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.]

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.
October 14, 2018
Babies, Bathwater and the Belonging that is Our Birthright
Monthly Theme: Sanctuary
Rev. Greg Ward

We are living in an age of disillusion.  Some of the fundamental ideals we were taught to accept and revere in our younger days, turn out to be unhelpful - even hurtful - when we task them with guiding us through the complexities of this new age.  It is tempting to throw out everything we were told - lock, stock and barrel - and turn to our own wits and self-reliance to get us through.  But sometimes throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a recipe for cynicism.  And we are forced to ask ourselves whether it might be better to rebuild what we have left behind.  

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October 7, 2018
Animal House
Monthly Theme: Sanctuary
Rev. Greg Ward
Many religious communities celebrate an annual 'Blessing of the Animals"" at church.  And for good reason: animals - and especially our pets - are the one thing we count on to show us the love we dearly need in life.  Whether it is a tail that loyally wags when you walk in, the head that rises up to be touched by your hand, the sound of purring as it lays in your lap, a bundles of fuzzy snuggles, something that sings in the cage or even something just a little slimey that makes you happy, you'll have to join us for our Annual Pet Blessing Service. 
 
Please bring your pet to church in the safest way possible - for them to feel safe as well as other animals around them.  If coming to church is not your pet's idea of comfort and reassurance, bring a toy they like to play with and a picture of them so that they can be blessed in the same way they provide a blessing to you.

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September 30, 2018
What the World Needs, What Ministry Is; Why Me? Why Us? Why Now?
Monthly Theme: Vision
Robin Stillwater

Our ministerial intern will present her first sermon to our congregation.

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September 23, 2018
Water as a Bridge - Water Communion Sunday (Return to Fall schedule - two services at 9 & 11 a.m.)
Monthly Theme: Vision
Rev. Greg Ward
Water represents so many things to us as human beings.  It is a source of life.  It is also source of beauty and play.  It is also something that connects us.  Perhaps this is why it is also a deeply symbolic and religious element.  In this, our annual Water Communion ceremony, we will explore ways in which water helps and heals the mind, body, spirit and communities of which we are a part.   Please consider bringing some water that symbolizes that part of your life that is most important to you.  

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September 16, 2018 - 10:00am
Making Amends (Sermon at UUSM)
Monthly Theme: Vision
Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins
If good fences make good neighbors, what can you say about the wall around your heart? During the Days of Awe, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we are invited to reflect on the unnecessary fences we have built or caused to be built, and to consider what we might do to mend them, lower them or just take them down. For what might you make amends?

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September 16, 2018 - 10:00am
Taking the Rap (Sermon at Camp de Benneville Pines)
Monthly Theme: Vision
Rev. Greg Ward
We've all done things - or have been part of things - that went poorly.  We've all, at times, hurt or disappointed people we respect or admire.  Being able to see - and move - past that is more than a matter of time.  It's not simply 'forgive and forget.'  It's a matter of understanding, accepting, owning and starting again.  This is a service about how Camp taught me about taking the rap and being part of rap groups.
 
Note: No audio recording is available for this service.