Unity Church-Unitarian Sunday Services Podcast (podcasts)

Includes eulogies and homily.

Direct download: A_Tolling_of_Bells_January_9_2011.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:22pm CDT

Direct download: Faith_Beyond_Belief_Jason_Seymour_December_26_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:11pm CDT

Includes a collage of voices from villagers in Homorodszentpeter as well as from members of Unity's Partner Church Team. Homily delivered by Rev. Rob Eller-Isaacs.

Direct download: Partner_Church_Sunday_November_21_2010_9am.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:01pm CDT

Direct download: Speaking_Up_and_Throwing_Down_Rev._Meg_Barnhouse_September_26_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:56am CDT

Direct download: Merging_of_Waters_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_September_12_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:45pm CDT

Direct download: How_Much_for_Me_How_Much_for_Thee_and_We_Dane_Smith_September_5_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:17am CDT

Direct download: Claiming_Our_Faith_Mary_Baremore_August_29_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:22am CDT

Direct download: The_Lost_Art_of_Namaste_Katy_Taylor_August_22_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:21pm CDT

Direct download: Barriers_Boundaries_and_Belonging_Ashley_Horan_August_8_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:59am CDT

Direct download: Things_of_This_World_Patricia_Ohmans_August_1_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:37am CDT

Direct download: Authentic_Living_Luke_Stevens-Royer_July_25_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:07pm CDT

Direct download: Shifting_Sands_Shifting_Truths_Laura_Schlatter_July_18_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:08am CDT

Direct download: Is_this_a_holy_thing_to_see_Chico_Hathaway_July_11_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:11pm CDT

Direct download: Believing_Again_After_Things_Fall_Apart_Tom_Esch_July_4_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:56pm CDT

Direct download: Belonging_Here_and_There_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_June_27_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:17pm CDT

Like concentric circles rippling out on a pond, we belong to ever expanding groups: first to ourselves, then to our family and extended families, our communities, neighborhoods, nation, the world, and to the planet itself. Janne and Worship Associate Katy Taylor will explore the roles of belonging and letting go.

Direct download: Lifes_Longing_for_Itself_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_June_6_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:22am CDT

Flower Communion Sunday

Direct download: Flower_Communion_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_May_23_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:35am CDT

Welcome the Rev. Robert Balint, the 2009-10 Balazs Scholar from Starr King School for the Ministry. Balint is minister of the Unitarian Church in Meszko, the alabaster village in Transylvania where Francis Balazs for whom the fellowship is named once served. In addition to his theological studies, Balint has completed a degree in sociology at Kolozsvár Babes Bolyai University. He has been involved in the Unitarian youth movement and worked with local social and charity organizations. With others, he has started the Balázs Ferenc Historical Preservation Project, designed to preserve and promote Francis Balázs's spiritual and material heritage.

Direct download: The_Past_is_Prologue_Rev._Robert_Balint_March_21_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:47am CDT

Reflections on scarcity and abundance.

Direct download: Blessing_the_Bills_Rev._Meg_Riley_March_7_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:03am CDT

On the Christian holiday calendar, between the joyful celebrations of the birth of Jesus and the wonder of Epiphany, there is an event entitled the "Massacre of the Innocents," which marks Herod’s ruthless and violent search for the baby Jesus. How do we stand against violence, especially done to the most vulnerable in our world? Lissa Gundlach illuminates gifts and challenges of this difficult text.

Direct download: Herod_and_the_Holy_Innocents_Lissa_Gundlach_December_27_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:19pm CDT

We are all sojourners, strangers, on a quest to find deeper meaning and connection in life. We are all strangers but we are all brothers and sisters. The service will explore the soul’s work of finding a true religious home.

Rev. Abhi Janamanchi has been serving the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, Florida since 1999. He is a native of India and a third-generation member of the Brahmo Samaj, a Unitarian-Hindu reform movement. Abhi is a member of the International Advisory Council to the UUA President. He and his wife, Lalitha, have two sons, Abhimanyu and Yashasvi.

