The Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring
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April 28, 2013
UUCSS YRUU Youth, Rev. Liz Lerner-Maclay, and Rev. Leon DunkleyJoin us for a series of short sermons regarding the spiritual, denotational, andhistorical meanings of the flame. This worship service will be in spirit withour annual Flower and Water Communions. Candles collected through travelsappreciated but not required.
April 21, 2013
Rev. Liz Lerner-MaclayFreedom is held up as a universal good, especially in our own free faith, but like, well, everything, when we really look at it, it's complicated. The famed (and knighted) British novelist Irish Murdoch believed that freedom is not a moral value but a political one and that it was problematic, common and dangerously confusing to confuse the one with the other. It's an interesting, and important distinction to explore and freedom is our theme this April - so let's dive in!
April 14, 2013
Rev. Leon DunkleyA slave can wait forever for the good will of his master and the captive, for the one who holds the key. But never in the history of everything there is was there someone who was not already free. Let's begin exploring Life's possibility. Let's explore a sense of freedom that cannot be won.
April 7, 2013
Revs Liz and Leon & Special GuestWhen I think back 13 years ago and I remember all the precious, powerful rivulets of people and passion that held UUCSS' present and future in the face of so many challenges, I am amazed, truly, at how far we have come. I think then of all the people who have joined us since, all the dams and blockages we broke through, worked through, and faced down. I think of all the energies and resources and contributions and vision that have fed our people with passion created out of rivulets, streams and the rivers, always conjoining, conjoining, becoming, becoming the river church, the water shed we have grown into, with a shared and clear identity and sense of purpose. There is a flow, a current and a momentum that helps us go further and further on the path we have carved for ourselves on this earth. We have become a river and now we just need to let the river run. Come to this service for phenomenal music and inspirational worship, along with a special message, as we kick off our annual budget drive and gather our gifts that make this special faith community possible.
March 31, 2013
Revs Liz and LeonWith redemption as our theme this month, the renewal of life that is central toEaster's story aligns to remind us that any experience of redemption carrieswith it a sense of renewed life, renewed hope, reconnection to the freshnessthat is part of living in our cyclical world of spring as well as winter and lifeafter death. What in our lives allows us life again, in the wake of loss,grievous sorrow or disappointment, failure and the other 'endings' that assail usin life and living? The Easter story always carries relevance, even for those ofus who interpret it most liberally. Let's explore redemption and renewaltogether, with special music to celebrate the holiday.
March 24, 2013
Gaia Circle Service
UUCSS Gaia CircleThe spring equinox is one of the four great solar festivals of the year. Day and night are equal, poised and balanced, but about to tip over on the side of light. Just as the dawn is the time of new light, so the vernal equinox is the time of new life. In our area, the spring equinox brings crocuses and tree buds, and the urge to plant seeds, both in the ground and in our lives. Join the Gaia Circle in this celebration of spring and new life.
March 17, 2013
Blessing of the Animals
Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, Rev. Leon Dunkley, & Sarah Gonzalez, DREOur annual tradition is where we give thanks and ask blessings for thecompanions of our homes and hearts, along with honoring all the earth'screatures plus our precious, fragile interrelationship. Bring your pet,appropriately crated or leashed, housebroken and so forth, with a blanket ifyou'd like to sit on the floor. We'll bless our pets with the water we gathereach year at the ingathering service. If you've lost a pet in the past year, feelfree to bring a photo you can place on the pulpit table for the service inmemoriam. Virtual pets are also welcome as are your neighbors, friends andtheir pets. This is an annual festival of love and care, a service of all ages,with special music in keeping with our theme.
March 10, 2013
Yoga, the Me-Me, and the UU: Negotiating narcissism, connection to the self, and the 'point' of existence
Benjamin Lorr, Author (and former UUCSS member)Mr. Lorr will discuss the interrelated themes of self-transformation andnarcissism within the history of hatha yoga as explored in his book Hell-Bent:Obsession, Pain, the Search for Something-Like Transcendence in CompetitiveYoga.
