Weaving a Tapestryof LOVE and ACTION!
Mountaintop pilgrimages are a common theme in many religious traditions. People go to the mountaintop for different reasons. Sometimes, the mountaintop is the place where we commune with the divine. The mountaintop might also be where we proclaim something to the world. Either way, though, getting to the mountaintop requires a climb. A pilgrimage. Sometimes, that pilgrimage can be figurative—the hard work that we do to get ourselves to a place where we are in touch with the divine and shout a clear vision for the world. Ready to do some climbing?
In our mutual covenant, we promise to cultivate trust with one another. It seems like an easy thing to say yes to. We all want trusting relationships with people who are purposefully committed to being trustworthy. But what does it really mean to cultivate trust with one another? What are we willing to do to fulfill our piece of this promise that forms the foundation of our relationships as a community? When we have a blueprint to clarify what we can do, cultivating trust doesn't have to be scary or challenging. (And don't worry... we won't be doing any virtual trust falls!)
When we were children, we learned a lot about the world through our sense of curiosity. As we grew older, many of us began to think we know all we need to know about other people. We may not consciously think we can read minds or predict the future, but we sometimes act like we can! Recognizing how little we know and reclaiming an intentional curiosity about other people and the world around us might just help us honor our commitment to one another and our commitment to our Unitarian Universalist principles. Are you curious?
Human relationships are never just between two people. We naturally form triangles and more complex interconnected shapes in our relationships. We talk about triangulation as a reaction to anxiety, but can the natural shape of human connection help us honor our covenants and hold one another accountable with compassion? And how can intentionally building healthier personal relationships transform the world around us toward greater justice?
For this Independence Day weekend our theme is “One Voice”. How does that concept fit with the country we are living in today?
There are a lot of steps in the process of becoming certified by the Unitarian Universalist Association as an LGBTQ+ Welcoming Congregation. Tapestry is just beginning that process, and our entire community will be a part of it. You may think we're already quite welcoming, and you're right! But what does it mean for us to practice radical hospitality as a community? And how are you called to express that welcome?
In collaboration with the Tapestry CUUPS chapter, we celebrate the summer solstice. Ancient communities built stone monuments dedicated to the worship of the sun. Solar cycles guided many aspects of their lives. Their standing stones and temples remain as legacies of their cultures. We consider what intentions we want to guide our lives and what legacy we want to leave behind for future generations.
Come listen to voices among us as we speak about these important current events. June is... the anniversary of the Stonewall and Juneteenth!June is... A time for grieving, protesting, and speaking out against police brutality!June is... A time for us to work together to create and find rays of hope in the midst of all the new reality caused by Covid.
June is Pride Month. Why "Pride," though? Isn't pride one of the seven deadly sins? Doesn't pride cometh before a fall? Why would people who identify as lesbian, gay, or trans embrace a word like "pride"? We explore the history of Pride as a celebration of LGBT identity, and consider the challenge for people in a marginalized social group to honor their dignity, equality, and capability for self-affirmation. And we sincerely ask the question: Are you proud of yourself?
Human beings have long known that laughter helps us through difficult times. You might even find it challenging to think about smiling without physically smiling. There are so many serious things happening in the world and in our lives, we might forget what a powerful force humor can be. Or maybe we're reluctant to seem irreverent by laughing about important things. Is it possible that a little irreverence can provide a greater sense of well-being and wholeness in our lives and in the world around us?
Allan Perkins will again be speaker for Tapestry's annual Memorial Day Service. This year, we will focus on those we lost are not strangers. We hope you'll join us in our remembrance of their service to our country and their connection to us.
Moments, thoughts, memories and emotions come and go. Days pass by, turn into weeks, then months, then years, then generations. You, and the life you lead in the world itself are both constantly changing because nothing is permanent. The concept of impermanence (called ANITYA in Sanskrit) is at the cornerstone of many eastern religions' teachings and practices. It can even be easily said that it was the very heart of the Buddha's teaching. Let us then appreciate and understand how we can apply this powerful insight into our modern, fast paced and complex lives.
In many cultures, sacred places are protected by guardian statues. Nio guardians, like the one depicted in this photo by Irene Coll Ingles, are one example. Gargoyles on Gothic cathedrals are another. Unitarian Universalists also have guardians in our communities of faith, but we don't depict them in statuary. Our guardians are a little more mundane than the powerful gods and fierce creatures featured in the art of many religious traditions. In fact, you may even be one! Are you up to the task? Come explore who guards our sacred space -- and who relies on you as a guardian.
We express our enthusiastic vision for our community through the way we invest our time, talent, treasure, and presence. Even in times of uncertainty, we have a powerful sense of who we want to be as a congregation. Today we celebrate that collective identity and the plans we have to deepen that identity in the year ahead. So many exciting ideas have emerged from this year's stewardship campaign, and we're looking forward to another amazing year as we continue to grow together.
Join us as we honor Mother Earth with a Native American celebration hosted by the Tapestry CUUPS group. Enjoy drumming and singing as we send out healing energy to Mother Earth.
As Unitarian Universalists, we are committed to fostering multicultural community. Even in this time of change and transition, there are things we can do to evolve our understanding and develop our multicultural competence. Who do we expect to be bridges for us? And how can we be strong bridges to our deepest selves, so that we build the world that we envision? We are capable of responsibly forging new paths of multicultural community. Let us engage in that learning together.
Easter is a time when Christians celebrate Jesus' resurrection, symbolizing new life and healing through a restored relationship with the divine. All of us have a need for spiritual healing and restoration, and some may be especially feeling that need during this time. Whether we locate the divine in nature, in a separate spiritual realm, or as a part of what makes us human, we intentionally set our hearts toward reconciliation and healing in this special ceremony.
Recently, I played a game called Gris. It had beautiful art, but more importantly, it had a beautiful message about recovering from trauma, discovering our voice, and building personal resilience. Maybe I superimposed some of these lessons onto the game. They weren't overtly stated in any way. And yet, the games we play may hold powerful lessons we can carry forward in our lives. The ways we spend our "down time" can reinforce a compelling vision we hold for our lives and our world.
In Rumi's poem "A Community of the Spirit" he wrote: Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? Some of us may be thinking of our current situation as something of a prison. Some of us may be feeling overwhelmed. What if we are refusing to open a gift, just because it is wrapped in an ugly box? Yes, we need to commiserate with one another. There is no doubt that our circumstances are challenging. But also, what encouragement can we offer one another? What inspiration? What hopeful vision for the world must we prepare for? Join us for a time of reflection on the spirituality of staying home and what it can mean for our community.
The vernal equinox marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Throughout the world, the rituals that welcome spring are celebrations of life and renewal in the natural world, and within ourselves. We virtually gather together to consider the seeds that we can intentionally plant in our lives, and also to celebrate what is ready to hatch because of the work we have done in the past. We take time to recognize how we can nurture new life in the people around us, and to honor those who have nurtured new life within us.
Dear Tapestry Members and Friends,
Because we care deeply about your well-being and because we want to be as proactive as possible in preventing the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19, the Board has decided Tapestry will NOT meet for worship or fellowship at CJCN beginning this coming Sunday morning (March 15). Instead, the Worship Team invites you to worship with the Church of the Larger Fellowship online Sunday at 7 pm CST https://zoom.us/j/224988882.
This decision was based on recommendations from our Unitarian Universalist Association, and in agreement with other area UU congregations. For the near future, we are choosing not to have in-person gatherings of 25 people or more. We would encourage our small groups to consider using an online forum for meeting such as google hangouts as much as possible.
Our first priority as a religious community right now is the health of those who are most at risk for COVID--19, both within our church and in the greater Houston area. While there are only a very small number of documented coronavirus cases in our city and region at the current time, health officials tell us that taking major steps right now is the only way to slow the spread of this virus.
If you feel you are at higher risk, please stay home as much as you can and know you are not alone. All of us here at Tapestry are with you in spirit. Even if you are not concerned about your personal risk of exposure, please be mindful to avoid public gatherings, stay home as much as possible, and wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water. Please urge your family and friends to do the same. This is the best way to prevent this virus from spreading and making more people sick.
This is a time for us all to take care of each other. If you have an urgent need, please call our message line at 281-301-7999 or contact the lay ministry team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We invite you to join our Facebook Tapestry Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston Community page if you haven’t already. In the coming days, please check in with others by phone or email. Reach out to anyone who you think might be feeling overly fearful or isolated. And please feel free to contact Randy Partain at email@example.com any time if you need to talk. If you have more general questions, comments or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for further updates on the status of other upcoming church activities.
We are a strong, loving, and resilient community and we will get through all this together.
Sincerely,Your Tapestry Minister and Board
When we embrace our capacity to be aware of ourselves and also inclusive of others, we build stronger bonds with one another. So often, we try to protect ourselves from others, or we defend our own needs to the point that we stop hearing and seeing one another clearly. We're able to do things differently, and be confident in nurturing healthy community. Our Unitarian Universalist values challenge us to do so. How can we measure our multicultural competence? And how can we balance care for ourselves and care for others in beloved community?
Come celebrate our first anniversary! We'll officially welcome our newest members, take a look back at what we've created together, and cast vision for the year ahead. Tapestry's story is a story about you. And our community's exciting journey is just beginning! After the service, we'll continue the celebration with a potluck and some great activities for all ages.
Embracing multiculturalism requires us to confront White privilege. This isn't an issue of individual character. Confronting privilege means challenging an oppressive system through intentional action. But even the word "privilege" can stir up some challenging emotions. Rather than feeling powerless or shameful, we're going to identify meaningful ways that we can intentionally dismantle barriers so that all people "matter" in our congregation and in our society. Our Unitarian Universalist principles call all of us to develop the capacity and the skill to take meaningful and hopeful action.
Cultural philosopher Charles Taylor said that each of us has an original way of being human. If we are not true to ourselves, we miss the point of our life. We miss what being human is for us. Part of embracing multiculturalism is recognizing that our unique way of being human can allow space for other people's unique way of being human. Our Unitarian Universalist values call us to celebrate other people's original way of being human, even as we fully express our own blend of identities. How can we rise to this challenge more consistently? How can we deepen our love for ourselves and others, and thus build greater wholeness in the world around us?
UUs have a long history of taking a stand against racism. But what about the grey areas we deal with both publicly and privately? Is racism ever justified? How does racism manifest itself in your life? To what extent are you a racist? Join us on Feb. 9th when Tom Parker addresses these and other questions about what UUs can do about racism both in and around them.
Science fiction stories often imagine multiple realities co-existing or colliding in some way. But what if the experience of multiple co-existing realities is real? What if our capability to embrace multiculturalism is rooted in our ability to recognize multiple realities? Our stories may be stories of inclusion or exclusion. Stories of mattering or marginalization. Or all of the above! Telling our stories requires vulnerability. Welcoming stories from others -- stories that are very different from our own -- might require some vulnerability too. Join us as we explore our multiple realities and learn to truly share our diverse stories with one another.
Our society has been talking more openly about toxic behavior in recent years. Maybe you've ended a relationship with someone at some point in your life because they seemed toxic to you. We can't always disengage easily from people we think of as toxic. They may be in our workplace, in our social organizations, or even in our families. Sometimes, there might even be a hint of toxic people in church communities. What would it feel like to be equipped to fearlessly handle toxic material? Would you believe that our Unitarian Universalist principles provide us with guidance about addressing toxicity? Join us as we explore our capability to create a less toxic world.
Whenever we want to begin anew, it can be terrifying. Fear can paralyze us, and taking that first step is always the hardest, but what exactly causes us to be immobile? Is it the unknown or the fear of failure? Whatever it is, hope is an important part of the process. Join us this week, as our special Guest Speaker, Grace Ngo shares her story of how hope allowed her to open up to new experiences and new relationships.
Last Sunday, we held our burning bowl ceremony, burning the things we're ready to let go of in order to move in the direction of wholeness and well-being for ourselves and the world around us. What rises from those ashes? What intentional passion can be ignited by our purposeful commitment? Or even, in times of tragedy, when things are taken from us that we aren't ready to let go of, how do we find hope to create something anew? Join us as we explore sources of inspiration and hope.
When we turn the page of a new calendar year, we also often consider the new things we want to create in our lives during the year ahead. Sometimes we make "New Year resolutions," and jokingly predict how many days it will be before we break those promises to ourselves. Whether it's a promise for the year ahead or a commitment to our Unitarian Universalist values, the things we carry from the past can sometimes get in the way of us living fully into a compelling vision for wholeness and well-being. In our burning bowl ceremony, we have an opportunity to release regret, sorrow, or pain from our past and look forward to a brighter future. We can give ourselves a chance to feel some closure, and move on intentionally. What do you want to let go of so that you can live fully into your vision for the year ahead?
You may remember, last month's service, when Randy explained "warp" threads are the foundation of a tapestry. The warp is the tightly-held strings upon which an image is built by interwoven "weft" threads. The warp is completely covered in traditional tapestry weaving, yet it is the necessary core of the structure. Sometimes, our spiritual practices are things that no one else sees. They may notice when we're particularly centered (or when we've neglected our practices!), but they may not know the work that we do to show up with authenticity, compassion, integrity, or serenity.
Join us for a second special service in this Introduction Series when we'll learn about four spiritual practices that serve as foundations for some of the men of Tapestry. Hopefully, you'll discover some opportunities to strengthen your own grounding as well!
Tapestry UU Church of Houston cordially invites you and yours to join us for our First Annual Carols, Candles and Cookies, A Christmas Eve Celebration. Singing in the Sanctuary 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Sweet Treats in the Social Hall 7:00 PM - 9 PM. Please bring snacks and treats to share with others.
So many religious traditions consider the winter solstice sacred. From a time of increasing night, the sun is reborn with a promise of new life to come. Whether it is with candle light or a Yule log or sparkling lights on a tree, the season is full of ways we look for the light of the sun reborn to vanquish whatever unseen anxieties we imagine await us in the darkness. But times of quiet darkness are important for us as well. And we might forget to look in the most obvious place when we find ourselves or the world around us in need of light. In this solstice celebration, we explore what we gain from the darkness, and how we embrace our roles as bringers of light.
One of the common holiday tropes is whether someone has made it onto the Nice List or the Naughty List. People on the Nice List have earned a present for their good behavior, but people on the Naughty List get a lump of coal instead! Even in a time when we focus on generosity and giving, we have a sense that we have to earn our presents. Our Unitarian Universalist principles suggest something different -- that every person has reason to celebrate who we are. This holiday season, how can we more joyfully celebrate who we are? And what simple, intentional action can we engage in to help people around us joyfully celebrate who they are?
Mother Teresa’s “Do It Anyway” is ageless wisdom. It reflects thoughts that resound through many spiritual practices. Intention is a prime way of life in which to stay in the moment. Judy will share some of the inspirations that have come from this classic.
Avery Alder once made a "game" called Brave Sparrow. It was a way of building one's capacity to bear witness to quiet beauty and act with bravery. Avery didn't publish Brave Sparrow commercially, but their simple creative idea suggests that we might need a little help sometimes to meaningfully address wonder and mystery in our lives. Can playfulness help us engage in curiosity and courage more intentionally? How can we be more intentional observers and agents of wonder?
The Unitarian Universalist Bread Ceremony is a celebration of our connection with one another. We each bring unique experiences and gifts to our relationships and communities. This symbolic ceremony of sharing reminds us how deeply we are able to share of ourselves and receive one another gracefully. Prepare a bread that is special to you, or just buy some bread you enjoy, and bring it to share as we celebrate this uniquely Unitarian Universalist service.
The Enneagram is one approach to understanding human personality, based on the theories of Russian mystic George Gurdjieff. According to this model, people have three basic ways of responding to the world around us: through our intellect, through our emotions, and through our instinctual action. None of these is any better than the others, but each of us may find that we rely on one of these three "minds" more comfortably or naturally. Understanding our own tendencies and understanding the tendencies of others can help us engage more deeply in building our community with respect, compassion, and gratitude for the diverse perspectives that strengthen our interconnection.
An emotional, informative, and inspirational look at the families that veterans find themselves in.
"Warp" threads are the foundation of a tapestry. The warp is the tightly-held strings upon which an image is built by interwoven "weft" threads. The warp is completely covered in traditional tapestry weaving, yet it is the necessary core of the structure. Sometimes, our spiritual practices are things that no one else sees. They may notice when we're particularly centered (or when we've neglected our practices!), but they may not know the work that we do to show up with authenticity, compassion, integrity, or serenity. In this special service, three participants in Tapestry's Women's Spirituality Group will share their own "warp" threads -- the spiritual practices that form their foundation. Hopefully, you'll discover some opportunities to strengthen your own grounding as well!
Día de Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is an annual event that unfolds over two days of color and life-affirming joy, when people demonstrate love and respect for ancestors. In towns and cities throughout Mexico, revelers don bright makeup and costumes, hold parades and parties, sing and dance, and make offerings to lost loved ones. As we honor this traditional Mexican feast for the senses, you are invited to bring a picture of a departed loved one.
In Hunduism, a deva is rather like what Western religion might call an angel. Some devas represent the forces of nature and some represent moral values, each symbolizing the essence of a focused area of knowledge or creative energy. Whether we believe in such beings or not, it might be interesting to think of the focused, creative devas of various aspects of our lives. How might our "relationship deva" guide us toward deeper connection and vulnerability? Or how might our "professional deva" guide us in our career decisions? How might a "Tapestry deva" guide us in our community building? Together, we'll explore an imaginative spiritual practice as well as our congregational covenant.
UU Lay Minister, Patti Henry, will be joining us once again on October 13. Her sermon, "Do UUs Pray?" will explore the different types of prayer and what to do if you've got no one to pray to. This is a fun sermon you won't want to miss!
Living fully into our spiritual identity is not just a matter of what we do, but how we do it. With so many meaningful and worthwhile actions and activities in our calendars, we can forget to take time preparing for how we want to connect all the events of our busy lives with our deepest values. As we enter into a series on spiritual practices, we consider the spirituality of our relationship with time. How might we adopt a more intentional approach to nurturing ourselves inwardly in the midst of nurturing the world outwardly?
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, also known as Virgen de Guadalupe, is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a Marian apparition and a venerated image enshrined within the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. We'll hear the parable of Juan Diego's encounter with the Queen of Heaven and consider how we might be more intentional in how we ascribe power and how we empower others.
We all complain about our noisy, over-stressed lives. Seems we are right— the decibel level is rising. Can we find the quiet our minds, bodies and hearts need?
When we talk about "power," what are we really talking about? And where does power come from? What kinds of power work against our Unitarian Universalist principles, and what kinds of power are in alignment with our principles? We continue our conversation about power by considering the roots of power in our own lives, in our relationships, and in our communities.
In this distinctly Unitarian Universalist liturgical service, we celebrate the places we have been, the places we are going, and the symbolic power of water to carry us, challenge us, and sustain us along the way. Bring your water to pour into our communal bowl as we celebrate our connection with one another and our capacity to nurture one another.
Have you ever felt powerless? Many people do. Some more frequently than others. Often, though, this feeling of powerlessness isn't true. Sometimes, all it takes is one purposeful action in a meaningful direction to shift a situation. Are you willing to embrace your personal power?
"In the beginning there was Isis: Oldest of the Old, She was the Goddess from whom all Becoming Arose. She was the Great Lady, Mistress of the two Lands of Egypt, Mistress of Shelter, Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of the House of Life, Mistress of the word of God.“
Merlin Stone, sculpture, and professor of art and art history writes in her book “When God Was A Woman”, “In the beginning, people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman." Do you remember?
Maybe we do not think of ourselves as healers. There are so many ways in which we may feel the need for healing. Perhaps we think that we must be healed before we can heal others. Or perhaps we think that only special people with special gifts or special training have the capacity to heal others. But what if our spiritual tradition implicitly calls us all to be healers? How can we embrace that identity more deeply as Unitarian Universalists?
When we can honestly recognize our old wounds, we can begin to heal. Sometimes we expect that healing to come from outside of ourselves, but we can also be a source for inner healing. We engage in a special experience of personal healing with spiritual practices that can be a regular part of your self-care.
Over time, we all learn to put on emotional armor to protect ourselves. We learn early on that we have vulnerabilities that can be painful. We get wounded in our relationships and figure out what we need to do keep from feeling that kind of pain again. Armor isn't a bad thing, but the thicker our armor, the tougher it is for us to connect, feel love, and offer love to others. In other words, the very things we need to be able to do in authentic community. How can we embrace our vulnerabilities and honor the vulnerabilities of others in mutual safety and connection?
When we journey with others, our behavior matters. When in a well-defined space like a vehicle on a road trip, it may be clear how our behavior affects everyone in the car with us. When the borders of our relationships are a bit more diffuse, our influence may not be so clear. How can we be more mindful of our contributions to powerful, meaningful relationships with the people with whom we journey in this community? In our city? In our world?
Who are Unitarian Universalists called to be in this moment? In a time of increasing dehumanization causing great challenge and heartbreak in our world, what does our faith demand from us? At this year’s General Assembly we explored the power, possibility, purpose, struggle and joy of finding the path forward together as Unitarian Universalists. Attendees left inspired, with the tools needed to carry on the work for collective liberation into their own congregations and communities. How we discern and carry out the work is an example of faith formation, AKA religious education.
