The Wisdom of the Middle Way

This week, the Kirkland area is living with the presence of coronavirus in our community. We worry about over-reacting… we wonder if we should just go on about our lives as usual, knowing that for many people this virus only causes a mild illness. We worry about under-reacting. If we don’t change our behaviors, and keep going out in the world and interacting as we always do, could we increase the spread of the disease, putting many others at risk. In the spirit of compassion, and honoring the interconnectedness of all beings, we try to find a middle way.


An Election Year Decree – Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee

This is an important election year. We must be involved and use this year to promote our values in the world if we truly believe we are part of the interconnected web, dedicated to healing the world. At the same time we must learn resiliency, how we maintain our core integrity, when the political situation feels threatening. (Opens with a reading from Clarissa Pinkola Estes.)


Optimism: A Luxury Item – Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee

There is a debate about optimism versus hope. What is the difference? Liberation theologians declare optimism is not possible for those who can no longer trust the economy and politics of this country. In these difficult times, must we give up on optimism, but learn a form of spiritual hope? (Opens with a reading from Vaclav Havel.)


Christmas Eve Service – Take Time for Awe

Recording of the Christmas Eve Services at Northlake UU in Kirkland, WA: Christmas Carol Medley, played by Maria (0 – 8:20); Joy to the World, Candle Lighting, O Come… (8:20 – 14:30); The No Rehearsal Xmas pageant (14:30 – 31:20); Carols, Readings and Offering (31:20 – 44); Homily by Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee – Take Time for Awe (44 – 50:40); Carols and Readings (50:40 – 1:00).


Honoring Fire – Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee

In this season of cold and wet, we honor the light and warmth of fire and the blessings of community in this multigenerational service, which includes story, song, and a fire communion ceremony. (In Unitarian Universalist traditions, we often do a flower communion in the spring and a water communion in the fall. This service included Rev. Nancy’s creation of a fire communion.)


Divine Opinions – Joe Rettenmaier

When our personal lives grow crowded with the news and opinions of others, how do we remain open to the awe of all that is Divine? Speaker – Joe Rettenmaier, former intern minister at Edmonds UU, MDiv student at Meadville-Lombard.


Practice Paying Attention – Rev. Nancy Reid McKee

So often we are caught up in the business of life and miss the mystery of being alive. In this service, Rev. Nancy led us through several practices that help ground our spirit. Recording includes Homily (recording location 0 – 11:00 minutes), then Steve Wilhelm from Eastside Insight Meditation offers a guided meditation (11 – 17:30), Lectio Divina (read, meditate, pray and contemplation centered around a reading of The Longing by John O’Donohue – 18 – 22:40), gratitude practice (22:40 – 25:30), lighting a candle (25:30 – 26:15); Choir performs We Are One (26:15 – 29:46).


Heaven: It’s Not What You’d Expect

Reverend Nancy McKee’s description of her message: “Instead of dying and going to heaven, our work is to recognize that we are already in heaven and to act accordingly. We will explore what we expect from heaven.” Recording opens with a reading “Prophets of a Future Not Our Own” by Bishop Ken Untener, followed by the Northlake choir performing “Look Around”, an original composition by our Music Director David Duvall.


Improvising: Setting A New Course for Life – Rev. Jim VanderWeele

Justice, Equity, and Compassion offer opportunities for growth and change. Looking back at this brief chapter at Northlake, Rev. Jim is reminded of the journey of life: to live, reflect, learn, help, and point forward, always doing the best you can. Come, join in, to reflect on setting a new course for ourselves, for Northlake UU Church, and for the world.


Who are our friends? Our companions?

