2017

October 15 – Humanism with a Heart

Humanism today for many Unitarian Universalists is a home for reason and knowledge, awe and wonder, evolution, social justice, beauty and love. It is a place for community and social concern that lifts up the worth of each person. It encourages both reflection and action. It cares more about how you live your life than what you believe. Join Rev. Ginger Luke for a look at religious humanism within Unitarian Universalism today.

rev ginger lukeReverend Ginger Luke is currently the Minister Emerita of River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Bethesda, Maryland. Her article, “Love as the Ethical Basis” was recently published in Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism and in the UU World Spring 2017 issue. She served as the Director of Religious Education or Minister of Religious Education in UU congregations in Lincoln, Nebraska; Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, and Bethesda.

 

 

October 8 – What’s  Worthy of Our Bravery?

In his book The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter, author Patrick McCauley reminds us of a core lesson from the Harry Potter series: “The decision to approach and confront that which scares us is not a thought, it is an act.” Being brave is hard. What is worthy of our bravery? When should we act in light of fear? What guides these choices? At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore the questions and the sources which inspire our acts of courage. The choir will sing.

October 1 – Welcoming the Stranger

In our own community and across America, we see immigrants threatened, denigrated, or ignored. Pete Lesher deploys his own family’s stories, words of American founders Jefferson and Franklin, and a commandment from the Torah to look at the values we bring to our actions and words in the immigrant question today, expanding on an Independence Day address he delivered in St. Michaels.

Lesher Pete_2010

Pete Lesher speaks regularly in his capacity as chief curator at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where he has served on staff since 1991. He graduated Lafayette College and holds an MA in history from Columbia University. In our community, he is elected to the Easton Town Council, chairs the St. Michaels Historic District Commission, serves as Church Council President, choir member, and Sunday School teacher at Grace Lutheran Church, is appointed by the governor to the boards of Maryland Humanities and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, volunteers with Cub Scout Pack 190, serves as a parent advisor for the Gifted and Talented program in Talbot County Public Schools, and plays bass trombone in the pit orchestra for the Easton High and Middle School musical productions.

 

September 24 – When Change Seems Impossible, or at Least Overwhelming

The world’s challenges can seem overwhelming. Lawyer, author, and activist Bryan Stevenson, who spoke at the UU General Assembly, notes, “You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance. You have to get close.” At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider Stevenson’s guidance on addressing systemic racism in ways that have impact and are sustainable.

 

eclipse nate telescope jason 400xSeptember 17 – What Happened to Me at the Eclipse

“What happened to me?  I drove two days along old US 50, over the Alleghenies and across the Illinois prairie to a horse farm in the heart of Missouri. I saw Bible billboards and many other signs from heaven that the End is near. Pagans, Atheists, Scientists, and Christians all gathered together. The sun disappeared, but it came back.  And we all had a religious experience. Then we drove away.”  But where did we all go – especially the Christians?  UUFE’s Don Barker will tell his Eclipse story, ask the questions, and explore some forks in the road.

September 10 – Joyful Commitment

Where do you have deep relationships? What practices have sustained you this past year? What do you want more of? At our ingathering service for the new church year, we’ll consider how committing to show up regularly can bring joy to our lives. Please join Rev. Sue Browning for this first service of the church year, which will include Water Communion and a blessing of the backpacks.

 

mark peach cropped September 3 – Living with Contractions

“G. K. Chesterton said that sanity consists in not worrying over much about consistency—that ordinary persons tend to stay sane because they care more for truth than they do for consistency. Ordinary per­sons, if they see two truths that seem to contradict each other, take the truths and the contradiction with them, rather than throw out one of the truths. Their sight is stereoscopic, binocular. They see two different pictures at once and are healthier and larger for it.”

UUFE Co-President Mark Peach pinch-hit this Sunday by sharing this 2015 UUA sermon by Bruce Bode.

 

 K.C. LazzaraAugust 27 – The Purity of Spiritual Vision

Is the concept of “vision” a part of your spirituality? How might it become foundational to your spiritual growth beyond the bounds of religion or doctrine? At this service, Rev. Dr. Lazzara will consider how one’s vision can function as a compass to their spirituality. In turn, as one’s spirituality deepens, their original vision may change. This concept of vision will be explored alongside scripture, selected readings, and reflection.

As a Licensed Psychologist, Reverend Dr. Lazzara has worked with children, adolescents, and adults for over 20 years in both clinical and educational settings. Five years into private practice he enrolled at Ashland Theological Seminary and became ordained in April of 2016. In addition to treating patients, he  guest preaches regularly and volunteers in his spare time.

 

Jean and Jerry (2) cropped 260xAugust 20 – Hymnal Lessons

At this service, UUFE member Jean Rhian will describe her personal journey of growing in UU faith and convictions through selections from our hymnal. Join us for a service rich in music and reflection.

Jean Rhian has served as President of the UUFE Board and is a long-time member of the Finance Committee and founding member of the Planned Giving Committee.   She also serves as the rental contact person for the Fellowship and enjoys singing in the choir and as a member of the congregation.

 

August 13 – It’s Question Box Time!

What are your questions about Unitarian Universalism? About faith?  About the congregation? About Rev. Sue and her ministry? At this service the congregation will have a chance to directly ask Rev. Sue questions – a reverse of the process! Questions in advance are welcome and Sue will answer questions asked during the service.  Later that afternoon all are invited to a potluck picnic and the Doughty’s home on the Choptank River in Preston.

Bliss bear

August 6 –What You See Is Not Necessarily What You Get

At this service UUFE friend Bozena Lamparska will help explore our beliefs about mental illness by opening up a conversation to help debunk stereotypes and stigmas about those beliefs. In short, she’ll help us ask, What is it about mental illness that scares us so?

