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’s sermons are now 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 the audio speaker icon below any of the 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.]

December 9, 2018
Confessions of an Apocaloptimist
Monthly Theme: Mystery
Rev. Greg Ward

Urban Dictionary definition of an Apocaloptimist: 'Someone who knows it's all going to shit, but refuses to lose theirs in the process.'  We can all find reasons to panic about the environment, the economy, the rise of corruption and greed or the collapse of human civility.  How can we look at the world earnestly - with its capacity to break our heart - and not lose hope?  Those who can do that - who can stand amidst impossible odds and still be engaged and idealistic - is an apocaloptimist."

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December 2, 2018
Millenials are Ruining...
Monthly Theme: Mystery
Robin Stillwater
Millenials can seem like a seperate species from the older adults in congregations.  How does one even talk to these strange creatures?  More importantly, as Unitarian Universalism ages, how do we welcome in millenials; offering them sanctuary and hope in a too-often toxic and attacking world?

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November 25, 2018
The Rope
Monthly Theme: Memory
Robin Stillwater
Edwin Friedman, one of the pioneers of 'Family Systems' has a book of fables which he uses to talk about the universal predicament we all face: the hero's journey of becoming our own person.  We may scratch our head and ask, 'isn't that what we're doing?'  But if we look at the myriad of ways we unconscious, tenaciously, hold on to the habits we were taught when we're young, we discover we are all composites of patterns we adopted early in our lives to survive and never managed to unlearn.  We talk a great deal about the value of freedom but, don't often realize how captive we are to our own past. 

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November 18, 2018
Back to Junior High
Monthly Theme: Memory
Michael Eselun
Church member, oncology chaplain, and popular guest speaker Michael Eselun will share some deeply personal reflections about junior high school -- a pivotal and often painful time that leaves indelible memories for many of us.  In dialogue with some of those 13-year-old’s perceptions, what might be discovered about inherent worth, dignity and compassion?

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November 17, 2018 - 5:00pm
Heart and Soul: A Contemplative Worship Service @ 5 p.m. - "What Does it Mean to Be a Community of Memory?"
Monthly Theme: Memory
Robin Stillwater
PLEASE NOTE: For the month of November, the Heart and Soul service has been moved to Saturday, November 17th, before the Thanksgiving dinner. 
 
Bring your food a little early and join us for a contemplative worship to give you strength before the holidays.  Service is from 5-5:45, the theme is Memory.
 
Heart and Soul is a contemplative worship service series that usually occurs on the second Sunday of each month. It is a shorter, more intimate service, with singing, statements, and questions, silence, and sharing. Readings, poems, quotes, and music are drawn from a variety of sources, including the UU Soul Matters Sharing Circle, our hymnals, and popular/folk music.
 
Please note audio is currently unavailable for Heart & Soul services.
November 11, 2018
Oi Troy Oi!!! - Vietnam 50 years after the Tet Offensive
Monthly Theme: Memory
Rev. Greg Ward
 
Recently, Rev. Greg toured Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.  He went, partly to trace the stories of family friends and elementary and high school classmates who've sent loved ones to Vietnam to fight.  He found it hard to hear of all those who lost their lives - or simply were lost.  But the hardest were the stories of those who came back with painful experiences which few people could understand or make room for, partly because their story didn't fit our national narrative.  On his trip, he discovered there are other narratives we don't often hear, but they are worth knowing because they could hold the key for some of the healing we've been lookng for.
 

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November 4, 2018
An Open Letter to President Donald Trump
Monthly Theme: Memory
Rev. Greg Ward
We're standing before a powerful moment in history for this country.  But when we stop to understand the power and responsibility we have as a nation for leadership of the global community, it is not too far reaching to say this is a powerful moment for the future of the species - and the planet.  We have so many tools at our disposal but it seems like the only one we've been picking up is a hammer.  And everything around us is getting nailed.  In this land where the binary option has been put in our face, it's time for haters to hate and leaders to lead.  We just have to decide to which group we will be true.
October 28, 2018
Multigenerational Day of the Dead Service: Death and Darkness
Monthly Theme: Sanctuary
Robin Stillwater and the Multigenerational Team
October 21, 2018
To Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Monthly Theme: Sanctuary
Rev. Greg Ward
Have you been looking for the secret? The holy grail? The promise of healing love and inner peace? You can have it. But first you have to give up all the Gods beyond who've promised to save you. Give up the ancient paths, the prophecies, the potions or the poses. Give up everything except the path leading back to the 'High Lonesome.' The path will take you where you need to go. And only when you arrive, will you know how to unlock the peace you went there to find.
 
Trigger Warning from Rev. Greg: The service this Sunday will contain information about the oppression of women. In the service, I will lift up material by women about women’s experiences. And yet, a key aim of the conversation is to preach beyond the choir and have a conversation with men. Studies, polls and the recent Senate Confirmations (unfortunately, one of far too many illustrations to prove the point) make it clear that men on the whole are not fully imagining, grasping or believing the chronic history of women’s pain and suffering. My approach will not be to shame men or stand them up as targets of anger; but, rather, to #believeher, to see the millions of ways women are targeted everyday, to understand the pain that has systematically been disregarded, disbelieved and dismissed and recognize the anger and despair that results. This trigger warning is for women wishing to avoid the re-stimulation of previous trauma and pain; not for men who want to remain on the periphery. Women, bring the men in your lives. Men, bring your friends. This is an opportunity to demonstrate care and support for half of our collective humanity. After the service, men are invited for a conversation exploring what that support might look like.
 
This is a conversation for men who want to explore ways to support women – starting with understanding women’s pain of living in a culture awash in gender-based oppression.  This is for all men – especially those who may not see themselves as part of the problem, but who are beginning to see that success requires them to become part of the solution.   Lunch will be provided.

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October 14, 2018 - 5:00pm
Heart and Soul: A Contemplative Worship Service @ 5 p.m. - "What Does it Mean to Be a Community of Sanctuary?"
Monthly Theme: Sanctuary
Robin Stillwater
Heart and Soul is a contemplative worship service series that occurs on the second Sunday of each month. It is a shorter, more intimate service, with singing, statements, and questions, silence, and sharing. Readings, poems, quotes, and music are drawn from a variety of sources, including the UU Soul Matters Sharing Circle, our hymnals, and popular/folk music.
 
Please note audio is currently unavailable for Heart & Soul services.