This page contains audio links, when available, to LCUUC's Sunday sermons in reverse-chronological order.
Click on a church year or search through the list below:
Click on a church year or search through the list below:
Sermons - 2017
2017-12-31 Shaw: Starting Over
2017-12-24 Shaw: A Child Is Born
2017-12-17 Rabbi-Brian: Rediscovering Hanukkah
2017-12-03 Shaw: Mawalid
2017-11-19 Shaw: All Good Gifts
2017-11-12 Sanders: Just As I Am
2017-11-05 Shaw: Sympathy for the devil
2017-10-29 Shaw: Samhain
2017-10-22 Shaw: All Saints n Sinners
2017-10-15 Santo: Anarchy And Morality
2017-10-08 Shaw: Making a Home
2017-10-01 Shaw: I'm Sorry
2017-09-24 Shaw: Flawless
2017-09-17 Shaw: Skin Deep and Soul Empty
2017-09-10 Andrews: Water Communion
2017-09-03 Shaw: Beautiful Community
2017-08-27 Shaw: Blessing of Animals
2017-08-20 Fackler / Bowden: Tolerance
2017-08-13 Shaw: Kind vs. Nice
2017-08-06 Shaw: Going to the Mountain
2017-07-23 Andrews: Acceptance
2017-07-16 Andrews: Care for the Soul
2017-06-11 Shaw: Freedom
2017-06-04 Shaw: Flower Communion
2017-05-28 Shaw: Memorial Day
2017-05-14 Shaw: Mothers Day
2017-04-16 Shaw: Easter - Rise Again
2017-03-19 Shaw: Watch With Me
2017-03-19 Shaw: Rubber Noses
2017-03-19 Shaw: Which World: Digital or Real
2017-03-05 Shaw: Get the Church Out of My Bed
2017-02-26 Shaw: Shephards and Wolves
2017-01-29 Shaw: The Weight of the Stole
2017-01-22 Shaw: Kindness
2017-01-15 Shaw: Are We Still Dreaming
2017-01-01 Shaw: We Begin Again in Love
Sermons - 2016
2016-12-25 Shaw: What Child is This
2016-12-24 Shaw: Christmas Eve
2016-12-04 Shaw: Ready For a Miracle
2016-11-20 Shaw: The Table is Set
2016-11-06 Shaw: Rise Up Singing
2016-10-30 Shaw: Day of the Dead
2016-10-16 Shaw: Surviving Below the Line
2016-10-09 Shaw: You Won't Break
2016-10-02 Shaw: Let There Be Light
2016-09-25 Andrews: The Truth That Does Not Set You Free
2016-09-11 Shaw: Water Communion
2016-06-05 Shaw: Flower Communion
2016-05-29 Shaw: We Remember
2016-05-15 Shaw: God’s Debris
2016-05-08 Shaw: Mothers of Courage, Daughters of Dust
2016-04-17 Shaw: Ritual
2016-04-10 Shaw: Drawing Down the Moon
2016-04-03 Shaw: Feast of Fools
2016-03-27 Shaw: On the Third Day
2016-03-20 Shaw: Party Like It’s Purim
2016-03-06 Shaw: Four Noble Truths and Some Great Big Lies
2016-02-28 Shaw: In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash
2016-02-14 Shaw: Love Changes Everything
2016-02-07 Mui: Let’s Talk about the Unspeakable
2016-01-31 Shaw: I Lift My Eyes
2016-01-24 Shaw: Pray for Peace, Fight for Justice
2016-01-17 Shaw: Martin Luther King
Sermons - 2015
2015-12-24 Shaw: O Holy Night
2015-12-20 Shaw: One Voice Was Heard
2015-12-06 Shaw: Little Miracles
2015-11-22 Shaw: Setting a Welcome Table
2015-11-15 Santo: A Loaded Word - God
2015-11-08 Shaw: We Are One
2015-11-01 Shaw: Day of the Dead
2015-10-25 Shaw: Ghosts
2015-10-18 Fackler: A None’s Guide to Building Your Own Religion
2015-10-11 Shaw: Circle Game
2015-09-27 Andrews: The Impatience of Job
2015-09-20 Shaw: Who Are You?
2015-09-13 Shaw: Come Out, Come out
2015-09-06 Shaw: 9 to 5 (re-recording)
2015-08-30 Shaw: Water Communion
2015-08-23 Shaw: Radical Hospitality
2015-08-16 Moraine: Things We Collect
2015-08-09 Shaw: Blessing of the Animals
2015-07-05 Andrews: Our Land
2015-06-14 Shaw: Sunny Side of Life
2015-06-07 Shaw: Deeds Not Creeds
2015-05-31 Shaw: Flower Communion
2015-05-24 Shaw: Memorial Day
2015-05-17 Shaw: Mother's Day
2015-05-3 Shaw: Happy
2015-04-12 Shaw: Passover
2015-04-05 Shaw: Alleluia - Easter
2015-03-29 Wolfgram: Black Lives Matter
2015-03-22 Shaw: Annunciation
2015-03-15 Shaw: The Wheel of the Year
2015-03-08 Moraine: Shake the Dust
2015-03-01 Shaw: Fund Raising and Ferengi: Everything I Needed to Know About Stewardship I Learned on Star Trek
2015-02-22 Shaw: Riding the Nian and Loving Yourself: Chinese New Year
2015-02-15 Shaw: Love the Hell Out Of the World
2015-01-25 Shaw: On the Road to Damascus
2015-01-18 Shaw: Martin Luther Kig Day
2015-01-11 Chard: Realistic Optimis
Sermons - 2014
2014-12-28 Shaw Pray for Peace
2014-12-21 Shaw Letting in the Light
2014-12-14 Shaw Candle in the Window
2014-11-09_Shaw_When Spirituality is Not Enough
2014-11-02_Shaw_Day of the Dead
2014-09-21_Shaw_Make a Joyful Noise
2014-09-14_Shaw_Being an Ally
Sermons - 2013
December 29: “Happiness - What It Is and How We Grow It”, Philip Chard
December 24: “Christmas Eve”, Rev. Amy Shaw
We will meet for a Christmas Eve service filled with love, candle light, and the glorious story of a star and a baby told over 2,000 years ago.
December 22: “A Morning Star Rises”, Rev. Amy Shaw
For each child that's born, a morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are. We are our grandmothers prayers, we are our grandfathers dreamings, we are the breath of the ancestors, we are the spirit of God. Sweet Honey in the Rock said it well when they recognized that each child is sacred, each holy. Though not many of us are born in a manger or visited by wise men bearing myrrh, we are all equally Divine. How do we learn to accept our own worth, and to understand our 5thPrinciple, the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large, as an extension of that personal Divinity?
December 15: “Singing Under the Stockings - A Chorale Service”, Rev. Amy Shaw
Come and join us for a musical service with song favorites and stories, new and old. This will be a primarily musical service, dedicated to the joyous spirit of the Season. All are welcome as we sing, play, and celebrate.
December 8: “I Have Learned to Love the Fallow Way”, Rev. Amy Shaw
The leaves are gone and branches are bare. The moon glows against the snow and fields are empty. In this dark and cold season, how do we learn to appreciate the times of stillness, and waiting? Waiting for birth and growth, a new job, school to start or end, a new life, another chance, a coming change? The winters of our life are the pauses in between- the places where we center ourselves, and prepare to burst forward again. We welcome all as we explore the beauty and worth of the spaces in our lives and our years.
2013-12-08 Shaw Stillness.mp3
December 1: “Better Living Through Poetry”, Christi Ehler
A daily poetry habit can be a way to free your spirit--or a form of spiritual discipline. Poems help us understand ourselves and each other, open our eyes to the world around us, and even provide some housecleaning tips once in a while.
November 24: “The People at My Table”, Rev. Amy Shaw
Thanksgiving is a time for many things; food and drink, community and gratitude, sharing and receiving. What are we thankful for this year, and how do we join together around the table and around the world to share our lives and our blessings? Come join Rev. Amy Shaw as she explores Thanksgiving, generosity, and cranberry Jello molds.
2013-11-24 Guests at Our Table.mp3
November 17: “Reclaiming the Sacred”, Rev. Amy Shaw
As Unitarian Universalists we follow no shared creed, and recognize no common doctrine. We are deists and theists, atheists and humanists, followers of Earth religions and builders of theologies of every type and stripe. How do we talk about those things which serve us as Ultimate Realities, and how do we convey the depth of our beliefs as we share our thoughts with others? Come and join the conversation about the language of the sacred, and see how we can reclaim words which we may fear.
November 10: “The Art of Eurythmy: Philosophical Movement based on the The Word”, Lynn Stull
In the early 1900’s there was an impulse by three leaders in the field of dance: Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis and Maud Allan, to spiritualize dance from the traditional forms of ballet. At this same time, Rudolf Steiner not a dancer but a philosopher and scientist was bringing into form a new type of dance in which its impulse and creative forces would come consciously and directly from the spiritual world. Rudolf Steiner stated that anyone who wanted to acquire the spiritual heritage of dance or a system of movement should study the sounds of speech. For speech is one of the greatest of human mysteries. In today’s sermon, we will uncover the spiritual beginnings of the Art of Eurythmy and what makes it unique and meaningful for today’s world.
Lynn Stull received her Eurythmy Diploma, with a special emphasis in working with Adults, from Eurythmy Spring Valley, Chestnut Ridge, New York. Her passion is bringing the Art of Eurythmy and its deep connection to the virtues of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness to all Adults, especially those in Organizations and Businesses. In addition to her eurythmy career, Lynn is a visual artist working with Liane Collot d’Herbois’technique of Light, Darkness & Color in Painting Therapy and has sold her paintings in venues throughout Southern California before moving to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin last year.
November 3: “Remembering: The Day of the Dead”, Rev. Amy Shaw
We celebrate the Day of The Dead by remembering those who have gone ahead into the great mystery. How do we feed our beloved ghosts, and how do we share them with those who come behind us? Come and join us for a service dedicated to remembering. All Members, Friends, and Visitors are encouraged to bring a picture or pictures of loved ones no longer here in body, and a small bouquet of chrysanthemums to honor the dead. All pictures and flowers will be placed on our Day of The Dead altar table, and we will share their names and some brief memories as we place them on the table during the service.
2013-11-03_Shaw_Day of the Dead.mp3
October 27: "Your Calling - You're Calling", Paul Fackler, Worship Committee Chair
October 20: “Werewolves, and Vampires, and Zombies, Oh My!”, Rev. Amy Shaw
We avoid the Cabin in the Woods, know that anyone wearing a hockey mask in June is probably not our friend, and aren’t quite sure if vampires should sparkle in the sun and attend high school classes. The things that scare us help to define our culture, but the word “monster” has many meanings. How are we called to understand our First Principle, and recognize the inherent worth and dignity of each individual, when that individual scares us? Do monsters really exist?
October 13: “What the Heck is it All About Anyway?”, Rev. Amy Shaw
Day by day, week by week, year by year we move through life. Is there an ultimate meaning to our journey and our existence, or are we responsible for making meaning and value out of random and linked moments? What is the purpose of humanity? Who are we in the cosmos? Come and explore both the big questions and the journey toward possible answers.
October 6: “Standing on the Side of Love”, Rev. Amy Shaw
Standing on the Side of Love began as a 2009 UUA program aimed specifically at LGBTQQAA marriage equality. Inspired by the 2008 Tennessee church shooting, the program gradually became a rallying point for those looking to harness love’s power against the forces of oppression in many different areas. Today we are going to explore what it means to stand on the side of love, against hatred, oppression, and persecution.
September 29: "Unpacking Privilege", Paul Fackler, Worship Committee Chair
September 22: “Finding Our Way Home”, Rev. Amy Shaw
The world changes every day, and over and over again we change with it. We may change jobs and cities, houses and apartments, ages and attitudes, and sometimes we may feel like we are wandering in the wilderness with no compass in sight. But wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we can make a home for ourselves there, and we can invite others into these warm spaces and sacred places. What does it mean to build a home, and how are we called to share the mental and physical nests that we build?
September 15: “Let There Be Light”, Rev. Amy Shaw
Religions across the globe use light as a metaphor for goodness, hope, and positivity of direction. As Unitarian Universalists, how are we called to be sources of light in an often dark world? Come and explore ways that you can shine.
September 8: “Gathering the Waters: Water Communion”, Rev. Amy Shaw
Throughout the summer we travel here and there, like a river separating into streams and creeks, ponds, lakes, and even sprinklers. Join us for this intergenerational service, where we will flow back together from points around the state and the globe, and celebrate our return. All Members, Friends, and Visitors are encouraged to bring a small container of water from the place or places you visited this summer (symbolic water drawn from your faucet is fine too!) to add to the Communion basin.
September 1: "Setting the Welcome Table", presented by Sue Andrews
Sue will discuss the importance of acts of acceptance in overcoming the separations of stigmatization and marginalization.
