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The Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring

Sermon Archives

There are transcripts available to read for most sermons. To access the transcript, select the linked sermon title; to listen to a sermon, click on the audio of sermons link near the sermon title.

Click here for access to sermons from other years.


March 15, 2015
Letting Go In Grace

David Smith, Music Director, All Souls Church, Tulsa, OK

The David Smith Weekend. Join us for our annual weekend of joy and harmony as David Smith joins us once again in song. David Smith is the Music Director of All Souls Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As has become our tradition, David comes each year to visit and rallies up our energies, weaves our voices into magic and brings beauty and celebration to us all. Reach higher, love bolder, live stronger in song. Join us for a fabulous Sunday service.


March 8, 2015
YRUU Worship Service

UUCSS Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)

Every year, the UUCSS high school youth group creates and leads a worship service on a topic of deep meaning to them. This year's service will focus on the concept of fandom and why we connect so strongly with certain themes.


March 1, 2015
The Letting Go of Sabbath

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay

This will be Rev. Liz's final day and final morning of worship at UUCSS before she leaves on sabbatical. Our morning will be to begin to explore March's theme of Letting Go, in the context of sabbatical - which comes from the word sabbath - the break from ordinary living, from the working week, from the usual rhythms, to take time for the spirit, for study, for reflection, for renewal. This service will be an exploration, a celebration, a benediction - please come and be part of it as we begin the sabbatical together.


February 22, 2015
A Champion of Grace

Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley

Capture your soul and your heart and your mind and your body and your soul once again. Hold them close and never let them go. Let them remind of the beauty and the grace that is within us. Who reminds you of dignity and calls you to be your joyful best? Who do you choose in 2015 as the champion of grace? In 1965 and in Harlem, that champion was Malcolm X. Malcolm X distinguished himself as the fiercest voice for justice. Come learn why. Dare yourself- in ways both great and small- to become a champion.


February 15, 2015
Gratuitous Grace

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay

The poet and essaying Annie Dillard wrote about gratuitous grace in her volume Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. It's an enduring piece of insight that inspired Rev. Liz to a sermon many years ago, which became in turn an enduring piece of personal theology. This morning we'll revisit that sermon, theology, in the wake of 15 years in which much has changed, and much is the same, to look again at the relationship of nature, cruelty, life and grace.


February 8, 2015
Grace Out of Context

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay

Anticipating Rev. Liz's upcoming sabbatical, we'll consider what it means to be out of context, what we learn about ourselves and our world when we don't know what's "normal," what's expected of ourselves and others, and why a little time out of context can be not just a time for discovery but also an occasion for grace.


February 1, 2015
Grace and Gravity

Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley

What is grace? What is gravity? Have these words changed over time?Fifty years ago next month, in March of 1965, hundreds of American protestors gathered at the foot of a bridge in Selma, Alabama. They gathered to demonstrate for human freedom. They gathered to achieve our country. And they gather to boldly claim the right to vote. Among the many was a Unitarian Universalist minister named James Reeb. In that year, on March 11th, he gave his life for his ideals. His morality was met with violence. His grace was met with gravity. As we approach the 50th anniversary of these momentous events and with the release of Selma, the film by Ava DuVernay, what sense are we to make of our history?


January 25, 2015
When We're Out of Prayers

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay

Our service this morning will explore the story of a small group of refugees, over 3,000 years ago; Minoan people chased out of their prosperous and beautiful land by the violent and invading Mycenaeans of Trojan War fame. Invaded and overwhelmed, eventually the last of the Minoans had been driven from every other more habitable place. So they arrived at the roof of the world, a hidden, desolate mountain crag where they could live out the last waning of their own way of life and their gods. The sparse archaeological record from this tiny settlement tells a poignant story about what it means to hold onto faith in the face of insurmountable odds, and leaves us with haunting question: what does it take for us to bury our Gods?


January 18, 2015
MLK Sunday

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay

We're at another crossroads of race and culture, when we learn or realize anew, how differently some of us experience our nation, our police, our justice system, our people, our possibilities. This Sunday, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches, we need to re-engage with Dr. King's wisdom as we seek our own way forward in our own time of race turmoil and, hopefully, change for the better for all of us.


January 11, 2015
The Bones of Faith

Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley

How does one nurture the deep wishes of the soul? How does one grow sacred hope? With great humility, many of us learned that we should get down on our knees. When we were children, many of us were taught to pray each night before we went to bed. And so, perhaps, we did. We prayed. Few of us do this anymore. Did we know something then that, somehow, we learned to forget over time? After all these years, can we remember what that was? Is it worth the effort? Come find out!!


January 4, 2015
Learning to Pray

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay

Over time, Rev. Liz has learned that not all forms of prayer work for her. This actually took a while to figure out. For some time it seemed that earnest application of effort and learning would open many doors of prayer - and maybe so, but in fact, for her, some forms of prayer do not really flow and some really do. It began to seem that maybe prayer should be an experience of flow, rather than frustration or even worse, boredom. Prayer as an arrow to God, prayer as communion with the world or with the self - this sermon will explore some very different understandings of prayer, and how we might find, even if we haven't already, the prayer for each of us.


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