're living up to our heritage.

Direct download: Partners_In_Justice_Part_II-final.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

Partners in Justice, (Part 1)

As we move into our "season of justice," join me as I share one chapter in the story of Unitarian Universalism's shaping commitment to "the inherent worth and dignity of every person ... [with] justice, fairness and compassion." Learning the "talk" and then "walking the talk" has been a long time badge of honor among UUs. Over the next two Sundays, you decide how we're doing.

Direct download: Partners_in_Justice_Part_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

Drops of Water

Sometimes our individual efforts to build a more just world can feel disconnected and disjointed. How can we feel less like a single drop and more like part of a mighty ocean? Come join us as we explore that question

Direct download: Drops_of_Water.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT

And Then Came Darwin
The ideas of Charles Darwin changed everything. They continue to challenge us in new and exciting ways. On our annual Darwin Sunday let's explore the understandings and misunderstandings of what he started.
Direct download: And_Then_Came_Darwin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:55pm EDT

The Other Wes Moore

In this message, Rev. John Crestwell takes a hard and close look at expectations, dysfunction and solutions facing the poor and neglected in our society.

Direct download: The_Other_Wes_Moore.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:38am EDT

Why America May Go to Hell

On this special Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday we learn that our dear brother's true final speech was in his briefcase revealing a side of the great civil rights leader that is neither passive nor resistant. These evolving contrasts in Dr. King can also be seen in the contrasts and complexities in our world's language, geography and visual imagery, leaving "us" versus "them" as our greatest human challenge.

Direct download: Why_America_May_Go_to_Hell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:47pm EDT

Satyagraha -- Love Force

How do we awaken our Love Force? Exploring "satyagraha" -- the power and strength of love in the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi.

Direct download: Satyagraha_--_Love_Force.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:21pm EDT

Dark and Light

in this season where many look at the darkness and light as religious expressions, Rev. John examines dark and light, blackness and whiteness and the language we use to express love and hate.

Direct download: Darkandlight.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

Living with the Meaning of Christmas

With most religious observances/celebrations, there is a good story behind them. So also with Christmas. The contemporary implications of its story are many, so join us this morning as we unpack life with Christmas.

Direct download: Living_with_the_Meaning_of_Christmas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:51pm EDT

Can't Buy Me Love (or can you?)

As we continue our seasonal theme of love, today we'll explore whether or not you can "buy" love -- especially at this season of giving that can be so easily commercialized. We'll explore the 5 Love Languages in the context of the holidays.

Direct download: Cant_Buy_Me_Love_or_can_you.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

Living with the Meaning of Hanukkah

With most religious observances/celebrations, there is a good story behind them. So also with Hanukkah. The contemporary implications of its story are many, so join us this morning as we unpack life with Hanukkah.

Direct download: Living_with_the_Meaning_of_Hanukkah.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

Vampire Diaries
I love vampire shows because most of them tend to be very romantic. They are all over the TV these days. I got sucked in to one a few days ago when I accidentally watched the last episode of the Vampire Diaries with my daughter. I was instantly hooked!
By the way, how is your love-life? This Sunday we will talk about how to make love come alive in your life. Let's awaken or re-awaken the love inside of you.
Direct download: vampirediaries-betterdays.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:51pm EDT

Generosity Mindset

Rev. John at the AWAKE Service discusses his understanding of generosity and how it ripples outwardly in the world.


The video that is watched is here: Thai Insurance Ad

Direct download: 03_Track_03.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:10pm EDT

Let It Be a Dance

 "We begin again in love" is the refrain in a responsive reading from our Unitarian Universalist hymnal.  The reading is about forgiveness - forgiving ourselves and others. On this Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Jewish High Holy Days), forgiveness is our topic and the challenges of learning the steps to this difficult dance.

Direct download: Let_It_Be_a_Dance.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT

The Transient & Permanent of Unitarian-Universalism
In 1841, Unitarian minister Theodore Parker preached a sermon entitled, "The Transient and Permanent in Christianity," considering what was an important foundation of the faith, and what was changeable. This Sunday Rev. Christina will explore what is transient and what is permanent in our own Unitarian Universalism (hint, a lot is transient!)-- This sermon topic was purchased at the fall auction by Ken Apfel and members of Christina's Committee on Ministry.
Direct download: The_Transient_and_Permanent_of_UU-ism.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT

What's In a Name?

