Sermons

Who Are You?

by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz

When we greet one another, we often ask “how are you?” but what we really want to know is “WHO” are you. How do you identify yourself? We’re told, on the one hand, that identity is a fact that we’re born with, on the other hand, we know that identiy is endlessly open to revision, adapation, and tranformation. At the deepest level of interaction, we want to know another and be truly known. This service will seek to answer the question: “Tell Me a Story about a Time When You Knew Exactly Who You Were.”

To Be Cured

by Rev. Leah Hart-Landsberg

When tragedy strikes someone we love, it can be hard to know how to respond. We might feel helpless to fix whatever happened, worried we’ll say the wrong thing or even concerned that the bereaved isn’t coping well. Spiritual teacher Louise Hay says that “grief is not a condition to be cured but a natural part of life” so let’s explore some essential practices and principles that we can use to accompany those who mourn. Join us if you have ever ached for someone when they have experienced loss…yet struggled to know quite what to do or say.

Resistance and Resilience

by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz

On this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, I’ll look at the legacy of President Obama’s legacy and his influence on the state of black America today. As we look ahead towards the inaguration of a new president, what are the strategies we must use to resist injustice and how do we develop the resilience to stay active and engaged for the next chapter of America’s life?

Hearing Voices

by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz

In ancient times, “hearing voices” was a sure sign of being chosen as a prophet. In contemporary times, it may indicate a mental health crisis. Yet, each one of us has a private soundtrack in our heads; a chorus of voices who, for better or worse, shape who we are and the decision we make. Which voices should we listen to and which ones should we ignore?

The Gift of Presence

by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children, our families and ourselves is the gift of being fully present for each moment of life. Why then is that the gift we find difficult to give? What’s so important about the next moment that we can’t live fully and completely in this one?

Waiting for a Miracle

by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz

Thomas Jefferson famous excised any mention of “miracles” from the Bible. Ralph Waldo Emerson rejected the notion of miracles apart from human agency. Yet, about 80% of Americans believe in miracles. How does science-minded Unitarian Universalism understand miracles and where, at the beginning of the holiday season, might we find them today?

The Mystery of our Pain

by Rev. Hope Engeseth
with Marla Mischler, Worship Leader

Reflections of a life’s journey of learning lessons from Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri when he wrote, “There are things that burn us now which turn golden when I am happy. Do you see the mystery of our pain?”

Living in the Cathedral of the World

by Rev. Kathleen C. Rolenz with John Newhall

In 2011, I found myself in one of the actual “cathedrals of the world,” a metaphor that Forrest Church has used in his books to describe our Universalist theology. Universalism believes there are many windows that reveal one light. I felt so alive in that sacred space and then I walked out the door into the city that surrounded it.

Divided We Stand

by Rev. Kathleen C. Rolenz

It’s just two days before a historic election when Americans are given a choice to vote for a candidate that best represents their values. It feels as if the country has never been more divided by issues of race, class, citizenship and what it means to be an American. While enduring the rhetoric around this election season has been painful, it has also brought into sharp relief the values of a nation that are worth voting for. No coincidentally, the theme for this month is “Tell me a story about a time when you felt most alive.” Certainly the month of November will be such a time!