Direct download: A_Hyphens_Progress_Rev._Abhi_Janamanchi_October_25_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:32am CDT

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that our real sacred text is "...life passed through the fire of thought." In other words, we find the holy when we share and process our stories with each other. This Sunday, we will explore the ways storytelling and storyhearing let us cross barriers of difference and allow us to meet each other in our deepest humanity.

Direct download: The_Stories_We_Tell_Ashley_Horan_August_30_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:37am CDT

This I Believe: Holding Onto Doubt — Richard Foushée

During the past year I have struggled with two of the central issues of religion. Join in the exploration and personal reflections on faith and doubt and what they mean to our lives.

Direct download: This_I_Believe_-_Holding_Onto_Doubt_Richard_Foushee_August_23_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02am CDT

In his book A Path with Heart, Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield writes, "...it is not by moving rocks that we find happiness and awakening, but by transforming our relationship with them." When we suffer, it is often because we are defining ourselves by a life story that we have come to believe as absolute truth. We define ourselves by this narrative because in many ways it is easier than the work that is required to create a new story. Changing our story requires a faith that many of us as religious liberals struggle to define. How do we do the hard work of transformation when we may not have faith in a higher power? Where is our source of comfort?

Direct download: Defying_Gravity_Jenny_Wilson_August_16_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:01am CDT

When we tie our words together as if making nets large or small, what is it that we hope to catch? What is the power of poetry and story, of naming and metaphor, to catch or to carry that which is beyond words? How do we use these tools of language in matters of faith?

Direct download: The_Surprise_Catch_of_the_Day_Karen_Hering_August_9_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT

It’s a small world. Our tendency to shuffle life’s debris around rather than confront the mess is not without its consequences. From the broken toasters in the city landfill to the children in our broken foster care system, worship leader Kerri Meyer and Worship Associate Steve Harper explore the geography of human responsibility.

Direct download: No_Such_Thing_as_Away_Kerri_Meyer_August_2_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:22pm CDT

Youth Sunday: The Street COA Experiment

When’s the last time someone struck up a conversation with you about religion in a public space? The youth of Unity Church have taken their Coming of Age questions out on the streets, engaging folks on the bus or on the sidewalk in respectful discussion about their beliefs around death, the sacred and God. Come hear their reflections on the experience of going deep with strangers as our youth lead us in worship.

William Channing Gannet’s Bond of Fellowship, which we read in unison with new members, speaks of a community of helpers wherein it is made easier to live a thankful, trustful, loyal and helpful life. We are in covenant with one another, a religious family which values the sacredness of every individual and encourages us to live lives of integrity, service and joy. Laura Smidzik will explore the impact of a sacred covenant and how belonging to a spiritual community enhances one’s life.

Direct download: Sacred_Covenant_Laura_Smidzik_July_19_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:42am CDT

We’re Americans, and we breathe American culture. But does our Unitarian Universalist religion tell us something about our role as citizens? How should we engage with America? If it is true that neither politics nor religion should be spoken of in polite company, it could be that UUs are more likely than others to get thrown out of dinner parties. Maybe that’s not all bad.

Direct download: Religion_Citizenship_and_the_American_Life_Chico_Hathaway_July_12_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48pm CDT

Gardens in spring are easy to love, but what about the times when all your garden reminds you of is mortality? Some thoughts about faded flowers, crispy lawns, and the dog buried in the perennial flower bed.
Direct download: Death_and_the_Garden_Patricia_Ohmans_July_5_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:40pm CDT

Direct download: The_Ogre_in_the_Closet_Duncan_Baird_June_28_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:15am CDT

The whole church family gathers to celebrate the uniquely Unitarian Universalist ritual of flower communion.This year the ministers will be joined by Justin Schroeder who has recently been named the candidate to become Senior Minister at the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis. Justin will be preaching.

Direct download: Flower_Communion_Justin_Schroeder_May_17_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40pm CDT

Hankering For a Higher Quality of Life — Michael A. Schuler, Senior Minister, The First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin

In his just-released book Making the Good Life Last, Michael Schuler argues that sustainability must become a major consideration as we ponder the future not only of the natural environment, but of our families, finances, communities, and individual physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. In a culture which encourages the pursuit of evanescent "good times" we sorely need a strategy that delivers more lasting benefits.