Bozena Lamparska has been involved with UUism since 1984, when she became the Music Director at the Canton, NY UU church and has been attending UUFE since 2014 when she moved to St. Michaels. The service she is offering stems from her work as a psychotherapist and mental health advocate in Philadelphia, as well as her personal experience.

catherine charltonJuly 30 – Wyeth Walks: Spiritual Transformation through Nature

How can we all look at the world through Andrew Wyeth’s eyes and be “open to flow” in creative pursuits? Pianist and composer Catherine Marie Charlton discusses her over 400 “Wyeth Walks” in the woods, seeking inspiration for her music while immersing herself in Wyeth art and creative philosophies. Through her experiences and drawing inspiration from writers and philosophers including Thoreau, Charlton seeks to understand how the Wyeth family of painters, especially N.C. and Andrew, found subjects in nature and were open to surprises in unexpected places.

Catherine Marie Charlton is a pianist, composer, and recording artist who has been exploring the spiritual depths of creativity through her Wyeth-inspired nature walks and photography. Her piano album, “I Dream About this World: The Wyeth Album” releases July 14, 2017 is inspired by the Wyeth family of painters,. Catherine serves on the Sunday Services committee at UU Society of Mill Creek, Delaware, delivers lay sermons regularly and is on the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia chapter of the Recording Academy (“The Grammys”)

 

 

July 23 – Experience Tibetan Bowls

Monte & Liz HanaonIn our busyness we often forget to listen to our deepest calling. Where do you find you listen best? How does the spiritual practice of pausing help you hear the still small voice within? One ofthe ancient ways of connecting is through unique sounds which take us deeper. Join Rev. Sue who will be partnering with Monte and Liz Hanson as they share their experience of Tibetan Bowls with the congregation. .

Monte and Liz Hanson have been traveling North America for the past 5 years sharing these magical sounds from eons gone by with whomever will listen.  Monte is a sound frequency specialist utilizing ancient instruments such as gongs, chimes, and Tibetan singing bowls. They offer a transcendental experience of spiritual connection without any attachments to any religious denominations, dogma, or philosophy.

 

REv Louise GreenJuly 16 – Body, Soul, and Transformation

How do we carry in our bodies the imprint of lived experience, and the means for deep change?  How might coming to greater awareness of our interior life help us to come home?  In these times of turbulence, the way we ground in what we know shapes possibility.  A sermon about trauma and healing, rooted in the rhythms of life.

Rev. Louise Green is the Minister for Congregational Life at River Road UU Congregation in Bethesda.  She has been a dancer, community organizer, and congregational minister in various sites over 25 years.

 

July Josh Long cropped9 – True to Myself

Join Rev. Sue Browning and Josh Long, Music Director of AWAKE ministries at the UU Church of Annapolis, for a special morning of music and message as we explore the challenges and blessings of living authentic lives. What helps you be true to yourself? What distracts you? How might your faith guide your path?

Joshua Long grew up in Baltimore, Md. He graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a Bachelors in Music. Josh has produced albums, worked with  different bands, and has worked with faith communities in various denominations. He now serves at the UU church of Annapolis and is a student at Wesley Theological Seminary. He lives in Columbia, Maryland, with his fiancée Tabitha and their cat, Calypso.

July 2 – The Work of Being The Light

Rev. Rebekah Montgomery

Rev. Olympia Brown, the first woman to be ordained a Unitarian minister, reminds us “to stand by this faith. Work for it and sacrifice for it”. We sit with wonder at how hope and love persist and thrive in the midst of seeming chaos. Join guest Rev. Rebekah Montgomery on this day, as we reflect on the ways in which we are called into the world and what is asked of us in terms of real work, sacrifice, and faith.

Rev. Rebekah Montgomery grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, where her family attended the River Road UU Congregation. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and in 2003 was ordained a UU minister and commissioned as an army chaplain. She has spent the majority of her career on active duty and completed one overseas tour in Afghanistan. Rev. Rebekah currently serves at UU Congregation of Rockville and is working on a Doctorate of Ministry in Military Chaplaincy at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

 

woody-guthrie-centennial-celebrationJune 25 – The Music and Life of Woody Guthrie

Come for a service featuring the music and life of Woody Guthrie, coordinated by Dave Stevens and Dave Moore.

 

June 18 – The Roots of Character

An old adage says, “Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” Character strengths come in many flavors. Character defines how we live our life, and how we’re perceived by others. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore the roots of human character, including the historic Unitarian concept of “salvation by character.”

 

Election Night at FiveAndDime 400xJune 11 – What Happened to Me on Election Night

This is not about the politics.  It’s about me and you.  UUFE’s Don Barker:  “What happened to me on election night?  I lost my UU faith, spent a week in hell, peered into the abyss and saw Nirvana and Gotama the Buddha’s Royal City.  I’ll try to explain – with help from Dostoevsky, the Pali Canon, my favorite Zen teachers, and election night tweets from my kids.”

 

 

 

 

 

June 4 – RE Sunday

lorax book cover

At our annual RE Sunday service, we will celebrate our year of children’s religious education by focusing on The Lorax, a story that—much like our curriculum this year—illustrates how impactful small things can be. We will hear music and readings from our youth and honor the many volunteers who made RE happen at UUFE this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 28 – Our Foundations: A Service of Remembrance

Have you ever thought about the records of our lives? At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider the paper trails we leave for others using the example of the ‘papers’ of another minister who came into the congregation’s care several years ago. We will ask, What can we learn? What is helpful to share? To keep? To release? In honor of Memorial Day, the service will include an embracing meditation in memory of those who have died

 

May 21 – Music Celebration

If you have a passion for music, come join us for a worship service celebrating the joy that music brings to our lives. The Choir will sing and be directed by our Interim Choir Director, Kellie Thuman. Musically talented youth and adults in the Fellowship will share their music. The congregation will sing and participate in the service. Plan to come and join in this celebration!

 

May 14 – Shine the Light of Love

Join us for our annual Flower Communion Service, where we’ll bring together and distribute flowers that represent the beauty in our lives. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore the ways we learn to embody and exude deep sustaining care for ourselves, for one another, and for organizations like UUFE, as we ask, What helps us shine the ‘light of love’ together?

