Selected Sermons

Talks that have been presented to Quincy's Unitarian Church.

We have been collecting the texts of sermons delivered to Quincy's Unitarian Church for many, many years. Here you will find many texts from decades ago. In 2007, we began podcasting recordings of some of our services. For some sermons, only text is available; for others, only the live recording is available. Many of the newer sermons in this collection are available both ways. To subscribe to podcasts of the sermons we have recorded. Copy this link's address: (http://uuquincy.org/pod/uuquincy.xml) and paste it into your aggregator software. Choose RSS Icon or Fark or use . . . whatever you like.

Waiting . . . by Susan Morrison Hebble
February 26, 2017
Waiting often inclines us to impatience. "Waiting for Godot" seems so pointless. When you are waiting and wishing you weren't, frustration can set in. But Waiting . . . With an awareness of your present place in this present world . . . It can be an inspiration.

Moving Forward, Getting Back to Eden by Rev. Krista Taves
February 19, 2017
Every religion imagines an end point in the evolution of human life, where we arrive at the place where we are living the way life/God/spirit intended for us to live. Martin Luther King called it Beloved Community. Unitarian Universalism, with its focus on social justice, equality, and freedom, has always envisioned us as part of that sacred journey.

The Box That I Came In by Steve Wiegenstein
January 29, 2017
There are so many metaphors that revolve around the word, "box;" around the concepts of compartmentalizing and catagorizing. In what order do you place the adjectives that can be used to describe yourself? Are you a brown, female, gainfully-employed, Unitarian-Universalist, Republican? Or are you gainfully-employed, a Republican, and a Unitaian Universalist, who is female and brown? In what order does our society choose to recognize our quirks and traits, our strengths and our weaknesses?

The Ethics of Excellence by Dr. Robert Gervasi
January 22, 2017
Timing is everything! There xcouldn't be a better point in histor for a classicist to be discussing Plato and Aristotle and their views of "Virtue."

To Buy Or Not To Buy by Ellen Taylor
December 11, 2016
Dilemmas most often happen as dualities, as either / or problems. This talk is about the efficacy and ethics of boycotting as a means of social or political activism. And the dilemma confounds even Shiva's plurality of "other hands."

On the Necessity of Heresy by Dr. Michael Keller
November 27, 2016
In how many ways are Unitarian Universalists described as Heretics? Our speaker is a professor of Literature, and today's subject revolves about writings from the middle years of the 19th century in England and America.

Creation and the Flood: Show Me the Evidence by Paul Miller
November 20, 2016
We owe the concept of Scientific Method a debt of gratitude. Epistemology is a curious study. The words of the ancients could lead us into patterns of thought which match their ancient world view. We certainly hope that modern imaginations guide us closer to something like truth than the imaginations of the ancients.

The Wisdom of the People by Doug Muder
November 13, 2016
American government has always been based on a paradox: In theory the People are sovereign, but in practice the People are uninformed. Throughout our history we've dealt with that problem in a variety of ways. None of them were perfect, but on the whole they've been serviceable enough for our country to thrive. That sense of unease you felt during the 2016 election campaign has a deeper cause: The 20th-century way of managing public opinion is coming undone, and we don't yet know what will replace it.

Reviewing the 9/11 Attacks by Rev. Krista Taves
September 11, 2016
This day was the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This watershed event continues to shape us as a nation and as a people. How did Unitarian Universalists respond then and how do we respond now to the continued threats posed by religious extremism internationally and domestically?

Norbert Čapek and the Flower Communion by Rev. Krista Taves
June 5, 2016
The Flower Communion was created in the 1930s by Rev. Norbert Čapek, a Unitarian Czechoslovakian minister, for his Prague congregation. In North America, the Flower Communion has become a ritual that celebrates our unity and diversity and our commitment to freedom and community.

Remembering Through the Generations by Rev. Krista Taves
May 29, 2016
In honor of Memorial Day, we explore how the after effects of war filter through the psyche of a nation for generations after the war has ended.

Rising Energy by Doug Muder
May 1, 2016
It's Mayday, the holiday of revolution. It's Beltane, halfway from equinox to solstice, the holiday of Maypoles and new fires and fertility. However you celebrate it, May 1st is about energy rising in nature and in society. But what if dismal headlines are blocking your attempts to raise your own energy?

Black Lives Matter for Quincy by Rev. Krista Taves
April 17, 2016
With the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, a slogan was born, "Black Lives Matter." With the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a movement was born that has transformed the American political and cultural landscape. This movement is national in scope and local in focus. It asks all of us to wake up and look at our communities with blinders removed. What do we need to see in Quincy and how are we called to respond as people of faith?

Living in Covenant by Rev. Krista Taves
April 10, 2016
As Unitarian Universalists, we do not have a religious doctrine or a creed at the center of our faith. What we have is covenant, the sacred promises that we make to each other. This covenant has held us together for almost 500 years. What does this covenant offer to the challenges of our time?

Political Necessities and Possibilities by Neil Wright
March 27, 2016
Professor Wright contrasts Egalitarian views of governing with the current status quo on an Easter Sunday Morning. Among his observations: "Both Jesus Christ and Socrates denounced the money-making life, and in exhorting their fellows to live morally free lives, were put to death by the state."

Prayer for Agnostics, Atheists and those who just aren't sure by Rev. Krista Taves
February 7, 2016
Unitarian Universalists have a healthy skepticism of a lot of things, including prayer. What does prayer mean to those who are not traditional theists? What does prayer say about the person praying and what they believe? To whom or to what are we praying and for what are we praying? Let's consider a Unitarian Universalist theology of prayer that offers a path for the diverse expressions of our deepest yearnings and hopes.

Face of the Enemy by Dr. Jim Hayashi
January 24, 2016
Jim Hayashi's father and grandfather, along with many uncles, aunts and cousins, were among the 110,000 to 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forced into internment camps during WW II. In this talk he outlines the historical and legal framework that led to the Japanese Inernment in America.

What Am I to Myself Which Must Be Remembered? by Carol Nichols
January 17, 2016
Meditation is a solitary pursuit. Rarely do we get it "right." Carol shares her meditation techniques with us. It is no insignificant task to use words to teach us how to deal with the ceaseless flow of words at the root of our existential selves.

How Our Children are Saving Unitarian Universalism by Rev. Krista Taves
January 10, 2016
As UU's, we understand faith as a process that is continuously transforming; a process of how we come to understand something larger than ourselves through the questions we ask of life. We wrestle with questions, we don't answer them. Sometimes we practice our faith in a way that makes it unavailable to our children. Our children need experiential ways, embodied ways to be in their faith.

Living the Incarnation by Rev. Krista Taves
December 20, 2015
In celebrating Christmas, we often forget the origins of many of this season's traditions. Significantly, Christmas is celebrated near the Winter Solstice. We decorate trees and our homes with lights. For all, it is a time for re-awakening.

A Hanukkah Kind of Peace by Rev. Krista Taves
December 13, 2015
One of the reasons that Unitarian Universalism is so challenging to live is that the centering truth of our faith is that we belong to all that is. This is not an easy faith to practice, and especially when we feel uncomfortable or challenged by the diversity of people that we experience. We are one human family.

The Unseen in Our Lives by Dr. Sharon Buzzard
November 29, 2015
For many of us, Religion is like an abstract painting, or a piece of music. What we believe about it is something that comes from within us. Our tolerance for all deeply held beliefs is rooted in that same something within us. After all, isn't that the space we slip into when we fall into music or into art?

Carefully Taught by Rev. Julie Taylor
November 15, 2015
Life changed in St. Louis when Michael Brown was killed. As a white Unitarian Universalist community minister recently moved to St. Louis from New York City, Julie wasn’t sure how to connect. This sermon tracks the path that brought Julie to join the cry, “Black Lives Matter.”

Our Alliances: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Rev. Krista Taves
November 8, 2015
Honoring Veterans Day on November 11, we focus on the anniversary of World War I, which began in 1914 with the shot that was heard around the world and ended in 1918 with millions dead and empires toppled. What lessons can we draw for our time from this century-old war that was to end all wars?

A WW II Chaplain's Letters Home by Paul Miller
November 1, 2015
In 1943, Reverend Gerald Fletcher Miller put his life on hold, as so many Americans did, and went to war. His weapons were Bible, hymnal and communion vessels; he brought to battle his faith, compassion, and skill in counseling. He left a parish ministry in East Arlington, Vermont, to serve a congregation of soldiers, doctors and nurses, returning at war's end to a parish in North Waterford, Maine. He left his wife and three children, and returned two years later to his wife and four children. His son reads some of his letters home.

My Favorite Fallacies by Dr. Steve Wiegensein
October 25, 2015
When I hear ideas that "everybody knows," I should ask myself whether they're true, and to doubt them for a while. At the same time, I should remember that I'm not such a great genius that I can simply reject other people's ideas in favor of my own, no matter how brilliant I find myself to be.

The Rest of the Story by Alexis Engelbrtecht-Villafane
October 18, 2015
When we are telling the stories that illustrate our lives, we often select versions of the narritive that present us in the way we wish to present ourselves. What we should look out for is what is not being confessed. For the greater value is in seeking to understand others rather than insisting upon being understood.

On Belonging by Rev. Krista Taves
October 11, 2015
Rev. Krista Taves. One of the deepest needs of human beings is to belong. We like to know where we belong, to whom we belong, and what it asks of us. We instinctively look for our tribe. Sometimes this helps us be better human beings, sometimes there are consequences. Being a person of faith asks us to look within and beyond our tribe as we seek to realize our yearnings for wholeness.

Hope, True and False by Doug Muder
September 27, 2015
Often the difference between changing the world and just shaking your fist at it, is having the intestinal fortitude to keep going even when failure seems certain. So where does that persistence come from? Throughout history, one way people have kept going when the odds were stacked against them has been to have optimism built into their worldview. The Truth will out.

Rosh Hashannah and Casting Off by Rev. Krista Taves
September 13, 2015
Rev. Krista Taves begins her ministry to us on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanna, the Jewish ritual of Casting Off. We are encouraged to cast off our grudges, our resentment, our hurts and our slights. To sprinkle them like bread crumbs into the flow of a river called Life.

For All That Has Been by Rev. Scott Aaseng
June 7, 2015
In his farewell sermon as the Minister of Quincy's Unitarian Church, Rev. Scott Aaseng draws our attention to the ways in which we have changed during his time with us. And he describes some of the ways in which he has been changed by his experience as our Minister.

What Would Beloved Community Look Like? by Rev. Scott Aaseng
May 17, 2015
The Beloved Community is the dream of a greater "WE." What does power look like? What does priviledge look like? Beloved Community is where change isn't something that just happens "out there." Beloved Community is about being willing to be changed ourselves.

Reflections from a Rebellious Romantic by Alexis Engelbrecht Villafane
May 10, 2015
It is important for us to be aware of what we are for, especially when it goes against the grain of what society expects. Going along with social constructs because it is easy only perpetuates injustice and validates the very institutions and ideas that cause everyone harm.

