A Call to the Heart, Mind, and Spirit from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
Welcome to the UUCB Sermon Podcast!
We are sharing our weekly Sunday sermons from our Co-Ministers Barbara and Bill Hamilton-Holway, visiting ministers, seminarians, and lay people of our congregation.
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Worship at UUCB
Sundays in August
Summer Worship Schedule: 10:00 a.m. (one service only)
Childcare available from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
August’s Theme: Vulnerability
August 3 - We Are…
Who do we mean when we say “we?” Do we mean who we think we do? When does “we” unintentionally exclude? What does inclusivity really look like? Rev. Dr. Sue Magidson preaching; Kay Fairwell, worship leader
Rev. Dr. Sue Magidson is a longtime member of UUCB and one of it’s community ministers. She serves as the Spiritual Care Coordinator and Chaplain at San Leandro Hospital. As a lifelong UU and Jew, she thinks a lot about who we mean when we say “we.”
August 10 - Pieces of the Puzzle
Walking a trail, taking a pilgrimage, and navigating a labyrinth are metaphors for our life’s journey. Folks who are hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail have a similar destination in mind, though many different approaches to getting there are employed. Rev. Sonya Sukalski speaks about the blessings and lessons of the trail. Rev. Sonya Sukalski preaching; Rev. Jay Atkinson, worship leader; Rev. Greg Ward will offer a short testimony.
Rev. Sonya Sukalski is one of UUCB’s community ministers. Sonya serves as the Director of Faith Community Engagement for Specialty Studios and The Video Project, who harness the power of socially conscious media to touch hearts, engage minds, and inspire action. Sonya developed the UU Legislative Ministry of California’s Spiritual Activist Leadership Training (SALT) for young adults from 2010-2013 which graduated 23 activists equipped to lead us into a better future.
August 17 - Perfect Strangers
What is your relationship with trying to be perfect? Have you ever tried to be perfect in order to be noticed... to be appreciated... to be loved? Trying to be perfect may sometimes get us attention, but often it comes with a price: people only know us for what we do and not who we are. And in the process, we become perfect strangers. Rev. Greg Ward preaching; Jay Atkinson, worship leader.
August 24 - Praying to a God that Laughs
Becoming an adult is serious business, so serious, in fact, that many of us lose our sense of humor along the way. When did we lose our mirth? Our imagination and whimsy? When did we finally surrender our playfulness? And how do we coax these essential tools to return? Rev. Greg Ward preaching; Rev. Jeanne Foster, worship leader; Merrin Clough and our 2014-15 team of R. E. volunteers will be charged to service.
August 31 - Flying--or the Story of a Young Trapeze Artist
A circus experience from my childhood growing up in New Orleans and Robert Frost’s poem “Choose Something Like a Star” together provide the stimulus for a reflection on what it means to be daring in life and what it means to have for a safety net below us the “interdependent web of all existence,” which we UUs affirm and promote. Rev. Dr. Jeanne Foster preaching, with Kay Fairwell, worship leader.
Rev. Dr. Jeanne Foster grew up in New Orleans and went to undergraduate school at Tulane University. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Starr King, was ordained by the Monterey Peninsula UU Church, and served as minister of the UU Fellowship in Modesto. She earned her Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in the interdisciplinary area of Religion, Literature, and the Arts. She is currently Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. A published poet, her work has appeared in numerous journals. Her poetry book, A Blessing of Safe Travel, won the Quarterly Review of Literature Poetry Award. Among her other books are Appetite: Food as Metaphor, an anthology of poems by women, and a critical work, A Music of Grace: the Sacred in Contemporary.
September 7 at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
One of the great blessings of this – and so many of our UU communities around the country – is coming back together in the fall to reintegrate our ideals and experiences, and rededicate ourselves to one another and our common calling to make the world a better place. In coming together for this service we are asking you to bring a few things.
- A tiny bit of water (to pour into our common well) that symbolizes a feeling you’d like to bring into being at UUCB (joy, meaning, compassion, love, etc.)