Note: The service will be followed by the Annual Meeting of the congregation.

 

Sue Brown Moore 400xMay 7 – A Spiritual Journey to the Land of Hope and Dreams

The Old Testament Book of Exodus tells the story of the Hebrew peoples long and difficult journey from bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land. But much more meaningful than any question of its factual history, Exodus is important for its account of a people in search of their relationship with God. They are on a spiritual journey, and their journey has lessons to teach us as we travel our own journey. Come join guest Susan Moore and see! The choir will sing.

Susan Brown Moore was born and raised in northern New Jersey and has lived in Ohio, Minnesota and Maryland where she worked in her career as a social worker.  Susan retired a year and a half ago from her position as Assistant Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services.  She resides with her husband Dave Moore in Easton where they enjoy camping and kayaking.  Susan is a lifelong Episcopalian and currently serves in a variety of leadership positions at Trinity Cathedral in Easton, MD.  She has been a regular lay preacher at the Cathedral over the last 7 years.

 

 

Benjamín Van Dyne 400xApril 30 – The Cost of the Promises

When promises are broken — our promises to ourselves, promises with our family and friends, and the promises we make a society — it’s natural to feel betrayed. In this sermon’s we’ll explore whether there’s value in not keeping our promises, to help us move from contracts to covenants, from enforcement to flourishing.

Benjamin Van Dyne is a seminarian at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he lives with his partner and year-old son. He grew up in the UU Church of Arlington, Virginia and has worked for ten years as an organizer in a variety of community and labor settings. Ben has preached in UU and Christian pulpits in DC, Virginia, New York, and now Maryland. His less sermonic thoughts can be found on Twitter at @benjaminvandyne

 

April 23 – Making Room for the ‘Next Big Thing’

This month we are reflecting on the theme of transformation and the ways we open our hearts to the Next Big Thing. The service will offer ways to reflect upon this question. We joyfully welcome the Polymnia Handbell Choir from Arlington, Virginia, led by Ken Bissell, and choir with thirteen ringers and special music for our hearts and souls.

Polymnia Bell Ringers Arlington 1

 

April 16 – Intentional Yearning

How do we make space for the new? Father Richard Rohr sees this: “Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that.” At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will reflect on the story of Easter as a path to the new. All are welcome as we come together to share and sing on Easter morning.

 

Rabbi-Naomi-Hyman-240x298April 9 – Moments of Transformation

Transformation can be subtle and apparent only in retrospect. At other times it is sudden, unexpected, and profound. Come join Rabbi Naomi Hyman as we consider the conditions that give rise to these unforeseen epiphanies, the nature of the experience, and the transformation that results.

Drawing on teachings both ancient and modern, Rabbi Naomi guides her students in spiritual practices that awaken the soul, including sacred text study, meditation, ritual, and prayer. Rabbi Naomi was ordained by Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, in 2003. She also received a private contemplative ordination from Rabbi David Cooper in recognition of both her rabbinic studies and intensive meditation training under his guidance. She is the editor of Biblical Women in the Midrash: A Sourcebook and co-editor of Trees, Earth and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology. Learn more at www.rabbinaomihyman.com.

 

dylan nobel salon dot comMarch 26 –  The Life of Bob Dylan

Music and a brief look at the life of Bob Dylan, presented by UUFE’s David Stevens. Dylan was the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 for more than 50 years of writing and performing his uniquely personal music. As much a poet as musician, Dylan has written a very diverse body of work that has reflected his artistic vision and curiosity. Come to sing and listen to some of the more interesting examples of Dylan’s songs.


April 2 – Where is Home?

How have geographic moves shaped who you are? What draws us to a new place? What inspires us to ‘stay put’? At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore how a sense of place in our lives influences our experiences and our understanding of immigration. The choir will sing.

 

 

harriet tubmanMarch 19 –   About Risk – Lessons from Harriet Tubman

Imagine the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the 1840s through eyes of twenty-something Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman. What drove her initial actions? What sustained her? Did her motivation or mission change over time? At this service Rev. Sue Browning will consider Harriet Tubman’s legacy and our obligation to take risks as we advocate for the inherent worth and dignity of all.

March 19 will be Maureen Curtin’s last Sunday, completing five years as UUFE’s Music Director. The choir will sing and we’ll celebrate Maureen’s music ministry.

 

March 12 –  LOL, BTW, We’re So Over You

Why are millennials not at the fellowship? At this service UUFE member Jamie Walter will consider ways UUFE could be a more welcoming space for millennials.

 

March 5 –  Living Boldly

Ever ask yourself, “How might I live more boldly?” It’s a foundational question for every life stage. At this service Rev. Sue Browning will consider how the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton supports our aspirations to live boldly. At this ‘Stewardship 2017’ service we’ll remind one another what it takes to sustain UUFE, a community where together we ask life’s challenging questions and then encourage one another to live fully into the answers. The choir will sing.

 

Ashley Burzcak 220xFebruary 26   – Exploring Identity Politics

Are identity politics destroying the country, or is attending to the most marginalized communities essential to ending oppression? At this service, candidate for UU Ministry Ashley Burczak will lead the service and explore the intersection of spirituality and politics in our understanding of identity.

Ashley Burczak is a hospice chaplain and candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry. She lives in Bethesda, MD with her family and one enormous dog.

 

February 19 – The Friendships That Shape Us

From our first friendships, to colleagues that become friends, and to friends made later in life, we hold dear to those we call friends. At this intergeneration service, with Rev. Sue we’ll explore the threads of friendship that sustain us in life. The choir will sing.

 

Michelle Collins180xFebruary 12 – Chasing Transformation

Often it seems like we are ever chasing various transformations – changes in our personal lives, changes in our congregations, and changes in our society.  What’s useful to chase after, and what might not be worth it?  And what do we need to be chasing? At this service Rev. Michelle Collins will explore these questions and dreams with the congregation.

