Sermons

This is a full list of sermons presented at UUCCSM since mid-1999. Links to sermon texts are included when made available by their authors. Audio recordings are also available for most sermons presented after September, 2007 by our staff ministers and others directly affiliated with our church (just click the speaker icon next to each sermon where it's available*). Audio from guest speakers is posted only when we have their permission to share it.

Rev. Greg Ward’s sermons are available for purchase. Monthly publications can be purchased at $10 per hard copy. Electronic copies are currently not available. Please send your payment to the office, or purchase online using the "MAKE A DONATION" link in the upper right-hand corner of this page. E-mail Diego Andres at oos@uusm.org and note which month you would like to purchase. Publications are generated as ordered. Any revenue raised beyond cost will go to the Ministerial discretionary fund which is used to assist members and friends in their time of need (such as shelter, food, utilities, medical, etc.)

"Leaving Room for Hope: Sermons for Uncertain Times," a book of Minister Emerita Judith Meyer's sermons, is available here.

[*Please Note: if you do not see an audio speaker icon below each of the individual sermons on this page, click the small lock-shaped icon next to the page's URL in your address bar, and in the drop-down menu that pops up, make sure "Flash" is set to "Allow." Then re-load the page, and you should be able to see the audio players. Sorry for any inconvenience - we are working to fix this issue.]

June 9, 2019 - 10:00am
Beauty Beyond the Binary
Monthly Theme: Beauty
Rev. Greg Ward

There is an essential new truth emerging in our culture that is challenging us to re-think one of the most basic elements of self identification.  We are now being asked to clarify pronouns rather than simply rely on our own assumptions of gender.  This pulls us all - some, kicking and screaming - into an enlightening new era of self definition that will test our mental, emotional and linguistic flexibility.  The reward, of course, is a much more expansive and accepting world in which there is more beauty abiding and more love possible.  

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June 2, 2019 - 10:00am
Me Too
Monthly Theme: Beauty
Robin Stillwater

Greg has done a wonderful sermon on this, and it’s time to get a woman’s perspective.  This sermon will give examples of patriarchy experienced in the congregation and the world.  

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May 26, 2019
The Rapture
Monthly Theme: Curiosity
Rev. Greg Ward

In the 'Left Behind' series, author and minister Tim LaHaye talks about the rapture. The rapture, for those of us who haven't spent time in the south or who don't listen to Garrison Keillor, is the apocalyptic accounting of the end times where good souls are swept up and taken to heaven and 'non-believers' are 'left behind.' Where are Unitarian Universalists in the rapture. In this exploration of apocalyptic thinking, we will endeavor to find our place in the end of times.

Summer schedule: one service at 10 a.m.

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May 19, 2019
Our Connections Make Us Whole - All RE Service (Summer Schedule Begins - One Service at 10 a.m.)
Monthly Theme: Curiosity
Rev. Greg Ward, Kathleen Hogue and RE Children & Youth
What defines us and makes us who we are?
 
When we bring our whole selves together in a shared community we different perspectives, pasts, diversity and vision.  In doing so we are able to create something special- a loving community that is whole because of its many parts.
 
This service will include our annual bridging ceremony and volunteer recognition.Come help us celebrate and recommit to Religious Education at UUCCSM"
 
One service at 10 am...then please stay to join in our 93rd Annual Congregational Meeting.
May 12, 2019
Caring for Our Caregivers
Monthly Theme: Curiosity
Rev. Greg Ward

What happens when those who raised us – those we’ve turned to for Love – suddenly start turning to us? As we honor Mother’s Day, we’ll look at the unconditional love and sacrifice which nurtured us, and the love and sacrifice our parents may require as they age. We will explore the impact of Alzheimer’s and other dementias as well as other limitations of chronic and life-threatening illnesses. How we support each other with the very human gifts of recognition, affection, and understanding is a central question at the heart of our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all beings. Besides honoring mothers and caregivers, we’ll also acknowledge the work of our Care Ring Team.

