You can view Beacon’s recorded services at our YouTube Channel:  “Beacon UUC”

“Dress Up, Drag and Deadly Politics”

Drag has always been political, as far back as Biblical times and Shakespearean theatre. But today there is a real and present danger to the LGBTQ community and to those who express an identity through Drag. The ACLU, among others, now offers seminars on topics such as “Drag in Trump’s America.” More and more states are passing heinous laws criminalizing or curbing the presentation of Drag in nightclubs, libraries, and the public square. The President of Flagstaff Pride, Deb Taylor, will be with us as we explore our role as active resistors to this trend and how Beacon UU can engender and sustain a safe space for all identities as a “welcoming congregation.” Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with Worship Associate Lise Breakey. Music from Austin Shaw and Kim Angelo.

Dress Up, Drag and Deadly Politics (pdf)

“Chasing Immortality: Would You Want to Live Forever?” – Memorial Weekend Service

We live in a death-phobic, youth seeking culture. From anti-aging face serums to cryogenics to theologies of eternal life to potential AI technologies that could keep the brain alive indefinitely, humans have chased immortality despite the enduring reality: If you are human, your life is finite. Given this immutable fact (at least in 2023) how might we chase worthy goals such as right relationship and right action in our individual and communal spheres to leave an “immortal” legacy beyond death? And how would we even structure a human life if it didn’t have a beginning, middle, and end? Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Worship Associate Pia Driessen-Knittle. Special Latin musical selections from Andrez Alcazar and Austin Shaw. MEMORIAL ALTAR: Please bring a memento or photo that honors an ancestor. ANDREZ’s last service – come and wish him well as he departs for his next chapter as a music educator.

Chasing Immortality (pdf)

“Climbing the Decision Tree”

With significant decisions in Beacon’s near future, we’ll explore the multi-layered process of how we make decisions. Is there a benchmark anymore for “good judgement,” and if so, what does that mean? We’ll explore a well-respected model called the “Decision Tree,” and edge out onto some of the branches of that tree that impact decision-making– ethics, morality, practicality, self-discipline, and the so-called “paradox of choice.” Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with Worship Associate Nancy Paxton. Music from Austin Shaw and Andrez Alcazar. Social Justice Witness from Frank Moraga of Coconino Children and Youth.

 Climbing the Decision Tree (pdf)

“Good Gifts Keep On Giving”

Many of us have been re- gifted a “keeper” item along the way (and yes, sometimes a clunker). Or, we’ve scored a treasure at a White Elephant or Yankee Holiday swap. Sometimes, good gifts do keep on giving, both the tangible and intangible kinds. As we launch our 2023-24 annual stewardship campaign, we’ll explore the enduring impact of the gifts we offer to our families, friends, our congregation, and the wider world. As we lean into abundance during this time of promise and transition, we’ll also consider the gifts that Beacon UU has bestowed on us and on the community, and how our grateful support of our beloved congregation allows those gifts to be renewed and amplified. Beacon is a “keeper” and we can keep it going strong as we keep on giving. Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Worship Associate Lise Breakey. Music from Andrez Alcazar and Austin Shaw.

Good Gifts Keep On Giving (pdf)

watch the Youtube recording:

“Hang A Thousand Ribbons:  The Legacy And Poetry Of Phillis Wheatley”

In honor of Black History Month, we’ll explore the complicated, tragic and triumphant story of Phillis Wheatley, an African-American, formerly enslaved young woman, who published a groundbreaking book of poetry in 1773. For decades, a white woman’s memoir shaped our understanding of America’s first Black poet. Recently, her legacy and her work has been rediscovered and un-whitewashed. Who tells our stories? Who tells the stories of African Americans in history? Selections of Wheatley’s poems will be read (with commentary) by Worship Associate and former NAU professor Nancy Paxton. Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching. Music from Austin Shaw and Andrez Alcazar.