Universalism, Politics, and Evil by Doug Muder
May 3, 2015
We can lose by winning. If we win by demonizing and stereotyping, if we win by casting ourselves as the Saved and our opponents as the Damned - then we've lost. If Good vs. Evil is a battle inside each person, then Evil can win in us at the very moment that we are winning in the external world. We can't afford to lose ourselves in polarization; our virtues are not divine, they're human; their vices are not demonic, they're human.

Green Boat, Blue Boat by Rev. Scott Aaseng
March 29, 2015
In his prelude to Earth Day 2015, Rev. Aaseng reminds us that social justice and the common good are not values that are promoted by the laws of supply and demand. If we are to save our planet from the long-term ravages of global warming, we must not procrastinate further. However you may believe that this Earth was created, the evidence of its imminent destruction as a habitat for human-kind, is overwhelming.

Uses and Misuses of History by Patrick Hotle
March 15, 2015
Mention the word "History," and the minds around you will begin to wander in all sorts of divergent directions! History isn't only about the distant past, you know. History cannot help but relate to our present, too. In this talk, Patrick Hotle brings us a brief glimpse into his personal philosophy of History.

What Do You Mean by Spiritual? by Rev. Scott Aaseng
March 8, 2015
What are we to make of the concept of Spirit? Spiritual? Spirituality? It is a difficult subject to discuss rationally. Here we present one discussion. It is a given that your interpretation of the term is probably different from the one presented here. That may well be one definition of Unitarian Universalism.

Too Many Humans by Paul Miller
March 1, 2015
It may be that the title says it all! In another of Paul Miller's provocative talks, he advocates a slowly declining world-wide population, and the untrammelled ownership of a woman's body by the very same woman who inhabits it.

From Emancipation in Missouri to Ferguson: A White History Lesson for Black History Month by Terrell Dempsey
February 22, 2015
The Tragedy of Ferguson Missouri has a history. It's history began before Emancipation; before the Civil War; even before there was a state named Missouri! Local Historian, Terrell Dempsey, tells us stories of Integration as it has been practiced by the established community's leaders, from before Emancipation to the present day.

Universalism: The Other U by Susan Morrison Hebble
February 15, 2015
In Quincy, we call ourselves the Unitarian Church. The other half of Unitarian-Universalism is Universalism. These two faiths, both with their roots in Protestant Christianity, merged in 1961. And still, many of us whose congregations are rooted in Unitarian traditions have only a sketchy understanding of the other U, Universalism.

A Commitment-Free Zone? by Rev. Scott Aaseng
February 8, 2015
Unitarians value an independence of spirit that isn't necessarily enjoyed by the communities of believers found in other religious traditions. It is all too easy for Unitarians to become insulated from those who could challenge our thought - if only we would allow them to! We might ask ourselves more often: How truly oommitted are we to the well-being of all of the communities surrounding us?

Not In My Name by Ellen Taylor
January 18, 2015
"We the people . . ." The phrase was once a revolutionary alternative to "The Divine Right of Kings." Not so many centuries ago, we could hold our Kings accountable for the inequities in society. Now, in America, we have only ourselves to blame.

Zen and the Art of Teamwork by Rev. Scott Aaseng
January 11, 2015
". . . and to help one another." Those words are spoken during our Sunday Services as part of our covenant. It's a pledge that we make with each other. In this talk, Rev. Scott Aaseng gives us a Zen perspective on how to go about helping one another, better.

Religious vs. Spiritual: What's In, What's in a Label, What's Real by Carol Nichols
January, 4, 2015
Let us keep our religion open-minded, fluid, subject to doubt and renewal, not dogmatic, not exclusive. And our personal Spirituality aware and engaged in the otherness around us.

Our Religious Journeys by Rev. Scott Aaseng
December 14, 2014
Unitarian Universalism possesses an idealism that is encapsulated within our seven principles. "The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person" is the first of those principles, and arguably the one upon which all the others depend. It isn't easy to always treat others with the respect that each of us deserves. It is especially difficult when others do not share these values. Quite simply, our Minister stands as an example for us all.

The Wounds of War by Steve Wiegenstein
December 7, 2014
On this anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, Steve reminds us that The Wounds of War continue to haunt the victors and the defeated for generations. Even when an accord has been reached, the bitterness and hatred, the lives maimed and lost, and the time and treasure that have been wasted, continue to erode the spiritual health, the enthusiasm for life, and the warmth of well-being of every one of us -- all over the earth.

Playing Without a Catcher's Mitt by Rev. Scott Aaseng
November 9, 2014
Others have said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Today, we would say that when you give, notice the blessing that you are receiving. Don't miss out on catching all you can of the gifts being given to you.

Gosh Darn: A Unitarian Among the Christians by Sharon Buzzard
November 2, 2014
There is a tension between Americans who identify as "Unitarian Universalist" and Americans who identify as "Christian." Much of humnan spirituality derives from the contemplation of unanswerable questions. Many truly good and gentle Christians cut short their contemplation of the unknowable. And often we Unitarians continue banging our heads against invisible walls, searching for truth and meaning.

Over the River, and Through the Woods: Telling Our Stories by Susan Morrison Hebble
October 19, 2014
Sharing our stories with others is a tangible legacy for our families and our friends. And listening to the stories that swirl about us is both an act of love and an enrichment of our own lives; listening both to the stories that we are told and to the stories that people cannot find ways to tell.

Scavenging Crusoe's Ship by Doug Muder
September 21, 2014
What should we do with the legacy of the Traditional Religion that many of us grew up with? Many of us feel that we have outgrown the conventional Christianity of our ancestors. Still, there are important questions that were addressed by the ancients. There are valuable lessons within the Christian legacy of our Unitarian and Universalist roots. Certainly, such an examination requires considerable care, but what might we find useful as we look forward from the 21st century?

Starting From a New Place by Rev. Scott Aaseng
September 14, 2014
Let our goal be the building of a truly pluralistic civil society in which all people are respected as equals and included in the sharing of power. Where we work together to resolve the differences which underlie our conflicting points of view. Let us start again, now, from this place.

Hoping and Coping by Rev. Scott Aaseng
June 1, 2014
The hardest place to be is the place between hoping for something better and coping with what you've got. Like in the Serenity Prayer, there are things that you can change and things that you can't: The hardest part is the wisdom to know the difference. Or perhaps it is even harder to simply say what needs to be said?

The Lures of Anti-Intellectualism by Dana Craciun
May 18, 2014
Why should one pursue lifelong education? To get a better job? To make more money? To have a better class of friends? To exert more influence on society? To become a more informed citizen? Or to become a better human being? You decide.

Are You Your Point of View? by Rev. Scott Aaseng
May 11, 2014
Reverence and respect for human nature is among our guiding principles. This principle is at odds with the common notion that respect must be earned. Each of us is so much more than we appear to be. When we ground ourselves in our commitments to our principles rather than in our point of view, respect becomes an unconditional value, a fundamental value, an inherent value. We respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

The Highest Lows: Pop Culture Studies and the Vital Importance of Trivia! by Anna Wiegenstein
May 4, 2014
Popular Culture is an expression of the spirit of its moment in history. At its best, it is the catalyst for our imagination; a collective consciousness in which we imagine the future.

Thoughts on Resurrection by a Doubting Thomas by Paul Miller
April 20, 2014
Certainly unconventional, often controversial, unfailingly intelligent and never boring, our favorite pagan priest brings us a message for Easter (or ostara, as he would prefer). Searching for evidence of resurrection, he explores scripture, apocrypha, history, physical evidence and his personal understanding of spiritual phenomena. How could it possibly make sense to believe in a Resurrection?

Acceptance and Action by Doug Muder
April 6, 2014
Acceptance is not resignation. Whatever you can do, this life is the tool you will do it with. This body. This mind. These skills. These resources. This time. This place. This is what you have. The rest of your life begins right here.

Grounded in the Past, Open to the Future, Present in the Present by Rev. Scott Aaseng
March 30, 2014
Celebrating a Centennial: Since 1914 in our building and since 1839 in Quincy. On this special day, our minister reminds of us that the communities on both sides of these walls matter to the members of this congregation. It is our committment to each other and to the communities that connect us, that bind us together in a religious communion.

Perspectives on a Universally Known Masterpiece by Dr. Dave Costigan
March 23, 2014
Dr. Costigan presents Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as a worthy sequel to the Declaration of Independence. In this construction, the Civil War was about liberty, and union, and human equality; ideals which were stated in the Declaration of Independence but were contradicted in The Constitution by the institution of slavery.

An Ethic of Risk by Rev. Scott Aaseng
March 9, 2014
An ethic of control is an ethic of autonomy, in which responsibility means acting unilaterally to accomplish a goal. It tends to resort to force to achieve its goal, or to give up when it can't. An ethic of risk is an ethic of interdependence, in which we act in relationship with others to create possibilities for future action. It is about what we can do together to create something more. The creation of fairness is the work of generations.

Make Room for Wonder by Susan Morrison Hebble
February 16, 2014
Wonder, the capacity for spirituality, is all around us. It is what happens when we're not paying attention. Ferris Beuller said it well, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it."

Doing Something About Poverty by Rev. Scott Aaseng
February 9, 2014
We're looking for ways to change the picture of Poverty in America. Yes, we can (and should) give money. Yes, we can (and should) give of our time. What more can we do? Who are these people who are poverty stricken? Why are they in poverty? What can be done to strengthen their fight to live with dignity?

The Gift of Doubt by Dr. Robert Gervasi
January 26, 2014
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning. It's the fourth of the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism. Doubt and Wonder become intertwined with what we know and what we don't know. From Aristotle and Augustine to Einstein and Hawking; doubt is the springboard that propels us into our future.

Reflections From India by Rev. Scott Aaseng
January 12, 2014
Our minister's daughter is an exchange student in India. The parents visited the daughter over the Christmas Holidays. Rev. Scott Aaseng recounts the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes and the spirit of their Indian cultural experience.

What Defines a Church? by Carol W. Nichols
December 15, 2013
A Centennial reflection. Our congregation has attended church in this building for 100 years. Consider the relationship between a congregation and their building. We, the congregation that we were then and that we are now, continue to bring into this building traditions of thought, of tolerance and of spiritual sensibility, which will survive our present membership, and our present building.

A Time for Healing by Rev. Scott Aaseng
December 8, 2013
Today, we're visiting trauma and disorientation and disintegration. "Mosaics aren't made by trying to glue the broken pieces back together again as if they had never been broken. The beauty of mosaics is found when we stop seeing brokenness as ugly and unacceptable and learn to start putting the broken pieces together in new ways." Following our traumas, we must learn to fall in love with our lives once again.

What's the Reason for the Season? by Paul Miller
December 1, 2013
How many different cultural mythologies have instituted a celebration which generally coincides with the Winter's Solstice? How is it that the broad outlines of stories within one culture are often reproduced, with different names and to different purposes, by other cultures? What IS the reason for the season?

