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.

Transcendentalism was essentially a religious movement that emerged from Unitarianism in the middle decades of the 19th century. I view the Transcendentalists—Emerson, Thoreau and Margaret Fuller among them—as living voices whose writing is addressed as much today as it was in their time to spiritual seekers such as ourselves. In Transcendentalism, I believe we will discover a uniquely and authentically Unitarian Universalist form of spirituality.

Reverend Dr. Barry Andrews is Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock on Long Island, New York. He has written books on and edited anthologies of Transcendentalist writers, including Emerson, Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. His latest book is Transcendentalism and the Cultivation of the Soul, recently published by the University of Massachusetts Press. He and his wife, Linda, are currently retired and living on Bainbridge Island.

An exploration of why and how we might pray, even if we aren’t sure who or what this conversation is with!

What does it mean to be Braver/Wiser? During the New Year’s Eve service, the Worship Arts Team of OUUC will share readings from the UUA website Braver/Wiser. These essays and prayers are written by UUA Ministers, Interns, Religious Educators and Chaplains from around the country. The OUUC team will also be sharing their personal reflections on these writings as we look forward to a New Year when we can all be braver and wiser.

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.

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!