Rev. Collins is the Associate Minister at Cedar Lane UU in Bethesda, MD.

 

February 5 – Engaging with Mirrors and Cameras

We’re immersed in images of how things are supposed to be. And then there is life, complete with mirrors and actual snapshots and reminders it’s not quite that way. Through the ages humor has helped in times when there is a gap between reality and expectations. At this service Rev. Sue Browning will consider how humor is a part of our spiritual journey. The choir will sing.

 

Tim PolyJanuary 29 – Micah, the First UU Prophet

Micah was an Old Testament Prophet who lived in Israel over 2,700 years ago. He prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed and, on a lighter note, that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.  He also has a very clear message for Unitarian Universalists today. Come and hear why our guest speaker Tim Poly considers Micah to be the first Unitarian Universalist prophet.

Tim Poly of Asbury United Methodist, Easton, is a Certified Lay Servant and Youth Minister. Tim is also an award-winning documentary photographer and window washing business owner.  He is on a path to become a Licensed Local Pastor in the Methodist Church.

 

Eleanor Piez July 2015 300xJanuary 22 – The Prophethood of All Believers

James Luther Adams, UU professor of theology and social ethics, understood our faith as “the prophethood of all believers.” But prophets are often unpopular in their own times and communities. As this service Eleanor Piez, the intern from the UU Annapolis congregation, will explore what it means for us to be a ‘prophethood’ today. The choir will sing.

Following the service will be an opportunity to hear about the UU Legislative Ministry’s priorities for the 2017 Maryland legislative session.

Our speaker, Eleanor Piez, is serving this year as Intern Minister at the UU Church of Annapolis and the intern for UU Legislative Ministry-MD. She is a student at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, and candidate for UU ministry. Eleanor is a longtime fundraiser, grant writer, and manager for community-based anti-poverty organizations. As a UU minister, she hopes to bring more inclusion, equity, and compassion into the decisions that affect people’s survival and well-being. Eleanor is the mother of two young adult daughters, and makes her home in Richmond, CA. Outside of school, work, and motherhood, she enjoys going for walks, singing, dancing, and knitting.

 

mlkJan 15 – Guideposts in Times of Transition

As we enter Inauguration Week, what parts of the upcoming transition are in the forefront for you? How do you approach life’s transitions? At this service Rev. Sue Browning will look at guideposts which grounded Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King when faced with transitions in his ministry and advocacy and ask what it is we might learn.

January 8 – Start Where You Are

Poet Anne Carson reminds us, “To be a prophet requires living in and looking at the present, at what is really going on around you.” Similarly prophets in ancient times weren’t magic forecasters, but helped communities clearly describe the present. At this service Rev. Sue Browning will consider the value in naming the truths in and around us that form our starting points for 2017. The choir will sing.

January 1 – First Morning

sunrise snow 560x

Join us New Year’s Day at 10 a.m. for a special coffee-house style service. We will combine worship, brunch, and conversation as we reflect upon a sermon by Rev. Nancy MacDonald Ladd at General Assembly where she considers: “What do we enter into congregational life hoping to get? So many things, perhaps-but underneath the consumer’s idea of acquisition is the pull to a deeper encounter with the experience, hope, heartbreak and yearning of others in community.”

While we will not have RE classes that morning, Cailyn will be in the playroom, and there will be activities ready for children of any age. Families welcome! There will be coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available at 10 a.m. and part way through the service, brunch will be served.

2016

 

2016 xmas christmas tree deco

December 24 – Christmas Eve Service: The Calm of One Moment

Is there a moment in the Christmas story when you can sense deep stillness? How might that moment sustain you this Christmas? Join us for our traditional Christmas Eve service, including our candle lighting.

December 18 – The Gift We Actually Need

The Grinch figured, “What if Christmas … doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little more.” Good thoughts, but, what do we have to give? At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore paths the joy that arises when we feel seen and heard, and when we help others feel seen and heard. The choir will sing.

Matt PlutaDecember 11 – The River that Runs Through Us

The job of a Riverkeeper is an extraordinary duty that comes with unique opportunities, many challenges, and a variety of rewards. At this service, Matt Pluta, a Choptank Riverkeeper will talk about those trials and trophies, and consider how sometimes in our search for truth and meaning we find ourselves floating with the current of the river. The choir will sing.

Matt works as the Choptank Riverkeeper, where he is a full time advocate for the health of the river and the natural resources it supports. As part of Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Matt and his team work on the community level, conducting outreach and education to students and the public. Before this job, Matt worked for an environmental organization on the Great Lakes, where he focused on community outreach and implementing projects. Matt is a graduate from Penn State with degrees in biology and environmental studies.

 

December 4 – Open to the Mystery

A known Indian spiritual leader shares, “The winds of god’s grace are always blowing, it is for us to raise our sails.” This image challenges us to be open and aware to the energy around us, an energy that some call grace. At this service, Rev. Browning will consider the tides of good in the universe and explore what keeps us awake to these connections, especially during the holiday season.

Nov. 27 – When Stories are Complex:  Israel and Palestine

A few years ago, Rev. Sue Browning travelled to the Middle East with a seminary group. For two weeks, the group listened and learned. At this service, Rev. Sue will reflect on the ways she learned to listen in the spirit of love as a part of this trip and consider how we are each stretched when we gain new perspectives through the field trips of our lives.

 

Nov. 20 – Caretakers of Story and Ritual – The Bread Communion Service

Do you remember stories your grandparents or parents told you over and over about their childhoods? Which of these stories have you passed forward? Why? At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider why we depend on family and religious stories being passed down. The service will include our annual inter-generational Bread Communion celebration of gratitude.

 

doug jurrius 400xNov. 13 – What Ways Does Science Fiction Influence Spirituality? 

Science fiction allows us to “step out” and examine ourselves as a species. From the beyond, we see new truths, and we’re not surprised that a reasonably good number of famous science-fiction writers are UU.  Join Doug Jurrius as he considers how science fiction deals with the concept of spirituality and free will.