Rev. Jim VanderWeele shares a story of a night when the right of conscience and use of the democratic process were challenged, suborned, and beaten back in his presence. Shocked! Surprised! Forever changed! This message offers a realization that the values UUs cherish are still scorned by many, which makes the support of our values a critical step for all of us. Opens with a chalice lighting “The One Story” by Rachel Naomi Remen. Excerpt from musical interlude: “Bring Him Home” music by Claude-Michel Shonberg; lyrics by Alain Boublil & Herbert Kretzmer: performed by Matthew Triplett. During Jim’s message, you will hear audio from this MSNBC report:


Music, Music, Everywhere

Music Sunday: the Northlake Choir presents music from a variety of sources in contemplation of the beauty of this life. Excerpts from “Cantar!” by Jay Althouse, “Love” Canon, music by Palchelbel, lyrics by D. Duvall. Chalice Lighting: “The Chalice Is the Container” by Marnie Singer. Excerpts from “All Are Architects” words by H. Longfellow, music by T. Benjamin; “So Still”, words by Emily Carr, music by Brian Tate. “La Poule” by Jean-Philippe Rameau, performed by Maria Khavin. Reading: “Dynamic Music” by Dennis Hamilton. Excerpt: “What is Glowing” by D. Duvall; Homily: “Music, Music Everywhere” by Tracy Yingling. Excerpts: “For the Beauty of the Earth” words by F. Pierpont, music by Kochner; “One Brick at a Time” words by M. Stewart, music by C. Coleman; “I am Willing” by Holly Near, arr. Steve Milloy.


Crafting an Inner Beauty – Rev. Jim VanderWeele

Rev. Jim speaks: “One feature of the spiritual pathway walked by UUs is the development of our inner beauty. Life offers an opportunity to work on who and how we will be. It is not a belief that will save us, it is the effort we make to improve the beauties seen when we look within. As important as this self-work is, it can also be extended outward in an effort to make way for others to pursue their own self-improvement. A great blessing at Northlake is its presence as a spiritual home where we work to craft the inner beauty of each and every one of us.” Opens with chalice lighting “Beauty” by Patricia Adams Farmer.


Military Service, Vulnerability, and the Arts

Veteran, artist and Northlake member Trish Brownlee explores the narrative of “Thank you for service.” This deep and challenging service asks others to have a spirit of curiosity, even when the questions result in answers that are difficult to hear or see. Through artwork and…


What is the School to Prison Pipeline – Rev. Jim VanderWeele

Ijeoma Oluo, a Seattle native, published “So You Want to Talk About Race” in 2018, a book that will be featured for Adult Religious Education sessions this spring (May 20, June 3 & 10). Rev. Jim leads us in a look at a chapter that examines kindergartners in trouble for “assault” and middle school children caught in despair–kids being kids–and the level of bias that has constructed the school-to-prison pipeline. Recording opens with choir performance of “There is a Love” – lyrics: Dr. Rebecca Parker / music: Elizabeth Norton


Getting to Know You – Nancy Reid-McKee

This sermon was presented by Nancy Reid-McKee who was on the final day of her candidating week at Northlake UU. At the congregational meeting held immediately after this service, Nancy was called to be Northlake’s next minister! She will start in fall 2019. This sermon is a great introduction to Nancy, and to Northlake. Nancy’s description of the sermon: “As we explore the possibility of the congregation calling me to be the next minister at Northlake, I have spent a week learning about you and exploring the journey of the congregation. The sermon will examine what I have found, and my thoughts and dreams for a possible future together.”


What Makes Us Whole – Nancy Reid-McKee

As humans we long to be made whole. As a religious community we work together to bring healing and nurturing to each other and the world, with the goal of becoming more complete and healthy. – Sermon by Nancy Reid-McKee, candidate for minister at Northlake.


Jazz Easter 2019 – Good Orderly Direction

This Jazz Easter service features the music of Portage Bay Big Band, plus vocals from Northlake’s Music Director, David Duvall. Readings include Northlake’s Covenant of Right Relations, “Meditation on Broken Hearts” by Thomas Rhodes and “Wholeness Is About Darkness and Light” by Parker Palmer. The sermon “Good Orderly Direction” was given by Rev. Jim VanderWeele: Just like a stone rolled away from the tomb there are times in human life when the old, set patterns crack open. Rather than see these cracks as an obstacle to your betterment, we consider Leonard Cohen’s view that “Cracks are how the light gets in.” May such a light of insight or encouragement lead you on in a good, orderly direction.