Upcoming Sermons

July 24, 31 & August 2016

Sunday Services at 9:15 and 11:00 a.m., unless noted

July 24
"Rocking Chairs and Hot Air Balloons"
with Rev. Kent McKusick, UU Fellowship of Ames; Celebrant: Garrett McGuire

Whenever I return to my home state of Maine, I remember tall tales and folk stories my grandfather told, some of them even true!  His stories made me laugh, and many were passed from generation to generation.  Stories are frequently a reminder to not take ourselves too seriously, to find humor during the hard times, and that living in a caring community is more easily accomplished with a sense of humor. Story telling is a spiritual practice! 

July 31
with Rev. Jay Wolin, UU Congregation of the Quad Cities in Davenport, IA; Celebrant: Chris Paxson

In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and Everything” is 42. In multiple interviews, Adams has said it was a joke, and he just made up the number. My mind immediately jumped to this “Question” when I saw the Movie 42 a couple of years ago about the baseball player Jackie Robinson. I will explore the connections and its implication for our religion.

August 7
"Limits, Choice and Creativity"

 with Rev. Karen Mooney, UU Prison Ministries of Illinois; Celebrant: Elaine Imlau
I was once asked whether I would prefer an invisibility cloak or the ability to fly? Being a precocious teen I said both - the asker responded you must choose because it is not which you choose that makes the difference but how you make the choice. When do limits hold us back and when do they allow us to see the world in new ways? Lets explore together examples of how creative responses can be engaged when feel most limited.
Rev Karen Mooney is a community minister working with the UU Prison Ministries of Illinois. This newly formed group is bringing the hope-filled message about belief in every person's inherent worth and dignity to those incarcerated and returning to our communities.

August 14
"Temperamentally Unfit?"
with Rev. Mark Stringer; Celebrant: Terry Meek

Mark returns to the pulpit following his sabbatical with a meditation on what it means to be human as the world seems to be going awry.

August 21
"Living as We are Meant to Live"
with Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink, Minister of Membership and Adult Ministries at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis; Celebrant: Garrett McGuire

The poet Wendell Berry reminds us that the spiritual journey is not a journey of miles, but the journey of one inch "by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home." What would it look like to resist the cultural scripts and guidelines that are fed to us and learn to be at home in our lives and in our most authentic calling? Join us as we consider vocation, tenacity, and authenticity in the spiritual journey.
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink serves First Universalist Church of Minneapolis as Minister of Membership and Adult Ministries. A graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School, she has also served as a hospital chaplain in Charleston, South Carolina and the UU campus minister at the University of California at Davis.

August 28
"Faith for the 21st Century"
with Rev. Brian Eslinger, Community Minister

Religion is playing a major roll in many of the conflicts around the world and close to home. But are these nationalistic, divisive forms of religion all that faith has to offer in this new century? We will explore emerging attitudes about religion and what our Unitarian Universalist tradition might have to contribute to this discussion.