Category Archives: Sermons – Others

Water Communion August 25, 2013

Water Communion ~~ Rev. Eva Cameron, Festival Sunday Team In us for this annual ritual of community building, we are invited to bring water from a place that is meaningful to us. Together we join our sacred waters, as we think about the many places that water is special to us—from our backyard rain barrels, […]

Of That We Do Not Speak – Lynn Brant 02/03/2013

Of That We Do Not Speak ~~ Lynn Brant, Lara Martinsen-Burrell (WA) Lynn will talk about abortion and make a stronger case for “pro-choice” in the context of our UU principles and values. He will argue that we should speak about abortion and not allow the other side to dominate the larger conversation in our […]

In Service of Peace Jan 13, 2013

~ Staci Chananie-Hill and Al Hays co-preaching, Del Carpenter (WA) For Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday  Staci and Al share their thoughts about non-violence, the movement, and spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.  How does what we learn from our past propel us into finding ways and means other than violence in an ever-increasingly violent world?  How do […]

In Service of Gratitude – Gratitude for All Experiences- Staci Chananie-Hill

We often give thanks for those things that make us feel good. But what about the things that make us beel bad, or that we perceive as negative experiences. How do we reframe those experiences? Let’s explore these thoughts and feelings together in this seasonal time of Thanksgiving. Lay Minister Staci Chananie-Hill shares her experiences […]

In Service of – Courage

~~ Rev. Eva Cameron, Del Carpenter (WA) A tribute to the men and women who are serving and have served this country. Some of us are pacifists, and others believe in just war. . .but no matter our leanings, we all honor the humanity that serves at the core of military. To listen to this […]

The Fun and Faithful Journey: A Bridging Sunday ~~ RE Teachers, The Rev. Eva Cameron, Maureen Murphy (WA)

May 20th   Children’s Religious Education Sunday The Fun and Faithful Journey:  A Bridging Sunday ~~ RE Teachers, The Rev. Eva Cameron, Maureen Murphy (WA)A service presented by the younger members of our congregation in collaboration with their teachers and Rev. Eva.  At this service, Matthew Bancroft-Smithe and Thorsson Questra—wonderful youth who we’ve seen flourish from young children to young adults—will be […]

Living Laughing Loving and Learning

Staci Chananie-Hill one of our Worship Associates brings us the sermon today. She says about today’s sermon, “April is a good month for taking time to sit still. It is the first month where we really welcome back life after the long days of winter. By paying very close attention and resting in stillness while […]

Lessons From The Road – Sue Hill

All the major world religions have pilgrimage as part of their ritual practice.  We, too, have been on a journey this year.  Listen to  find out what other religions can teach us about pilgrimage and how we can make our real and imagined journeys sacred.  Click here to listen to this service by lay-minister Sue […]

Festival Sunday – Spring Celebration

Spring is a time for new beginnings.  The promise of life becoming more exuberant.  To listen to the Spring Festival Service click here.

A Conversation On Happiness and Kindness

Bill Chene guides us thru an exploration of the relationship between happiness and kindness and how it can change our lives. To listen to the service click here.

Stewardship Sunday

Stopping to Smell the Roses: Living and Giving in Abundance Staci Chananie-Hill leads us in this celebration of giving.  The Committee on Ministry also recognizes Shanlee McNally for her contributions.  To Listen to this service click here.

The Fool’s Journey

The first mention of playing card in western history is in the fourteenth century, and shortly thereafter we find evidence of decks with extra trump cards being used for divinatory and magical purposes.  These decks became known as Tarot.  One of the most intriguing cards in Tarot decks is the Fool card.  It is a […]

Shamanism Past and Present

Neil Martinsen-Burrell and Lara Martinsen-Burell ( Worship Associate). Shamansim refers to a broad class of religious practices regarding communication with the spirit world. A practitioner of these techniques is called a “shaman”. Shamanism exists in a stunning variety of forms in cultures all over the globe. Listen to this service to learn more about the […]

Facing the Other – The Mirror

~~ Staci Chananie-Hill, John Miller (WA) As we come into the New Year there is a sense of newness and rebirth.  We plan what we want from our year, some of us make goals—not always realistically.  What is it about this time of year that makes us look at ourselves and perhaps find something lacking, […]