August 25: “Folk Music As Spiritual Practice??", led by Greg Valde
On Sunday, August 25 the service will consist of musical performances and sing-alongs as we attempt to answer the question: can folk music be a spiritual practice? Or at least we hope to enjoy some music and singing. Anyone who is interested in performing a song and/or leading a sing-along should contact Greg Valde to get on the program.
August 18: “T’ai Chi Ch’uan and the Art of Living”, presented by Jim Bayer
In modern times, T'ai Chi Ch'uan is seen as a wonderful health exercise, particularly for older and elderly adults. But it is much more than that. It offers us the opportunity to realize our full potential as human beings, both physically and spiritually.
August 11: “Pets”, led by Fran Bills & Paul Fackler
August 4: “Rinzai Zen Buddhism”, presented by Erich Moraine
Rinzai Zen, Buddhism for the rest of us? A narrative of my UU path to ordination as a Rinzai Zen priest. We will also explore and directly experience the first steps on the Rinzai Zen path. Meditation and instruction will be provided; it will be short and gentle, no experience necessary.
July 28: "Mindfulness, Meditation, & You", led by Lynne Smith & Greg Valde
This service will be an exploration of mindfulness and meditation. It will be mostly experiential and include a combination of readings, breathing practice, seated, walking, and eating meditation, and discussion.
July 21: "Haiti and UU", LCUUC member Robert Ehler
Robert will present stories and insights from his three visits to Haiti as part of the UU Service Committee's College of Social Justice program. Learn what our denomination is doing in Haiti, and some of the issues relevant to living and working there.
July 7: "Exploring our Subtle Energy Field," facilitated by Laura Levenhagen, RN, Reiki Master and Worship Committee Member.
Come and play in this experiential service where we will perceive our own energy field and that of others. “Subtle energy” refers to the force field in and surrounding all living things. This is the invisible energy that animates our body and expresses our spirit. It is the pulsing vibration of life. We will have fun sensing and playing with our energy field during several partner exercises.
June 30: "We Camera", moderated by Paul Fackler, Worship Comm. Chairman
Bring a digital camera to this service. We will be breaking into groups, each with a digital camera among us, exploring the 5 acres of the church grounds and taking pictures which, through the miracle of modern technology, we will then assemble into a slide show to share together. What does this small world of our grounds have to show us? If a picture is worth a thousand words -- what will a hundred pictures say about us and about LCUUC? What do you see when you look at the world? How do we share our unique perspectives on the world? What makes the ordinary special? Call upon your inner creativity or embrace the accidental. Stage a picture or find a picture. Bring a digital camera, an open mind, and let's see what we find and can share!
June 23: "Inspirational Stories from Nature," moderated by Erin Johnston & Fran Bills
Come join us and share a personal experience you had with Nature that you found inspirational, spiritual, or just plan awesome. These moments can be as simple as fishing with grandpa, or as wild as surviving a tornado. Whether hiking, canoeing, star gazing, or bird watching, you have a tale to tell. Even city dwellers have nature stories. Stories will be shared in open mic fashion. So that as many people as possible can share, please bring stories that are 5 minutes long or less. We will learn to see through each other's eyes and view nature in new ways as we get to know each other better.
June 16: "Sacred Objects." Moderator: Paul Fackler, Worship Committee Chair
In our second Summer service, we will have an open microphone for those attending to bring and share a "sacred object." "What is a sacred object?" you ask. That is an excellent question that you (and each of us) will answer by presenting a sacred object to the group. Show the object. Describe the object in your own words. Tell us a story about it. Hand it to us. Point to it. Frame it. Hold it up. We will all learn from each other about the objects that are sacred to us.
June 9: "What Is Worship?" Moderator: Paul Fackler, Worship Committee Chair
In the first of our Summer services, we will open with a Socrates Cafe style discussion around the question, "What is Worship?" For instance, what distinguishes a worship service from a lecture or some kind of entertainment? Why do we worship? Who or what do we worship--both personally and/or as a group? Building from the philosophical side of the discussion--I would like to move us from the ideas and thoughts we present to putting those concepts into action--that is, by asking the additional question--"How will we worship this Summer?"--and trying to answer with some actual service ideas we can carry out built on our ideas of what worship is.
June 2: "Farewell and Fair Forward", Rev. Jim Hobart
Our annual Flower Festival, or Flower Communion, is a UU celebration. Everyone is invited to bring a flower to add to our community bouquet. This is Jim Hobart’s farewell service, so plan to come and wish him well!
May 26: “On Our Watch: A Memorial Day Reflection”, James A. Hobart
Memorial Day weekend is a time for reflection on serving and sacrificing for the common good. It is up to us whether it has significant meaning or whether it is just another three-day weekend.
May 19: “Our Cup Overflows”, the Children & Youth of LCUUC
The theme for this year’s RE Sunday is abundance. We will hear from our graduating seniors as well as from our children and youth about their experiences in Religious Education this year, and we will be treated to some great music as well. Please join us in celebrating our children, youth and RE volunteers!
May 12: “Mothers and Others: Who Loved You Into Being?”, Rev. Amy Shaw
On this Mother’s Day we celebrate and uphold Mothers of all kinds. Mothers who gave birth and mothers who adopted, mothers through choice and mothers through necessity. Who are the wonderful people who bore us, or helped to re-birth us, and how did they love us into being?
May 5: “Answering the Call to Ministry: Please Be Careful as You Exit the Whale”, Rev. Amy Shaw
Every day, in a thousand different ways, we are called to minister to one another- and when ministry calls, it’s hard to hang up. Come and join Reverend Amy Shaw as she explores sacred service, the meanings of ministry, and her own spiritual journey.
April 28: “Daring To Be Religious”, the Rev.’s Kathleen Rolenz & Wayne Arnason
The rise of the "nones" in the American religious landscape is now a documented fact. You would think that this is the demographic group that is the future of Unitarian Universalism, those who often describe themselves as "spiritual not religious". Our guest ministers aren't so sure. Are the disciplines of community life at the heart of the matter, more than whatever your religious beliefs are? Can you be "spiritual" alone? These are critical questions for any congregation that is asking itself: "Where do we go from here?"
April 21: "Every Day Earth Day", Paul Fackler
What can you do to make every day earth day? How do we stay mindful of our impact on the earth in our day to day activities?
April 14: "Mental Illness - Fighting the Stigma," Mark Brewer
Mark will explore the topic of mental illness, including his family’s personal story, and what each of us can do to help fight the stigma.
April 7: “Where do we go from here?”, James A. Hobart
Where do we go? Following June I go back to Chicago, but I don't know what comes next in ministry. You go . . . well, in the short run it is not yet clear where LCUUC goes in terms of the next minister. The Ministerial Search Committee continues their work to find the right minister. However, LCUUC's congregational ministry is clear. Some reflections on what this is.
March 31: “To Walk in Newness of Life”, James A. Hobart
Easter Sunday.... does it represent a problem or an opportunity for religious liberals?
March 24: “Which Is Our Story?”, James A. Hobart
In less than two weeks, as usual Spring arrives (March 20), Palm Sunday arrives (March 24), Passover arrives (March 25), and Easter arrives (March 31). Each has its own story. Which ones are ours?
March 17: “Holy Places, Holy Faces”, Nicolas Cable
All people have experiences in life where they feel they have stumbled into a holy place. Perhaps that is this religious community or a wooded area near your house, or perhaps another place in your journey. What makes this space holy? How does its holiness affect your relationship to it and to other people or life you encounter in it? This sermon will focus on the idea of holy places and the amazing possibilities that emerge when we begin to see that holiness in the face of all people in our lives.
March 10: “Life at the Intersection of Old Way and New Way”, James A. Hobart
We and the communities of which we are a part are always trying to negotiate old ways and new ways of living and doing. At times of transition and change we become more aware this is the way it always is. Some reflections on continuity and change.
March 3: “Choose Compassionate Consumption”, Social Action Committee
We often do not think of what we eat as a matter of ethics--but we make food choices every day and those choices should reflect our values. Do they? Building on the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's theme of choosing compassionate consumption, we will focus how we can make a commitment to worker's rights, to ethical eating, and to building a just economy by educating ourselves about how our food choices impact the lives of others.
February 24: “The Religious Imagination”, Rev. Jim Hobart
Religious language is primarily metaphorical. Symbols, poetry, stories, myths, legends, songs, silence are among the "tools" of our imagination used to get at deep religious meaning and significance. The nature of the world and life lend to more than one credible religious orientation. This is why religious liberals are non-creedal. Therefore, our religious communities include theists, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, humanists, agnostics, pagans and ?? (you name it!). We seek to be more than tolerant. We affirm that in dialogue our differences are mutually enriching and beneficial.
February 17: “The Gift of Fear”, Elizabeth Lewis
"Oh no - how can I get rid of it!" is often our first response to the discomfort of fear. But putting aside fear without first illuminating its message and meaning only serves to keep the source of our fear in place without healing it. Come explore how to identify and feel your fears so that you can transform them into gifts of spirit.
Bio: Elizabeth Lewis is an approved teacher of the Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training in Minneapolis. She holds certifications in stress management through Horizons Stress Management Program and Franciscan Studies through Cardinal Stritch University, and is a licensed HeartMath 1-on-1 provider through HeartMath LLC in Boulder Creek, California.
February 10: “When Ordinary People do Extraordinary Things”, Eric Hansen
Catastrophic climate change is upon us - prompting an urgent review of a fundamental question: how does individual courage provide the spark for communities to transform themselves, to take action?
Bio: Milwaukee author Eric Hansen perceives compelling answers within nearby storylines of individual and community courage -- the stories of Ojibwe leader Walter Bresette, Victory Garden Initiative director Gretchen Mead and climate change hero Tim DeChristopher. Hansen, an award-winning essayist, public radio commentator and environmental campaigner, is a frequent pulpit guest.
February 3: “A White Man Looks at the Black American Experience”, Jim Hobart
This sermon is in observation of Black History month in February. This is Black History Month. Beginning with slavery, the Black experience of America is inevitably intertwined with the historic and ongoing oppression and racism of White Americans. The underlying common theme is not about White guilt (although there is guilt). It is about the common need for liberation from the crippling racism that affects us all.
January 27: “Cultivating a Philosophy of Abundance”, Rev. Scott Gerard Prinster
The most prominent themes in our country's current political debate, news reports, and advertising messages is the anxiety that there won't be enough to go around -- enough money, enough time, enough freedom, and so on. Just how realistic is this persistent fear, and how can we rise above its influence over our lives? Is life really a zero-sum game, where everything I gain must be someone else's loss? We'll explore together the sources of abundance and how we can reclaim a sense of abundance in our lives.
January 20: Beyond Categorical Thinking: “What is a good minister?”, presented by John Kuhn, Ministerial Search Committee
As our community embarks on the path to calling a new minister, we must take time to reflect on this fundamental question. As part of our shared path, on January 20th, we will host guests from the UUA Transitions Office to help us start this important time of reflection. Gil
Guerrero from Texas and Jo Ann Dale from southern Indiana will lead an afternoon workshop that is part of our ministerial search. In our morning service, they will tell their own stories and invite us to consider both how often we drop people into file folders based on particular identity traits, and how rich are our relationships when we resist that urge.
January 13: “Transitions: Getting from A to B, or to C, or to D...”, Howard Bowman
Transitions are often difficult. Much of life consists of transitions. What do our life-transitions signify? How can we move through these transitions with gracefulness and gratitude?
January 6: "The Wonders That There Are!", James Hobart
The calendar and we have made the turn into the New Year 2013. I trust my deeply personal reflection on the passing years will have relevance for everyone in our common life journey.
Sermons - 2012
December 30: “UUism for Fun and Prophet”, a Church of the Larger Fellowship Service, presented by the LCUUC Worship Committee
December 24: “Christmas Eve Candlelight Celebration”, James Hobart, Preaching
(Note: the service will be at 4 p.m. Childcare will not be available.)
A simple but meaningful service, with readings, music, and singing, designed for broad congregational participation.
December 23: “Why Do Unitarian Universalists Celebrate Christmas?” a Church of the Larger Fellowship Service, presented by the LCUUC Worship Committee.
December 16: “Kirtan”, Dennis Hawk
Today, Dennis will lead the Fellowship in Sanskrit chants that have their roots in the yoga tradition. What he will help us experience is called Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of love and devotion. In the Hindu tradition there are many names for the experience of the Divine. The chanting of these divine names in Sanskrit is said to clear the mind of negative thinking. As one Kirtan chanter said, "We are not sure what this chant means, but it's probably better than the last thought that you had." Kirtan chanting is a form of meditation, but not like any stereotype of meditation that pictures someone cross-legged in a darkened room chanting "Om." This is absolute FUN!
