Rev. Wendy Williams - Senior Minister

Blessed

Each night a child is born is a holy night, we say quoting long-time religious educator, Sophia Lyon Fahs. We know we are blessed by children. As we have Child Dedications at 9 a.m. and recognize our Coming of Age students at 11 a.m., we … read more.

Creating Belonging

Graduations and joining can have the feel of both ending. All requirements for one school have been completed. A church has been found. Yet, of course, both mark beginning and the way our lives address our longing to belong.

Composing Our Lives

In the words of M.C. Richards, “All the arts we practice are apprenticeships. The big art is our life.” We are all composing projects and pieces with our relationships, parenting, activism and jobs. Creation is something we do with our very living.

Roll Away the Stone

9 & 11 a.m.: Scripture says that after Jesus died, he was placed in a tomb. Days later, the tomb was found empty. Christian doctrine proclaims life after death and redemption of humankind. Is there anything in this story for us?

The Challenge of the Build

In one of our hymns, we sing “We are building a new way.” The song fits with our tradition’s sensibility that we are capable of building the world of which we dream. It is worth examining some of the challenges to the build.

What We Don’t Intend

Often we hear and offer apologies that contain words like “I didn’t intend to hurt you.” Still, the hurt remains. How do we live knowing that as humans we hurt each other even when we don’t mean to do so?

Made New

At our New Member Welcome ceremony, we always say that as people join our church is made new. The turning of the year can also invite that sense of being made new. How might the theme of intention aid us in that endeavor in ways … read more.

River of Change

John O’Donohue died before completing a poem with this powerful image: I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.” As we ponder change this month, what might it mean for us consider that the constancy of … read more.

Becoming Ourselves

Paraphrasing May Sarton’s beautiful poem, now I become myself after years of being dissolved and shaken, wearing other people’s faces. This is a reminder and an invitation to the courage it takes to become one’s true self.

The Book of Welcome

Writer Anne LaMott says that the Book of Welcome absence from the Bible says something about why we are the way we are. How might we be called to write our story going forward where welcome is included?

Be Our Guest

As we enter the heart of our church year, we launch our new annual theme: hospitality. Bigger than welcome, hospitality invites us to look at culture, power, and the reality of our interdependence.

Linked Hands

A fair while ago, we accepted into our public lexicon the proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Many of us want to believe that irrespective of a child’s biological parentage, the upbringing of children is the responsibility of the community. We can … read more.

Empowered

At the heart of democracy is the notion that it allows for a government created by, for, and of the people. Yet, apathy runs rampant in our country and many of us are disheartened by polarized vitriol and big money special interests. How do we … read more.

The Long View

With elections every two years, it is easy to believe we know who or what is winning or losing. Yet, when we are constantly making such assessments, we miss the opportunity to acknowledge there is always a gap between our (and everyone else’s) aspirations and … read more.

We The People

It’s no secret that our forebears had a limited understanding of “We the People.” Still, they had an inkling that democracy is created by and responsible to all of us. Rather than trying to make us exactly the same, these three words invite us to … read more.

Interdependence

In this kick off to a sermon series called Healing Our Hearts for Democracy, we root ourselves anew in the understanding that we are all in this together. That democracy is not so much about winning and losing as it is about accepting our fundamental … read more.

Roots in Joy

Our worship theme this month is joy. Often conflated with happiness, how might we understand it differently including our resistance to it? Might it be something to which we are asked to surrender?

Impact

The purpose of life is not to transcend the body, but to embody the transcendent. Living into interconnectedness, inclusion, and hospitality requires our bodies, as well as minds and hearts. We must be open to stories that reveal impact has more to teach us right … read more.

What’s Going On?

More than 600 Unitarian Universalist congregations have changed their worship topics at this time to address critical issues around race in our denomination and our country. We join in this deep reflection through story and song and invite you to join us.

Yes, and . . .