The Infancy Narratives

The Infancy Narratives: Infancy Narratives: Infancy Narratives: an Objective Comparison an Objective Comparison ~~ Nathan Callahan, Staci Chananie-Hill (WA) Nathan & Staci review the two infancy narratives of the New Testament, and explore the historical purpose of each; why they tell completely different stories, and are not the same; and why each was written in […]

Whose Are We? Rev. Mark Stringer

The Rev. Mark Stringer , guest minister from the UU church of Des Moines was our visiting minister this Sunday, during Rev. Eva Cameron’s sabatical. This year the UU Minister’s Association is inviting ministers and congregations to share theological reflection and conversation based on the question “Whose are We”? As UU’s we are not expected […]

Taking Inventory

A service by Worship Associate Staci-Chananie-Hill. To listen to an original tune by member Bill Brown, the opening words and Chalice lighting click here. To listen to the sermon by Staci-Chananie-Hill click here.

UN Sunday: What Do We Gain From What We Give UP

Worship Associate Staci Chananie-Hill focuses on exploring new pathways, the constancy of change, and how loss can help make us find new ways of doing things. To listen to this service click here.

Delemmas and Choices – John Miller

Every day we are faced with choices that challenge us to apply our seven UU Principles. John Miller helps us explore the choices we make and how those choices impact our relationships, our community and our world, as well as our own personal religious journey. To listen to this service click here.

We All Want The Same Thing –

Staci Chananie-Hill & Stephen Orsborn present todays sermon. To listen to the Opening Words, Chalice Lighting and Children’s Story click here. To Listen to the Sermon click here.

Matin Luther: A Heretic an Educational Reformer

Neil Martinsen-Burell traveled in Central Germany this summer, studying the Lutheran influence on higher education. In this service he shares his experiences and his reflections. To listen to this service click here.


Today’s sermon theme was on this 4th of July Sunday was Freedom. Worship Associate Stephen Orsborn did the service. To listen to the opening words, chalice lighting by Maureen Murphy and the children’s story read by Stephen click here. To listen to the sermon by Stephen Orsborn click here.

Love Will Find You – Staci Chananie-Hill

Associate Minister Staci Chananie-Hill and Worship Associate Stephen Orsborn presented this morning’s service. Staci’s sermon dealing with loving, starting anew and loving yourself and loving others. To listen to the opening words and the children’s story on listening click here. To listen to the sermon click here.

Reflections on the Summer Solstice

Karen Impola presents this Sundays service on the eve of the longest day of the year. ( in the northern hemisphere). She looks at solstice celebrations old and new, how our agricultural past informs us and what it means to live on a tilted planet with changing amounts of darkness and light. To listen to […]

Prejudice: What Does it Feel Like – Bill Chene

This Sunday Service was presented by lay member Bill Chene.  He spoke to us about the effects of prejudice from his experience as a child in school.  This Podcast of the service includes the opening words, the chalice lighting, the Thank UU award and the Sermon.  To listen click here.

Religious Education Sunday

Religious Education Sunday ~ REAP Council, Steve Orsborn (WA) Today we celebrated all the people in our community who work to teach us week after week. Dan Rather said “The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a […]

Healing as Art – Deblyn Russell

The Power of the creative process of art as a healing force. To listen to this service click here.

Rite of Spring

Rite of Spring: A Festival Sunday ~ Festival Team, Stephen Orsborn (WA) The Festival Team celebrates the arrival of Spring with music, drama and poetry. To listen to the meditation, a skit about spring by the UU Drama Team and the closing words click here. To listen to the opening words and the Child Dedication […]

Youth Sunday

The UU Youth provided a thought-provoking service on “Standing on the Side of Love” from their point of view.  To listen to the service click here.

Chapel Service – New Year’s Revolutions

Al Hays using the inspiration of the Beatles’ song “Revolution”, reflects on the relationship between personal, spiritual and social change.  To listen to the sermon click here.

Standing on the Side of Love: Gay Marriage

The service began with a special chalice lighting in honor of the Veterans in the Congregation. To listen to this section and the Meditation click here. To listen to the 3 Congregation members share what equal marriage rights mean to them and explore the role a congregation such as ours can have as we stand […]

Ghandhi Jayanti – Bill Chene

This talk and meditation on Ghandhi is presented by member Bill Chene on the occasion of Chandhi’s Birthday.  To listen to this service click here.

