Category Archives: Sermons

Sermon: Centering the Soul (audio and text)

Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister
The Trappist monk Thomas Merton once declared that there is in us “a hidden wholeness.” It’s a notion that resounds with us as well, though we puzzle over just what that might be. We’ll play with this idea, what awakening it offers us, and how might we come to know it. click on title to continue.

Sermon: Heretics & Reformers (audio only)

Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper, Associate Minister
Unitarian Universalism’s current religious pluralism has roots in heresy & reform throughout the centuries. In honor of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, which kicked off the Protestant Reformation, we’ll explore how we are connected to reform movements of the past, and how we are continually reforming today.

Sermon: Who Is In My Circle? A Service of Remembrance and Hope

Some of the hardest work in our lives is deciding where we draw the circle of our concern. We begin with our family, sure, but how much wider? This season of turning reminds us that for people who were dear to us, even when they die they stay with us in important ways. Our newly formed Covenant of UU Pagans will help us celebrate.
But, who else do we include? Later this Sunday, our congregation will vote on whether to offer sanctuary to people in Asheville facing what they consider unfair deportation from their homes and families. So, who’s in our circle? Click on title to continue.

Presentation: Los Desaparecidos-The Disappeared Ones (audio only)

Sunday, October 22, 9:15 & 11:15am
Joe Jencks, Guest Presenter
Too often, the experience of Military Veterans is overlooked in conversations of social justice. In our struggle to challenge an exploitive system while honoring the sacrifice of individuals within that system many disappear from our consciousness. But, veteran’s justice is social justice. And as a society, we need to figure out how to help our friends, family members, and neighbors heal – not just from the physical injuries of war and violence, but also from the moral injuries that many endure during military service. Today’s service will take us on a journey in song and story through one community’s efforts to use the arts to help heal moral and spiritual injuries, and honor the lived experience of their neighbors.
Joe Jencks is an 18-year veteran of the international folk circuit, an award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist based in Chicago. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. HE is also co-founder of the harmony trio, Brother Sun.Click on title to continue.

Sermon: Blessing of the Animals (audio only)

October 15, 2017
Blessing of the Animals
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister
Animals are deeply woven into our lives, from the pets in our homes to the dinner on our plates to the wild creatures of field, sky, and seas. Today, we celebrate and bless them all and how they connect us all to our own animal nature. We invite you to bring your pets to be blessed, or if you animal friend is no longer with you or too shy for a crowd, or your love is for untamed creatures, bring a photo, or representation, or war a t-shirt or other token of your love. Click on title to continue.

Sermon: Owning the Shadow (audio only)

Sunday, October 8, 2017
Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper, Associate Minister
The shadow archetype is found in myths, legends, and scriptures, in psychological theory, and in popular culture. Call if the Dark Side, the Id, the Shadow Shelf, or something else entirely, we all have one. What do we do with the parts of our self that we don’t love, and how do we work toward reconciliation and integration?Click on title to continue.

Sermon: Othering (audio & text)

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Rev. Mark WArd, Lead Minister
We’re taught that the way to learn not to fear others is to see in them someone like ourselves and so wish good for them, as we want it for ourselves. But what if repairing the world requires something different: that we learn to value others precisely for their difference from ourselves? Click on title to continue.

Sermon: The Power of Proximity (audio only)

September 24, 2017
Rev. Lisa Bovee Kemper, Associate Minister
In order to make the change we hope for, to create the just world we imagine, we must be in relationship. Relationships within this congregation and outside of it mater to the work we do. Brian Stevenson calls it “getting proximate” in his book, “Just Mercy.” Let’s talk about what it means to build a culture of sanctuary within and beyond this congregation. Click on title to continue.

Sermon: Practice, Practice (audio and text)

September 17, 2017
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister
The old saw about how you get to Carnegie Hall has much the same answer as the question, what is the path to spiritual maturity: Practice, Practice. Today we’ll explore what kinds of practices we should consider adopting to life a spiritually satisfying life. Click on title to continue.

Sermon: You Who Loves Lovers, This is Your Home, Welcome! (audio & text)

Sunday, September 10,
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister
As they so often are, the words of the Sufi master Rumi are over the top, almost nonsensical: “you that love lovers,” what’s that supposed to mean? It is his way of pointing us to truths that, due to fear, shame, shyness and more, lie unanswered in our hearts. So, we begin our fall worship season in a spirit of welcome, opening the door to some of those truths.Click on title to continue.