The season of Lent (which begins Wednesday and continues through Easter) encourages Christians to acknowledge their mortality. It’s often considered depressing, which is why it’s proceeded with the blowout party of Mardi Gras. But acknowledging our limitations also means naming our gifts. Let’s do that.
Congregation member Lee Salazar is a Filipino-American and a former “gifted” student. She discusses how she recognized attitudes that have stopped her from making the most of her learning opportunities, and the connection between knowledge and action in an era of hostility to immigrants.
For President’s day we look at another core principle that defines who we are as Unitarian Universalists: the principle that every human being is a source of wisdom and goodness, and that government at any scale should be built up from individual power.
Who are we; do we even know? What does it mean to be authentic – to “live out loud” — as individuals and as a congregation? And what in the world does it have to do with Carmen Miranda?! Rev. Hines retired fully from parish ministry in 2016 after almost 30 years serving UU congregations in the Pacific Southwest District. Currently, she is serving as our Regional Transitions Coach, guiding us as we move through the search process for our next Settled Minister.
For Valentine’s Day we look at love. The romantic expression of love flows from an even more powerful life force called Eros. It is the passion of Eros that inspires our justice work and whose energy we stand beside.
The seven principles of Unitarian Universalism are an attempt to express the values that we share. But even deeper than those are principles that we can access by asking “why are these seven principles important to us?” One answer, hinted in our fourth principle, is that Unitarian Universalism strives to be a reality-based religion.
The topic of the sermon will be to recall the ancient Universalist understanding of the traditional word, “God,” but with the reality of Mystery which goes beyond doctrine or dogma.
Eventually we come to know ourselves. Like a Unitarian Universalist faith, defined by values, but expressed in a multitude of ways, at our center are our personal principles. This is the person I will be, whatever the circumstances where I find myself.
But we aren’t only forced to live out a destiny we inherit. We also shape ourselves. We choose. We respond. We explore our desires, imagine what could be, and walk in the direction of our health and happiness.
The Christian holiday of Epiphany (today) is the day Jesus became, or revealed (depending on your theology) who he really is. It’s a good opportunity to begin an exploration of identity. Who am I? Who are we? One important answer is that we are what our genes and culture formed us to be.