Labor Day Chapel – Al Hays

Professor Al Hays brought us the message on Labor Day, with a Message titled “The Labor Theory of Value”. To listen to the Opening Words, the Chalice Lighting and the Message click here. This was a short service after which there was an all church clean up and then a pot luck luncheon.

Universalism: Past, Present and Powerful – Rev Kalen Fristad

Rev. Kalen Fristad is an ordained United Methodist Minister.  After serving churches in Iowa for twenty-seven years, he embarked upon an independent ministry, consisting of traveling around the contry with his wife, Darlene.  He accepted invitations to speak to churches and other groups, countering the teaching that many people will suffer for eternity in hell […]

The Goldilocks Theory – Bill Chene

This summer service was led by lay member Bill Chene.  To listen to the service click here.

The Tragedy of the Commons

The Service for this service was partly inspired by a 1968 article by Garrett Hardin.  The message looks at the tension between what’s good for the individual and what’s good for the interdependent web.  Karen Impola is the speaker at this service.  To listen to this service click here.

Joseph Campbell, Your Hero’s Journey

Ben Kieffer, Del Carpenter (WA) What can Joseph Campbell teach us about our hero’s journey?  Iowa Public Radio host, Ben Kieffer,  spoke to us about the influence of mythologist Joseph Campbell on his life.  In particular, he recounted how Campbell’s concept of a hero’s journey came to mind when he covered the peaceful revolutions in […]

Butterflies Under our Hats

Rev Eva Cameron and Kathy Klink-Zeitz , our Director or Religious Education, joined together to acknowledge and celebrate the power of religious education.  Knowledge is power and our children and adults go forth from our doors with strength from the many lessons they learn here together.  To listen to the RE honors part of the […]

What’s Wrong With Atheism – Lynn Brant

That question can be asked (and answered) in the same way as “what’s wrong with my eating an ice cream cone?” either from the point of view of a vegan or from the point of view on a hot July afternoon while standing in front of a Dairy Queen.  Lynn’t talk is in response to […]

Palm Sunday

Tim Purdum, Rev.  Eva Cameron &    Deblyn Russell worked together on this Palm Sunday service.  To listen to the Choir sing, the Chalice Lighting,  a song played and sung by Tim Purdum, the closing hymn and the closing words click here. To listen to Tim’s sermon on Palm Sunday click here.

Lincoln Bicentennial

Lincoln’s values and causes are central to UU beliefs. Our forefathers and the forefather’s of his day had an active involvement in the abolitionist movement and other progressive causes of that era. Let’s celebrate 200 years of progress.  To hear this program click here.

Facing Our Fears: Youth Sunday

What are we afraid of, and why? In order to “dare to grow” we need to face these questions. The UUYouth will lead us in a service exploring the theme of fear.  To listen to this service click here.

New Year’s Chapel

New Year’s Chapel Some say doing the same thing again expecting different results is foolish. Others say the variables are always changing so doing the same thing again expecting the same results is also foolish. Whether either or both views are correct, stopping to take a look back and a look forward is worth doing.  […]

Giving Thanks: Sprituality and Food

Sue Hill, Commissioned Lay Minister helps us reflect on the role that food plays in our spiritual lives.  To listen to this service click here.

To Serve

To Serve is what Minister means in Latin.  Our three Commissioned Lay Ministers, John Miller, Sue Hill and Deblyn Russell share their faith and spiritual perspectives on how becoming Commissioned Lay Ministers has “dared them to grow”.  To listen to this service click here.

Woody Allen, Ecclesiastes and the Search for Meaning – Jim Paprocki

How do we find meaning in our lives when it cannot be found in traditional religion?  This sermon is taken from Bill Murry’s book, A faith for all Seasons.  We explore the meaning of our lives as Unitarian Universalist within the context of being part of a larger community.  Life is worth living when it […]

The Tao of American Culture – Joyce Boss

Member Joyce Boss share with us her ideas about Tao in America.  To listen click here.

Stories We Tell Ourselves – Lara and Neil Martinsen-Burrell

Listen as Lara and Neil explore the many forms of truth we reveal through our stories: how we tell the story, how we hear the story, and who’s story we carry.  Click here to listen.