Hang A Thousand Ribbons (pdf)

“What Haunts The Land? Supporting Native Sovereignty”

“What Haunts The Land? Supporting Native Sovereignty” Climate change. Environmental degradation. Poverty. Addiction. Forced relocation. Voter suppression. Cultural shaming. Government neglect and regulations. All of these factors haunt the lands of our indigenous neighbors. Especially in light of Beacon’s adoption of the 8th Principle, how can we be effective allies and advocates to the Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff (ICF) and other groups in supporting Native sovereignty and long overdue reparations? Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Cora Maxx-Phillips, Darrell Marks, and Robert Breunig from the ICF. Music from Austin Shaw and the Beacon Choir, under the direction of Andrez Alcazar.

What Haunts the Land? (pdf)


“Love Is The Enduring Force That Holds Us Together”

What does it mean to evolve as a religion in the modern world? This past year, the UUA has drafted Article II, which recasts our long-held Seven Principles and Six Sources as “Purposes and Covenants” such as Justice, Interdependence, and Generosity. The document begins with the words: “Love Is the Enduring Force That Holds Us Together.” For the first time, these overarching values within our progressive denomination include the words “beloved communities.” How might this new framework for Unitarian Universalism support and transform us in our individual spiritual journeys and as a congregation? Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with Worship Associate Pia Driessen-Knittle, and music from Austin Shaw and Andrez Alcazar. Social Justice Witness from Deborah Harris of the Southside Community Association.

Love Is the Enduring Force (pdf)

“Wear it On Your Sleeve”

In a time of death threats and divisive ideologies, what belief or conviction are you willing to proclaim on your clothing, bumper sticker, or home? What brave UU exemplars can show us the way? You are encouraged to wear a T-shirt, hat, pin or other item (or bring a banner or sign) that proclaims your Social Justice commitments.  During the service, Rev. Robin facilitates a talk back discussion, and members of the Social Justice Allies speak about their individual Social Justice passions.  Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with Worship Associate Pia Driessen-Knittle, and music from Austin Shaw.

Wear It On Your Sleeve (pdf)

“The Voice Break Choir and the Crossroads of Puberty”
In honor of our OWL sexuality education program and in celebration of PRIDE, we explore the link between spiritualty and sexuality, and how Unitarian Universalism has nurtured a healthy and identity-affirming environment for youth and adults to honor themselves, their sexuality, and their relationships. Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with Worship Associate Lise Breakey, personal reflections, and music from Andrez Alcazar.

“The Three Faces of Eve”

We take a closer look at three distinct and interconnected faces of the Bible’s first acknowledged cis-gender female. They are the face of the temptress, the face of the wise woman goddess, and the face of the homemaker and mother – each offering us something valuable about women, even if we need to strip off the waxy build-up of misinterpretation, blame, misogyny and shame to find it. In an era of “Me Too” and gender fluidity, what can we learn from Eve’s story and the changing paradigms for women that have risen in her wake. Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Worship Associate Linda Ochi. Music from Bailey Cunningham and the Beacon Choir, under the direction of Jason Drahos.

Three Faces of Eve (pdf)


“Two Copper Coins: A Sermon Towards Effort”

In the Parable of the Widow’s Mite, an impoverished woman tosses two copper coins (“leptons” in Ancient parlance) into the Treasury. Is this meager or substantial? Can we applaud her contribution, or do we view it as insufficient? Is it enough to create a feeling of abundance and gratitude? This morning, in the midst of our Stewardship campaign, we will explore the topic of “effort” and how the attitude with which we toss in our two cents is worth its weight in gold.   Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with Worship Associate Mark James and music from Jason Drahos and Austin Shaw.

Two Copper Coins (pdf)


“Preaching Peace…in the Name of Humanity”

With destruction and casualties mounting in Ukraine, a ground war with grave global consequences, we’ll ask ourselves some questions this morning: why should we care about wars happening 1000s of miles from us, especially when we are compassion fatigued by COVID, domestic concerns, climate disasters, and local politics? What is our imperative to  activate our 6th principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all” and how can we do that? What is Non-Violent resistance, the third way between the outdated concept of “Just War” and pacifism, and is it viable against Russian tanks? A “talkback” style discussion will take place after the sermon. Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Worship Associate Cheryl Austin, and piano pieces from Austin Shaw.

Preaching Peace (pdf)


“Unjudge Someone”

 Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with recorded musical selections.

