HUU Sermon Archives - 2003

All sermons are the exclusive property of the writer.
Additional sermons will be added as they become available. All sermons are in HTML format.  Some are available for download in MS Word format.

The first paragraph of most of the sermons is included.

Social Justice: Overwhelmed and Excited! delivered November 23, 2003 by Sarah Cheverton

  • Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed. That’s how I feel a lot these days. Too many commitments, too many animals at home. And it’s how I feel when I imagine the magnitude, the breadth, the sheer number of our world’s social problems—as evidenced by this small box of materials handed over from the earlier Social Justice Committee-- and the complexity of their solutions. Where do the problems exist? Why do they exist? Who’s suffering the most? When is something a social problem and when is it just a different way to live? How do we resolve these problems? When are we simply placing band-aids on wounds that never heal? What new problems do we create as we apply solutions to our current problems? When are we projecting our values onto those we see as “less fortunate” and work for something they really don’t want?

Washin' in the Water, Goin' with the Flow delivered November 16, 2003 by Elizabeth Ihle

  • Like the spiritual promised, God has troubled the waters a number of times in our long history, but the time I want to focus on this morning is January 10, 1992, which produced a dark and stormy night in the Pacific. A container ship bound for Tacoma, WA, fought the wind and the waves. And then, precisely at 44.7 degrees north, 178.1 degrees east, the event occurred: one of ship's containers with 29,000 bathtub toys, “rubber duckies so to speak,” spilled into the sea.

Icons for Living: Reflecting on the value of art in difficult times delivered November 9, 2003 by Merle Wenger

  • Today the Harrisonburg Unitarian Universalist Church celebrates the artists and crafts people among us. To honor art is to delight in the creative process—a process that is compatible with our first principle—“to celebrate the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” The gift the artist or craft-person gives is an unfolded representation of their inner being. The artist reveals the inner self by creating an “icon” we can use to share their truth. The artist reinforces the primal root of philosophy—which our truth springs from within us.

Obedience to conscience: A war resister’s view delivered October 19, 2003 by Norman Lawson

  • Part of the presentation today will deal with an historical view of conscientious objection as well as my personal story as a CO.. The second part of the discussion will center on our present international conflict and how our religious principles might help clarify our view of the conflict.

A Different View of HUU delivered September 21, 2003 by Jim Geary

  • Ummmm.....Ummmm....... Some Buddhists say that is the sound of the Universe. Okay. . . so is the sound of the beating of a butterflies wings; or the roar of a cannon. All sounds are sounds of the Universe, including this talk, which is going to be a bit crotchety. I ‘ve had a long and interesting life encompassing several phases. I think I am now in the “crotchety old man” phase. Today you may agree.

Execution: A Conversation delivered September 14, 2003 by the Members and Friends of the Death Penalty Task Force

Spirituality and the Cinema delivered August 31, 2003 by Eric LaFreniere

  • Firstly, I wish our minister byrd tetzlaff could be here. she's a huge movie fan. SO huge a movie fan that we can be sure she's here in here in spirit, if not in person . . . . Recently, members of our congregation have been meeting for an HUU movie night. (Merle Wenger has graciously let us meet in his home). Also recently, a group of mostly younger people associated with our congregation has met here at the church to discuss spiritual themes found in current, popular movies. As participants in a centuries-old liberal religious tradition, we seem to take it for granted that spirituality and the movies can overlap....

What Do You Say When Someone Asks You "What's a UU?" The "elevator speeches" from a service delivered August 24, 2003

  • I always encourage people to work on their elevator speech, what you'd say when you're going from the sixth floor to the lobby and somebody asks you, "What's a Unitarian Universalist?" You've got forty-five seconds. –– William G. Sinkford President, Unitarian Universalist Association The service was delivered by the Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff and included "elevator speeches" by four HUU members. Here are three of them....

That Still Small Voice: Can We Hear It? delivered July 27, 2003 by Beryl Lawson  (Part of the Our Principles series)

  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large. We would all agree that among the rights inherent in humanity would be the right of conscience, the right to act upon what we each think is best. But what is conscience? And can it be relied upon to lead us in the direction of correct action?

2nd UU Principle: Horton Hears A Who! delivered July 20, 2003 by Michele O'Connor (Part of the Our Principles series)

  • Today I will be talking primarily about the first part of the 2nd princip1e, which states, “We covenant and promote:. . .Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.” Some of you may remember the last time I was up here we talked about compassion in human relations. Today I will be focusing on the idea of raising our voices in the cause of justice, equity and compassion, speaking out for these whenever we are able, and the idea that the 2nd principle calls us as UUs to use all the opportunities we are given.....

Acceptance and Spiritual Growth delivered July 13, 2003 by Elinor Mondale (Part of the Our Principles series)

  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. Let's start with a multiple-choice question I found on the UUA website. Q: What does the third Principle, “acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in out congregations,” mean?...

Fire: The Light Within and Without delivered June 22, 2003 by Elizabeth Ihle

  • This morning, the solstice, we celebrate fire, the third of the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water memorialized by the ancients as the basic elements of creation. Summer Solstice, also known as Litha or Midsummer's Night, is the longest day and shortest night of the year. For you brave souls who spent the night camping out at HUU, you are probably keenly aware of how truly short this past night was.

Mennonites: Four Centuries of Advocacy for Peace delivered June 15, 2003 by Harvey Yoder

  • It’s good to be with you again, this time to talk about peace. And I must say its good to have a hospitable environment like your congregation to do that in. To review a bit from the last time, we Mennonites are a pitifully small denomination (with many subgroups) who are spiritual descendants of the sixteenth century Anabaptists, a believers church, or free church, movement which began in Switzerland in 1525.

2nd UU Principle: A Good Look - Part I (Compassion) delivered June 8, 2003 by Michele O'Connor (Part of the Our Principles series)

  • Good morning, today I am going to talk to you About the 2nd. UU principle, which in words is quite limited, but in scope is extremely expansive. The preamble to all the UU Principles states in part “we covenant to promote and affirm": "justice, equity and compassion in human relations."...

But How Did Jesus Drive? delivered March 16, 2003 by Merle Wenger (Part of the Our Principles series)

  • I made my annual buying trip to San Francisco in January, as I have for the past 10 years. I have never been able to put my finger on what it is about this multi-cultural city on the bay that attracts me. This time I returned home savoring one little detail of friendship that personifies that city for me; and also serves as a symbol to what Unitarian Universalists might have had in mind when they developed the 7th principle back in 1985....

Won't you be my Neighbor delivered March 9, 2003 by Lynn Lough (Part of the Our Principles series)

  • As members and friends of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, we join in a covenant to promote a set of seven principals, the first of these principles being to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. young — old black-white-yellow nice-mean pretty-ugly-kind-hateful...

Security in the Age of Terrorism delivered February 9, 2003 by Ron Kraybill.

  • Scripture has long pointed us away from faith in military might. Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!

Thanks Heavens for Mother Earth delivered January 12, 2003 by Elizabeth Ihle.

  • One of the places that it's pretty easy to realize that we are sleeping on God's couch is at the UU retreat The Mountain in Highlands, NC, where last fall Elinor Mondale and I had the privilege of attending the UU Womenspirit Fall Conference, a semiannual gathering of UU women who celebrate the Divine Feminine in many forms. It came to me there that I'd like to present four services about the elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water honored by much of the pagan and earth based community.....