Services at 9 and 11 a.m. (last week of our spring schedule; summer schedule begins on May 19).

May 5, 2019
Enthusiasmos
Monthly Theme: Curiosity
Rev. Greg Ward

What is that thing that calls us to live larger than the fear we've known allows us to live?  What breeds the risk and courage great lives need.  The Welsh used to call it 'Hwyl' - a contagious fervor for Love.  The Scottish used a more familiar word: 'gumption': a stubborn determination that won't be denied.  The French call it Joi de vivre.  UU's sometimes call it the 'divine spark.'   But it's the Greek word I like the best: Enthusiasmos.  What is this force of life?  How do we harness it?  And what does it ask us to do?

During the 11 am service, we'll hold a ceremony welcoming our New Members.

April 28, 2019
All in the Same Boat - Now What?
Monthly Theme: Wholeness
Robin Stillwater

Our beautiful blue boat home is in jeopardy. How do we approach this enormous threat in an effective, collaborative way.  How can we act locally and globally. Discuss Climate change as element of class and cultural oppression. UU Common Read "Justice on Earth."

Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom (Skinner House Books, 2018). Copies of the book are available in Forbes Hall on Sundays and online from uuabookstore.org. A discussion guide is at https://www.uua.org/books/read

Note: An audio recording is available for this service. Please click the audio player icon below to listen. If you do not see the audio speaker icon below, please click the small lock-shaped icon next to the page's URL in your address bar, and in the drop-down menu that pops up, make sure "Flash" is set to "Allow." Then re-load the page, and you should be able to see the audio player. Sorry for any inconvenience - we are working to fix this issue.

 

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April 21, 2019
Easter Service: The Easter Exam
Monthly Theme: Wholeness
Rev. Greg Ward

One of the great things about Unitarian Universalists is the freedom we enjoy in choosing our own beliefs.  Having emerged in the religious world as people who were persecuted for not automatically aligning with the orthodoxy, we've assumed a certain pride in bucking the religious trends.  And, although a great many UUs may not use the religious descriptor, "Christian" to describe themselves, there is a certain glee ALL UUs find in Easter that comes from watching the minister attempt the impossible task of explaining Easter to a crowded room of people who don't agree.  But the conundrum of Easter is larger than one minister, or all UUs - even larger than Christianity. 

Note: An audio recording is available for this service. Please click the audio player icon below to listen. If you do not see the audio speaker icon below, please click the small lock-shaped icon next to the page's URL in your address bar, and in the drop-down menu that pops up, make sure "Flash" is set to "Allow." Then re-load the page, and you should be able to see the audio player. Sorry for any inconvenience - we are working to fix this issue.

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April 14, 2019
Do Not Pass Me By (Passover Service)
Monthly Theme: Wholeness
Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins
The Jewish holy week of Passover is a commemoration of deliverance and liberation.  The Passover seder is a ceremony eaten with a special meal where the stories of that first liberation are remembered.  Passover holds meaning for each of us as we reflect on our personal liberation stories.  What kind of bondage impedes your wholeness?  Physical?  Psychological?  Social?  What do you need to free yourself?  What might you do to support the liberation of others?  Join us as we remember, reflect and renew."
 
Note: No audio recording is available for this service.
April 7, 2019
Belum
Monthly Theme: Wholeness
Rev. Greg Ward

Greek philosopher Heraclitus once talked about our quest for stabilty and permanence and the pain that's inevitable in a world that never stops unfolding and evolving. He said, 'The only thing constant in this world is change.' Buddhists have a similar take, citing 'impermanance' as a more accurate descriptor of what we often call 'reality.'  This is what led them to the third noble truth which describes suffering as brought about by attachment to the way things are.  Before we can get to this month's theme of wholness, we have to learn to accept change. “Belum,” by the way, is an Indonesian word which means “Not Quite Yet” — as in, “not quite finished.”

Note: No audio recording is available for this service.