The following selection of recent readings and sermons can be played directly by clicking the players below. Sermons will soon also be available as podcasts.

Are the shorter days, or the seemingly endless string of dire news reports starting to bring you down? Fear not…the fire of genuine hope has been available throughout history to illuminate even the darkest of nights. Are you ready to catch the spark?

Matt Aspin is Ministerial Intern at the Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

A short journey from Jesus’s world and words through daily Transylvanian life and reality. How do we make our decisions and commitments?

“I grew up in Kolozsvár and studied at the Protestant Theological Institute where I became a Unitarian minister. I am the Religious Education teacher at the János Zsigmond High School, a 450-year-old Unitarian school. For the last eight years, most of my work was related to children, youth and a variety of educational issues. I believe in the importance of education and I love my work with the students. I have an active life including bicycling and hiking on long trips. I like to call myself an optimistic person. And I feel that I like to deal with people, work with and for them and help them. I believe that each decision and all the options in my life came by the hand of providence and I am grateful for my life.” – Rev. Emese Bodor

In his novel Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner writes, “The past isn’t dead – it isn’t even past.” By becoming aware of how little-known events – like the Doctrine of Discovery – have shaped national policy and affected the treatment of non-European and non-Christian peoples, we better understand how we can develop a deeper understanding, live with integrity, and build more just relationships between all people in our communities and the world.

How are you the change you wish to see in the world? Step by step the longest march can be won. It takes many drops of water to turn a mill. The struggles around the world for justice, peace and against violence can be overwhelming. It is easy to feel small. Where do we find the strength to carry on?

In a recent editorial, columnist David Brooks wrote, “We’re living in the age of anxiety. The country is transformed by complex forces, such as changing demographics and technological disruption.”   Transformation is everywhere today; we are experiencing a change in congregational life as well. How can our leaders and each of us meet inevitable uncertainty with courage, curiosity, and hope?

This recording begins with a story told by Sara Lewis, Director of Lifespan Religious Education.

What does it mean to let go of what we think should happen and our ideas of who we should be? Keeping a healthy sense of self is very important, but sometimes we get stuck in stories about ourselves and what should happen… How can we open up space for what could be? And what happens when we do this in community?

What does it mean to be a multicultural, nonracist congregation? Over the past few weeks, Unitarian Universalists have looked at ways racism and white supremacy live in our culture, and in our churches. This is deep faith development work – work that needs to be done as we create more racially just practices in our communities and our congregations.  Consider this an invitation to courageously step into the water, and begin swimming to the other side.

In recent months Unitarian Universalists and the UUA have been engaged in a conversation and examination of how systemic and cultural white supremacy impacts our faith and its structures and institutions. These conversations are often uncomfortable, a type of discomfort that those of us who identify as white typically avoid. Returning from the UUA General Assembly and fresh from that conversation, Sara Lewis will reflect on the reasons we avoid the conversation, and where we can go from here.

(Reading authored by Robin DiAngelo)

Sara Lewis serves as Director of Religious Education.

Unitarian Universalism is a faith built not on religious doctrine, but on relationship, and that relationship is continually in process. The first congregations in New England adopted covenants to describe not what they believed, but how members of their communities would be with one another. Today, congregational covenants are rooted in our understanding of the spirit of love working in the hearts and minds of those gathered together.

We celebrate fathers and all father figures. The father/child bond is as important as the bond of motherhood. We’ll consider alternative models for fatherhood and what they mean for our children and our communities.

Nathaniel serves as Olympia’s Mayor Pro Tem. He is a long-time friend of the Congregation, having served on the OUUC Board and as Chair of the Worship Arts Committee.

For Unitarian Universalists, love is our prevailing theology; that means no one is left out, or left behind. During Pride Month, we celebrate the wonderful diversity in our world and recognize OUUC’s Welcoming Congregation Renewal team and its commitment to expanding the realm of love.

Reverend Carol McKinley, OUUC’s affiliated minister, is serving as Bridge Minister prior to the arrival of our interim on August 1. She also serves the accountable person for OUUC’s Faith in Action Ministry.

There are many transitions in life that require a little leap of faith, and our faith communities can be places that give us the support and the strength to take that leap. This Sunday we will surround our High School Seniors in that support and love as they Bridge into young adulthood, and hear their reflections on their journeys.

The poet Dorothy N. Monroe said, “Death is not too high a price to pay for having lived. If choice there were, I would not hesitate to choose mortality.” Of course, we don’t have the option to choose mortality. Sooner or later, death comes to all of us. But we do have choices:  How do we live so that our lives are worth dying for? And, knowing that we will die, how do we prepare for that inevitability? This Memorial Day weekend, we will remember those who have passed from this life before us; and we will think about choices we can make as we face our own mortality.

Ann Yeo is a member of OUUC, a former member of our Worship Committee, a volunteer with Providence Hospice, and our volunteer Parish Nurse.

Why do people join a religious community? What do those joining a congregation hope to find as they covenant with others in their faith journey? And how does the congregation benefit as new members become part of the community? Today, during the ritual that welcomes new members to OUUC, each of us is offered an opportunity to reflect on why we decided to become Unitarian Universalists and members of this congregation.

The Reverend Carol McKinley, OUUC’s affiliated community minister, is serving as the congregation’s bridge minister until the interim minister begins in August.

Rev. Tandi Rogers converted to Unitarian Universalist in college and upon moving to the Pacific NW looked for a UU congregation before looking for an apartment or job. Strangers voluntarily gathering to co-create something as lovely, transforming, complex and difficult as a religious community still astonishes her. Please join us for a celebration Sunday as Tandi holds up a mirror to remind us what an amazing miracle Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation is!

Rev. Tandi Rogers is our regional UU primary staff. She also serves congregations throughout Washington, Idaho, Utah, Western Colorado and Alaska. Tandi writes, preaches, and speaks widely about growth and religious innovation, and teaches Religious Education for a Changing World at Meadville-Lombard Theological School. Tandi is especially passionate about congregational polity in the 21st century, covenant, faith formation and multigenerational communities.

The Reverend Linda Hart is the minister of the Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

Our UU theology reminds us that we are all born good and right the first time.

Rev. Schurr is on the Congregational Life Staff of the Pacific Western Region of UUA. Sarah has served as a transitions coach for many years and currently works closely with ministerial transitions for the PWR. The Rev. Sarah will speak with interested members of the congregation after each service on Sunday.

Podcasts

Podcasts are a way of letting a program manage subscriptions to audio content, downloading programs you subscribe to so you can then listen to them any time, or even load them onto a mp3 player (or iPod). You can choose to set the programs to automatically download during the night if you have a slower modem.

There are a number of programs that can be downloaded to obtain podcasts, some for a fee, but one of the best is the free download of iTunes from Apple (which runs nicely on PCs). You can get it at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download. If you would like information on other types of programs available for downloading podcasts a list of them can be found here.

We are working on updates so that you will once again be able to easily subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes. Until we get this function working again. all the sermons will be available on this website.

Donations to this audio service

We have had many positive responses to this page, and a number of people have asked if they could make a donation to help support our online audio service. This is now possible through our secure donations page where you can choose any amount you might wish to contribute. You’ll find a spot for Podcast Support in the Contributions section. Podcast funds raised here will be used to make more recordings available by letting us increase our server storage. Thanks!