In many Buddhist cultures the lotus flower—blossoming serenely on the pond’s surface—is a symbol of transformation and enlightenment. But the secret to the lotus’s beauty is its roots that are buried deep in the muck at the bottom of the pond. How can we find transformation and wisdom when our lives have run amuck?
This Sunday we’ll reflect on the spiritual importance of fathers of all sorts—ancient and new—who nurture holistic expressions of humanity, open space for tears and laughter, and whose struggles help us learn more about love.
In the Declaration of Independence, the Founders suggest “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the great goals of human living. Life and liberty, certainly. But happiness has always been a problematic pursuit. What are the traps of pursuing happiness? And is happiness what we really want, after all?
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.” From The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus
The All Souls Choir joins forces with Dance Exchange to present Liz Lerman’s iconic work, Still Crossing, as part of a weekend of activities that explore the powerful connections between performance, prayer, and protest and bring us into conversation and action around issues and stories of migration, immigration, and journeys.
This sermon will explore how doubt leads us to make predictions—some of which are utterly wrong—about the future. What can we do differently with our inner naysayer?
On this Sunday, we move to our summer schedule: one service only, at 10:15 am.
The call to transform our shared ministry is stirring in our congregation. On this Pentecost Sunday – a day to celebrate how the gifts of the spirit empower each of us to be builders of beloved community---- lay leaders in our congregation will share the pulpit with Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker to reflect on how the Spirit may be moving us to deepen and strengthen our life as a multi-racial congregation. We will honor three themes from the ancient Pentecost story in Acts: Doubt, Empowerment, and Many Voices.
On this Mother’s Day we’ll bless children, honor our Elders, and discuss how the joys and challenges of being part of a religious community are a little bit like being part of family.
Is God truly wise and all-knowing? Is God is so wise, why is there Evil in the world? Does God love us? Why do bad things happen to good people? Does God love us even when we have fallen into the mud? Rev. Dr. Braxton's "Intimate Conversations with God" will explore these and other timeless questions.
On this Earth Day, how might we re-imagine God not as an omnipotent overlord who rules the earth, but as the greening energy that moves within all of life? New theological movements are arising that do this, that speak of “ecospirit” and invite us to a new spiritual grounding for reverencing, protecting and healing the Tree of Life.
Unitarian Universalism is built on the premise that our souls are enlarged by sharing our spiritual journey with others, even those whose beliefs differ from our own. Sometimes we depend upon others to introduce us to the God we’ve been longing for.
God, yes. God, no! God, maybe. One God at most? Does it matter? What’s a Unitarian Universalist to do? The service will explore what God means, or doesn't mean, for Unitarian Universalists.
When the women came to the tomb on Easter morn, the massive boulder covering the tomb’s entrance had been rolled away. It takes a village to roll away stones and allow new life to enter in. How can we, together, experience a resurrection?
Join us at 7:30 pm.
We have come to a critical moment when we are asked to face that we have broken covenant with each other and with our youth and children. As UUs, we affirm the existence of the divine spark within all and yet our moral clarity at times has waned. Our bold prophetic youth now have claimed their voice. How shall we faithfully respond?
You can take a vacation from the pressures of work, family, and home life, but you can’t take a vacation from yourself. Wherever you go you take yourself along, including all your demons, foibles and failings, negative self-talk, and unattractive qualities. Rather than fleeing our lives, how do find liberation by staying in place?
Our nation was founded by religious people who believed in hell and thought it was necessary to motivate good moral behavior. Early Unitarian and Universalists rejected that notion. So, to whom, or to what, are we accountable?
“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!