March 3, 2013
Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay & Rev. Leon Dunkley, with special guest Elise WittFull of special music from UUCSS friend and visiting artist Elise Witt, this service will explore the theologically complex theme of redemption which is our topic for May. Rev. Liz will preach on this idea which is so essential, and varied, in all faiths. In terms meaningful for our liberal faith, and the approaching holidays of Easter and Passover, does redemption come from within or without? What defines it? What makes redemption possible? And ultimately, what difference does it make?
February 24, 2013
Rev. Leon Dunkley"What gives you the right to judge what I believe? ... to try to change me?... to evangelize?"
I was indignant, having been too long the object of his proselytizing.
"You're not the spiritual boss of me!"
With respect and patience, he said: "What gives me the right not to try? I am beholden to you, my brother."
February 17, 2013
Death and Taxes
Rev. Liz, Rev. Leon, Sen. Jamie Raskin, Rev. Megan FoleyAs our state takes on some major justice issues this legislative session,repealing the death penalty is one of the main priorities. We have powerfulspeakers to help us explore this initiative this morning: State Senator JamieRaskin, and our own Rev. Megan Foley, a member of this congregation withpersonal experience of this issue; her father was killed and the men convictedof his murder were executed. Revs. Liz and Leon will lead the service - andthere will be rich music to meet this deep and powerful issue. Make sure youattend and please bring family and friends with you.
February 10, 2013
Rev. Liz, Rev. Leon, Michael Holmes, and Jason SheltonThe UUCSS music program and members of the Great Noise Ensemble willpresent "Sources: A UU Cantata" by UU composer Rev. Jason Shelton. Rev.Shelton is the Minister of Music at First UU Church of Nashville, TN, and hewill be our special guest for that weekend. This cantata serves as acontinuation to last year's two-part series based on the "Seven Principles" andthe "Six Sources" of Unitarian Universalism. Rev. Liz will preach within thisservice that unfolds from movement to movement with modern classical, jazz,gospel, chant, and even hip-hop. Don't miss this unique and inspiring service!
February 3, 2013
Coming of Age Service
Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, Rev. Leon Dunkley, & Sarah Gonzalez, DREWhat does it mean to have a successful Religious Education program?Congregations all over the world have dramatically different answers tothis question and this is shown in the differences in RE programs inthese congregations. In this service, UUCSS Director of ReligiousEducation, Sarah Gonzalez, will talk about her philosophy of ReligiousEducation and how she hopes to bring us from a high quality programto one fully immersed in the life and success of the church.
January 27, 2013
Sarah Gonzalez, UUCSS Dir. of Religious EducationWhat does it mean to have a successful Religious Education program?Congregations all over the world have dramatically different answers tothis question and this is shown in the differences in RE programs inthese congregations. In this service, UUCSS Director of ReligiousEducation, Sarah Gonzalez, will talk about her philosophy of ReligiousEducation and how she hopes to bring us from a high quality programto one fully immersed in the life and success of the church.
January 20, 2013
Rev. Liz Lerner MaclayWhat did Dr. King see as evil? And how do we see his life's relationship to evil? Once you start looking, this often un-mentioned aspect of theology is everywhere... We'll use this morning to celebrate the man and the dream and remember what he set himself against, and what we are up against, every morning, every day.
January 13, 2013
Rev. Liz Lerner MaclayHaving begun, on January 6, to look at the place, if any, of evil in Unitarian Universalist theology and world view, this service will continue where we left off on questions like: Is the devil really in the details? If evil exists - and that's a real question - does it exist in us, outside of us, in people or circumstances, choices or actions? These aren't lofty hypotheticals, they're the essence of how we understand and deal with so much that is fundamental and devastating about our lives and our world. We'll be rolling up our sleeves and digging deep.
January 6, 2013
Rev. Liz Lerner MaclayEvil is our focus in January - nothing like starting the year off with a bang! Anyone familiar with Dr.Horrible's Sing-Along Blog knows the league of which I speak, run by the villainous Bad Horse. Evil isn't actually something Unitarian Universalists talk a lot about - it's off on the edges of our theological language, along with the devil and hell and other baddies. But we can't lose sight of it, because if we do, we don't recognize it when we encounter it. So - can we recognize it? Is anything, anyone, really evil? And if so, then what?