December 9: “Winter Vision”, James Hobart, Preaching
The 2012 Advent season is the four Sundays between December 2 and December 23. The 2012 winter solstice is December 21. What kind of eyes can we bring to the season and these celebrations?
December 2: "Is Charity Enough?", Rusty Borkin, Organizer for Common Ground
Rusty will lead us on an interactive exploration of charity and justice and the impact they have on both our congregation and the communities we serve. Along the way, we will learn not only a little more about Common Ground which LCUUC is a member of, but a little more about ourselves and what we do both as individuals and as a group.
November 25: “True Redemption”, Rev. James Hobart, Preaching
The word redemption carries both religious meanings and secular meanings. Religiously, what significance might redemption have for us religious liberals?
November 18: “Freedom, Improvisation, and the Meaning of Jazz”, James Galasinski
Jazz, much like Unitarian Universalism, is essentially an improvised democratic process that is constantly changing and evolving. It combines the most individualistic act of the solo with the collective decision making of the group. James will touch on the origins of jazz and also explore what improvisation is, how we do it in our daily lives and may not even realize it, and what musicians and non-musicians alike can learn from the art of improvisation. (Guest Musician: Ryan Meisel)
November 11: "Creating a World of Compassion", Rev. Scott Prinster
One of the most prominent goals shared by the world's different religions is to live a more compassionate life. How can we, in times of fear and combativeness, help to tip the world's balance back toward compassion and kindness? Join us as we explore the work of religious scholar Karen Armstrong in living more compassionately.
November 4: “On Being Presidential” (An Election Sermon),Rev. James Hobart, Preaching
The New England Puritans, one of our historic sources as Unitarian Universalists, established the practice of election sermons. This will be a non-partisan look at the 2012 Presidential election.
October 28: “Strangely Alike”, James Hobart, Preaching
We live with a twin reality. At one and the same time we are each different and we are all alike. Some might call this a paradox. I call it marvelous and a source of our greatest human capacities and hope.
October 21: "Acts of Faith: Interreligious Engagement as Spiritual Practice", Seminarian Nicolas Cable
In addition, we have also engaged him to work with our youth group and talk about youth and interfaith movements.
October 14: "Faith, Hope, and …. Atheism?!", Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth
Rev. Groth will explore the nature of "faith" and look at the role of atheism there.
October 7: “Family Promise: Building Communities, Strengthening Lives in Waukesha County,” Ann Corning
Family Promise is a national organization that helps homeless and low-income children and their families achieve sustainable independence. Our speaker, Ann Corning, will introduce us to the work that Family Promise has been carrying out for over 20 years through independent affiliate congregations. She will talk with us about the growing needs of Waukesha County and our community, and how LCUUC can join with other congregations in our area to work with children and families to build the promise of a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future together in our community.
September 30: "The Daily Practice of Non-Violence", Rev. Bret Myers
Gandhi & King revealed what the philosophy of non-violence looks like in international and national settings, but what does it look like in the home, at work, at school, and in our daily lives? Non-violence is not simply a belief system with a set of rules to follow. It requires one to transform one's character. It becomes one's way of viewing and responding to all the world around us -- a cohesive value system that applies to our whole lives. It is a way of life that is be nurtured over time and cultivated with perpetual practice in both our private and public life. Habitually making non-violent decisions and responses helps us to conform our will toward non-violence, and helps others who aspire to non-violence to see what such a life looks like. Teaching non-violence will be ineffective if it does not cohere with the way in which we live it. Today's message will provide insights into how to model and live a life of non-violence.
September 23: “For the People: A service celebrating the 15th anniversary of LCUUC”, UUA Moderator Gini Courter, Guest Preacher
Gini Courter is an engaging, dynamic and energizing speaker. She serves as the Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the highest volunteer position in our association of congregations. She chairs the Board of Trustees and she is moderator of the annual General Assembly plenary (business) sessions. In her work life she is the founder and a partner of Triad Consulting, which specializes in software training and collaborative solutions for business, educational institutions and non-profits. She is the author or co-author of 29 books on information technology, and a nationally recognized speaker on collaboration and productivity software.
September 16: “I Have Time”, a sermon and worship service by Gus Santo
Time is the result of our “big bang” when we are born and our existence is thrown into the world. I have time for you and you have time for me which gives existence its meaning and its joy. As the philosopher Martin Heidegger would say, “Time is the meaning of Being.” Without time we would have no time for love, no time for caring, no time for the ethical relationship of goodness. Time is the essence of the transcendence of the other person as other, foreign, alien, but nonetheless as mysterious, alluring and beautiful.
September 9: “Living Waters Refresh Our Souls: Inter-Generational Annual Water Ceremony”, Rev. James A. Hobart
The Water Ceremony or Festival, often called the Water Communion, is an annual inter-generational service at Lake Country UU Church, held at the beginning of the fall season. Individuals and families are invited to bring a small amount of water which has special meaning for them, from a site near-by or far away. The combined water is a visual representation that our shared religious faith and community come from many sources.
August 26: Food and Fellowship, Informal Service
This is our "Bring a Topping and a Tapas to the Impromptu Bistro Breakfast Brunch" service, focusing on the fellowship of sharing food and conversation. There will be crepes and pancakes awaiting the toppings and fillings that people bring. Please bring other foods to share. In keeping with a bistro atmosphere, anyone interested is invited to share a short poem, brief song, succinct story, nutshell-sized excerpt from a favorite philosopher, an auditory twitter or a verbal status update of 140 characters of less. All are welcome!
August 12: "The Gifts and Challenges of the Skeptical Spirit", Rev. Scott Gerard Prinster
One of the biggest misunderstandings of the liberal religious tradition -- by its proponents and its critics -- is that we can "believe whatever we want". In fact, the distinctive approach that Unitarian Universalism brings to the world of religion is a thoughtful balance of believe and doubt, a dance that involves both liberation and responsibility. Join us as we explore together the richness of our skeptical tradition!
July 29: “Spiritual Discipline”, a sermon by Rev. Drew Kennedy, presented by John Kuhn, LCUUC Worship Committee
In this service from the Church of the Larger Fellowship, Rev. Kennedy shares five practices for UU’s to nourish our spirits in the same way that we nourish our minds and bodies. Come exercise your spirit, and learn how to live a spiritually rich and meaningful life.
July 15: “Unconditional Forgiveness”, Elizabeth Lewis
Unconditional forgiveness is a spiritual practice that can lead to better health, a sense of spiritual freedom and a felt experience of harmony with others and the world. Learn what the 8 steps to freedom are that can help one cancel any expectations, conditions or demands that are being held onto that prevent the embracing of unconditional love and forgiveness.
June 24: “Sharing Our Thoughts and Beliefs”, facilitated by Greg Valde
Come join us for a time of discussion and reflection on a topic of the congregation¹s choice. We will meet outdoors if weather permits, and share our thoughts on a spiritual or philosophical question, similar to what has been done at the Socrates Café gatherings. Bring your open minds and thinking caps!
June 3: “Remembering and Following”, James A. Hobart, preaching
Our annual Flower Festival , as its founder named it, or Flower Communion as it is now commonly known. Everyone is invited to bring a flower to add to our community bouquet. This is Jim Hobart’s final service during the 2011-2012 church year.
May 27: “A Silence That Speaks: Memory and the Experience of the Sacred”, James A. Hobart, preaching
In observation of Memorial Day, the service will consider our indebtedness to the contributions of past generations for our being and well-being.
May 20: “Developing our Faith”, Kerry Duma, Director of Religious Education
We hear a lot about faith, but some UUs are uncomfortable with this “F word”. Join us this Sunday as we consider what it means to develop our faith. We will also hear from our children about some of the highlights of their year in Religious Education classes, and take a moment to acknowledge the work of the congregation in developing the faith of our youth.
May 13: "Grace”, Pam Rumancik & Karen Mooney
Grace – what does it mean to us today? Grace is rather an old fashioned term. People can be graceful – or grace-filled. We can be gracious or graceless. It feels like a term from another era; grace is no longer valued as it once was – just look at Congress! But as religious people does grace have meaning for us today? How can we live lives ‘full of grace?’ Would it make any difference? Join Pam Rumancik and Karen Mooney as they explore the nuances of Grace in a Graceless Age.
May 6: “Standing Apart and Coming Together”, James A Hobart, preaching
A service celebrating ongoing religious community, includes the welcome of new members and the dedication of children.
April 29: "RE-flections and Transitions"
LCUUC's High School Class will share how they have spent their year living and learning from our UU principles. Special presentations will be made by the seniors, as they transition to adulthood. Come to be inspired!
April 22: “Living with Our Neighbors, Living On Our Earth”, James A. Hobart, preaching
A Celebration for the 42nd Observation of Earth Day
This is a Green Sanctuary service, in keeping with LCUUC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. What is the environmental impact of our ways of living? The UUA and the UU Ministry for Earth is cooperating with the Earth Day Network to promote “One Billion Acts of Green.” Here are a couple we can practice. (1) Consider an alternative way than individually driving to get to church. Could you: carpool? bicycle? walk? take public transportation? (2) Participate in the Green Potluck Lunch following the service. Bring a dish that as far as possible is made of local products, organic, vegetarian, non-processed.
April 15: "How to Graduate Kindergarten”, Dr. Paul Norton
When we went to kindergarten, we intensified our search for two things. I will discuss how we can have a new relationship with ourselves and finally graduate kindergarten.
April 8: “Renewing the Gift of Life”, James A. Hobart, A Homily
Easter Inter-generational All Church Service
The entire congregation- youth and adults- come together for our celebration of Easter. The various traditions of Easter - a variety of ancient pagan practices, various Christian interpretations, our UU understanding growing out of the liberal perspectives of the Radical Reformation - all are themes of personal and societal renewal.
April 1: "Human Rights for Females," by Maxine Neil, UUSC Director of Institutional Advancement
UUSC’s work around gender is woven throughout its civil liberties, environmental justice, economic justice, and rights in humanitarian crises programs. We will discuss the work from several angles – from the protection of women and girls in the displacement camps of Darfur, Sudan, to the establishment of housing for orphaned girls in Camp Oasis in Haiti – all from a human-rights and social-justice perspective. Our unique approach to gender programs not only addresses security and protection on a short-term basis, but also provides training for participants to establish skills for lifelong empowerment.
March 25: Justice Sunday – “Life-Giving Waters,” James A. Hobart, preaching
Justice Sunday is also LCUUC’s annual Stewardship kick-off. Come and hear the minister accomplish the rare feat of addressing both the human right to water and our religious right to “water” the religious community of our choice with our best resources of time, talent and financial support.
March 18: “Religious Witness for the Earth," the Rev. Elizabeth Marsh
Unitarian Universalists can easily make the connection between environmental concerns and religious values. One way to respond to the sacredness of our world can be through the practice of religious witness--speaking and acting honestly from our most deeply held beliefs. We'll explore this topic and participate in a short ritual to recall our connections to the Earth. The Rev. Marsh is a UU minister living in Madison, where she is a member of the James Reeb UU Congregation.
March 11: “Questioning Answers, Answering Questions,” James A. Hobart, preaching
Do religious answers or religious questions come first? This is central to one’s attitude toward religion. We religious liberals have an honored history and tradition which informs us about which comes first.
March 4: “No Self, No Problem” presented by guest speaker and member Mark Brewer
Ever wonder about Buddhism and Eastern Religion traditions? Mark will explore some of the basic concepts of Buddhism such as realizing our true nature, the heart of spiritual practice, the shortcut to enlightenment, and transcending thoughts, using basic easy to understand language and stories. Much of his material will come from the book “No Self, No Problem” by Anam Thubten, an accomplished Tibetan Buddhist meditation teacher. This topic was suggested by Dian Ericksen who won this silent auction fund raiser last fall.
February 26: “Finding the Ends of the World,” James A. Hobart, preaching
We are forever trying to relate ends to means, means to ends. Can we make means and ends worthy of one another?
February 19: “A Celebration of Transitions,” presented by LCUUC 5th and 6th Graders with Sue Lewis
This service will be a presentation of poems, stories and music in celebration of completing the first part of LCUUC’s “coming of age” curriculum. “Transitions Part 1: Identity” focuses on the transition from childhood to adolescence. During this special service you will hear what our young people have to say about themselves and their place in our religious community.
February 12: “Be the Change YOU Wish to See in the World, the UU Way!" Mary Sue Reutebuch
Mary Sue Reutebuch, Montessori Educator and Faith Formation Director, will help us assess our church to home connection. How can we concretely build a community committed to caring for one another, social justice, and compassion in our everyday lives? We often see what can be done on a global scale; however, what do we need to do in our families and among our neighbors to bring the UU values to life.
February 5: “Walking the Maze Together,” James A. Hobart, preaching
We are now half way through this church year, the image of the maze seems an appropriate metaphor for our journey from where we started to where we want to go.
