People often ask what gives me hope. Yet hope isn’t so much a gift as it is a spiritual discipline. It is the fruit of conscious decisions and actions that we take in our lives. Hope is a journey.
We remember the first Thanksgiving as an iconic story of native peoples and pilgrims coming together in peace. But that peace held only for a brief moment. Today, the water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota, summon us to protect sacred land and water for future generations—and to right the wrongs done to indigenous peoples in North America. To do so, we need to better understand the role our Puritan forbearers played in the legacies that haunt our national conscience still and heed the ancestral voices that cry out for healing for the earth and “all our relations.”
After a polarizing presidential campaign, many of us will return home for Thanksgiving to families and communities that are still divided. How can we heal the many divisions in our nation? Who is welcome at our table?
How do we cultivate gratitude as a posture for our living and our dying? We ask this question on All Souls Day as we remember and give thanks for those in our community who have died over the past year.
Generosity gives life meaning and joy. But sometimes we give and give and end up broken-hearted when our giving fails to accomplish what we’d hoped. After such a loss, how do we learn to give again?
Sometimes it feels like we're just going through the motions, skimming life's surface. Other times we live with a profound sense of joy and meaning. Jesus made a distinction in his ministry between mere life and "life abundant." How can we live with and give from life's abundance?
To be a person of faith is to believe that what others call “impossible” is, in fact, possible. We are called to be the people who make the impossible possible.
Generosity Sunday is the day we bring forth or pledges of financial support for the upcoming church year.
In this justice struggle, hope lies within the human heart. Rev Tse will share her reflections on the movement to end torture as an investigative tool through early access to counsel and the tenacious generosity of heart that sometimes makes the seemingly impossible possible.
Karen Tse, international human rights lawyer, UU minister, and former public defender, founded International Bridges to Justice in 2000 to promote systemic global change in criminal justice. IBJ aims to end torture as an investigative tool by providing early access to counsel. Karen has trained the Cambodia’s first core group of public defenders, served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor, trained judges and prosecutors in Cambodia, and negotiated measures for judicial reform in China, Vietnam and Cambodia. Under her leadership, IBJ has expanded its programming to Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, and India. IBJ’s Global Defense Support Program brings assistance to public defenders worldwide, sponsors independent Justice Makers in 25 countries, and currently has a presence in over 40 countries. A graduate of UCLA Law School and Harvard Divinity School, Karen is a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Innovation, Gleitsman International Award, Harvard Kennedy School Award, American Bar Association Human Rights Award, and was named by the US News and World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders.
From its beginning Unitarian Universalism has confronted the prophets of fear and hate with a message of love. Now more than ever we are called to continue that legacy. Last in the sermon series, "Being the Beloved Community in Turbulent Times."
Henry David Thoreau lived alone in a cabin, near Walden Pond for a little over two years. He journeyed there. Lived there, and when the time came to return from the woods, he left. What can happen if we take time to pause and reflect upon our lives like Thoreau? Can we move forward in the direction of our dreams?
In world filled with violence and terror, we face daily temptations to turn our back on the Beloved Community. How do we cultivate souls that allow us to resist this temptation? How do we keep the faith in times of terror? Second in the sermon series, "Being the Beloved Community in Turbulent Times."
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11 we reflect on what we learned that difficult season about what it means to be the Beloved Community in times of terror. How can those lessons inform our current struggles to live faithfully in turbulent times? Join us on Homecoming Sunday for an intergenerational service featuring a combined Festival Choir and a Story for All Ages. First in the sermon series, "Being the Beloved Community in Turbulent Times." We return to our regular church year schedule: two worship services at 9:30 and 11:15 am.
We often talk of “Building the Beloved Community,” but that is only half the reality. The other half is that it is we who are built and transformed by the evolution of the Beloved Community. We will consider the implications of a well-known model for transitions to look at some beliefs we hold about how change and transition works…and how the building and being built by Beloved Community might work. When we switch our lens from “change” to “deep transition” our entire way of thinking about what is going on is altered. Through the lens of transition, we will consider what has to end—what we might have to give up—to make space for what is to emerge. And what is to emerge cannot be fully known today. Many of the notions we hold about change actually get in the way of making successful transitions. Together, by looking at our personal experiences of transitions, we will confirm some of the core beliefs we hold about this deep transition we call Beloved Community…and together we will also profoundly challenge other beliefs we have about our journey to Beloved Community.
Our biennial celebration of the interconnectedness of all living creatures.
Dogs will sit to the right (as you enter the sanctuary from 16th Street) and cats to the left. Other creatures are welcome anywhere they feel safe. The balconies are reserved for humans only.
Rev. Hardies returns from his sabbatical to answer your Questions of Faith. You can send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Question of Faith" on the subject line.
Dr. King envisioned the “Beloved Community” as a place where all people can share in the wealth of the earth. Poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. An all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood will replace racism and all forms of discrimination. Certainly this cannot happen just by us wishing it into existence. If we’re honest, there are times that we just do not agree with the way decisions are made or things are done. Not at home, not at work, and--often--not at church. What is a good UU to do?
Letting go is part of moving on to something better. You will not get what you truly deserve if you’re too attached to the things you’re supposed to let go of. You must be willing to let go of the life you planned so you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you.
"A Religion for Our Time" has been the refrain of UUA President, the Rev. Peter Morales. Rev. Janamanchi will reflect on what Unitarian Universalism is called to be and do in order to truly be a religion for our time.
Unitarian Universalism is creedless: there’s nothing you “have to” believe in order to be a member of our movement. So are we non-believers? What does that even mean—to believe nothing? Rev. Amanda Poppei, Senior Leader at the Washington Ethical Society, will make a case that liberal religionists of all stripes, including humanists, actually believe quite a lot...in fact, that they might even have faith.
“Resistance” is an interesting word, since it can be used to describe both the act of fighting oppression and the act of being opposed to change. The events of the last few weeks (and months, and years) have made it abundantly clear that profound change is needed, but learning to think and act in truly different ways is extremely hard work—even (and perhaps especially?) for those who profess to be open-minded. This service will explore the obstacles that keep us from transformation and how we can overcome them. What will we risk to change the world?
As Unitarian Universalists we celebrate a creed-free faith that we proclaim as welcoming of all souls. And yet, even in our openness we can find ourselves making assumptions that diminish our appreciation of other religions—Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, or Muslim. In his work with the Religion and Faith Department at the Human Rights Campaign, writer Norman Allen interviewed members of the LGBT community who remain deeply devoted to faith traditions that are often unwelcoming of their own lives and loves. This Sunday he draws on those narratives to explore the riches to be uncovered when we put aside the things we know and open our hearts—and minds—to new possibilities.
Acting Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Susan Newman Moore will respond to your questions about spirituality, belief, and other things of life that may be on your heart.
“My cup is full and spilling over,” the 23rd Psalm says. This week, we will remember the spiritual traditions that place extravagant love at their center--especially the Sufi mystical path that calls us all to be “lovers of love.”
Ours is a faith that tends to favor a spectrum of possibilities rather than rigid categories on matters of belief. North Carolina’s HB2, aka the “bathroom bill,” and years of courageous organizing by the transgender community, have called us to view gender identity as a spectrum as well. This Father’s Day sermon will explore the connections between our religious values, gender identity, and what we all have to gain from living outside the norm.