Reflections on Fathering – Karen Impola

For Father’s Day the people in attendance were asked to talk about their father’s .  To listen to this service click here.

How to Fashion a Life – Del Carpenter

This is a sermon written by the Rev. Michael Brown, Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria, Il., delivered with commentary by member Del Carpenter.  To listen to this service click here.

The Omnipotent Individual – John Miller

As UUs we recognize the importance of each individual being free to explore their own religious beliefs. There is also an organization that assists that exploration process. We will explore the balance between the organization and the individual. John Miller and Colton Questra present the program to listen to the service click here.

From Conflict to Reconciliation: Children’s Story – Pam Hays

During the April 13th service about the conflict in Northern Ireland and the efforts at reconciliation, Pam Hays did a children’s story time about conflict and resolution.  To listen to the story click here.

From Conflict to Reconciliation: Northern Ireland – Al & Pam Hays

Al & Pam gav a brief historical overview of how the conflict in Northern Ireland emerged and then presented a readers theater based on the reflections of people in adjoining Pretestant and Catholic communities about their efforts at working togehter.  This presentation was done on Sunday April 13th.  To listen to the service click here.

Palm Sunday

Tim Purdum, explores the meaning of Palm Sunday from the point of view of a UU Christian.  Where can UU’s find meaning in this story.To listen to this service click here. 

Women In UU History – Karen Impola

March is Women’s History Month and UU Karen Impola looks at the contribution of some UU women from the past.  To listen to this service click here.

A Nautralist Looks at the Seventh Principle – Lynn Brant

One of our members, a recently retired professor of geology looks at one of our UU Principles.  To listen to this service click here.

Dancing Over the Back of the Elephant – Lara Martinsen-Burell

In today’s service lay member Lara Martinsen-Burell introduced the concept of contact improvisational dance and shared some thoughts of her personal journey. To listen to this service click here.

A Faith for Atheists, Agnostics, and Me – Del Carpenter

Contrary to the title, this is not about a system of religious beliefs or lack therof. To listen to this sermon about a faith stance we share and that is useable by anyone click here.

The Fatherhood Journey – Sean McNally

In honor of Father’s Day, Sean McNally shares some thoughts on being a son and being a father in today’s society. To hear this service click here.

Fair and Balanced Giving – The Stewardship Committee

To listen to this service about Generousity and Stewardship click here.

Do We Really Care About One Another – Jim Paprocki

Jim Paprocki and John Miller lead this lay service. To listen to this service click here.

Living in UUville – UU Youth

Join the UU Youth as they show us around UUville. They have been inhabiting an imaginary private UU school and village where they make the rules. To Listen to the service click here.

Articulating Your UU Faith – Congregational Members

A collection of thoughts and ideas by the congregational members who took the 5-week class. Click here to listen to the service. This service was a collection of thoughts and ideas by the congregational members who took the 5-week class, Articulating Your UU Faith. The text for this service is not included in this posting. […]

Conversations With A Cab Driver – Mike Knapp

Click here to listen to this service While at General Assembly this summer I visited the local river boat casino one evening. On the cab ride back to my hotel, the cab driver suddenly turned to me and asked, “So, just what is it that Unitarians Universalists believe?”

Transforming our Faith at G.A. – G.A. Attendees

To listen to this service click here

Stories from Civil Rights Time – The Rev. Eva Cameron

Members of the congregation join the Rev. Eva Cameron in telling about their experiences with the Civil Rights struggles. To listen to this service click here.

“The Seven Deadly Sins” – Dr. Sue Hill

As many of you know, I spent part of last summer in Cambridge, England participating in a seminar on The Seven Deadly Sins in the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, which covers the thousand years between 500 and 1500, numerous religious and theological treatises, artwork, sermons, and literary texts dealt with the Seven Deadly […]

“Ethical Implications of a Declining Resource Base” – Al Browne

Last year at this time, I was handing out copies of a book review I had written. The book was by Kenneth S. Deffeyes called Hubert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage. M. King Hubbert was a geologist at Shell Oil who predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production (in the lower 48 states) would […]

Pay it Forward- Carolyn Hildebrandt and UU Youth

The UU Youth help with a service around the theme of Pay it Forward. To listen to this service click here