Doug Jurrius has lived in Easton for almost twenty years, where he and his wife, Cindy, have raised their three children. Doug has been attending UUFE for the last few months and believes his purpose “has something to do with learning love and acceptance through opening my heart to others.”

Nov. 6 – In the Spirit of Sabbath

Sabbath is in part the routine scheduling breaks in our lives. Sabbath is the countercultural making of time for “not doing” – and trusting that in this setting down of busyness, we not only get rest, we too are renewed and can open to new perspectives. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider our need for a break as this election season ends (finally). At this time, what might help us pause and reflect?

October 30 – Losing Your Luggage

You leave home with a tidy itinerary and a picture postcard view of where you are going. What happens when things begin to unravel? Join Martha Hamlyn and Jim Richardson as they reflect on these questions in light of recent extended travel.

October 23 – Restorative Justice

In the 19th century, Unitarian minister Theodore Parker preached, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” He recognized each generation is a part of a longer narrative, at best seeing a glimpse of the longer arc. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider where we fit on this long continuum, and explore the role of reconciliation and restoration in healing past injustices. The choir will sing. (This Sunday is our fall potluck.)

October 16 – Reflections on Hospice Care

Please join Kate Mansfield and Stu Levine from Talbot Hospice as they offer perspectives on the role of hospice care in our community, describe the mission of Talbot Hospice, and provide a sense of their experiences as hospice volunteers. Leading our service will be Lisa Menditch.

October 9 – Learning The Principles by Heart

Nancy Sawyer will deliver a sermon by Rev. Leslie Becknell, which delves into the difference between memorization and learning something by heart. There will be time for a multiologue following the sermon.

October 2 – To Whom Do You Confess?

Confession is a chance to name what is broken and to make an intentional turn toward healing. Many faith traditions include practices of confession. Some rely on private confession, and some include words of confession in worship or religious holidays. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider the ways Unitarian Universalists practice confession as we learn to move toward healing and wholeness. The choir will sing.

Sept. 25  –  Shedding Light on Underlying Bias  

In her book Waking Up White, Debby Irving considers the deep-seated nature of American stereotypes and racial biases and notes, “The sooner you can become comfortable with seeking what you don’t know, as opposed to proving what you do, the more you will learn and the more effective you’ll become as a racial justice advocate.” At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider experiences which help us shed light on subconscious assumptions and ways to deconstruct the biases most resistant to change. The choir will sing.

don rita portrait midwaySept. 18 – UU liFE:  The Parts We Left Out

Six months ago, we began publishing the “Five Big Questions” interviews in our weekly UU liFE newsletter.  These member stories illustrate the UU Principle that People are Always More Interesting than doctrine or dogma.  It’s UUFE’s people – and how we share our stories – that attracts new members and holds us together in fellowship.​  In this service, Don Barker will describe his experience as the gatherer of your UU liFE stories.  And he’ll share the parts he left out of his own story.

Sept. 11  –  Water Communion – What Do We Ask of This Community? 

What do we ask of one another? At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore how being part of a religious community brings us out of isolation and helps us practice love. Please join us for our annual Water Communion service. Religious Education classes begin and the choir returns as we gather once again.

​Sept. 4  –  The Wisdom of Story

Telling stories is part of our long human legacy, a way of passing on beliefs, warnings, lessons for living, and laughter.  Finding the story in our own lives can help us reflect on meanings and values that shape us.  We’ll gather in a circle to hear some stories and consider the challenge of keeping story alive in a digital world.  Service leader:  Nancy Orr.

Rabbi Naomi HymanAugust 28 – The Evolution of Spiritual Responsibility

At this sermon, Rabbi Naomi Hyman will explore spiritual responses to the turmoil that preceded the destruction of the first and second Temples in ancient Jerusalem in the context of our own troubling times.

Drawing on teachings both ancient and modern, Rabbi Naomi guides her students in spiritual practices that awaken the soul, including sacred text study, meditation, ritual, and prayer. Rabbi Naomi was ordained by Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, in 2003. She also received a private contemplative ordination from Rabbi David Cooper in recognition of both her rabbinic studies and intensive meditation training under his guidance. She is the editor of Biblical Women in the Midrash: A Sourcebook and co-editor of Trees, Earth and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology. Learn more at www.rabbinaomihyman.com.

 

August 21 –  In this Year of Election Politics, Take Three Steps Back

At this service, Rev. Sue will lead a conversation on the summer’s common read, Healing the Heart of Democracy, by Parker J. Palmer. In the book Palmer askes, “What might it mean to both hold what we believe and know with conviction AND be willing to listen openly to other viewpoints, changing our minds if needed”? In the midst election fervor, this service will be a chance to step back, observe, and imagine what could help make our democratic process be more effective.

Benjamín Van Dyne 400xAugust 14 –  The Things We Don’t Choose

Religious liberals pride ourselves on choosing what we believe. But what of the beliefs we don’t choose? At this service guest speaker Benjamin Van Dyne, will explore how the beliefs we don’t choose matter, too.

Benjamin Van Dyne is a seminarian at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he lives with his partner and year-old son. He grew up in the UU Church of Arlington, Virginia and has worked for ten years as an organizer in a variety of community and labor settings. Ben has preached in UU and Christian pulpits in DC, Virginia, New York, and now Maryland. His less sermonic thoughts can be found on Twitter at @benjaminvandyne.

 

K.C. LazzaraAugust 7 – The Spirituality of Emptiness

What flourishes when we allow ourselves to become empty? At this service, Rev. Dr. K.C. Lazzara will consider how spirituality can foster and flourish when we allow ourselves to become empty. Various forms of emptiness will be explored alongside scripture, selected readings, and reflection.

Reverend Dr. Lazzara has worked as a psychologist for over 20 years in both clinical and educational settings.  Five years into private practice, he enrolled in the Seminary, earned a Masters of Divinity degree, and became ordained in April of 2016.  In addition to treating patients, he guest preaches regularly and volunteers in his spare time.