 In cities throughout the world, individuals are “checking out” real live people in a program called “Human Libraries.” The goal is to encourage us to engage with others in one-on-one conversations to break down stereotypes and the judgement that comes with focusing on the “cover” and not the “book.” What have participants gleaned from their Human Library encounters and what can we learn about why we judge others, sometimes just on the basis of how they look or our embedded scripts?

Watch the Youtube Recording

Unjudge Someone (pdf)


“Giving Birth to Justice: Preserving Reproductive Choice”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching, with recorded musical selections. 

On Jan 22, 1973, The US Supreme Court recognized the constitutional right to have an abortion. Since then, states have passed thousands of restrictions that make it much harder for a woman to exercise their reproductive choices. Most recently, Texas has pushed through laws that restrict access and even criminalize miscarriages. That is why today, and every day, we need to witness to and engage in reproductive justice, locally and nationally.

Watch the Youtube recording

Giving Birth to Justice: Preserving Reproductive Choice (pdf)


UU Soup: Season To Taste

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with recorded musical selections.

In Unitarian Universalism, our birthright or adopted tradition, I often wonder (even, fret) about the degree of communal memory or the level of familiarity with the UU “recipe.” Critics both inside and outside of our movement suggest that we are a smorgasbord of side dishes with no main course; a “salad bowl religion,” or worse, a twice-warmed Sunday supper of leftovers. In reality, I believe that we are a more akin to a soup base that has simmered for centuries, rich in its integrity, courage, and faithfulness. Just as the word “religion” itself implies a “binding together, ” our UU soup blends cabbage from Transylvania, sausage from Poland, corn from the Iowa Sisterhood, fine wine from the Enlightenment, and a meaty bone from the New Englanders. “Eat this in remembrance of me,” calls out Michael Servetus, William Ellery Channing, Olympia Brown. How shall we answer them as post-modern, open-minded freethinkers, as we mix in morsels from our own religious recipes?

Watch the Youtube recording

UU Soup: Season To Taste (pdf)


Faithful Democracy

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Worship Associate Andy Hogg. Music from Austin Shaw and the Beacon Choir, under the direction of Jason Drahos. 

With an uptick in voter suppression  and the American experiment more fragile than ever, it may be time to ask if tribalism, conspiracy theories, and extreme theologies  have corrupted the underpinnings of our nation. Can belief play a role in our democratic process in 2021, or have ideology and secularism replaced faith as the driving forces in politics? Is religion good for democracy? Our UUA General Assembly affirmed democracy as a vital but corrupted ideal in 2019. How do we “uncorrupt” democracy before it’s too late and ensure full access to voting in Arizona in the coming elections?

Faithful Democracy (PDF)

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Worship Associate Andy Hogg. Music from Austin Shaw and the Beacon Choir, under the direction of Jason Drahos. 


“Being A Good Relative” – A Special Service Honoring Indigenous People’s Day

Hosted by Rev. Robin Zucker, with Cora Maxx-Phillips, Annette McGivney, and Hilary Giovale.

Cora is a Navajo Nation Human Rights Commissioner and a member of the Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff.  Annette is the author of “Pure Land” and  the founder of the Healing Lands Project.  Hilary is a ninth generation settler who is committed to reparations:  All three speakers are deeply invested in truth and reconciliation, engendering respect and support for indigenous communities, and fighting for Native sovereignty.

Being A Good Relative (PDF)


I, The Creator!

Looking around our Beacon Sanctuary, you’re likely to think: “Wow, these artists are so creative.” And, yes, they surely are. However, creativity lives within each of us and extends beyond the visual, literary, or performing arts. In this service, Rev. Robin will explore where creativity originates, how it is sparked and unleashed, and how it can support us in our lives.

One of our newest members, Cheryl Austin, will also offer a personal reflection on the topic. Music from Jason Drahos and Austin Shaw.

I, The Creator! (PDF)


Returning To The Well

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching, with Worship Associate Nancy Paxton. Music from our new Choir Director Jason Drahos and Accompanist Andrew Attilio. 

Returning To The Well (PDF)


A Curious Bunch! The Answer Is To Question

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching with Worship Associate Pia Driessen-Knittle. Recorded music selections and videos.