Having a covenant for community is good. Essential even! But sometimes promises made with the best of intentions get broken. Relationships sometimes need to be repaired. How do we restore and rebuild relationship in alignment with Unitarian Universalist principles? What role does accountability play in a healthy, thriving community? Come explore how our purposeful commitments to one another grease the wheels of authentic community.
We talk about covenant a lot in UU settings. One reason is that we don't embrace a creed -- a set of established beliefs that everyone must accept to be in community with one another. Instead of creeds, we build covenants -- a set of promises we commit to with one another. Covenants are mutual boundaries that cast vision for the kinds of relationships and communities we want to build. They are compasses that point the way toward deeper authentic connection with one another. Sounds great, right? So why aren't we better at keeping covenants? Come learn how to create and keep covenants that truly help us create the relationships and communities we most deeply desire.
Independence Day is the one patriotic holiday which has been a party from the very beginning. Come celebrate it with us.
My title for this service asked why we, as UU’s, should pay attention to the changing of the season. Our 7th principle states: “We the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association covenant to affirm and promote: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” My hope is that we can share a connection to nature and to selves.
There's a comedy group that specializes in taking video clips of movies and speeches and recording more humorous lines over the original images. And they do it in such a way that it looks like the person speaking is actually saying the more humorous lines instead of their original quote. This is good for a laugh. But we often do this with human beings around us too. We engage in "bad lip reading" when we assume that we know what other people need better than they understand their own needs. That can make creating justice, equity, and compassion a real challenge. Are there simple ways to clearly hear the needs expressed by others instead of thinking that we have all the answers?
It's common for us to think in binary terms. Hot or cold. Winners or losers. Wizards or muggles. We often do this even when it comes to something as diverse as human identity, whether it's gender, ideology, skin color, or who we love. Our brains love to put things in clear-cut categories. And yet, one way we can live with greater integrity to our UU values is to recognize human identity as a continuum rather than a set of toggle switches. How can intentional spiritual practices help us navigate that continuum?
The 1990 documentary "Paris Is Burning" focuses on drag queens living in New York City and their "house" culture, which provides a sense of community and support for the flamboyant and often socially shunned performers. It also highlights some of the unique terminology of their community dance styles at the time, which found its way into the mainstream even though many people were unaware of its history. How else do we inadvertently adopt elements of marginalized cultures without honoring their origins? And how can we be better stewards of those ideas?
We'll also welcome new members in a special ceremony!
When we look at those we honor on Memorial Day, many of us think of 'Freedom', 'Patriotism' and their service. We are thankful for the rights of our freedom. But do we know the 'flavor' of freedom?
We live in a fast paced culture that either glorifies suffering or tries to stamp it to the ground through positive thinking. When is suffering authentic and when is it the product of cynicism, pride, and our addiction to drama? What unexampled assumptions do we have about life and how do these assumptions create a stressful life? Even though life has difficult periods, it is not hard all the time. How can we extricate ourselves from our self-imposed suffering and live a more joy-filled life?
As we continue to form an intentional vision for Tapestry, we consider how each of us has something valuable to contribute to that vision. As we bring our full selves forward, we change and shape the world around us. As we engage purposefully in our lives, we influence all of our relationships and systems. What we do matters. How can we deepen our sense of belonging through awareness of our transformative and creative power?
Do you ever feel like you have to wear a mask? In other words, have you ever hidden part of yourself in order to be acceptable to other people? Has the need for a sense of belonging won out over the need to be seen and appreciated for who you truly are? Many people feel that they can't be completely themselves and also be accepted in a place where they want to belong. Imagine having both of these competing needs met more often! Let's explore the possibility of the balance of belonging.
Bring a flower to share as we honor the unique gifts we bring to community in a uniquely Unitarian celebration! The founder of the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia, Rev. Norbert Capek, saw the need to unite the diverse congregants of his church, from varying Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds, without alienating those who had left these traditions. For this reason he initiated the Flower Celebration in Prague on 4 June 1923, honoring the universal beauty of nature by having a communion of flowers instead of the Eucharist. Though Unitarian Universalists often refer to the ritual as a Flower Ceremony, Festival, or Communion, Capek's term "Oslava Kvetin" is more accurately translated as "Flower Celebration," a term which continues to be preferred by Czech Unitarians today.
The resurrection story is a universal theme within the Christian faith, but all of us have experienced personal resurrections in times of hardship. We will explore both in our Easter service.
Creating something new in collaboration with other people is exciting! It can also stir up some anxiety. Even though we may know about the effects of anxiety, it can still creep into our vision casting unintentionally. When we manage our anxiety, we're better able to live into our hope for meaningful, authentic community. How can we recognize anxiety when it's affecting our community or our own behavior? And what spiritual practices can help us manage our anxiety better?
It may seem early in Tapestry's development to think about awards and honors. It may seem morbid to think about Tapestry's epitaph. And yet, these are ways that people convey how others have made a difference in the world. As we think about identity and a vision for Tapestry as a community, one way to clarify that vision is to imagine what we hope people will say about us. It's a great way to clarify our personal creative vision too. Come wonder together as we gather with hope and purpose!
We gather to celebrate the mutual gifts we offer to one another and the commitment we make to build authentic, meaningful community together. We are creators by nature, and we have the potential to create amazing things, especially when we work together. So how do we turn our commitments of time, talent, and treasure into purposeful and intentional expressions of who we are? Come find out as we celebrate together this Sunday!
Join us Sunday as we begin discussion on our Five Smooth Stones of a Liberal Religion - The first Stone can be paraphrased as Growth - Ours, is a living tradition because we're always learning.
Stewardship is about wisely identifying and using our resources to build and sustain our work in this church, while caring for each other and ourselves. Being present, donating money, volunteering our time, sharing our talents. We offer these treasured resources to help us fulfill our vision of putting our Unitarian Universalist principles into practice, while promoting balanced giving. We'll be exploring what it means to be good UU stewards without overextending ourselves.
And, it will be FUN, with opportunities to earn door prize tickets. Did we mention there will be door prizes?! You will not want to miss out, I promise!!
As we begin to form the mission and vision for Tapestry, we must decide where we are going. In planning our path, we must understand that saying yes to some things will mean saying no to others. To enable us to say yes, we must also say no with intention and purpose.
An 8th principle has been proposed for adoption by the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association. “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”Dana Fisher Ashrawi will explain the proposal and explore the following questions:Where did the proposal come from?Why now?Why in the UUA?Why single out racism?What is beloved community?What does it mean to be accountable?
Our Unitarian Universalist 7th Principle is “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” How can we live this principle in the face of Climate Change?
We take a look at our 6th principle and examine what it would take to have a world community that is peaceful, just, and free.
What if your social outlet that is your passion was banned by the government and participation considered illegal? As UU's our 5th principle addresses that question.
One of the precepts of Unitarian Universalism is that truth is not absolute. It changes over time. How can this be? Join us on February 3rd when Tom Parker explores the relationship between fact, truth and Unitarian Universalism.
The third UU principle is Acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth in our congregations. Let us reflect on the diversity of those around us.
In this day and age, do we really have a world that is just, equitable, and compassionate or is what we have ¨just the way it is?¨ We explore the 2nd UU principle of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
The first principle of the Unitarian Universalis is "The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person". We will explore why such a simple principle can be so hard at times and ways to keep your faith, as well as your integrity.
What binds spirit to matter? When we have a diversity of cherished beliefs and belongings, what connects us in sacred relation within the liberal church? Join us as we explore the power and the possibility of covenant as scaffolding for the growth of the soul. The Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton will be our special guest in the pulpit (streaming video). She is the CEO and President of the Board of the Braxton Institute, is an ordained minister in the Eastern Virginia Association of the administrator, public speaker and workshop leader, as well as the author and/or editor of several published books, including Black Women Writing Autobiography.
Join us as we consider closing the door on 2018 and the possibilities for the new year.
Please invite your friends and family...
Most of our winter holidays originate with the solstice celebrations, which recognized human dependence on the sun as well as our symbolic relationship with light and darkness. How do we honor our times of darkness, and how do we release the darkness we don't need to carry with us? Join us for a service of music and reflection.
Tapestry Ensemble will be performing Winter Solstice & Christmas music.
A potluck will follow - so please bring a dish to share and a beverage, as we celebrate this wonderful time of year!
When we think of mystery and wonder, we sometimes think about the grand majesty of nature or the origins of existence. Of all the mystery in the universe, though, sometimes the greatest mystery is within other human beings. We can fool ourselves into thinking that our assumptions and biases are reliable, but how can we set our assumptions aside to truly discover the wonder of the people around us?
Don't do it half way. Your life is worth full-on attention. 'Tis the season for miracles to happen. Show up for yours!
This sermon will tend to ways Unitarian Universalist communities can be places of welcome and sanctuary during periods of crisis and transition.
Democracy across the globe is in crisis. No matter who wins the midterm elections, this will continue to be true. How should Unitarian Universalistcommunities respond during times such as these?
This multi-generational service is uniquely Unitarian Universalist, and a special one for bringing a friend or relative. All are invited to bring bread that connects to your ancestors or your current family traditions. We will share our bread and stories of our bread with each other after a blessing, and offer gratitude for our beloved community. Our children will be with us throughout this service for all generations, while child care for ages 4 and under will be available in the Mahjong room.
On Sunday, our guest speaker, Patti Henry, will look at the first of the Four Agreements, as suggested by Miguel Ruiz in his best-selling book of the same name, that you must make with yourself to have a happy and effective life. This agreement, make your word impeccable, is the most important and difficult of the Four. Come join us for a fun and thoughtful service!
Sometimes things change without our permission, like someone has changed the rules on us mid-game without warning us. This often provokes some anxiety for a lot of us. Sometimes, there are changes we long for, though. Changes we want in our own lives or in the world around us. How do we determine whose rules we have to play by when we want to change the game? And how do we ensure that the changes we strive for truly align with our life-affirming values?
Whether we celebrate it as Dia de los Muertos, All Saints, Samhain, or by some other name, this time of year is often a time that we think about ancestors and how to honor them. Maybe we think of special items or activities that make us feel close to people we care about who have died. Maybe we look back to more distant ancestors, people we never knew but who shaped our life and circumstances nonetheless. One way we can honor those who came before us is by the legacy we leave behind for the future generations who will call us ancestors. Come delve deeper into how we honor both the departed and generations to come in this special celebration.
A sense of belonging is fundamental to our experience as human beings. Most people are grateful to find a community where they feel at home, or they are seeking one. Unitarian Universalism provides such an environment for many, and yet not all. How do we walk the line between creating cohesive communities and making room for the stranger?
This title comes from a dialogue between the great practitioners of liberation education Paulo Freire and Myles Horton. The sermon will be a chance to reflect upon how we can collectively engage in spiritual practices to nourish us as we struggle for social change. Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen will be with us for his first visit to Tapestry.
Many of us have spiritual practices that are a meaningful part of our daily routines, but sometimes those daily routines can get so hectic and stressful that it seems like we don't have time for one more activity, no matter how helpful we think it might be. What would it be like to have a way of deepening our connection with ourselves that didn't require blocking out more time in the calendar?
Being accepted is a fundamental human need, yet we often struggle with how to welcome others without hiding or giving up some part pf ourselves. The easy answer is to only welcome people who seem to be like us, but our shared principles call us to a greater sense of hospitality. Is there a way to welcome people into our lives and still have the sense of belonging and acceptance we need for ourselves.
This Sunday Rev. Dan King returns to the Tapestry campus to bring his personal reflections about how we can choose to embrace necessary changes in his service “Welcoming the Stranger: There’s No Place Like Home!”
Just as teachers and students settle into structured learning routines during early September, those of us who choose to be involved in religious community are given the opportunity to consciously pledge the time and energy necessary for our own spiritual growth. Our Minister, Rev. Dr. Dan King shares some helpful ideas about how to sustain our good intentions. (Read by Tom Parker)
Bring water from your Summer travels, back yard birth bath, rain gauge, or other places that have a special meaning to you for adding to our communal water in this uniquely Unitarian Universalist service.
Sometimes, we may think of “hope” as unfounded optimism. And we may feel despair when our hopes for our lives or for the world seem unlikely to come true. Is there a way for us to engage our hope that can consistently inspire our creative purpose and empower us to live fully?
We live in a period of profound cultural, ecological, moral, and political crisis. In this service we will ask: what is the calling of the church during such an unsettled time?
The title of this service comes from Alice Walker’s book of the same name. She offers wisdom about how to move forward during a time of disappointment and heartbreak writing, “healing begins where the wound was made.” No matter the reason why a ministry ended, it often concludes with a sense of disappointment and pain about what has been lost and what might have been. In this service we will contemplate how to move forward despite and because of whatever pain has existed in the past.
Are you familiar with the Bigger and Better game? For example, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald started with one red paper clip, and after 14 trades, ended up with a two story house. What if we all did that? Traded UP? Come join us and speaker Patti Henry to find out how!
If you've been to The Point, you know what a fun, inspiring and educational five days it is. If you haven't been yet, come learnwhy many of our members make it a regular part of their summer schedule. All SWUUSI/The Point alumni will be invited to share their experiences.
The Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly (UUA GA) is a lively annual event that brings together thousands in our own interdependent web to sing, worship, learn, witness and take faithful action. Dana Ashrawi has ether attended or been a delegate for most of the last 10 years. She gives an in-person interactive impression for all ages on the exciting highlights of this year’s gathering.
Small thinking leads to small living. How do we become "mountain minded" and learn to expand our lives becoming all we can be? Come hear our guest speaker, Patti Henry, in this inspiring and fun service!
When did you last feel a sense of wonder and say “Wow!”? Was it some kindness or beauty? Were you blown away by something you learned or saw? Our stories are made up of pieces we put together from our world. What would happen if more of the pieces were things that WOWed us?
Rev. Dan returns from the UUA General Assembly in Kansas City with a renewed sense of the importance of our 7th Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” He'll share personal reflections of the multiple levels of meaning he finds in that principle for this Independence Day themed sermon.
In this time of dissension and government cruelty, who is our family and how do we treat the members of this wider family?
When the song of the earth resonates in your heart, what do you hear? What feelings rise up from the depths of your being? Is there wonder at the beauty and complexity that surrounds us? Does there come a sense of gratitude? Or perhaps grief and sadness for how we have treated the world? Can there be hope and possibility that we might more deeply apprehend our place on this amazing and precious planet?
Every Fall for thousands of years, Jewish traditions have called for ten days of self-reflection as observant Jews approach the rituals of Yom Kippur, the Day of Forgiveness. The practices of Rosh Hashanah ask each of the faithful to forgive those who sincerely repent for their “trespasses” AND honestly to face the reality of their own imperfections, their trespasses of others, and, where appropriate, to ask for forgiveness and healing of their mutual relationships before God.
In this service, Rev. Dan shares reflections on these universal themes of forgiveness and healing.
How much will you pay for a free lunch? What price is peace of mind.
We'll hear about the state of the church, and elect new nominating committee and board members. Service will be held at Museum District.
We know how important forgiveness is, especially for our own well-being. Yet, it often seems that we have to make a choice between forgiving someone and seeking justice. Between forgiving someone and healing our wounds. Can a road map to forgiveness also lead to justice and healing?
As we transition from our Eldridge location to CJCN, we will meet at the Museum District Campus this Sunday at 10:30 am.
Why forgive? And we decide to forgive, how do we do it?
In honor of Mother's Day we celebrate our multi-generational Flower Communion and tell the story of its originator, Rev. Norbert Capek. Bring a flower per person to decorate the altar and take home a different blossom when you leave!
How much sleep did you get last night? While there are pockets of hope, especially among the young, too much is wrong. It’s creating widespread anxiety. What shall we do about it?
If you are a member of First UU-Copperfield Campus, please be sure to stay after the service to vote on the future location of our campus!
Thomas Jefferson said "all are created equal, all are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Notice he did not say anyone had a right to be happy, but you do have the right to chase happiness. By the way unalienable is nice word for un-sellable. So if Jefferson is right, you cannot sell your soul to devil. You can only rent it to him.
Note — This service will be held at Congregation Jewish Community North to try it out as one of two choices for our next church home.
Note: We will have this service at a different location as a trial of future rented space - Celebration Lutheran on KZ Road in Cypress.Service summary: There are two kinds of hope...hope that requires the likelihood of positive result and hope that is paired with action moving toward a desired outcome. The second is Active Hope. We assert that this is the kind of hope required in today’s uncertain circumstances. We will awake to the realities we face and find individual paths to our collective community’s action. Everyone, no matter what age, will find inspiration as we explore and create our Active Hope together.
What does it take to find yourself with an entirely new perspective, one that gives energy and purpose to your life? For many of us, daily routines and obligations can feel like they get in the way. But when you look back, how many different "selves" can you count? Our emotional and spiritual lives include many stops on an infinitely variable path. We'll reflect on how many times we have journeyed to a new beginning.
Thomas Jefferson said "all are created equal, all are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Notice he did not say anyone had a right to be happy, but you do have the right to chase happiness. By the way unalienable is nice word for un-sellable. So if Jefferson is right, you cannot sell your soul to devil. You can only rent it to him. You can always redeem it.
Some Unitarian Universalists have a Christian orientation, many do not. Both the Unitarian and the Universalist religions sprang out from Christianity. What do we believe about Jesus? About resurrection? About the meaning of Easter? Come find out.
"From Birthing to Living to Dying: The Ultimate Transformations?"
One uninterrupted human lifespan could encompass a range of multiple liminal transformation experiences in our own birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenthood, maturity, senescence, decline, and finally, our deaths.
The difficulties some of us encounter at the threshholds of entering or leaving these stages of life (and other times of transitions for ourselves and for those we love), can seem overwhelming; for many of us, there are no mentors or guides to show us how to deal with the essence of our shared mortality.
What we focus on, we invite. If we focus on what we don't want and don't like, we may find ourselves getting more of it anyway. How often do you complain? Want to find out?
Humanism says that we don't need or can't rely on God or gods. Okay. So why do we create all these superheroes? Is merely being human enough? We seem to crave more from our myths.
Many observers of the catastrophes of history- wars, Holocaust, and genocides around the world- have lost faith in the concept of an all-seeing, all-caring Divinity. In this service, Rev. Dr. Dan King shares reflections on some of the ways that many of us (including several prominent Unitarian Universalists) have resolved our cognitive dissonance about the necessity of a belief in the existence and centrality of God in living an ethical and meaningful life.
One need not have a deity to provide religious experience, one only need to be truly awake. We’ll explore another source of our UU faith: “Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.”
In this service, Rev. Dan King shares reflections on how and why the brief life of Rev. Theodore Parker, someone almost forgotten in our time, actually had extraordinary influence in the development of modern Unitarian Universalist theology as well as our progressive ideas about social justice.
A 19th century American Calvinist girl grew up to become a Universalist woman and changed America forever.
Have you ever felt there is something important missing in your life? Something you can or can’t put your finger on– something that if you only had it– you would feel complete? Finally and completely whole & content? We’ll also take a peek at our dreams for the year ahead.
We are members of a prophetic faith. And we have the martyrs and heroes to prove it. Advice about working on social justice, Moses never entered the promised land. Susan B Anthony never got to cast a vote. But the promised land would never have been reached, and women would never have gotten the vote unless someone did the hard work that they did.
Much of contemporary Unitarian Universalist theology and common practices show deep roots from both our Jewish We and Christian ancestry. In this week's service, our Campus Minister, Rev. Dan King, reflects with us on how those particular roots inform our mid-Winter consciousness in "Owning the Darkness and Welcoming the Light".
Social anthropologist tell us that societies over the millennia have responded to the natural recurrent rhythms of the earth by creating rituals at the changing of the season. In the Northern hemisphere, as humans perceived the longer nights of winter, we created stories which assure us that life-sustaining light will return. In this service, we will "reflect" on the persistent appeal of some of the common elements of our modern experience of the timeless stories of Chanukah and Christmas.
As the Wheel of Life turns again, we dedicate our children; name new births; new marriages; honor anniversaries, and recall the departed. Please contact the office if you would like your children dedicated in the church today, and provide us with names and ages.
Jesus was a Jew. All of his disciples, the ones he selected, were Jews. So how did the Christian church separate from Judaism and what do we still have in common?
Come join us for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on the evening of December 24, from 5 PM - 6:30 PM.
The title of this sermon does not refer to Unitarian Universalists, but rather to all religionists (and atheists) in the world and the questions we have in common, such as “Where did we come from, and why are we here?” Instead of focusing on one religion, let’s look at these common questions as a framework for broadening our own hearts and minds, developing interreligious competence, and working with others to repair the world, even when their answers are different from our own.
The Sanctuary Choir presents a special Music Service featuring Vivaldi's baroque masterwork, "Gloria." This celebrated work offers inspiring music that explores the foundation of Christianity through themes of hope, gratitude and peace. Mark Vogel, music director, leads the service.
