The Reverend Emily Melcher

Selma and the Empowerment Controversy

Due to Snow
This Service has been CANCELLED!!

In this, the second of three sermons in a series addressing Unitarian Unversalism’s challenges to become an anti-racist, anti-oppression, multi-cultural religion, we’ll explore two seminal events in Unitarian Universalist involvement with racial justice: MLK’s call to Selma, which was a prime example of how we showed up and put our lives on the line for the cause of racial justice; and the Empowerment Controversy within Unitarian Universalism, in which our predominantly white religious tradition failed to support our African American members, leading to an exodus of many of them from our congregations and Association.
Worship Leader: Terra Anderson

Special Music: The UUCWI Chalice Choir

Always a Voice Rises – Video

Oppression of all kinds damages the oppressed and the oppressor, fracturing human connections to self, one another, and life itself. Out of the broken places, voices arise, seeking comfort, wholeness, and liberation. In this, the first of three sermons in a series addressing Unitarian Universalism’s challenges to become an anti-racist, anti-oppression, multi-cultural religion, we consider what we might learn about the limits of our embrace from MLK’s relationship to Unitarianism.

Worship Leader: Gladys Howard
Music: The UUCWI Chalice Choir

Justice Across Borders – Video and Audio

Nearly 80 years ago, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s precursor organization was started to support the work of people helping Jewish children escape Nazism. In the ensuing years, the UUSC has furthered human rights throughout the world through partnerships that advance the work and priorities of local human rights organizations. Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee invites us to get to know several of their human rights partners, metaphorically inviting them to be guests at our tables, by reading about their grassroots partners and setting aside the cost of a meal each time we eat for several weeks to donate to the UUSC. This morning, as we remember the arduous census journey required of a pregnant young woman and her spouse over 2000 years ago, we’ll get to know a few of those who today make the life-threatening journey across borders, and the justice-seekers and justice-makers who accompany them.

Join us as we launch UUCWI’s participation in this year’s “Guest at Your Table” program. If you can’t make it to today’s service, please stop by the office to pick up a story booklet, collection box and return envelope the week after the service. Please return your contribution directly to the UUSC by the end of January!

Mark Simpson, Worship Assistant

Blue Christmas Vespers Service

4:00 pm
For many, the holiday season, with its hustle and bustle and its expectation of joy, is a difficult time. If you’re struggling this season with losses, grief, distance from friends or loved ones, worry for the world, loneliness, or anything else, I hope you’ll join me for a Blue Christmas Vespers Service – a time of healing music, comforting poetry, and sharing.

Red Herrings – Audio & Video

What is a UU congregation doing when we gather on Sunday mornings for worship? This morning, I’ll share why I think the most common UU notion of worship, and the ways we tend to consider and reflect upon worship, are red herrings, drawing our attention away from the deeper purpose and power of worship. I’ll offer my own understandings, and a new paradigm for our individual and collective reflection.

Worship Leader: Sara Heath

Gratitude and Communion

Our annual Thanksgiving service adapts traditional liturgies and rituals in light of Unitarian Universalism. The sharing of bread and water invites awareness of the bounty and limits of our planet, binds us in kinship with all humankind, and reminds us of life’s twin necessities: receiving and giving. Our minister and members of the congregation will share reflections on gratitude for the gift of life, the bounty of Earth, and our commitment to a world of peace, justice and love.
Effie Brown, worship associate

A Good Word? (Audio and Video)

What’s a preacher to say in times like these? What would constitute “A Good Word” in the context of the resurgence of heteropatriarchy and the eruption of white nationalism, when the values we hold dear are increasingly being eroded, and human greed has driven the climate past the point of no return? Whether the mid-term elections have engendered hope or despair, this is no time for withdrawal into complacency; it is the time to resist, and to build resilience for the long-haul. Today I’ll share some questions and observations about how we might do that, hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm.

Gladys Howard, worship leader

Our Universal Source (Audio)

In addition to our Seven Principles, which name the values we hold in common, Unitarian Universalism identifies six sources for our religious tradition. Our first source, “Direct experience of the transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life,” might well be said to be our universal source, the place where our individual searches for truth and meaning begin.

The Reverend Emily Melcher
Worship Leader: Katy Shaner
Music: The UUCWI Chalice Choir