“Loaded words” is our worship theme for the year, and September’s loaded word is “sanctuary.” Listen to our worship service on Sept. 9, 2018 when the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s sermon, “An Altar in the World,” explored what it is to create and experience sacred space, and sanctuary, in the world and in our lives.
What is the work of love? Work can be a sacred gift, a meditation, and a prayer in itself. Listen as Reverend Molly Housh Gordon considered the many ways that we serve our deepest calling in this life at our Sept. 2, 2018 worship service on Labor Day weekend.
Every year, at the end of the warmth of summer and the beginning of the coolness of fall, we hold an ingathering ceremony – to gather the waters from out diverse travels over the summer and gather our grounded souls as we begin a new church year. Water is in our very bodies, and is found wherever we go whether that be the far reaches of the Earth or right here at home. Listen to this ceremony held on Aug. 26, 2018.
The current era of blood-sport, winner-take-all politics marked by xenophobia and hyper-nationalism may feel new and different, but it’s actually a recurring pattern in American history. How can we as Unitarian Universalists resist these ugly phenomena while remaining true to our principles? Steve Scott leads us in this challenging topic, with a bit of humor and a reminder to adhere to our principles.
At worship on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, our congregation heard from three of our delegates to General Assembly, the Unitarian Univeralist Association’s annual gathering. This year’s General Assembly was held in Kansas City, Mo., which allowed about two dozen of our members to join thousands of other UUs from around the country and the world for five days of learning, reflection, meditation, and the business of the association. Delegates Steve Scott, Peter Holmes and Todd Iveson shared their experiences at this exciting gathering.
At our worship service on Aug. 12, 2018, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored the concept of fractal reality. Fractal patterns move from small to large, and not entirely the other way around. The small changes we make every day, in our lives and our organization, matter. In this podcast you’ll hear Rev. Molly propose that how we do the work of change matters.
At worship on Sunday, July 29, 2018, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon reflected on the meaning of Sanctuary. A sanctuary literally means a church, yet also means a place of spiritual and even legal refuge. Rev. Molly explored how we can create a culture of compassion and expand our circle of warmth and care to those around us.
This podcast is an archived recording of our March 18, 2018 worship service. We have the privilege to hear our YRUU youth group share their feelings and thoughts about gun violence and the toll it has taken on their young lives.
At our worship service on July 22, 2018, Director of Religious Education Jamila Batchelder and others offered a spiritual exploration of human sexuality and information about our “Our Whole Lives” (OWL) program of comprehensive sexuality education for all ages.
In her sermon “Try a Little Tenderness” on July 15, 2018, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored what it means to engage tenderness as a tactic of resistance in a time when appeals to security, strength and “other-ing” are used to oppress. She suggested how to bring softness and openness to the time at hand.
On Sunday, July 8, 2018, we explored “Everything Must Change: A Woman Gets Older,” organized by Connie Ordway. What does it mean for a woman to age in this society? Connie mapped the journey for women to reclaim their status as “Wise Women” with the help of several other women.
Rev. Molly’s homily on July 1, 2018, “Spiritual Tools to Sustain Us,” focused on four tools: Lamentation, Connection, Hope and Enjoyment.
On Dec. 10, 2017, Worship Associate Rebecca Graves explored “The Wildness of The Season.” Focusing on the northern European figure of Krampus, she examined what it means to tap into the wild within.
On Dec. 3, 2017, we heard a story about a woman who showed up anyway. Amid the inevitable struggles of life and relationships, one of the most profound things we do in religious community is to explore how to remain faithful to one another, to our highest values, and to love. When the going gets tough, it takes spiritual maturity to stay at the table and find our way through. “If it hadn’t been for the drag queens, I don’t know what we would have done.” Are you intrigued? Listen to Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s inspiring story about Ruth Coker Burks from Little Rock, Ark.
In her sermon on Nov. 19, 2017, “Staying at the Table,” Rev. Molly Housh Gordon spoke of how Thanksgiving time with family is sometimes fun, sometimes hard, and always meaningful, and she explored how we can stay at the table through it all. Listen as she starts with a closer look at a hymn popular in the Civil Rights movement – “We’re Going to Sit at the Welcome Table.”
