HUU Sermon Archives - 2005

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.

The Day I Went to the Mountain delivered by James J. Geary on September 25, 2005

  • I've been to the mountain! When Martin Luther King said he’d been to the mountaintop, in his famous talk in Memphis the day before he was assassinated, I assume he was speaking figuratively. I went to the mountain literally, physically. I wanted to spend a day on a mountain in contemplation. I knew that thinking, deep thinking with no holds barred, is difficult. So I took a simple lunch, coffee, and water, and spent the day on the Skyline Drive, trying to think deeply.

Katrina Sermon delivered by Elizabeth Ihle on September 19, 2005

  • I don’t know the origin of the Gathering of the Waters tradition in Unitarian Universalism, but it has been around a long time. It celebrates in the fall the coming together again of a UU congregation after many summer vacations and other necessities have scattered a congregation to the four winds. It is a way of saying, “it’s good to back, and we are glad to be together again and to support each other.” This morning I would like to expand on the idea of gathering to the waters to a cosmic and national level and then return to the microcosm of HUU.

Recovery delivered by Mary Hahn on July 17, 2005

  • My name is Mary and I'm an alcoholic. What is an alcoholic? That's a question many people have asked for hundreds of years. The only person who can decide whether or not a person is an alcoholic is the person themselves. Some say it's genetic, some say it's learned, some say it's a psychiatric ailment and some say it just is. The American medical association recognizes it as a disease. I know the results are all the same, death, prison, or recovery.

The Invisible Heart delivered by Deb Stevens Fitzgerald on April 10, 2005

  • Why get interested in this? Remember the 1987 movie “Wall Street”? That line, now etched into our collective memory, uttered by Kirk Douglas’s character, Gordon Gecko: “greed is good”? How about “Show me the money!!!” from the 1996 film Jerry Maguire? Have you noticed the shift in cultural sensibility, away from the American citizen towards American consumer? A turning from the common "we" into a collection of private "me's"?  All that has gotten me interested in the ideas of sacrifice, gain, and altruism. I’m an economist, and I’ll try not to play one here at the podium. But let’s start out by picking some background on these issues before going too much further.

John Adams versus Thomas Jefferson: Unitarians Struggling Over the Soul of our Nation delivered by Barkley Rosser on February 20, 2005

  • Were they really Unitarians and why does it matter? It matters because many people, such as D. James Kennedy, claim that the United States is a “Christian nation” and that this was the intention of the founding fathers, who are also claimed to have been Christians. In lists of religious affiliations of US presidents, John Adams is listed as being Unitarian, along with his son, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, and William Howard Taft. The main basis of this is his lifelong affiliation with the First Church of Quincy, MA (formerly Braintree), which was one of the 120 founding churches of the American Unitarian Association in 1825, the year before Adams and Jefferson both died (on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence). He and his wife Abigail and his son and wife Louisa are all buried in the crypt of that church, now the First Unitarian Church of Quincy.

Agape (Spiritual Love) and Social Justice delivered by Christine Robinson on February 6, 2005

  • This morning I would like to talk about what the Ancient Greeks and later Christians called agape, spiritual love, and its place in the practice of social justice. What I love the most about Unitarian Universalism, and this congregation, is our commitment to social justice embodied in our sixth principle: “The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all people.” If I may loosely borrow from Tina Turner: what’s spiritual love got to do with it (social justice)? In my view, absolutely everything.

Our Spiritual Journeys - By Claire Prideaux and Paul Tolar on January 30, 2005

  • Claire's Spiritual Journey - Having been asked to share my spiritual journey, I sat, fingers poised above my laptop, to compose a plan for my talk. Then, I woke up to the fact that our spiritual journeys are not like well-planned summer vacations subject to brief recitations—at least not if we hope to share something of meaning; they are instead joined at the hip and heart our life’s journey. John Lennon once observed, “Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans,” and because our individual lives have a haphazard way about them, I gave up on planning and decided instead to write about my spiritual journey in the same way I have lived my life, by diving in.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson: The Uncanonized Unitarian delivered by Robin McNallie on January 9, 2005

  • I have chosen this morning to pay tribute to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, an American Unitarian minister, also writer, editor, lecturer, and activist, who lived from 1823-1911. My reason for commemorating Higginson can be explained by calling your attention to the fact that in addition to our 7 principles, we UUs are also invited to heed what can be seen as an addendum to those principles, which we call the Living Tradition. That tradition reminds us among other things to honor the “words and deeds of prophetic men and women which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love.” And, since January is a time for looking back as well as forward, this seems an especially appropriate occasion to talk of Higginson, the man I have dubbed the Uncanonized Unitarian.