The Glass Ceiling of Faith by Jim Burns
November 24, 2013
Jim burns testifies to a religious experiece which transformed his fear of the consequences of following his conscience. He describes the transformation of having faith in the Catholic Church into his faith in a new way of viewing the person of Jesus; a new way of looking at resurection; a new view of a life of love and compassion of all peoples; a new view of the divinity and humanity of Jesus; a new view of his own divinity and humanity.

Truth, Justice and the Unitarian Way by Rev. Scott Aaseng
November 10, 2013
The point of speaking truth is not to find or discover truth for its own sake. The purpose of speaking truth is to change me, to make me grow; to help me bring more beauty and justice and love into our world. The purpose of speaking truth is to bring about a better me and a better world.

Our Compost, Ourselves by Sharon Buzzard
November 3, 2013
Memories from years ago, memories from yesterday, sublime poetry and radio jingles, the trivial and the profound come to the surface with equal speed and ease in our minds. All of our experiences, all of these moments, the magnificent and the marvelous, and the utterly trivial are fermenting to produce these absolutely unique selves which we claim as our own.

On Becoming a more Welcoming Congregation by several Speakers
October 27, 2013
As part of the process of petitioning the Unitarian Universalist Association for recognition as a Welcoming Congregation, we explore and discuss our own experiences of welcome to our congregation.

Religion and the Imagination by Doug Muder
October 20, 2013
Once we give up the pretense that our religion is realistic while their religion is fantasy; once we realize how important imagination is to everybody; then we are in a position to talk about the right issue which is the difference between good imagination and bad imagination.

In Defense of Medieval People by Dr. C. Patrick Hotle
September 29, 2013
The occupation of an historian might be described as the discipline of seeing the shadows of the present in the study of the past. And of seeing the shadows of the past in our experience of the present. With this perspective might come an acute consciousness of context.

Confessions of a Person from a Rich Country by Dr. Rob Manning
September 22, 2013
By every measure of wealth, America is a rich country. But if we should attempt to distinguish between "Having" and "Being," how should we measure the quality of our "Being;" what kind of language can we use? How can we measure the wealth of a society in terms of the richness of its "Being" rather than of its "Having?"

How Can I Love You Better? by Rev. Scott Aaseng
June 2, 2013
The connections we make when we speak and listen to each other can heal our disconnection from our own deepest selves. When someone speaks and listens to the goodness and truth in me, they put me in touch with who I want to be, and help me be who I want to be. We can help each other heal our alienation by listening to each other, by calling each other into being who we really want to be.

Getting Good at Doing Good by Rev. Scott Aaseng
May 5, 2013
What do you love about the life that you have?
We're listening.
Are you ready to see that our world is waiting to be made better?
Yes -- we can.

What's the Use of Stories that Aren't Even True? by Dana Craciun
April 14, 2013
It is a battle of the books: Whose story is the most true? Whose is the most "right" of them all?

My Journey With Money by Rev. Scott Aaseng
April 7, 2013
Money is ultimately about power. Either I have power over it and freedom over how I use it. Or it has power over me and I am constrained in how I use it. It is a tool and a means to an end, rather than an end itself. When money becomes an end in itself, it becomes addictive. All forms of power become addictive when they become ends in themselves.

Struggling With Easter by Doug Muder
Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013
Easter is too big, too grand, too old, and too much fun to ignore. But what can a person with a skeptical theology find to celebrate? The spring flowers and a few metaphors about new beginnings don't seem like enough. What if we dig a little deeper?

By Accident by Steve Wiegenstein
March 10, 2013
We risk our lives in moments of inattention. The accident that we prepare for is not necessarily the one that happens. Ultimately, our response to accidents has to include a degree of acceptance and gratitude for our survival.

(Not) Taking Ourselves (Too) Seriously by Rev. Scott Aaseng
March 3, 2013
Playfulness is an essential ingredient in human relationships. Try this, see how hard it is to smile and to be anxious at the same time. Life is far too valuable to be taken too seriously.

Theologizing Warfare by Dr. Joe Messina
February 24, 2013
There are no 'winners' in warfare. The damage done to the souls of the 'victors' is easily as great as the damage visited upon the 'vanquished'. Via Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, we find a view of warfare as like a web. A web which we did not (and do not) weave. Instead, it is a web in which we are caught and from which our instincts alone are insufficient to allow escape.

Kindness Matters by Susan Morrison Hebble
February 17, 2013
Isn't this the realm where the Golden Rule applies? "Kindness" in this context means simply, "being good." The impact of unsolicited, random, acts of kindness is incalculable. The cost is negligable.

Transforming Fear by Rev. Scott Aaseng
February 3, 2013
There are times for taking reasonable precautions, but we needn't live in fear. Let our actions grow out of the love that lives inside of us rather than the fear that also lives inside of us. It's worth taking the risk.

Historians View Emancipation by Dave Costigan
January 13, 2913
This is the story of Lincoln's changing mind as he followed advice received from Senator Orville Browning; the Senator from Illinois whose home was in Quincy. Dave Costigan traces the path that Abraham Lincoln followed toward the Emancipation Proclamation.

How Do You Keep On Loving? by Rev. Scott Aaseng
January 6, 2013
"To be or not to be?" No, that is NOT the question! There is more to it than that. It has to do with the balance between being for oneself and being for others. And just being more.

Why Are You Here? by Rev. Scott Aaseng
December 2, 2012
Is this only an abstract existential question? Or could an answer give purpose and meaning to our lives? Should we be asking this question about our presence in, our psyche, our family, our church, our community, AND in the universe?

Peace On Earth by Dr. Robert Gervasi
November 18, 2012
There are similarities between the Franciscan Catholic tradition and the Principles of Unitarian Universalism. One point of intersection is the pursuit of Peace; Peace on Earth.

Navigating the World Wide Web by Nic Cable
November 11, 2012
One principle of our Unitarian-Universalist faith is "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." Nic Cable finds a doppelgänger web in the internet's World Wide Web. Something similar to a spider's web, it is interconnected throughout its continuity, and it feeds the spider.

What's Your Relationship With the Universe? by Rev. Scott Aaseng, Our Minister
November 4, 2012
Two people will often interpret the same facts differently. Our stories about the facts are often rooted in a larger, more encompassing world-view (universe-view, if you will). It is the space between the facts that we fill up with our biases, our prejudices. They're often hidden, even from ourselves, and barely revealed in our stories.

Spirituality in the Technological Society by Dennis McGuire, MBA, Ph.D.
October 28, 2012
Marketing organizations track every purchasing decision we make. Their techniques strive to fit each of us into their "micro populations." Spirituality, on the other hand, is an experience unique to each individual. A person who had a nurturing childhood with intelligent and caring parents may already be in close touch with his/her own inner child.

Transforming Anger by Our Minister, Rev. Scott Aaseng
October 7, 2012
Our anger is capable of destroying us. If we are to create the healing and justice so desperately needed in our world, we must acknowledge our anger and our fears. Anger can become a means of focusing that gives us the energy to act upon our convictions with courage and respect for the feelings of others.

Whence Cometh My Hope? by Doug Muder
September 30, 2012
In the face of the possibility of failure, hope is an attitude towards the present. Hope says that trying is worthwhile. Hope is a bias towards action. Hope is a statement of faith. Rather than force fitting yourself into somebody else's faith, the better approach is to introspect until you can find where your faith is.

Creating a Dogma Free Zone by Jeff Seabarkrob
September 23, 2012
Among the definitions of Dogma is, "Doctrine asserted and adopted by authority, as distinguished from that which is the result of one's own reasoning or experience; a dictum." As Unitarians, we resist the imposition of Dogma. Reactions range from incomprehension to a welcoming relief.

Off to See the Wizard by Rev. Scott Aaseng, Our Minister
September 9, 2012
As Rev. Scott Aaseng begins his minsitry with us, he finds parallels with Dorothy's famous journey down the yellow brick road;. She realized that she already had available to her everything that she really wanted to gain.

Jesus Before (and After) Christendom by Dr. Andrew Walsh
June 3, 2012
So, who was this guy named Jesus? What was he like? What kinds of things did he talk about? And how do we know?

Beyond All Reasonable Expectations by Steve Wiegenstein
May 20, 2012
Author, Steve Wiegenstein, revisits the Utopian Experiments of the mid-19th century in America. Why can't we all just live together in Peace and Harmony? Good question!

Stuff: What's in Your Attic? by Susan Morrison Hebble
May 6, 2012
We are a consuming society! We are casually referred to as, "Consumers." It is our function, our reason for being, in the mindless vision of advertisers. For those of us at the "retail level," what are we to do with our abundance?

An Educated Faith by Nic Cable
April 15, 2012
Explore our fourth Unitarian Principle, "The free and responsible search for meaning." Nic draws a distinction between the acknowledgement of human beings' unavoidable tendency to learn rather than as "receptacles of knowledge," education by playing follow-the-leader.

Anima and the Machine by Michael J. Vera Eastmond
April 8, 2012
As events in history have displaced us from our intimate connection with the universe, power structures have developed which force us into conformity with a mechanistic illusion of reality. What will it take for us to abandon the spectacle, these chains of illusion? Perhaps we should begin by reinforcing our connections to and among each other.

Was Cain Framed? by Paul Miller
March 25, 2012
Let's spend the next half hour just pretending that we are literalist, fundamentalists reading the first few chapters of Genesis. Trust me, it'll be fun!

How Do You Share Your Light? by Mett Morris
March 11, 2012
Mett Morris shares with us the light that shines through her from her childhood in central Mississippi. It was a village as well as her grandmother and her aunts and uncles, that instilled within her the values that continue to shine through her.

Values, Virtues, and Vigorous Religion by Dr. Robert Gervasi
March 4, 2012
The traditional virtues, those of the ancient Greeks and Romans, were the foundation underlying much of Christian thought. Explore with us the influence of Cicero and others upon the values championed by the Catholic Church and by America's Founding Fathers.

Ode to Joy by Rev. Linda Hansen
February 26, 2012
When we find our spirit depressed, we would do well to search out beauty. Beauty is one possible antidote to depression and despair, as exemplified through stories told about Beethoven, women imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II, and African-Americans subjected to prejudice. As Robert Fulghum says of Beethoven, "he defied his fate with jubilation."

Surrender, But Don't Give Yourself Away by Susan Morrison Hebble
February 19, 2012
The art of surrendering is acknowledging the space between mystery and certainty; between me and you; between what is and what might be. It is about letting go and trusting that the journey is as important as the outcome. The challenge of surrendering is no small task. One of our greatest adversaries is time, that unceasing river that carries us from birth to death.

For Valentine's Day: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage by Carolyn Kane
February 12, 2012
Successful marriages are rarely founded upon fascination with a personality or with physical charm. Marriage is more likely to be successful when you have fallen in love with what you and the other person create together. The example offered here is both; a marriage unlikely to succeed and one of the most successful marriages of the 20th century.