Western culture over the past millennium has developed antipathy toward the religion of the Qu'ran. In this service, Rev. Dr. Dan King explores some parallels with Unitarian Universalist theology as well as several of the commonly-held myths and truths about cultural variants and "heresies" associated with self-proclaimed adherents of the religion revealed by the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
We have not always thought of the divine, our god(s), or other people's, as we think currently think of the divine. God evolved, or our thoughts about the divine evolved.
Please bring some bread to share, perhaps associated with your heritage or has some other special meaning. We will share our bread (and the stories of our bread). This uniquely Unitarian Universalist service is a fun one to bring a friend to.
We will look at the three jewels of Taoism: humility, moderation and compassion in a UU context and see that "peace is who you are without a story."
More than one theologian has noted that Unitarian Universalists don’t have sacred texts. Instead, each of us studies our own direct experience of transcendence and lets that shape our theology. Uh...okay. But how do we communicate those experiences to each other? And what is transcendence anyway? When we gather on Sunday, let’s reflect together about our First Source, and about the delights and dangers of building our own theology.
Our annual Day of the Dead service. You are invited to bring a photo or memento of a departed loved one to church for our memory table.
Many religions start with a creed, a sacred text, or a singular prophet. The Unitarian Universalist religion starts with your own direct religious experience.
How extreme Zen meditation can lead to sprained ego and brief flashes of addictive euphoria.
For some of us, compassion has always come easy and it is a strength we use in moderation. Others of us suffer from "compassion fatigue" and find ourselves becoming more uncaring than we'd like. And how do we muster compassion for people who really, really don't "deserve" it?
We've often heard that love makes the world go'round. More likely, however, it is compassion - a deep stirring of the heart - that leads to small and large actions to walk with others in their joys and sorrows. On Sunday, let's reflect together on the inner sources and outer expressions of our compassion as individuals and as a church body, the limits of compassion, and how to refill our own spiritual wells when compassion fatigue overtakes us.
As our newest addition to the First UU ministry, Rev. Dan K will share reflections on how we might approach others, especially in the context of his own past experiences with Houston and Unitarian Universalism.
These words by the 13th-century Persian Muslim poet Rumi remind me of why many of us came to Unitarian Universalism. Not only were we looking for something in it, but we also felt pulled by something toward it. This week, let's think together about what we continue to seek when we gather here every Sunday, and what we offer to those who may be seeking us.
Orthodox faith insists the fear of eternal damnation and the promise of heaven are the only motivations to turn inveterate sinners in to good people. Unitarian Universalists have a different take.
Whoever you are, wherever you've been - the uniquely Unitarian Universalist Water Communion offers you a chance for a Welcoming Community. Feel free to bring a little water from your summertime - either from a vacation spot, or from your kitchen faucet. And prepare to write a sentence about its origins or meaning to you now.
Note from Daniel: You can certainly bring water for water communion, but more importantly, you mightbring the following: non-perishable food items, toiletries, and ‘practical’ clothing, especially for men.
Church canceled due to Hurricane Harvey. Stay safe folks!
How do we contemplate, and plan for inevitable death and possible disaster and maintain a healthy mind?"
In these rapidly changing times, we are required to find new ways of remaining engaged and active. Join us to explore what it will take to be "down" with current movements of resistance."
Our Universalist heritage has been long summed up by the decleration "God is Love." Yet our seven Unitarian Universalist Principles do not use the word "love." What is the place of this key concept when we look at the source of our faith?"
Agnostics are often understood as people who admit that they do not know if there is a God or not. Yet, can there be more to agnosticism? Rev. Angela Henderson will share about this spiritual path that is described by Lesley Hazelton as one that "takes a spirited delight in not knowing."
The Unitarian Universalist faith has done a great job of opening its doors and welcoming the GBLT community. We have stood firm on the side of love. How can we do the same with the black population, the Hispanic population, and others? How do we truly become the faith of ALL people?
Abraham Lincoln once said "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." To improve character, our religious forebears lifted up virtues to adopt as part of our lives. Maybe these virtues have a place in our time.
Generations are now living an average of 34 years longer than our great-parents did. Jane Fonda presents life and spiritual journey after age 60 as "Life's Third Act." This Sunday, we will hear reflections on Life's Third Act from members of the Thoreau Campus.
All news sources are reeking with the confusion fed by failures of truth-telling in our political life. How did our culture become so casual about the distinction between truth and lies? It's time to shed our light on Truth.
The Rev. Lewis B. Fisher wrote these words almost a century ago, yet they still apply today: "Universalists are often asked to tell where they stand. The only true answer....is that we do not stand at all, we move. "We'll explore what is worth working for in our lives and what might become of our movement as Unitarian Universalists.
What does a UU father figure look like?
Are most churches ''women's club with a few male officers?'' We'll explore some reasons women outnumber men in church, and why we at First Unitarian may have a greater proportion of men than usual.
We'll hear about the state of the church, and elect new nominating committee and board members.
We'll explore the construction of gender and reflect on what a woman learned after posing as a man for a year.
Generally speaking, religion has a terrible record on Women's Rights, GLBTQ rights, and Racial Justice. Join us this Sunday to discover how our UU faith calls us toward a world of equity and compassion.
In honor of Mother's Day we celebrate our multi-generational Flower Communion and tell the story of its originator, Rev. Norbert Capek. Bring a flower per person to decorate the alter and take home a different blossom when you leave!
In the midst of our busy lives, some of us enjoy finding the calm in the hurricane's eye.
Our logical minds tend to reduce complexities to easily understood concepts. Yet, the world we live in is more complicated than logic wants to believe. Today we look beyond the black and white of “prayer” or “no prayer” as we consider the rainbow - with the help of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
While prayer is often recommended as a regular practice, we most often feel the desire to pray in times of questioning, confusion, and grief. What are ways to pray that UU's find helpful in times of need?
Has there been a time– or two?– when you have been “afraid and amazed?” Something in your life is ending. Or has just ended. And things don’t seem to get better right away? And you are “afraid and amazed?”
The Easter story begins with death & fear. But it doesn’t end there.
Many of us are uncomfortable with the words "God" and "prayer." Often this rejection comes from outgrowing or having to "unlearn" what our old religious tradition taught us. Can we claim or reclaim this word and practice?
Our cultural understanding of "evil" changed when psychologists such as Carl Jung began to talk about the "shadow" in human experience. How do we hold to our values of "inherent worth and dignity" alongside our own capacity to demonize and blame?
Religious Liberals generally don't talk about this much. But sometimes we have to. Most of all, it’s important to acknowledge our own propensity to evil.
In Chemistry when too much of a substance is added to a solution, there is a reaction, either a flash, a precipitation or a crystallization. In our lives, in our society, when too much evil is present there will be a reaction. But will it be a flash of violence, a rain of sorrow or a crystallization of conscience?
The spiritual journey reminds us not only to be grateful for love, peace, and joy, but also for failure, pain, and loss. We celebrate the wholeness of our being as we reflect on Gratitude today.
During the course of one day, countless amounts of information is absorbed by the brain. Our thoughts swirl around introducing new ideas or conjuring up old memories. Learn how to reclaim some of your mental space and change your life by changing your mind.
Is gratitude a requirement for Happiness? Can you be happy if you are ungrateful?
Have you ever wanted to help someone so much, but they just wouldn't listen to your incredibly wise advice? When helping might be our first response to another's sorrow, we can learn that love can also be in the letting go.
"Houston, we have a problem" goes the saying. Some of our UU values are under siege. From denigration of Muslims to discrimination against transgender folks to vilifying atheists– the list of problems grows. But our church has a history of being a haven for religious liberals and a beacon for liberal religion. Come learn our history and how we’re saying now "Houston, we have a solution!"
When I was first a summer hospital chaplain, I had an irrational fear of being near dying people. And then I saw a woman die of her own irrational fear. Fear can be a great self-defense mechanism; and, it can kill us. Fear isn’t just about life & death– it’s about wanting, getting, relationships and loss. We’ll explore fear, it’s opposite, and how to get to the other side.
Wheels, spirals, doors, corridors; life is like that. Anxiety can be calmed with a little Faith. Ralph Krog, preaching.
If we find ourselves in hell, how do we save ourselves? We build our own heaven … and bring in our family and friends and neighbors and strangers. Copperfield Campus Minister, Ralph Krog, preaching.
As the Wheel of Life turns again, we dedicate our children; name new births; new marriages; honor anniversaries, and recall the departed. Service led by Ralph Krog, Campus Minister.
Service has been pushed back to NOON for this very special occasion....Come and join us at Noon for Brunch and Burning. Bring a dish and your New's Years Resolution. We'll have a nosh and a ritual. Start the New Year off right with great food and fellowship!!Coffee, Orange juice and Tomato juice provided.
Copperfield Campus will not be open on Sunday, Christmas Day, because we will all be tired from attending the Christmas Eve Service. Also at Copperfield there will be no Sunday Worship on New Years Day; however, there will be Brunch and Burning starting at Noon.There will be a Christmas Day service by Rev. Angela at Museum District at 10:00 a.m. All are welcome.
Our annual candlelight service at 6:30 p.m. with readings and carols. Service led by Ralph Krog.
Music, readings, and reflections on the lights of the season seen through Hannukah, Winter Solstice, and Christmas. Our annual traveling Music Service. We will also receive your special financial year end donation.
Rev. Dr. Daniel O’Connell and the Museum District Sanctuary Choir, directed by Mark Vogel.
Did you know Jesus was a heretic? He taught that some values were more important than the rules of his day. Join us this Sunday to hear how the life of Jesus influenced Unitarian Universalism. Rev. Angela Henderson, preaching.
The word, “God,” is a powerful word with a lot of baggage. Respecting that this word or idea of God does not work for everyone, we also recognize that it is an essential part of the spiritual life of some among us. Rev. Angela will explore how we can welcome God into our spiritual life in a n authentic way.
As a colleague reminded me many years ago, we’re not the church that says you have to believe in God. But we’re also not the church that says you can’t believe in a god, or gods, or God Almighty. We’re the church that says– you have options, and we’ll love you no matter your decision. Really. You’re the expert on your own theology– and we’ll help you build that theology. Rev. Dr. Daniel O’Connell, preaching.
Please bring some bread to share, perhaps associated with your heritage or has some other special meaning. We will share our bread (and the stories of our bread). This uniquely Unitarian Universalist service is multi-generational (kids stay with us in the sanctuary), and it’s a fun one to bring a friend to. We will take a special collection for our international UU Partner Churches today.
The democratic process is intended to empower people - to give every person a voice and a seat at the table. But without trust for one another, democracy falls far short of its potential. How do we trust others -- and how do we engender trust -- so that the democratic process becomes a more powerful way of relating to one another and building community?
What does Unitarian Universalism have to say about the upcoming presidential election? About democracy? How might our UU Principles affect how we vote? We'll look at the hard parts of the 1st and 5th Principles along with a 3 step action plan of how you can advocate your values through voting and advocacy work.
Our annual Day of the Dead service, a multi-generational service to be celebrated simultaneously at all 3 of our campuses. Bring a photo or memento of a departed loved one to church for our memory table.
Our fifth principle states that “we affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” How did the idea of democracy become so fundamental that it is one of our seven formative statements? We will consider the theological roots of democracy.
There are obstacles to our voices and votes being heard. Every year someone brings up the electoral college and now we have Citizens United even further flooding our political process with money and personal agendas. This Sunday,we are going to take a step back to look at Democracy to remember and maybe even revise the reasons we vote.
The idea of home permeates much of our lives including our dreams for our personal future and our family's future, disputes over land, and the many refugee crises. We long to be at home and feel at home. This Sunday, leave your house and discover home. Rev. Angela Henderson preaching.
We see a lot of hostility in our world. Our society encourages us to choose sides and stay safe. Can we accept the challenge of our UU principles to think and act differently -- to boldly welcome people who seem different into our lives? Randy Partain Preaching.
It can feel a bit scary reaching out to strangers, but doing so can make you a better person. We'll hear the top 5 regrets of the dying, what we might do about that, and the connection to hospitality.
With our religious freedom comes a responsibility to match our actions to the values we profess. This Sunday you will learn more about how our justice ministry helps turn our values turn into action.
Why is UU so difficult to explain? Can it really be a religion if it has no single creed, no single belief? What do UUs believe in common? Come find out.
How do you measure a life? The Broadway Musical, RENT, reminds us how perspective and perception can make a powerful impact on the value of our lives.
Healing the world requires us to bear witness to the wounds because, as Rumi once noted, “The wound is where the light enters you.”
If you have a drum, bring it this Sunday!
Drawing on the work of Karen Armstrong, Rev. Angela will share how compassion is hard and challenges us to renew our commitments to ourselves and one another in each and every moment.
As Unitarian Universalists, we find wisdom in many texts and many places. As persons on a spiritual journey, perhaps our most sacred text of all can be found in ourselves and one another.
The power of culture is found in the invisible and to a considerable degree unconscious forces that guide and constrain our behavior. One such force is our culture’s destruction of men.
Vital rays of light leading to the Roe vs Wade decision were sparked at 1st UU Dallas. In the late 60’s the Women’s Alliance of the church began to study the abortion issue, eventually signing the amicus brief of the landmark case for women’s autonomy that beamed a nationwide beacon of light!
Texas now has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. We UU’s have rested on our laurels in a dormant slumber for too long. We have overslept the alarm. It’s time to wake up, stand up and let our lights shine for the sacred trust between a Woman, her Creator, and her Doctor!
When a waitress would ask my dad what he would like, he would often answer, "Just a kind word." And isn't that something we all could use? Come hear our speaker, author and psychotherapist Patti Henry, speak about our need to give -- and receive -- encouragement. This is one you won't want to miss!
Our lives together are held up by people, actions, and ideas that have gone before us. People of many paths look to pillars for direction, a foundation and as monuments to the sacred.
One of the appealing rubrics of Unitarian Universalism is “living into our values.” Although gratitude is not explicitly mentioned in our principles, it is surely a value that many of us cherish but don’t practice regularly. This Sunday, let’s think together about how we can do more than simply be sporadically grateful to, for, or about something or someone, and how we can practice gratitude so consistently that we not only live into it but actually become it
Wisdom from the Dalai Lama, particularly around acceptance & resistance.
Grappling with big ideas has enlivened the hearts and minds of people from ancient times to today. The concept of wisdom/sophia was imagined as a woman in some religious traditions, so that people might better understand her. This Sunday we will join our ancestors in seeking Sophia. Presented by Randy Partain.
You can’t give the moon away, either. We appreciate the moon’s light on a dark night, just as we appreciate words of wisdom when we stumble in our lives. But the moon has no light of its own; the light we see is merely a reflection. What if we are the sun? Randy Partain preaching.
Amid the complications of daily life and our efforts to make the world a better place, a deep spirituality calls us to pause to recognize gifts of beauty and miracles of nature for which we can take no credit. May we nurture our sense of the sacred by being open to grace. Sermon by Rev. Bonnie Vegiard.
Grace is often understood as the only hope for an utterly sinful humanity. In our liberal religious tradition that shares the principle of "inherent worth and dignity," Rev. Angela Henderson asks us if there is room for the experience of grace in Unitarian Universalism.
In honor of Mother’s Day we celebrate our multi-generational Flower Communion and tell the story of its originator, Rev. Norbert Capek.
Bring a flower per person to decorate the altar. And you’ll take home a different one!
When we reach out to others to help create wholeness, we extend grace. Sometimes our attitude, or "posture," gets in the way but our intentionality can make grace a more consistent reality. Randy Partain preaching.
When we understand our religion to be those values and behaviors that keep us engaged in the world, then “faith” becomes something very different from divisive ideas and judgements. Unitarian Universalists tend to be people engaged in the world in unique and inspiring ways We will wrap up our series on “Advance Justice” with some inspirational stories of faith being lived in our lives outside of church. Presented by Randy Partain.
Rev. Krista Taves will share stories of how our St. Louis, MO congregations sought to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and what we can do now.
Frederick Douglass wrote that wanting justice, but being afraid of conflict was like wanting rain without thunder and lightning, or wanting crops to grow without disturbing the ground. So much injustice that we see in our world is fueled by harmful religious ideas, yet we want to respect a diversity of faith traditions. How can we confront harmful religious ideas while still respecting the people who hold them? How much thunder and lightning can we tolerate for the nourishing rain of justice? Randy Partain preaching.
Join us this Sunday as we celebrate the advances in justice brought about by the labor movement. We'll also explore advances on the horizon. Join us for great music and inspiring words from modern day prophets. Randy Partain Presenting.
Creating Community can come easily when we share certain assumptions about the world; what happens when we base our judgements on very different values? Can our own ability to understand someone else (maybe in our own family) be a step toward understanding and resolving differences around the world? Randy Partain presenting.
If you want to create meaningful, authentic community, your communication has to be direct, honest, and respectful. We even have a Healthy Communication process to help us learn this skill, but that's just a first step! Come learn how your intentional communication can help create meaningful, authentic community. Randy Partain preaching.
You are on a spiritual journey, but you were never meant to go it alone. How can you engage this community to improve your life, touch others, and change the world? Come find out. Randy Partain presenting.
The best way to learn about yourself is to be in a relationship. Very quickly, we begin to witness our shortcomings and strengths reflecting back to us. We can also experience vulnerability. Find out why community is worth the risk. Sermon by the Rev. Angela Henderson.
Superhero Sunday is when you are called to consider deepening spiritually through demonstrating and celebrating your generosity. Randy Partain speaking.
Sometimes we make promises to ourselves when we have been hurt. We decide how we must be or what we must do to be safe, loved, and accepted. Those promises may get us through painful times, but they can also get in the way of being fully alive. Come learn how giving our word more intentionally opens the way for us to live into our principles more fully. Sermon by Randy Partain.
What if you could open your clothes closet in the morning, and every item in there brought you joy? Today, we’ll learn a process to discard clutter from our life– from things (like clothes, books, and papers) to relationships– that no longer serve you. Service by the Rev. Dr. Daniel O’Connell.
Have you ever noticed that the funniest comedians are ones that challenge us to think about our world in a different way? Even challenging our assumptions? Presented by Randy Partain.
The poet Rumi lived in a state of ecstasy and is constantly encouraging his readers to do so as well. Our moments of joy are most often fleeting. Can we or should we try to hold on to them? What have you put into your house of joy? Presented by Randy Partain
As the Wheel of Life turns again, we dedicate our children; name new births; new marriages; honor anniversaries, and recall the departed. Please contact Randy Partain if you would like your children dedicated in the church today, and provide us with names, ages, and which service you attend. Service led by Randy Partain.
There is so much we allow to fill our time, to invoke our anxiety, to consume our attention. How can we experience joy in the midst of stressful lives? How can we delight in life when life often seems so painful or urgent?
Join us as we celebrate Christmas Eve with readings, carols, and candlelight. All ages come together to hear the Christmas story and celebrate the continuing meaning of Christmas in our lives today. After the service we will continue the celebration with a potluck supper, a White Elephant gift exchange and Christmas Carol Karaoke!
You’ll get pointers to get “exultation” (a lively or triumphant joy) via a Sunday service featuring special music, prepared by the Museum District choir, Mark Vogel (Music Director), Bob Fazakerly (Accompanist), and Rev. Dr. Daniel O’Connell. We will also receive your special financial year end donation. Bring your checkbook or a credit or debit card, and prepare to enjoy!
Whether it is a Pride Parade or a Million Man March, so many of our most visible examples of advocating for equal rights are led by those who experience inequality directly. Many of us already identify with marginalized groups. Rev. Angela Henderson will encourage us to expand our vision of ultimate concern.
Diversity isn’t just about welcoming people into our own way of doing things. The real value of diversity comes with inclusion - ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to be heard. Yet, it’s difficult for us to understand what people are saying when they speak in a language we don’t understand. Randy Partain explores how we can engage our Unitarian Universalist values to create greater understanding and inclusion.
We want people at church to be like us enough to feel safe, but we also want them to be different enough from us to make things interesting. We love the idea of diversity - but what does it mean to be in a community that is intentional about theological and political diversity? Today, you'll learn about the madness of mobs, the smartness of crowds, and how good you are at the "jelly bean test." Presented by Randy Partain
Please bring some bread to share, perhaps associated with your heritage or has some other special meaning. We will share our bread (and the stories of our bread) with each others. This multi-generational service is a uniquely Unitarian Universalist service, and a fun one to bring a friend to.
We will take a special collection for our international UU Partner Churches today.
What would you do if you lost everything? How might it affect the way you see the world? How would you see yourself? One man decided to set sail on a boat and leave his home for good. Our nation was forever changed. When Love knocks, will you put your fingers in your ears or will you answer?
It’s often seems we know enough about other people to label them. Labels make it easy for us to put people into categories, like Acceptable or Unacceptable.
But do we really know as much as we think we do about others? How do our Unitarian Universalist principles challenge us to be more intentional about how we see others?
What does it mean to receive a blessing– or not– from a parent (especially a father)? If a child doesn’t receive a blessing, do they receive a curse then, by default? Why is a blessing so important? Presented by Randy Partain.
As a movement that declares “Deeds Not Creeds,” Unitarian Universalism values the work of social justice in our daily lives and as a community. We’ll explore how sowing good deeds enriches the lives of those around us and deeply affects the arc of our own lives.
