Recorded Sermons

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When a speaker provides permission, the recorded sermon is provided on Mondays and will be linked to the icon. In some cases, the speaker provides the sermon text and that too is provided and linked to "Sermon Text".

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Guest Speaker Steve King - 11.28.21

"When Forgotten Truths Find the Light of Day:
Thoughts on Thanksgiving"

Thanksgiving? Celebration or appropriation? History or mythology? Contrived or primal? Probably all of these and more. We explore the contradictions of what is, for many, our favorite holiday and remind ourselves what we really can give thanks for.​

Guest Speaker Cyndee Starr - 11.21.21

"Seven Traditional Teachings"

While Unitarian Universalists hold to the principle of "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are part," there is often a failure on the part of non-Native people to acknowledge the historical relationship between land and people, to reckon with the harm caused as settler colonialists, and to benefit from Indigenous guidelines that instill respect for all of life. In this homily, Cyndee Starr discusses the seven traditional teachings that form the foundation of a Native American way of life: Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Humility, and Wisdom.

Guest Speaker Dr. Elyse Ambrose - 11.14.21

"Truth-Telling as a Practice Toward Hope"

This sermon encourages us to see the truths we find in our histories as opportunities to deepen our commitments to boldly hope.

Elyse Ambrose, Ph.D. (they/she) is a black queer ethicist, creative, and educator, whose research, art and community praxes lie at the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and spirituality. A Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethical Leadership and Society at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Ambrose currently resides in Chicago and NYC, and is a plant sibling and parakeet parent.

Guest Speaker Kristal Larson - 11.7.21

"Unapologetically Transgender - Honoring the Lost, Victimized

and Unseen"

Elected in 2021 as Clerk of Avon Township, Kristal is one of only sixty-four gender non-conforming elected officials in the United States. She is wife, mother of two, a small business owner and serves on the board of directors for A Safe Place helping survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking and the LGBTQ+ Center of Lake County. She also serves on the community advisory committee of Equality Illinois helping to advance LGBTQ+ rights throughout the State of Illinois.

Rev. Erin Walter - 10.31.21

"The People We Are A'Changin - 3rd Principle"

We are not the same as we were before the pandemic. Even in a seemingly uneventful 18 months -- if there ever is such a thing! -- people grow and change. Thankfully, the third principle of Unitarian Universalism calls us to the "acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations." We are acting faithfully as we grapple with growth and change in these times. 

Guest Speaker Deb Campbell - 10.24.21

"Deep listening -- being with each other and God"

Deb Campbell (she/hers) is a life/career coach with 20+ years experience in big corporate tech. She is now focused on helping women who want help navigating that world. She helps people connect with their core values and reach their soul goals.

Guest Speaker Clyde McLemore - 10.17.21

"From Dehumanization to Human Rights"

Listening is a developed technique. Many people hear well enough, but they don’t actually listen. Lots of local communities are learning to listen to the wisdom and voices of non-white leaders. Clyde McLemore will talk about the skills of listening and clearly communicating needs in relation to Black Lives Matter Lake County.

Rev. Darrick Jackson - Outdoor Service - 10.10.21

"Stop in the Name of Love"

Unitarian Universalism is a faith grounded in covenant, love and justice. When covenant is broken, we are called to accountability. What might an accountability grounded in love and justice look like? Note: We are experimenting with recording our occasional in-person services. Our first try is a bit rough around the edges. Please excuse our "dust."

Multigenerational Outdoor Service - 10.3.21

"Community, Commitment, and Celebration"

At this interactive service we celebrated our PCUUC congregation with water communion, an all-ages activity, lively music, and an in-person welcoming of new families who have joined our congregation since the pandemic began. Note: We are experimenting with recording our occasional in-person services. Our first try is a bit rough around the edges. Please excuse our "dust."

Leslie Piotrowski - 9.26.21

"A Look at New Beginnings"

From time to time we all experience different kinds of new beginnings in our lives. They can be small, large, messy, perfect, planned or unanticipated. PCUUC member Leslie Piotrowski will reflect on some of her new beginnings as well as look at new beginnings we have experienced collectively. She will also discuss how new beginnings can be great growth opportunities.

Guest Speaker Bhante Sujatha - 9.19.21

"Self-compassion, and learning to live with ease by practicing loving mindfulness"

Bhante Sujatha (he/him), a 30+ year Buddhist Monk, is singularly focused on adding more love in the world. Bhante teaches loving-kindness meditation to people around the globe for all those seeking the art of happiness and contentment.

Guest Speaker Pey Carter - 9.5.21

"Embracing My New Identity"

Guest speaker Pey Carter came out publicly as agender this year. They will discuss the meaning of agender and how much embracing different genders, sexualities, and preferred pronouns matter in our UU faith and in our congregations.

Rev. Denise Tracy - 8.29.21

"The Spirituality of Friendship"

During the pandemic much has challenged us. One gift that has improved many of our lives is the deepening of our friendships. This service will explore the importance of friendship!

Rev. Nicole Kirk - 8.15.21

"Making Spiritual Connections Through Spiritual Practice"

This Sunday we will explore the importance of spiritual connections and how reading is a surprising but life-giving spiritual practice.

Rev. T. Michael Rock- 7.25.21 "Meaning is Being Created"

Meaning is being made and created when we live into mystery and the unknown. The pathway to this learning isn’t simple or without suffering, but it is the only way I have ever discovered any spiritual truth.