Liberal Lights and Bushel Baskets by Ellen Taylor
January 29, 2012
In 1956, our minister was Rev. Thomas Maloney, a 1952 graduate of Harvard. Ellen has discovered a copy of one of his sermons, delivered during the McCarthy Era to our congregation. In her re-delivery of this sermon, Ellen offers valuable insights into the quality of the Liberal Religion that we practice in our community.

The Law of Threefold Return by Paul Miller
January 8, 2012
Every culture has a phrase which encapsulates the idea that it is better to be generous towards our fellow travelers than to be mean or stingy. Our resident Wizard chose the Sunday after Epiphany to bring us this gift.

Words, Words, Words: Expressing the Authentic Self by Alexis Engelbrecht
December 18, 2011
The goal is to begin to explore how a literate society can use words to grow and develop our understanding of each other and ourselves. The literary world is full of massive amounts of ideas, depictions, and attempts to inform. Literacy invokes emotions and, more importantly, thoughts, which allow for both the process of reflection and anticipation.

Growing Up as a Muslim in India During the Partition by Dr. Zakiah Ali
November 27, 2011
Dr. Zakiah Ali grew up in the midst of an historical event whose ramifications have not yet seen the beginnings of resolution. Her perspective and the recollections of her childhood reveal the empathy and understanding which sparkled during her 30 year career as a physician in our community.

Joining the Losers by Doug Muder
November 13, 2011
We always look forward to the clarity and depth of perception that Dr. Doug Muder brings to our congregation. Here, he tackles the subject of the tricks that our minds play upon our selves, and how clever people use these tricks to manipulate us towards our own detriment.

The Evolution of Lincoln's Theology by Reg Ankrom, Executive Director of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County.
October 16, 2011
Reg Ankrom, the executive director of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, is a student of Lincoln and the men and women who influenced him. In this talk, Reg traces the threads of Lincoln's Theological Thought.

Sorry, You're a Role Model! by Rodney Hart
September 25, 2011
It's about admiring others. It's about wishing to be more than you are. Let it be about loving someone near and dear to you, rather than someone remote and far away. But don't ever let it be about despising who you are; about you despising your humanity.

Let Us Pray? by Doug Muder
September 18, 2011
What if you ignore the metaphysics and theology surrounding prayer and just look at the doing of it? What beneficial practices has folk wisdom encoded into prayer over the centuries? How many of them can we rescue without falling into the corresponding traps?

The Storm is Passing Over by Jane Hayashi
June 5, 2011
Five years after Hurricane Katrina's devastation, we hear about the Unitarian Churches in the New Orleans area; about the level of destruction, about the pace of their recovery, and about the spirit that keeps them moving on.

Love to Love by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
May 29, 2011
The longest serving minister in the long history of this congregation takes his leave. In this talk Rob thanks the congregation and offers his hopes for our future.

Consumer's Guide to Choosing a Religion by Jeff Seabarkrob
May 22, 2011
Like most of us, Jeff was "born into" a religion. Catholicism in his case, with parochial school and all the trappings. Jeff escaped that trap and found UUism to be a more congenial religious point of view. In his lively and charming discourse, Jeff encourages each of us to find the religion that suits us best.

Trees of Life by Susan Morrison Hebble
May 8, 2011
Let's take some time to free-associate with the word, "tree." Isn't it amazing how many different metaphors come to mind; how many different images can be conjured; and how often we can find contexts in which it is appropriate? Come, play with a word with us for a while.

The Sudden by Steve Wiegenstein
April 24, 2011
It is appropriate for us to think about "miracles" on Easter Sunday. As Unitarians, we question much of what is usually termed, "miracle." To those who say, "Expect a miracle." We have to say, "If it's expected, then it isn't much of a 'miracle,' is it?

Me and My Monkey: Hairbrained thoughts on the synergy between body and soul. by Paul Miller
April 17, 2011
Our resident pagan, chemist, and a favorite speaker, Paul Miller, explores the mysterious interconnections between concepts of body and soul; man and dog; space and electrons; and ultimately, life and death.

The Story of Our Deaths by Dr. Doug Muder
April 3, 2011
We live as characters inside countless stories that motivate our actions and make meaning out of our lives. One way to maintain motivation and meaning is to tell death-denying stories about eternal life. Another is to live in the moment and put off thinking about death for as long as possible. But wise and skillful story-tellers have other options.

Hospitality Pure and Simple by Dr. Robert Gervasi
March 6, 2011
Hospitality is all about Power! Ethically, we search for an understanding of an equality between the host and the guest, when the guest enters the boundaries maintained by the host. Hospitality is the welcome that we offer to the guests in our homes and to those who cross national frontiers into a land that is not their own. Spiritually, when we find ourselves vulnerable to the insults of our hosts, will we find the inner power to treat ourselves with the hospitality that we deserve?

Call it a Day for Democracy: Thoughts on our Revolutionary Present for Jacques Derrida. by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
February 27, 2011
Revolution is in the air! Americans are applauding the overthrow of despotic governments that Imperial America has supported with aid and arms for decades. But why is it that when democracy is adopted, following revolutions in other parts of the world, that American, representative democracy is not the model that is chosen? Are we Americans missing something here?

Troubles With Sports in Our Football Nation by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
February 6, 2011 - Super Bowl Sunday
Watching football has become our national pastime. Characterized by crashing together, falling down, then repeating frequently; football is a bruising sport which takes a severe toll upon the players' bodies. These modern gladiators provide the entertainment for this Super Bowl Sunday's afternoon.

Our Improbable Universe by Paul Miller
January 23, 2011
The Universe is really big. No, I mean REALLY BIG! And it's getting bigger all the time. Understanding how Newtonian Physics works is perfectly intuitive. But on the cosmic scale, nothing about physics has anything to do with human intuition. How could the universe have happened? Well, that's the question -- and we Unitarians, it might even be said that we worship the question.
And watch the YouTube video: Hebble Deep Field: The Most Important Image Ever Taken.

Liu, Xiaobo, for Example by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
January 9, 2011
The winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize is a Chinese man little known in the United States. In this talk our Minister helped us better understand the life and the character of Liu Xiaobo.

Living Advent with Medieval Women Christian Mystics by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
December 19, 2010
Catherine of Siena and Julian of Norwich were 14th Century contemporaries who never met. We consider the contributions to the Christian Tradition that these extraordinary women brought to their contemporary culture, as a part of our advent reflections.

Keep the X in Xmas - Revisited by Sandra Morrison
December 5, 2010
Given that Christmas is a Christian Holiday, what is it that Unitarian-Universalists have to celebrate? It shouldn't be surprising that an answer can be found in nature and in the stories that surround the historical Jesus. For us, that "X" is an unknowable unknown.

Digging a Hole by Steve Wiegenstein
November 14, 2010
Think of manual labor as a spiritual experience. Confer a fitting respect towards those whose work brings them fulfillment. Beware of the trap of equating personal self-worth with the worth of the monetary reward. Above all, beware of finding your identity in your occupation. Please, be kind towards those who must work in unfulfilling occupations in order to live.

Spirituality and the Humanist by Doug Muder
November 7, 2010
Nothing throws cold water on a Spiritual discussion like opening a dictionary! This understanding doesn't deter Doug from positing and explaining his own definition: Spirituality is an awareness of the gap between what you can experience and what you can describe.

Dying to See the Doctor by Terrell Dempsey
October 24, 2010
Too often, families have taken advantage of the economies of NOT having health insurance, of NOT seeing the doctor, of making the assumption that they were "just fine;" only to discover too late, they had neglected to recognize early warning signs of diseases that a simple check-up with the doctor should have uncovered. Shame on us!

Character Studies by Dr. Sharon Buzzard
October 17, 2010
Whatever happened to Character? When we were likely to have the same neighbors for most of our lives, we needed to attend to our neighbors' perception of us. Is that an outmoded idea? Or is it just that modern news has a jaundiced slant towards the most sensational stories? Where has all the Character gone?

Gandhi and Levinas in Dialogue on 'An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth' by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning and Dr. Richard Middleton Kaplan
October 10, 2010
Emmanuel Levinas once wrote a short paper on the proposition presented in the Old Testament, 'An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth.' Today, we look in to the context of that concept in Jewish Law, and we come to understand it as a limit upon retribution, rather than a prescription for retribution.

Peace and Peacemaking in an age of Endless War by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
October 3, 2010
During the 2010 General Assembly, a draft statement, "Creating Peace" was brought to a vote. It was approved to be an official Statement of Conscience of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Today's talk places the statement in perspective.

Seeing the One Which Has Opened by Ellen Taylor
September 26, 2010
Transitions like births, deaths and marriages are life events, often marked with religious observances. They are very much like the transition that our congregation faces as we grow into an unknowable future, and contemplate an as-yet-unknowable, new minister.

The Restorative Influence of the Night by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
September 12, 2010
A summer "away from it all" can be very much like a night of good rest. And the return to "reality" can be thought of as an awakening. Though the world will certainly have undergone change during our respite, we will return to our lives, rejuvinated and happy to greet the new day.

'What am I to myself that must be remembered' - A Search for What is Real by Carol Nichols
June 6, 2010
We are all on a quest to find our own, authentic version of life. Unlike a sudden life-threatening illness or catastrophic events in our lives, traveling is a lot kinder to our sensitive selves. But, all such events get at what Sri Ramana Maharshi states is our greatest purpose in life, "Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world."

Do Animals Have a Face? Thinking about our Obligations to Other Animals. by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
May 30, 2010
Since Darwin, we've come to understand that we humans are simply a species of animal. When this is contrasted with Genesis 1:26, this revolutionary realization may require a re-thinking of our ethical attitudes.

Weirdos by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
May 2, 2010
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "There are some things to which we all should be 'Maladjusted'." Perhaps he was saying that we should all be 'Weirdos'.

Jefferson's Bible, Lucy, and the Road to Unitaria by Terrell Dempsey
April 25, 2010
Telling the tale of his hitchiking past Religions and Religious cults, great and small; his study of anthropology and his affinity with the Jeffersonian view of Biblical study; Terrell Dempsey details his journey toward membership in Quincy's Unitarian Church.

What it Means to Remember Norbert Čapek by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
April 18, 2010
Norbert Čapek was a Unitarian Minister in Prague, Czechoslovakia, whose life ended in captivity, during the Holocaust. Rob brings to life this dynamic leader, in his time, of the largest Unitarian Congregation in the world.

Living Good Friday and Easter with Martin Luther King, Jr. by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010
In this Unitarian Church, we celebrate Easter and recall the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, all in the same service. Rob tell us that there are ideas, ideals, points of view, that will not die! Hatred and violence are not of God. They cannot be ultimately victorious. This is the essence and the audacity of MLK's faith!