One of the most popular UU bumper stickers states “The answer is to question.” We are an inherently curious bunch. For decades, inquisitive researchers have been trying to figure out the science of our human “urge to know,” and to decipher the way in which questioning happens. They’ve discovered that what is unique about human beings is that at the heart of our DNA lies the necessity of freedom, the potential to become something not yet defined. This morning, we’ll explore the rewards and challenges in how we UUs embrace free inquiry over catechism. Rev. Robin will also answer some of your “burning questions” from the pulpit (materials will be provided, think of a burning question in advance, as possible).

A Curious Bunch! The Answer Is To Question (pdf)


Wishing Boats

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching with Worship Associate Andy Hogg.

As we move out of the heaviness of the last 16 months, do we still know how to engage in “wish-craft?” What is the difference between wishes and hopes and how might we recharge the rainbow connection of wishes, whimsey and summer’s simple firefly and shooting star magic?

Wishing Boats (pdf)


Pride Sunday: The Rainbow Fish Keeps Their Scales

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, with Alexei Besser-Gilbert and inspiring music from the Virtual UU Arizona Choir and other recorded selections.

In the classic story of The Rainbow Fish, the shimmering swimmer makes friends by sacrificing their coveted scales to be accepted by their underwater peers. Some stories just need a rewrite, and Topher Payne gives us the ideal version for PRIDE, in which the Rainbow Fish keeps what makes them special and unique, rather than bending to the pressure to become ordinary and diminishing themself for the comfort of others. As the Fabulous Catfish tells us: “There is room enough in the sea for each of us to be amazing in our own way.”

Watch the Youtube recording

The Rainbow Fish Keeps Their Scales (pdf)

Broken Hallelujah: The Theology of Leonard Cohen

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, in collaboration with Susannah Martin, Music Director at the Sedona UU Fellowship and members of that congregation.

He has been called a philosopher, a dark poet and a troubadour of truth for generations. Leonard Cohen, who died in 2016 at age 82, expressed a progressive theology with both Jewish and Christian dimensions in his sharply perceptive and heartfelt songs and poems about religion, politics, isolation, relationships, and community. In this service of music, spoken word pieces, silence, and reflection, we’ll explore the brokenness and the hope in Cohen’s enduring Hallelujahs.

Watch the Youtube recording


Learning To Be Rescuers 

 Sandra Lubarsky, Guest Speaker. Hosted by Rev. Robin, Music from Stephanie Galloway and recorded selections.

Stories of moral agency exercised in turbulent times can help us become the kinds of people we want to be and do the good work we want to do in a world that is fast approaching ecological chaos. As surely as we need to know about the material aspects of the state of the world, we need to cultivate what the writer Terry Tempest Williams calls “an active heart.” Though victims, perpetrators, and bystanders are the standard roles assumed by people caught up in terrible world events, they do not exhaust the possibilities. Some people take on the role of rescuer. We can learn to be them.

Watch the Youtube recording


Celebrating Life, Informed by Death

Mark James, preaching. Hosted by Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, with music from Stephanie Galloway and recorded selections.

As fellow travelers on this life journey, we are each charged with the challenge of preparing for our certain death. In gently holding that awareness, we may find a clearer appreciation for, and expression of, our living. This presentation explores how we might meet this event with intention and creativity.

Watch the Youtube recording


Inside The Red Tent: Wisdom Between Mothers and Daughters

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching with Worship Associate Char Tarashanti.  Music from Stephanie Galloway  and recorded selections.

Since the dawn of humankind, mothers and daughters have shared wisdom, tensions, and a special bond of blood and tradition.  In this sermon for Mother’s Day,  Rev. Robin and Worship Associate Char Tarashanti  will explore, with humor and reverence, the deeply spiritual and complex relationship that exists between mothers (of all shapes and shadings, of womb and of heart) and their daughters.

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Inequality For All: The Immorality of The Wealth Gap In America

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching with Worship Associate Nancy Paxton. Music from Roomie Wood, Stephanie Galloway, and recorded selections. 

