Sunday Sermons


 

November 03, 2019: When asked what he thought the afterlife would be like, the sage of Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau answered, “I’m taking it one world at a time.” As we explore how we relate to our inevitable finitude, we’ll consider how we might live deliberately in a somewhat random world without over-attachment to the past or a sense of anxiety or over-expectation about the future. Isn’t living deliberately in the one tangible world we have challenging enough for us humans?.

“Taking it One World at A Time”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

 

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”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

 

October 13, 2019: In his masterwork, Walden, Henry David Thoreau explained that he “went to the woods to live deliberately.” In this sermon to mark Indigenous People’s Day, we’ll explore what it might mean to live in a deliberate and conscious relationship with the sacred natural world. How do we and can we help Nature thrive and protect it through our activism and through our stewardship, as we walk in step with the heartbeat of trees?

“The Heartbeat of Trees”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

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”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

 

September 29, 2019: The Days of Awe between the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur offer us all (Jewish or not) a yearly opportunity to reflect, consider our righteousness and our missteps, seek and offer forgiveness, and venture forth again in a positive, healing direction. Metaphorically, these days could be seen as a semi-colon; the juncture where one could choose to end a sentence, but decides instead to continue the story because there is more to say. We’ll explore, from a spiritual perspective, the ways in which a semi-colon is not a full stop, but rather a moment to pause, reckon, and reinvest in relationships, integrity, goodness, community, and life itself.

“A Semi-Colon is No Place to Stay”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

 

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”

Andy Hogg, Worship Associate

Download the Sermon Transcript

 

September 15, 2019: You’ve seen them everywhere – at peace rallies and Pride marches, on the Arizona border and at the Mall of America, in our pulpit and on members of the choir, on our children and our elders, at General Assembly – those vivid gold T-shirt radiating the phrase: “Standing on the Side of Love” (SOTSOL) or more recently, “Side With Love.” How do we interpret this call to “side with love?” And what might it mean to be one of the “love people” in your personal and communal life, in your relationships and in your activism, especially beyond your comfort zones?

“Here Come the Love People”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

 

September 08, 2019: In the words of a colleague, “Autumn people slow down, enjoy a certain pace.” Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Most of us run around being bouncy Spring people year-round and 24/7, not looking very closely at much except our watches and our smartphones. Can you “remember the kind of September that’s slow and oh-so-mellow,” and if so, would you (could you) follow? Do you value rest? As we settle into Fall as a congregation, we’ll explore ways we might join the ranks of Autumn people in a sped-up, over-stuffed world.

“Autumn People”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

 

August 25, 2019:  Some pundits quip that UUs either address their prayers “to whom it may concern,” or pray at most to one carefully curated God whom we consider on-call. I believe these self-effacing jokes and overly harsh critiques sell us UUs far short of who we are (historically and currently) and what we yearn for in our spiritual lives. This morning, we will explore the practice of “prayer” and how engaging in some form of this practice (whether it be spoken, silent meditation, Kirtan chanting, forest bathing, or sung Taize) requires us (like everything else about being a UU) to define our terms and explore the personal truth and meaning we might derive from it. Does prayer improve our health, as some researchers argue? How might “prayer” support us individually and communally? Come answer a hearty “Amen” to the possibilities.

“The Voice of Deep Down Things: Considering ‘Prayer'”

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker

Download the Sermon Transcript

 


 

August 11, 2019:  In the age of Facebook, Twitter, tribal politics, and gated communities, what does it mean these days to be neighborly and connected? What inspiring examples have popped up recently to remind us that we are all interconnected whether we realize it or not? Are we actively grateful for the connections we currently have? As she settles into our neighborhood, Rev. Robin will explore how we might grow in neighborliness, reach beyond our comfort zones to create community in a society where more and more folks are “home alone.”

“Like Pearls on a Silken Cord”

Rev Robin Landerman Zucker

Watch the Video

Download the Sermon Transcript


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.

“Higher Education and the Environmental Crisis” by Marcus Ford

Mark James, Worship Associate

Watch the Video


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.

“Trust, Vulnerability, and Freedom”

Nancy Paxton, Worship Associate

Watch the Video


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.

“Planting Gardens and New Beginnings”

Rebecca Riggs, Guest Speaker

Watch the Video

 


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”

Tom Begush, Guest Speaker

Watch the Video

Download the Sermon Transcript

 


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.

“Interspirituality, Mysticism, and Everyday Life”

Char Tarashanti, Worship Associate

Watch the Video


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.

Poetry Service

Nancy Paxton and Jack Doggett, Worship Associates

Watch the Video