On this Sunday when we welcome Rev. Wendy Williams back from sabbatical time, we begin April’s exploration of what it means to be a people open to Transformation. This service will include artwork from “Maybe Something Beautiful,” a book co-authored by JUC’s own Theresa Howell, … read more.

Caught!

King is quoted often. His “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most iconic speeches in history. Not all of his language lifted us into a vision of what yet may be. Some of his words reminded us of just how hard the … read more.

To Be Real

This month we look at the meaning of prophecy. At their core, prophets see the world not just as it is, but how they wish it to be. They see with both eyes and speak in paradigm-shifting ways that bring us to our knees. They … read more.

The Other Letter

What if children didn’t write letters to Santa? Who would they write and what would they ask for? What letters would we send as adults? Join us as we tell stories of our common desire for presence?

Find a Stillness

If you have ever wished your life resembled the peaceful scenes on holiday cards, this service is for you. Together we will breathe through the hectic and unhinged fury of the season and invite ourselves into stillness–gifting ourselves with presence.

Called In

In the shadow of the election, we know little was resolved other than the identity of our next president. That our country is deeply divided is painfully obvious. There are no quick fixes. Many of us need to heal and healing is a communal event. … read more.

Courting the Chaos

Anything that needs healing has been brought about by some friction or disruption. Our human tendency is to want to get past whatever is causing the disruption: illness, grief, divorce, or disappointment. Yet, what happens when we turn toward the friction, when we court the … read more.

Built on Brokenness

Presidential election cycles return us to the rhetoric that this country was built on, by and for greatness. Yet, this year, conventions and rallies have been marked by those who would remind us of those who were not included in the American Dream. What is … read more.

Inscribed

At sundown Rosh Hashanah begins. On the highest of holy days, Jews wish each other Shanah Tovah or Happy New Year. Yet, the longer version of the greeting is L’shanah tovah tikatevu, May you be inscribed for a good year (in the book of life). … read more.

Common Good

One of our cherished hymns reminds us to give praise and thanks for all that is our life. It is not simply about gratitude though, as evidenced by one verse ending with these words “to build the common good and make our own days glad.” … read more.

It’s to Die For

Who among us has heard or uttered this phrase in response to a great concert, a scrumptuous desert or an exceptional vacation experience? And yet, death awaits all of us who live whether we’ve experienced any of those things or not. How do we live … read more.

Awesome

This is a popular word in our modern lexicon. So much so, that we may no longer hear it as a term that invites us to embrace wonder. How might our lives and world look different if we accepted the invitation?

My Bad

Forgiveness is such a fraught notion. Immediately, most of us think of the person who has most wronged us. Yet, religiously, there is something about naming and accepting our own imperfection.

Peace Without Clarity

It’s been said that the only certainty in life is death and taxes, but perhaps it is more accurate to say the only certain is uncertainty. How might we make peace with living in such a complex time where so much is uncertain and unclear?

Simplicity As Resistance

We live busy overstuffed lives that require attention to and coordination of multiple details and schedules. As summer months begins, we might recall the wisdom of our religious ancestors like Henry David Thoreau who wrote (nearly 200 years ago): “As for complex ways of living, … read more.

Blessing the Imperfect

May is a month of transitions and hopes. There are weddings and graduations galore. With all those milestones, calling for toasts and blessings, there is often an expectation of blue skies and green lights forever. Can we also bless the imperfect or the times reality … read more.

Re-creation

It is amazing what happens to a word when you insert a hyphen. Recreation speaks to us of the outdoors and to non-work time. It suggests fun and activity. Insert a hyphen and there is a suggestion that something be created anew or to be … read more.

Creation

In religious contexts, there is much hubbub about creation. How did we come into being? Yet, how might we be called to understand science and religion as working together to explain creation? How might this inform our sense of whether or not we are creative?

Easter: Set Free From Fear

Often our exploration of Easter is derailed by disbelief in a literal resurrection. What if Easter itself was a metaphorical tale of liberation? How might we be called to respond?

Additional Service Saturday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m.