When we connect with others around us, we create a nurturing atmosphere — like soil for a growing tree — for our own spiritual growth. Unitarian Universalism affirms many paths to growth, but committing to personal and social growth is an important part of being in community. Presented by Randy Partain.
Come learn a five step process to advance your spiritual journey. You’ll be able to easily remember these steps, and begin to take action today, to more fully become the person you say you are and want to be. Presented by Randy Partain
Einstein once said that our human perception of ourselves as separate from others and the universe is a kind of “optical delusion of the consciousness.” Modern science is underlining ideas that Buddhist teachers have been practicing for centuries. We will explore the practice of mindfulness as a path to becoming our best selves.
By now we have passed Rosh Hashanah which was on September 29, 2015. and are on our way to Yom Kippur, which is on October 8, 2015. What lessons are the for Unitarian Universalists?
Is church an outdated idea that has no relevance for our world today? Numbers of "nones," unaffiliated with a congregations and "dones," people who say that are done with religion, seems to be growing. Rev. Angela Henderson will argue that the religion that matters for our time has been long int he making and is in our midst.
Is the earth as we know it a metaphor for stability, for ultimate reliability? Or is earth today a metaphor for what is missing?The Rev. Leonora Montgomery is Minister Emerita of the Bay Area UU Church and has served three Unitarian Universalist churches in the Houston area: Emerson, Bay Area and Thoreau. She also served as New Congregation Organizer for the English speaking Netherlands UU Fellowship. She received a B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1944, a doctorate in Religious Studies from Rice Univ. in 1985 and was ordained by Emerson Church in 1987.She has served on the Southwest UU District Board, the Board of Meadville Lombard Theological School, the UUA Presidents Council, and the Wellesley College Unitarian Universalist Chaplaincy Advisory Board.
Earth signifies realization, bringing our vision into reality, fruition, culmination, committing to long-term actions that will create true transformation. Earth is our planet... our planet. But what does it mean to have ownership of a planet?
In the late 1880’s the lives of Rev. James Billings and his wife Mary were fully immersed in promoting Universalism in Texas. They founded the Universalist Convention in Texas and All Souls Church in Hico. They lamented that people took “much more pains to support their partial, cruel, and sorrow producing faith, while we do much less to support this most blessed faith.” They warned that “organized error will outdistance unorganized truth every time.” However, they firmly believed that “we have a grand future before us for a noble harvest in Texas.” The Texas UU Justice Ministry is here to fulfill this promise! Rev. Chuck Freeman has been in the ministry since 1977 serving Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist congregations. He is the founding minister of the Free Souls Church in Round Rock, Texas. Church is a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry and its Executive Director.
With the majority of Americans now believing that America is a Christian nation, the official record needs to be set straight.
Is there any power in our words? Do words shaped as declarations have any power to change our future? Is it even possible for people to change?“In my own life I’ve experienced significant change. In areas of life that I was once resigned and cynical I now have not only hope but transformation. I am living into the life that I choose for myself rather than into a default future shaped by my past. I hope you will join us this Sunday as I share a piece of my story and the power of declarations.” - Ken Shuman
As many Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships extinguish the chalice at the end of our worship, we talk about carrying the fire of commitment with us. But keeping our individual and collective flames alive is not always easy. This Sunday, let’s think together about how we can avoid personal and congregational burnout, stir the embers, encourage each other to spiritual growth, and warm ourselves to the continued work of repairing the world. Susan Yarbrough is a member of this First Unitarian - Museum District Campus. She now lives in Austin and has recently completed her first year of study at Leadville Lombard seminary in Chicago.
"We're on a mission from God." Are we? What if that's true? What is your spiritual mission on this planet? Come hear psychotherapist and author Patti Henry talk about HER mission to help you find YOUR mission!
During this Father's Day service, we remember commitments to action that lift and change lives for the better. What about us? What about right now? How can we Commit2Respond?
Does it feel like sometimes you are a swan living among ducks? We’ll examine some Native American Wild Woman archetypes and stories to share how you can nurture authenticity and life in difficult circumstances.
What can we learn from Paganism about personal empowerment and responsibility, and about developing a meaningful connection to nature? Come find out!
Modern day spirituality often draws much inspiration from nature - the cycles of the seasons, regeneration, and balance; but a full view of nature offers as many lessons in decay, excess, and struggle. Nature writer Annie Dillard confronts this full view of nature head-on in her Pulitzer-prize winning book A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. How can this expanded view of nature inform our spiritual lives?
We know that our appearance doesn't define us. Yet, some people are intentional about their appearance because of how they want to be defined. The Sikh and Jain communities make thoughtful decisions about their appearance based on their religious principles. What can we learn from them?
As Unitarian Universalists, we often drink deeply from the wisdom offered by Sufi poets like Hafiz and Rumi. Sufi's are a mystical dimension of Islam. Less is known about our historic connection with Islam between a Sultan named Suleiman and a Transylvanian Queen named Isabella.
We will celebrate the year’s milestones. This is everything from the milestones of childhood (no more diapers, learning to read, coming of age, driver’s license, high school graduation– to new jobs, retirement, and new grandchildren. We will appreciate our teachers, honor membership– both new & venerable, and say a litany for our lay leaders. Our annual meeting begins at 11:30, where we’ll vote in new lay leaders and governance changes.
In honor of Mother’s Day we celebrate our multi-generational Flower Communion and tell the story of its originator, Rev. Norbert Capek. Bring a flower per person to decorate the altar. And you’ll take home a different one!
All of us have been hurt at some point in our lives. When we experience pain like that, it is understandable to want to close the windows, pull down the blinds, turn around the "closed" sign, and close up shop for a while. What practices can help us move out from the pain and get back into the business of life once again? We'll learn that and more this Sunday.
How, when and who do we forgive? Are some things simply unforgivable? How do we treat wounds not healed by time?
It's been said that holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. We know how important it is for us to forgive, and yet we often find it so hard to do. Why do we keep drinking the poison and what is the antidote?
We tell stories all the time– even if most of them are in our heads. And companies that want to sell us stuff tell stories too. The stories we tell affect our attitudes, our happiness, even our health. We’ll see how editing our own long held stories can increase our well-being and even help with social problems.
The stories that we tell ourselves, about our personal histories, our American culture, and our world, have a profound effect on how we live our lives in a meaningful way. We sometimes think our stories are the "truth" rather than see them as a lens through which we seek to find more and more truth. Our service is about myth and history, and ever-changing perspectives on truth.
Anger is a destructive force in our world and in our lives. How might you transform your anger into a useful tool? Is this even possible?
Our service celebrates nature's lessons in transformation and how the effects ripple into our own lives. We’ll explore approaching transformation with intention.
If you could pick a super hero power– what would it be?
We can all be heroes – and there are many ways to do that – even without super powers. Today we celebrate what you and the rest of the church have already accomplished so far, and what we look forward to in the months ahead.
Mary Livermore- Universalist Prophet
How do we stand against hate? We'll take a look at our UU Principles, anti-racism, multiculturalism, and how we can work alone, together, and with others to earn a "world made fair, and all her people one."
Each of us has so many struggles to live out-how to get an education, find a job, nurture a relationship, figure out how to parent…what can our small effort do to enhance the prophetic struggle for justice in our world? Come hear how an ordinary woman made an ordinary decision to take an extraordinary stand.
We begin our series on Words & Deeds. As Unitarian Universalists, we accept a certain responsibility to act and use our voices in the service of justice, compassion, and love. We will hear stories of courage and explore what that means for our own spiritual journeys.
Jewish rabbis often told parables, or stories that teach a lesson. The Christian gospels suggest that Jesus followed this story-telling tradition. Can contemporary UUs still find meaning in these old tales, or do we need stories of our own?
As the Wheel of Life turns, we dedicate our children; name new births; new marriages; honor anniversaries, and recall the departed. Please contact Randy if you would like your children dedicated in the church today.
We often look to our history to discover what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist Christian. Rev. Angela Henderson will explore what it might mean for us in our richly diverse theological tradition of today.
Join Randy and tapestry Band as we celebrate Christmas Eve with readings, carols, and candlelight. All ages come together to hear the Christmas story and celebrate the continuing meaning of Christmas in our lives today.
As we move further in to exploring our theme, Dr. Jason Oby, Bob Fazakerly, the choir, and Rev. Daniel O’Connell have prepared a music service that chronicles the birth narrative of Jesus of Nazareth.
We begin our series on the fourth source of Unitarian Universalism: “Jewish & Christian Teachings.” Maya Angelou writes: Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
The question is still often asked of Humanists: "If you don't believe in God, how can you be moral?" Let's explore how a Humanist mindset actually helps us develop a clear sense of morality.
One of the strengths of our Humanist source is its warning against becoming too rigid, too convinced of our own brand of truth. We are empowered to pursue truth wherever it may lead. How do we also remember to hold that truth lightly enough to allow for continued growth?
Please bring some bread to share, perhaps associated with your heritage or has some other special meaning. We will share our bread (and the stories of our bread) with each other. This multi-generational service is a uniquely Unitarian Universalist service, and a fun one to bring a friend to. We will take a special collection for our international UU Partner Churches today.
Humanity often speaks of a longing to experience mystery and wonder through poetry, prose, and many arts. You are invited on this journey of discovery and meaning.
Your Own Direct Experience. Many religions start with a creed, a sacred text, or a singular prophet. The Unitarian Universalist religion starts with your own direct religious experience.
First Annual Day of the Dead service, a multi-generational service to be celebrated simultaneously at all 3 of our campuses. Bring a photo or memento of a departed loved one to church for our memory table.
The Transcendentalists insisted a spiritual life cannot come down through tradition; spirituality can only come from an individual and that individual’s experience. We begin today to consider the first source of our Unitarian Universalist faith-- direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder.
How do you balance your need for individualism versus your need for community?
The foremost Unitarian theologian of the 20th century James Luther Adams, examines the tension between an individual and a community– the promise and the perils– Rev. Daniel O’Connell preaching.
In Christian terms, the word gospel is used to indicate the “good news” that God has saved us from fear, illness, and death through eternal life. Unitarian Universalist tradition has developed a different idea of what we need to be saved from, and what will ultimately save us. Title and theme requested by member Betty Johnson, who was the top bidder for a sermon naming at Thoreau’s services auction last year.Rev. Bonnie Vegiard preaching.
We invite you to one of our favorite community-sharing experiences. Bring a little water with you that is symbolic of your spiritual journey over the summer (we’ll also have water available if you forget). The mingling of the water into a common bowl symbolizes the mingling of our lives in the year to come, as we create together our own holy water for our journey.
Do you believe humanity is born with basic goodness or original sin? If either were proven or disproven by science, would your faith go deeper or fall apart? We'll explore together different beliefs and how they meet with Truth and science.
Rev. Angela Henderson preaching.
After the devastating defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964 conservative strategists hatched a plan that led to the convergence of fundamentalist Christianity and socio-political power in America. The recent highly restrictive abortion bill passed by the Texas legislature is a direct result of this scheme. We have had a rude awakening. Now it’s time for a shrewd awakening! The Texas UU Justice Ministry is here to answer the alarm. Rev. Chuck Freeman, Executive Director, UUJM, preaching.
Eco-spirituality is a way to describe our deep human kinship with all life on the planet. We depend on elements of sunlight, fertile soil, fuel sources, potable water, and clean air. Grief for the planet is a measure of our desire to do something to ensure its survival and healing. Let hope for this sacred Earth keep us moving forward.
Rev. Kathleen Ellis preaching.
Advances in the neurosciences are giving us the opportunity to look at brain activities in real time! When we combine this with evolutionary biology we can start to examine human activities, including religion, in terms of evolutionary advantage. As we look closer, it now appears that the pursuit of spiritual experience is hard wired into our brains. What does such a discovery mean for modern people who inherit the gods of our ancestors even as we create new ones? How might we use this insight into our nature as we move forward? Nell Newton speaking. Nell is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and a first year student at Meadville Lombard Theological School.
In ancient times the gods we worshiped were gods of nature. Stars, seasons, weather, and life forms were interwoven and interdependent. Today’s gods are more often scientific and technological than divine. Spiritual Ecology brings us back into relationship with creation so that we might care for the earth in sustainable ways. As Dr. Seuss suggest in The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Rev. Kathleen Ellis preaching.
Not THAT kind of call!! When we gather on Sunday, let's reflect together about the signs and wonders abundant in nature, and how they often call us to soul-satisfying paid and unpaid work in our efforts to heal the world and practice our Unitarian Universalist principles and values. Susan Yarbrough speaking.
It is love that builds a home, a church...a person. Join us for Rev. Joanna's farewell sermon.
We have found it useful to separate Science and Religion, lest one overwhelm the other in our lives or our public policies. Let us consider how Science serves Religion, how Religion might serve Science, and where we stand today. Rev. Dr. Leonora Montgomery preaching.
As glaciers melt ever faster and carbon pollution continues to rise, scientists’ predictions about global warming become increasingly dire. Climate change is real, it’s human-caused, and it’s not going away. What can we do, in the face of such a huge and complex problem? Today, we’ll wrestle with the complexity of our climate justice challenges. We’ll also explore teachings about the ancient Jewish practice of the Sabbatical, or Shmita, Year. The Shmita vision offers an alternate model of land-human-animal-God relationships—as well as some serious challenges to the way we do… well, pretty much everything.Yaira Robinson is the Associate Director of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, where she coordinates Texas Interfaith Power & Light, one of 40 state IPL programs that together offer a “religious response to climate change.” Yaira holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and has studied religiously-based environmental and food justice with GreenFaith, Creation Justice Ministries, Hazon, and the Siach network. Once upon a time, she served as Director of Religious Education to First Jefferson and Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Churches. Granddaughter to a Christian minister and daughter to Sufi teachers, she is joyfully and by choice Jewish. She and her two boys, ages 13 and 11, are active members at Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin.
While some religions see scientific knowledge as a threat, Unitarian Universalism delights in the ways it expands our understandings of life, spirit, and self. How can the continuous revelation we find through the scientific method enhance your faith journey?
An exploration of what a consumerist perspective can do to our spirit and our sense of empowerment for change and most importantly, what we can do about it.
Today we launch our summer worship series: “Sacred Earth: Science, Nature, and Spirituality.” Rev. Angela Henderson, our new Assistant Minister preaching.
Life is a long lesson in humility, says James M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. Some humility is a good thing - it reminds us of our place in the universe. But too much cripples our efforts to reach our potential. Similarly, a little pride - preferably earned - can be useful motivation. Too much pride? It is the deadliest of the Seven Deadly Sins, since it precedes all the others. We'll examine a variety of viewpoints and offer a liberal religious option.
Mary Oliver says: “I don’t know exactly what a prayer is, I do know how…to kneel down in the grass.” Unitarian Universalists, like a lot of people, have a complicated relationship with humility. While we may understand the importance of healthy pride, we also may see the need in our world for more reverence for forces that are larger than we are.
According to Benjamin Franklin, “Humility is a virtue so difficult to grasp that if I should ever attain to it, I would be proud of myself.” A little pride, taken too far, can be seen as conceit, arrogance, or hubris. Be proud of accomplishments - your own AND those of people around you.
Milestone Sunday and Annual Meeting
In honor of Mother’s Day we celebrate our intergenerational Flower Communion and tell the story of its originator, Rev. Norbert Capek. Bring a flower per person to decorate the altar. And take home a different one!
From Biblical times to the recent issue of Psychology Today, advice is plentiful on how to curb, control, communicate and choose to use anger’s power. What would be a culturally appropriate, life affirm-ing Unitarian Universalist response to someone else’s anger — and to our own? Is there another response to the fight or flight we were all taught as our choices? Sermon delivered LIVE by Rebecca Crystal, Student Minister.
Another one of the seven deadly sins seen from a Unitarian Universalist perspective. Is it ever justified? Is it ever a good response? What about anger that motivates us to improve social justice? Where is the line between self-less and self-ish? Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Daniel O'Connell.
Sermon by the Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford
We live in a world of immediate gratification -- songs immediately downloaded to our phones, books on our Kindles or Nooks in 3 seconds. Hold on and wait! A spiritual practice of patience has been proven to make you healthier, wealthier, and yes, even wiser. Sometimes the way to a better life is to press "pause." Sermon by the Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford.
Home is considered a sanctuary from work/life stress. When a family member is abusive, the rest of the family experiences trauma ... and with help, recovery toward health and wholeness. What's going on? How can we help? Sermon by the Rev. Kathleen Ellis, LIVE at Copperfield
While Unitarian Universalists may have a more accepting stance toward many sexual issues than other spiritual traditions, it is important to remember that “free” goes with “responsible” in our tradition as well. Sexuality can be used to create deep wounds. How does our faith call us toward “free and responsible”? Sermon by Rev. Bonnie Vegiard
Like most of the other 7 deadly sins, Lust is an appetite. Orthodox religion says there should be no sexual relations except with monogamous, heterosexual couples. Unitarian Universalism has a different take. We know lust can be destructive, but is lust sometimes justified? Is there such a thing as justified lust? Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Daniel O'Connell.
While most Faiths make rules about what not to do, Unitarian Universalism has guidelines on how to be in right relationship with all sexual orientations and at all ages. Come push your edges on the new language of Love. Sermon by Rebecca Crystal, Student Minister
When we give, we have the potential for changing another person’s worldview. We also may find that we ourselves have been changed, and changed for the better. Come hear how a group of Disney World fanatics/dressmakers made Rev. Joanna a Universalist.
When confronted by a request, how do we handle it with love while also being intelligent with our charity? How do we trust the beggar to do the right thing with our money, and does that matter? From a mite to a million, what exactly is a good donation?
This Sunday we pause to celebrate all we've accomplished in the last year, and all we look forward to in the year to come. Celebration is an important part of the life of a congregation, as it is also in our personal and family lives. This Canvass Sunday we will ask for commitment to our continuing life together, and we will ask for it as a celebration of who we have been as well as our vision for our future.
Why is greed a continual issue in our human existence? Perhaps because we so readily come up with our own story of scarcity. And we believe that story so easily. Let’s consider countering that story! Rev. Bonnie Vegiard will be presenting this sermon LIVE at Copperfield Campus
We begin a new series on an age old problem — one that most of us wrestle with for most of our lives. Sermon delivered LIVE by the Rev. Daniel O’Connell.
What feeds your spirit and connects you to the universe? Third in our series. Sermon by Rev. Kathleen Ellis
The deadly sin is actually “acedia” or spiritual torpor. We say we can’t change the world, or truly love our neighbor, or live up to the standards we espouse. But virtue (like vice) has a level of depth. It isn’t all or nothing.
Lao-Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step." The first step is important, but equally important, and in some ways more difficult, is the second step. And the 17th step. And the 56th step. And all those steps that are needed, one right after another, to get us to our goal. We've come to expect immediate gratification - how do we make ordinary diligence a central virtue in our lives?
We all want to be recognized as exceptional by people around us. Frequently, we are not! Sometimes we think we will never amount to who we thing we ought to be. How to deal with automatic negative thinking.
As the Wheel of Life turns again, and midwinter yields to spring, we honor life's milestones that we've passed along the way. Please contact Rev. Joanna at email@example.com if you would like your children dedicated in the church today and provide us with names, ages, and which service you attend (9:30 or 11:30).
Understanding jealousy and envy. Can they ever be good for you? And can a small dose of envy bring out your secret dream? How Kindness can be the antidote to Envy.
Please join us at 6:30 PM for this joyful service featuring well-loved carols, readings, and a special Christmas message for the whole family.
The Magis traveled for weeks in order to give their gifts to a beloved babe. Do we remember that true giving of ourselves may take way more time and effort than we sometimes are willing to give? Often true kindness is counter-intuitive unless we give it priority in our lives.
There are self-help groups for most of the other 7 “deadly sins,” but not for Envy. We begin a series on the ‘deadly sin’ of envy and the ‘heavenly virtue’ of kindness with acknowledgment of occasional personal & class envy and give a nod to the emotional tumult that can arise with extended families at this time of year.
Ask a group of Unitarian Universalists about their eating habits and you will get recipes, stories of family dinners – and guilt. With all of the advice from our doctors, the news, magazines, and of course, our parents, what’s a good UU to do? Is serving Frozen Peas ever a good choice?Rebecca Crystal is the student minister for First Unitarian. She joins us LIVE this Sunday in the pulpit with Rev. Joanna.
We live in a world of “more, more, more,” – more activities to cram into our schedule, more things to buy, more things on the Internet that we feel we must read. It can be tempting to add in “just one more” thing, but there’s always a price. Unitarian Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Joy, temperance, and repose, slam the door on the doctor's nose” – is this useless advice from a bygone era, or instructions for better living today?
Please bring some bread to share, perhaps associated with your heritage. This is a multi-generational service, so we will be a little more informal. It is a uniquely Unitarian service, and a fun one to bring a friend to. We will take a special collection for our international UU Partner Churches today.
As we approach the Thanksgiving season, we also enter into a new church theme. Now, we begin a seven month series on the "deadly sins" and "heavenly virtues" of contemporary culture and old religion. As many of us prepare for an American style Thanksgiving, we'll reflect on the tension between Gluttony and Temperance.