Why should we care about other people’s lack if we have plenty? In a society where the 1% and the 99% have become increasingly polarized and a callousness has set into our culture, we are urgently called (now more than ever) to co-create “fusion coalitions” to combat inequality of all types. The Rev. William Barber and his Poor People’s Campaign provides us with an effective model of “intersectionality” across race, gender identity, class, and faith divisions. As religious progressives, how might we join this moral revolution and intersect with others who are passionate about economic justice?

Inequality For All: The Immorality of The Wealth Gap In America (pdf)

Watch the Youtube recording


The Answer is “Everything!”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching, with Worship Associate Andy Hogg, and music from Roomie Wood, Stephanie Galloway, Kim Angelo and Gabe Hernandez. 

How do we move from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking when our lives feel stuck, we are ill or under duress, when we’ve been living a pandemic reality for 13 months, or the future looks bleak? In this sermon during the blossoming of Spring, we’ll explore with us the spiritual, physical and emotional benefits of answering “Everything” to the question: “What can I look forward to?”

The Answer is “Everything!” (pdf)

Watch the Youtube Recording


“Reading Camus in the Time of COVID”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, preaching, with Worship Associate Pia Dreissen-Knittle.  Music from Roomie Wood, Stephanie Galloway, Gabriel Hernandez, and recorded selections.

In his classic, The Plague, written in 1947, Albert Camus laments: “How hard it must be to live only with what one knows and what one remembers, cut off from what one hopes for.” As we mark one year since we entered the COVID experience, we’ll explore what our pandemic tales teach us, what we’ve learned from being unexpectedly “alone, together,” and what we might now hope for and how our priorities may shift, as we enter a new phase of healing and re-entry. Our service will include a sermon, poems and songs of love grief and comfort.

Reading Camus in the time of Covid (pdf)

Watch the YouTube recording


“Love Me Like A Rock: A Sermon Towards Devotion”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching, with Worship Associate Kim Angelo. Music By Roomie Wood and Stephanie Galloway

Wirth Valentine’s Day upon us (heart-shaped candy boxes and all) we’ll explore what it might mean to be “devoted” to those we currently love and to those we might love in the future, especially in our “maybe-I-do” world.  Is “unconditional” love really possible between humans? And when it comes to those we have loved in the past, how might we strive (when possible) to remember the mile, savor it well, and allow this old love to inform us in most intimate connections.

Love Me Like A Rock (pdf)

Watch the YouTube recording


“Nevertheless, She Persisted (Esther and Kamala speak)” 

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching, with Worship Associate Nancy Paxton. Music By Roomie Wood and Stephanie Galloway

In the Purim story from Jewish tradition, Queen Esther risks her life to save her people. She does this by harnessing her courage and breaking her silence to speak a dangerous truth about her own identity. In this sermon following the inauguration of our new VP, Kamala Harris, we’ll connect Esther’s story to contemporary examples of confronting power abuses, including the Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and “I’m Speaking” movements. How might this “Bad Girl of the Bible,” among others, help us find our voices across racial and gender identities?

Watch the YouTube recording


“Shove Over!: A Sermon Towards Imperfection” 

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching With Worship Associate Linda Ochi. Music By Roomie Wood and Rebecca Prizznick.

New Year’s Resolution time! Again? How has the experience of 2020 changed our expectation of who we need to be in order to be “okay?” In this service, we’ll explore what it might mean to view our imperfections and “areas of improvement” with compassion, honesty, and humor, as we embrace the ever-evolving process of becoming fully a “Self.” Together, we’ll exalt (and even get a chuckle or two) from the wholly human, uninvited, and messy side of our blessedly imperfect lives.

Watch the YouTube recording


“Can We Make Merry in a Suffering Season? How Laughter Helps Us Endure”

 Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker Preaching with Worship Associate Char Tarashanti.   Music by Roomie Wood and Rebecca Prizznick.

December 6th, 2020: Some enlightened doctors and therapists have a prescription for helping us get through this demoralizing pandemic and a less than “ho-ho-ho” holiday season: Try a little laughter (a trait unique to humans). Surely, some things are just not funny. Yet, we can still find outlets to unleash the physical and psychological benefits of a good chuckle. Is it ok to crack a joke these days? Bring your sense of humor and find out.

