Archive

Freedom Day – Rev. Anthony Johnson

Freedom Day or Juneteenth, as it is best known, is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans who had been enslaved in the United States. We are joined by Rev. Anthony Mtuaswa Johnson, Mississippi born, and Chicago bred, is an Ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister, speaker, writer, poet, producer, soldier, teacher, mentor and Elder. His sermon will share the history of this recognition of the date slavery was officially outlawed in the state of Texas and the meaning of freedom in the context of today’s time of racial reckoning and reconciliation.
[Recording opens with a reading of “In the midst of a world” By Rebecca Parker, followed by a hymn of the Coleman Banks translation of the Sufi poet, Rumi. “Come, Come, Whoever You Are”.]

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A Free and Voluntary Faith – Nancy Reid-McKee

Opens with a reading from A Drop in the Bucket by Gordan McKeeman, then our choir sings There is a Love, then Nancy speaks in honor of Volunteer Recognition Sunday. “Church is run by those who find meaning and community in volunteer association with others. This type of activity can create unexpected connection within and between ourselves. Today we will talk about why we volunteer, and then honor those who give themselves to the work of this church community.”

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Inclusion in the Dance – Nancy Reid-McKee

Begins with a story by Margaret Rogers – Making Community Soup. Then Jaie leads a hymn by Lyndsey Watson. Then Rev. Nancy speaks: “There is a difference between inviting someone TO a dance, and inviting them to DANCE. How do we move from invitation to inclusion? From wanting to look good by having the right people coming to church, to being good by embracing people. As we talk about our doors and windows, we will explore how we invite folk into our beloved community.” Ends with Maria playing Gentle Waltz by T. Maxim.

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Mother’s Day Service – Northlake UU

In honor of those who nurture others, you will hear a Call to Worship, hymn From You I Receive, a Blessing, the original “Mother’s Day Proclamation” By Julia Ward Howe, then stories from three mothers/daughters, Janet, Heather, and Nancy. The recording ends with the hymn Let it be a dance we do.

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Lingering in Thresholds – Nancy Reid McKee

Opens with a reading of “Thresholds” by Arlen Goff. Then Rev. Nancy reflects on: How do you move through doors? Have you ever pondered this question? Thresholds and doors are very symbolic about how we move through life and how we enter new times in our life. This week’s sermon will focus on how we deal with the in-between moments of our lives that can offer the most insight and growth potential.

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Mirrors and Windows: Representation in the Media – Janelle Durham

In the books we read, and movies we watch, we find mirrors – experiences that reflect our own, and windows – views into lives we can barely imagine. Representation is important – all people should be able to find mirrors and we should all be able to peek into all sorts of different lived experiences. If we actively seek out diverse stories, not only do we broaden our perspectives, we also cast an economic vote that helps to increase the chances those stories can be told. Opening Words adapted from “Let Us Worship” – Kenneth L. Patton. Reading “On Seeing Yourself in Literature” from the “Off the Beaten Shelf” blog by Mandy Shunnarah. Transcript with links to sources: https://janelledurham.com/2021/04/28/representation-in-media/. Resource list, including recommended books and movies, and criteria to evaluate the media you consume is available at: https://janelledurham.com/2021/04/24/seeking-out-diverse-media/

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Earth Day Celebration

An Earth Day celebration developed by our Climate Action Team (CAT). John P reads “Earth” written By Rev. Mark L. Belletini. A video created by CAT members, sharing something they have committed to doing in light of the current climate crisis. Piano – For the Beauty of the Earth. Video on carbon footprint by Des. A Guided Meditation from Nancy. Greg Smith reads A Prayer of Healing, written by The United Nations Environmental Sabbath Program. Podcast ends with Blue Boat Home performed by our choir.

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The Land of Enough – Rev. Nancy Reid McKee

Opens with a reading of from The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. Sermon by Nancy: “Society messages make us feel we never have enough- we need more things, better cars, bigger homes… and we are left with a sense of scarcity and that we ourselves are insufficient. We can change the framing to realize we have what we need, and we can make a difference by choosing what we invest or time and resources in.”

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Spirit of Change – Nancy Reid McKee

This Sunday we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month by reviewing the four ‘waves’ of the feminist movement, and the recognition that liberation will require collective action to prevail, over individualistic achievement.

