Worship Service

Sunday, December 10, 2017: Decorating Our Holy Days Tree Following Worship!

“Hope in the Dark Hours”
Rev. Sara Hayman, Worship Leader
Molly Mercer, Worship Associate 

Raymond Williams writes,“to be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing.” This service will share poetry and thoughts intended to inspire hope, curiosity, and soul-sight in our darkest times.

Special Music with Shawn & Maizey Mercer!
Lori Johnson will be donating Sanctuary flowers for this service.

Aug 3, “The Revolution Will Be in G Major”, Jim Fisher

Religion and society are in constant flux, interacting as partners dancing in spirals. Some religious and social movements are ponderous while others take dramatic and even violent leaps. Music provides us with a lens into the maelstrom of change, measuring progress, provoking action, giving solace and building unanimity. We will think and sing about music and social change.

Easter Sermon, Apr. 8, 2012: The Promise of Resurrection in our Lives

On this Easter Sunday, in most Christian churches around the world, people celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus as Christ. How do we, 21st century Unitarian Universalists, enter into this story? Where does resurrection happen in our lives & the world?

Rev. Sara Huisjen

Click the link below to download a text of this sermon:

4.8.12.Easter.Sermon
 

December 14, 2008 – Gathered in Mystery

Gathered in Mystery
Dec 14, 2009
Ellsworth, Maine
Leela Sinha


What if there is a god?

What if all the skeptics are off track and all the atheists are wrong, and there is a god, or gods?  What if that god is really a god who listens, a god who responds, a god who hears and is heard?
What kind of god would you have, if you had a god?  What kind would you claim?  Where would you find your god, or gods?   Would you lie with them, sleep with them, eat with them?  Would you argue with them?  Would you have fireside chats?  Where would you find them, or where would they find you?  If there were a god or gods, and if you could choose, what kind would suit you best?

Fiddler On The Roof’s Tevya likes to pace, and shout and shake his fist at the sky; Mary Oliver goes walking; more than one biologist has found god at the end of a microscope; in the movie Contact, Jodi Foster’s character finds something so beautiful it brings her to tears on her way to another universe.  As humans we have been seeking the divine for thousands of years; what we have found has filled volumes, transformed careers, caused the rise and fall of empires.  We all crave contact with the divine.  We all want to be united with that which is precious, special, delightful, holy.  How we understand that divinity varies, and ways to encounter the divine are almost limitless.

In the end it’s much simpler than everything we have built up around us.  Here, we believe in direct access to god or that which is holy—no priest, minister, or saint needs to intercede for us.  We are all we need and have all we need to be in the presence of infinite love and to be infinitely loved.  But none of us are expected to be infinitely loving.  We are human, just human, deeply and intensely loving but with limits of time and place and body and spirit.  Continue reading

October 12, 2008 – Association Sunday

Association Sunday

October 12, 2008

Who would we be without each other?

Would we be lonely? Would we be sad? Would we be finally, totally at peace?

UU Singer/songwriter Peter Mayer, who wrote “Blue Boat Home”, also has a song about introverts. “People upset me when they interrupt me with calls and unannounced visits, and on top of that when they chat about nothing at all and I ask what is it? I do have a lot to do. Can you return at two? I will not be here by then. Just leave what you need me for on a note on the door so I can ignore it, my friend.”

“I’d like to hire my own secretary who’s mean, someone who says things like, “Mr. Mayer can’t be reached; he is not in, you see. He’s in a meeting ’till ten. I suppose I could take your name. Who are you anyway? Please never call here again.”” (“The Introvert Song”, from the album “Elements”)

Some of us are clearly more externally-oriented than others. But humans are made to be social. We are made to live among each other, to laugh and cry together, to love and fight and heal in unending circles of days and months and years. No matter how introverted we are, there is a basic human need for each other; without touch, without companions, infants die and adults go insane. We are made for contact: challenging contact, intimate contact, creative contact, religious contact.

