It was the Unitarian preacher Theodore Parker who first defined democracy as government “of all the people, by all the people, and for all the people.” Yet today our democracy faces assaults on many fronts, not least the conspiracy to suppress the vote of people at the margins. This fall’s mid-term elections are a critical test for our democracy. This Sunday we continue the struggle for which our former minister James Reeb gave his life at Selma and launch our Reeb Voting Rights Project’s 2018 “Democracy Challenge.”
Somebody once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Yet we all get stuck in routines that don’t serve us or others well. Zen teaches that to overcome these unhelpful patterns and see things fresh we must practice “Beginner’s Mind.” As we return for Homecoming Sunday to begin the new church year, let’s practice Beginner’s Mind.
In his novel Cutting for Stone, physician and author Abraham Verghese writes “You don’t always know the answers before you operate. One operates in the here and now. … Life, too, is like that. You live it forward, but understand it backward.” How can we learn from the past without getting stuck there?
This Sunday is our annual “Questions of Faith” service when Rev. Hardies responds to your questions about faith, spirituality, and current events … whatever is on your hearts and minds. Let us know what spiritual questions you are wrestling with; e-mail your questions of faith to Gary Penn (email@example.com) by 5 pm on Thursday. Gary will collect your submissions and send them to our worship associates, who will select from among the questions. On Sunday, Rev. Hardies will address as many as time permits.
In the midst of cultural swirl, political fractures, and haters hating, day-to-day life can feel chaotic. This we know. We are called to bear witness, and act with clarity and equanimity, in such a time as this. How might we move from more strategic inner awareness to make bold change in the world? A sermon about organizing within and without.
Love for the earth, Love for our neighbors and our selves, Love for our nation and our communities. In these dangerous times, what does siding with Love look like and how do we ground ourselves spiritually in sustainable ways? Rev. Joanne Braxton will probe these and other questions in her sermon.
The work of building more loving and justice-seeking communities can be messy business that often requires that we dwell in the discomfort of learning and unlearning toxic habits and relational patterns. Showing up requires a nagging persistence that insists on not cutting and running when times get hard. The good news is that like any good spiritual practice, persistence can be learned and cultivated if are willing to take the risk of being transformed.
When we face challenges in our lives, sometimes we can get stuck, paralyzed. Other times, friends will encourage us to just “move on” from our challenges and “get over it.” Somewhere between these two extremes lies a healthy, middle path for moving forward and getting our lives back on track.
We are restless souls yearning to be understood. Inspired by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, guest minister, Rev. John T. Crestwell, Jr. of the UU Church of Annapolis, explores how learning to relate and understand each other is our highest calling and the key to creating beloved community.
I once heard Cornel West observe that while our smartphones keep getting smarter, we’re not getting any wiser. “Smart is for phones,” he said, “let the people be wise.” This morning we explore how our “high-tech, low-touch” society impacts our spirits and our capacity for relationship and resilience?
Life can feel so out of control. We can feel powerless against massive political abuses from our government, we can feel helpless against disease within our own bodies. Sometimes, even the joys can be overwhelming. What can we do when it all feels like too much?
In many Buddhist cultures the lotus flower—blossoming serenely on the pond’s surface—is a symbol of transformation and enlightenment. But the secret to the lotus’s beauty is its roots that are buried deep in the muck at the bottom of the pond. How can we find transformation and wisdom when our lives have run amuck?
This Sunday we’ll reflect on the spiritual importance of fathers of all sorts—ancient and new—who nurture holistic expressions of humanity, open space for tears and laughter, and whose struggles help us learn more about love.
In the Declaration of Independence, the Founders suggest “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the great goals of human living. Life and liberty, certainly. But happiness has always been a problematic pursuit. What are the traps of pursuing happiness? And is happiness what we really want, after all?
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.” From The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus
The All Souls Choir joins forces with Dance Exchange to present Liz Lerman’s iconic work, Still Crossing, as part of a weekend of activities that explore the powerful connections between performance, prayer, and protest and bring us into conversation and action around issues and stories of migration, immigration, and journeys.
This sermon will explore how doubt leads us to make predictions—some of which are utterly wrong—about the future. What can we do differently with our inner naysayer?
On this Sunday, we move to our summer schedule: one service only, at 10:15 am.
The call to transform our shared ministry is stirring in our congregation. On this Pentecost Sunday – a day to celebrate how the gifts of the spirit empower each of us to be builders of beloved community---- lay leaders in our congregation will share the pulpit with Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker to reflect on how the Spirit may be moving us to deepen and strengthen our life as a multi-racial congregation. We will honor three themes from the ancient Pentecost story in Acts: Doubt, Empowerment, and Many Voices.
On this Mother’s Day we’ll bless children, honor our Elders, and discuss how the joys and challenges of being part of a religious community are a little bit like being part of family.
Is God truly wise and all-knowing? Is God is so wise, why is there Evil in the world? Does God love us? Why do bad things happen to good people? Does God love us even when we have fallen into the mud? Rev. Dr. Braxton's "Intimate Conversations with God" will explore these and other timeless questions.
On this Earth Day, how might we re-imagine God not as an omnipotent overlord who rules the earth, but as the greening energy that moves within all of life? New theological movements are arising that do this, that speak of “ecospirit” and invite us to a new spiritual grounding for reverencing, protecting and healing the Tree of Life.
Unitarian Universalism is built on the premise that our souls are enlarged by sharing our spiritual journey with others, even those whose beliefs differ from our own. Sometimes we depend upon others to introduce us to the God we’ve been longing for.
God, yes. God, no! God, maybe. One God at most? Does it matter? What’s a Unitarian Universalist to do? The service will explore what God means, or doesn't mean, for Unitarian Universalists.
When the women came to the tomb on Easter morn, the massive boulder covering the tomb’s entrance had been rolled away. It takes a village to roll away stones and allow new life to enter in. How can we, together, experience a resurrection?