Includes Kerri Meyer's Story for All Ages. What can resurrection mean for those of us for whom the bodily resurrection is a metaphor at most.

Direct download: Practice_Resurrection_Easter_Sunday_April_12_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:20pm CDT

What are the ideas which guide th eliving of your life? What are the blessings and assurances that echo in the liminal spaces between slumber and awakening?

Direct download: The_Words_We_Dimly_Hear_Rev._Vail_Weller_March_1_2009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:57pm CDT

We begin each New Year with a service to honor those who have died in the previous year. The ministers will eulogize a number of "world shapers" artists, musicians, writers and leaders.

Mark says of his sermon, "Give me that old time religion because today’s world needs 19th century Universalism’s proclamation of a loving God as much as it ever has."

It’s a common question among Unity parents: "What about the Bible?" Do the stories of the Old and New Testaments have a place in the religious upbringing of our children? Why does the Bible elicit a wholly different response from Unitarian Universalist adults than other sacred texts? Drawing wisdom from our liberal religious ancestors, William Ellery Channing and Sophia Lyon Fahs, worship leader and Director of Religious Education Kerri Meyer will frame a possible approach to the Judeo-Christian scriptures, useful to parents and Sunday School teachers and of interest -- Kerri hopes -- to all.

Direct download: For_the_Bible_Tells_UUs_So_Kerri_Meyer_August_24_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:17pm CDT

At age 6, Sophie discovered that time moves effortlessly from "now" to memory. It’s a wonderful insight, but how important is "now?" What does it mean to be in the moment? Why do we live our lives in "future mode" while clinging to the past for guidance? If we are open, we can discover the "now" that calls us to play and to "dance in a spring wind." Then we can realize that "Only this moment is life."

Hear from several youth who -- in the eyes of their church and community -- are turning out to be fine human beings in a generation subject to our doubts. We will explore what ingredients contribute to the growth of a whole person in this moment in history. How are parents, other adults and the youth themselves cooks in the kitchen that is adolescence? Recipes and tasty morsels of young wisdom will be provided by worship leaders from among the youth of the church.

Mindfulness meditation encourages us to recognize the inevitability of pain and struggle in daily life - the embracing of this reality allows us to let go and find peace. This is the essence of what the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron calls "letting go of the story line." She writes, "real life problems are the material for waking up, not the reason to stop trying" - holding our struggles with the same honor that we hold our joy is the essence of waking up to life. But how do we learn to just "be" while still needing to do the "do"? Jenny explores the challenges in reaching this state of awareness, the journey to find peace there, and the role of faith and religion in this process.

Direct download: Learning_to_Surf_Jenny_Wilson_July_27_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:44pm CDT

Our liberal religious tradition values the role of rational inquiry more than other traditions. But careful, rational inspection of the best of our information and deepest of our intuitions can lead us into strange places. What happens when familiar truths are shown to have disconcerting implications? Some examples from the history of mathematics can be both cautionary and enlightening.

Direct download: To_Infinity_and_Beyond_Craig_Allen_July_20_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:27pm CDT

Unity Church encourages us to create lives of integrity, service and joy. How do we engage in this effort within our own lives, with each other, and beyond the walls of Unity Church? What holds us back and what drives us forward? Laura Smidzik takes a thoughtful look at the journey our faith calls us to take.

Direct download: Making_the_Effort_Laura_Smidzik_July_13_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:45am CDT

At the center of German philosopher Hegel’s construction of logic is the concept of Aufhebung, a word which carries three meanings: to lift up, to preserve and to destroy. This is a look into the spiritual practice of dialectics, or accepting seemingly contradictory ideas to be true, and the practical implications for those on the journey to integrity, service and joy.

Direct download: Out-Uplifting_Neely_Crane-Smith_July_6_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:31am CDT

July 4 is Independence Day, the premier national holiday, and we are called upon to demonstrate our pride in our independence, our freedom. But before we are washed over by the sea of red, white, and blue flags, and become transfixed by the fireworks red glare, let’s reflect. Do we dare to acknowledge our interdependence on Independence Day? And what can we understand about this iconic word, freedom?