Not everyone can – or wants to -- radically change their life. Most of us still have bills to pay, family responsibilities, and lives that we enjoy. How do we find the small commitments that will transform our lives and the world around us?Rev. Kathleen will be presenting this sermon LIVE AND IN PERSON. Don't miss out!
Our Transcendentalist forebears were dissatisfied with the religion they grew up with. They searched for new ways to experience the spiritual, and to practice religion. They even spawned an American literary revolution. Which of their gleanings still shine through today?
Our religion encourages us to search for meaning and to have a fully examined faith. But are our beliefs as important as what empowers and strengthens us to fulfill our potential? Perhaps there is a value in assuming a greater purpose – and living into believing it.
We begin our next series on the theme of “Generativity vs. Stagnation.” What would it look like, if you were able to stop trying to be who you think you’re “supposed” to be and began fully living out who you are?
From the broken, God-shaped hole in our hearts, many of us find ourselves strangely open to the sacred. Many of us long to fill the heart-brokenness with a Sacred Space.
A few weeks back, we looked at the idea that UUs are good for nothing, and that we are not good in general. Today, we want to add UUs are shameless, too. It’s no shame to be human. We do not believe in original sin. But despite that, we have all grown up with some degree of other people telling or showing us that we are not good enough. We’ll explore a liberal religious journey of liberation.
Orthodox faith insists the fear of eternal damnation and the promise of heaven are the only motivations to turn inveterate sinners into good people. This doesn’t work on UUs. This is a good Sunday to bring a newcomer to get a sense of who we are and what we’re all about.
Dogmatic religion tends to conspire against independent thinking. By its very nature, it’s more interested in certainty, not freedom. But, by grounding ourselves in freedom, reason, and pluralism, we gain new insights not only for ourselves but to share with other people. Another good Sunday to bring a newcomer to get a sense of who we are and what we’re all about.
From our far-flung travels, to “stay-cations”, to just regular life, we come together. For this annual ritual of Homecoming, please bring water from your journey.
Let’s focus on restaurant workers who cook and serve our food. Even with tips, a minimum wage of $2.13 that hasnot risen in a decade leaves millions in poverty. Some unscrupulous employers cheat workers out of the tip pool,too. Who are the people behind the scenes of our happy practice of dining out?
Welcoming and deeply listening to those who come to us after being tortured and persecuted in other countries, this sermon is based on the in-court experiences of retired judge Susan Yarbrough and her new book Bench-Pressed, about the blessings and lessons of hearing immigration asylum cases.
Where is the religion, the spiritual, in the movement for justice? In 1945, a group of young Universalist ministers, calling themselves “The Humiliati,” began meeting. Driven by the idea that growth and renewal of the spirit must precede social action, this small group of visionaries changed Universalism and its influence is still felt in Unitarian Universalism today.
Many of our ancestors came here undocumented; today they would be denied entry. Who do we have yet to serve? Why don't "they" just come here legally?
Our speaker, author and psychotherapist Patti Henry, will share a delightful sermon with us about what it's like to be invited to be in Oprah's AUDIENCE. A surprising call from Harpo Studio's audience coordinator (yes, there is such a job) sent Patti up to Chicago on a wild adventure. This sermon addresses what to do when life throws you a curve that doesn't seem fair. Come join us for a fun and thought-provoking time!
This 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham jail recalls King's passionate stance for justice and necessities of his movement.
Women seek equality with men in the workplace. Women with partners are asking for equality in the care of children and domestic tasks unless they can afford to hire this help. These changes call for new corporate models and a redistribution of domestic tasks. Men are puzzled, sometimes angry, and some are brought to a halt, unsure how they can best help. What is fair? It’s time to expand the conversation.
Micah 6:8 (and surrounding verses) We are overwhelmed by the news and are witness to so many injustices. How do we, as individuals and communities, transform Houston and the world by “doing” justice?
To run a marathon, or compete in a pentathlon, it’s necessary to train, eat well, sleep, and become stronger. To live our lives as a people embodying our deepest beliefs requires strengthening, too. What strengthens our souls?
Edward Everett Hale wrote: "I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."But what is "the something" that I can do?
What does it mean, to be a modern dad ... or indeed, to be a man? Today's father may often find himself standing on shifting sands of expectation. Please join us for this special Fathers' Day service
Along with our personal efforts at change, we are transformed by what we encounter. Community and transcendent experiences are two powerful environmental transformers for those who seek out church. Their quality and vitality depend on all of us.
Habits are good– they make routine things semi-automatic so we can be more productive. Habits are bad– they thwart our stated intentions about who we want to be or what we want to do. The “stickiness” of habits make them hard to change. How can we more closely walk our talk?
Whether or not we set out to transform ourselves, the story of our lives changes over time and we end up transformed. If that is so, perhaps we can choose transformation, one change at a time.
This is the first service in our series on Transformation.Imagine that your doctor calls you up one day and tells you, “I’ve got good news and bad news. Bad news is that you’re going to die within a month. Good news is that if you significantly change your lifestyle right now and for the next month and beyond, you’ll live a long and happy life.” Could you make the change?
Last in our series on Suffering and Hope. We are rational people who make irrational choices. Whether it is on spending, saving, procrastinating or taking leaps of faith, we rational people let our emotions sway all kinds of decisions.
We search for meaning, even along the most painful, messy parts of our journey. Strands of suffering and hope are woven together to create the tapestry that is our life. Experience Hallelujah in word and song with Rev. Joanna and musician Jen Rathbun.
We don’t always get to choose the circumstances of our dying. Most of the time we don’t even think about death until it comes. When loved ones die, how can grief turn again toward hope? How does life’s suffering and hope inform eventual death?
Since we likely fail more often than we succeed - at least if we are taking appropriate risks - it is important to learn to do this well. In the first of our series on Suffering and Hope we look at the fear of failure and lessons learned.
Many UUs find themselves making choices when forming their own families that are very different from the families they came from. We celebrate the diversity of families and the power of choice and we acknowledge that there are unique challenges in making these choices.
Integrity. Compassion. Self-reliance. These principles that shaped our theological heritage are the same ones we form as parents and as the village that supports our families in all their varied forms.Pundits and preachers have tried to paint "family values" as the exclusive domain of the religiously conservative. Come explore the family values that we hold dear.
We can change behavior we dislike by changing our response to that behavior. A look at how exotic animal training can shape our family relationships for the better.
Celebration Sunday is when we are called to consider deepening spiritually through demonstrating and celebrating our generosity. Join us for this fun day!
Love is wonderful - except when it’s terrible. Much of our music, daydreams and preoccupations revolve around love, approval and appreciation.If we don't find fulfillment in a relationship, can we bring it?
As individuals each of us comes into a church with as many questions as answers, including "Do I belong? Can I find a safe harbor in which to explore my own life struggles? How can I, and my family, make a meaningful difference through our involvement here?"Bring your whole, unique self into our church, but expect your beliefs and assumptions to be challenged. In what ways are we better together?
In the 90s, the answer to every psychological issues was "codependence." How do we deal with the complex reality that both individuality and community are central to our well-being?
We’ll look at racism, antiracism, what’s next and how to respond.
Religious liberals generally don’t talk about this much. But sometimes we have to. Most of all, it’s important to acknowledge our own propensity to evil.
The first of three services on a liberal religious concept of Evil and how we might respond.
A journey from belief to disbelief to something else.
As the Wheel of Life turns again and midwinter must eventually yield to spring, we dedicate our children; name new births; new marriages; we honor anniversaries and recall the departed. Please contact the Rev. Joanna Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like your child(ren) dedicated in the church and provide her with names and ages.
What if science and religion don’t conflict? What if they are different windows into Mystery?
Share Christmas Eve with us; bring your family and friends. There will be a homily, carols, readings and the glow of candlelight.
If humanity has evolved, has a collective imagination of God moved from primitivism to a higher ethical elevation? Another way for UUs to think about the concept of “God.”
We’re not a religion that says there is no God; and we’re not a religion that says you must believe in a particular God. What do UUs believe about God?
Each of us has gifts beyond measure. We live in a culture that promotes the right to hoard those gifts for our own benefit. But what if the secret to blessing ourselves is to bless others, to plant trees from which we will never eat?
The special needs of my brother and cousin planted early seeds of compassion within me. Grateful for countless unearned blessings of life, I learned from friends and strangers who help heal the wounded among us. Did you know you are a blessing, too? How do you offer your blessings?
While religious community has a history of passing along blessings, the other side of blessing is that the denial of blessing can be a curse. Today we consider the impact of the presence or lack of religious blessings in our lives. How do our spiritual lenses affect the way we find blessings?
Our communities join together this Sunday before Thanksgiving to celebrate the gifts of bread as a symbol of human diversity and blessing to each other. We invite you to join us and bring a bread that is special to you, perhaps as a symbol of your heritage, or any other special meaning. Bring also the story of the bread, as we will share our bread and our stories. Service led by the ministers.
What does that mean? What does it mean to receive a blessing– or not– from a parent (especially a father)? If a child doesn’t receive a blessing, do they receive a curse then, by default? Why is a blessing so important? Rev. Daniel O’Connell, preaching.
Reverend Kiyimba is founder of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Uganda. He will be speaking on the struggles for gay and lesbian rights in Africa, Uganda in particular.
When is it important to move from acceptance to resistance? When we determine the moral requirement to resist, is there a way both both effective and true to our values? We will take lessons from nonviolent protests. Being prepared for this kind of resistance takes regular spiritual preparation and discipline.
Some things that we resist, we should learn to accept (a family member’s annoying but non-destructive habit). Other things that we accept, we should learn to resist (social injustice). We can learn something from how children "pretend."
Senior Minister Reverend Dr. Daniel O'Connell will be preaching live in 3D at Northwest UU this Sunday. This sermon is a Fall Fundraiser Service Auction Award Winner. Our senior minister was asked to preach on what wisdom Unitarian Universalists might glean from the Dalai Lama’s work.
How difficult is it for you to admit to making a mistake? How often do you see others openly admit to both error and responsibility? We have developed a culture of self-justification that in the end, makes it difficult to accept both ourselves and others as fallible human beings. What does this mean for our spiritual lives?
How do we see past and present darkness?
How do we talk to people about our religion who've never heard of us?
Where do we find light during the dark night of the soul?
We are excited to present our first multi-site transition sermon from Reverend Daniel O'Connell, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of Houston! This Sunday is also the start of our RE program under the local leadership of our first RE Director, Adriana Wilkerson. We invite you to join us!Connect, Grow, Serve.We begin my third year in Houston with assembling three churches into one program. We have women and men of integrity and experience who are deciding it would be good to work together to build something greater than anyone can build alone.After a quarter century of plateau in growth for UUs in Houston, we are aiming for depth rather than breadth. We aim for simplicity rather than complexity. We give up trying to do everything in order to concentrate on doing fewer things very well.We are fashioning a new way of doing church, building on strengths and moving forward in innovative ways. We are using technology – from lights to screens to video to sound to new software and hardware – in new, collaborative ways that promise to revolutionize how church gets done behind the scenes.We have a brand new ministry position: campus minister Rev. Bonnie Vegiard at Thoreau and Joanna Crawford at Northwest Community. We are working with two new religious educators.One of the more exciting prospects is changing the way Sunday service preparation is traditionally done. No longer will staff be in silos geographically and by specialty area. Instead, we have four ministers on three campuses who will be collaborating on the Sunday Service and, those same ministers along with three religious educators, will be collaborating on adult faith formation (Growth Groups). As far as we know, this has never been done the way we’re doing it!We want to make it as straightforward as possible for new folks to know ourexpectations. We want everyone to know (without having to look it up!) what the path is toward a depth-oriented Unitarian Universalism? How can it be explained simply and effectively?Think about it this way. If you’re at a really good party, you might start out in the foyer, work your way into the living room and finally into the kitchen.So it is with church: connect, grow, serve. Connect by coming to church. Grow in spiritual depth by joining a Growth Group. And serve by working in one of the seven core ministries of the church.We’ll have more opportunities for your involvement as we walk through the church year together. It is an exciting time to be a UU in Houston!– Daniel
A “cathedra” is a seat of authority. Where that seat is housed is a “Cathedral”. Since there are many religious “cathedras”, and therefore, many Cathedral “houses” for those seats - and conflicting pronouncements of authority from those many “seats” within the “houses” - how can there be a World Cathedral? (Hint: It’s not the Vatican!) Ruth will explore with us the perspective of a broad and full experience of a Cathedral found in the most surprising places. Be with us as she takes us on that journey.
Water is ever changing, as it takes different forms, and yet it never ceases being water. As we change forms, both as individuals and as a congregation, we learn about what are -- to use the phrase coined by Theodore Parker -- the transient and the permanent in our being.The Water Communion is an annual liturgical ritual at NWCUUC and most UU churches. We invite you to bring water from your travels to combine with the waters brought by other members, symbolizing our return to our church community.
Why is it that well-meaning, principled, nice people end up in relationships that fall apart? How can such “good” people get caught up in conflict, and end up bitter towards individuals that they once loved? It seems that relationships often confound and confuse people, but why? What is it that’s missing in the lives of people when they get bogged down in relationships? Are extraordinary relationships even possible? Join us as we discuss these questions and offer several guiding principles that move a person towards extraordinary relationships.
General Assembly (GA) is our annual national meeting of Unitarian Universalist congregations held each June. This year's GA was dubbed "Justice GA." What made it different? Rev. Paul gives a view from home.
The financial conditions have improved considerably in the past 50 years yet the level of happiness has remained static during this time. There is a general agreement that material benefits beyond a certain level do not improve the quality of life. The broader objective of Ethics is to improve well-being of individuals and communities in general. The talk will aim to highlight some of the basic theories of ethics and implications of ethics on some of the current issues.
Wisdom is a learning which tends to take years for some and moments for others. Nevertheless, wisdom is a trait most of us seek as we rationalize the world we live in and pass these lessons along. Chase will reveal insights of wisdom that will open your eyes to new ways of looking at the world that surrounds us.
Multigenerational and Interactive service.
Based on Charlie Rich's tune with the same title, Don Levit will talk about how "I ain't ever growing old, so I keep on rollin' with the flow."
We will discover together how Don attempts to maintain his zest for life, at any age!
During this session, we will see how another Jewish prophet, son of a carpenter, took the message of previous prophets and distilled them into a short prayer. Although tradition calls it the Lord’s Prayer, many modern theologians have begun calling it the Disciples Prayer. Even though it is in the New Testament, it is not really a Christian prayer, for there were no Christians at the time it was originally spoken, and the traditional author, Jesus, was Jewish. There are no creeds nor doctrine contained in its words, it is a call for living in peaceful community so that everyone has enough, the spirit of Shalom.
Although Micah is among the minor prophets of Israel, his message has as much relevance today as it did 2500 years ago. During this two week sermon series, we will explore his message and how it resonates with the great social movements of the last century, including Civil Rights and occupy Wall Street, and how it is the foundation for the ministry of Jesus, another Jewish prophet. In session 1, we will cover the book of Micah itself, where he speaks of the importance of community, the abuse of power in accumulating wealth, and the corruption among political and religious leaders. With a famous message of peace (…beat their swords into plowshares) and a simple statement about how to get along (…do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God), we will set the stage for the words of another prophet born in Bethlehem.
The coming out process is one that most people will never experience.As difficult and trying as it can be, it opens the door to a sense of community and culture. This intense bond based on shared experience is something we can aspire to share with each other, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This sermon explores finding the experiences that unite us all using the LGBTQ community as an example.
Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day both had their roots in protest and remembrance. Mothers’ day was a reaction to the sons lost in the Civil War; Fathers’ day was a reaction to the loss of fathers in a mining accident in West Virginia. Today’s message will examine the evolving role of fathers, as well as some current social justice issues that affect fatherhood.
We are the people of the in-between, individuals traveling between spiritual planes and a community for a world in process. As we travel through our individual transformations of faith, how do we act together in the greater realm of possibility?
Dreams are a gateway into reality; they can have an effect on your life as well. Dreams can let you know good things are to come, or they can even help you decide what you want to do with your life. Come to the YRUU service on June 3rd as we talk about dreams! Hope to see you there!
The sermon will be interspersed with the stories of several veterans, and family members, from the Civil War to the wars in Iraq. These compelling stories will be tied together to tell the story of respect for those who defend our freedoms in a new and unique way.
We often speak of leadership without recognizing its complementary discipline, followership, which Rev. Paul will explore in this sermon.
RE Theater presents:Catastrophic Dogma A classic tale of conflict and an enduring message of hopeWritten, produced and performed by the 2011-2012 All-age RE class of Northwest Community UU Church.
What kind of person do you want to be, and what can you do to become that person? We'll explore the roadmap to personal transformation and where you can find shortcuts for the journey ... and along the way, you just might change the world.
Or give a hug. Or as the amazing choreographer Pina Bausch said, "All I can tell you is you have to get wilder." Psychotherapist and author Patti Henry will be joining us to encourage us all to do just that: get a little wilder. Come join us for a wonderful sermon about reawakening and restoration!
Within every person there are two basic life searches. There is a search for individuality – this is a search for freedom to be completely myself. At the same time there is a search for unity & community – this is a search for belonging & togetherness. But how do we keep our search for freedom from becoming indifferent individualism? How do we keep our search for unity from becoming oppressive conformity? Is it possible to be really free and really together both at the same time? Can we be both uncoerced and unfragmented? Join us as we discuss Freedom & Unity in Tension.
The Resurrection of a spiritual new year: At this time of year we can see the evidence of life budding new again. Ancient people viewed the sun's ressurection in Spring after "dying" in Winter as a confirmation that life would renew as the cycle of the earth turned.The Jesus narrative from Christianity parallels this idea with adherents receiving "new life" from the death and resurrection of Jesus. How can we as UUs find meaning from these two different religions to help us resurrect a spiritual practice that heals us personally and sends us out to do good works and heal the world?
"You can live 20 days without food;3 days without water;but you can't live 5 minutes without hope."Rabbi Segal discusses the importance of positive thinking, the idea that-------you've got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Research has indicated that those who go through life with a positive attitude enjoy physical lives far better than those who live with negative attitudes.
We live in a culture of panem et circenses, "bread and circuses." How do we see the reality of the world we live in, and how do serve a mission that calls us to put love into action? Join us as we discuss moving away from an instinct of "just us" to "justice for all."
Homelessness has always been with us. But our time is unique, and the common image of the homeless has changed. The recent corruption of home mortgage trading that resulted in the default of homeowners has left thousands of ordinary people homeless. The most fortunate of these cohabit with relatives and friends. Others, less fortunate, live in their cars, sleeping at night in the parking lots of Walmart stores. According to Jack Lander, author of ‘Homelessness’" – “less well known is the ousting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons from their homes due to having 'comeout'.” Some of these stories need to be told. This service will provide, from a UU perspective, a poignant look at ‘homelessness’, to look beyond the need for a ‘house’ and the importance of belonging.
Timothy I and II are letters where Paul, and old man, mentors Timothy, a young man and new church leader. Timothy II 2:15 was one of my favorite verses, when I was a young man leading a small group overseas. Of all the verses I memorized as a child and teen, it is one of my favorites. This verse has particular lessons for we UUs.
Cy-Fair ISD was rocked not long ago by the tragic suicide of Asher Brown. At that same time there was much attention turned toward other tragic deaths by bullying that happened all over the country. Join us dressed in your finest pink shirt,dress, hat, or whatever to show your support of the GLBT community. Let's look at the ways we as a church and individuals can come out, no matter our orientation, and let everyone know that "It Gets Better".
A reflection on good deeds and the interdependent web of life.
Unitarian Universalists like good questions, possibly even more than good answers. Most people in North American culture are familiar with Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. What many people forget is the question that prompted Jesus to tell the parable. The question was “And who is my neighbor?” This question from nearly 2000 years ago is still a good one. This worship service will consider in our seemingly super connected world what the idea of neighbor means to us as individuals and as a Liberal Religious community.
“Faith is as much about questions as it is about answers. It is possible to be a believer and a listener at the same time, to be both fervent & searching, to honor the truth of one’s own convictions and the mystery of the convictions of others.” Krista Tippett in Speaking of Faith.
…be more logical? …prevent the problem now instead of waiting to repair its effects? …see that there’s a pattern here? When people frustrate us, when we can’t fathom their decisions and actions, temperament differences often play a role. Groups can have temperaments too. Explore the group personalities of different religions, what they say about our roles in society, and how we can communicate better with those who differ from us.
"Faith" means different things to different people. Where do we findthe root of our faith, personally and religiously? In what do we giveour confidence and trust?Joanna Fontaine Crawford is a longtime member of NWCUUC. She graduatedfrom Houston Graduate School of Theology with a Master of Divinitydegree in December 2011 and currently serves Northwoods UU Church andthe Church of the Larger Fellowship as Intern Minister.
Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., the words of Jesus, surviving cancer treatment, and the Mayan calendar, this sermon will inspire you! Please join us to hear Patti Henry in her first sermon at NWCUUC since her cancer adventure began last March. With VERY short hair, she will be sharing some of her thoughts: ever urging us closer to peace on earth.