Our members Kevin EarthSoul, Connie Ordway and Melissa McConnell spoke at our “Struggling Together” worship services on Nov. 12, 2017 about how they grappled with struggles of different kinds in their lives and the meaning they found in their struggles. Listen as they tell their stories. You can also read the text of Connie Ordway’s remarks, “When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be an Old Woman” (PDF).
One way we build resilient community is by engaging struggle together. In doing so we learn that we can do hard things, engage in emotional complexities, and struggle together for justice. When we wrestle with the difficulties of life together, sometimes we just may find our way to a blessing. Listen as Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explores these ideas in her Nov. 5, 2017 sermon, “Wrestling to the Blessing.”
Difference enriches our communities, but could it also enrich the identity of our very own souls? Listen as we consider the complexities of the self, how we contain contradiction, and how we grow over time, awaking a different self each day. In her sermon on Oct. 22, 2017, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored how this complexity colors the portrayal of victims and perpetrators in the media – mainstream media flattens some into a two dimensional characture, while allowing us to examine the three dimensional depths of others. Is this difference driven by fear of the other?
On Oct. 15, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s sermon was “Listening So Others May Speak, Speaking So Others May Listen. ” Jeff Ordway presented related readings. Rev. Molly explored how we can have useful conversations across difference in a polarized and polarizing time, how we might listen in a way that others will speak, and how we might speak so that we might truly be heard.
The UUCC Honduras Team presented the worship services on Oct. 8, 2017. The Team has been supporting villages in the Cangrejal River Valley, about an hour drive south from La Ceiba, Honduras, since 2009.
A group of 16 went on the fourth UUCC service trip this past June to build latrines, offer Pap smears in a clinic, and paint the clinic and the elementary school in a Honduran village. Allie Gassman, Jackie Baugher, Leila Gassmann, Jonas Gassmann and Chris Hayday shared their stories.
In her sermon on Oct. 1, 2017 titled “Holy Difference,” the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon said that when she describes Unitarian Universalism to folks for the first time, one of the characteristics she names is, “We believe difference is holy, rather than threatening.” She explored how this belief can be hard to live out in these times and this world and considered how we can live a life in which difference is holy.
In her moving sermon on Sept. 24, 2017 titled “Being Sanctuary, our Affiliated Community Minister, the Rev. Dottie Mathews, shared what she has learned while accompanying immigrant neighbors to ICE check-ins and doing other sanctuary work. She pondered how we can truly treat everyone as members of the human family amid inhumane systems. The sermon text is also available (PDF).
At our worship service on June 11, 2016, Worship Associate Cande Iveson explored our worship theme for the month – fidelity to covenant. Listen as she unpacks this phrase with concrete examples to help understand it, adding a bit of humor.
In her sermon on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 titled “Of Salvation and Scars,” Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored a Unitarian Universalist interpretation of traditional Easter themes, examining what it means to be wounded and whether a wound paradoxically makes us more human.
Our lay-led worship on March 26, 2017 was titled “Four Score: Reflections on Aging from Four Generations” and was presented by UUs across several decades. Listen to what Cande Iveson, Rachel Byerly Duke, Tracey Milarsky, Todd Iveson and David Leuthold had to say at the 11 a.m. service about what aging means to them.
Life is a series of inevitable changes – yet we cling and grasp at each fleeting piece, always being forced to let go, as we are carried along in the currents of life. Moments of change in our lives can be lessons, as well as deeply emotional experiences. Join us as Director of Religious Education Jamila Batchelder and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explore how religious traditions help us understand these changes as the impermanence of all things.
Our audio podcast this week considers impermanence – a part of the natural ebb and flow of life. Why do we resist impermanence, meeting our own end with fear and panic? Can we, instead of avoiding this part of living, turn toward it, through our spirituality? Can it be a friend, whispering that we should enjoy this beautiful fleeting moment of gold and ash? Listen as Director of Religious Education Jamila Batchelder and the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explore these deep questions.