Direct download: A_Religious_Look_at_the_4th_of_July_Chico_Hathaway_June29_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:16am CDT

Extraordinary rendition, denial of habeas corpus, enhanced interrogation tactics, waterboarding, torture. We have been hearing and reading these words too often since September 11, 2001. It has been difficult to follow the recent history. It’s tough to sort out facts from spin, and for some, the issue is too abhorrent to think about. CVT and the National Religious Campaign against Torture have determined this June to be Torture Awareness Month and have charged religious communities across the country to recommit themselves to their most deeply held convictions and act in this effort to ban torture. Come hear what this means for our church and the larger Unitarian Universalist community.

Remember that fist dance with someone you were attracted to and barely knew. It may have been scary wonderful, awkward, transformative or all of this at once and more. Community Intern Jacqueline Duhart will explore the sometimes mysterious dance of ministry, learning, and letting go.
Direct download: May_I_Have_This_Dance_Jacqueline_Duhart_June_15_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:56pm CDT

In the Buddhist tradition, the first of the three marks of existence is impermanence. This idea that reality is constantly flowing has become embedded in modern, Western theological thought as ‘process’. In this continual flux, is there anything permanent and unchanging? What is our place in this transient world? Where is the joy?

Direct download: What_Remains_Matt_Alspaugh_June_8_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:37pm CDT

Did you know that Irma Rombauer was a Unitarian? And that Joy of Cooking has its roots in the Women’s Alliance of the Unitarian Church in St. Louis? Janne and Worship Associate Jean Olson will lift up the unique contribution of Joy of Cooking and the importance of kitchen wisdom.

Direct download: The_Making_of_Joy_of_Cooking_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_June_1_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41am CDT

Did you know that the "K" in K-rations refers to U of M professor, Ansel Keyes? During World War II, Keyes was asked to devise a compact, nutritious packet for use by the troops. What did he include and why? What do soldiers need and why? Rob and Community Intern minister, Jacqueline Duhart, a retired Air Force officer will offer a service for Memorial Day.

Come celebrate the affirming, uniquely Unitarian Universalist ritual of Flower Communion. Developed by Czech Unitarian minister, Norbert Capek who died a martyr at Dachau, the ritual celebrates the intrinsic beauty of each and every soul. Bring a flower for the arch. This Family Sunday service is for the whole church family.

Direct download: Our_Sure_Blossoming_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_May_18_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:21am CDT

Barry Lopez asks, "How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but with oneself?" How do we embody the generous spirit of mothering in this troubled time? The answers may lie in the workings of an anthill or the language of our very DNA. Ruth MacKenzie is a student of theology at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, as well as a professional creative and performance artist.

Direct download: Community_of_Mothers_Ruth_MacKenzie_May_11_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:29am CDT

Increasingly, we are not only conscious of the nutritional value of the food we eat, but also its source and sustainability. We are also increasingly aware of the ethical and political dimensions to the food we eat. Explore the dynamics of the food chain and what is healthy eating when the well-being of the whole planet is considered.

Direct download: Food_for_the_Spirit_Food_for_the_Planet_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_May_4_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:55am CDT

We conclude our series on covenant and creed with a service to honor those who are Coming of Age this year. Building on the Saturday night ceremony at which each participant will offer their theological statement, the services will highlight those practices, which are essential to our liberal faith. Community Ministerial Intern, Jacqueline Duhart, who has been working with our Coming of Age class all this past year, and Kerri Meyer, Director of Religious Education join Rob in conducting the service.

Direct download: What_Matters_Most_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_April_27_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22pm CDT

"Although there are considerable differences between American UUs and Transylvanian Unitarianism - because we live in different societies and in slightly different kinds of cultures - I am more and more conscious about our common passion for justice, human dignity, true fellowship, real peace and love – and I know that we all feel responsible for these values. As a progressive liberal from Transylvania, being here gives me the unique opportunity to learn from your experience, spirituality, and social involvement. "  Rev. Bela-Botond Jakabhazi

Direct download: A_Passion_for_Freedom_Rev._Bela-Botond_Jakabhazi_April_13_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT

The liberal church was founded upon the understanding of covenant as the central binding agent, not creed.  Given that historic understanding, Janne and Worship Associate Elizabeth Alexander will explore the promises the liberal church makes to its members and friends.  