January 29: "Sparks of Divinity", Rev. Linda Hansen
Using a story called "The Rabbi's Gift" as told by William Houff, we'll explore the power within us to draw out the best in others and ourselves, thereby helping to bring to life our first principle which calls our congregations "to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
January 22: “The Elementary Religious Question", Rev. James A. Hobart
The sermon title is inspired by a question Albert Schweitzer raised. What is the basic or fundamental religious question we answer through our living?
January 15: “Dead or Alive: The Debate Over the Immortal Soul", Philip Chard
Recent advances in the neurosciences and the study of consciousness are challenging the widely held belief in the existence of the soul as an immortal presence within human beings. However, mystics and spiritual seekers dispute the methods and conclusions drawn from studies of the brain, near-death experiences and the biological origins of consciousness. We will consider both sides in this debate and examine the psychological and spiritual underpinnings that sustain the belief in an immortal soul.
January 8: “Beginnings: A New Year vision", Rev. James A. Hobart
The New Year 2012 is a week old. I’ve been your transitional minister just over five months. This seems a good time to put on my “forward-looking” glasses concerning what may lie ahead for the Lake Country UU Church.
January 1: “Resolving to Be a Blessing ", Rev. Bret Myers
New Year's Resolutions often focus on how we can change some part of ourselves for the better for the sake of ourselves. But what if our focus was to be a blessing to others? We will explore some ways in which the New Year can be a new beginning in how we look at ourselves, the world, and our place in it. How can we help envision and create a world that is focused on what we can do for others? If you have a list of New Year's Resolutions, bring it to church this first Sunday of the 2012, and we will share our thoughts with each other!
Sermons - 2011
December 25: "Christmas Celebration", LCUUC Worship Committee
Merry Christmas! This morning we will have a simple, abbreviated service to celebrate the day with music, readings and meditation. Please note that the service will be intergenerational, as there is no religious education. Also, the nursery room will be open for use, but without our usual caretakers present.
December 24: "Christmas Eve Candlelight Celebration", Rev. James A. Hobart
(Note: the service will be at 4 p.m. Childcare will not be available.)
A simple but meaningful service, with readings, music and singing, designed for broad congregational participation.
December 18: " John Coltrane and the Truly Religious Life”, James Galasinski
The great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane said, “My goal is to live the truly religious life, and express it in my music.” James Galasinski, a local jazz musician and Unitarian Universalist, will explore the inspiration for Coltrane's lifelong inner creative quest, his inspirational music, and what exactly the "truly religious life" is.
December 11: “Seeking Seasonal Sanity”, Rev. James A. Hobart
Are we ready? Are we ever ready? It is not easy to negotiate the weeks leading up to Christmas.
December 4: “Six Toes, Frozen Communion Wine, and the Story of the Flaming Chalice”, Rev. Drew Kennedy
Arguably, all good Unitarian Universalists should know the story behind our so-called ‘Flaming Chalice.’ It is the central symbol of our faith. It’s sort of like a Christian knowing the story behind the cross. Also, there is a fascinating story within a story that is richer yet. Once you know these stories, you’ll never look at the flaming chalice again in quite the same way.
November 27: “ The World’s Gravity and Grace”, Rev. James A. Hobart
William Blake’s poem states, “Joy and woe are woven fine.” This is an important theme for the Advent season.
November 20: "The Spirit of Thanksgiving", Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth
Thanksgiving isn't just 'Oh-Yum' and "Ho-hum'"! Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth will preach on the history of Thanksgiving, from prehistoric times to the present, its celebration from Japan to the USA, and talk about the spiritual discipline of an "attitude of gratitude" that makes life fulfilling.
Short bio: Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth is a UU community minister who has served the Milwaukee area for over 20 years in the areas of victims of violence, social justice, and interfaith relations. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Alverno College and this year published a book on Unitarian abolitionists before the Civil War.
November 13: “Universalism: Past, Present and Powerful”, Rev. Kalen Fristad
Rev. Fristad will share the history and significance of universalism in our faith, and how the teaching of universalism leads to equality, respect, love and dignity for all.
November 6: “So What’s Your Story?”, Rev. James A. Hobart
Everyone has stories about important events in their personal and shared lives. They can be equally “true,” differing from one another without contradicting one another.
October 30: “We Lose All We Love; Our Love Lives On", Rev. Scott Prinster
One of the greatest tests of a faith identity is whether it can help us find genuine meaning in the midst of loss -- not by making grandiose promises or by numbing us to the reality of grief, but by acknowledging our needs and helping us to live with both love and loss. This morning we'll explore together what our religious tradition has to offer us in times of grief.
October 23: “In Your Dreams”, Gus Santo, LCUUC Member (replacing CANCELED sermon topic)
This service will focus on the importance of our dreams and how dreaming opens a door to previously un-thought-of possibilities. Dreams offer an escape from the dull throb of existence and the weight of the world. Our Unitarian Universalist Principles are an expression of our dreamed of goals just as much as they are maxims that we want to live by. Bring your dreams with you to church.
October 16: “Where We'll Meet Our Neighbors" (Social Justice Sunday), Rev. James A. Hobart with Our Teen-age Appalachian Travelers
We live our lives in many "ghettos" of sameness based on race, class, and other criteria. How do we break out to meet our neighbors nearby and far away?
October 9: “Interruption: Life as Seen Through the Eyes of the Soul”, Elizabeth Lewis
The most powerful and meaningful lessons we learn in life often come to us through experiences of loss and pain. If we allow, such experiences help us see all of life through the eyes of the soul - through what has been given to us, rather than what has been taken away. Come discover how painful events that interrupt the flow of everyday life can serve to illuminate a path to greater creativity, inner peace and the God of our hearts.
October 2: “Wanted: Ministers Alive!” (Association Sunday), James A. Hobart, Preaching
During the 1830s, Theodore Parker was considering the Unitarian ministry as his vocation. He was warned, “the ministry is a narrow place.” His experience proved otherwise. Today we expect ministers wide in outlook, broad in concern, and deep in commitment. Our special offering on Association Sunday supports this excellence in ministry.
Sept. 25: “Embracing Imperfection” by James A. Hobart, minister
Wallace Stevens wrote, “the imperfect is our paradise.” This 50th anniversary year of the founding of the Unitarian Universalist Association is an opportunity to remember that liberal religion offers no promises of success, or happiness or perfection. What do we seek as our means and our ends, our goals?
Sept. 18: “The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness” by LCUUC member Mark Brewer
We are witnessing a revolution in the scientific understanding of human nature. Where once science painted humans as self-seeking and warlike, simplified notions of killer apes and selfish genes that still permeate popular culture, today scientists of many disciplines are uncovering the deep roots of human goodness. This research challenges some long-held notions about human nature, revealing that the good in us is just as intrinsic to our species as the bad. Empathy, gratitude, compassion, altruism, fairness, trust, and cooperation, once thought to be aberrations from the tooth and claw natural order of things, are actually core features of primate evolution. Come learn more about this fascinating subject, and how you can incorporate the findings into your everyday life, from guest speaker Mark Brewer, as suggested by Kim Suhr, who won this sermon in the silent auction.
Sept. 11: “Our Great Universalist Vision: Meeting the Worst and the Best of Times” by James A. Hobart, minister
The coincidence of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the annual Gathering of the Waters Service is a time to reflect on the simultaneous presence of the best and the worst in human affairs. Both must be addressed by a universalist faith.
Sept. 4: “Giving Thanks to Mother Earth” by Rev. Chief Tim Dancing Red Hawk
Join us on September 4th, 2011 as Rev. Chief Tim Dancing Red Hawk, Vice Principal Chief of the United Cherokee Nation leads us in a day of giving thanks to Mother Earth and the Creator of us all. We will be offering our prayers and gifts for the healing of our Mother, the Earth. Stories, Teachings, and Drumming will be shared with all in attendance as our Creator is lifted up in prayer and spirit. Services will be held outdoors, weather permitting. People should feel free to bring blankets or lawn chairs.
August 21: “Fellowship and Food” by LCUUC Worship Committee
Come join us to help celebrate our community and the abundance of food we enjoy! We will have a brief service in the sanctuary, and then adjourn to the social hall to enjoy a summer potluck brunch and conversation.
Aug 7: "Liberal Patriots" by Rev. Nan Hobart
In these days of national crisis and political conflict, how can we live our liberal religious values of generosity, open-mindedness, tolerance, and concern for the common good?
July 24: “What Does It Mean to be Welcoming to all Religious and Political Viewpoints?” facilitated by Tim Fuller and Barb Adams
Our congregation desires to be open and welcoming to all, but we are not always successful. How do we become more welcoming to those people who don’t conform to LCUUC’s mainstream viewpoint, without compromising our own individuality? This will be another summer service in a discussion format, and outdoors if weather permits. Come join us and bring your thoughts to share!
July 10: “Sharing Through the Hope Center” by Ralph Zick
Ralph Zick, executive director of the Hope Center will describe his vision of preventing homelessness, and the work of his organization. He will share inspiring success stories, and the joy of our gifts and talents that make our local community a better place.
June 19: “Sharing Our Beliefs” facilitated by John Kuhn and Phil Smith
Come join us for a time of discussion and reflection on a topic of the congregation’s choice. We will meet outdoors if weather permits, and share our thoughts on a spiritual or philosophical question, similar to what has been done at the “Socrates Café” gatherings. Bring your open minds and thinking caps!
June 5: “Smell the Flowers” by Rev. Lori Hlaban
LCUUC will celebrate its annual flower communion service, a Unitarian Universalist tradition, symbolizing the richness and necessity of community in our lives. Using stories, we will reflect on how we can build a better life – and world – with grace and beauty. Bring a flower and join us for this fun, multigenerational service!
May 29: Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth will speak about the "story behind the story" of her recent book published by Skinner House Books: The Incredible Story of Ephraim Nute: Scandal, Bloodshed, and Unitarianism on the American Frontier. (Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth is a UU Community Minister who has served victims of violence and other justice issues in the Milwaukee area for more than twenty years. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Alverno College in Milwaukee.)
May 22: RE Sunday –The Spiritual Practice of Religious Education
Part of our mission at LCUUC is to encourage spiritual growth in compassion, wisdom and understanding. In this service, we will consider the spiritual practice of religious education. We will also enjoy the creative talents of our children and youth as they share some highlights of their RE year.
May 15: "In Case of Rapture" by Rev. Ray Gurney
We have all seen car bumper stickers that begin "In case of Rapture...". What is this all about? We will learn about how the mythology of a new heaven and a new earth emerged from marginal parts of the Jewish tradition, and how this apocalyptic thread was picked up by early Christians (but not by Jesus) and was carried along in a variety of forms over the centuries including the recent "Left Behind" series. We will look at a few of the more well-known Bible verses that are usually quoted about the Rapture and Armageddon, etc., and will also put Harold Camping's May 22, 2011 prediction in its proper perspective. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
May 8: “LCUUC's High School Senior Transition Service”
Join together to celebrate our High School Seniors, as they transition into young adulthood. Their reflections and music will certainly inspire us!
May 1: “Being Human(ist)” by Rev. Lori Hlaban
Beginning in the late 19th Century, the theological position of humanism has had great influence in our faith. This Sunday we will explore and critique the fifth ‘Source of inspiration’ for Unitarian Universalism: “Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.” This service will include a new member welcome and a child re-dedication.
April 24: "Exploring Passover and Easter with New Eyes" by Rev. Bret Myers
As UU's, many of us come from the Judeo-Christian heritage but often have issues with some of the holy days such as Passover and Easter. Do we ignore them because certain interpretations of them no longer resonate with us, or can our own spirituality and worldview be enhanced when we look at these events with new eyes? Are there universal meanings to these events that transcend cultures and faiths
April 17: "Menu For The Future" presented by the LCUUC Green Sanctuary Committee
We will again be offering our Earth Day service, which will be led by participants in the North West Earth Institute “Menu for the Future” discussion course, which explored the connection between food and sustainability. There will be an organic/local/sustainable food pot luck lunch after the service. Please bring a dish to pass which includes local / organic / sustainably-produced food items if possible.
April 10: "Justice Sunday" presented by the Social Action Committee
UU Congregations nationwide focus on ways to advance human rights around the world. Our service will be based on the global human rights violations against women and girls as outlined in the book "Half the Sky" by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Please join us to hear the stories of some of these women while discovering pragmatic, inspirational grass roots ways to make a difference.
April 3: "Friendship" by Rev. Jane Esbensen
This will be Jane's last time leading the service for us. A "thank you" reception will follow the service.(CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
March 27 (updated): “If You’re Only Looking For Happiness” by Rev Tony Larsen, presented by the LCUUC Worship CommitteeStriving for happiness is a common goal among people, but sometimes the harder we try for it, the more difficult it is to achieve. In this service from the Church of the Larger Fellowship, Rev. Larsen looks at the difference between happiness and joy. Knowing the difference can add meaning to our lives.
