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Sermons 2002

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December 22, 2002
Annual UUCSS Spectacular Holiday Spectacle on Ice
Rev. Elizabeth A.Lerner and Mandy Jacobson, DRE

Not really on ice—but it sure is special! Our annual holiday service: pre-Christmas with the choir, the intergenerational orchestra that is our own miracle at this time of year, songs to sing, meaningful reflections.

December 15, 2002
A Sermon in Four Parts: A Dialogue
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner and Ed Johnson, [outgoing] Board President

This Sunday's worship will focus on exploring our own UUCSS—who we have been, who we are becoming, how we got here, what it all means...stuff like that. Ed Johnson, longtime member and board president for the past 4 years, and Rev. Liz, parish minister for the past 2.5 years will bring their perspectives and relative wisdom (very relative!) to bear, in dialogue about what makes and keeps us who we are as a faith community.

December 8, 2002
Hannukah Service!
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner

Hannukah—the holiday commemorating liberation from religious and cultural domination—always seems highly relevant to challenges facing our world. As always, we'll look at dimensions of Jewish tradition for this time of year and how they can inform us, deepening our traditions and understandings. This service will contain classic Hannukah songs, celebration and readings—and the choir will sing.
November 24, 2002
The Real Thanksgiving Story

Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner & DRE Mandy Jacobson

What do we do with the real Thanksgiving is our theme this year. We review Thanksgiving's history and contemporary challenges, with a UU spin, through reflection, humor, music and stories for all ages. Don't miss this rich worship experience.

A Thanksgiving Intergenerational Worship

November 17, 2003
Healing our Lives, Healing the Earth
Katherine Jesch
Explore a theology that can help us find the deeper wisdom of our 7th Principle, providing the context for a sustainable relationship with the earth. Through the metaphor of the interdependent web, we'll consider the deeper connections that feed our souls and strengthen our relationships with each other and with nature.
November 10, 2002
Unexpected Inspiration and the Tour de France
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner
We struggle to find heroism in the world—chivalry or self-sacrifice, idealism, a code of conduct that matters more than winning, that prevails in reality, that we can hang onto for ourselves because we can perceive it somewhere beyond us—and often, too often, we fail. But it is in fact there, in patterns and people and choices, often unlauded, even unknown. One venue for it, for all that good stuff, is in a bunch of skinny guys, scantily clad, perched precariously on a narrow seat, shooting at automobile speeds around the plains and mountains and valleys of France in the hot months of summer.
October 13, 2002
My Parents Have No Children
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner
Well that’s an oxymoronic sermon title—what is Liz thinking! Here’s a hint—it has to do with the challenge confronting all UU’s because of our commitment to multiculturalism. Our service today will explore some aspects of the challenges our own congregation faces, in the light of some personal reminiscence and insights from your minister, including the sense behind that sermon title.
October 6, 2002
Unitarian-Universalist Worship?
David Miley
The idea of worship in a UU congregation is hard for many, including UUers, to grasp. With no creed or fixed idea of God, what could we possibly be worshipping? Isn't worship something that those other churches do? Isn't it really a noun and not a verb? David, our once and current worship services committee chair, will reclaim the word worship for our denomination and in the process provide a vision for what UU worship could be.
September 29, 2002
Sermon on the Amount ’02
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner
This annual pull-out-the-stops tradition is a vibrant part of our life together. The Sermon on the Amount kicks off our canvass, when we rely on you, our friends and members, to give what you can to keep us a growing and vital faith community. It’s an important Sunday for long-time members and newcomers alike, so don’t miss it!
September 22, 2002
Jade: The Stone of Heaven
Chris Lihou
Jade has been revered as a mystical stone in China since 6000 B.C. and was valued more highly than gold. From his collection of over 200 pieces, Chris Lihou will present to us a selection of Chinese jade spanning from 4500 B.C. to 1500 A.D. He will discuss what no museum ever mentions: the deep spiritual meaning captured in these pieces, with astonishing artistry and sophistication, 200 generations ago. He will read from sacred writings of many religious traditions to show that these same understandings are universal and timeless, from 6,000 years ago to the present day.
September 8, 2002
Water Communion Ingathering Sermon
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner
In this annual water ceremony, we re-gather our religious community after a summer's travels. Bring a small quantity of water, representing your summer's journey, whether it had been geographic or spiritual. This is an intergenerational service. The choir will sing.
September 1, 2002
Envisioning Our Future
Mike Harris
Mike Harris is Vice President of the Joseph Priestley District Board of Directors and Chair of its Long Range Planning Committee. He will talk about what's right and wrong about our faith for the years ahead and the challenges and opportunities for growing Unitarian Universalism in our district. A talkback (opportunity for discussion) will follow.
August 25, 2002
The Spirituality of Play Kevin Drewery
A very popular Christian phrase goes, “The family that prays together stays together.” Even though I’m no longer a Christian, I still believe that phrase is true. This year has been fraught with loss, controversy, and conflict. I’ll discuss the spiritual benefit of play as a part of the natural human element of “celebration” in spirituality. We’ll discuss the ways that many religions use play as a part of their beliefs. Finally, we’ll affirm the need to incorporate these elements into our own lives, regardless of our spiritual focus.

