Roll Away the Stone (Easter/Earth Day sermon 140420)

How many of you are fond of drinking coffee?

How many have heard of “Doomsday Preppers”?

How many of you have heard of the book, “Saving Paradise”?
 
The subtitle of Saving Paradise is “How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire.” In the book, co-authors Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker write about their discovery that early Christians were focused on *this* world, rather than on securing a place in some afterlife.
 
 
Brock and Parker visited ~read more~

Poems in the Lap of Death (service; 140223)

shipbuilding

Not only do I not believe in that literal version of the monotheistic God, I have very little interest in trying to prove or disprove its existence. It is not a very nuanced understanding; I want us to deepen our appreciation of the complexities and paradoxes of life. ~read more~

home opener 2013

synchronized swimmers cartoon

Annie Dillard writes that “the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense.” I have a number of problems with that line.

Part of me does not believe in any kind of separate, judgmental god or goddess. Part of me does truly appreciate the concept of a god, but that part then disapproves of the metaphorical deity sleeping. The Universalist part of me insists that a loving god might well be disappointed—pretty regularly, really—but she or he ~read more~

The Opposite of Crying “Wolf” (sermon; 130407)

otter-wolf

We are not selling a set of rules. We are offering a set of actions. Anybody who finds our path a worthy one is welcome to join us, and we will cry with them, sing with them, listen to them and share our food with them, as we journey together.

We are not offering mere community. Televangelists offer nothing if not a sense of “community.” The Hitler Youth were a remarkably close-knit “community.” What we are offering is rich, complex, supportive and challenging community.

We do not wonder who or what it is that you worship. We do not care if you worship anything at all. We do care about what you love, and what you fear. We care about your dreams and desires. We care about your suffering, and your sorrow; and we care whether, after all of that, you are still willing to open your heart, again and again.

If *that* is the path you want to walk, then we are willing and eager—delighted, even—to journey with you. We will support and challenge you and we ask that you support and challenge us.
~read more~

Fated for Free Will? (sermon; 121014)

conscience angel devil toon

Fated for Free Will
Service celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana, on 14 October 2012

 

OPENING WORDS
For a few hours each Sunday morning, we set aside a time and space to recall ourselves to our larger values, and to teach them to our children. We make time to heal from the  wounds of the world, to recharge for the week ahead, and to better equip ourselves to care for and encourage our human cousins who ~read more~

Eraser, Mirror, Compass: Back to School (service; 120826)

Eraser, Mirror, Compass: Back to School
Service celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana, on 26 August 2012
Rev. Chip Roush

OPENING WORDS
“The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own; not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own.”

Approximately two hundred years later,  I do not think that the Rev. Dr. William Ellery Channing would mind ~read more~

Interdependence Day (sermon; 120701)

multiculturalismo4

How many of you, as a youth, ever made fun of one of your siblings? How many *defended* that sibling, if others criticized them? How many are at least a little uncomfortable when your spouse or partner makes the same observations about your family out loud that you admit silently to yourself?

Just because we love something, it does not mean that we don’t recognize its faults.

I *love* the United States of America. I admire its ideals, ~read more~

Sex-Positive Religion (worship; 120212)

Amor_Victorious

Sex-Positive Religion
Service celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana, on 12 February 2012

 

OPENING WORDS
Denver Butson was born in Maryland, in 1965; this is his poem, “Tuesday 9:00am”

A man standing at the bus stop
reading the newspaper is on fire
Flames are peeking out
from beneath his collar and cuffs
His shoes have begun to melt

The woman next to him
wants to mention it to him
that he is burning
but she is drowning
Water is everywhere
in her mouth and ears
in her ~read more~

Imprisoned Lightning (homily; 120205)

Statue of Liberty Torch

Imprisoned Lightning
Service  celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana, on 05 February  2012
Rev.  Chip Roush

OPENING WORDS
One of my favorite poets, Wislawa Szymborska, died last Wednesday, of lung cancer. These are excerpts of her poem, Psalm:

“How leaky are all the borders
we  draw around our separate nations!
How  many clouds cross those boundaries
daily without even paying the toll!
How much desert sand
simply sifts from country to country,
or how many mountain pebbles
hop down slopes onto foreign turf just like that!
Need I remind you of ~read more~

Christmas homily 2011

A_Small_Gift_For_Christmas_by_vladstudio

How many of you did at least *some* decorating for the holidays this year? How many told stories about the ornaments and decorations, recalling when or where you got them? How many, whether decorating or not, found yourself remembering certain people, and holidays past? There are indeed billions of Christmas stories, each of them reflecting, in some way, some aspect of the birth of the baby Jesus.

Already this morning, we’ve heard the story as told through ~read more~

so may we categorize: