All Sermons

All Sermons

“Love in the Time of Coronavirus”

March 15, 2020

First Online-Only Worship Service in 306 Years of First Church Unitarian, Littleton, MA history! Order of Service: Prelude (Molly Lozeau) Call to worship: “Pandemic” by Lynn Ungar (Rev. Lara Hoke) Chalice Lighting (Vicki Merriam) Words of Welcome (Lara) Time for All Ages (Vicki) Musical interlude (Molly) Teach-in: “Fuente de Amor” (Rev. Jackie Clement and John Ford) Joys & Concerns Prayer, Time of Silence #123 “Spirit of Life”/“Fuente de Amor” Offering – Opportunity for Generosity: Loaves & Fishes Benediction Postlude [Afterwards: Online / Virtual Coffee Hour (via Zoom)]

“Thinking About the Environment”

March 1, 2020

Longtime First Church Unitarian in Littleton member David Butz, old 60’s era environmentalist and white-haired engineer, has been digging into the details of “green” energy options and finds that things may not be quite as simple as we think, nor the solutions as obvious. In this sermon, he shares his thoughts. Here are a couple of handouts that David made for the service:

“The Times, They Are A-Changin'”

February 2, 2020

Rev. Dr. Michelle Walsh was the guest preacher at First Church Unitarian in Littleton, Massachusetts on February 2, 2020. Her sermon was “The Times, They Are A-Changin'”. Rev. Dr. Walsh, LICSW, is a Unitarian Universalist community minister and shares a private justice consulting and spiritual coaching practice known as Tuckerman Creative Ministries for Justice and Healing with her husband, Rev. Dr. Clyde Grubbs. She also has worked as a scholar activist for many years in urban contexts, teaches as a lecturer at Boston University, and is the author of Violent Trauma, Culture and Power: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Lived Religion as well as chapters in other volumes.

“Good Trouble”

January 19, 2020

On January 19, 2020 we celebrated Martin Luther King Sunday. In this video, you will see Kris Ersland present the “Social Justice Moment”, sharing a video featuring civil rights leader John Lewis (and thanking FCU member Caroline Marvin along with FCU). There is also an unveiling of a portrait of a young John Lewis from the Civil Rights Movement, which now hangs in our Vestry. Finally, I share my short sermon, “Good Trouble”, with a titled inspired by the words of Lewis.

“A Universe from Nothing?”

January 12, 2020

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing… Or so they say. How did the universe come into existence from nothing — or did it? And does it matter (no pun intended)? Lawrence Krauss’s book “A Universe from Nothing” was considered, along with other sources. At the end you will find bonus postlude music, “Nothing from Nothing” by Billy Preston, performed by our Music Director Molly Lozeau.

“Web of Life”

January 5, 2020

“Remembrance Sunday” is an annual FCU tradition when we light Candles of Love and Memory to recall irreplaceable family and friends who died in the past year. We also light Candles of Hope and Joy to celebrate children dear to us who were born in the past year. This video shows the end of the service, where I share an excerpt from “Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White and a brief sermon, “Web of Life”.

“Tisquanta’s Gift”

December 1, 2019

The guest preacher at First Church Unitarian in Littleton, Massachusetts on December 1, 2019 was the Rev. Dr. Clyde Grubbs. Rev. Dr. Grubbs’s sermon was “Tisquanta’s Gift”. Description: “According to written sources, an American Indian came among the settlers in the Plymouth Plantation soon after arrival and taught them essential knowledge that was key to their survival. Who was this mystery man whom the English speaking Pilgrims called Squanto?” The Rev. Dr. Clyde Grubbs is a Unitarian Universalist minister who served congregations in Indiana, Quebec, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, and California. He is presently serving as Minister at Large of the Tuckerman Creative Ministries for Justice and Healing. Clyde honors his Native American heritage (Texas Cherokee) which informs his spiritual understanding and practice, and his anti-racist and anti-oppressive commitment. He has worked for peace, justice, and equality since he was in the Unitarian Universalist youth movement, Liberal Religious Youth.

“Giving Thanks” Whole Church highlights

November 24, 2019

On November 24, 2019, we had a “whole church” (multi-generational) Thanksgiving service. You will see some of the highlights here, including the time for all ages, led by DRE Vicki Merriam, where we made a tapestry together; a gorgeous performance by the choir (led by Music Director Molly Lozeau) of “Alleluia” by R. Thompson; a homily by me; and the end of the cornbread and cider communion, led by our deacons.

“The Question Box” (aka “Ask the Minister”)

November 17, 2019

“The Question Box” (Also known as “Ask the Minister”)! Many Unitarian Universalist congregations have the tradition of setting aside one Sunday a year as the “Question Box” service. I gave it a shot! In place of a sermon, I answered questions submitted by the congregation. [One note/errata: I credited a quotation to Rev. Forrest Church, but in fact it was a quotation by Rev. John Buehrens (I was thinking of the right book, “Our Chosen Faith”, which was co-written by Church and Buehrens).]

“Daydreaming about God”

November 3, 2019

This was my “response” (of a sort) to the previous week’s sermon (“God Is Not God’s Name”) by guest preacher (and former FCU interim minister) Rev. Steve Edington! Some Unitarian Universalists are agnostics; some are atheists; some believe in “God”, but just what does that mean? Do you have (what some have called) “a God concept”? Here I share some of my own ways of thinking about God, or “God”.

“God Is Not God’s Name”

October 27, 2019

On October 27, 2019, Rev. Steve Edington (beloved former interim minister) returned to the FCU pulpit! The sermon title is also the title of a recently published book by Steve. It traces his religious and spiritual journey from an evangelical Baptist church in southern West Virginia to a forty-year career as a Unitarian Universalist minister; and offers some of the insights and conclusions he has come to along the way. Steve’s sermon has to do with how we explore and cultivate a relationship with that which we sense is greater than ourselves without getting too ensnared in religious language or terminology. It is part of our human condition to look beyond ourselves for some greater meaning or purpose in our lives. Our various religions have sought to deal with this condition—and it is a condition we all encounter however “religious” or not we may consider ourselves to be. Steve is the Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua, New Hampshire—a congregation he served for twenty-four years. He has also been an interim minister for several New England UU congregations—including a very delightful time at FCU! Currently Steve is the quarter-time consulting minister for the UU Church of Franklin, New Hampshire. Steve and his wife, Michele, live in Nashua.