Religion & the Sea: Moby Dick by Dr. Virginia Leonard Ewing
March 21, 2010
"Some literary critics see religion in Moby Dick as a struggle between Melville's personal adoption of Unitarianism, and the Calvinism of his father and mother." Exploring Moby Dick, Dr. Ewing brings Melville's mid-nineteenth-century vision of liberal religion into focus.

Too Many Americans and Other Environmental Problems: Changing the Ways We Think and Live by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
March 14, 2010
Can America lead a global Green Revolution? Are you part of the revolution? Or are you, like Rip Van Winkle, sleeping through the Revolution?

From the Majority Opinion to the Minority Opinion by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
March 7, 2010
In the minority opinion from the 2009 Supreme Court Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision, Justice John Paul Stevens offered this prophecy: "Starting today, corporations with large warchests to deploy on electioneering may find democratically elected bodies much more attuned to their interests." Democracy is a core Unitarian - Universalist Value.

Unitarian Musical Heritage by Our Minister of Music, Dr. Carol Fisher Mathieson
February 28, 2010
Our Our Minister of Music presents a history of hymnody and a surprising presence within that history, of Unitarian-Universalist influence. Following the words of the hymns you will find in UU hymnals, is highly recommended.

The Backward Look by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
February 21, 2010
You screwed up! You feel guilty. You regret what you've done. And it's past. You can't change it. You can't keep from remembering it. You have to keep on living with yourself, knowing that it was your fault. What are we to do?

Connected? Empathy in the 21st Century by Susan Morrison Hebble, PhD
February 14, 2010
Culturally, spiritually, and politically we seem to be losing our connection with one another, we seem less willing and able to empathize. Can technology serve to spread empathy and compassion, as effectively it is being used to spread hatred and ignorance?

Buddhism, Britt Hume, and Tiger Woods by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
February 7, 2010
Yes, we've heard enough about Tiger Woods' personal affairs! But Britt Hume brought Tiger's religion into the spotlight. Unitarians might have a little trouble swallowing Britt Hume's American Religious myopia.

Experience the Moment by Mike Flanagan
January 31, 2010
In a carefully wrought talk, which is really a kind of meditation, Mike examines with sensitivity and clarity the sometimes paradoxical importance of individual moments of time in the fabric of our lives, whether we be young, middle-aged, or old.

170 years of Unitarianism in Quincy by Sandy Morrison
January 24, 2010
In her survey of the history of our church in Quincy, Sandy draws our attention to the repetition of issues and challenges that we have faced. In the records of topics of discussion, she also finds a repetition that points to a consistency of our values and interests over time.

Dreams, Accomplishments and Disappointments: Obama's First Year in the White House by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
January 17, 2010
The principles that guide us as Unitarians encourage us to be actively involved in the political community in which we live. In this talk, we are treated to a broad survey of the possible reactions to the first year of the Obama presidency.

The State of the Quincy Public Schools by Lonny Lemon, Superintendent of Quincy's Public Schools
January 10, 2010
On this Sunday morning, we were granted the opportunity to get to know the Superintendent of Quincy's Public School System, Lonny Lemon. It is good that our children's education is in these capable and caring hands.

Remembering Forrest Church by Joe Conover
January, 3, 2010
Rev. Forrest Church was perhaps the most influential Unitarian-Universalist theologian of his generation. Joe Conover leads us through an overview of his life, his ministry, and his theology, using the published words of Forrest Church, himself.

The Light In The Dark by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
December 20, 2009
Only in a Unitarian Church on the Sunday before Christmas. We explore the Tao Te Ching!

Naughty or Nice: Are Humans Good or Evil? by Paul Miller
December 13, 2009
Paul explores the either/or proposition of good and evil, and finds a bit more hope than he earlier expected.

Conversation with Mark Twain by Curator of the Mark Twain Museum, Henry Sweets
November 29, 2009
Henry Sweets has been the curator of the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal, Missouri for nearly 30 years. Tracing Samuel Clemens' personal history from his boyhood in rural Missouri, through his European adventures, his aquaintance with Henry Ward Beecher and his close friendship with Rev. Joseph Twichell; Mr. Sweets illustrates the biting disdain that Mark Twain held for every sort of hypocrisy, including his own.

Roads by Marlee Labroo
November 22, 2009
Marlee explores our relationship with the many and various conceptions of "Roads." Our journeys through space, our journeys through time, our spiritual journeys and our journeys through threads of logic and thought - all of these are roads in need of exploration.

'Tis the Season, 'Tis the Story: The Christmas Narrative in Biblical Study by Fr. Bill Burton
November 15, 2009
Our favorite Biblical Scholar, Fr. Bill Burton explores the conflicts in the stories of the birth of Jesus found in Matthew and Luke. He explains how these stories were developed as responses to theological considerations rather than being the product of an historical record.

Right Wing Radio and the Place Where we Live by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
November 8, 2009
In our community, it seems there are very few alternatives! If you listen to the radio, and you'd like to listen to people discussing imnportant issues, your choices are right-wing, right-wing, right-wing, and NPR. Is that what they mean by, "Fair and Balanced?"

Who Owns the World? by Doug Muder
November 1, 2009
On this bright Sunday morning, we "breathe the air around Tom Paine." How could humankind ever have come up with this notion called "property?" Doug Muder explores the term, "ownership."

1479 Hampshire: Not Just Stone and Mortar by Dienna Drew
October 25, 2009
Dienna's family began attending Quincy's Unitarian Church in 1931, and they have been very active. Searching thorough Church archives, and relating them with the personal diaries of her family members, we gain insight and perspective into our past.

Reason and Reverence by Dr. Robert Gervasi
October 18, 2009
Quincy University is one of the relatively few Catholic Universities in the Franciscan Tradition. Dr. Robert Gervasi, the President of Quincy University, shares his insight into some traditional Franciscan values which contemporary Unitarian/Universalists should find very familiar.

The Worship Question and the Ties that Bind by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
October 11, 2009
It can be truly difficult to explain what it is that we, as Unitarians, do. And when we are contrasted with the American versions of Christianity, it is impossibly difficult for us to explain what it is that we believe. But here is Rob, taking one more stab at it.

Is Democracy Possible in the Age of Obama? And What Difference Will it Make? by Dr. Gerald McWhorter
October 4, 2009
Participation, Representation, and Transformation: These form the foundation of the ideal democracy. Dr. McWhorter makes the point that one of the values of democracy is to protect the interests of minorities from the tyranny of a majority.

Values-driven Life Success by Dr. Thomas Klincar
September 27, 2009
Dr. Thomas Klincar, the president of John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, shares the insights which helped him grow into his present, successful, position.

Why Church? Why THIS Church? by Ellen Taylor
September 20, 2009
Ellen Taylor, the president of our Board of Trustees, presents a portrait of our church. If you're looking for a church, we may not be what you expect to find. That could be a bad thing -- Or it might be better than you could ever have imagined!

Thinking About Revolution by our minister, the Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
September 13, 2009
While we were apart during the past summer, the seeds of a revolution were being crushed in Iran. On this day, we opened ourselves to a discussion of the human values and the human connections we share with the people of Iran.

A Perspective on Faith by Christine Jach
June 7, 2009
Unitarians often travel unconventional paths towards the faith that they find fulfilling. Christine Jach, a member of our congregation, describes for us the journey that has brought her thus far.

Standing Outside the Miracle: Toward a Unitarian Spirituality by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
May 31, 2009
We Unitarians battle against the many ways culture, tradition, the way we think, just the way we do things, tries to shut the door and keep us from living with a full appreciation of life's miracles and mysteries.

The Spiritual Roots of the Economic Crisis: Pastor Niemoller Revisited by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Mother's Day, May 10, 2009
What does the current economic crisis tell us about the social and ethical aspects of our contemporary American Culture; about what our values are; about what type of people we are?

Nonviolent Actors Retake the Initiative by Cliff Kindy
April 26, 2009
Cliff Kindy has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Gaza, West Bank, Mexico, Vieques, Colombia, Iraq, with First Nation struggles in the US and Canada and is presently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are happy to hear his report, and to applaud the efforts of Christian Peacemakers, everywhere.

Living Lightly on the Earth, and Living Well by Paul Miller
April 19, 2009
Paul Miller has been living in his home in the country for about fifteen years. He manages to live in purposeful unemployment, generating one of the smallest carbon footprints of anyone that we know. Here's how he does it.

Revolutionary Theology for Easter, or Jesus, God, Empire, and Hope by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
April 12, 2009
If there was only one test for Unitarian Ministers just coming out of seminary, it could easily be the single question, "What do you do with Easter?" On this Easter Sunday, Rob offers an answer.

The Most Avoided Question by Rev. Dr. William Fox
April 5, 2009
Dr. Fox makes his last appearance at Quincy's Unitarian Church before his move from the presidency of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri to the presidency of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He reminds us to take the time to consider our immortality.

Criminal. Justice by John Hoover
March 15, 2009
John makes his living as a public defender. Today we get to see how our justice system operates, from the perspective of one of John's typical defendants.

There and Back Again by John Hayashi
March 8, 2009
High School student, John Hayashi, recounts his experience as an exchange student in Japan. We include his recitation of Bach's Partita.

Racism in America, or the History of a Poisonous Lie by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Do we really intend that the word "Race" should refer to differences in ethnicity, or national origin, or skin color? We, as members of the Human Race, should be able to discern the logical fallacy contained in such a notion.

Keeping One's Place by Ridgely Pierson
Sunday, February 22, 2009
In this elegantly literate and intensely personal memoir, we offer an example of the gracious and graceful secular humanism that we Unitarian-Universalists, warmly embrace.

Refusing Hegel: Some Troubling Thoughts about Lincoln, The Civil War, and Contemporary America by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, February 15, 2009
On this, the Sunday following Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, Rob chooses to question conventional wisdom. Can Lincoln's decision to preserve the Union at such a horrible cost be justified? By the constitution? By the subsequent course of American History? By the subsequent course of world history? Or by the integrity of The American Ideal?

St. Paul Among Contemporary Philosophers and Unitarians by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Recently, there has been an increased interest in the writings and the philosophy of St. Paul. Today, we look for a message that Unitarians and Universalists could find valuable in the words of St. Paul. As Rob says at the close, "Too Heavy."

Books That Change Lives by Dr. Steve Wiegenstein
Sunday, January 25, 2009
This semester, I am teaching a class called "Writing and Literature." It's one of those classes that is more eagerly anticipated by the teachers than by the students. I looked forward to the English teacher's guilty pleasure - making students read works that mean a lot to me; books that have changed my life.

We've Just Got to Do Something? by Dr. Carol Mathieson
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Our Minister of Music makes a rare appearance, speaking about unexpected consequences. Acknowledging the damage done by well meaning policies and programs, Carol insists that we must continue doing the best that we can with the knowledge available to us at the moment.

Hopes and Expectations for 2009 by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Anticipating regime change in America, we wonder what other changes a new regime might bring to us. Will we be able to find a more responsive and honest form of democracy, or will we return to the same ol', same ol' the practices of the recent past?