Direct download: The_Promises_We_Make_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_April_6_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:19am CDT

An introduction to our way of being religious. Who were our spiritual ancestors? What do we promise each other? Covenant for us is more a verb than a noun, a way of being religious together rather than a set of fixed beliefs.

Direct download: Promises_to_Keep_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_March_30_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38am CDT

The entire church family will gather to "practice resurrection." Easter celebrates far more than simply the coming of spring. Easter is the joyful recognition of the ministry of Jesus and the many ways his work lives on in all our lives.

Direct download: Practice_Resurrection_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_March_23_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:33pm CDT

Theologian James Luther Adams identified five smooth stones of liberal religion. These stones can be thought of as the stepping stones that we walk upon as we move forward into the future. Explore the smooth stones of our liberal religion that speak to what we might become in the future.

Direct download: The_Stones_That_We_Might_Walk_Upon_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_March_16_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:12pm CDT

There are times in life when only faith will suffice. Rob and Worship Associate Elizabeth Alexander have collected stories of such times in the lives of church members and will offer them in collage as part of the service. Even though we know that spring is on the way there are times when even the resilience of the seasons seems in doubt.

Direct download: Hard_Times_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_March_9_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01pm CDT

How do we keep our heart attuned to the harsh realities of what happens in the public squares of our sacred world? How do we become more and more conscious and spiritually engaged? Explore the road toward becoming an Active Witness; a tool that may reawaken/reconnect us to the fullness and wholeness of life.

Sometimes our efforts at keeping our lives in balance are not enough. With a chance misstep, the world tilts, and we take a tumble. Can we fall with grace, or do we resist the inevitable outcome? Can we recover, and how? Who is there to help us, and can we accept that help?

The Blues tradition embraces the reality that some times "just gettin’ down" with our blues can be the wisest thing to do in response to our disappointments.

Direct download: Singing_the_Blues_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_February_17_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:12pm CDT

There is no work (outside of serving as an instrument of evil) that cannot be made worthwhile. Both suffering and joy are largely a matter of consciousness. Gandhi taught that caste was a matter of karma. In other words, know your place and find happiness there. That approach is in direct conflict with working for human liberation. Or is it?

Direct download: Know_Your_Place_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_February_10_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:05pm CDT

W. E. DuBois states, "Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the play-time." In justice-making work is there room for joy? If so, how do we find joy and sustain it? This service will be led by Jacqueline Duhart and Worship Associate Neely Crane-Smith.

Direct download: Intentional_Joy_Jacqueline_Duhart_February_3_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:57pm CDT

Every great tradition points to the fact that compassion can take root in a heart that’s been broken. There is work we do that we know won’t be accomplished in just one generation. We do it anyway because we know it’s right. Rob and Worship Associate Estelle Brouwer will speak of their own heartbreak and of why good work is sometimes worth the risk.

Direct download: This_Work_Will_Break_Your_Heart_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_January_27_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:40pm CDT

The first service dedicated to the theme of "Work Worth Doing" will explore the important work of raising and mentoring our children and youth.

Direct download: A_Tolling_of_Bells_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_January_6_2008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:51am CDT

With the joy of birth and hope that the Christmas season offers us, there is another side. Holy Innocents Day, an ancient Feast Day, recalls the story of the slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem as described in the Gospel of Matthew. How can this apparent evil be part of the Christmas story? How do we face the fact that we live, and many around us suffer and die, daily? Come explore how we may navigate a world full of suffering, violence, and despair.

The long midwinter nights seem almost out of time. We rush around in hope of pleasing those we love the best while the world around us slows down to starlit stillness. A quality of spiritual surrender is forcing ourselves to slow down.

Direct download: A_Guest_Thats_No_Longer_A_Guest_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_December_23_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:12am CDT


The title of this service comes from the poetry of Sufi poet, Rumi. But folk wisdom posits that guests, like caught fish are welcome for about three days.

All creation sings the secret told to Mary by an Angel. Soon God will be born again through you. Soon love will come to you in human form.

