“Why is the Buddha crying?” asked a child who’d seen a figurine of a weeping Buddha. The answer to her question may offer a way forward through our own grief.
Many voices speak to us as we chart our life’s path and consider our vocational calling. Whose call upon us matters most? Our parents? God? Our inner self? Or??? In the midst of many demands, how do we choose the “call” that we will answer? And what difference does it make?
NOTE: In the introduction to this sermon, W.H. Auden should have been identified as Dag Hammarskjold's translator rather than as his life-partner. The nature of their relationship is not publicly known. Also, San Jose--not San Juan--is the capital of Costa Rica.
Mid-life crises: they’re not just for the middle-aged anymore. The poet David Whyte says they can occur “anytime that the tide of life seems to have left us stranded on the beach.” Reconnecting with our vocation and purpose in life can get us moving again.
How do we sustain our gifts of vocation and calling through seasons of moral ambiguity? How might wonder and awe help us as we seek to move toward transformative cultures of care and justice?
A poignant line from a favorite hymn goes: “Disappointment pierced me through, still I kept on loving you.” What do we do when we feel let down by the people and the communities that we love? How can disappointment and failure be a doorway to greater religious commitment?
TRIGGER WARNING: This sermon includes graphic descriptions of sexual abuse that may be disturbing.
The “Me, Too” movement has brought renewed attention to how widely sexual harassment and abuse have impacted people’s lives—most often (but not only) women. What does it take for those harmed to find their voice, name their experience, and call for redress? How can and should our spiritual communities help foster healing, accountability, and positive change? What does this moment open up for all of us?
Join us for a service on this topic, with music from Rochelle Rice and a sermon from Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, whose ground-breaking book “Proverbs of Ashes,” co-authored with Rita Nakashima Brock, addresses sexual abuse theologically and personally from a feminist perspective.
"In order to understand the world," wrote Camus, "one has to turn away from it on occasion." More than anything else, we must be fully present to both the beauty and brokenness of the world, if we are to help redeem it. But to be fully present over the long haul, we must sometimes take time away from the world. How do we strike a balance between engagement and retreat?
This Sunday we celebrate the legacy of Dr. King in a very special way—by once again welcoming the young South Africans of the Bokamoso Youth Choir. Sharing from South Africa’s rich tradition of freedom singing, the young people of Bokamoso (joined by the All Souls Jubilee Singers and Children’s Choir) will mingle their own stories with freedom songs from South Africa and the United States. This is a service you won’t want to miss!
Begin the New Year with silence, song, and prayer at our monthly candlelight vespers service. 7:30 pm.
To be awake is to be present to the fullness of our lives; ours joys and sorrows, perils and possibilities. This Sunday we take stock of our lives and our world, and ask how to begin the New Year with heart, soul, and strength, focused always on our mission of Building the Beloved Community.
We gather together to celebrate Kwanzaa. As a spiritual and religious community, we will give thanks and invite blessings as we move to into a New Year.
One service only, at 10:15 am.
Please note that there will be no Sunday morning worship services on Christmas Eve.
7:00 pm. “Family Candlelight Service” Our early Christmas service is designed especially for families with young children—as well as the “young at heart” of all ages! This year features a dramatic reading of a classic Christmas story. The Jubilee Singers and Children’s Choir will sing. Don’t forget to bring a bell to ring every time we sing “Alleluia.”
10:00 pm. “Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols” Join our ministers and the All Souls Choir in welcoming Christmas into the world and into our hearts during this candlelit service of lessons and carols. Don’t forget to bring a bell to ring every time we sing “Alleluia.”
On this Sunday before Christmas, Revs. Hardies will be joined by the children of the church to tell a very special story set to some very special music. An All Souls tradition.
Unitarian minister Galen Guengerich writes, “To know courage is to know a calling that is greater than fear.” It is to hold fast to something inside us that is so strong, fear cannot overcome it.
The popular hymn “Amazing Grace” includes the line, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” How does grace give us the courage to face our fears?
How can we cultivate gratitude and mindfulness during the busy holiday season, and throughout the year?
As people committed to love and justice in today’s world, it’s fair to say that we have “counter cultural” aspirations. And yet we’re still products of the larger culture, so it’s easy to accidentally reinforce the status quo rather than challenging it. What would it look like to truly liberate our hearts, minds, and bodies?
Sufi mystics teach that one must learn to “die before you die.” What might this spiritual tradition teach us about embracing the reality of death as a pathway to living with greater freedom and deeper love?
On All Souls Sunday we remember those in our community who have died over the last twelve months and consider what death means for us, the living. How can our contemplation of death point us back to life? When death comes, what consolation and understanding does our Unitarian Universalist faith offer us?
I once heard Cornel West observe that while our smartphones keep getting smarter, we’re not getting any wiser. “Smart is for phones,” he said, “let the people be wise.” This morning we explore how our “high-tech, low-touch” society impacts our spirits, as well as our capacity for resilience and wisdom.
The strength to hold on and the flexibility to let go—resilience is born from both. In countering the toxins of white supremacy, how do we deepen our spiritual wisdom to know what is most needed at any given time? How do we create a resilient faith community that engages our different identities, communities of accountability, histories, and choices in the struggle for just and sustainable life for us all? This Sunday’s sermon honors the call from Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism for Unitarian Universalists across the country to hold a second “White Supremacy Teach-In.” It will be followed on Wednesday evening, October 25, 7-9 p.m. with a “Teach In and Topics-In-Formation” session on “Countering White Supremacy” for further discussion and exploration.
Income inequality has reached Gilded Age proportions. Nations build walls along borders and declare some human beings “illegal.” Aid to the poor and vulnerable is on the chopping block while corporate America awaits another tax cut. Big money, foreign hackers, and vote suppressors undermine our democracy. This Sunday I want to lift up a different vision, a vision of a world of generosity, mutuality, and justice--a shared world.
What if the Balm in Gilead is to be discovered from within as a source of resilience? Our individual experiences may leave us wounded, but in community they may also give us the tools that we need to help others who have suffered similar wounds.
Every year on the Sunday closest to Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, we explore themes of forgiveness and reconciliation and end our service with the words of our Litany of Atonement: “We forgive ourselves. We forgive each other. We begin again in love.” There can be no new beginnings—no resilience of spirit or community—without atonement, forgiveness and reconciliation.
“Not a moment but a movement,” has become a popular slogan in progressive circles, a reminder that our social justice work must go beyond mere resistance to the immediate political crisis, and strive to build a lasting movement for justice and equality. As people of faith committed to building beloved community, we understand this. Yet I would argue that as people of faith we seek something beyond the moment and the movement. I would argue that our current climate of division and suspicion and fear offers the possibility of an even deeper transformation, a spiritual and moral transformation. This Sunday I share what’s at stake religiously in this moment.