Using stories plucked from current events and some from personal experience, Robert Zamora gives examples of why our first principle is an important aspect of our faith.
Service has been pushed back to NOON for this very special occasion....Come and join us at Noon for Brunch and Burning. Bring a dish and your New's Years Resolution. We'll have a nosh and a ritual. Start the New Year off right with great food and fellowship!!Coffee, Orange juice and Tomato juice provided.
Coexist with us for the Christmas Eve candlelight service, where music and stories from a variety of religions and ideals will come together. This wonderful service will start at 6:30 pm, December 24th.
This annual service celebrates the Christmas season with carols, readings, candles and atraditional Moravian Love Feast. This ritual is a shared communion of rolls and sweet coffee,served by members of the congregation. It is based upon the Agape feast and themeals of the early churches described in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles, which werepartaken in unity and love. A Lovefeast seeks to strengthen the bonds and the spirit of harmony,goodwill, and congeniality, as well as to forgive past disputes and instead love oneanother. Gerry Carr is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Galveston County.
The foremost Unitarian theologian of the 20th century was James Luther Adams. We’ll examine the tension between an individual and a religious community– the promise and the perils– and why it is so relevant today
Why would one of Jesus’ early biographers begin his story with such fanciful images of a star wandering around the heavens and foreigners suddenly appearing out of nowhere bringing gifts for a new born child, narratives that are patently false and easily dismissed? Yet, this story endures, being persistently repeated in picture and pageant at this time of the year, so that for Christian and non-Christian alike the story is imprinted on the mind. What gives this story continuing prominence and power is its placement in the helpful category of ‘not factual, but true.’
Whether you were with your family or not for Thanksgiving, finish out this holiday weekend with us.Join us in breaking bread during our annual Bread Communion.
In addition to the fact that God (aka Ultimate Reality) is really big and God likes change, the five things that I find to be “universals” in world religion are: 1) Spiritually transformative experiences, 2) Prayer/Meditation, 3) The Golden Rule, 4) Faith healing, and 5) Miracle stories. Dr. Ken R. Vincent is a writer and religious experience researcher who is retired from teaching psychology at Houston Community College. Ken has over 150 publications in the areas of psychology and religion.
This is our annual Veterans Day service, honoring those who sustain our right to worship as we choose. However, we are doing things a bit different, and looking at inspiring examples of military members – from Joshua to the modern day—who teach us a better way of life.There will be surprises you did not expect.
Of all the elements by which to master one's life, three keys are critical to life-long success - gratitude, love, and acceptance. When we learn to be grateful, love, and accept all that surrounds us, we begin to master our life. Discover how to use these three keys to unlock the mystery and begin to master your life.
We have moved into the season that many world traditions have considered the close of one year and the beginning of the next. It is a time of harvest, not only of the physical fruits of our labor, but of ideas as well. Come and listen to a story about one young woman's experiences, and consider how many of her lessons are just as applicable today as they were at the first telling.
Stories are important in our lives, our history, and our connections. This service weaves together tales of Halloween, ancestors, saints, and loved ones, to sum up being where we truly live.
This talk will present a brief introduction to Zoroastrianism. It will talk about the prophet, Zarathushtra, about his theology and doctrines. Cosmology and Escatology in Zoroastrianism will be discussed. Some of the impacts of Zoroastrianism on Christianity will also be pointed out.
At this time of year, our Jewish friends are celebrating Yom Kippur, a season of forgiveness – both asking for it and offering it. Every religion addresses this important psychological milestone, and in interestingly different ways. Let’s explore these approaches and then choose – and act on - our own. The service will conclude with a ceremony in which you will have the opportunity to privately ask for and grant forgiveness yourself.
It is well documented that with advancing age, one has a tendency to re-evaluate one’s life, possibly to fulfil the need to explore new meaning or in preparation for the 'final hour.' Does having a strong faith or spiritual belief provide a needed level of comfort during this re-evaluation life stage? This service will explore coming to terms with the process of aging and exploring our life's journey, the role of faith, and the need for spiritual guidance.
"We become part of all we pray for, and it a part of us." The Reverend Forrest ChurchWe have, as we say, different beliefs about the nature and existence of God, but many of us still have a longing to connect with something outside ourselves. What do we, as rational beings who cringe at the idea of receiving divine favor, do with this longing? Our Universalist theological forebears give us insight into a Unitarian Universalist "way to pray."
Spirit and Wisdom are feminine in Hebrew and Aramaic, but when the Bible was translated into Latin, the Holy Spirit got a sex change! God in the New Testament is referred to as Spirit and Wisdom (feminine) as well as Father and Word (masculine). Dr. Ken R. Vincent is a writer and religious experience researcher who is retired from teaching psychology at Houston Community College. Ken has over 150 publications in the areas of psychology and religion.
A much neglected aspect in our culture is that of peacemaking, of non violent resistance to evil, of the futility and self-destructive nature of hatred and vengeance. In a world filled with violence, war & retaliation, how can we be peacemakers? How can we be peacemakers in our own homes, neighborhoods and workplaces? How do we muster the courage to stand against injustice?
Join us for the largest annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists (UUs) joining in worship. This powerful, communal worship experience took place on Sunday morning, June 26, 2011. The offering was donated to Mecklenburg Ministries. Mecklenburg Ministries promotes interfaith relationships, fosters racial and ethnic understanding, and inspires collaboration to address social issues. They envision a community that lives by the highest values and core virtues of its rich faith traditions and respects the dignity of every person.The Reverends Scott Tayler and Kaaren Anderson preached “Living Outside the Box.” We’ve been encouraged to think outside the box but the greater challenge is to live outside it. Amber Fetner, Music Director, UU Fellowship of Athens, GA, conducted the 2011 GA Choir.
This annual UU tradition, the Water Communion, is how our congregation marks the end of summer journeys, both geographic and spiritual, and the beginning of a new season of learning and growth. Bring a small amount of water that represents a special place that you have been to or wish to visit, whether it is from another place or from your kitchen sink, all waters are welcome.
How do you describe “Home?”Is it where you grew up? Is it where you are now? Is it a physical place or a spiritual place? What does home look like?With no guarantee of answering these questions, let’s explore the topic in sermon and forum.
What is distinctive about liberal religion? Our understanding of spiritual growth. Come hear why.
John Lennon made some outrageous, often controversial quotes and comments about religion. Who can forget the outcry of Lennon stating the Beatles were 'more popular than Jesus.' But what was this all about? How was John Lennon’s 'sprirtual message' misinterpreted - or was it? He is a vivid example of an attitude toward faith that has gained power in the decades since his death. Lennon was "spiritual," but not "religious" before that stance became all too common. Through the power of his songs and quotes, this service will explore Lennon's life, defined by symbolic moments and raw feelings of love, peace - a man who was almost too honest about his doubts and his beliefs.
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promoteA free and responsible search for truth and meaningA culture of open mindedness and respectAddressing Mystery, Divinity, the Sacred in many ways
Its been said that the Bible is not always factual but it is truthful, an observation that has much broader application than just the Bible. Join us July 24 when Tom Parker leads a talk-back on fact, truth, and the 4th principle.
If we are made in the image of the Creator, our ultimate destiny should be to comprehend Him at all levels of our being. This comprehension will be through and by the evolution of our own consciousness, for which an intimate knowledge of our human constitution is paramount. The talk will explain the seven principles that make up our constitution in the light of the Ancient Wisdom known as theosophy, and how they are meant to fulfill the purpose of our existence - an increasing unfolding of our divinity in thought, speech and action.
The word heretic has its root in the Greek verb meaning "to choose." A Heretic, then, is a person who maintains the right to choose for themselves what to think and what to believe. Universalists and Unitarians have a proud history of being Heretics and claiming a right to religious freedom -- freedom of thought and freedom of conscience. Not all heretics are Unitarian Universalists, but we have many that we’re proud of! Legend has it that this campsite is full of hidden treasures, guarded by the ghosts of our heretical ancestors. Join us as we explore Heretic Camp and search out these treasures, choosing our steps along the way…
On this Independence Day weekend, we gather for coffee and coversation. Jim Klein will moderate a discussion on what true freedom means to each us.
This service explores how a person can stand on the side of love in support of hidden identities in honor of the national observance of Take Your Gay Teen to Church/Temple/Synagogue Weekend.
Self described financial guru Dave Ramsey often uses the phrase, "Better than I deserve." when asked how he's doing.I think I get it and after this Sunday, you can too.
Please join YRUU, Young Religious Unitarian Universalists, our high school youth group, as they present their unique perspective on "The Meaning of Life". It's about finding your own meaning rather than yielding to the persistent loud voices.
Please join us as Allan Perkins presents an old fashion Memorial Day Weekend service from yester-year.
Sometimes we take life too seriously and we need a not-so-serious break.Come join Bad Ethel for a morning of uniquely UU music, amusing anecdotes and just plain silliness. Stimulative beverage optional.
"Being Grounded" is something we are often told to be.But we are not always sure how to accomplish this.Join Lucia at the flowering time of Beltaine and Maypoles as we explore the ways we can flourish in our lives as well as be rooted in what is essential.Bring a flower for the altar !
Unitarian Universalists have a rich history in our celebration of Easter, often combining it with the specifically Unitarian tradition of the Flower Communion, which, in the words of Norbert Capek, honors "our common cause, our belonging together as one spiritual community, as brethren."Please bring flowers to church this Sunday -- from a florist, from your garden, from a store -- as we celebrate the vision "that one spirit, the spirit of love, unites us."
Is it possible to embrace, enjoy and appreciate living in a time of nuclear meltdowns, gulf oil spills, and climate change? If not denial or martyrdom, then what? Come fill your tank with faith, joy, courage and grace!
On April 10, 2011, Justice Sunday, we will stand shoulder to shoulder with UU congregations nationwide to put our principles into practice. This year's Justice Sunday culminates our efforts to gain a deeper understanding of how human rights bring the invisible survivors of disasters into the light. Disaster survivors are not treated equally — and that inequality persists unless you apply the lens of justice.Our worship and social action will spotlight issues affecting people both close to home and around the world. With the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, we will offer meaningful advocacy and action, so together we have a stronger voice and deeper impact toward advancing human rights
We have a spiritual connection to the food we eat. Globalization and consumerism have caused our disconnect. We will explore the ways in which people of the world use food as religious ritual and how we can make wise choices which bring us back to our sacred connection to the earth.
The magic to magnificize your day (make your day magnificent) is not happenstance - it's created by our thoughts and actions through gratitude, love and acceptance of the world within us and around us. Magnificize your day and inspire others to do the same!
With our historical emphasis on reason and discussion, many of us to place our faith in our own abilty to figure out the good and bad of life. Emphasis on getting it right often ends up being a block to happiness and fulfillment. If we are unhappy there is bound to be a reason. But do we need reasons to be happy? Might the key to joyful living be beyond reason? Come hear of reasonable and outrageous paths to joy.
This service fosters connections within our church community as various members share their favorite poetry or prose piece, an original creation or a classic that resonates.
One of the tenets of Unitarian Universalism is that revelation is ongoing, that religions and humans are meant to grow and change. I have now been the member of a UU congregation for twelve years, covenanted to affirm and promote our principles. But do the principles mean the same to me today as they did a dozen years ago, or has the passage of time changed my interpretation of the sentiments they express?
So how ya gonna live it? In anger, in fear, in pride? Or in kindness, in joy, in love? Please join us for a fun, uplifting, thought provoking sermon by psychotherapist and author, Patti Henry, as she encourages us to "claim our lives as our own."
Do you know you’re a FIREWORK? Everything that is in you adds up to something so special that the world is waiting for. Your identity, age, appearance, sexuality, your taste in music, clothes, movies, and books – these are all a part of you and they bring light into the world.February 20 is Bring Your Gay Teen to Church Day in Houston. Different denominations across Houston will extend a special welcome to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens and their parents. Ministerial candidate and coordinator of this ecumenical event, Joanna Fontaine Crawford, will speak at NWCUUC on this historic day.
What do these 4 things have in common? Regardless if you are married, coupled, barely coupled or flying solo, this could be the gift / challenge of a lifetime! Come and get it!
Most everyone has a life-long relationship with music: Our favorite songs, music that brings back our youth, a melody that can make us cry, music that brings us closer to the Mystery of Life...This Sunday, several members of the congregation will present music that touches us in different ways, along with personal stories of musical encounters. Join us.
Candlemas is called by some Imbolc or St. Brigid's Day. This holiday was traditionally observed as an Irish festival heralding the approach of spring on February 1. Lucia Bettler is an enthusiastic participant to interfaith women's transformational practices and is a leader of Brigid's Place, a connective community for meditation and conversation started by women Christ Church Cathedral.
January is a time that many of us attempt to make a clean start. As religious liberals we can draw upon many sources for renewal. What is the source of our creativity, and how can we begin creating new experiences, new landscapes for ourselves, our families, communities and our world?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., found sources of inspiration in the writings of Unitarian minister Rev. Theodore Parker from the days of the struggle against slavery. UUs today find a great source of inspiration in the work and words of Dr. King. What keys to the future do they hold?
ANSWER, the American-Nepali Student & Women's Educational Relief organization, has been a favorite cause of Houston area UU congregations. Earle Canfield will give an update on the successes of this unique program. ANSWER is dedicated to helping low-caste and impoverished people of Nepal address problems of poverty through education.
The first Sunday of the year we traditionally look at our own beliefs and practices. This year we will look at ourselves through the extension of our church. Let's begin the new year together!
A discussion will be held on spiritual topics of interest to attendees.
Join us at 7 p.m. for the Christmas Eve service at the Kids Club.
It might sound trite, but we bet this will surprise you. We will reflect on the question, "What's the best gift you could ever receive?" Our reflections won't stay on the surface!In addition, we will have the swearing in of our new board and a declaration of thanks to those who have served.
The children and youth of our congregation will make a special holiday presentation.
After twenty years as a professional pastor I lost my religion. It’s not that I forgot where I put it or anything. I knew exactly where it was. And it’s not that I set out to get rid of my religion. It just wasn’t working for me anymore. In the midst of questioning God and searching for answers to the big questions, religion just wasn’t providing the answers.Some want to equate losing religion with losing faith. I haven’t lost my faith. I believe very passionately in God and in his mission. I’m seeking to walk humbly with God and to align my life with God’s dream for the world. I’m deeply committed to pursuing God in the way of Jesus. I want to be honest however and say that I’ve put all of my beliefs under a microscope. I’ve questioned everything. Even in my questioning, however, I couldn’t let go of God, and he/she wouldn’t let go of me. Is it possible to give up religion and yet have a deep spirituality?
Families will be invited to take a Guest at Your Table box home, to learn about and participate in the work of our UU Service Committee. Sermon: Moving from guilt to thanksgiving celebration, and striving to be part of the solution. Is it possible that we could make guilt a thing of our past, and still keep moving toward greater integrity and fulfillment of our deepest values?
Rediscovering your inner Magnificence
Though our theological roots go back to the early church, Unitarian Universalism itself is a new religion, formed during the consolidation of the two religions and developed over the last 50 years. This is a transformational religion that will change your life. Bring your lifejackets and safety helmets – it’s a thrilling ride ahead.
Join us as we celebrate the lessons of the season through song and story. This will be a multigenerational service. We also encourage you to come in costume if you are so moved! For this service we will be meeting at the Copperfield Kids Club, 15806 Longenbaugh Drive, just west of Highway 6.
Lucia will share thoughts emerging from her recent experience visiting Israel.
For too long people have assumed that being a UU requires faith in a progressive political agenda and not much else. This assumption ignores two things: 1 - A significant minority of UUs have always been politically conservative. 2 - Unitarian, Universalist and UU values, beliefs and theological traditions have been the source of our emphasis on social justice. Learn more about how the return to liberal religion has changed the way we do social justice.
For too long people have assumed that being a UU requires faith in a progressive political agenda and not much else. This assumption ignores two things: 1 - A significant minority of UUs have always been politically conservative. 2 - Unitarian, Universalist and UU values, beliefs and theological traditions have been the source of our emphasis on social justice. Learn more about how the return to liberal religion has changed the way we do social justice.
Want some Greek salad with tomatoes from my garden? How about a big helping of Mama's lasagna? Anyone for homemade apple pie? Would you like ice cream with that? We nourish our bodies -- how about our souls? Our days have a built-in structure to nourish our bodies called breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but how many of us have that same spiritual structure in place? The Muslims pray 5 times a day -- how about you? Come hear psychotherapist and author Patti Henry as she shares some ideas of how to not only nourish your body each day, but how to nourish your soul as well.
What makes a practice "spiritual?" Which spiritual practices can UUs engage in as individuals, as a congregation and as a denomination?
In keeping with September's theme,"One light, many windows," Phil will extrapolate UU Priniciples onto current events.
With his metaphor of the Cathedral of the World, the Rev. Forrest Church drew a picture of the treasure we inherited as Unitarian Universalists – unlimited ways of understanding and experiencing divine reality. As UUs, it is our theological privilege and responsibility to “go deep,” not merely picking and choosing concepts that appeal to us, but to develop a fully examined faith.
A team of NWCUUC members who attended this year's Southwest Summer UU Institute, SWUUSI, will recreate some of the mystery and wonder of this experience. NWCUUC has one of the highest congregational percentages attending this multi-generational summer camp. Find out why.
What happens when our ambition and greed overshadow our common purpose? What is the cost of seeking results over relationship? Join us for a story that illustrates that while we may get distracted by our ambitions and greed, no success is very enjoyable without love and warm spirit of community.
Sure there is a lot of power in choosing, but UU is so not "anything goes." What are the core values of our movement? What is at the heart of what we believe, and practice?Our annual Water Ceremony will also take place during this service!
Where do we find our real selves? The power beneath the liberal religious approach is the real growth that can happen when we become more conscious of what we believe and value. But who are we anyway ...to be deciding what is valuable, sacred, worthy of devotion? Is this the worship of personality? Hopefully not. Come to the intersection of divinity and humanity.
Speaker from The Art of Living
Peter Morales, UUA President - recorded sermon from our national General Assembly
We experience transcendence by loving and being loved. You and I are profoundly relational creatures. We are hard wired to need one another. People who are coming to our congregations every Sunday for the first time—and there are thousands every week—long to experience a loving connection to a religious community. So, how are we doing at responding to this need, to feeding the spiritually hungry and housing the religiously homeless?"
Come view this sermon delivered by thr national President of the Unitarian Universalist Association as recorded at our faith's national conference.
Faith of the free. What is the purpose of non-creedal religion? What is faith, and how does it support freedom? Can intellect imprison? What is freedom?
The theme for this month is freedom. Part of the freedom of being in a Unitarian Universalist community is the freedom and responsibility to authentically acknowledge who we are. Are we truly free at NWCUUC? Let’s see. Join Joanna as she Comes Out to the congregation.
How do we use our power? How do we respond to injustice? In this service, based on the story The Duke Who Outlawed Jellybeans by Johnny Valentine, we will see how we can use our shared power in the name of Love to overcome almost any obstacle.
As part of this service, there will be a collection of items for our monthly You Matter lunches. Please bring what you can from the following list. Remember, each month we will make 100 lunches to give out to area homeless folks. Cash donations will also be accepted to purchase perishables.
Honey (in squeeze bottles), Creamy peanut butter, 18 count chewy granola bars (Variety packs have several flavors), Sandwich bags with zip-tops, 24-packs of bottled water, Cheese and/or peanut butter crackers (the 6-in-a-pack kind), Paper lunch bags, Cinnamon disc hard candies.
They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Unitarian Universalists are famous for coffee and conversation, but we also come together for Fellowship. Come hear one UU's views on why our Sundays are more than a social event.
Being a father is not the easiest job in the world. In fact, being a father is not just the hardest job a man can have during his lifetime, either. For those who have conceived a child or children, fatherhood is the single most important job in any man's life. This is why fathers are a very important part of every family.
As we age there's a tendency to behave and live on other people's terms. How can we remember our power, freedom and vitality? What is soulforce?
So what is the purpose of church? According to NWCUUC member and UU seminarian Joanna Crawford, “We gather to strengthen our souls, we are sent out to strengthen the world.” But the path to do so is often hard to find. Come prepared to wade in the water as we discuss how to do each.
Allan Perkins discusses ways to make Memorial Day a very personal holiday and not just a date on the calendar or another day off.
What does our Flaming Chalice mean to you? It has been a source of comfort for many, and a guiding light for others. Come explore the idea of some symbolism within the symbol of our Chalice.
If you think that prayer means asking the big daddy in the sky for special favors, then you haven't paid attention to the prayers being said in UU congregations. Come hear how this powerful spiritual tool is being understood by an array of religious liberals.
The job of mother is arguably the hardest and most important job in the world, and many moms wouldn't trade it for anything. This Sunday we will celebrate Mother's Day by remembering the venerable tradition of motherhood. We will look at motherhood in the light of faith and spirituality.