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Spirit of Compassion – Nancy Reid McKee

Opens with “All That We Share Is Sacred” By Andrée Mol. Rev. Reid-McKee explores compassion and what distinguishes this from empathy. So often we are unsure how to respond to others as they suffer in some way. It may be that we can learn to create spontaneous, compassion within ourselves, and how to respond to others with care.

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Air Communion – Nancy Reid-McKee

Air, one of the four elements, is the only one we can’t actually see. But we sense it with our eyes, hearing and touch. We will explore the ways we know air, and then as a communion together we will take a collective breath, honoring this essential element of life. Includes readings from John Fire Lame Deer, Gail Forsyth-Vail, Richard Gilbert, Lewis Latimer, David Abrams, and Lyall Watson, and concludes with Maria playing Prelude in D flat op. 43 no. 1 by R. Glier.

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Getting Our Spirit Ready – Nancy Reid-McKee

At the end of your life, will you be able to reflect back and know you have lived the life you wanted? Or are you urgently attending to one thing after another, without the time to take care of your basic needs? And what are those basic needs? These questions help give each of us clarity about whether we are doing the works that brings us alive and gives us meaning. We will explore how we prioritize our lives.

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Befriending the Yellowjackets – Ariel Aaronson-Eves

In this sermon, guest preacher Ariel Aaronson-Eves invites us to reflect on how we relate to the world around us and the various traditions that have connected or disconnected people from the land and its creatures. What healing becomes possible when we open ourselves up to communicating with even the most pesky of yellowjacket wasps? What kind of counter-oppressive culture might be created through relationships of reciprocity within our ecosystems? (Recording includes a reading by Emily Kedar.)

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Roofless Resilience – Eli Poore

When we think of the homeless/unhoused community, what often comes to mind are tent cities, cardboard signs, struggle, hopelessness, addiction, isolation, and a community with tremendous needs. Eli Poore, a Unitarian Universalist seminarian, Community Ministry Intern, and community organizer who has been working with the unhoused community using a strength and relationship-based organizing process in Corpus Christi, Texas, shares what lessons unhoused communities have to offer us about perseverance, relationships, interdependence, inherent worth, and building Beloved Community. Recording opens with a reading.

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Our Eighth Principle – Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee

Unitarian Universalists have seven principles that guide us… but in 2017 an Eighth Principle was introduced for consideration. This principle is about how we dismantle racism and move to anti-oppression in our faith. This is a fitting topic as we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Includes a chalice lighting written by Rebekah Savage.)

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Theologies that Fit – Nancy Reid-McKee

Recording opens with a prayer reflecting on the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This is followed by a reading from Ivone Gebara in Longing For Running Water. Then Rev. Nancy:”Many of us have rejected the theology of God we were raised with. For some, this has left us without a theology and without religious language. We explore theologies that may offer a new way to move into our religious home with intellectual engagement.”

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Fire Communion and Burning Bowl

We celebrate fire in this service, thinking of what it offers as one of the basic elements of our planet. And fitting with this, we will have time for a burning bowl; a time to reflect on what to put behind us this past year, and what to move into as we look to the future. (Opening words adapted from “Out of the Flames” by Sara Eileen LaWall; includes a poem by May Sarton, and concludes with music – Romance by Shostakovich.)

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Honor the Dark – Nancy Reid-McKee

This will be the longest night this year. So often we use this time of year to long for the light and wait for a kindling of fire to instill new life in us. How about we think about what the night offers to us? Instead of looking for something else, let us explore where we are (darkness) and why this is a normal part of each day, and each life. Recording begins with hymn Dark of Winter, by Shelley Jackson Denham, sung by Northlake choir, ends with When I am Frightened by Denham. Also includes a reading by Barbara Brown Taylor, from her book Learning to Walk in the Dark.

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Foundation of Congregants

Begins with hymn Here Together, written by David Glasgow. Reading: “The Church Has Left the Building” By Margaret Weis. Sermon: Foundation of Congregants – “UU’s have a foundational belief in Congregational Polity. This means that we have no higher authority in our faith tradition than the congregation itself. This calls us to know ourselves well and to be responsible. It calls us to make promises to each other, trust each other, and commit to each other that we will care for each other. The work of the church is up to us.” Hymn reprise.

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