Should We Buy a Chevrolet for Christmas? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, December 14, 2008
In this talk, we concern ourselves with the Social Fabric of our nation. It is sometimes a discussion of the values surrounding our caring for our neighbors. And it is sometimes a critique of the level of care that we've experienced from our neighbors, the American Automobile Manufacturers.

Rhino Crash: Ethiopia by Christopher Mackenzie
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Chris describes the great leap of faith he and his wife experienced during the process of becoming the proud parents of an orphanage child from Ethiopia. His story contains a rich description of the impoverished street life of children in Ethiopia.

On Living Finally: Thoughts on "The Last Lecture" and Jacques Derrida's Last Interview by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Celebrating life in the words of three dying men, (1)Unitarian Minister, Forrest Church; (2)Professor Randy Pouch; and (3)the French Philosopher, Jacques Derrida. We who live on, we who survive; it is we who live the most intense life possible.

How Can You Stand Not Knowing? by Doug Muder
Sunday, November 23, 2008
When we say that we teach nothing about the afterlife, others hear that we teach that the afterlife is nothing. It is as if they imagine that Nobody is the name of a person, and then are horrified to hear all the things that Nobody does. Not having an answer is different than saying that nothing is the answer.

Jesus for Pagans by Paul Miller
Sunday, November 16, 2008
When Jesus is viewed from the perspective of religious pagans, interesting parallels and striking contrasts emerge. Curiously, there seem to be parallels between Jesus and the pagans -- and contrasts between Jesus and the modern, American "Christian."

Round to Reason 2: Is this the Beginning of a New Regime of Truth? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The first sermon titled Round to Reason was delivered eight years earlier. Once the regime of our government changed, dare we look forward to a new era of reason?

How to Avoid a New Cold War by Mike Moore
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Mike Moore, research fellow at The Independent Institute, makes the case against American Exceptionalism. If we demand to be granted hegemony over the entire world, we must accept the loss of the respect of the entire world.

Institutionalized Xenophobia in our Melting Pot by Ellen Taylor
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Ellen tells a tragic tale from her own family's recent experiences. It is an indictment of the American immigration system, of governmental bureaucracy, and of the mind-set - the world-view - in which this profound hypocrisy thrives.

The Spiritual Path of Living Without a Why by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Plagued by the ubiquity of the contemporary book, "The Purpose Driven Life," Rob draws a contrast to the profound philosophy of the 14th century Dominican Mystic, Meister Eckhart.

The Spirituality of Kenosis, or Emptying by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Emptiness is a concept that is usually understood through Taoism or Budhism. In Phillipians, Paul said, "Jesus though he existed in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant."

The Prophetic Voice of American Agrarianism by Kevin Ballard
Sunday, September 14, 2008
When Kevin began, he thought he would speak about our little corner of American Culture. As the talk took form, the subject changed to include the community and economy at large. The talk is a studied, philosophical, prophetic outline of agrarian principles; an agrarian proposal for change.

Hope by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, June 1, 2008
There is something about the word "Hope" that is seductively alluring to us. But what rational basis is there for our Hopes? It's a strange word, when you think about it! Isn't it?

Am I My Brother's Keeper? by Jeff Seabarkrob
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Jeff tells us the story of his sibling, his older brother, on his brother's birthday. The contrast between these two lives is told with sorrow and love and compassion, to the church family Jeff now calls home.

So-o Sorry: the Art of the Apology by Susan Morrison Hebble
Sunday, May 18, 2008
How many times during a day will you say, "Sorry," or "Excuse me," or "Pardon?" Here we examine not only the small bumps in life, but also the requirement that we express remorse for the damage that we do to others.

Creative Advance into Novelty? Whitehead, God and Species Becoming Extinct by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Surveying the Religious Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, we find a God that must be a being who loves to create, who loves diversity, who loves to open up possibilities for the future of the universe.

Living in the Past by Steve Wiegenstein
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Steve has been researching nineteenth century ways of life as part of his process for writing a book. It is an exercise full of surprises and insights that aren't immediately apparent to those who haven't yet immersed themselves so deeply.

Trailing Libyan Donkeys, or The Spirituality of the Way Back Out by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Quoting the Talmud, we challenge the wisdom of the American Invasion of Iraq. Understanding that we are the Americans who who started it; we lament the unintended consequences of the Invasion and our moral responsibility for all of the lives lost and disrupted by the events put in motion by U.S. - us.

The "News" of Rev. Wright - Or How the More Perfect Union Remains a Dream by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Rev. Manning shares his thoughts on Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech and on the way that America's mainstream news media created the controversy over Rev. Wright's remarks.

America's Most Reviled Minority by Rev. Edward Searl
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Surveys bear it out: atheists are the most hated group in America. Learn about two kinds of atheists. And reflect on the ways that an atheist can be reverent, arguably more reverent than more traditional believers.

A Thought Experiment in Trinitarianism for Unitarians at Easter by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008
Christianity in its popular forms may be responsible for our traditional conception of God as a great Being up in the sky, but the doctrine of the Trinity insists that we must think of God as a system of relation. God is the Father and is the Son and is the Father's relation to the Son and is the Son's relation to the Father. "God" becomes intrinsically relational and more interesting.

Religiosity as Creative Imagination, the good news of Mary of Maglala by Carol Nichols
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Mary Magdeline's gospel was lost for more than a millenia. One of Carol's quests is to learn all that she possibly can about the historical Jesus and the people who surrounded him. Recent discoveries continue to bring more information than the Church of the dark age would allow us to hear.

Emerson and America Today - What does it mean to be Emersonian? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Internationally regarded as America's preeminent philosopher; do Ralph Waldo Emerson's writings still have any relevance for our American culture today? The focus here is upon his essays Self-Reliance, Nature, and the Divinity School Address.

Antigone and the Politics of Mourning by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, February 24, 2008
What parallels can be found between Antigone's predicament and ours, today. The King forbade Antigone to bury her brother. We are forbidden to view the flag-draped coffins of our fallen brothers and sisters. How can we respond when the State is manipulating the depth of public response towards the actions of the State?

The Challenge to be Moral in an Immoral Society by Dr. Gerald McWhorter
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Our sense for Morality should notice that there are both homeless persons and vacant houses; that there are both people who possess great wealth and people who must choose between food and prescribed medications. One simple step toward living morally is to simply befriend one another. Welcome the experiences others share with you. Acknowledge and listen to each other. Encourage others to enjoy being homo-sapiens, living on this planet, during this moment in time.

Abraham Lincoln's Religion Reconsidered by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Historians have offerred much speculation about the religious views of Abraham Lincoln. Here, a Philosopher surveys the evidence and comes to his own conclusions.

Some Assembly Required by Doug Muder
Sunday, February 3, 2008
We sometimes think that if we stated the UU principles exactly right, then everybody would understand what we are all about. But no, they wouldn't. Because someone who walks in the door thinking the wrong metaphor, someone who tries to stuff us into the wrong box; they will always ask the wrong questions. And after they've asked the wrong questions, even the best answers can't help.

Understanding Darfur by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, January 27, 2008
A broad and comprehensive survey of the history, the politics, the religious values and the racism of the crimes against humanity that are being perpetrated in the region of the Sudan called Darfur.

Martin Luther King on the Holocaust by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Recently returned from a seminar at the Holocaust Museum, and marking the coming holiday, Rob surveyed the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for references to the Holocaust.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Michael Flanagan
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Idealism is often uncomfortable alongside pragmatism. Is it possible that pragmitically, Democracy could produce high quality solutions to political questions? Perhaps it depends upon the quality of the systems used to ask the questions.

Weeping by the Rivers of Babylon -- Again by Rev. Dr. Hemchand Gossai
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Dr. Gossai, the Director of Religious Studies at Georgia Southern University, re-draws the parallel between the 6th century bce plight of the Israeli's who found themselves captive in the Imperial City of Babylon.

Quest for a Radical Peace by Rev. Dr. Hemchand Gossai
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The prophecy of Isiah speaks to us this morning. Is there a more relevant time when these ancient words challenge our modern conventions? "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nations shall not lift up sword against nation, and neither shall they learn war any more."

Living the Peace of Advent with Tich Nhat Hahn by >Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, December 9, 2007
When we speak of peace, our first thought is of peace in the world. We look for an absence of violence and conflict, warfare and crime. But there is a more immediate level of peace, the peace within. The Budhist tradition offers us detailed techniques for developing inner peace. And the Vietnamese Budhist writer, Tich Nhat Hahn describes them with a beautiful simplicity.

Living the Peace of Advent with Catholic Mystic Thomas Merton by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, December 2, 2007
American Christianity, even American Catholicism, has lost much of the contemplative meaning of Advent. From the writings Thomas Merton, a secluded, Trappist Monk, we glean his understanding of what it is about current events that is worthy of contemplation, and what is not.

Let Us Be Thankful by Melissa Holden
November 25, 2007
Thanksgiving has an important history that is related to the settlement of America. But Thanksgiving also has a history within the memory of each of us who has celebrated a Thanksgiving Dinner. Melissa helps us with our memories and with our thanks.

Paper or Plastic? Reflections on the Difficulty of Life. by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Rob moves us towards the enjoyment of our place in the sun. Using the Latin term, ipseity, we can find an understanding of our selves lying outside of the province of sin and guilt and aescetic ideals. We hear Nietzsche saying, . . . that the sick should not make the healthy sick, should surely be our supreme concern on earth.

Postmodernism, Unitarianism, and the Return of God by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Unitarian thought grew out of the Enlightenment, the age of the Modern. As intellectuals have grown past the age of the Modern into the Postmodern, Unitarian thought too, has evolved into something fresh and new.

The Pathology of Alienation by Rev. Keith Delap
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Rev. Delap, retired from the Presbyterian Ministry, directs our attention to the message of reconciliation and forgiveness that is contained in the ministry of Jesus. He recounts his efforts towards the World Peace, a Christian goal which he has promoted throughout his own ministry.

Get Ready! The World Is Coming to an End -- Or Is It? by Paul Miller
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Environmental doomsday is only a part of the danger that faces our planet. Paul surveys the stages of events that lead up to failed civilizations and shares his optimism that humankind will realize the value of a broader self-interest.

Confucius and Jesus by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
October 7, 2007
Jesus is often credited as a great teacher of moral principles by the Christian community. Writings handed down from Confucius contain a larger body of moral teaching than any other moral teacher, including Jesus! Today, we explore Confucian wisdom.

Tenth Anniversary by Frieda Marshall
Sunday, May 27, 2007
A very special service honoring the Tenth Anniversary of the ministry of the Reverend Dr. Rob Manning. Remarks from Fr. Bill Burton, Ellen Taylor, Frieda Marshall, Dr. Kerry Manning, and Dr. Rob Manning. Music from Kim Starkey.