Each of us has different priorities: Continue reading

October 5, 2008 – Openings

Openings

At last it is October.  The colors are here, the fall is here, Samhain and Halloween are coming with Thanksgiving to follow, and with these come pumpkins.

Pumpkins are squash, with tasty seeds and tasty flesh and an efficient enough shape to render carving worthwhile.  Efficiency, in this case, is measured in proportion of volume to exterior dimensions, with more being better.  While it is possible to grow a zucchini with roughly the same mass as a medium-sized pie pumpkin, it is much harder to make a jack o’ lantern out of it.  Acorn squash fares somewhat better, but pumpkins hold pride of place for a reason: they are good.  Their plumpness suggests plenty; their flesh is succulent roasted or stewed, they keep well, and one’s hands fit nicely inside the top, if one begins with a suitable lid.

I did not always know this. Continue reading

September 28, 2008

sermon

September 28, 2008

Ellsworth, Maine

Rev. Leela Sinha

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the high holy days of the Jewish calendar, are late this year, or we were early. But they are finally approaching, these days of atonement when names are inscribed in the book of life for the coming year, and when all wrongs must be righted, and all amends made. Sin is a concept more closely associated with Christianity than with Judaism in popular culture, but the idea is there, violations of law for which one must repent and be forgiven. As we come down from that long and venerable religious line, we could have inherited it, we might have inherited it, but we certainly don’t talk about it.

I think we’re afraid of sin.
Continue reading

September 21, 2008 – The Coming Darkness

Openings

At last it is October.  The colors are here, the fall is here, Samhain and Halloween are coming with Thanksgiving to follow, and with these come pumpkins.

Pumpkins are squash, with tasty seeds and tasty flesh and an efficient enough shape to render carving worthwhile.  Efficiency, in this case, is measured in proportion of volume to exterior dimensions, with more being better.  While it is possible to grow a zucchini with roughly the same mass as a medium-sized pie pumpkin, it is much harder to make a jack o’ lantern out of it.  Acorn squash fares somewhat better, but pumpkins hold pride of place for a reason: they are good.  Their plumpness suggests plenty; their flesh is succulent roasted or stewed, they keep well, and one’s hands fit nicely inside the top, if one begins with a suitable lid.

I did not always know this. Continue reading

September 14, 2008 – Do You Want Fries With That?

sermon
the coming darkness
Sept 21, 2008
Ellsworth, ME
Rev. Leela Sinha

The coming of the dark is the coming of limits, the coming of boundaries, the coming of edges.  Our summers here are vast, open spaces of mile-long days; as the equinox comes we feel the shift, close windows, don sleeves and sweaters, light lamps to hold the edges of the evening back for a few more days.  It is in our cultural nature to fight limits, turn on the lights, turn up the heat, hold tight to that perfect-weather day.  It is our habit to resist the darkness.

But it comes anyway.

It lets itself in at the kitchen door, puts the water on for tea, and boots up the computer.  One day we arrive home and it’s got its feet up in the living room with our favorite novel. Continue reading

September 7, 2008 – Water for the Desert

sermon: Water for the Desert
ingathering and water communion, September 7, 2008
homily 1:
Every time my mother and I talk poetry it eventually boils down to meaning.  “What does it mean?” she’ll ask, “I don’t understand.”  Try as I might I cannot explain how the words wash over me, give me shapes and pictures and feelings for meanings I cannot articulate in plain English.  If I could say it in ordinary language, I tell her, I probably would.  Poetry is for things that are too big and complicated for grammar and logic, that have too many layers and too many feelings for which we don’t have names.

Ritual is the same way.  It is poetry made physical; it is psalms made flesh.  We pour our waters together here because no matter what I do, I cannot convey what it means to see our water mixed by molecule with other waters.  Knowing that we can be both the same and different, intimately mingled and unique; knowing that we each bring something to a richly laden table but that once we have mixed we can never be separated cleanly, that this time and this place leave an indelible mark on us–the symbols are rich and varied and I will try to explain a little, but when we watch our water go into the common bowl our hearts speak the wisdom we need if we let them.

We are the water.
This is us.
Continue reading