Rev. Dennis Reynolds

Merry Christmas AND Happy Holidays (audio)

Christmas is the big deal here in the United States, culturally, religiously, and commercially. Yet many other faith traditions also celebrate at this time of year. Let’s honor those diverse celebrations as we concurrently explore what practices and behaviors might in these dark times help us to be truly happy.

Worship Leader: Katy Shaner
Guest Musician: Sue Baer, violin

Gentle, Angry People (audio)

Last year’s election results prompted many of us to ask, “What can I do?” Exemplars have risen up and offered answers. They are using their talents and skills to make a difference. Perhaps they can show us the way.

Holly Near has used music. Others use painting, photography, and written and spoken words to call us all towards action. What, for each of us, inspires us and sustains hope? In what do we have faith? In these troubling times, how might we each find and use our unique talents to make a difference?
Worship Leader: Sara Heath
Special Music: UUCWI Chalice Choir

Season of Atonement (audio)

There are times when we might acknowledge and apologize for missteps we have made that created difficulties for others. Jewish traditions have done so with intention for centuries. How might we learn from some traditions and truly reconcile our past with the present?

Worship Leader: Rick Weiss
Special Musician: Nola Allen

Shelter from the Storm

Ingathering and Water Communion

Each year, we gather to mark a new church year with feasting and ritual. In these times of divisiveness and storm in our larger culture, our bonds of community take on increased importance. We invite you to join in our annual gathering of the waters ritual. Please bring water from on or around Whidbey Island that has deep significance for you or represents the joys or challenges of your lives.

The water may be from your rain barrel, your art studio, a lake or a favorite beach, or maybe from your kitchen sink. Such water can represent special events or your special connection to our island home. We encourage you to ponder what you might want said about your sacred water and write, in advance, a brief note telling all where it is from and why it is significant to you.

Worship Leader: Katy Shaner
Special Music: The Chalice Choir and Frank Allen

The service will be followed by our annual Salmon Bake Potluck. All are welcome! Salmon, drinks and dessert provided. Please bring a potluck dish to share.

Blessing the Animals (audio)

Each year we take time to honor the non-humans who enrich our lives. The animals we encounter may be our pets or the wildlife surrounding us here on Whidbey. All are invited to bring a well-behaved pet, or perhaps a photo, for a special ritual blessing. In the past the visitors have ranged from dogs and cats to rats and goats and even a horse. Join us for this fun and often moving service as we gather to sing and share music and stories about the animals who have captured our hearts.
Worship Leader: Sara Heath
Guest Musicians: Audrianne and Madelyn Cooke

Being a Unitarian Universalist in These Times (audio and text)

Whether we are UUs by birthright or by choice, our liberal religion and our communities can offer safe harbor in stormy times. This tradition and our values also call for us to sail into the storm: to stand up, and to speak out. In the midst of current tempests, the Unitarian Universalist Association has been trying to navigate through the squall that has risen up from questions about the depth of our true commitment to justice and full inclusion. In such times, if and how might our liberal faith comfort us, guide us, and inspire us? Messages from the recently completed 2017 General Assembly can help us in addressing such perplexing questions.

The Seeds We Sow (audio)

In many UU congregations a flower communion heralds summer’s arrival, yet before things blossom and grow, seeds must be planted, watered, and weeded. Join us for a “Seed Communion” as we explore all that may sprout and grow within our minds and hearts. It may be new interests we hope to nurture or old habits we want to weed out. Summer can be a season of new beginnings in our individual lives and for our congregational community. So let’s plant some seeds and see what grows.
Worship Leader: Sara Heath

Remembering Our Beloveds

Every year, on the Sunday before Memorial Day, we honor those who have departed our lives and left footprints in our hearts. This year, our ceremony will be enhanced by a special art installation by Lisa Siders Kenney, hung that weekend especially for this service. As in years past, there will be time to light candles for our absent loved ones. Pictures or talismans you bring to honor them will be carefully (and temporarily) incorporated by Lisa into her art. You may also bring words of memory on a 3×5 index card to be shared during the ceremony. There will be time to write during the service, but doing so in advance may be more satisfying.
Worship Leader: Terra Anderson
Music: UUCWI Choir

Mother’s Day: Reflections and Gratitude (audio)

Mothering is a special, unique kind of loving nurture that has fed us all, both as recipients and as givers. On this day, let us explore how the role of motherhood and the diverse ways it is made real can evolve and change both over time and through different passages in our lives.

Worship Leader: Gladys Howard
Guest Musician: Jeannette d’Armand

After Earth Day (audio)

Many communities across our country recently celebrated Earth Day. Here on our island, April was Earth and Ocean Appreciation. What do we do now? Perhaps a deeper embrace of our Unitarian Universalist 7th Principle’s affirmation of the interdependent web of all existence and the Buddhist philosophy of interbeing can help us determine our next steps.
Worship Leader: Jane Hayes
Guest Musicians: members of Island Strings