Why do we Never Have Enough? by Paul Miller
Sunday, May 13, 2007
In this society of consumption, the desire to accumulate is driven by the primitive urge to survive. Adam Smith's economic model provides a solution to the efficient distribution of SCARCE commodities. How do we cope when "stuff" isn't scarce any more?

In Praise of Imperfection by Susan Morrison Hebble
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Perfection is not part of our make up. Indeed, achieving perfection might be the death of us; it is a notion antithetical to the idea of seeking to make the world a better place, . . . to continually renew the spirit. . . but also to celebrate humanity. And humanity, by definition, is imperfect!

Joys by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, April 29, 2007
What do you think are the most enjoyable things in your life? Playing in the dirt? Your children? Hanging out with friends? "There has never been enough joy."

This Week In God by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Following a week of senseless murder, both in Quincy and at Virginia Tech, Rob shifted his focus to address some of the issues raised. These acts are symptoms of a culture oriented towards death rather than a culture of life. Referring to the conception of God described by Alfred North Whitehead, Rob explains how God experiences the losses during the week past with pain, very much like our own.

Words Matter, But . . . by Joe Conover
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Joe concludes a marvelous survey of the human condition with the words, "Perhaps being "fully alive" means simply living by that positive ethic that was also taught over the last 4,000 years by all the great religions of which we know: treat others as we would want to be treated. If the evolutionary biologists have it right, this is in fact the ethic that came to us from our primate ancestors. If so, it is this ethic that is truly fundamental." And including special music from Robert Sibbing - clarinet, Rosa Julstrom - piano, and Mari Hauge - cello.

What Jesus Tried to Save Us From by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007
On this Easter Sunday Morning, Rob made a fresh survey of the four Canonic gospels, with only one question in his focus: What was it that Jesus was trying to save us from. He came up with five answers, each with a scriptural reference. You will find the range of these answers at variance with the traditional American Christian Easter sermon.

What's So Funny? I Don't Get It by Steve Wiegenstein
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Steve brings us an April Fool's delight; a critique of the forms of humor that we encounter daily. Mixed in amongst the scholarly analysis and the thoughtful observations are examples of the humor that Steve finds most entertaining. Have you heard the one about . . .

The View From Afar by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Rob shares his recent experience as a Fulbright Scholar in Romania. This time his focus is upon the perception that Romanians and Eastern Europeans in general, have of America and of Americans. Rob presents a 21st Century version of the story of the "Ugly American."

Forever Gaijin by Jane Hayashi
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Culture shock seems to be a theme at Quincy's Unitarian Church, recently. Jane Hayashi recounts her recent experiences as an exchange student in Japan.

God's Politics, Jim Wallis, and the rise of the Evangelical Left by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The face of Christianity in America has been dominated by the politically active, Religious Right, for several decades, now. In his book, God's Politics, Jim Wallis presents an indictment of the Religious Right. Jim Wallis presents a vision of Christianity that Unitarians can look more favorably upon.

Lost in Translation by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 4, 2007
When we become confronted with clashing cultures, we often find that truth becomes elusive. We suppose that we know many things about other peoples. Our experiences within other cultures reveal to us how much we don't understand about what is foreign, different to us, and how imperfect, and flawed, and provisional is our understanding when we do try to interpret and to know the other.

The Bear in the Closet by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, February 11, 2007
The face of Christianity in America has been dominated by the politically active Religious Right, for several decades now. In his book, God's Politics Jim Wallis presents an indictment of the Religious Right. Jim Wallis presents a vision of Christianity that Unitarians can look more favorably upon.

Christianity and Social Justice; Reflections on 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' by Melissa Holden
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Melissa presents us with a juxtaposition of America's "Christian" identity with Jesus' most radical of notions, that one should "Love your neighbor as yourself". Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message resonates with a 21st Century audience as vibrantly as when he first penned his 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'.

Let me Know if I Ever Need to Bring a Shovel by Anna Wiegenstein and Chelsea Lloyd
January 7, 2007
Anna & Chelsea have been fast friends since they were in Junior High School. Together, they tell us about the challenges of growing and changing, living and loving, with their "Best Friend" very close by.

Grace in Unexpected Places by Dr. Hemchand Gossai
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Dr. Gossai illustrates a significant parallel between the plight of the Israelis exiled to Babylon in the 6 thcentury BCE, and all who find themselves estranged from their familiar, traditional roots. Jeremiah exhorts us to take our surroundings, as we find them, and to work toward making a peaceful home for ourselves and for our enemies.

Living Your Bumper Stickers by Ellen Taylor
Sunday, November 19, 2006
We have to stop our childish, "am not - are too" shouting matches and begin having reasonable discussions. Namecalling isn't getting us anywhere. It would behoove us to pay more attention to our behaviors than we do to the labels on our bumpers.

Left and Right Together: What Religious Liberals and Conservatives Have in Common by Doug Muder
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Liberal religion and conservative religion are two responses to the superficiality and emptiness of today's consumer culture. Liberals and conservatives blame each other for the current state of the world. Both should realize that they share similar visions of Dystopia: a world without depth.

Hannah Arendt & The Origins of Totalitarianism by Joseph Messina
Sunday, November 5, 2006
This talk and her book, is ultimately about universal human responsibility not just for the development of the totalitarian situation but for the entirety of our moral reality.

A Fine Kettle of Witches by Paul Miller
October 29, 2006
The origins of Wicca, told through biographies of some prominent witches by our perennially popular promoter of personal serendipity, Paul Miller.

Clarence Jordan and the Left Hand of God by Judy Crocker
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Clarence Jordan was the founder of an interracial Christian cooperative founded in 1942. His is a story of religious belief informing progressive social action. There have been several "spin-offs" of his original Koinonia Farm; Habitat for Humanity is probably the best known.

This I Believe: Why UU's are a Religious People by Carol Nichols
Sunday, October 1, 2006
UU's are religious in a way that is not common in America. Carol encourages our curiousity and asks us to explore the realm of the religious from our own, personal perspective.

Thoughts About the Future by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Rob has served as the minister of Quincy's Unitarian Church for ten years, now. He has served longer than any other minister in our long history, a history that dates back to 1839. In this talk, Rob shares a vision of our future, and his.

Our Church Community as a Home by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Home for a while from Romania, Rob explains how his experiences away from America, away from Quincy, and away from Quincy's Unitarian Church, have affected his sense of "Home".

Everything I Needed to Know About High School, I Learned in College by Anna Wiegenstein
Sunday, June 4, 2006
Anna grew up attending our church. Here, she offers reflections after her first year away at college.

Spirituality in Children's Literature by Dr. Susan Morrison Hebble
Sunday, May 7, 2006
Susan offers her view of semantic differences between the words "morality" and "spirituality." Then describes the relationship that discussion brings to the study of Children's Literature.

Bunnies and Chicks by Steve Wiegenstein
Sunday, April 16, 2006
We who are outsiders, living within a predominantly Christian culture often find "resurection" a bit hard to swallow. But the betrayl and the suffering described in the Easter Story are universal themes; themes shared by all of humanity.

Meeting at Infinity: What Theists and Atheists Can Learn From Each Other by Doug Muder
Sunday, April 2, 2006
Doug Muder grew up in Quincy. His first career was in Mathematics. Now, he lives and writes in New Hampshire. In this talk, he makes the connection between sacred epiphany and secular epiphany.

Progressive Christianity on the Move by Louise Crede
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Herb and Louise Crede are dear friends of many members of our church. They find profound meaning within their decidedly NOT Fundamentalist, Christian Faith.

The Importance of Living: Idle Philosophy Born of an Idle Life by Joe Conover
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Forty years ago, Joe encountered a poem that he typed out and has carried with him as he has traveled all over the world. We rediscover with him the source of those "Words to live by."

The Miracle of Faith by Dr. Sharon Buzzard
Sunday, February 5, 2006
The concept of "Faith" often causes Unitarians anguish over its meaning. Here, Sharon presents an interpretation of "Faith" that many of us will find comforting.

Reflections on Justice in Shakespeare by Joseph Messina
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Justice is an important Shakespearean concern, but perhaps a more important concern is the forgiving presence and action of others.

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been! by Bill Holden
Sunday, November 6, 2005
Bill paints a portrait of a mentor and friend whose homegrown flavor of spirituality reflects a Unitarian ideal.

Into the Dark or Heaven, Hell, and Other Options by Paul Miller
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Our purposefully unemployed, autodidactic, neo-Renaissance scholar goes spelunking in the depths of afterlives.

A Different View of Jesus - What Christianity Could Have Been by Carol Nichols
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Carol has done careful research into the evolution of the canon supporting Christianity. She finds an affinity with Thomas' writings; writings which were rejected as the orthodox canon was being established at Nicea.

Our Unitarian Families: Looking Back, Looking Forward by Judy Crocker and Sandy Morrison
Sunday, June 5, 2005
Our church has a long, rich history. Some of the families attending today, have a long, rich history within our church, too.

Do You Believe in Faeries? by Paul Miller
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Our resident chemist, Pagan, and autodidact neo-Renaissance scholar presents his naturalistic vision of spirituality.

On the Israeli-Palestinian Situation by former Republican, U.S. Congressman from Illinois (1961-1983), Paul Findley
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Rep. Findley advocates respect and understanding for all the peoples of the Middle East.

Patriotism and Spirituality by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Rob offers an intimate glimpse into the way his patriotism has been affected by his theological and religious understanding.

Power by Michael Flanagan
Sunday, April 25, 2004
What is behind the close correlation between political power and military power, and what portent does this relationship hold for the future?

The Secret of Forgiveness by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004
"Father Forgive Them for they Know Not What They are Doing." Rob asks us to examine the ways in which holes are being torn into the fabric of the universe.

Certainties and Hesitancies, A Talk about Gay Marriage by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, April 4, 2004
The Certainty within the morality of Gay Marriage. And the Hesitancy to allow it to become another political football.

Coming Together Outside the Temple by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 7, 2004
Rob tackles the theology of Mel Gibson's controversial movie, The Passion of the Christ.

A Perspective from the Archives of the 1880's by Frieda Marshall
Sunday, January 18, 2004
How this church, which was organized in 1839, functioned more than a century ago.

Where Do We Go From Here? by Ellen Taylor
Sunday, January 4, 2004
Reflections upon the differing concepts of afterlife. What comes next? What happens when we die?

A Unitarian Parable for Christmas by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2003
We look forward to our annual Christmas Eve Program as an important ingredient in our families' celebration of the season. Our Minister made Christmas 2003 especially memorable with this Christmas parable.

Extracting Meaning from the Christian Myth by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, December 21, 2003
Rob surveys several different possibilities for meaning from the familiar Christmastime story about the baby Jesus.

The Spirituality of The Gift by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 30, 2003
Digging deeply into some of the thoughts that surround the concept of the giving of gifts.

Which Halloween do we want? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, October 26, 2003
A brief history of the syncretistic holiday, Halloween.

Has our Church Become Too Political? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Reflections upon the role of our church in our community.

