Sermons 2016-2017

  • Our Seven Principles in Song and Verse 08/14/2016 This is a project I had a lot of fun with this summer. For each of our seven UU principles, find a contemporary pop song that has the same message and values.
  • What is Unitarian Universalism? 08/28/2016 “Unitarian Universalism, isn’t that a cult?” “Unitarian Universalism, I’ve never heard of it. What is it about?”
  • Do No Harm 09/18/2016 It was the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks in the evening one week ago as I had the honor to be one of the speakers under the tent at the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier.
  • 2nd Amendment and Our 2nd Principle 09/25/2016 A few years back I fell into a conversation with a Gun enthusiast from another congregation at a district meeting of Unitarian Universalists.
  • A Clash of Crows and Dragons 10/02/2016 Imagine. John Lennon asks us to imagine a world of peace. This song along with its message has woven its way into our culture over the years.
  • Broken and Blessed (video available) 10/16/2016 Is there no balm in Gilead? (Jeremiah 8:22) Is there no place of healing, no healer to call for, no tincture or ointment that can be used to salve the wounds?
  • Integrity of Conscience (video available) 11/13/2016 I have been thinking about all of you this past week. I have been praying and reading and listening all week as we went into this election on Tuesday with tension and division; and as we have come out the other side with a wide mix of emotions and opinions.
  • A Misunderstanding of Fences 12/11/2016 “Good fences make good neighbors” is an old saw comparable to other gems like “Haste makes waste” and “Fortune favors the bold.”
  • Rebuilding the Dream 01/22/2017 I keep playing this same piece of audio year after year. I deviate occasionally; but most years, on the Sunday before or after the Dr. King holiday, I play the last 5 minutes of Dr. Kings 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • Alhamdulillah 02/05/2017 Rumi said, “Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
  • Narcissus Revisited 02/26/2017 I have spent the past several years, the past several months in particular, speaking from this pulpit about the importance of compassion for the ‘other,’ kindness for ‘the least of these,’ forgiveness, and the importance of ‘loving your neighbor.’
  • Excitement of Change 04/09/2017 Friends, there has been much in our common life subject to change lately. We began our church year with an intentional up-ending of a few key aspects of our congregation.
  • Twilight Virtues 05/14/2017 I was a teenager when Twilight Zone came back on TV in what is now called the “first revival.” The Spielberg movie had just come out (1983) which was my personal introduction to the show.
  • There Is More Hope Somewhere 05/21/2017 The world we live in is not made of sunshine and daisies. There is suffering and heartache, cruelty and disease, systemic injustice and natural disasters. Yet it is also true that there is tenderness and compassion, friendship, beauty, grace, and love.
  • Binding the Strong Man 06/22/2017 Throughout the first several chapters of Mark’s gospel, Jesus is wandering around the countryside doing a few particular things. He is gathering disciples. He is healing the sick. And he is casting out demons.
  • Character and Grace 08/20/2017 My heart has been broken as I take in the news lately. The attacks in Barcelona are tragic. That and the events in and following after Charlottesville this past week have featured heavily in my prayers.
  • Welcome Your Stranger 09/17/2017 Let us talk for a moment about the interplay of shadow and light (chiaroscuro). This little light of mine will shine, oh it will shine bright and glorious. But I have a little shadow and darkness as well. All of us have both light and shadow. It is the way of nature and all life. ...
  • Say It Like You Mean It 09/24/2017 “Now is the time for turning” Jack Riemer says in our responsive reading from the hymnal (#634, Jack Riemer.) He offers images from nature to begin the point.
  • Sound of Spirit 10/22/2017 I’ve found that music is one of our greatest wisdoms and one of our greatest tools for going through life’s challenges.
  • Building an Audacious and Dangerous Faith 10/29/2017 I invite you to take a quick glance at the back of the order of service. You’ll see two of our grounding statements for our congregation – our mission and our vision.
  • The Soul of a Nation 11/12/2017 In his 1975 address before a joint session of congress, president Gerald Ford declared “The state of the union is not good.” It is the only recorded instance when the president has said that.