In many cultures - including ours - a change of name has signified a change of identity, a maturing, a time of deepening. Names are important symbols of who we are and what we want to be. Join me this morning in this valuable exploration.

Direct download: Whats_In_a_Name-.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT

The Best Advice I Ever Received

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you? Did you listen? We'll hear from some members -- Diane Goforth, Dan Moreau, Shauntee Daniels, Rev Patricia Owen, and Rev Christina Leone-Tracy

Direct download: The_Best_Advice_I_Ever_Received.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT

Stopped By a Brick

We live in a very busy world. What is the cost of this busyness and how do we slow down?

Direct download: Stopped_By_a_Brick.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:32pm EDT

Why Darwin Matters

Charles Darwin initiated a cultural revolution that started 156 years ago and shows no signs of stopping. Politics, science, religion, families and school systems have all been caught up in the tumult - in the applications and misapplications of Darwin's "little secret". Where do you stand in this ongoing conversation?

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

Hitting Rock Bottom

We all hit it! What can we learn from the dark times we all face? How do we embrace those moments, remain fully present in our communities and grow stronger?

Direct download: Hitting_Rock_Bottom.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

Let Freedom Ring

This Independence Day Sunday, let us consider religious freedom. It's quintessential to the U.S. way of life, right?  Can anybody really argue against it? "You betcha!" (as a former VP Republican candidate would say). Join me as I take a look at this fundamental liberty that helped shape our faith and nation.

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

Question Box Sermon 2015

The annual summer tradition continues! Wondering, and questions, are inherently a part of our UU identity. Bring your questions--big, small, deep, or silly-- and Rev. Christina will answer as many as she can from the pulpit!

Direct download: Question_Box_Sermon_2015.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:46pm EDT


The story of one woman's quest for connection in a UU setting inspires us to think about how we may take hospitality to the next level.

Direct download: Connections.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

Lost & Found in the Philippeans

There's more to the Unitarian Universalist story than has been known. Join me this morning as I reflect on my recent trip to the UU Church of the Philippines.

Direct download: Lost__Found_in_the_Philippeans.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:40pm EDT

Protect and Serve

"The young dead soldiers do not speak. Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them?" (Archibald MacLeish).

Direct download: Protect_and_Serve.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:52pm EDT


Samsara is a Hindu term related to living, dying and reincarnation.  In Hinduism we are stuck on an endless wheel of life/death/rebirth until we reach enlightenment.  In a modern sense, this means if we get stuck in bad patterns we will repeat them until we become conscious of what we are doing.  

Direct download: samsara.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

The Ministry Team leads this service on "differences that make a difference";

Rev Fred Muir & Rev John Crestwell discuss differences Race brings.

Direct download: Differences_--_Race.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT

The Ministry Team leads this service on "differences that make a difference";

Rev Fred Muir & Rev Patricia Owen discuss sexual orientation

Direct download: Differences_--_Sexual_Orientation.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

The Ministry Team leads this service on "differences that make a difference";

Rev John Crestwell & Rev Christina Leone-Tracy talk about Gender differences

Direct download: Differences_--_Gender.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT

The End of Faith

In this sermon Rev. John reviews Sam Harris' book and concludes that it is not necessary to belittle another's faith to prove your values or beliefs are better.  He promotes language of affirmation and not denunciation.

Direct download: End_of_Faith.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:23am EDT

In the Name of Love -- Second Service

There's a lot about the Christian Church - which is part of our Unitarian Universalist heritage - that was shaped and created in the first centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus. Easter Sunday is a perfect time to look at that history and what happened to it ... and to us.

Direct download: In_the_Name_of_Love_--_Second_Service.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:28pm EDT

In the Name of Love -- First Service

There's a lot about the Christian Church - which is part of our Unitarian Universalist heritage - that was shaped and created in the first centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus. Easter Sunday is a perfect time to look at that history and what happened to it ... and to us.

Direct download: In_the_Name_of_Love_--_First_Service.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:26pm EDT

Apron Faith

Ours is an active, lived faith, not one that occurs only in our minds. What does this mean for our need to serve each other and the world? It's time to put on our aprons!

Direct download: Apron_Faith.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:29pm EDT