March 20: "The Ground of Being" by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Who are we as a UU congregation, why do we exist, what is our vision, and how do we get there? As we look to the future of LCUUC, it is with a broad eye cast to the future. But what about now? What about here? What about us? Today's service will be a reflection piece on identity. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
March 13: "Froglessness" by Paul Norton
So often, we want to make a great leap forward, instead of reflecting and being in the moment. Paul Norton discusses Thich Nhat Hanh's principle of froglessness. Dr. Norton is the Guiding Instructor for the Milwaukee Mindfulness Practice Center, and leads the Mindfulness group at LCUUC.
March 6: "Whatever Happened to the 60's?" by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Looking up through the wild days of the 1960s from the vantage point of being just a young child, today's service will be one of remembrance: of hope and of passion and of endless possibilities.(CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
February 27: “Forgiveness” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
It is a well known fact that a great troubling force in the hearts and minds of many is the lack of being able to forgive, or of not being forgiven. As UUs we are not shielded from this angst even though, as a rule, we do not often focus on words like forgiveness or sin or evil. In our service today we will talk about forgiveness; its importance in our lives and the health of the world we can affect, by starting with ourselves. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
February 20: “A Celebration of Transitions,” presented by LCUUC 5th & 6th Graders with Sue Lewis
This service will be a presentation of poems, stories and music in celebration of completing the first part of LCUUC’s “coming of age” curriculum. “Transitions Part 1: Identity” focuses on the transition from childhood to adolescence. During this special service you will hear what our young people have to say about themselves and their place in our religious community.
February 13: “Intention and Reality” by Bruce Forciea
This service (rescheduled after the December 12 snow-out) will explore the link between intention and reality. Can intention really produce effects in the physical world? How can our thoughts affect physical reality?
February 6: “Standing On The Side of Love” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
This year marks the second anniversary of this Service on Love, and at LCUUC we will mark the anniversary with a focus on the rights and freedoms which must be granted to those in the LGBT communities. Standing on the Side of Love is deeply committed to achieving full and equal protection under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We want to be able to say to lawmakers that we know, with certainty, that thousands of Americans share our passion for full equality. So, as a part of our service on love, we will be asking everyone in attendance to sign a petition focusing on those rights. Come and listen, and then raise your pens and write. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
January 30: "Winter, Freedom, Religion" by Andrew Kerr
Winter, a time of slowness, grayness, and coldness, is a time to slow down, cool down, and see your own religion. Andrew is Speaker at the Free Congregation of Sauk County, which was founded as a Humanist society in Sauk City in 1852 and is now a UU Fellowship.
January 23: In a Blanket of Ice: Death” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Many cultures have different ways of looking at death, considering death, responding to death, preparing for death. Today, in the depths of winter’s chill, death will be our visitor and our guide – how to embrace it and how to be reminded of life in the midst of it. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
January 16: “What Does It Matter That We’re Here? UUs and Interfaith Relations” by Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth
Rev. Groth will talk about the general issue of interfaith relations, profile the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, and talk about UU's importance in the current interfaith struggles in this country. Bobbie has been a frequent guest speaker at LCUUC over the last several years, and serves as the Secretary of the ICGM Cabinet (board of directors) and Executive Committee.
January 9: “Words, Words, Words!” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
One of the things that can be said without dispute about UUs is that we talk a lot! One of the other things that can be said about UUs is that we are very particular about the words that we use, especially in our Sunday morning services. This Sunday will be a service about the power of words, and how they can open hearts and minds, or turn us away from the greater causes that lie before us. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
January 2: “Bellwether” by Rev. Lori Hlaban
“Bellwether” – One source of wisdom and inspiration for Unitarian Universalists is “words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” These men and women could be termed bellwethers – individuals pointing, or leading, the way. Looking toward a new year, let’s consider what it means to be prophetic, and people who may be inspirational bellwethers today.
Sermons - 2010
December 26: "Hold Fast" by Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson, presented by Barb Adams, Worship Committee
The Choice for Church of the Larger Fellowship, this approach to perserverance while maintaining a compassionate heart is a tonic during our consumer driven holidays!
December 24: "Christmas Eve Celebration" by LCUUC members
Please join us at 4 p.m. and share in a time of readings, singing, and warm refreshments appropriate to the day.
December 19: "The Beauty of Christmas" by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Please join us this Sunday to celebrate the beauty of Christmas, through readings, songs, pageantry and peace. And a Merry Christmas to All! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
December 12: “Intention and Reality” by Bruce Forciea (Canceled due to bad weather.)
This service will explore the link between intention and reality. Can intention really produce effects in the physical world? How can our thoughts affect physical reality? These questions and more will be explored by Bruce Forciea.
December 5: “Festival of Lights” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Today marks the middle of Hanukkah and our lit menorah will mark the occasion. Come to this celebration of” The Festival of Lights” and learn some of the story that surrounds this meaningful early December Jewish holiday.
November 28: "Fuzzy Questions, Fuzzy Answers" by Rev. Bruce Clear, presented by Barb Adams, LCUUC Worship Committee
In this service from the Church of the Larger Fellowship, we will explore UU beliefs vs. values. Do they change over time? Is ambiguity a strength or a weakness? Rev. Clear's thoughts will help you better articulate your faith.
November 21: ”Thanksgiving Service” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
How do we celebrate the holidays when there are unspoken, unresolved, unmet feelings in our lives? As much as the holidays are beautiful and meaningful, they can also be stressful, leaving us feeling empty inspite of the abundant food the majority of us get to share. Our souls and our hearts need to be filled at these times of the year, perhaps more than at any other time. Come and listen, and may you come away feeling fed. Followed by our Annual Pot Luck Thanksgiving Dinner! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
November 14: ”My Spirt” by Mike Santo, LCUUC Member
Mike will share his personal story with the congregation, as an example of how one’s spirit moves in various directions, while being founded in the life of one’s body. The tension arising from the desires of spirituality and the physical requirements of living, provide the scenery for our spirit’s journey from here to where our hearts may lead us. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
November 7: ”Not Everything Under the Sun: What Does It Mean To Be UU?” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
This is “Guest Sunday!” All are encouraged to invite friends and family to worship with us! Are you searching for a liberal religious home to call your own? Do you want to attend a church where asking questions is central to the search for truth and meaning in life? Are you interested in a religion that draws from the world’s religions as well as from philosophy and literature, one that is inspired by prophetic calls to justice? Ours is a religion where we want to reach out to the world and let it know of our existence, but do not proselytize. Ours is a religion where we go to a place called ”church” but where atheists, agnostics, humanists and theists sit side by side in a common goal toward world peace. We are a denomination that is old and yet we are everchanging as is the world in which we live. We are many things and yet we are one thing. So what does it mean to be UU? Come and find out. Maybe this church will become your church. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
October 31: “Nature Mysticism: The Pagan Path to Spiritual Consciousness,” by nature therapist and columnist Philip Chard
Persecuted for centuries, so-called “Pagans” continue to engender wariness, misunderstanding, and even discrimination. Despite repression, this tradition lives on in Wicca, Taoism, Native American spirituality, and other nature-based and polytheistic philosophies. Today, nature mysticism, which is central to Pagan beliefs, is re-emerging as a recognized path to spiritual awareness and transformation. We will examine the core attitudes and actions of present-day nature mystics, how these are validated by the natural sciences, and their connection with the new discipline of eco-psychology.
October 24: “Cultivating a Philosophy of Abundance,” by Rev. Scott Gerard Prinster
The most prominent themes in our country’s current political debate, news reports, and advertising messages is the fearful conviction that there won’t be enough to go around—enough money, enough time, enough freedom, and so on. What is the spiritual root of this noxious fear, and how can free ourselves from its influence? We’ll explore together the sources of abundance and how we can reclaim a sense of abundance in our lives.
October 17: “Social Justice Sunday,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
What exactly does it mean to be a UU? In whose footsteps are we following and who then will follow in ours? What is LCUUC’s reason for being, the core thing that sustains and inspires us as we gather together inside these walls, challenges us and does not let us rest, but urges us always onward? There are many ghosts in our past and in our path. Who are they? Why do they matter? When were they here and where are they now? Come and listen and be prepared to help bring these lights of truth and justice to the fore once more.
October 10: “Why Love Is,” by LCUUC member Susan Taylor
Love is, and love is all there is. You may have heard me say this during the Joys and Concerns part of our service. Although love is difficult to talk about and explain, I know in my heart that it is the essence of all that we are. And, our behavior is an out-picturing of this love when we are connected to a greater consciousness.
October 3: “Association Sunday,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Today we have something to celebrate: the 50th Anniversary of our faith in one another! The Unitarians and the Universalists consolidated their efforts 50 years ago. They were motivated not just out of an instinct for survival but because they knew that working together they would be better able to pursue their common vision. We have something to celebrate: over these 50 years we have blended our theological and sociological strengths to develop a faith for the future, a faith that can speak spiritually to more people and more effectively empower us to create a just, equitable, and peaceful world. We gather together today to celebrate this association of congregations, as well as reminding ourselves of our own association as diverse individuals who come together each and every week to create and sustain LCUUC and all that we hope it stands for. Please remain after this special service . (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
September 26: “Here We Are Gathered,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Life is built by being born and dying. Living is what happens in between. What sort of world do we want to create, and how do we do this together in those inbetween days? What is possible, and then, what is more possible? These ponderings and more are at the forefront of this day’s service. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
September 19: “My God, It’s Full of Stars!,” by Rev. Lori Hlaban
Our living tradition draws from six major sources, the first of which is “direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life.” From mystics of various religious traditions, through the Transcendentalists, to modern scientists, we will explore the varieties of expression of awe and wonder.
September 12: “Water Communion Service,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
As we gather again for the beginning of our new church year, please bring with you a bit of water that either reflects a place you went to this summer or a place that holds a place of importance in your life, a place of importance in your memory. Together we will listen to our stories, watch the waters come together, and be reminded and inspired to do the work the world needs us to do.
September 5: “Patching Together a Meaningful Life,” by Rev. Dr. Linda Hansen
With the help of a quilt-maker and the poet Sylvia Plath, Rev. Hansen will explore the making of a meaningful life as something like the patching of quilts—not seamless wholes, yet perhaps even more beautiful. Rev. Hansen comes to us from the UU congregation in Mukwonago.
August 15: “Shibboleths and Talismans,” by Rev. Lori Hlaban
Code words and signs are often how we identify one another – and how we sometimes make a judgment that someone is “a Unitarian Universalist but just doesn’t know it yet.” Let’s explore the world of Unitarian Universalist shibboleths and talismans, and think about how they do – or don’t – serve us as a religious body. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
July 11: “Practicing Buddhism in THIS life,” by Jenny Straight, lay minister, Fox Valley UUF
Jenny reflects on the ways we can introduce the practices of Buddhism into our culturally busy lives. Head shaving and vegetarianism are optional!
June 6: “Flower Communion Sunday,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Please join us as we celebrate our traditional Flower Communion service. Everyone is invited and reminded to bring a fresh flower. Together, these different flowers will become a beautiful bouquet. From the bouquet, people will be invited to take a flower different from the one they brought. Our Unitarian Universalist tradition of the Flower Communion lifts up the idea that our common bouquet would not be the same without the unique addition of each individual flower, and thus it is with our church community – it would not be the same without each and every one of us. All are welcome to this intergenerational service. Let’s pray for good weather so that we can experience this service in our beautiful memorial garden, where reflection on hope springing eternal is the theme. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
May 30: “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty,” by Rev. Richard S. Gilbert, presented by LCUUC Worship Committee
On this Memorial Day weekend, although most of us are not in a position to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, there are certainly other ways in which we can make the world a better place for our fellow travelers on the journey of life. Join with us to share these thoughts by Rev. Gilbert, brought to us through the resources of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Rev. Gilbert served 44 years in UU ministry, and is the author of the “Building Your Own Theology” adult religious education series.
May 23: “RE Sunday – Religious Education Is All Around Us,” by our RE Class Members
Whether experiencing the web of life, having adventures, learning about interesting Unitarians from history, or taking time to learn about other faith traditions, our children know that religious education is all around us. In this service, we will enjoy the creative talents of our children and youth as they share some of the highlights of their RE year.
