It’s okay to fall short. The Spirit moves through cracks in our hearts and in our lives. We do our best, and it is in doing small things that most of us change the world. Lay Leader: Rev. Sarah Schurr. Special Guest Minister: Meg Barnhouse.
Tag: guest sermon
In honor of the 456th anniversary of Michael Servetus’ martyrdom, we’re reposting this sermon which the late Rev. Frank Schulman deliverd at UUFF on Sept. 7, 2003:
Unitarian history is difficult to trace because we don’t begin with any one person. It can be traced back to Judaism and early Christianity. Modern Unitarianism, though, goes back to the early Reformation. It is an exciting story and it will unfold in two sermons. First, though, some background. Read More »
Something came over me in my junior year of high school in eastern Pennsylvania. I began sleeping outside. Every night.
I would strap my sleeping bag on my bicycle and bike in a direction for a half hour to an open field next to a forest, to a lake with a view of the hills, or beside a gurgling stream.
I kept my glasses on so I could sort the stars into their constellations before I fell asleep. And often I woke up with glasses on.
As winter came, I layered on a second army surplus sleeping bag, and worked on getting my face hole small and on the side, so falling snow wouldn’t wake me. It was a fine line between success and the middle-of-the-night, claustrophobic panic attacks, a definite downside of mummy bags. Read More »
What is a parable? The word parable comes from a Greek word for “comparison”. So a parable is a comparison, or a little story containing a comparison, used for a religious or ethical purpose. The story line of the parable you have just heard is simple, even though it is the longest parable in the four gospels. This is a Bible story for everyone, not just for Christians. But let’s update the story, bring it out of the country into the city, and for good measure, change the gender of the characters. Read More »
Unitarian history differs from that of most denominations. If you want to know the history of Methodism you begin with John Wesley. George Fox founded the Quakers, John Calvin the Presbyterians, Joseph Smith the Mormons. The Unitarians, though, do not begin with any one person. The movement goes back to the earliest days of Christianity. Unitarian ideas can be traced back to Jesus or Socrates, Arius and Pelagius. In Europe all through the middle ages we find groups struggling toward Unitarianism. The movement became organized in the middle 1500’s and such names as Michael Servetus, Sebastian Castellio, Faustus and Laelius Socinus, Francis David, and King John Sigismund are prominent. Read More »
In a radical little movie last summer, the robot WALL-E helps humanity come to its senses after generations of luxurious meaninglessness. Our journey, too, can include learning to become “more than the sum of our wants.” Guest ministers, Revs. Barbara Wells ten Hove and Jaco B. ten Hove are both “homebred” UUs, were ordained in the mid-1980s, married in 1990 and served separate congregations in the Seattle area. During that time, they made a few trips up to Fairbanks to preach and teach. Then they began a co-ministry in Maryland in 1998, but last summer they returned to the Seattle area, now co-ministering at Cedars UU Church, on Bainbridge Island, Wash., so we lured them back to Fairbanks for a visit. Read More »
This Sunday: The Universalist side of our Unitarian Universalist heritage – the side most of us know less about – has near its beginning a distinguished and fascinating figure: Judith Sargent Murray. Judith was not only an articulate defender of Universalist ideas, she was also the first published American feminist author with a 1790 essay “On the Equality of the Sexes.” Her path-breaking work was long overlooked, but is now getting fresh attention from feminists, historians, and religious scholars. Part of this renewed attention is due to the discovery in 1984 that Judith had, through most of her life, copied her outgoing correspondence into blank books. The Rev. Gordon Gibson, who discovered those 20 books containing thousands of letters, is our speaker for this service. Guest minister, Rev. Gordon Gibson. Lay leader, Larry Fogleson. Accompanist, Marsha Sousa.
We are taught to think of great, larger-than-life figures as the creators of social change. For example, in the popular imagination “the civil rights movement” and “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” are two ways of saying the same thing. In reality, much change flows from multiple small acts, many of them quietly courageous, performed by people un-noted in the history books. Gordon Gibson, our visiting minister, was a participant in the Selma voting rights campaign of 1965 and was the Unitarian Universalist minister in Mississippi 1969-84. He has spent years collecting stories of small acts of great courage. Last summer he witnessed such acts when the church he now belongs to in Knoxville, Tennessee, was attacked by a man with a shotgun. Guest minister, Rev. Gordon Gibson. Lay leader, Michael Bonilla. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.
How does Zen practice help people negotiate the ups and downs of every day life? Zen Master Bon Soeng (Jeff Kitzes) is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice and a Zen Buddhist abbot and guiding teacher of the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, California. His specialty is the integration of Zen Buddhism and Western Psychotherapy. He has been practicing Zen since 1975, and began practicing with Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1979. He received transmission in April 2001. In addition to his work at the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, he is the guiding teacher of Cold Mountain Zen Center in Fairbanks. Lay leader, Susan Kessler. Accompanist, Marsha Sousa.