Services and reflections

The following selection of previous services and reflections can be played directly on your computer by clicking the links below or can be downloaded to your computer or MP3 player as a podcast by following the directions at the bottom of this page.

July 20, 2014 Beloved Community: Paths to Salvation
The Reverend Patti Pomerantz

Beloved Community is a way of seeing the world and the promise of Unitarian Universalism. It is designed to help us bring depth to our relationships and to walk toward justice with the broader community. It also gives me hope that meaningful change is still possible. I will reflect on how this process can impact both your individual and your congregational lives.

The Reverend Patti Pomerantz continues to offer spiritual direction through the Interfaith Spiritual Center in North Portland. In September, she will become the Parish Minister at Eastrose Fellowship Unitarian Universalist in Gresham, just east of Portland, OR.

July 13, 2014 The Price of Justice
Stephen Aldrich, Ruth Elder and Daryl Rodrigues

Community members have formed the Justice Not Jails group, focusing on justice reform issues. This morning speakers will provide various perspectives on the myriad issues involved: What is the societal problem? What is the cost to individuals? And what can be done?

Stephen Aldrich lobbies for the Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy. Ruth Elder staffed the Thurston Council on Cultural Diversity and Human Rights and has worked as Community Program Manager for Thurston County. Daryl Rodrigues heads the Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel.

July 6, 2014 The Journey
The Reverend Linda Hart

Times of change are challenging for us all. What can help us as we begin the transition in ministerial leadership? What helps us in the changes in our lives?

The Reverend Linda Hart, along with her daughter Claire and husband Peter Teets, has been a member or friend of OUUC since 2001. After returning from 6 years in London, she served as interim minister for Evergreen UU Fellowship. In August, she will become the developmental minister at Tahoma UU Congregation in Tacoma.

June 29, 2014 Maybe the Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

In the Hokey Pokey we learn that it's all about putting our whole selves into life and turning ourselves around. Our lives are filled with beginnings and endings. Perhaps, what truly matters is our ability to put our whole selves in and back out, again, when necessary and possibly becoming a wiser being whenever we learn to turn ourselves around in order to see and experience life anew.

June 22, 2014 This I Believe
Jim Martin

Unitarian Universalism is a Beloved Community. It nurtures me and supports me in my search for the truth. It accepts me just as I am, no preconditions required.

June 15, 2014 On Being a Father
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni and Danny Kadden

The first Father’s Day to be observed in this country was celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910, nearly a century ago. On this Father’s Day we will reflect on what it means to be a father.

June 8, 2014 When Interfaith Works, Our Community Is Richer
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni and Danny Kadden

How can the life of our larger community, the life of our congregation and our personal lives be enriched through our involvement with other South Sound religious communities? How can we make our inherent interfaith orientation ever more promising?

Danny Kadden is the Executive Director of Interfaith Works.

June 1, 2014 Acquiring Awareness for Fun and Profit
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Our capacity for awareness is integral to our being human. Acquiring it may require considerable discipline but doing so can make our lives all the richer.

May 25, 2014 The Meaning of Memorial Day
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

In 1868 Major General John Logan, as head of a veteran’s organization for Union soldiers, declared that May 30th, should be observed as Decoration Day, and on this day people would visit, and decorate with flowers, the graves of soldiers who died during the Civil War. In time Decoration Day became Memorial Day. What do we, as a country, presently need to learn from this national observance?

May 18, 2014 Theology Is Not A Luxury
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Theology may not appear as one of the most fundamental of life’s essentials on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Nonetheless, neither is it a luxury, for our theology can help us know who we are and what is expected of us.

May 4, 2014 Henry David Thoreau: A Life Lived Deliberately
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Henry David Thoreau died on May 6, 1862. He wasn’t quite 45 years old. While he seldom ventured far from his home in Concord, Massachusetts, his primary quest was to know life as fully and truly as he could, writing, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

January 6, 2013 To Accept and Encourage One Another
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Over the past five months as our congregation has struggled with our differing perspectives regarding the personnel dilemma confronting us, two of our principles have been emphasized, the first with its focus on the individual and the seventh with its focus on the community. As we begin the New Year it may be helpful to broaden our focus to include our third principle, “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations,” which places its focus on the juncture of the individual and community.

August 12, 2012 To Be Filled with Lovingkindness
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Our capacity for developing friendliness toward ourselves and others is essential to the development of lives that are capable of experiencing and sharing good will and compassion.

October 16, 2011 Michael Servetus: A Heretic in Search of Truth
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Born September 29, 1511, this year marks the 500th anniversary of Michael Servetus’ birth. With a commitment to seeking truth that ultimately cost him his life, Servetus was one of our religious Tradition’s antecedents whose courageous quest helped lead to our existence.

July 24, 2011 Perspectives on Prayer in Our Lives
The Worship Arts Committee

What meaning and value does prayer have in the life of a Unitarian Universalist? Our UU Association states “Few words in the liturgical lexicon are more problematic for Unitarian Universalists (UUs) than ‘prayer’.” Members of the Worship Arts Committee will share their perspectives on prayer and what it means to them.

Karen Jackson, Diana Finch, and Myra Barker are members of the Worship Arts Committee. Each has been involved in various aspects of our congregational life.

May 1, 2011 Finding Refuge in Unitarian Universalism
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

What does it mean to seek refuge in our religious tradition? Where do we find comfort when our souls feel besieged?

September 14, 2008 Four Reasons to Try Something Different by
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Reason number 1: The experience of human life is incredibly precious.
Reason number 2: The experience of human life is incredibly short.
Reason number 3: Society is often designed to deny reason number 1.
Reason number 4: As short as life may be, we are continually sowing the seeds of our future in our present actions.

November 25, 2007 The Values of Liberalism by
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

In his book, Freedom’s Power, Paul Starr writes: “The proposition that each of us has a right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ remains as good a definition as anyone has ever come up with of liberalism’s first principle and America’s historic promise.” The values and understanding of what constitutes a healthy society derived from liberalism are central to the American experience and to the possibility of fostering freedom, justice and equity throughout our society.

September 23, 2007 Faith Without End by
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

Some years ago, James Fowler proposed a theory of faith development in which he suggested that people often move through established stages of faith. What can we learn from this about the nature of faith, and our capacity to create a faith that evolves as our understanding of ourselves and life grows.

September 16, 2007 The End of Faith by
The Reverend Arthur Vaeni

The title is taken from Sam Harris’s book of the same name. Both Dr. Harris and Richard Dawkins who wrote, “The God Delusion,” challenge not only commonly held religious perspectives but the wisdom of tolerance for those perspectives that are held by so many people.


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