May 16: “Voices in the Wilderness,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
We may know some of our UU history, the important people of the past who have made our denomination the relevant one that it is. But how many of us know the lives of people right here at LCUUC who are also contributing to the creation of this denomination by the lives they lead? Come and hear their stories, as we add their names, and yours, to this historic enterprise called life.(CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
May 9: “Celebrating Transitions: Mothers, Children, and Seniors,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Mother’s Day, Child Dedication, and High School Senior Transitions Sunday is upon us. Please come and celebrate moments of transition in the life of various people in our church as we call them out and celebrate their existence in our midst. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
May 2: “The Spiritual Practice of Leadership,” by Chaplain David Pyle
Why is it that we spend so much of our time and our energy working in the leadership of our churches and our liberal faith? Perhaps an answer can be found in the examples of many of those who have been leaders of our liberal faith movement, and in the struggles that they faced. We will look at the leaders of our faith during the Civil Rights and Black Empowerment movements. David Pyle is a UU minister in Preliminary Fellowship, and Chaplain Resident in Park Ridge, Illinois. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
April 25: “Understanding Islam Through a Father’s Advice to his Son,” by Muhammed Isa Sadlon
This service, based on a letter from the Prophet Muhammed’s son-in-law Ali to his son, gives insight into the message of Islam. Isa Sadlon is the Executive Director and CEO of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.
April 18: “Reconnecting with Earth,” presented by the course study group at LCUUC.
Reconnecting with Earth is a six-session course for the workplace, faith center, or home addressing core values and how they affect the way we view and treat the Earth. This is another of a series of courses offered by the Great Lakes Earth Institute. We will be sharing our insights learned from this course in this Earth Day service. Other Earth Day activities are being planned for the day .
April 11: “The Uncommon Common Good,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
In this second of three Auction Sermons, this service will take a look at the concept of the Common Good and how or if it is possible to tap into it within our diversely religious world. With a starting point of Catholic social teachings, this service will be one of thoughtful consideration about how Unitarian Universalism echoes the voices of other religions and is willing to do the hard work to land alongside them as partners in the creation of a world that holds, as it core premise, the common good. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
April 4: “Easter Sunday Service,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
With the rising of the sun and the Rising of the Son, Easter is here and we will be in full celebration! Come and enjoy a beautiful Easter service with glorious music, stories old and new, traditions from here and abroad, and maybe even a large rabbit sighting! Wear your best and join in this celebration!(CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
March 28: “The Economic Injustice of Housing Foreclosures: What We Can Do”
Join us for our annual Justice Sunday, in which UU congregations nationwide come together to take action on a pressing social justice issue. The theme this year is economic justice, in light of the global economic downturn. This service will focus on the problem of housing foreclosures, which affects the communities in our region. A speaker from Common Ground, a southeastern Wisconsin social issues organization, will discuss the injustices surrounding the foreclosure crisis and how we can promote economic justice on this issue on a local level.
March 21: “An Alleluia Chorus: The Sun Hath Returned!” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Come and celebrate the Spring Equinox with this joyful service! Enjoy music, song, and merriment as we dance in a new season: the budding of the earth, the renewal of the soul, the lightness of the heart. Here comes the sun! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
March 14: “Charting Our Own Existence,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Regardless of the best laid plans of mice and men, we are all bound to find ourselves, at one time or another, facing difficult things in our lifetime. How do we heal ourselves, find the path out of hard times, and rely on what we have within? Sometimes breaking the rules, stepping off the path, and marching to a different drummer can be a hard decision. But it can be a life-saving one, too. In this service about finding one’s own way in the world, Rev. Jane will share her own personal story. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
March 7: “Free to Choose,” by Lori Hlaban
We say we are a “free church,” but what does that mean? We might point to our lack of creed, but it’s more about our covenants and polity. As this free congregation prepares to ordain one of its own to the Unitarian Universalist ministry, we will take a look at what that means both for the future minister and the congregation.
February 28: “Being There,” by church member Mike Santo
This sermon explores the awesome fact that we are being there in the world and responsible for the world as existence itself. We are the beings who ask “Why is there anything rather than nothing at all?” (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
February 21: “Sallying Forth: A Religious Venture – Auction Sermon #1,” by Rev. Jane EsbensenWhat does our UU religion have to offer our nation? How does our Judeo-Christian heritage position us realistically today? In these times of stronger and more vocal utterances by the Christian right in this country, on this Sunday I will be speaking about the future of faith, the Christian faith, and how our religion either resonates with that future, or it doesn’t, and what that will mean for us in the long run.
February 14: “Love and What the Heart Can Bear,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
In this February service we will focus on the re-imagining of Valentine’s Day by celebrating National Standing on the Side of Love Day. The UUA in Boston has created this social justice Sunday for February 14th of this year, and UU congregations across the nation are being invited to participate in this day of worship and practice of the works of love. I hope you will join us for a full day of listening, discussing, sharing, and learning what the challenges are for this chosen religion we call our own: a religious life that centers squarely upon social justice issues, here and abroad. We care, but what is possible? How much can we really do?
February 7: “Depression – the Reality” by LCUUC friend Mark Brewer
We see depression everywhere, including TV commercials for prescription medicine and the headlines. Some of us get “depressed” this time of year with the colder weather and shorter days. Isn’t our faith/spirituality supposed to help us not be depressed? I will explore this thing called depression, and mental illness in general, to help us better understand each other and ourselves.(CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
January 31: “If At First You Don’t Succeed,” by Rev. Dr. Linda Hansen
On the edge of February, we’ll use the 1993 film Groundhog Day to consider what Jung called the “shadow side” of our personalities. What does it take (and how long!) to become the fuller, deeper selves we’re capable of becoming? (You needn’t have seen the film to follow the sermon, but it’s a fun and thoughtful film if you have the time.) Linda Hansen is in her 16th year of ministry, and is currently the Consulting Minister of the United Unitarian & Universalist Society of Mukwonago.
January 24: “War and the Soul,” by Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth
In honor of the peacemaker Martin Luther King Jr., this service will be an examination of the experience of active duty troops and a reflection on Rev. Groth’s military family members and those she has counseled.
January 17: “O Flame, Burning Bright: Heretics Remembered,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Fire. A comfort, and a source of pain, anguish, and death. The history of the world is filled with punishment and torture, fear and reprisal. How common it is to react to change or difference with acts of rage, threats, and violence. How uncommon to respond with courage and openness. What do the heretics of the world have to teach us about truth and wisdom? What does our call to integrity ask us to do? (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
January 10: “Who’s In and Who’s Out?” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
It is part of the human condition to feel as though we’re the only ones who feel the way that we do; that we are the only ones going through what we’re going through; that we feel isolated and alone and misunderstood. “No man is an island,” we are told, but sometimes it feels that way. In this service I would like to lift up our commonalities, speak about the visible and invisible lines which divide, and consider ways to do this thing called Life better. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
January 3: “Borning and Dying,”a service created by Lori Gorgas Hlaban and presented by Gerry Flakas
This is our traditional first service of the New Year, where we reflect on the past year and celebrate births, honor those who have passed away, and set our intentions for the year before us. Special thanks to soon-to-be-ordained UU minister (and LCUUC member) Lori Gorgas Hlaban for her contribution to this service.
Sermons - 2009
December 27: “Hooray for Failure!” originally written by Rev. Judith A. Walker-Riggs, presented by Paul Fackler
On the edge of a new year, we often take a look back to get a measure of what we have done – how far we have come. Too often, we count only our successes. But what about our failures, the things we haven’t managed to do? As Rev. Judith Walker-Riggs writes, “This is a sermon about how it is perfectly all right to be incompetent for hours on end.” Yes, it is okay to fail. In fact, our failures may be what we are best at.
December 20: “Lo! It Shall Be Given,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
In this intergenerational Christmas service, we will ring in the season with story and song, poetry and prayer. Christmas is more than the birth of a baby named Jesus. It is also the birth of hope and goodwill for all and to all. A celebration is afoot! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
December 13: “Out of Darkness,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
The service will be a lovely liturgical celebration in words and music of the light we call forth in the midst of this deep winter season. Come and be with us as we greet the darkness and bring in the light!
December 6: “Religious Truth for Progressives: Discerning the Meaning of Miracles”, by Rev. Bret Myers
Today we will consider three miracles recorded in the New Testament in a way that makes sense for UUs, religious progressives, and post-modern thinkers who are “spiritual but not religious.” The “Feeding of the 5000,” the “Virgin Birth,” and the “Resurrection” are integral to the Christian understanding of the world, and have even shaped the religious imagination of those who do not consider themselves “Christian.” They are questionable to the modern mindset that associates truth with provable or historical facts, and are sometimes construed as “roadblocks” to continuing dialogue when interpreted as literal. Yet, is there still a “truth” to them? Should we continue to consider them if they do not conform to and satisfy our “scientific” understanding of reality? Can they still remain meaningful for our lives in the 21st century? Today’s message will show one way by which these questions may be answered in the affirmative.
November 29: “Attuning to Nature: Insights from Wiccan Traditions,” by Rev. Selena Fox
Selena (Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary, an international Wiccan church serving Nature religion practitioners worldwide since 1974) will explore some contemporary and ancient approaches for attuning to sacred dimensions of Nature and aligning with the cycles of sun, moon, and seasons. Learn about Wiccan spirituality, rooted in the Nature religions of old Europe, and consider some ways of adapting some Wiccan symbols, lore, customs, and ceremonies for enriching personal, family, and community life.
November 22: “Roots and Wings: A Thanksgiving Homily,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Today is the annual Thanksgiving Day Service and New Member Sunday and Potluck Meal at LCUUC. A lot of things happening all at once! As we welcome new members into this church today, we are at the same time reminding ourselves why it is we are even here. We are pilgrims, all. Let’s celebrate this church’s tradition of fellowship and food with a remembrance of what religious freedom truly means. Come hungry! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
November 15: “The Cross under the Pines,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
How many people have a cross lying in their backyard? Not many, but we do. Where did it come from? What is it doing out there? What does it mean to us to have it, unseen but present? Life presents us with all sorts of opportunities to look at things from different vantage points, through different lenses, and make sense of it all. We have a cross outside that is silently prodding us to think about its presence in the life of this church. What are we supposed to pay attention to? (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
November 8: “The Meaning of Compassion,” by Sally Pla and Kelly Kohl
Nov. 12 is the very first official worldwide “Charter for Compassion” Day. The charter was initiated by religious scholar Karen Armstrong and generated by religious and secular leaders around the world, who came together to write a pact – the Charter – to help us all overcome global spiritual differences and seek to celebrate a specific commonality underlying all world religions: The Golden Rule. Come learn about the Charter project, and reflect on ways compassion can become more conscious in our lives. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
November 1: “Saints and Sinners,” by Lori Gorgas Hlaban
Today is All Saints Day in the Christian calendar, and a time in many cultures for celebrating their ancestors and honored dead. This service will explore the notion of Unitarian Universalist saints – or sinners – in our history. Are the terms “saint” and “sinner” useful for contemporary Unitarian Universalists? (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
October 25: "Intellectual Integrity: the Life of Joseph Priestley" presented by Rev. Scott Gerard Prinster
How do we remain true to our beliefs when it seems that everyone around us is compromising theirs? One place we can turn for guidance is an important part of our Unitarian Universalist history, the story of Joseph Priestley, scientist, heologian, philosopher, and one of the founders of the English Unitarian Church. Let's explore together how the life of his intellectual pioneer can help us stand against the forces of conformity.
October 18: “Where Two Or More Are Gathered….”, presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Today you are invited to learn more about what it means to be part of a congregation of believers. It is not just the minister who ministers in a church, it is all of us. Shared Ministry is what we do whenever we come together to do good works. By these acts we express our individual beliefs and demonstrate the vision of this church community. Please come on this Sunday wearing your heart on your sleeve. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
October 11: “Together We Stand: Association Sunday,” presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Annually, UU congregations around the nation are encouraged by the UUA in Boston to participate in Association Sunday. The theme chosen for this year is Growth in Diversity. The contributions each congregation collects will go toward this theme, a focus on making our vision of justice and equality a reality for all. Come and learn more about this vital and vibrant endeavor to create change for the world we wish to live in. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
October 4: “When Death Gets Personal,” a podcast presented by Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow Connie Barlow was scheduled to be our guest speaker for our Sunday October 4 service, and her husband, Michael Dowd, was scheduled to present his “Thank God for Evolution” program at LCUUC that afternoon. We learned in late August of Michael’s medical diagnosis which will prevent them from coming to LCUUC. Connie and Michael have lived the last 7+ years entirely on the road evangelizing a sacred understanding of the Epic of Evolution. With Michael’s life-threatening illness, they have decided to change their mode of operation to sending out podcasts from their website (http://www.thegreatstory.org/). Michael and Connie have both written and spoken about how an evolutionary understanding of death can enhance one’s gratitude and awareness of the blessings of each moment—and for the generations of ancestors who came before. Our October 4 service will feature their first podcast since Michael’s diagnosis, where the two talk about how these conceptual understandings actually do bear fruit in times of need, when death gets personal. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
September 27: “Tables,” a sermon authored by Rev. Tony Larsen and presented by member John Kuhn
Over the millennia, many important things have happened around tables. They have been witness to important discussion and great events, countless hopes and doubts. Join us as we use the symbolism of the table to explore our community. Is your table open? This service is available through the Church of the Larger Fellowship on-line resource. Rev. Tony Larsen has been the minister at Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in Racine, Wisconsin since 1975. He has become well known throughout the country for his deeply moving, spiritual and often humorous sermons.
