Sermons

Begin Again

By Rev. Leah Hart-Landsberg, opening words by Fellowship Member Jaclyn Kottman

Looking inward and letting go are universal themes that can interpreted in many ways. Two lifelong Jewish Unitarian Universalists (Rev. Leah and Fellowship member Jaclyn Kottman) invite you to explore these themes through a UU take on the Jewish High Holy Days traditions. This service is for people with Jewish backgrounds and non-Jews alike, and will end with sharing the sweet traditional snack of apples, honey, and challah (bread).

The Pleasure of Your Company

by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz

A real conversation always contains an invitation.” – David Whyte
The invitation into conversation can be offered and received in so many ways in the society in which we live. This sermon will explore the intersection of both the Fellowship’s monthly theme of Invitation and West Shore UU Church (Cleveland) theme which asks Do I know how to have a real conversation? What is a real conversation, anyway – and how do we issue the invitation to one another to engage as people of integrity and faith?

Dancing in Faith

by Rev. Janne Eller-Isaacs

The Fox Valley congregation is in the midst of a great transition. It is a good time to reflect up how we approach change and those times of being “in between” what has been and what will be? Janne will address this very human challenge which is constantly unfolding in our lives, but particularly for the Fox Valley congregation this year.

Janne Eller-Isaacs currently serves as co-minister, with her husband Rob, at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously they served the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, California for many years. Janne is a born and bred Unitarian, having been raised in large congregations, lay led fellowships and mid-sized congregations. Janne has held numerous volunteer positions within Unitarian Universalism. Currently she serves as one of the Ministerial Settlement Reps in our association. She will be serving the Fox Valley congregation in this capacity as well as being a support team member of the group serving the congregation in this year of transition. She and Rob are the proud parents of three children and are very happy grandparents of one perfect grandchild.

Good Orderly Directions

by Mark Marnocha

Whether it be the compass or the Medicine Wheel, we look to cardinal directions and core values as our life rolls on. Crossroads and ceremonies alter the flow of time, and may provoke pain or ignite inspiration. In our travels we will likely become lost and overwhelmed, yet may find intense flow and energy in the most simple insight or comforting touch. Let’s look at some signposts, some directions, and the farther horizons of our lives, honoring roots in world religions, our elders’ gifts, and the weather this morning….. Namaste.

Walking Together

by Transitional Consulting Ministers Rev. Kathleen Rolenz and Rev. Dr. Wayne Arnason

The Old Testament Prophet Amos once asked a question that has become central to UU congregations –“Can two walk together except they be agreed?” What has made “walking together” possible, even when we don’t agree on every element of our spiritual beliefs or our fellowship’s priorities, has been the covenants we have made. Our new lead ministers will introduce themselves, and reflect on the covenant we are making with them, and with each other, in the year ahead.

Animal Blessing

by Rev. Leah Hart-Landsberg

In our world today, animals can be pets, service companions, sources of sustenance in various ways or even members of our families. They bless us with their presence and deserve, in turn, to be blessed with our gratitude. You and your animal friends (stuffed toys welcome too) are warmly invited to attend this service, which will include some great Shel Silverstein poetry about animals!

Secret Teachings of the 12 Steps

by David Dodd

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are a powerful spiritual practice that have improved the lives of alcoholics and other addicts for decades. David Dodd, an alcoholic and drug addict with more than 25 years of recovery, will discuss how these steps have worked for him and can be of benefit to anyone seeking to live a more meaningful, engaged life.

Shining Light on Shame

by Rev. Karon Sandberg

All of us carry things we are ashamed of. Many of us have suffered trauma, some of us have smaller aggressions that have occurred to us. Shame, at any level, shapes us and whispers things to us that may not be true. We give shame power when we keep those things hidden in the dark. What would happen if we dragged it out into the light?

Laying Down the Robe

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

This service will explore and ritualize Roger’s journey from being our minister for nearly twenty-five years to becoming one of our former ministers.

Song: “Laying Down the Robe” written by B Alford, performed by B Alford and Erik Leveille

Places in the Heart (Flower Communion)

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

Roger doesn’t remember a lot about “Places in the Heart” other than the 1984 movie’s ending: a communion service in a small town Texas church. We gradually realize that the service is attended by characters living and dead, wronged and wrong-doers alike. Roger often finds himself remembering that scene of hope and reconciliation when we celebrate Flower Communion.