Love and spring time is celebrated in many ways around the world. One way is the Maypole Dance. On Sunday, May 2, we will share a new perspective on this very ancient tradition. Susanna Hill and Tracy Cook, two members of our congregation, will present a play and music to welcome the season. Following the service, we will have a Maypole Dance!
After the long Winter, the Earth is straining to be born. The trees are a symbol of our life on earth...as they begin to leaf out and become shaded homes once again for the creatures of air and branch. We are also blossoming and being reborn with the coming of Spring... as we strive to find our interconnected place on this planet.
Can UUs have any voice or influence in matters facing the Middle East? We are Peace lovers. Is peace even a possibility for Israel and Palestinians? Is it any of our business? What do our values and our faith ask of us with regard to this ongoing conflict?
We're all connected. That's what our seventh principle is all about, right? So what would happen if we lived our lives like we really believed that was true, that every one of our actions affects everything else? We will take a look at this way of living.
How our gatherings and ritual practices bring us to the present moment and increase our spiritual awareness.Please bring some flowers to share.
With the economic crisis continuing to impact people, jeopardizing our well-being, now is a fitting time to do something about economic justice. Liberal Religion challenges the idea that all the world's evil resides in a supernatural being, or even that a person can be defined as an evil being. We see evil in the structures and systems that prevent people from actualizing their best selves and keep us out of right relation with all of creation. Our call as a Liberal Religious community is to work to transform these structures. Come learn how to help write the Garden of Eden story in reverse! Justice Sunday, an event coordinated annually by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, is an exciting opportunity to lift up an important human rights issue, learn more about it, and be inspired to act! By participating in Justice Sunday, our congregation is joining hands with other UU congregations across the country to promote justice.Dana is a third generation UU who can claim the anti-slavery activist Unitarian minister Rev. Theodore Parker as part of her family tree, is Chair of NWCUUC Faith in Action, and was recently selected to join the national Board of UUs for Justice in the Middle East.
UUs deeply value efforts to promote world community with liberty and justice for all. Is this religious concern or simply political? Religion has so often been the cause of division, oppression and strife. Yet the major traditions have also beckoned humanity to a compassionate awareness of its unity. In what ways does UU faith inform and challenge us to be members of a world community? What does it mean for us practically and personally?
From the day we are born to the day that we die, we are all sexual beings. Unitarian Universalists (partnered with the United Church of Christ) hold this to be true, and thus we provide fact-based, principle-based sexuality education for all ages. Come learn more about the Our Whole Lives (OWL) program and see human sexuality education as far more than plumbing lessons!Katy is the Religious Education Director of the Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. The OWL program is offered in several versions for different age groups. An OWL class for adults was the subject of an article in the June 2009 issue of the magazine O, The Oprah Magazine, at http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Adult-Sex-Education.
Linda Eastburn began her profession as a health intuitive after many successful years as an entrepreneur in the field of real estate. Her success allowed her to pursue her first love, the connection between mind and spirit. Today she is a world-renowned intuitive, instructor, and author. She is a certified hypnotherapist, with a nationwide clientele. She is the author of the acclaimed book, Riding the Intuitive Wave, Listening to What Your Body Already Knows. Linda hosted the internationally broadcast radio show Anomalies, and has been a guest on various national radio broadcasts. Linda is the founder of Intuitive Care, a line of distant learning courses. She is certified as a continuing education instructor for nurses on the health benefits of intuition. Today she has students around the globe learning to use their intuitive abilities in work, personal healing, and self-understanding.Linda’s message will be on evolving consciousness. Humankind's evolution is always responding to environmental influence. Intuition will either be part of this or it will die out. As a health intuitive she will show the value of using this primal from of communication with the direction of our more evolved reasoning intellect.
Sometimes we fall down, and sometimes we are pushed. We know we are supposed to just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start down our path again. But what if we land in a mud puddle, and things don’t just brush off? Or what about those times when it feels good to wallow in the mud?! What then? Come in, listen, and if you wish, share your thoughts during Corner Forum. Tracy is President of the Board of the Northwest Community Unitarian Universalist Church and has completed the Dwight Brown Leadership Experience course.
Come hear some good news about the changing picture of American family structure. We will celebrate that families come in many shapes and sizes.My title and blurb above are intended to challenge fundamentalist assumptions of what a family "should" look like. If you would like to help me spotlight positive changes (or challenges) please email me your thoughts, stories or questions regarding the changing picture of family life in the 21st century.I'd especially appreciate hearing from single parents, blended families, adoptive or foster families. What does your family look like? What's been good about being that way? What's been difficult about it? (include how your family has been treated) What do you wish everyone would remember? What would you like to never hear again? What would you like to hear or see? PLEASE reflect and comment. Educate me, share your stories, conclusions, questions, concerns, ...I will be happy to keep private any information that you share with me, if you let me know that is your wish.BTW, whether you appreciate or regret these social changes, your input is much appreciated. I trust that we can present our doubts and concerns respectfully. I trust that we can engage in compassionate dialogue. I know that we can be open minded and hearted, that we can support learning and growth together.Let's hear from UU!
We love because it is the only true adventure.--Nikki GiovanniThe most powerful energy on the planet is love. Let us find ways to hook into it and live in it. Let us find ways to use our right of conscience and the democratic process to use love to heal the world. Let us come to church on Valentine’s Day to hear psychotherapist and author Patti Henry speak about the necessity of loving in order to fully experience our highest selves, both individually and collectively.
UUs have a long history of taking a stand against racism and some acts are clearly and egregiously racist. But what about the grey areas, the more challenging aspects of racism we deal with both publicly and privately? Is racism ever justified? How does racism manifest itself in your life? To what extent are you a racist? Join us as Tom Parker addresses these and other questions and gives us his take on what UUs can do.
Music has long been a part of religious ritual and always been a part of community. In addition to the talented musicians of NWCUUC sharing their gifts, we invite all to share their musical taste. Please bring either a "mix CD" of your favorite songs or a CD that has special meaning for you. Like our flower communion, these CDs will be gathered together so that everyone may take a different CD than they brought, to take home and enjoy.
David Throop is a local UU who will be presenting the talk on January 24th.
Often we arrange our world to try to avoid things that trigger our pain. It ends up blocking us from embracing live's deep joy and fulfillment. As we begin a new year, let's consider some ways to make peace with the events or parts of ourselves we would lke to banish. When we come home to ourselves, we will find freedom and unleash our creative power.
As we begin a new year, let's consider putting this horse before our cart. What is our spirituality and how could we use it for the basis to face all of life's challenges?
Here's two New Year's Resolutions :In one year, I will be a better person. In one year the world will be a better place because of something I did.
Sounds great but what's the first step? First step unpacking some baggage-those things that hold us back from becoming the person we want to be. Come join us as we - literally - burn through those things we wish to get rid of, to make space for what we want to acquire.
Ever get the feeling that we are dangling on the end of a rope and someone on top keeps throwing money over the cliff to help us climb back up! Well, you aren't the only one! What we really need is someone to grab hold of the rope and pull us back on to solid ground. Let's stop wasting our time and money, and start doing something effective. Lessons from Nepal.
Are we so resentful of what has been done in his name, that we close our hearts and our eyes to the miracle of the Christmas spirit that emerges this time of year? Yes ye religious liberals, verily I say unto you, "prepare him room." Hint: If getting stuck on literalism is making you a Scrooge, it's not religious liberalism.
December is one of the most festive times to be a Unitarian Universalist. We have what A. Powell Davies referred to as the “privilege of the illimitable mind” – we get to celebrate and find value in all the holidays of the season. Come see why, when a UU says, “Happy Holidays” it really means something!
There has been talk in the past few years about the “War on Christmas.” However, if you look at the history of Christmas in the United States, you’ll discover that the reality is different than some would want you to believe. Make no mistake – this is a subversive holiday, highly influenced by Unitarian Universalists. In fact, without Unitarians and Universalists, Christmas as we currently know it wouldn’t even exist!
Whether you were with your family or not for Thanksgiving, finish out this holiday weekend with us. Come back or enter into our spiritual community, and we'll break bread. Phil will talk about the miracle of leavening, and we will reflect upon what we are baking in our lives, and what is rising in the world.
Ever wonder what it is that really makes things continue? What is it that we could never do without?" Inspired by sermon given by Dr. Web Kitchell many years back at First Unitarian Houston, Bil Cusack delves into this rich topic.
In Jonathan Haidt’s book The Happiness Hypothesis, he writes, “Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It is meditation.” Let’s take a look. It’s right in line with what Thoreau once urged, “we must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake.”
This service will explore Art, Architecture, and Sacred Spaces from around the globe. We will be including other faith traditions in our discussions of Sacred Spaces. After the services, there will be a discussion of the similarities shared in all faith traditions. This will include ideas about our interactions with the Divine, beyond the Western (Judeo-Christian) perspectives we traditionally hold. Come and stretch your spirituality with us!
"Mountains of the Bible" will include exploration of the physical landscape mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. The physical landscape will be our background for a liberal interpretation of Moses and Jesus as main lawgivers in the Bible.
Honor, nobility of spirit, idealism---all qualities related to justice, equity and compassion in our lives. These are eternal themes in literature, drama and song. It's not easy being human, not always easy having compassion for others when we are struggling ourselves with the complexities of life. Join Lucia Bettler as she shares her vision of what it is that keeps us awake and alive to one another in these challenging times.
Our living tradition continues to change. Do you? A generation ago people came to us charged with negative energy about the religions they had left behind. We called ourselves religious liberals but often the religious part was missing. Today the people knocking on our doors are hungry for spirituality and alternatives to fundamentalism and market place culture. Being a religious liberal takes effort, but yields rewards. Are you willing to grow with our faith?
Last month Rev Phil shared with us the Jewish high holiday tradition, known as the Days of Awe. We were asked to reflect upon the past year, our moral victories as well as the ways that we fell short of being the UUs we want to be. Today we will complete the process remember, let go, put the past behind us and start fresh.
The task of peacemaking is arduous for governments, communities and individuals. Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Yet it takes practice to become the person we each aspire to be.Christina Branum-Martin is 4th year seminary student at Meadville-Lombard Theological School in Chicago. She is in a non-resident student and lives here in Houston during her studies.She shares her life with her husband and 9 year old daughter.
You say tomato, I say tomahto... should we call the whole thing off? Of course not.
Although we may see the same thing, we might call it by different names. For instance, some languages such as Spanish use the word Dios for God, Arabic uses the word Allah for God and others to describe The Divine or Supreme Being might call it by another name.
Unfortunately it isn't always as easy in one's own language. It is our abstract concepts of faith and our attempt to attach words to describe them that can often times create tension, misunderstanding and dismissal of growth opportunities.
Join us as we delve into the different aspects of religious speak and how honing our ability to transcribe the faith language of others will help us grow as UUs.
The Jewish high holy days are a time of reflection, remembering, making amends and letting go in order to enter at-one-ment with the source of life, with our neighbors and our self. Come home to the land of your soul where life begins anew.
Based on a service given at First UU Church of Albuquerque, our ensemble of speakers address in a snappy informative way what Unitarian Universalism is and what Unitarian Universalists do.
Inspired by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar’s sermon, Susanna delves into what tolerance means for a Unitarian Universalists. Are there limits to tolerance? Are we really as tolerant as we think we are? And is tolerance the goal, or merely a step in the right direction?
You are surrounded by love – do you recognize it? Do you realize how much? As humans, we have both a need to give love and receive love. As Unitarian Universalists, we say that “love is the spirit” of our church. What do we do with this love? What is the real power of the love within? And if we want more love in our lives, where do we find it?
A Homecoming and Water CeremonyCheryl Perry and Rita Cusack will lead a worship service celebrating our summer travels and homecoming. Bring a bit of water (real or symbolic) representing a place of spiritual significance so that we may once again come together through the water communion ceremony.
Much has been written about positive thinking and visualization. The missing piece for nurturing our souls and healing the world may lie with our feelings. Bring us your tired weary spirits, bring us your contentment or your excitement. Together in our sanctuary of acceptance, we will sing a new song to creation.
Popular culture has everything to do with the way that each new young generation communicates with itself and about itself. Hip hop has been around for more than one new young generation, but continues to evolve and become more and more meaningful to people across the planet. Come to this sermon to find out what the hip hop culture has to tell us about spirituality and how it relates to the UU faith. Be prepared to hear some good beats and to move around as you are willing and able.
Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, this year's Ware Lecturer, challenged us to pause in the moment of American racial transformation and ask about how faith and reason can guide our politics toward more just ends. We Americans do use religious and rational justifications for democratic processes, policy directions, and political goals. In fact, in many ways the American state is the God figure in our nation's civic religion. But the realities of black life in America have historically served to challenge the American project in both moral and secular realms.
What is the type of spirituality that feeds you? Rational Mind? Spiritual Mind? Service? Love? Come join us as we learn from this not-to-be-missed sermon, written and first delivered by Rev. Anthony David, today pulpiteered by Michelle French.
Guest speaker Christian Schmidt will give the world's fastest introduction to theology, tell you why you should care, and then discuss a basic theological framework that UUs (yes, all of us) can agree on. Also, there will be a play, and you'll love it!
How often are we in a reactive mode, seeing things we don't like and railing against them? How often do we proceed from a song, dream or vision that arises in us, and stroll gently down the path toward fulfillment. Can we learn to act more often from our faith than from fear?
There’s a lot to embrace this Independence Day -- a country of rebels, heretics, and other visionaries! Join us as we celebrate the United States of America through music and word.
Gently awaken the body and spirit through sound and movement.Allowing the vibrations and rhythms to move you and move through you facilitates subtle changes to body, mind and spirit. Come and experience the joy of a community in motion.
In Love's Garden there is beauty and growth but there are also weeds and thorns. How do we continue to do this thing called love and when loving gets tough? Together we will delve into the hard truths about love and what keeps us going.
Males are deeply conditioned into an orientation of dominance. We end up dominating and forcing ourselves to buck up and get with the program. Can dads learn to influence themselves and their children with ease, love and cooperation? Can men movefrom inspiration with less perspiration? As a gift to fathers, let's support and encourage them to lead lives more deeply connected to children, community and faith.
It’s been a wonderful year as we explored Michael Josephson’s Pillars of Character through an interage, rotational model of religious education. Join us for skits and songs that illustrate what we’ve learned.
UU Congregational life has been growing beyond the bounds of our English Protestant history and culture. We are are embracing multicultural spirituality and learning to express our Principles and Purposes in new and exciting ways. Come experience it.
On this Memorial Sunday, we gather to remember those who have given their lives in military service to our country. Please join us in honoring their memory.
Leviticus: Its most widely cited verse is used to condemn homosexuality, but since it is one of the most boring books in the Bible, few people know what the other thousands of verses say about the time and place, so long ago and far away, in which this book was written. If the rest of Leviticus were similarly applied to contemporary discourse, football wouldn't be an American pastime, fashion wouldn't be much of an industry, and agriculture wouldn't support as large a population. If you were to draft such a detailed book for UUs, what would it include?
Flowers are a symbol of all things which unite us with each other and with the eternal order of the Universe. In our Flower Communion this year, we will celebrate the beauty of the flowers, the beauty of those who are touching our lives now and the beauty of those who have touched our lives along our life’s journey. As we gather together for our Flower Communion on Mother’s Day this year, we will also be celebrating the sacredness of Motherhood.We ask that you bring a flower that represents someone, female or male, who has Mothered you on your life’s journey. This could be someone who has nurtured you or whose wisdom guided you or whose love gave you the strength to move forward.If you are so moved, you also may bring an object or a picture to place on the altar that represents the beautiful soul who has mothered you.
Long before Judaism and Christianity emerged, Pagan, Wiccan, Goddess religions and indigenous cultures honored, celebrated and discovered an awesome, sacred and transcendent mystery in nature. Let's celebrate Beltane together. It's a Gaelic and Pagan holiday invoking and acknowledging fertility. What in your life needs spawning? What didn't make it through the winter, that needs to be cleared away in order to make room for new life? We'll look to the marvels of nature in Spring. Wanted: dancers for the Maypole.
'The search for truth is our sacrament. And service is its prayer.' We are called to action, based on the truths we know. But there's a catch. Revelation isn't finished - tomorrow may prove today's truths to be partial, provisional. Or just wrong. Our free churches have struggled with the question ever since the Pilgrims -- How do act boldly, faithfully, given that we might be in error? This Sunday, we look back to our Unitarian roots to learn how UU's serve with confidence even as we walk in doubt.
To engage in contemporary religious discussions, we, as UUs, need to be familiar with references in the Bible, as read from a religious liberal perspective. So what do you know about "end of the world" references you may hear from friends, relatives, and coworkers, including the point that Bellaire, TX has the "devil's number" because the prefix is "666." What does the Book of Revelation actually say, and significantly, what is NOT in there? Does a well meaning loved one fear for your afterlife? Attend this service for a UU response.
Come join us as we celebrate Spring, Solstice, Rebirth, Easter – in music. Easter bonnets optional!
Aretha Franklin is just asking for a little respect for women. Author and psychotherapist, Patti Henry, is talking to us on April 5 about gaining a little of that respect for yourself. Inspired by women who have made a difference, Patti will share with us how you, too, can make a difference in the world by following the light within.
Ours is a rational religion, and many within our churches hesitate to describe UUism as a "faith." We'll consider a way of viewing faith as fully consistant with Unitarian Universalism, and also reflect on what faith has to do with trust.
Rev. Eric Posa serves the UU Church of the Brazos Valley in College Station. He lives in Bryan with his wife, Suzi.
Or “So What’s the Good News About Unitarian Universalism and Why/How Should I Spread It?” Joanna will testify, exhort you to evangelize, discuss Holy Spirit and even give some tips about getting through those “What do you believe?” conversations.
Jennifer Armentrout had to cancel due to a family emergency. Our prayers go out to her and her family.
The basic task of all religion is to reaffirm the first relationship of trust between mother and child. Easier said than done, nonetheless crucial in the shaping of our personal and social worlds. This sermon, delivered by Rev. Owen-Towle last June at the UU Fellowship of San Dieguito addresses the trust we need in each other to grow as individuals and as a congregation.
Sometimes, it’s just too much. Too many activities, too much clutter, too much stuff. Sometimes, what we crave is a little bit of emptiness … room in our schedule just to daydream, room in our bookcases for future reads, room in our heads for new thoughts.
Come get motivated to get rid of the literal and metaphorical clutter that you no longer love or that no longer serves you well. Empty cardboard boxes will be provided.
What is the purpose of church? Different people have different ideas – in this sermon, delivered at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on February 1, 2009, Rev. Lavanhar pulls together the disparate ideas, arguing that love helps us in our business of “creating spiritually mature people.”
Spongebob Squarepants seems an unlikely spiritual guide, but he has some important lessons to offer about hard work, loyalty, living in the moment, and - especially - caring. I mentioned the Spongebob idea in a sermon last year and multiple people have requested it since ... its time has arrived! Come join me to explore what we can seriously learn from this comical little guy.
Come join us for our second play directed by Cheryl Perry as she covers The History of Religion, from the Big Bang to the Second Coming as only the Unitarian Universalists can tell it!
Many spiritual traditions speak of kindness and love...that deep caring that comes from the depth of our souls. In our world today there are many inspiring stories about how people dig deep and step forward to help individuals in need. We must live with open hands and hearts even when it is difficult. Join Lucia today to explore how "loving kindness" lives in all of us......and how we can help one another to keep it flowing into our changing world.
Like all of you, Chuck has been observing candidate and now President Obama in his style of engagement and early governing strategies. Freshly back from broadcasting and blogging at the Inauguration Chuck will distill practical spiritual lessons from Mr. Obama's words and deeds. What can we glean from President Obama that can help us be better UU's, citizens and human beings?
In 1966, Roger Miller explained that "Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you've a mind to" --How can we choose happiness? Is it really as simple as "Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it"? How can a change in personal outlook help each of us to change the world?
January 19 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and January 20, the first African-American citizen will be sworn is as President of the United States. This is a time of pride and hope for many who have worked for civil rights, but they are quick to point out that there is still much work to be done. What steps do we take now that will affect people 45 years from now?
This time last year I visited NWCUUC and talked about the power of our deeds (Karma); I talked about how personally fulfilling it has been in my life and in the lives of our sponsors. Such a deed gives blighted children a chance to blossom: to go to school, attend college, attain careers, and to break the poverty cycle their families had been entrapped for generations. However, the power of Karma is not evident in simply transforming people individually, but it can gather momentum and transform an entire society. Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point shows how this transformation can happen overnight: how epidemics begin, fads and fashions take off, and a freshman senator from Illinois can become President. Today's sermon reveals how ANSWER is not just educating a few hundred children, but it is undermining the deeply ingrained caste system in Nepal. The conditions are ripe, the ball is gathering speed, and the balance is about to tip to bring about a social revolution that may bring real opportunity and true democracy to millions on the subcontinent.ANSWER: In 2001, after enrolling a little street girl in a high-caste school and witnessing her amazing progress in three short years, Earle, his wife Mary Jane, and Som, a native hospital worker in Nepal began talking about starting an organization ANSWER to educate disadvantaged children. As more and more children became enrolled and excelled, it became clear that these students needed to go on to college and break the poverty cycle. About 3 years ago, we wanted our students to do more than simply contribute to family wealth, but to model themselves on the generosity of their sponsors and give back to society as a whole. Now that our students are graduating as businessmen, nurses and other health professionals from the lowest castes, a social reformation is in the offing.
