Sermons and Services
April 30: The Blessings Between Us — Rev. Michelle Collins, Candidate for UUSD's Settled Minister: Many say that the universe is not made of atoms; it's made of stories. And people and the relationships between people even more so. Willingness to share these stories blesses each of us — sharing blesses us through trust and through giving that little part of ourselves to each other. As we start to get to know each other, I'm looking forward to hearing your stories and your hopes and dreams for UUSD.
May 7: The Myths & Realities of Community — Rev. Michelle Collins, Candidate for UUSD's Settled Minister: We come into our communities with a lot of assumptions and idyllic pictures of what community may look like. But many of these pictures are only that — pictures — myths that can actually hold us back. What are some of the myths that we are holding for religious community and what are the realities? It's only through understanding these that we can lean into the real potential for our UU communities.
April 2 — When Imperfections Are Beautiful: Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: People sometimes strive for perfection, even when we know that life cannot be perfect. This service suggests that there is joy and wisdom in finding the beauty in imperfections.
April 9 — Why Then a Donkey? Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: The Sunday before Easter in the Christian tradition celebrates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. He entered on a donkey. Considering why a donkey helps Unitarian Universalist hear Jesus’ message of the upside down kingdom for our time and faith tradition.
April 16 — Georgia O’Keefe and the Wonder of Life: An Earth Day Service for Easter: Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: In the spring, earth rises in renewal. When we celebrate the earth, we are reminded why it is so important to care for her. In this service, Rev Maiorano reflects on how the art of Georgia O’Keefe suggests the sheer joy of material being, one of the many reasons to love the earth, our home.
April 23 — Transforming Our White Supremacist Culture: Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: Actual “white supremacists” are not required to uphold a white supremacist culture. This service is one offered by over five hundred Unitarian Universalists congregations nationwide within the next few weeks, addressing how to identify white supremacy within and beyond the walls of our Unitarian Universalist communities of faith, and within ourselves as well.
Follow-Up Circles to share reactions to this service will be held in the UUSD Sanctuary with Rev. Maiorano and other leaders. The first Follow-Up Circle will be held Sunday, April 23 following the Twitter Lesson and Twitter “Storm” that will start at 11:30 a.m. Additional Follow-Up Circles will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
March 26 — Social Justice as Spiritual Practice: Rev. Greg Chute, Minister, Unitarian Universalists of Central Delaware: We Unitarians and Universalists claim to have a deep commitment to social justice. Many of us also claim to be searching for something we often call "spiritual," but are not sure what that means. Perhaps we can find spirituality in our social action and community involvement. Rev. Chute was raised in the Unitarian faith, was ordained in 1994, and is currently serving part-time at the UU's of Central Delaware. Greg lives in Newark with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and a rose garden.
March 19 - Let’s Face It! Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: All humans have unconscious bias. The ability to categorize friend and foe helped early humans to survive, but today it is the foundation of stereotypes and prejudices. In this service, Rev Maiorano explores how we can identify and change our hidden biases before they lead to discrimination.
March 12 — Fun for the Spirit: Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister and Members of the UUSD Fundraising Committee: In Part II of “What It is We Love,” members of the UUSD Fundraising Committee join Rev. Maiorano to share what motivates them to work so hard building community by putting the fun in fundraising.
March 5 — Stewardship Sunday: What Is It We Love? Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: Our religious community and spiritual home is nourished by the annual pledges we make each year. As we kick off the March Stewardship Campaign, it is a good time to reflect on all that we love about UUSD. This service includes a shout out for International Women’s Day, March 8.
February 26 — “Share the Love Sunday” — UUSD Social & Environmental Justice Committee: The S&EJ Committee presents its annual service reaffirming UUSD's commitment to social justice and community service. This year we will honor "The Way Home," which provides ex-offenders coming out of prison with a wide variety of services to help them turn their lives around and stay out of prison. Come hear staff and past clients speak about the program, its successes, and its needs. At this service we will kick off UUSD's new "Share the Plate" program, where 50% of the offering (over pledged amounts) will be donated to the organization.
February 19 — Reflections on Democracy and Religion — Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: The fifth principle which Unitarian Universalists (UU) affirm and promote as one of its basic seven principles forming our UU covenant is the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and within society at large. This service explores what is behind our belief that democracy is a religious value, and how we participate with others who would legislate morality from religious beliefs that differ from ours.
February 12 — Speaking of Love — Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: One wit humorously observed that English has more names for different kinds of coffee — regular, espresso, cappuccino, latte — than it does for different kinds of love. Not so for the ancient Greeks, who had different names for love in a multiplicity of forms. Specialists teach that the more words for something a language has the more important it is to the culture of that language. This service explores the Greek words for love with suggestions for English adaptations that will emphasize love’s importance to us, not only in this season of Valentine, but also for our lifelong commitment to Standing on the Side Love.
February 5 — What Does Her Life Have to Say to Us Today? — Rev. Paula Maiorano, Interim Minister: The Eva Peron museum was opened in Buenos Aires in 2002, fifty years after the death of Eva Peron, wife of Argentine President Juan Peron, at the age of thirty-three. The museum not only memorializes but also assists the visitor with understanding what is fact, fiction, or myth about this charismatic yet controversial Argentine woman, who came to be known as Evita to her beloved decamisados (shirtless ones) and to the world. Inspired by her visit to the museum on her recent South American trip, Rev. Maiorano ponders on what Eva Peron’s/Evita’s life has to say to those of us in today’s U.S. political age who believe that our most cherished religious values, and even life itself are threatened.
January 29 — “The Splendid Torch” — Deanna Duby, UUSD Member: On the annual Jean Charles Service Sunday, Deanna Duby discusses service from several perspectives, including that of George Bernard Shaw who describes a life of service as “A splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for a moment. I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
January 22 — Wholeness amid Division — Rev. Keith Goheen, UU Beebe Chaplain: A hospital chaplain reflects on the importance of the spiritual life in times of fear and uncertainty. Amid the tempest, the willow tree bends and oak stands firm, but we are not trees and do not possess the spirit of the tree. Ours is the human spirit, and nurturing its growth requires a distinctly human approach when the wintry winds of social and personal change swirl in our lives and our souls.
January 15 — A Spiritual Practice of Leadership — Rev. David Pyle, Congregational Life Staff, Central East Region: Be it in congregations or in other parts of our lives, we are called to be leaders in many different ways. If your leadership brings justice and builds community, no matter where it is, you could be said to be engaging in that leadership as an aspect of your faith and spiritual life.
October 30 — All We Are One — Carol Carter Walker: Carol Carter Walker, UUA Beyond Categorical Thinking Facilitator, will talk about the urgency of looking beyond categories and stereotypes in our ministerial search and in the fulfillment of our principles and purposes. She will be leading a related Workshop after the Service.