Sermons

The Gratitude Grinch

by Rev. Leah Hart-Landsberg

At this time of year it seems like all corners of the world are pushing gratitude as the solution to any problem imaginable. Does it ever grate on your nerves, just a little? Enforced gratitude can backfire, making us feel ashamed that we’re not sublimely happy about everything all the time.

The Arrival of Grace

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

Our theme for November is grace. To me grace is a gift that I didn’t earn, and don’t even necessarily deserve. By definition, gifts of grace are beyond my control. But while I can’t make them happen, I can try to be open to them and make my life a fertile field where they might happen more often than less often. And I can can at the least pay attention and be aware of them when they do happen.

Letting Go

By Rev. Michael Schuler

Many of us feel a deep-seated need to exert control over our surroundings and circumstances. And indeed, it can be painful and even frightening to admit that in certain key respects we are not in a position to call the shots. From a psychological standpoint, holding on seems to be our default position. Letting go is harder, but sometimes it is precisely the right solution.

Rev. Michael A. Schuler has served for twenty-six years as the Parish Minister of the First Unitarian Society of Madison. He is the author of various essays in Dharma World and UU World magazines and the book Making the Good Life Last: Four Keys to Sustainable Living. He is a life-long distance runner who also practices t’ai chi and yoga.

Saying Goodbye

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

As I announced last spring, I will be leaving the Fellowship next summer, just short of my twenty-fifth anniversary here. It’s no exaggeration to say that this whole year is one of leave-taking and saying goodbye. In this sermon I’ll explore what this might mean–for you and for me–and how we might do this well.

Going on a Quest

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

One of the central concepts in my spirituality is pilgrimage. I’ve preached about this before and want a last crack at it here. I’ll particularly focus on a variety of pilgrimages I undertook during my sabbatical last fall–from visiting the prison cell in Transylvania where one of the founders of Unitarianism died to the sacred abbey on the isle of Iona in Scotland to Strawberry Fields in Liverpool.

Cultivating a Culture of Risk

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

Anne Lamott writes that when we stay we are, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die. To live life fully, we need to get skilled at taking risks. I’ll explore how we might do this–as individuals and as part of a spiritual community.

Lessons from Matisse

Rev. Leah Hart-Landsberg

Impressionism is often credited with presenting “a different way of seeing.” French master Henri Matisse, known especially for his paintings and sculpture, remains one of the most highly regarded artists of this period. Some Fellowship folks met up to experience the Paine Art Center exhibit of his lesser-known prints and contribute to this service, where we will highlight some lessons we might learn from considering his life and work.

Why I’m Praying More

by Rev. Roger Bertschausen

I’ve never believed less in a God who gives us what we pray for than I do now. After praying for rescue when in a pinch (let’s say a turbulent airplane ride) for most of my life, now I find that I don’t really do that anymore. Yet I am more drawn to prayer than ever. What’s going on?