Pity the news-addicted, so many messages of gloom and doom! Every episode has the latest bad news with the inference that if you haven't been defeated yet, you soon will be. Contrast that to the message of the presidential election; "Hope and Change". Now is the time for all good men to... sort out what really matters (again). Please join us in this annual "Housekeeping for the Soul" service.
This Sunday falls between Christmas & New Years. It is both a time of rest after the holiday hustle-bustle, & anticipation of beginning a new year.
The 12th annual Traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve service.
Certain songs & stories make up a common heritage that we share & form much of the framework for how we view the holidays.
Presented by Children's Religious Education
A true Xmas story about the mystery & sacredness of life & death as shared by individuals whose paths just happened to cross.
Thanksgiving Sunday - Bring a loaf of bread typical of your heritage or your upbringing to share as we give thanks for the blessings in our lives.
Do we surrender the working class to conservative religion? Should we attempt to broaden our appeal to include more of the working class?
Lucia will share some of the challenges, inspirations & miracles that have come her way, & encourage us to continue to solve our problems with gratitude, creative thinking & hope.
In recognition of Association Sunday 2008, we will explore our ways of denominational connection & how together UU congregations grow in spirit & become effective in our work in the world.
There has never been a time … that people of good will have [not] needed to come together in a sign of unity and peace.
A review of our 7 principles and renewal of our covenant of mutual love & support
Responsibility, one of Michael Josephson's "Six Pillars of Character." Teri talks about its deeper meaning in U U'ism
Award winning sermon asks "How can we possibly practice generosity and a belief in abundance amidst a barrage of scarcity?"
Why is it so easy to fail to prepare ourselves for spiritual growth?
Exploration of words and effort to find common ground to better understand & respect all religions & the people who practice them
What's funny about war, poverty, ignorance, bigotry, neo-conservatism, homophobia, greed, lust & fear?
Church without electricity for three weeks!
Exploring the idea of where one finds peace, respite, safety & the spiritual
DVD presentation by Rev. Christine Robinson: What it means to be a Humanist & how Humanists can live a life rich in spiritual practices
Sharing of actual and symbolic water from everyone's summer travels
Sermon by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, presented by Tom Parker
Sermon by Rev. Alice Blair Wesley, First Parish Norwell UU Church, Norwell, MA, presented by Susanna Hill
Overview of UU's Six Sources
DVD of Rev. Christine Robinson of 1st Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, a church w/ 700+ members & 200 children
Examination of rich UU history & "what Rebecca Parker (Pres. Of Starr King School for Ministry) calls our 'theological house.'"
Our Unitarian Universalist tradition has a 400-year long heritage of affirming the importance of covenants over creeds.
Marti w/ Tracy Cook: Although Uus are often recognized individuals w/ a strong sense of personal identity, we also need t work together to achieve common goals.
Ideas to explore on how to grow & build YOUR church
Afterlife in the World's Religions. A 3-layer view of how people-both ancient & modern-have viewed Afterlife.
Celebrating Father's Day & reflecting on the meaning of the holiday, the meaning of fatherhood
I have been accused of being a UU evangelist … because I love all the facets of this great religion & take every opportunity to share my enthusiasm.
Bridging ceremony & lessons learned by students & teachers this year
A contemplation of the sacrifices made by our military personnel & what they want.
Tips for effective communications by a Harvard-trained negotiator
Several church members share how their mothers influenced those values as we celebrate Mothers Day
Share our individual gifts, and celebrate the beauty of our community
Take a lesson or two from one of our more famous & multi-faceted Unitarians.
Learn to listen to the many ways in which our beloved planet communicates with us…and also shows us the goodness & abundance the Creator showers on us.
Reflections of a Traveling Universalist
Seriousness is often touted as a virture, but there is way too much seriousness - it's an epidemic
Look into the eyes of your family members, neighbors and friends and find the hero waiting there for the right moment to surface and save the world.
Easter. How One Can Be a Christian Without Believing in the Virgin Birth Nor the Infallibility of the Bible.
Experience Hallelujah in work and song with Joanna Crawford and Bil Cusack
This multimedia presentation centers on how our actions not only have an impact on others, buy on ourselves as well.
Christina is a spiritual teacher at Unity Church of Christianity in Houston. A charismatic and heartfelt speaker.
Following the 60th anniversary of Gandhi's assassination on Jan. 30th, let us be reminded of his teachings and his light
Revs. Phyllis Hubbell & John Manwell of the 1st Unitarian Church of Baltimore tell how we might find depth & meaning in all our moments
The Blind Leading the Blind or How do I get to the 'War in Heaven'? How this 17c. Poet can inspire us to move forward in social justice
You may be surprised what options the straight & narrow path may open for you
Rabbi Segal is a national speaker, author, radio show host and entertainer
Inspired by the NPR Radio Show
Paul's amazing encounter with his Homeowner's Assn.
Bil & Rita look at where we've been and where we're going
Informal service with opportunity for thought-provoking, thought-sharing good time
Story of Jesus and Christmas Carols
Annual Holiday Program presented by R.E. Classes. Also Congregational Meeting Day
What the law of Karma really means and why Dr. Kalia chooses to live his life as if reincarnation exists
How can we grow spiritually & emotionally with the deep mixed emotions evoked by family holiday time?
How Can We Repay the Earth for All Her Goodness to Us? This rich season is a wonderful time to be grateful for the precious life we share; for the sustenance the Earth gives us; for daily grace. It is also the time to stop hiding our light---we must be the light and love the world needs.
Transformational experiences typically occur on a stroll along a beach or in the presence of a beautiful sunset or on the top of tall mountain. Can they also happen at a rock and roll concert? Why not? And what does Mick have to do with anything?
The UU search for truth and meaning is made manifest in different ways. All of us, consciously or unconsciously, are searching for truth and meaning, for from these, purpose usually arises.
We all recognize our culture's broken-ness. The question is what can we as individuals and Unitarian Universalists do to change things and turn the world around?
Ms. Anderson, a persuasion trainer, discusses how the popular little book, The Secret, holds an important message for Uus
What does forgiveness mean to us, and how do we learn to forgive God, forgive others and perhaps most difficult, forgive ourselves?
UUA's first-ever Association Sunday. Development of our faith as well as our own personal development.
Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated to the world that nonviolent methods and Satyagraha (Holding to the Truth) can be used to bring about profound social change and lasting peace. Mr. Kothari is Founder of Mahatma Gandhi Library.
This sermon compares Theodore Parker, M. L. King, Gandhi, and Jesus.
Bren Hardt is the Peace with Justice Coordinator for the Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church
Fill in for Rev. Teri Massengale
An Old Fashioned Radio Show brought to you by the folks at WNWC radio featuring: Tom Parker as Strom Darker, private eye
Dance creates Peace within Ourselves, Peace in our Communities, and Peace in our World
creates Peace within Ourselves, Peace in our Communities, this as we Dance Together!
Dr. Carroll discusses these central truths of Buddhism & how they can transform our lives
Annual Service welcoming congregants & friends back from the summer & water service
Exploring the wonderful way music plays a role in UU traditions
Join Hallie Moore (half humanist, half believer in the Force) to ponder the seriousness of these thoughts together
Exploration of dictates & dangers of conservatism & literalistic viewpoints of religion
A glimpse into the teachings of the Baha'I faith
w/ Bennie Grezlik: Dialogue between the God of the Old Testament & a new, improved model
Think about the UU dedication to diversity, prejudice and what we mean by "acceptance"
Conversational service discussing topic of the day
Summer urges us to grow - it is the season of fullness & productivity on the earth.
Fathers Day: Patti & Bob Pryor discuss how the "Father" figure in the family can be an instrument of support & healing to the child.
Spiritual truths that we can draw on during our most challenging nights of the soul
Several speakers sharing thoughts & experiences about the Welcoming Congregation workshops
Celebrating nature' extravagance & humanity's oneness
Celebrate the continuing spiral of our children's Religious Education
Motherhood - the largest sorority in the world. Celebrate the sisterhood it engenders.
How pagan beliefs & rituals relate to the seven principles of Unitarianism
Balancing pressures from many different & often conflicting aspects of our world-inner & outer. Creative juggling, different ways of approaching & definng reality.
Strategies for using love as a guiding priciple in our lives
Rev. Medlin talks about loving & living life to the fullest & medical ethics related to "dying with dignity."
Celebrate Easter! What we can glean from this miraculous story of death & resurrection
Were Frodo & Gandalf among the first Unitarians? Frodo's Fellowship used many UU traits to cope, traits that can supply us with comfort, direction, beauty, and even fun as we work towards a better world
The role of idealism in world where things don't always seem so hopeful
How UU Faith brings balance to ourselves & community, nation & world
Eclectic mix of contemporary singer-songwriter material w/ influences of classical, Celtic, folk/rock, PDQ Bach, & a touch of street theatre
Is all the freedom we enjoy really free of charge?
This discussion presented by three members of our church. We will be challenging the stereotype of the atheist and learning how atheists can have a moral grounding and look for meaning in life as well as having a sense of the sacred. Various scenarios regarding this topic will be explored offering different perspectives.
What would it take to move from fear ruling our lives to love ruling our lives? Too often fear keeps us from becoming our best selves. It keeps us from loving others. It keeps us from being a healing force in the world. Inspired by Nelson Mandela and the work of The New Warrior Training, psychotherapist and author Patti Henry will share thoughts on why it is essential that love triumph -- and how we can make that happen.
Noted Unitarian Rev. A. Powell Davies once said, "When we see our own grotesqueries, how quaint we are, how droll our ambitions are, how comical we are in almost all aspects, we automatically become more sane, less self-centered, more humble, more wholesome. To laugh at ourselves, we have to stand outside ourselves - and that is an immense benefit."
grotesqueries, how quaint we are, how droll our ambitions are, how comical we are in almost all aspects, we automatically become more sane, less self-centered, more humble, more wholesome. To laugh at ourselves, we have to stand outside ourselves - and that is an immense Noted Unitarian Rev. A. Powell Davies once said, "When we see our own grotesqueries, how quaint we are, how droll our ambitions are, how comical we are in almost all aspects, we automatically become more sane, less self-centered, more humble, more wholesome. To laugh at ourselves, we have to stand outside ourselves - and that is an immense Noted Unitarian Rev. A. Powell Davies once said, "When we see our own grotesqueries, how quaint we are, how droll our ambitions are, how comical we are in almost all aspects, we automatically become more sane, less self-centered, more humble, more wholesome.
By becoming a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, I asserted my right to search for my own truth, to take responsibility for my actions, and to control my own destiny.
Congregational Mtg. w/ Dr. Karin A. Klieman: Eradicating World Poverty: What Can I Do As Only One? We are pleased to have Dr. Klieman, Associate Professor (Africa) from the University of Houston
Houston as our speaker. Associate Professor(Africa) from the University of Houston as our speaker.
The theme of "Peace and Living Together" in Islam and its Holy book Qur'an
Encouraging us to get out of our denials and into integrity
Conversation and Coffee in am; traditional Christmas service in pm
RE Holiday performance following service
Congregational meeting following service
A sermon about when your child tells you he is gay
Embrace the new canvas you face each morning
Life in Russia can be hard, but religion has helped the people to survive even the darkest times
We all do such a wonderful job of hiding our imperfections. We hide bulges, bumps, and wrinkles behind the latest fads. We hide our clutter behind closet doors and entire garages. We hide our feelings behind elaborate masks. But what are we missing? What have we lost, buried under so many layers? Come, take your seat, and learn how our imperfections can change the world!
What is personal responsibility for a UU and how can we use it to live an authentic life filled with UU values?
Figuring out difficult relationships
A time to remember cycles, seasons, and the inevitability of change
The hurried life so many of us are trapped in
In this annual service, we welcome congregants and friends back from the summer and mark the beginning of the religious education year. Please bring your actual or symbolic sacred water collections from your summer travels to contribute to the water ceremony that is part of this traditional service.
Spirituality is such an elusive term, taking on meanings that reflect the proclivity of each individual. For me, a large part of spirituality is our connection with the often difficult-to-articulate values, meanings and visions of our mortal lives. Attempting such articulation is an important part of our spirituality, as are the sermons we prepare and to which we listen.
For the Christian it is living a Christ-like life. In Islam it is showing complete surrender to Allah. In Buddhism it is outwardly living by the 10 precepts. Living your faith by example, a UU-like life, can save the world and grow our church.
How can UUs reconcile that within their congregations some members believe in destiny/predetermination, while others do not? Are coincidences just that?
Songwriting as a Spiritual Path
Summary: In this sermon you will hear an important UU message about fathers and the non-material gifts they bring. All fathers and father figures welcome, as well as their networks of nurturees.
Bio: Rob, a member of this church, serves as Chair of the Membership committee and is active in many other roles within our congregation. His career has included stints as a member of the military, a musician, a photographer, and a journalist. He is the father of Heather, who attends our middle school R.E. class.
What path brought you to this church, as a member or as a friend? This Sunday you will hear about the spiritual journey of two people in our church community. Dan and Angie began their spiritual paths growing up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon faith.
Our Music Fellowship Covenant Group will be playing prelude and postlude on June 11.
Ways of hearing and relationship exist which are beyond human voice and presence. If we limit our reality to the concrete and human, our outlook may become grim. When we expand our circle, a vastness is opened.
Rev. Chuck Freeman shares the Austin Live Oak UU Church ministry team with the Rev. Kathleen Ellis. Like many ministers of Unitarian Universalist churches, Chuck was ordained in another faith; however, he took all the classes and passed the exam to at last attain the rank of preliminary fellowshipped UU minister. In late June of 2000, he marched at the General Assembly, got his official certificate, and completed the final leg of his journey to UU ministerhood. Chuck has a radio show, Soul Talk, live on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin on Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. You can find it on the Internet and listen to the program live on streaming audio.
What do you think about the war in Iraq? What do you think about war in general? On this Sunday before Memorial Day Woody Forrieter will talk about achieving peace in your lifetime. Prediction: No weapons of mass destruction will be found in this sermon
Join us for an intergenerational celebration--remembering the year, honoring our RE teachers, and bridging our students on to the next level in their religious explorations.
All moms and people who have had moms are invited today to explore birth stories, the wisdom of mom, and how much the world is in need of mothering. Please join Liz Steele and Patti Henry in looking at using female energy and intuition to heal the world. Hats and gloves are welcome.
Our church has been growing! Come hear about signs of congregational growth transition, theories of conflict, and methods for navigating change and conflict.
NWCUUC Youth: What Do We Actually Worship After the Call to Worship
Earth Day and Native American Spirituality
Don’t miss this Sunday with environmentally correct contractor Cath Conlon -- who builds using no carcinogens -- and hear the good news that is happening around the globe to save the earth.
A dynamic, passionate speaker, Cath Conlon, is an active member and supporter of the Bioneers, plus the owner of the Blackwood Land Institute where thousands of students come to study the land each year. Find out what you can do to think globally and act locally!
Sermon by Rev. Mike Morran
Why is so much time, energy, and effort directed by the far Christian Right organizations and many of their deeply conservative politician associates to keep gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons in permanent secondclass citizen status? Learn about some of the common Biblical quotations used in the discussion, and how to respond from a liberal religious point of view. Chris McCarthy will deliver a sermon by Rev. Mike Morran given to the First Unitarian Church of Denver, Colorado, October 19, 2003.
Come hear about more ways of achieving peace in your life. Cheryl Perry has studied yoga and meditation for 14 years. She is currently a student of Human Development at the University of Houston and a part-time yoga teacher.
William Ellery Channing is often called the "father of Unitarianism", and yet his theological beliefs were quite different than that of many UU’s today. Does Channing have influence on modern Unitarian Universalism? We will explore how the example of Channing is the inspiration for how we Unitarian Universalists conduct Social Action and Social Witness.
David Pyle is the Administrator of the UU Fellowship of Galveston County. A UU Seminary Student at the Meadville Lombard Theological School, David plans to return to the U.S. Army as a UU Military Chaplain. While on Active Duty, David served in Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, and Bosnia. He holds a Bachelors degree from East Tennessee State University in History and Political Science, and is active in social witness in Galveston.
For more than 30 years Anne Feeney has made a career of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. As an activist, an attorney, a writer, a songwriter and a mother, she has spent her life on the frontlines. She will share what keeps her going - her inspirations and motivators.
From Anne’s website, www.annefeeney.com: I’m an activist, organizer, songwriter, folksinger, troublemaker and hell raiser from Pittsburgh, PA. I graduated from high school in 1968 and worked for a year to save up enough money to buy the beautiful Martin D-28 guitar that I still play. The Vietnam war and the Civil Rights Movement shaped my conscience and consciousness. I worked for a dozen years or so as a trial attorney and I have two great kids, Dan and Amy Berlin.
Now, I’m on the road 200+ days a year... all over the US and Canada, and more recently, Sweden and Denmark. If you’re on strike, or in an organizing drive, or doing community organizing for women’s rights, the environment, human rights, anti-poverty or anti-racist work, I want to be there. The most current news about what I’ve been up to is on my blog (http://fellow-travelers-advisory.blogspot.com).
Reviews: "Anne Feeney is the best labor singer in North America." - Utah Phillips
"If I had a cause - and who doesn’t? - I’d want Anne Feeney singing for me." - Stephen Ide, Dirty Linen Magazine
"Congratulations on your fine songwriting!" - Pete Seeger
"Anne is a role model for us. She has lived her songs." - Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary)
For some people, one of the most difficult things to realize is that everything in our lives is temporary, from the struggles, adversity and sadness in our lives, to our successes, triumphs and joy. In embracing this concept, we can discover a sense of comfort, humility, and, hopefully, contentment and balance.
Rob, a member of this church, serves as Chair of the Membership committee. His career has included stints as a member of the military, a musician, a photographer, and a journalist. He is the father of Heather, who attends our middle school R.E. class.
Recently, several members and friends of our beloved congregation have developed health challenges. Perhaps you or a loved one in your circle may also be dealing with a health problem. We have enjoyed sermons on the power of meditation and mindfulness in healing. In this service, learn about how you can help yourself and others with some other powerful yet surprisingly simple acts.
Patti Henry, psychotherapist and marriage counselor, is a member of this church, active in many roles, and is the author of The Emotionally Unavailable Man, a Blueprint for Healing. She has delivered numerous sermons at this church.
As a small (but growing!) lay-led community, we are often asked to help with the running of our church. We need volunteers to do this and that, committee members and chairs. And have you purchased the latest whatnot? It can be overwhelming at times. But this church also has a lot to fill you back up. Want to know more? Come and take your seat. Tracy Cook has been a member of this church for 2 years. She is married and has two sons. She is an elementary school teacher. She likes to read, coo, and eat.
Northwest Community UU Church is exploring becoming a welcoming congregation. We are vibrant, and outgoing. Most of us are interested in growing the church, and many are heavily invested in growing our UU faith. All of these ideas start with us being a friendly place for others to experience. In a word, welcoming. So, are we welcoming? We need to decide what exactly welcoming means to NWCUUC before we can determine whether we in fact are. Then we need to find out how to become more welcoming. Only then can we reach our full potential.
Ron Bosch is a fun, smart, and caring fat guy. He has four kids who are amazingly well adjusted, considering they have lived with him for their whole lives. He has an amazing, talented, beautiful wife who thinks she is none of those things. Ron works as a Development Chemist for an oilfield chemical company, and spent twelve years in the U.S. Navy on Nuclear Subs and in Law Enforcement. He has been a UU for 5 years after taking a decade to recover from a bout of lukewarm fundamentalism.
Dr. Kalia identifies the seeds of our current beliefs in the Universalism and Unitarianism of 200 years ago, takes stock of where we are today, and attempts to define our future path.
Alok Kalia, MD is Director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He is a member of the Bay Area UU Church where he has served on the Board of Directors and chaired the Committee on Ministry and the Community Service Committee. He considers himself a Hindu and feels very much at home in the UU environment.
We live in one of the most violent cultures on earth. How do the attitudes of a violent culture affect us and in what ways can we remain at peace with ourselves and others? Learn some useful methods that we can use to bring the yogic concept of ahimsa (non-harming) into our troubled world and apply it to our daily lives.
Cheryl Perry has studied yoga and meditation for 14 years. She is currently a student of Human Development at the University of Houston and a part-time yoga teacher.
Rita & Bil Cusack did this service
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Lucia Bettler - For centuries, Advent has been a time of spiritual reflection as well as cheer and anticipation
Growth Choices vs. Fear Choices
For Those Who Find the Journey as Important as the Destination
First of two sermons on the aborigines worldview
Prayer as a spiritual connection to all that is sacred and holy in our lives
A frank and provocative talk about taboos
Author of "Walk Like A Man: A family's walk with Clay and his walk with being gay and living with AIDS"
RE Coordinator, Teacher & Students
Rev. Liz Brown
Celebrating our children moving from one grade to the next