What does it mean to show up with courage in a time of division and even violence? Unitarian Universalists have a storied history of courageously resisting laws that violated their conscience. Listen to a podcast of Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s sermon on Feb. 19, 2017 as she tells us of a chance and an obligation to take a leap of courage for our community.
Our work in this time of division and fear is the same as the work always is – it is the simple calling of loving our world. How do we remain rooted in love in these times when there is so much to be done and so much coming at us all the time? Join us as Rev. Molly Housh Gordon describes creative ways to sustain our love of the world and make it concrete.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. admonished us to be “creatively maladjusted.” What does that mean as we face today’s challenges? Is it possible to be hopeful? As we confront today’s anti-progressive forces, what would it look like for a creatively maladjusted justice movement to forge a “Third Reconstruction”? Listen to the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s Feb. 5, 2017 sermon, “Moving for Justice,” in which she admonishes us to breathe, and then to push.
On Dec. 4, 2016, in a sermon titled “God Is Not God’s Name,” Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored deep questions of theism, atheism and metaphor, helping us understand the danger of simple, certain and hollow stories – how such simplistic views of the world can leave us with the choices only to agree or oppose. Yet a richer, deeper, more complex story can help develop deep resistance to tyranny and deep sustenance… feeding the soul.
In her sermon on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, titled “Beloved Resistance,” the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon spoke to how we as Unitarian Universalists must double down on love and connection with all peoples to combat the forces of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and other prejudices unleashed and seemingly normalized during the Presidential election. The audio recording of her sermon is from the 11 a.m. worship service.
On Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, we welcomed back Kenny Wiley, former UUCC member and now a UU World senior editor and Denver-based religious educator. Kenny attended UUCC from 2008 to 2011 when he was a student at MU. He delivered a sermon, “Finding Home,” that emphasized the importance of the UU First Principle – the inherent worth and dignity of every person – in our relationships across racial and cultural lines. The audio recording is from the 9 a.m. worship service. See photos from the 11 a.m. service.
Listen here to “Leadership, Followership, and Other Ships that Sail,” the sermon topic of special guest preacher Meg Riley at our two worship services on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016.
Rev. Riley is the senior minister leading our denomination’s largest congregation – The Church of the Larger Fellowship, a congregation without walls serving UUs all over the world.
In her reflections at our worship services on Sept. 25, 2016, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explained that when we come to practice self-awareness, we must also decide which parts of ourselves we bare to the world, and which remain hidden.
We must recognize, as well, that pieces of us are hidden to ourselves, though not always to the world. When it comes to our spiritual growth, how do we grapple with blind spots, defenses, and the hidden inner world?
In her poem “To Be of Use,” the gifted poet Marge Piercy tells us that humans crave real purpose and meaning in life. In her sermon of the same title at the 9 and 11 a.m. worship services on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, the Rev. Dottie Mathews, our new affiliated community minister, addressed the foundational question, “Why does spiritual growth matter?”
View photos from the worship service.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, as we resumed holding two worship services and 9 and 11 a.m., we began exploring our overarching theme for the year – cultivating spiritual growth. What is spiritual growth, exactly? How do we cultivate it, and how do we know it when we see it? These are the questions the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored in her sermon.
At our worship service on Sept. 4, 2016, with the aid of the new book White Trash: The Four Hundred Year Untold History of Class in America by historian Nancy Isenberg, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored the profound influence of class in America and in our Unitarian Universalist tradition. She posed the question, How do we faithfully respond to our broader culture’s tragic and deeply ingrained belief that some people are disposable?
In his remarks during the worship service on July 17, 2016, lay leader Steve Scott shared a key insight from the book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein – that environmental and social justice advocates need to recognize the common causes of the ills they are fighting and work together more closely.
On June 5, 2016, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored the following questions in a sermon titled “Self-Compassion in the Digital Age”:
- How do we practice self-compassion in an age that commodifies self-help and self-improvement as products marketed to us in various digital media?
- How do we love our neighbors and ourselves in a world of carefully crafted digital self-presentation?