Give Them Not Hell

A Time for All Ages John Murray and The Winds of Change by Christy Olson and Jessica York Sermon True or false: In April of 1775, Paul Revere rode through the streets from Boston to Lexington yelling “The British Are Coming”. True or false: The Declaration of Independence was signed by everyone on July 4, …

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Shifting the Narrative

Back in the mid 1980s, I moved to North Carolina. Now if you’ve ever lived in North Carolina, you know that the most important question is not “what’s your name” or “what do you do for a living” – it’s “What college basketball team do you support?” Because my friends were graduates of NC State …

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Holey, Holy, Wholly

People find wisdom in a variety of places – folk tales, sacred texts, nature, the words of prophetic people, music. I add to that list popular culture – specifically, movies and tv shows – in particular, those I find well written and which speak to something deeper than entertainment: Star Trek, M*A*S*H, and of course, …

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Scoundrels

This is not the sermon I had planned to deliver today. My plan was much more light hearted – talking about some of our most prized notables in our Unitarian Universalist history and their scoundrel nature – the mean nurse, the secessionist senator, the huckster showman, the tattletale pastor, the murderous daughter, the philandering minister. …

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At Sixes and Sevens

I love words – I am always on the lookout for a particularly elegant word or turn of phrase, and I like being able to use words well. So it sets my teeth on edge when I am unable to find the right word for something. I search and search my brain, but the word …

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The Greatest Story Ever Told

When I was a kid, along with A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the TV lineup would include the movie The Greatest Story Ever Told. It wasn’t my favorite of these sweeping Hollywood Bible epics – I much preferred the big arms of Charlton Heston in the Ten Commandments or …

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Thus Do We Covenant

When I submitted the week’s topic last month, Covenant seemed like a good, fairly neutral way to explore our faith and our relationship to one another. It seemed like a good discussion to have as we embark on the new church year. And then last week, the bad news started pouring in. Another in a …

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A Mother’s Day for All of Us

Unitarian Universalists are great spin doctors. What I mean is that Unitarian Universalists are very good at redeeming holidays and holy days. On Christmas, religious educator Sophia Lyon Fahs reminds us that “each night a child is born is a holy night.” Easter becomes not just a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, but of the resurrection …

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With Childlike Wonder

Let’s imagine together. It is a cold night as you bundle up in a winter coat, or maybe a thick comforter, with layers of socks under your shoes, and mittens on your hands. You may be alone, or you may be with someone else; let’s imagine your favorite person is also bundling up like you …

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Eat More Pie

About twelve years ago, I spent a long January weekend on Topsail Island, North Carolina, at a spiritual retreat. Twelve relative strangers came together in a large beach house to listen, pray, meditate, share, and explore our connections to the Divine.  One of our leaders, Donald Engstrom, was a big bear of a guy with …

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Standing On Our Heads

Betina was exhausted. As a beat cop in a small town, she had spent her day answering a series of difficult calls – domestic disturbances, a bar fight, and a car chase over a broken tail light. All she wanted to do was go home, take a bath, snuggle her kids, and watch American Idol. …

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Singing About God: Part Two – The Immanent

 Listen here. Last week, we started cobbling together our own universal translators. Unlike the Star Trek universe that Gene Roddenberry created, we aren’t equipped to automatically understand the many different languages of many cultures, and even if we were, we wouldn’t always know what people really meant. What we know is that real communication relies …

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