A Whole New Christianity, Beginning When? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, April 20, 2003
Where is the re-evaluation of Christian thought required by honest reflection upon the events of the Holocaust?

Talmudic Interpretation of the Babylonian passage recounting the conversation between the Rabbis and Alexander the Great by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, April 13, 2003
Our minister plays the role of a Talmudic Scholar and offers an interpretation of a famous Talmudic Story.

On Judas by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Good Friday, March 28, 2003
On this Good Friday, Rob was asked to make this short presentation to Quincy's Ministerial Alliance as part of the larger program.

On Becoming a Life Long Unitarian by Dr. Susan Morrison Hebble
Sunday, March 9, 2003
It is a Unitarian-Universalist necessity to keep looking, to change, refine, flow, debate, and to consider religion perpetually.

Nature's Plan by Paul Miller
Sunday, January 19, 2003
"The probability that we might exist by chance rather than by design is, I think, less than one in a googolplex. It is zero." Reflections upon the design of the Universe by a Wiccan chemist.

The Ugliest Idea ever Conceived and The Most Beautiful Idea ever Conceived: Thoughts on Christianity by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, January 12, 2003
The predominant vision of Christianity in America is one that Jesus would hardly recognize.

The Great Enchantment of Religion by Rev. John W. Brigham, D.D.
Sunday, December 29, 2002
John took a long look back over a rewarding life, remembering how it had been punctuated with moments of great personal, religious meaning.

On Dying Daily by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, December 22, 2002
In developing a personal theology of continuous renewal, Rob finds one meaning for On Dying Dailywithin the life of Jesus. And another meaning for On Dying Dailyfrom the writings of Paul, which is more Buddhist in character.

Advent, The War Versus Iraq, and Spiritual Direction by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, December 1, 2002
Let Advent be a time for the contemplation of a most important question: Do we want to make war on Iraq in the first place?

Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, and American Memory by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 17, 2002
". . .the curse of poverty has no justification in our age. . . The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty." MLK, Jr.

Looking Back at the (First) Gulf War by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 10, 2002
Why aren't we discussing the Persian Gulf War of 1990. Why aren't we making the effort to learn from our recent history?

Twin Stars: Naturalism & Secularism by Rev. Calvin R. Knapp
Sunday, April 28, 2002
My decision in 1971 to become your minister was one of the most important milestones in my life. Now is the time for me to report just how far I have come.

Violence and Christian Doctrine by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 31, 2002
How might conventional Christian teachings and theological interpretations be fostering, enabling, even promoting some of the violence in our households?

Unitarianism as a Culture by >Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, March 3, 2002
How are Unitarian values integrated into the lives of the Unitarians you know?

Life Inside the Simulacrum by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
SubtitleDate
Exploring the Social Theories of Jean Baudrillard, Rob asks how fictional visual images affect contemporary perceptions of "reality."

The Non-Christian Sources of Martin Luther King's Thought by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, January 13, 2002
"In his speeches and his writings, King mentions Gandhi more often than any other historical person except Jesus."

Taking Risks and Making Connections by Ellen Taylor
Sunday, January 6, 2002
We say that variety is the spice of life. We say that we value original thinking and creativity. What we really seem to value, especially in our schools, is conformity.

Unfunny Remarks About Humor by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, October 28, 2001
Jokes and their relation to repression. Wherein Rob gives us a heavy and serious talk about humor.

Good, Critical, Prophetic Theology: Where is it? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, September 23, 2001
Or: This is NOT a Time for BAD Theology!

Ruptured by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, September 16, 2001
A Unitarian response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; presented on the Sunday following those terrible tragedies.

Life Lived Between Idiocy and Lunacy by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, September 2, 2001
A short talk for the first Sunday of our church year, celebrating how the summer has widened our horizons.

A Moment, A Summer by Sharon Buzzard
Sunday, June 3, 2001
Our church traditionally recesses during the summers. Sharon, a perennial academic, gives us a sensual assignment for the Summer to come.

The Spiritual Practice of Forgiveness and its Problems by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, May 27, 2001
There are profound differences between the philosophies of Forgiveness practiced by the Christians and the Jews. Rob illustrates these differences with stories drawn from the survivors of the holocaust.

American Dreams and the Workplace Blues by Sharon Buzzard
Sunday, March 18, 2001
How do we work day by day towards justice, equity, and compassion in human relations in our own lives, and especially in the life of the workplace? Sharon reviews how our personal identity is too often, intimately tied to our occupational identity.

Unitarian Religious Education: Paradox or Paradigm? by Sherryl Lang
Sunday, February 11, 2001
It seems as if we Unitarians are quick to tell others what we don'tbelieve. What can we tell our children about what we dobelieve? A discussion of the Seven Principles of our Unitarian Universalist Faith.

Approaching Tao by Kevin Ballard
Sunday, January 7, 2001
A broad survey of Taoism, its practice and its philosophy. And an appreciation of some similarities between Taoism and the philosophy of Unitarian Universalists.

Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? And other Christmas Thoughts by Steve Wiegenstein
Sunday, December 10, 2000
The Christmas story tells us that holiness sometimes breaks into our lives unexpectedly, unasked-for; and that if we can be open to these moments our world can suddenly blossom and be transformed.

What Mean These Stones? by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Veteran's Day, November 11, 2000
Cultural Memory and the meaning of the past. Reflections upon our rememberance during a day set aside for remembering.

Playing the Church Game by Ellen Taylor
Sunday, September 17, 2000
A powerfully perceptive response to Ellen's personal questioning. Why do we bother with coming to church? What is it that Unitarians find so compelling about coming to this place and being with these people?

Growing up as a UU by Kristina Mathieson
Sunday, May 7, 2000
In honor of our graduating High School Seniors, we annually designate one Sunday as "Youth Sunday." We are extremely proud of our graduates, and we are happy to share the address that Kristina presented on "Youth Sunday, 2000."

Surfing Toward Bethlehem by Steve Wiegenstein
Sunday, March 26, 2000
Can a person be an inhabitant of this media-saturated era without falling prey to its twin influences of superficiality and self-absorption? The key is to make sure that you are using the technology, and not the other way around.

Christians and Pagans and Satan, Oh My! by Paul Miller
Sunday, February 20, 2000
Let us draw a distinction between those who call themselves "Pagans" and those who call themselves "Satanists." While we're at it, let us illuminate a few of the sins of the Christians, too. A discussion of the "Nine Satanic Statements."

The Four Faces of Jesus by Dr. Davidson Loehr
Sunday, January 30, 2000
We invited Dr. Loehr to Quincy to present a weekend workshop on the Jesus Seminar. His Sunday Address presented an historical view of the person named "Jesus."

Overcoming Christianity by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Easter Sunday, April 4, 1999
Martin Luther King would tell us that all who work for justice have cosmic companionship. God, as a spirit who helps us to overcome, is the meaning of Christ's resurrection.

The Morality of a Broad & Comprehensive Education by Ellen Taylor
Sunday, March 21, 1999
Ellen's vision of Morality and Education was presented to us before Quincy's Public School Administration was re-invented during the Spring of 1999.

What is Prayer & Do Unitarians Pray? by Carol Nichols
Sunday, February 28, 1999
A broad survey of the meaning of the word, "Prayer," and of the meaning that prayer can add to Unitarian Lives. Think of prayer as ". . . that which will center you and help you live your brief life with a spark of the Divine."

A Lonely Minority by Dr. John Sperry
Sunday, December 27, 1998
Reflections upon the relationship between Unitarian Universalist Congregations and those members who consider themselves to be "Christians."

Why do we Need Funerals? by Rev. Allen Peyton
Sunday, October 11, 1998
An anthropological search for the biological and psychological underpinnings of our need for the rituals which solemnize the deaths of our loved ones.

Christianity and the Care of the Self by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 9, 1997
Does Christianity have as one of its central concerns, and does it treasure and promote what Michel Foucault presented to us as the central concern of both Greek and Roman cultures; "the care of the self"?

The Specter of Marx: Labor, Alienation, the Caterpillar and the Silkworm by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, October 19, 1997
Since we give so much of our lives to our work; our best sort of work should be the kind which enables us to become who we really want to be.

On World Religion by Michael Flanagan
Sunday, September 21, 1997
An attempt to unify the religions of the world. What might ALL of the world's religions have in common?

Love as Strong as Death by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, February 23, 1997
Life's toughest battles are fought inside people's hearts as they struggle with the despair, pain and hopelessness brought to them, without their choice, by death's power to take away.

Uprooted and/or Transplanted by Rev. Dr. Rob Manning
Sunday, November 17, 1996
In an afternoon ceremony on the same day, Dr. Robert J. S. Manning was formally ordained and installed as the minister of the Quincy Unitarian Church. In this, his morning talk, Rob pledged to resist becoming "settled."

I am Haunted by Waters by Captain Michael Flanagan
Sunday, October 13, 1996
The value of a life lived on the Mississippi River during the latter half of the Twentieth Century.

Jesus, God, Etc. by Rev. Lynn S. Smith-Roberts
Sunday, May 5, 1991
In this, the second of a two part series titled "What Unitarian Universalists Believe," our minister describes aspects of the many relationships among God-talk, Christianity and Unitarian Universalism.

Religion? Without God? by Rev. Lynn S. Smith-Roberts
Sunday, April 7, 1991
Our minister presented a two part series that she titled "What Unitarian Universalists Believe." This defense of Humanism came first.

The Edge of the Sea by Nike Mendenhall
Sunday, November 11, 1990
A discussion of the importance of the oceans to those of us who live in the centers of continents.

Our Four Churches, Their Celebrations and People by Dienna Drew
Sunday, December 17, 1989
A short history of the church buildings that we have occupied since our organization in 1839.

. . . All We Value Here by Rev. John W. Brigham, D.D.
Sunday, March 10, 1985 - to the First Unitarian Church of Sioux City, Iowa
In 1985 Dr.Brigham was asked to join in the Centennial celebration of the Unitarian Congregation in Sioux City, Iowa, where he had been minister many years before.

The Oracles of Concord: Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and George Melvin by Rev. John W. Brigham, D.D.
Sunday, June 3, 1983
Dr. Brigham recalls the portion of Unitarian history that grew from Concord, Massachusetts, his home town.

The Moral Confusion of Religious Zealots by Rev. John W. Brigham, D.D.
Sunday, March 15, 1981
When personal judgement is surrendered to a movement, the individual's moral sense becomes vulnerable to the judgement of the collective.

This Mad World on its Way to Nowhere by Rev. John W. Brigham, D.D.
Sunday, March 4, 1979 - to the Burlington, Iowa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
The human unreasonableness of many "perfectly reasonable" public policy positions.

A Walk in the City by Rev. John W. Brigham, D.D.
Sunday, April 7, 1968 - to the First Universalist Church of Rochester, New York
A Palm Sunday sermon, given on the Sunday following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What would be a fitting and proper sort of memorial to the life of this remarkable man?