Sermons

What Gets You Through the Night?

February 18, 2018
Rev. Justin Schroeder
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In “Light of Clear Blue Morning,” Dolly Parton sings: “It’s been a long dark night, and I’ve been a waitin’ for the morning…. And everything’s gonna be all right, ’cause I can see the light of a clear blue morning.” After a night of worries, restlessness, and half-awake nightmares, the morning dawn can be such a welcome relief. But what is it that gets us through the night? How is our faith adequate for the hardest, longest, darkest nights of our life?

Join us for worship at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18. read more

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Daily Renewal

February 11, 2018
Rev. Jen Crow
Feb2018-thelonghaul

A lifetime is made of moments and choices. As we live in the midst of the long arc of history, doing our best to bend it toward justice, and as we live in the midst of our own lives, how might we renew our hope, our courage, and our joy on this long haul journey?

Join us for worship on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. read more

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Fractal Theology

February 04, 2018
Rev. Justin Schroeder
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Feb2018-thelonghaul

What happens at the smallest level also happens at the largest level. The swirl in the river reflects the swirl of the galaxies. How can this knowledge give us strength and courage as we work for a more just world, taking the long haul view?

Join us for worship on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. read more

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Loving Resistance

January 28, 2018
Rev. Jen Crow
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When we love that which has been declared unworthy, we are living lives of resistance. How might we love ourselves, our very bodies, this earth, and all of its people as an act of holy resistance?

Join us for worship at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28. read more

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The Limits of Love … or Limitless Love?

January 21, 2018
Rev. Justin Schroeder
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As a faith community grounded in the “Universalist Spirit of Love and Hope,” love is a cornerstone of our tradition. It’s easier to feel and practice this love when things are going well. But how does love work in the middle of an intense conflict? How does love function when you’re in a gossip-filled environment? How can we stay grounded in love when fear, anger, and hate are red hot within us and around us? Are there limits to love? Or is love limitless? In this service, we’ll explore the nuances of love and its possible limits.

Join us for worship on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m.

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Fierce Loving

January 14, 2018
Rev. Justin Schroeder
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(detail) Anahita, Danami, and Roya, 72″ x 60″ oval, Oil, pastel, and acrylic on canvas, 2017, by Leslie Barlow

 

What’s at the heart of any movement for justice? What can ground us in our desire to see a transformed world? Drawing on the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Adrienne Maree Brown, and artist Leslie Barlow, we’ll explore these questions as we dig into our worship theme of “Loving.”

Join us for worship on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m. read more

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Remembrance Sunday: Why is Grief Important Now?

January 07, 2018
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
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Author Francis Weller writes that grief is a powerful form of “soul activism.” In this time of losses, some that cut close to the bone or grieving the sorrows of the world, grief invites us to remember our bonds, our bonds to one another, our bonds to ancestors, our bonds to place. Where is the grief in your life, and how might it activate your soul and the soul of our communities?

Remembrance Sunday is a time to reflect on our losses over the past year and to honor those we love who have died. It is also an opportunity to mark other significant losses in the life of your family, such as a separation or divorce, saying goodbye to friends who’ve moved away, the passing of an animal companion, or the loss of a home, job, or familiar school community. You’re invited to bring a photo or memento of loved ones you are remembering to the sanctuary for our shared altar that Sunday morning.

Join us for worship at 9:30 or 11:15 a.m.

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Hope Sings (10 a.m. service)

December 31, 2017
Rev. Justin Schroeder
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Join us for a multigenerational service at 10 a.m., as we explore—through word and song—the power of music to be a source of hope, resistance, and comfort during trouble and trying times. Children are welcome in the service! read more

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Wisdom of the Four-Leggeds (10 a.m. service)

December 24, 2017
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie
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Begin your Christmas eve morning with beauty and a sense of grounding. This will be a morning of poetry, music, and the imaginative stories of Christmas told through the voices of the beasts who were the first witnesses to the birth of the Babe.

Please join us for our single worship service at 10 a.m. read more

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Choir-led Worship: A New Work is Come

December 17, 2017
Rev. Justin Schroeder
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Twice a year, the First Universalist Choir and Orchestra lead us in worship. This Sunday, they’ll be performing four movements from William Mathias’ Ave Rex throughout the service. This Sunday’s worship service will also include a ritual gathering of gifts for our holiday giving project, which you can learn more about here.

When asked why he chose Ave Rex for this Sunday’s choir-led worship service, our Director of Choral Arts, Randy Buikema replied: “I wanted push against ‘mall’ music.”

Anyone who has heard Ave Rex will attest that it is music that celebrates Christmas with attitude. It is in your face. It will make you sit up and listen. It is refreshing, jubilant, uproarious, complex, and joyful! Welsh composer, William Mathias, has written a sequence of carols using traditional medieval texts, but the harmonies and sonic impact are anything but traditional. Instead, the music reflects a truer reading of the the Christmas story and its meaning. As poet Quinn G. Caldwell writes, “If you came to this place expecting a tame story, you came to the wrong place. If you came for a story that does not threaten you, you came for a different story than the one we tell.” Mathias’ uproarious harmonies say: this is a story about reversals, a story about dissonance and the world being stood on its head, where single mothers are powerful beyond belief, where wise ones can be found in undocumented travelers, and bravery, adventure, and kindness win.

Please join us for a powerful service of music, poetry, and telling the radical story of Christmas.

Order of Service: December 17 Order of Service

Listen to the Sermon and Call to Worship:

Offering Recipient: Marnita’s Table (learn more here; give here)

December Worship Theme: Hope
Barbara Kingsolver writes, “The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what to hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” Some of us struggle to find hope. Some of us take hope for granted. Hope is what sends a student to school, an addict to a 12-step program, an activist out into the street. Theologian Julie Neraas writes, “While hope is a strengthening force, it also lays a person open to the vulnerabilities of love, desire, expectation, disappointment, loss.” This month we wrestle with hope, what to hope for, with all its complexity, and how to live under its roof.

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