- A tiny bit of earth (to place upon our ground of being) symbolizing what skill you add to our wealth of talent (teaching, organization, leadership, communication, etc.)
- An idea (and, if you’re willing, a costume – especially some of our younger members) symbolizing what kind of animal you would be on Noah’s Ark. We will all be given a chance to ‘get on board.’
A tiny bit of water (to pour into our common well) that symbolizes a feeling you’d like to bring into being at UUCB (joy, meaning, compassion, love, etc.)
Sundays in September
Worship Schedule: 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Childcare available from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
September’s Theme: Beginnings
September 7 - Noah’s Dilemma
Noah understood about the need to bring people together. In the midst of a great flood of change, he prepared for people to discover the best of one another. Come to UUCB’s multigenerational ingathering story where we will pour our lives into this community and notice what a blessing each person brings. Rev. Greg Ward, Merrin Clough, and a cast of thousands.
September 14 - Sweet Beginnings
Drawing inspiration from our Jewish heritage and themes of renewal and repair we anticipate the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rev. Kathy Huff, preaching.
The Reverend Kathy Huff is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She has served congregations in Arlington, MA; Oakland, CA and Santa Rosa, CA. Rev. Kathy grew up on a South Sea island and has lived and worked in a few other super cool places beyond these borders. Rev. Kathy has a Masters of Divinity from Harvard, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. She’s received numerous awards for leadership, social justice advocacy, and preaching. Kathy shares a home in San Leandro with her spouse of 24 years, their two active daughters ages 12 and 17, a Jack Russell Terrier, a bird called Lancelot, and Miracle, their astonishingly old goldfish.
September 21 - Bird by Bird, Stone by Stone
Come and learn how community is built. How it is built in moments where people are flooded with fear and reasons to distrust one another ... when the alarms and sirens and bells are going off ... there are ways that people find their place together (plug for Covenant Groups). Rev. Greg Ward preacing and Kay Fairwell worship leader.
September 28 - Dragons, Spiders, Webs, and Churches
Certain things scare us. Things that trigger the cascade of mental, emotional and physiological responses to fear are intending to retard our interactions with danger. But preoccupation with fear leaves us spiritually ‘retarded’ - unable to exchange love and understanding at a deep level. Rev. Greg Ward preaching.
About Worship at UUCB
Worship is at the heart of our community. Worship refreshes us and we take a deep breath and rest from our daily lives. Worship refreshes when it comforts us in difficult times, when it celebrates with us our joys, and when it challenges us and names what has been avoided. Worship reminds us of who we are, what we can become, how we want to live, what we hope to give to the community and the world.
In our worship services, we laugh and cry and are reminded of what is deepest and dearest. Worship engages our minds and hearts and bodies with wisdom from the world’s religions, the words and deeds of prophetic and poetic women and men, experiences of life’s twists and turns and transcending mystery and wonder. Together we reverence living and dying, mark joy and pain and promise. We celebrate hope and liberation, recovery and possibility.
Worship strengthens us to live out our Unitarian Universalist principles in our families, neighborhoods, work lives, church, and world. Worship inspires us to create the Beloved Community and live lives of integrity, joy, and service.
Our Sunday Services, held from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to noon, are joyous gatherings of the community in our Sanctuary. Our Thursday Vesper services from 7:00 to 7:25 p.m. in the Fireside Room provide a mid-week opportunity for refreshing your spirit.
Sunday Worship Services
Two Services Every Sunday: 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (September - May)
One Sunday Service at 10:00 a.m. (June - August)
Worship is central to the life of this community. It reminds us of who we are, what’s really important, how we want to live, and what we hope to give to the community and to the world.
Sunday Services give power, community, meaning and hope. Minds and hearts, bodies and spirits are engaged as we celebrate life together. The Chancel Choir, congregational singing, and music lifts our spirits. Children and adults begin the service together. Children then participate in Religious Education classes. Coffee, tea and conversation follow every Sunday Service. Please note, the church is wheelchair accessible. Large-print Orders of Service and enhanced listening devices are available for our Sunday Service.