 

people of blessing 220xJuly 31 – Soul Matters:  Exploring Blessings  

Led by members of the Soul Matters Inner Circle, the congregants will discuss these questions in small groups.  Coffee provided.

  • Do you believe you are a blessing?
  • Are you ok with asking for a blessing?
  • Do you see neutrality where blessing should be?
  • What is “working” in your life?
  • At what age were you best at noticing the blessings around you? Has age helped or hurt?

 

July 24 – Emerging Possibilities: Learning from UU General Assembly

In June, Rev. Sue and Ann Davis attended the UU General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. At this service, Sue and Ann will reflect on questions, themes and ideas arising from them as they attended a wide range of workshops such as “Legacy or Renaissance: Small Congregations on the Edge”, “Christianity as the ‘Other’: Communicating with the Majority Religion” and “Muslim Voices in Unitarian Universalism: Nuances at the Intersection.” How might these trends and fresh perspectives impact UUFE?

 

July 17 – Rev. Sue’s Annual Question Box Sermon

All year Rev. Sue considers what might be a useful message for the congregation to hear, and then writes a sermon and shapes a service around the theme. For this service we’ll reverse the process. The congregation will ask directly and Rev. Sue will respond. Maybe you have questions on UUism, or about the church, or about life? Questions in advance are welcome and Sue will answer questions spontaneously. The service will be followed by our summer potluck and send off for long time member Sue Loweree.

 

Andrea Spencer-Linzie 400xJuly 10 – Freedom to be Me and the Ties that Bind

What are the ties between understanding our own spiritual grounding and the ways we are part of a community? At this service, Andrea Spencer-Linzie will explore the spiritual work that we each can do to know and understand ourselves deeply. Where have we come from? What motivates and hinders us? How does having a sense of our own spiritual make-up help us to be free and our most authentic selves in community?

Andrea Spencer-Linzie is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry. She graduated from Drew Theological School in NJ. She just completed serving as the Interim Director of Religious Education at the UU Congregation of Rockville, MD  and will begin her full-time ministerial internship in Belmont, MA (outside of Boston) in September 2016.  Her professional career has been in the non-profit sector of community service and social justice organizations.  Andrea is the mom of two twenty-something sons who live in NJ.

 

alexa fraser 265xJuly 3 – This I Believe, Church for Me, You and Us

What does church offer us?  Why bother to get out of bed perhaps earlier than you wish and show up with a smile?  Explore these questions with guest speaker Alexa Fraser, UU seminarian and soon-to-be ministerial intern at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda Maryland.

Dr. Fraser is currently a UU Seminarian at the Starr King School for Ministry in Berkeley CA. She has a background in researching the health effects of environmental exposures on workers, citizens, and children and has consulted at the EPA, CDC and NIH. She holds degrees from University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. She has spoken on the Diane Rehm Show (NPR), and testified on death with dignity to the Maryland legislature. Alexa lives in Rockville with her husband and son.

 

 

Tim PolyJune 26 – Are We Resistant or Are We Ready?

What if you were the best man at a wedding and forgot to bring the ring?  Have you ever felt unprepared for a conversation, a project at work or a family activity?  At this service, led by Tim Poly, we’ll turn to the New Testament’s Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids and consider, Are we resistant or are we ready?

Tim Poly of Asbury United Methodist, Easton, is a Certified Lay Servant and Youth Minister.
Tim is also an award-winning documentary photographer and window washing business owner.  He is on a path to become a Licensed Local Pastor in the Methodist Church.

 

Gregg Jamback- 500xJune 19 – Wrongful Convictions, Our UU Principles, and the Pursuit of Justice

Over the last six years, film maker Gregg Jamback has worked to tell the story of Greg Taylor, the first person freed from prison through the unique North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission. At this service, Gregg will reflect on the changing role of documentary film making, the impact every exoneration has on criminal justice reform in the United States, and how our UU principles call us to action. Gregg will also reflect on his experience as a film maker exploring the life story of another, and his ever-increasing passion to offer education about the ways to increase fairness and accuracy in the criminal justice system.

June 12 – Choices upon Choices, upon More Choices

What is your decision style? Can there ever be too many options? Are big or small decisions easier for you? At this service Rev. Sue Browning will explore the role religion plays in the challenges of making choices, and (at times) in accepting fate. The choir and special musicians will be a part of the service.

liam ruby bridging ceremony June 5 –Signs of Our Faith: Being UU Every Day  

At this annual RE Service we’ll celebrate our Religious Education learners, teachers and leaders. RE Coordinator Patty Hamsher will guide us through the lessons of this year’s curriculum, “Signs of Our Faith:  Being UU Every Day.” As a part of our service we will “bridge” our 8th graders from middle to high school, and celebrate our graduating seniors.

May 29 – Rituals of Memory and Respect

Loss and sacrifice come in many forms. While the gaps left by loss shift and change over time, they remain with us in some form. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore ways we privately and collectively hold, shape, and reshape our memories. In honor of Memorial Day, the service will include an embracing meditation in memory of those who have died.

flags for heroes easton 560x

May 22 – Got Music?

Celebrate our annual Music Sunday with UUFE Choir. Among other choral pieces in this service filled with music, the choir will sing “Sanctus” from Gabriel Faure’s Requiem in D minor. The RE Choir will also sing. Maureen Curtin, Music Director, will discuss the power of music to not only move us emotionally but to improve our health. Jack Harrald will speak of his experience with music as medicine.

May 15 – Democracy, Voting, and Trust

Our fifth Unitarian Universalism principle is “the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” The children’s translation: “We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.” At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore why UU’s consider voting a core value of our faith tradition.

May 8 – Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time 

After sharing some insights he and the UUFE Inner Circle on Christianity have had into the historical Jesus, lay leader Dwayne Eutsey will explore whether the Nazarene remains relevant for us today.

meeting jesus collage 700x

May 1 – Welcome Spring With a Flower Communion

The nature of the flowers, which will be chosen to represent us in our communal bouquet, symbolically shares our human nature. We seek the light, thrive in a suitable environment, and consistently morph into our new selves every year. Sally Woodall, Nancy Sawyer, Gayle Scroggs and David Stevens have been asked to consider their particular “bloomings” into the renewal of this spring. Sue Loweree will lead the service.

April 24 – Islam: Learning About Our Brothers and Sisters

What is your experience with Islam? What would you like to learn? As we learn more about another’s culture and religion, we open paths to deeper connection. When we know individuals from another culture, we distance ourselves less. In this spirit, Rev. Sue Browning will offer an opportunity to learn more about the Islam faith. The choir will sing.

 

judy bj claire shalagh lisa Time Sermon 600xApril 17 – Using Our Time

How do you choose to use your time? Are you a planner by nature? Does idle time make you nervous? Do external realities dominate your schedule? At this service, Rev. Sue Browning, Judy Harrald, BJ Egeli, Claire Anovick, Shalagh Hogan, and Lisa Menditch shared stories about how they set priorities and balance needs and wants in their lives.

 

 

 

 

diplomat and priestApril 10 – Diplomat and Priest

In her memoir Diplomat and Priest, Alison Palmer writes, “In the beginning I was a shy, quiet young woman.  But when I joined the Foreign Service in 1955, my life became exciting and challenging, because I began to notice that men received career opportunities that were never offered to women.” At this service, Rev. Sue Browning and Karen Walpole will reflect on Rev. Palmer’s bold challenges to sex discrimination and bias. The choir will sing.

 

April 3 – The Importance of Being Shallow

“It is only the shallow people who do not judge by appearance,” is the quote from Oscar Wilde that made UUFE member Sue Loweree delve into the effect our personal choices have on the world. At this service, Sue will consider how our choices, including the clothes we wear, make more of a difference than we may realize.

March 27 – The Tender Roots of Community

What are the bonds formed through the intensity of shared experience? On this Easter Sunday, Rev. Sue Browning will consider how resurrection strengthened the bonds between the disciples as they began to form into a new community. Join us for a morning of music and celebration of the power of shared journey. The choir will sing

March 20 – Toward a Culture of Peace

jim scottJim Scott presents songs and reflections on peace and non-violence as a spiritual value. Jim suggests that UUs could adopt an “Eighth Principle” of the non-violent resolution of conflict. Beyond the inter-personal behavior, Jim suggests three points: that we work to gain a greater perspective on our privilege; look into the healing of our own wounds; and reclaim our creative voices to bring about a healing of the world.

From his work with the Paul Winter Consort, where he was co-composer of their celebrated “Missa Gaia / Earth Mass,” Jim has been an activist for peace and the earth with his music. Jim helped create the “Green Sanctuary” program and has also been a student of practices of peace and non-violence. Many of his songs express this philosophy. With the support of a grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalism, Jim created the “Earth and Spirit Songbook,” over 100 songs of earth and peace.

March 13 – Spirit as a Life Force

Each week we gather to nurture a life-giving force we can’t quite describe, but we sometimes think of as ‘spirit.’ There is a power in the act of gathering week after week, year after year. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will consider the privilege of being the stewards needed to guide and care for this life-giving congregation.

 

sjc - betweent he world and meMarch 6 – Racism Through a Personal Lens

We learn when we listen deeply to personal stories. At this service led by Nancy Orr, Paul Sharp, and Rev. Sue Browning, we’ll immerse ourselves in the life reflections of Ta-Nehisi Coates, using excerpts from his recently released memoir Between the World and Me. Coates is an African-American writer who came of age in Baltimore and is now raising his own son. The choir will sing.

 

 

 

February 28 – Let’s Talk About Money

We are often uncomfortable discussing, um, money. Money and wealth are for some highly private topics, not to be discussed in polite company, or even in families. Yet, financial issues often dominate our thoughts, worries, plans and conflicts. Do I have enough? Will I have enough? How will I know? At this service Rev. Sue Browning will consider how a life perspective of scarcity versus one of abundance might affect how we answer these questions.

 

February 21 – The Pull of the Rain Forest

Jocelyn Mercado, our guest speaker, is deeply engaged in the work of educating others about the rain forest, drawing from both indigenous teachings and scientific study. At this service Jocelyn will share her evolving understanding of how the disappearing rain forests of the Amazon directly affects many lives, including her own life as a writer and mother of two living in Easton, Maryland. The choir will sing.

mercadoJocelyn Mercado has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Literature and a Master’s in Business Administration. She has worked in Finance and Project Management for over 15 years. She has recently completed her first novel, a modern myth based on historical and actual events in the Amazon rainforest. She is a blogger for the Pachamama Alliance, a social justice organization based in San Francisco, and she is passionate about empowering people to access their own inner wisdom and to reconnect with nature. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters, gardening, trying out new recipes, and hiking.

 

 

standing on love FB 470xFebruary 14 – Standing on the Side of Love

Do you have bright yellow ‘Standing of the Side of Love’ shirt, bumper sticker, or button (yet)? In 2009, the Unitarian Universalists launched the ‘Standing on the Side of Love’ campaign to “harness love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, religion, or any other identity.” In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Rev. Sue Browning will consider the nature of love at the root of this campaign.

 

February 7 – “I Hear America Singing”

These words by Walt Whitman expressing his hopeful voice for America stand in stark contrast to today’s angry political dialogue.  Whitman’s writings reflect an eloquent embrace of the equality of races and people and of religious and sexual freedom.  He mourned and eulogized Lincoln after his assassination.  We will explore Walt Whitman’s  vision for America and his hope to become the voice for a new kind of radical American democracy.  How does his 19th Century vision align with our UU principles and with our 21st century political climate?   Service leader:  Nancy Orr

January 31 – Learning Through Leadership

The president of our Board, Emily Cranwell, will answer the Frequency Asked Questions about leading our congregation. What has she learned? How has she found ways to lead that are most spiritually fulfilling? How has UUFE changed her for good?