September 20: “To Live Deliberately,” presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Being a Unitarian Universalist is no small thing, but a great privilege and responsibility to ourselves, to each other, and to the world. But who are we? In this communal service, our new minister, Jane Esbensen, will speak a bit about her religious background and what she brings to our congregation, and she invites each and every one of you to come prepared to speak briefly about your religious background and what you bring here, as well. We are all in this together, this religious journey, but we can go forward only if we know ourselves, know each other, and know what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. Let us begin our deliberate way to be in the world, one by one, together.(CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
September 13: Water Communion Service, presented by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Come and join us for our traditional opening worship service of the year—the Water Communion Ceremony. In this intergenerational service, everyone is invited and encouraged to bring a small flask of water in memory of a significant place they went to this summer. The water can actually be from the place you traveled to, or it can be a symbol of a place you journeyed to in heart or mind, or it can be a bit of tap water, or hose water, or kiddie pool water from the backyard if you just stayed home. Wherever you “journeyed” this summer, we want to hear from you, as we gather the waters and embark upon this new church year together. Please come!
September 6: “The Heart of a Buffalo,” presented by Dennis Hawk
The Heart of a Buffalo is a musical drama with Dennis Hawk playing the character of Black Elk, a 19th century Lakota Medicine Man who relates his childhood experience hunting buffalo in Canada in the days just after the death of Chief Crazy Horse. Interlaced with the story is both traditional and original music by Dennis (Native American Drum, chanting, flute, guitar, and vocals). This intergenerational service is ideal for young and old alike. Dennis Hawk is a Cherokee/Mesquaki descendent, a pipe carrier, sweat lodge leader, and teacher of Native American spirituality. He is a singer/songwriter/story-teller who plays guitar and Native American flute. (CLICK here to listen to the music and story, 1 hour)
August 16: “Seeking Truth” by Lori Hlaban
One New Testament writer in the letter to the Ephesians encourages Christians to put on the “armor of God” to bolster their faith. Considering the language of this passage, as well as similar symbols or talismans of faith and/or protection – like Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility - will be the theme of this service. What “armor” would/should UUs carry? (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
July 12: “Responding to the Crisis of Global Warming: The Ultimate Snap Quiz on Our Beliefs, Perceptions and Ability to Shift Gears,” by pulpit guest Eric Hansen*
Humans, both as individuals and societies, have confronted towering crises before. What lessons and hope can we draw from those experiences? How do humans perceive that a crisis is at hand – and an immediate change in course is wise? What moves individuals and groups to speak out and mobilize their fellow citizens? Searching for insight, we’ll reflect on several stories of crisis and response. *Author Eric Hansen, a life-long Unitarian, is an award-winning environmental essayist and outdoors writer. He is also a commentator for WUWM’s Lake Effect program and a regular guest on Wisconsin Public Radio.
June 7: “Flower Communion Sunday,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Let’s celebrate our annual Flower Communion together, our last service for this church calendar year. Everyone is invited and reminded to bring a fresh flower. Together, these different flowers will become a beautiful bouquet. From the bouquet, people will be invited to take a flower different from the one they brought. Our Unitarian Universalist tradition of the Flower Communion lifts up the idea that our common bouquet would not be the same without the unique addition of each individual flower, and thus it is with our church community – it would not be the same without each and every one of us. All are welcome to this intergenerational service.
May 31: “Religious Education Sunday,” led by LCUUC Youth
This is the service we set aside each year to celebrate our children and youth – their spirit, their energy, their creativity, their music, their thoughts and ideas, and the way they care for each other. It is also the day we recognize and appreciate all the volunteers who work with them in our children’s Religious Education programs. Each RE class will tell us about what they have learned together this year. The presentations are always inventive and enjoyable. We hope you can join us!
May 24: “Citizen Soldiers,” by Rev. Linda Lawrence and Mr. Gary Lawrence
We UUs have either adopted or somehow adapted to most religious and national holidays. However, Memorial Day presents special issues for some of us. How can we use our first principle, “To promote the inherent worth and dignity of all people,” to include our soldiers? Please join us as we explore these issues and give special recognition and remembrance to veterans close to our hearts.
May 17: “A Celebration of Transition,” presented by LCUUC’s High School Seniors
Led by our high school seniors, this service is a culmination of their Religious Education and Transition program. We will celebrate their years at LCUUC, as they share special words, faith statements, and music. If time permits, Rev. Linda Berez will answer questions you may have about Unitarian Universalism or our faith in general. Note: Immediately after the service, Rev. Berez invites the congregation outside for the memorial garden dedication.
May 10: “Celebrating Women in Our Lives,” by Rev. Linda Berez
On this Mother’s Day, let’s take time to celebrate our mothers and all the women in our lives including our sisters, aunts, nieces, and friends. We will also celebrate Unitarian and Universalist women who have changed our lives by inspiring our nation.
May 3: “Pilgrimage, a Service of Meditations and Music,” by Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth
Rev. Groth will present a sermon on pilgrimage with special music on violin and hammered dulcimer provided by Rev. Groth and her husband, Don Lawson.
April 26: “Is Anything Meant To Be?”, by the Rev. Jane Rzepka (presented by Kelly Kohl)
Are the events that happen to us coincidence or are they meant to be? Do our dreams or intuitions have meaning or spiritual significance? Does what happens inside us “attract” these external events or are they of a greater spiritual existence? As Unitarian Universalists we are encouraged to a free and responsible search for answers. Please join us as we explore these questions.
April 19: “Voluntary Simplicity,” by LCUUC Great Lakes Earth Institute “Voluntary Simplicity” group
A dozen LCUUCers just completed a 6-week course on Voluntary Simplicity, offered by the Great Lakes Earth Institute. This service, which will be our Earth Day service, focuses on the lessons learned about Voluntary Simplicity, and how it can improve our lives.
April 12: “Easter,” by Rev. Linda Berez
All are invited to our intergenerational Easter service, a celebration of hope and renewal.
April 5: “The Journey to the Top,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Our paths are many but we have chosen the same “peak,” a faith community to enrich and support us. Come and join us on Stewardship Sunday as we consider the ways we will continue to sustain each other on our journey to the top.
March 29: “Justice Sunday 2009,” by guest (tbd) in conjunction with the LCUUC Social Action Committee
Justice Sunday 2009 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Learn how our congregation can help move the world closer to justice! The goal of Justice Sunday is to connect participants with people on the frontlines of today’s human rights movement and offer meaningful actions for people of all ages.
March 22: “A Celebration of Transitions,” by LCUUC 5th grade RE class with Leann Rigoli
This service will be a presentation of poems, stories, and music in celebration of completing the first part of LCUUC’s “coming of age” curriculum. “Transitions Part 1: Identity” focuses on the transition from childhood to adolescence. During this special service, you will hear what our young people have to say about themselves and their place in our religious community.
March 15: “To Whom it May Concern,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Prayer is central to the lives of religious people everywhere. Praying to a higher power, that which is holy, might include prayers before meals, before bed, upon waking in the morning, and especially during times of need. As Unitarian Universalists, how do we understand what is holy, and to whom do we pray, if we pray at all? How do we talk about prayer to our children? Please join Rev. Linda Berez and Chris Peske as we explore together the answer to these and other questions related to prayer.
March 8: “Godless,” by Dan Barker, co-president of Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation
Dan Barker will tell us about his transformation from an evangelical preacher to one of America’s leading atheists, and will enlighten us with his unique songs. His latest book, Godless, along with other literature and music from the FFRF, will be available for sale after the service.
March 1: “I Don't Know,” by LCUUC member Mike Santo
The focus of this sermon will be the limits of knowledge, and how these limits free us for a personal encounter with transcendence. This meditation will address the difference between knowing and thinking, and our relationship with our bodies (knowing) and other persons (thinking).
February 22: “Insights: A New Earth,” a service presented by LCUUC New Earth Book Club
The New Earth Book Club shares insights found in Eckhart Tolle’s message of how to transcend our current state of consciousness, which is essential to personal happiness and the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world.
February 15: “Faith & the Blues: Finding Something to Believe In,” by LCUUC member Greg Valde
What does “having faith” mean to a UU? And what does the blues have to do with faith? In this service, LCUUC member Greg Valde will use music and text to explore these and other questions … and perhaps provide a useful lens to look at difficult times and our need for “something to believe in.”
February 8: “Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong?”, by Rev. Linda Berez
Recently, The Great American Think-Off released its 2009 essay and debate question: “Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?” Is it? Come ponder this question with Rev. Linda Berez this Sunday and reflect upon how the answers affect us as spiritual beings.
February 1: “Can You Be Yourself?”, by Rev. Linda Berez
As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people including Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people. As Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church begins the process of becoming an official Welcoming Congregation with the Unitarian Universalist Association, you are invited to come and hear the stories of what it means to truly welcome people of all different sexual orientations, and what it means to truly feel welcomed.
January 25: "Treading the Spiritual Path with Feet of Clay," by Vicky Jones, Lay minister and former congregational president of First Unitarian Society in Madison
We can react strongly when someone we want to admire tumbles off the pedestal. What if that someone merely stumbles on the church steps? What if nobody sees? What if everybody sees? What if that someone is one's own self? Ms. Jones will explore coming to terms with the role human frailty plays in the spiritual journey and in a spiritual community that sets high standards.
January 18: "Hope," by Rev. Linda Berez
History will be written on January 20, 2009 when an African-American man is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday will be celebrated just the day before. Both men inspire hope in millions of people in this country and all around the world. Why is the message of hope so powerful? During times of uncertainty and fear, are you able to find hope? Where? Let's consider these questions together.
January 11: "The Paths are Many, The Peak is One," by the LCUUC Pathways Committee
As Unitarian Universalists, we have each chosen to make our own "free and responsible search for truth and meaning." However, by joining LCUUC we have also chosen to do so in community with one another. Please join us for this service as we explore the path thus traveled and begin to consider what lies ahead on our shared journey together.
January 4: "Borning and Dying," a service created by Lori Gorgas Hlaban and presented by Gerry Flakas
This is our traditional first service of the New Year, where we reflect on the past year honoring those who have passed away and celebrating births, and set our intentions for the year before us. Special thanks to Olympia Brown UU Church Intern Minister (and LCUUC member) Lori Gorgas Hlaban for her contribution to this service.
Sermons - 2008
December 28: “Unitarian Universalists, Cats and Dogs,” a sermon authored by Rev. Chris Buice and presented by LCUUC member John Kuhn
This service from the Church of the Larger Fellowship on-line resource uses a cat-dog metaphor to explore why we need both our humility and our pride, and how the merger of Unitarians and Universalists brought together two different ways of thinking.
December 24 at 4:00 p.m.: Christmas Eve Service, by Rev. Linda Berez
All are welcome to gather at 4:00 p.m. in the sanctuary on Christmas Eve for a holiday service of carols, stories, and candles. This is a chance to sing together and be together. We hope you and your family will be able join our minister, the Rev. Linda Berez, for this special service.
December 21: “Holiday Cheer,” by Rev. Linda Berez
This intergenerational celebration of Winter Solstice and Christmas will, we hope, light up the holiday and holy days of winter. Come and be together to sing, enjoy the music, and rejoice in this season that holds great meaning for so many people all over the world.
December 14: “Nature’s Way: Discovering the Sacred in the Natural World,” by Philip Chard, author, columnist, and nature therapist
Of the many paths we pursue in our quests for the divine (church, scripture, community, prayer, ritual, meditation), nature is the only one that flows pure and undiluted from the Creator. In nature we meet the unblemished manifestations of the sacred mystery we call “the universe” or “life.” This presentation will explore nature’s way, a spiritual path into the natural world that leads us to the divine.
December 7: “What Will You Give?”, by Rev. Linda Berez
The season of giving and buying may be in full swing, but consider how offering yourself might be the greatest gift of all. Lending a hand or a listening ear, especially during this time of year when, for some, the season isn’t so jolly, may be more valuable than a stack of presents.
November 30: “Breaking Evil,” by LCUUC member Michael Santo
This sermon will explore the subject of evil and its relationship to senseless violence, thoughtlessness, and a possible response to evil by my own thoughtfulness. The very broad topic of evil in the world will, consequently, be reduced to my role in it and how I can break its power.
November 23: “Who Will You Thank?”, by Rev. Linda Berez
Please join us for our annual Thanksgiving Day service and meal to follow. This intergenerational service will include a welcoming ceremony for our newest members, music, and a time to give thanks to those people and things in our lives that we are most grateful for. All are welcome.
