HUU Sermon Archives - 2004
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.
A Bible Read-through: Unorthodox and Un-HUU-Orthodox delivered by Chris Edwards on December 12, 2004
I have a confession: I read the entire Bible. It took a year and a half. I finished this fall. You may ask why this book, not another? Mostly the same reason you might climb a mountain you’d seen at the edge of the landscape all your life, before other mountains. But I do have a contrary streak – so I might not have started reading the Bible if I’d gone to a different church, even another Unitarian Universalist congregation. When we talk about our “elevator speeches” (how we might describe our beliefs in the time of an elevator ride), I’ve sometimes wondered if the most typical one here might be, “We support every possible spiritual and philosophical path, except for the Abrahamic faiths -- Christianity and other religions connected to the Bible -- which we scorn and support each other’s recovery from.”
Why Humanism? delivered by Lee Graham on October 24, 2004
HUMANISM is a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion. Affirming the dignity of each human being, it supports the maximization of individual liberty and opportunity consonant with social and planetary responsibility. It advocates the extension of participatory democracy and the expansion of the open society, standing for human rights and social justice. Free of supernaturalism, it recognizes human beings as part of nature and holds that values – be they religious, ethical, social, or political – have their source in human nature experience, and culture. Humanism thus derives the goals of life from human need and interest rather than from theological or ideological abstractions and asserts that humanity must take responsibility for its own destiny.
Pacifism: Iceberg or Titanic delivered by Merle Wenger on October 10, 2004
A Service dedicated to World Peace - As I grow old, my pacifist position has moved away from its religious foundations to cultural and sociological understandings of human nature. The progress of modern history, supplies numerous examples of how our attitudes about violence and peace are changing. The rise in the use of diplomacy, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the recognition that a loss in Vietnam was seemingly insignificant, the world wide anti-war rallies prior to the current war, the developing hip-hop culture rooted in resistance, and the tendency to fill our prisons with men and women who are not so much violent, as socially maladjusted: all lend evidence to profound social change. Most American youth appear to be more interested in acting violence rather than doing violence. Yet, the pacifist position is lonely. I often feel hopeless, like a single drop of rain, in a blinding rainstorm.
Mythology delivered by Patti Rose on September 26, 2004
My topic directly reflects the ideas of Joseph Campbell, and I will draw many of my ideas primarily from two sources, The Power of Myth and Thou Art That. My interest in this topic originates from a particular time and series of places. As a mental exercise, allow me to describe the situation that led to my interest in mythology and my request to speak on it. Try to visualize a small, green Subaru hatchback with a single driver traveling the interstates of the South.
Now I Am Ninety delivered by James Geary on September 19, 2004
I didn't expect to be here. It was always my hope — and I considered it highly unlikely — to live and remain alert to age 86, because then I would witness the beginning of the new millennium, and the ending of a thousand years of remarkable civilization. I didn't dream about reaching 90. On the very few occasions I encountered a man of ninety who appeared in good shape, I would be absolutely amazed. I considered that a very rare possibility.
The Flower Communion delivered by Michele O'Connor on August 22, 2004
The flower communion service was created by Dr. Norbert Fabian Capek who founded the Unitarian church in Czechoslovakia. He introduced this special service to that church on June 4, 1923.....
Sources of Our UU Principles and Identity delivered by Lynn Lough on August 15, 2004
Even the most rational of religions cannot live without myths. A dangerous one among Unitarian Universalists is that we are somehow better than everyone else. Smarter. More sophisticated. More progressive. Better traveled. Smarter. More humane. Wiser. Accomplished in the professions. Did I say smarter?
The Faith That Sustains Me delivered by Asya Lesly on July 31, 2004
I have a confession to make. I warn you, that some of you will find it disconcerting. It may even fundamentally change the way many of you see me. I have always had and continue to have a fascination with insects and spiders. I love bugs. As a child, I had a pet tarantula named Big Mama, and as an adult, I have an insect collection. When people see me with my insect net in hand, they usually ask if I am collecting butterflies. You should see the look on peoples faces when I reply, no I just caught a really great wasp. My favorite part of my collection is my wasps. I have well over 50 species....
Our Spiritual Journeys shared by Sarah Cheverton, Julie Goldman, and Barbara Moore on July 11, 2004
For some of us, this church is a sanctuary, for others it is a launching pad. Do you come here to rest in the peace of your soul? Or do you come to kindle the fires of passionate engagement with the world? Are you looking for comfort, healing? Or a community in which you can feel at home? Each of us traveled on our own path to get here. Each of us has taken a spiritual journey. This morning Sarah, Julie, and Barbara will share their journey with us.....
Rituals: Feeling the Journey delivered by Merle Wenger on June 20, 2004
What is a ritual? Are rituals important? Is it possible they connect me with all that is living: the rubber trees of southeast Asia, the lichen of the Arctic tundra, the wetland snail darter, the bald eagles of California, the thousands of fish in the sea, with all these billions of fellow human beings, and with myself? Is it possible that ritual connects me to this network of life more fully than more rational mental processes? What about non-living elements? Could ritual connect me with the soil that feeds all these plants, the water that both succors them and draws the tension out of my body, the sun, the moon that draws the tides, the sand dunes of the desert, or the wind that pushes ships over the seas?
Economics and Ethics of Globalization delivered by Deb Fitzgerald on May 2, 2004
I’m going to organize my comments today around a single theme to explore– that we are a global society. We’re all familiar with the term globalization… it seems to be everywhere. And there are many sides of globalization, so I’m not going to restrict myself to the question of globalizing markets and economies. Y’all know that I’m a teacher (not a lecturer) so you can expect me to raise more questions than I answer. And of course, I’m real comfortable being interrupted, though I don’t take too kindly to snoring....
Spirituality and the Outdoors delivered by Jim Geary on April 25, 2004
Good morning my friends. The subject of my talk is “spirituality and the outdoors.” Is there also spirituality on the indoors? Certainly there is here in this fellowship. It approaches the blessed community that Byrd spoke of recently. And so the first thing I want to do is to thank you, members of this fellowship, thank you for enriching my outlook, adding to my spirituality.....
Hildegard of Bingen: A Medieval Mystic for the Modern Age delivered by Elizabeth Ihle on March 28, 2004
It would be far too much of a stretch to convince you that Hildegard of Bingen was the twelfth century Britney Spears, so I won't try, but they do have several things in common. They are both musicians and CDs of their music have been produced. Here are some of Hildegard's. (Hold up CDs.) Both women are known internationally and have influenced a lot of people. While Britney's influence is mainly through her music and her image, Hildegard's immense following runs much deeper. Hildegard wasn't exactly a sexpot; in fact, she was a nun but never an official saint....
On Time delivered by J. Barkley Rosser, on Leap Day, February 29, 2004
It is intentional that the title of this talk has a double meaning, both to be about time itself and also to be about being “on time” in the social sense. I shall deal with both of these aspects, moving from the more general about time itself in its physical cosmic sense through the more social aspect of the meaning of time and being on time finally to the more personal perspective on time.
Song of Songs delivered by Eric LaFreniere February 15, 2004
And now, for something completely different! When I was told that I could give the St. Valentines Day service, I was thrilled with the chance to take advantage of the liberal good nature of our fellowship to give vent to a Catholic transgression fantasy. In short, I resolved to give a church service on the conjunction of religion and SEX. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity! If there's blushing today, everything's going according to plan. At first I thought to seduce you with dreamy visions of Tantric temple facades, illuminated Taoist manuscripts, obscure Gnostic and alchemical rituals. Of course, I had other visions -- too personal to share.