Speaker: The Reverend Emily Melcher

Flower Communion

The Reverend Emily Melcher with Becky Myrick, Sarah Heath, and Kathryn Hirt Please bring a flower to contribute to our shared bouquet! Ninety-six years ago, Norbert Capek, a Unitarian minister in Czechoslovakia, created a flower communion ritual for the congregation he served, as a ritual way of bringing people together. This year, we celebrate flower communion on Mother’s Day, an opportune time to honor the gift that each of us is, and the gifts that each of us brings to our shared ministry. 

The Problems of Perfectionism (Video)

The Reverend Emily Melcher, preaching, with Katy ShanerContemporary singer/songwriter Cosy Sheridan writes “Perfect don’t need anyone; perfect’s all by itself.” That would be problematic enough, but perfectionism has roots in a centuries old mistranslation of Jesus’s words, and its crown harbors shame relentless striving, loneliness, and white supremacy. Let’s reexamine “perfect”!Music: The Chalice Consort (Gladys Howard, Frank Allen, Linda Good, Jane Hayes, and Joanne Roomes), and Erin Howard, accompanist

Beyond Us (Audio & Video)

The Reverend Emily Melcher, preaching

 What difference has UUCWI made in how you understand and seek to meet the needs of the world in which we live?  How does UUCWI equip or prepare you to be in service to the world beyond the doors of UUCWI?

Within Us (Video)

The Reverend Emily Melcher, preaching

With Kate Sheppard, Worship Associate

 What difference has UUCWI made in your heart and mind? How have you grown emotionally or spiritually? What have you learned about yourself and your place in the universe?

Seeing The Water – Video

(Includes portions of the planned Feb. 10 service, which was cancelled due to the snow storm)

When MLK called for clergy of all faiths to travel to Selma to participate in the civil rights marches there, UU clergy and lay people showed up and put our lives on the line for racial justice. Less than five years later, African-American UUs challenged us to support their empowerment within and beyond Unitarian Universalism, and our responses to that challenge led to heartbreak and the exodus of many African-Americans from our religious body.

Five decades later, Unitarian Universalists of Color called upon our still predominantly white congregations and Association of congregations to eradicate white supremacy culture from our systems and structures. Their call has helped us move forward, and it has also been met with significant resistance and backlash. In this final sermon in my series addressing Unitarian Unversalism’s challenges to become an anti-racist, anti-oppression, multi-cultural religion, I’ll attempt to make the water we swim in visible, and suggest the psychological work that white Unitarian Universalists need to do to be able to embrace this difficult and liberating work in our congregations and our Association of Congregations.

Worship Leader: Terra Anderson

Special Music: The UUCWI Chalice Choir

David Edwards, Choir Director; Sheila Weidendorf, Accompanist

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