November 16: “Last Words,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Today’s sermon will draw upon the inspiring words of the Rev. Forrest Church, Minister of Public Theology at All Souls Church in New York, and Randy Pausch, Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and author of The Last Lecture. Church says that our goal in life “is to live in such a way that our lives will prove worth dying for.” Is your life worth dying for? And, if you had a chance to pen your last words as both these men have, what would you want to share? Let’s explore these questions together.
November 9: “Who Wins?”, by Rev. Linda Berez
If you work hard, support a candidate, and they win the election, it feels good. Yet, if you work hard, support a candidate, and they lose, it might not feel so good. Regardless of the outcome of this Presidential election, some will feel better than others. As Unitarian Universalists, how is it that we best live within the interdependent web of all existence, and as citizens of this country, how do we best live with each other, no matter who wins?
November 2: “Joy,” a sermon authored by Rev. Edwin Charles Lynn and presented by LCUUC member John Kuhn
As the holiday season glimmers in the not-too-distant future, the Church of the Larger Fellowship on-line resource brings us this sermon, an inspiration to each of us to recognize and to cherish the joy in our lives. It is a reminder to seek out the goodness that can be found in every day.
October 26: "Yes, in my Back Yard: The Community's Call for Affordable Housing in Waukesha County," by Heather Dummer Combs, Housing Campaign Director, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee is leading a community effort in Waukesha County to increase public awareness for the need of affordable housing and to promote the establishment of a housing trust fund. This is an opportunity for you to learn about Interfaith's efforts in this important community outreach, and how you can help. The cash and un-designated checks from the offering will be donated to Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
October 19: "What Good Is Intuition in a Rational World?", by Rev. Scott Gerard Prinster
Is there any room in our scientific and reasonable worldview for the hunch, for following our gut? What good is it to speak of such things when we can¡¦t put our finger on the source of intuition, or identify the benefits of an irrational way of knowing? Join us as we explore the nature and value of our intuitive side.
October 12: "Association Sunday," by Rev. Linda Berez
Plan now to be in church on this Sunday when we join with thousands of Unitarian Universalists across the nation celebrating our shared commitment on Association Sunday. In this service, we will strengthen the bonds of our common purpose and combine our resources to make Unitarian Universalism a stronger voice for liberal religious values in our country. We are better together.
October 5: "Wake-Up Call," by Rev. Linda Berez
As Unitarian Universalists, we draw from many sources including Judaism. With the date of this service falling directly between the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we will have an opportunity to celebrate the Jewish New Year together. Worshipping during this season is a time of spiritual re-awakening and reflection. With all that is happening in our world today, a wake-up call may be just what we need.
September 28: “The Threshing Place,” a sermon authored by Rev. M. Maureen Killoran and read by LCUUC member Colleen Kennedy
This sermon from the Unitarian Universalist online resources spans the continuum from Pagan and Celtic rituals, to Old and New Testament quotations, to Emily Dickinson and Trappist Monks. The collective wisdom offered encourages us to pause at the thresholds of our lives. To grieve for what can no longer be and when it’s time to cross the threshold, step forward, and let your future begin!
September 21: “Across the Great Divide,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
What does a small country, nestled between the open sea and the deep-fabled forests of the north, have to offer us, the greatest country in the world? Jane Esbensen is an ordained UU minister. She recently spent the last 2 1/2 years living and working in Sweden, and her talk today will be a reflection piece on the juxtaposition of how life can and, perhaps, should be lived, and what tangible shifts in perspectives it would require of us to get there.
September 14: “Are you a UU?,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Even those of us who have been Unitarian Universalists for more than half our lives or more find the question of our religion a difficult one to answer. We may be tempted to say what we?re not because explaining Unitarian Universalism is complex, a reflection of our very lives. At the same time, regardless of whether you?ve attended one Sunday worship or 100, once you find this community, a community committed to compassion, justice, and equity, you know you?ve found a church home. So are you a UU? Come explore together.
September 7: “Water Communion,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Come and celebrate our Annual Water Communion. Everyone is invited to bring a small amount of water that has some significance or meaning in their lives. It might be water that came from a lake, a river, or an ocean. Maybe it came from a vacation you took with your family, or from your backyard fountain. Maybe you collected water from the devastating rains at the beginning of the summer or from the snow melt of last winter. Every drop you bring reminds us of the importance of water to each of us individually and as a community, and we will take time for people to share their stories. Please join us for this intergenerational service.
August 10: “Whose Bible?”, by Rev. Linda Berez and Lori Hlaban, Candidate for UU Ministry
If you’ve ever been to a football game you’ve probably seen someone holding up a sign saying“John 3:16.” What does John 3:16 have to say to Unitarian Universalists? Is this potential message of hope helpful? Is it hurtful? Do these words help us to live lives of meaning in this day and age? You are invited to join Lori Hlaban and Rev. Linda Berez as they consider these and other questions in their conversation on this Sunday. All are welcome.
July 13: “The Goodness of the Other,” by Mike Santo, church member
In my world I experience the satisfaction of my needs in my friends and family, and I enjoy the familiar surroundings of my town, state, and country. But I also experience the desire for the greener grass on the other side of the fence; I wonder what is beyond my horizon of familiarity as I dream of what could be; I stand in awe of the good which is beyond my knowledge and beyond my grasp. This sermon explores the good that comes not from my own world of enjoyment, but from the face of the other person as other than me.
June 8: “Flower Communion Sunday,” by Rev. Linda Berez
On the final Sunday of the church calendar year we will celebrate our annual Flower Communion. Everyone is invited to bring a fresh flower that will become a part of the ritual of sharing our own flowers with each other. As each flower is unique so are we all. Our flower communion service reminds us that the many varied facets of our lives, our gifts, and our talents come together like the petals, the colors, and the fragrances of the flowers to create a beautiful bouquet. All are welcome to this intergenerational service. Please join us.
June 1: “Religious Education Sunday,” led by LCUUC Youth
This is the service we set aside each year to celebrate our children and youth—their spirit, their energy, their creativity, their music, their thoughts and ideas, and the way they care for each other. It is also the day we recognize and appreciate all the volunteers who work with them in our children’s Religious Education programs. Each RE class will tell us about what they have learned together this year. The presentations are always inventive and enjoyable. Don’t miss it!
May 25: “Against All Enemies,” by Lori Gorgas Hlaban
Members of the military take an oath to protect the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In this Memorial Day service, we will consider military veterans, and others, to be honored as veterans in the struggle to ensure freedom for all.
May 18: “Finding the Truth,” by Rev. Linda Berez
What is truth? Where do we find meaning? As Unitarian Universalists we are encouraged to search freely and responsibly for answers to these questions throughout our lives. Please join Rev. Linda Berez on a journey into the places where truth and meaning might be found in our lives.
May 11: “Mother’s Day for Peace,” by Rev. Linda Berez
The observance of a Mothers’ Peace Day was begun in the 1870s, based on an idea from Unitarian Julia Ward Howe, and was eventually replaced by the Mother’s Day holiday we now celebrate. Howe’s hope for peace and an end to war is just as relevant today as it was back then. The service will also include a Ceremony of Dedication for the children of members of the congregation who were born during this past year or who are new to the community.
May 4: “Messages from Earth—Are We Listening?” by Sue Loomans
This is our annual Earth Day service presented by the Green Sanctuary Committee. Sue Loomans, a climatologist who was one of our speakers at last fall’s Step It Up 2007 rally, will be our guest speaker. We are planning to hold this service outside, weather permitting, and to have outdoor Earth-related activities, such as Adopt A Highway and tree planting, after the service. Come prepared for the outdoors!
April 27: “A Celebration of Transition,” presented by LCUUC’s High School Seniors
Led by our High School Seniors, this service is a culmination of their religious education and Transition program. We will celebrate their years at LCUUC, as they share special words, faith statements, and music. Join us for what is sure to be a moving and memorable service!
April 20: “Why the World Needs Harry Potter,” by Rev. Linda Berez
The message of Harry Potter, that good can defeat evil, is one that brings us much hope in our lives. All non-magical folk, “muggles,” wizards, and witches, are invited to journey into the magical land of Harry Potter for a service that will lift up why we all need a little of that magic at some time in our lives.
April 13: “The Joys of Ownership,” by Rev. Linda Berez
We’ll kick off our annual Stewardship Campaign and pledge drive this Sunday. “I Own This Church” isn’t just the theme, but the reality, and ownership has its joys. Our service will feature some great music including two original songs by Lake Country members as well as the opportunity to welcome our newest members. It’s a service you won’t want to miss.
April 6: “It’s Tough Getting Old—Don’t Try It!”, by Rev. Linda Lawrence
Are you brave enough to consider some of the challenges of aging—mine, yours, your congregation’s?
March 30: “Darfur,” by a speaker from Amnesty International
The speaker from Amnesty International will talk about the continuing crisis in the Darfur region of the Sudan. There will be a special collection to help AI with their relief efforts in this troubled part of the world.
March 23: “Sun Rise,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Come celebrate Easter at Lake Country, Unitarian Universalist style. All are invited to attend this intergenerational service.
March 16: “Simply Living Simply,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Naturalist, Transcendentalist, and author Henry David Thoreau advocated for a simple and sustainable life in his book Walden. Yet, today our American way of life, and our economy, seems to be predicated on the idea that “more is better.” Is it? How do we find a balance? Join Rev. Linda Berez as she reflects upon these and other questions related to the ideas of simple living and why these issues are important to Unitarian Universalists.
March 9: “A Celebration of Transitions,” presented by LCUUC 5th grade RE class with Christi Ehler
This service will be a presentation of poems, stories, and music in celebration of completing the first part of LCUUC’s “coming of age” curriculum. Transitions Part 1: Identity focuses on the transition from childhood to adolescence. During this special service, you will hear what our young people have to say about themselves and their place in our religious community.
March 2: “The Message of Islam: What Can We Learn?”, by Rev. Jody Wheldon, community minister
Knowing the history of a religion helps us understand its message. Both believers and nonbelievers benefit from a familiarity with these stories. Today, we will work to discern Islam’s message threads from Islam’s beginnings. This will include Mohammed’s remarkable journey as The Prophet, which did not begin until he was about 40 years old. If you are interested in reading ahead, Jody recommends Karen Armstrong’s very readable book, Islam: A Short History, a pre-9/11 publication.
February 24: “Red, White and Blue,” by Rev. Linda Berez
In honor of the President’s Day holiday, Rev. Linda Berez will continue her series on our Unitarian Universalist principles, specifically focusing on our fifth principle, which affirms the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
February 17: Closed due to bad weather
February 10: "Worship Is Not a Product: Worship Is a Need," by Rev. Webster Kitchell, presented by LCUUC member Colleen Kennedy
What is implied by worship that makes it seem incompatible with Unitarian Universalism? Can action-minded, problem-solving liberals who weigh issues with a scientific mind and shun dependency on a supernatural God actually worship on Sunday mornings? Rev. Kitchell takes a fresh view of worship, defining it as a time to be philosophical and meditate on what things are of worth, of "worth-ship." When we worship we feel joy in the mystery and open up to the transforming power of creative good. Our ability to perform good works in the world is enhanced by having taken this "Sabbath time" to worship.
February 3: "Amazing Grace," by Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth, UU Community Minister
On the issue of grace in UU religion, Rev. Groth goes through some of her own experiences that seemed to have no good outcome—until the intervention of grace.
January 27: “Six Degrees of Connections,” by Rev. Linda Berez
We are literally all connected according to the idea of “six degrees of separation.” It goes that if a person is one step away from each person he or she knows and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is no more than six “steps” away from each person on Earth. The result of this thinking speaks well of our seventh Unitarian Universalist principle, which states that we are all part of an interdependent web of all existence. Join our minister, the Rev. Linda Berez, as she continues her series on the importance of our Unitarian Universalist principles and purposes and how they are relevant in our daily life.
January 20: “The Gift of Silence,” by Peter Morales, a CLF service presented by John Kuhn
This service, drawing from the Church of the Larger Fellowship resource, provides an opportunity to consider different kinds of silence and how important silence can be in our interaction with others and our surroundings. Silence can be difficult, awkward, or powerful, and we will explore how it is so.
January 13: “Our Moral Compass,” by Rev. Linda Berez
Sometimes Americans reflect warmly on a time they say we must return to—a time that could be used as a moral base line. Often people might say that we have lost our direction with respect to values. Yet, how difficult it is to adjust our moral compass when it was never properly calibrated from the onset. As our country gets ready to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 79th birthday, you are invited to join our minister, the Rev. Linda Berez, as she reflects upon where we as Unitarian Universalists are with respect to our nation’s and our own moral compass.
January 6: "Passing Through" a sermon by Lori Gorgas Hlaban Student, Chicago Theological Seminary, Member LCUUC
Life is a Journey from birth to death - and we're all just passing through. This will be our annual New Year's service where we honor those who died in the past year, celebrate new life, and consider or intentions for the coming year.