Ben Helmke- 7.18.21 "Empathy, the Engine of Democracy"

The purpose of this worship service is to challenge us all to recognize the seriousness of what we are facing and at the same time recognizing the gifts of power, strength and 21st century technology that are available to deal with these issues in a redeeming fashion.

David Bozek- 7.11.21 "Service Never Stops"

An overview and various examples from all over on thoughts and sayings about Service in all its forms

Paul Kendrick- 7.4.21

"Nine Days that Changed Dr. King and America" 

This relevant civil rights history can inform and inspire our deeds today to live our UU principles. 

Rev. Dr. Caroline Helsel - 6.20.21

"Serious Play: Play, Seriously" 

What does spirituality have to do with play? And how does play relate to the commitments we have to social justice? 

Rev. Tony Larsen - 6.13.21

"Stories, You Can Only Get Here from There" 

You know that old expression, "You can't get there from here"? Well, Tony's sermon suggests that maybe you can't even get HERE from there! That is, it is necessary to journey somewhere else before you can know where you already were. 

Andrew Grant-Thomas - 5.30.21

"Stories, Not Atoms:  Toward New Narratives of Race and Community"

A conversation about the power we have, collectively, to lift up and live into an altogether different story marked by multiracial belonging.

Rev. Denise Tracy - 5.23.21

The Story of the Seven Principles: In 1979 the first Women and Religion conference occurred. This is where the creation of the Seven Principles started.

Bruce Moon - 5.16.21 Somewhere, Somebody Knows the Answer: From time immemorial, stories, parables, proverbs, fables, and fairy tales have been used to convey essential truths about the human condition. Metaphoric stories carry potent messages that help people create and discover meaning in our lives.

Rev. Nelson Tate - 5.9.21 Who is Your Neighbor?: All of us live in neighborhoods but do we really know our neighbors? Not only should we know our neighbors but do we personally know the meaning of “neighbor”? 

Jimmy Baca - 5.2.21 La Resolana:  Explores the habit we have of using labels to shrink the meaning and value of human beings 

Maple Moeller 4.25.21 Undeniably authentic: the journey to transcend convention and become yourself when the world denies that possibility

Rev. Tony Larsen 4.18.21 I Speak for the Trees

Tamara Wanshek 4.13.21 Becoming Wiccan

Rev. Nicole C. Kirk 4.4.21 On the Brink—The Edge of Possibility

Mike Honegger 3.28.21 Vonnegut's Palm Sunday

Anne Clough 3.21.21 How Does Your Garden Grow?

Rev. Michael Carlson 3.14.21 Communal Commitment to Peace

Cathy Moon 3.7.21 Do Not Let Whiteness Get in the Way: Anti-Racism as a Spiritual Practice

Rev. Darrick Jackson 2.28.21 - Othering and Belonging

Rev. Denise Tracy 2.14.21 - True Love

Rev. Allison Farnum 2.7.21 - Beloved Community: A Work in Process

Rev. Dr. Nicole C. Kirk - 1.31.21 - Religion and Imagination

Joyce DeWitt, Bruce and Cathy Moon - 1.24.21 - A Poetry Service

Rev. Kyle Brooks - 1.17.21 - We've Been Here Before

Doug DeWitt - 1.10.21

Stepping off the Center Line: Art, Imagination, and Spirituality

Rev. Erin Walter - 1.3.21 - After the Fire, Build in the Clearing

Rev. Karl Watkins - 12.27.20 - You Shall Find a Blessing

Rev. Dr. Nicole C. Kirk - 12.24.20 - The Gift of the Magi

Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman - 12.20.20 - Why Are You Squirming?

Anne Clough - 12.13.20 - Be Still

Rev. Dr. Nicole C. Kirk - 12.6.20 - The Gifts That We Bring

GRATEFUL: A Love Song to the World | Empty Hands Music | nimo feat. daniel nahmod

Rev. Michael Carlson - 11.29.20 - The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Fran Bates - 11.22.20 - When We Refuse to Heal

Rev. Erin Walter - 11.15.20 - The World's on Fire (And We Still Fall in Love)

Rev. Alan Taylor - 11.8.20 - Uncertain Healing

Cassis Harrison - 11.1.20 - How Empathy Helps Me Heal

Bhante Sujatha - 10.25.20

Deep Listening in Our Spiritual Journey

Susan Schreiber-DeVillez 10.18.20 - Listening to the Nature of Change

David Bozek 10.11.20 - Perspectives: Thought and Indepth Understanding

Ann Russo 10.4.20 - Listening as a Practice of Accountability

Rev. Tony Larsen 9.27.20 - Getting the Hell Out of Religion

Mike Honegger 9.20.20 - It's Time For Us to Atone

Dr. Rev. Nicole C. Kirk 9.13.20 - Becoming Spiritually Grounded

Elizabeth Keats  9.6.20 - Love or Fear: Two Bears, Two Boys and a Beach.

Steve King  8.30.20 - My Journey to a HBCU

Matthew Pargeter-Villarreal 8.23.20 - What Calls You Forward?

Jim Whitton 8.20.20

What I am Learning Now That I Finally Realize I Don't Know Anything

Linda Stolz 8.9.20 - Home

Jeanne Bishop 8.2.20

Across the Divide: The Transforming Power of Forgiveness & Reconciliation