August 18, 2002
Out of the Darkness
Larry Eiser

On August 17, 2002, UUCSS members Larry and Ruthann Eiser, along with 3000 others, will set off from Fairfax, Virginia at sunset to walk through the night, 26 miles, to a sunrise closing ceremony at the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. Upon completion of the walk, they will head straight to UUCSS to lead a service dedicated to the experience.
August 11, 2002
Mountains to Climb
Kathleen Holmay
In 1999, figuratively and literally, Kilimanjaro was her mountain. Why is it important to have mountains to climb? What challenges are worth the risks? What are your mountains? Kathleen Holmay is a Unitarian Universalist, a communications consultant, a hiker and biker, and a hospice volunteer.

August 4, 2002
The Effect of Accounting on Queen Victoria’s Navy
Larry McAneny

Enron was not the first organization destroyed by accountants. Please join us for an extended nautical parable about the peculiar perils of success and the need for leadership and trust.
July 28, 2002
Poetry Celebration Sunday
led by Presented by Mary Amato.

Do we need the presence of the poetic? What does poetry do for the mind, heart, and soul? Mary Amato will lead this annual celebration of rhyme, reason, and all things poetic. Bring a poem to share, if desired. Or come and soak up the poems of others.

Original poems by: Lorrain Sorrel, Louise Jansen, Larry McAneny, Susan-Marie Stedman, and Mary Amato

July 21, 2002
Claiming our Religious Purpose
by Rob Cavenaugh

What is our religious purpose? What is the cultural context in which our worship—and our religious community—take place? What forces present obstacles to our coming together with genuine depth and meaning? I will provide some answers—and some more questions—on these challenging issues.

Rob Cavenaugh is Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Washington Office for Advocacy, and a former Executive Committee member of the Joseph Priestley District Campus Ministry Program. He is also the fiancee of our Director of Religious Education, Mandy Jacobson.

July 14, 2002
Lessons From A Mud Hut
Susan-Marie Stedman

Think the heat and humidity is bad here in Maryland? Imagine what it's llike in an equatorial African jungle. Now imagine loving it!

Susan-Marie Stedman spent two years in Gabon as a Peace Corps volunteer, living in a mud hut and tromping through the jungle building fish ponds. Like most volunteers, she learned as much, if not more, from the villagers as she taught to them. Come and hear about lessons as varied as "when the chief says 'sit!', you sit" to "children as young as 3 can effectively wield a machete".

July 7, 2002
UU Catechism
Presented by: Odd couple of the Men's group (That's Larry McAneny & Rick Lohmeyer)

UUs have had a love-hate relationship with official statements of beliefs and principles and after many efforts over our 400 year history have arrived at the current version printed in the order of service. That version is by no means acceptable to all of us, but is, for better or worse, part of our religion. Rick and Larry, the odd couple of the mens group will, alternately, support and debunk our principles.

April 28, 2002
Ends and Means
William E. Hartung
Mr. Fukuyama has said that we are at the end of history. Doomsayers have made equally significant statements about the end of humanity. The Doomsday Clock is again ticking closer to 12. What can we make of all of this for ourselves and how we live our daily lives?

April 7, 2002
Why Questions Aren't Enough
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner

Coming out of Convo in Birmingham, this sermon will address the issue of questions, a proud part of UU tradition, and look at how they can and have functioned in our faith, and why we need them still, but need also to move beyond them.

March 17, 2002
Rome Built in a Day
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner
Our church is growing, changing, welcoming in new members and friends and developing our programs and services about as fast as anyone could imagine. This is a wonderful, exciting period in our life as a community, but even the most wonderful times present challenges. This Sunday we will address how we can balance our congregation and resources so that we continue to flourish and deepen

March 3, 2002
Life Outside the Garden
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner

This service will review the Garden of Eden story from Genesis—with, as usual, a liberal religious take that may offer some new perspectives on one of the oldest stories. There will be an Inquirers’ Lunch following the service for friends of UUCSS who are interested in learning more about the church and/or are considering membership. K-8th graders begin in the Sanctuary; all others begin in classes. planning for next year.
January 20, 2002
Would Philip Hall Like Me?
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner
Our theme this morning will be to review some dramatic elements of our denomination's roots and what membership in this growing, liberal faith can mean to us today.
January 13, 2002
My Country Right or Wrong
William Hartung
We love our country. We support our country with our taxes. Some of us even participate in its defense by making a career of the military. But even in the military, blind faith and obedience is not always desired nor desirable. For anyone to expect such behavior is contrary to the vision of our founding fathers and it denies us our own humanity. Come and let us renew our faith in ourselves and in our nation.
January 6, 2002
Soul Measles
Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner
“I’m sorry I didn't write sooner, but I wanted to be able to write down a great attack on your pessimism in abundant and reasoned language, and such a thing takes time and thought. Also, I may agree with you.” The WWI poet Rupert Brooke wrote those words between September 20th and 23rd in 1910. He is famous for some much lauded, highly idealistic poetry about war, and jaded poetry about love. Less known is some of Brooke’s writing on finding and retaining a sense of meaning in life. This Sunday will focus on some of his story and words and their potential to inform our own spiritual journeys, almost 100 years later.