Emily Cranwell selfieEmily Cranwell has been a member at UUFE for eight years; this is her second year as President of the Board. During the day, she teaches second graders at the Country School in Easton. She is also mother to a pretty incredible three-and-a-half year-old boy. She loves to take photographs of him and lots of other things, too. She is also known to jog a few miles now and again.

 

 

Snow Cancellation:  January 24 – Islam: Learning About Our Brothers and Sisters

islamicsocietyofeastonmd.yolasite.com

islamicsocietyofeastonmd.yolasite.com

If you know more about me, my culture and my religion, and better yet, if you actually know me, might you be less likely to distance yourself from me?  A part of our UU spiritual journey includes leaning into reason and learning as a path to connection. At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will offer an opportunity to learn more about Islam. The choir will sing.

 

 

 

January 17 – The Courage to End Silence

sue browning interview 220xMartin Luther King, Jr. is quoted as saying, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Did you end any silences in 2015? What are your hopes to add voice to social justice challenges this year? At our service, Rev. Sue Browning will explore the courage it takes to break our silence on issues that matter most, and to do it in a spirit of love.

 

January 10 – Persistent or Resistant, or Just Plain Stubborn

When in life does perseverance serve us well? Who are leaders that inspire a spirit of perseverance? What about our stubborn natures? As we begin a new year, Rev. Sue Browning challenges us to explore how we can be both deeply committed to our goals and values, and at the same time be flexible and ready to continually see our own truths shift when offered fresh light. The choir will sing.

January 3 – Shine a Light: Empathy as a Moral Issue

As we look towards the beginning of a new year and the coming of the light after the winter solstice, we seek ways to shine the light of our faith tradition into our lives. One of principle values is affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all people and even in the midst of a bruised and hurting world, we are called to empathy as a moral issue.

Rev. Rebekah MontgomeryThe Rev. Rebekah A. Montgomery is a Unitarian Universalist minister and Licensed Professional Counselor. Rev. Rebekah has a BA in Religious Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, and a Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Nova SE University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

In 2003, Rev. Rebekah was commissioned as an Army chaplain and has served the majority of her career on active duty.  In 2014, the military recognized Rev Rebekah’s pastoral and counseling training, and she became a Family Life Chaplain, which distinguishes her as an advanced pastoral care provider and supervisor. In June 2014, Rev. Rebekah was honored by being selected to preach the sermon at the Service of the Living Tradition at General Assembly, the annual gathering of the UU Association. In 2015, Rev. Rebekah began serving the UU Congregation of Rockville, MD as the Assistant Minister. Rev. Rebekah lives in Bethesda with her two children.

2015

December 27 – Coffee House Sunday

Get your coffee or tea before the service and join us for a non-traditional Sunday experience. We’ll start the service with familiar elements but then form smaller groups to ponder and discuss what the holiday season means to us personally and culturally. We’ll wrap up with some reflection, a song and more coffee. Service Leader:  Nancy Sawyer

Nancy Sawyer bioNancy has been a member of UUFE for sixteen years. She has served the congregation in many different ways during that time. Professionally, Nancy is a Registered Dietitian and has worked for the WIC program as a nutrition counselor and now as the Coordinator for the Upper Shore WIC Program.

 

 

 

December 20 – If I Were to Write a Letter to Santa …

How do you use your imagination? Which of your hopes and dreams could use a bit of help toward coming true?  At this service Rev. Sue Browning will consider how the short days of winter can nurture our dreams. The choir will sing. At this service there will also be an outreach collection to the Good Samaritan Fund. The service will be followed by our holiday potluck.

 

December 13 – A Life of Extravagant Love

Tim PolyBishop John Shelby Spong wants to, “live my life so fully, that I can give life away to others. To learn to love so wastefully, that I can share my love with others”. A travel writer in Sedona, Arizona, once described a sunset as, “when the sun makes extravagant love to the red rocks.”  Are you living fully and loving wastefully?  Are you living a life of extravagant love?  Can we make extravagant love in church?  Tim Poly will lead this service.

Tim Poly is a Certified Lay Servant and Youth Minister at Asbury United Methodist. Tim is also an award winning documentary photographer and window washing business owner who is on a path to become a Licensed Local Pastor in the Methodist Church. He also thinks he’s an ideation specialist (although he’s not sure what that means).

 

Sunday, November 22 – Favorite Traditions, Favorite Foods

What do you claim as tradition in your family or neighborhood? What has been passed down from your ancestors? Rev. Sue Browning and members of all ages will participate in an intergenerational Thanksgiving service where we express gratitude for community through story, song, and the ritual of Unitarian Universalist bread communion. The choir will sing.

Sunday, November 15 – Opening to the “Other”: Making Peace through Presence

Naomi Hyman

Guest speaker Rabbi Naomi Hyman will draw upon her experiences at the Zen Peacemaker Order’s Bearing Witness Retreats at Auschwitz/Birkenau, and will explore the importance of deep listening in making peace–in our hearts and in the world.

Drawing on teachings both ancient and modern, Rabbi Naomi guides her students in spiritual practices that awaken the soul, including sacred text study, meditation, ritual, and prayer. Rabbi Naomi was ordained by Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, in 2003. She also received a private contemplative ordination from Rabbi David Cooper in recognition of both her rabbinic studies and intensive meditation training under his guidance. She is the editor of Biblical Women in the Midrash: A Sourcebook and co-editor of Trees, Earth and Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology. Learn more at www.rabbinaomihyman.com.

 

 

 

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One thought on “Past Sermons

  • August 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    Permalink

    I was a visitor at UUFE and a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. I was surprised to hear one of your members describe a visit to a Christian church, and that “all they talked about was Jesus.” And that there was light laughter in your fellowship about this. Does UUFE welcome Christians?

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