Can We Make Merry in a Suffering Season? How Laughter Helps Us Endure (pdf)

Watch the YouTube recording


“Passages from India”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker preaching, with Worship Associate, Mark James.
Music from Rebecca Prizznick, and traditional Kirtan chanting from India.

October 18, 2020: “Memories, Morals, and Divali Lamps “The famed poet, Rabindranath Tagore reminds us that “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” Why do we travel and how do we grow from these journeys? In the sermon of reflections of her time in community in Jabalpur India in October 2018, Rev. Robin will share a journey of heart, spirit, and service. Oil lamps, surprises, joys, sorrows, and blessings await.

Watch the YouTube recording

“A Tale of Two Tattoos: A Sermon Towards Forgiveness For the Days of Awe”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker with Worship Associate Nancy Paxton, and music from Roomie Wood and Rebecca Prizznick. 

September 20, 2020:The Days of Awe, those ten days between Rosh Hashanah  (the Jewish New Year on Sept. 19) and Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), offer each of us (Jewish or not) an opportunity  for  “teshuva,” or turning. But, turning does not come so easily. It takes an act of will for us to make a turn. It means breaking old habits. It means admitting that we have been wrong, and this can be challenging. It may mean losing face. It means starting all over again. And this can be painful. It means saying I am sorry and I forgive you. In a sermon wrapped around a poignant tale of redemption, we’ll explore the terrain of confession and forgiveness as The Book of Life opens again.


“Listening To Your Heart”

Andy Hogg

July 19, 2020: In these challenging times, it is especially important to listen to your heart. Dr. Andy Hogg will provide some practical information on how to listen to, and value, emotions. Our emotions tell us the meaning of the events of our lives. Our emotions can give us personal and spiritual guidance. Listening to your heart tells you what is true for you. The service also includes a telling of the classic story of The Little Prince and the fox.


Listening To Your Heart (pdf)

Watch the YouTube recording


“The Art of Meaning”

Rev. Kimberley Debus and Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

June 21, 2020: Art has power to move us and change our lives. But what is it about the arts? We’ll examine the ways viewing, performing, and making art helps us make sense of our lives, re-center our spirits, and energize our call to side with love.

Watch the YouTube recording


“We Will Make Them Feel Us: On Allyship to People of Color”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

June 7, 2020: The COVID-19 virus, the killing of George Floyd, dog whistle politics, deadly racism and tribalism, a nation in despair. What does it mean to be an “ally” to people of color in an America enflamed by fear, fury and division? We will listen humbly to their voices and reckon with the honest replies we hear within our own hearts and minds.

We Will Make Them Feel Us: On Allyship to People of Color (pdf)

Watch the YouTube recording

“Solitude and Grief in the Time of COVID”

 Worship Associate Mark James

May 31, 2020:  The challenges inherent in living through this time of Covid-19 demand sufficient time for solitude; time without human obligation. Wendell Berry declares this is best found in wild places. But refuge can also be found in quieting of the mind, in meditation. In these quiet spaces inner voices become audible. There, both joy and grief may reveal themselves and inform our compassion. Let’s visit them, both together and in solitude.

Watch the YouTube recording


“Truly, Madly, Deeply: Why Do We Work?

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

May 3, 2020: Whether it’s for a paycheck, to pursue a passion, or to fulfill one’s highest purpose, work consumes enormous swathes of our time, energy, and focus. It can make us feel alive, put food in our bellies, and it can wear us down to a nub. In this May Day sermon honoring our labors, from gritty, sweat-inducing toil to white-collared high-tech, we’ll explore the question: “Why Do We Work?,” especially in a societal context that applauds us for skipping out on hundreds of thousands of paid vacation days per year. How has our perception of work been altered and impacted by the coronavirus lockdown and loss of employment or workplace interaction? Come and ask yourself: “Why (and How) Do I (or Did I) Work?”

Truly, Madly, Deeply: Why Do We Work? (pdf)

Watch the YouTube recording

“We Are The Blue Boat Home”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

April 26, 2020: All across the planet, human beings are experiencing what some have called “The Great Pause.” As we shelter indoors, we read reports that skies are clear in Los Angeles, fish are visible in the canals of Venice, and wildlife are roaming freely in high-traffic National Parks (and in urban areas, too!). Even so, the climate crisis across the globe is not “healed” and the need for environmental stewardship remains as crucial as ever. In this service to celebrate Earth Day, we’ll explore how we can resist a return to “the ways things were” and build on the unexpected silver lining we’re witnessing now.

We Are The Blue Boat Home (pdf)

Watch the YouTube recording

“Unitarian Universalism as Jazz: Freedom within Form”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

October 20, 2019: Jazz is a different drummer’s kind of music and Unitarian Universalism is a different drummer’s kind of religion. In fact, the parallels between the two are quite remarkable. Both have evolved from more strident and orthodox forms, and both have been shaped by numerous sources. More than anything, though, Jazz and UUism are each deeply personal, in that they ask the participant to seek and create with both freedom and integrity within a fixed but flexible framework. This morning, we’ll explore how UUism is a “jazz religion,” with special music and readings that syncopate with the theme.

Unitarian Universalism as Jazz: Freedom within Form (pdf)


“Thank You for Being Such a Pain:

Spiritual Lessons We Learn from Difficult People”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

October 6, 2019: Whether we enjoy it or not, we learn valuable spiritual lessons from the difficult people in our lives – those whom we know and love, those we work with, attend church with, and those whom we encounter more randomly. This morning, we will explore the inherent presence of the “prickly” in our midst, how to discern whether we are, in fact, the “difficult” one for others, and how release, self regulation, and healthy congregational boundaries can be transformative for individuals and the communities they inhabit.

Thank You for Being Such a Pain: Spiritual Lessons We Learn from Difficult People (pdf)



Andy Hogg, Worship Associate

September 22, 2019: Intimacy should really be called into-me-see. It is something that we all want but it is difficult to hold in our hearts. Intimacy requires trust, tolerance, and relationship skills. We will explore intimacy as individuals, as couples, and as a congregation. We are an intimate congregation.

Into-me-see (pdf)


“Higher Education and the Environmental Crisis” 

Marcus Ford, Guest Speaker 

Mark James, Worship Associate

August 4, 2019:  It is widely assumed that more education is part of the solution to the environmental crisis. But what if the “solution” is part of the problem? The modern university is a complex institution, and parts of it, tiny parts of it, are committed to addressing the great existential problem known as the environmental crisis. Unfortunately, most of the university is pulling in the opposite direction. The world is being destroyed by highly educated people.

Watch the Video

“Trust, Vulnerability, and Freedom”

Nancy Paxton, Worship Associate

July 28, 2019: Nancy Paxton – How do you respond when someone betrays your trust? What are some positive ways to respond? Join us for a look back at “The Anatomy of Trust” workshops we held at Beacon last year and an update, including ideas from Brene Brown’s recent writing on vulnerability, courage, and freedom in our public and spiritual lives.

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“Planting Gardens and New Beginnings”

Rebecca Riggs, Guest Speaker

July 21, 2019 In a world of cycle and seasons that bring inevitable changes, we will explore how we respond to these new beginnings and new challenges.

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“The Spirituality of Being an Atheist”

Tom Begush, Guest Speaker

July 14, 2019: Unitarian-Universalists welcome all people interested in the search for truth. Join us for an exploration of religion and spirituality from one atheist’s point of view.

The Spirituality of Being an Atheist (pdf)

Watch the Video


“Interspirituality, Mysticism, and Everyday Life”

Char Tarashanti, Worship Associate

June 30, 2019: What is Interspirituality? How does it connect to Mysticism and what meaning do they bring to our UU understanding of religion and the world, and more specifically to our “ordinary” individual lives? So many questions! Some possible answers and a lot to think about as we live our lives day to day.

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Poetry Service

Nancy Paxton and Jack Doggett, Worship Associates

June 2, 2019: A service on poems about goodbyes. May is often full of goodbyes: to friends, to teachers; to home; to lovers who left you, to lovers you left; to fathers or mothers, uncles or aunts, whose time has come; to places you’ve loved; to dreams you have given up; to ideas about yourself that have held you back. May is also the month we say goodbye to Rev. Kevin Lawson; we hope this service will give you a chance to reflect and say goodbye.

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