Direct download: Love_the_Guest_December_2_2007_Rob_Eller-Isaacs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33am CDT

In a quest for efficiency, order and even survival, we compartmentalize our lives, separating work from family, from church, from leisure. We know that some boundaries are necessary, but when do we go too far? What is the spiritual cost to such dis-integration?

The story of the first Thanksgiving may well be mostly myth. We know how quickly gratitude gave way to conquest. But seeds of possibility and hope were planted with the corn when spring finally arrived after that terrible first winter. For years now we’ve been planting seeds of hope in Transylvania. We’ve exchanged visits, struggled for mutual respect and gained far more than we could ever have imagined as genuine, lasting friendships have taken root.

We welcome Vivek Pandit, freedom fighter, community organizer and the visionary founder of Vidhayak Sansad, an organization at work freeing slaves in India. Vivek, who is in Saint Paul to explore partnership possibilities with Unity Church, asks us to contemplate the following question. How can liberal religion help newly liberated people to achieve inner freedom? Breaking physical chains is easy when compared to confronting the oppression of self-doubt.

To miniaturize another human being is a violent act. When we make assumptions about others on the basis of some singular aspect of their identity we diminish and marginalize them. Rob and Worship Associate Mary Baremore will wrestle with this all-too-human tendency.

Direct download: Identity_and_Violence_Rob_Eller-Isaacs_November_4_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:25am CDT

College education, money, sound body and mind, heterosexual, male, physically attractive, white skin, English speaking, socially skilled…do these characteristics separate us from beloved community and contribute to our collective suffering or bring us together in a spirit of love that is healing and liberating? Worship and reflect on how sins of privilege can be transformed and blaze a path toward freedom and justice for all.

Direct download: Sins_of_Privilege_Jacqueline_Duhart_October_28_2007_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:30pm CDT

Kabir says, Go over and over your beads, paint designs on your forehead, wear your hair matted, long and ostentatious. When deep inside you there is a loaded gun, how can you have God?" We live at the intersection of spiritual development and right action in the world. Urgency is understandable but so often its also an indication that we’re hiding behind the troubles of the world as a way to avoid confronting our own troubles. We run from church to church or from crisis to crisis hoping against hope to find an all-consuming cause. Such behavior can perpetuate the very injustice its intended to combat. Rob and Worship Associate, Craig Allen will begin our series on "Identity and Violence."

Direct download: Shrink_Wrap_and_Other_Telling_Terms.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:20pm CDT

Evil prospers and wrongdoing asserts itself; loved ones disappoint us and fall short. Even our own dreams die and our courage often fails us. In the face of this often cruel reality, how dare we lay claim to hope? Rev. McNatt invites us, and our faith, to endure. This Celebration Sunday join us as we renew our financial commitments to our church community.

Direct download: How_Does_Faith_Endure.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:06pm CDT

As part of our series on faith, Janne and Worship Associate Karen Palmen will examine where we look for validation of our faith. Do we look inward for our own sense of truth or do we look to outside sources? Or is it ever that clearly delineated? Emerson’s essay on self reliance will be a primary source for this service.

Direct download: Source_of_Faith.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:52pm CDT

What does faithful living look like? What does faithful living feel like? It must have to do with living aligned to our values. What questions should we be asking ourselves? How can we most usefully serve one another in living faith-filled lives? Rob, Janne and worship associate, Estelle Brouwer will each offer reflections on these essential questions.

Direct download: Living_Faithfully.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:39pm CDT

What is the role of faith in a noncreedal religion that is so attractive to skeptics? In what ways is faith different than belief? Janne and worship associate Don Brunnquell will examine the role of faith in today’s world.

Direct download: What_is_Faith_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_September_23_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:29am CDT

In Jewish tradition the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called "the Days of Awe." That awe is inspired by the sure knowledge that you and I can move beyond our brokenness, beyond our dissolution and begin again. Each year we celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days in a service, which culminates with a "Litany for Atonement." Rob Eller-Isaacs will offer a sermon on faith. Jean Olson will serve as worship associate.

Direct download: Faith_Above_All_Fear.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:15pm CDT


Direct download: Merging_of_the_Waters_Janne_Eller-Isaacs_September_9_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:37pm CDT

First lines explores the importance of beginnings and what it means to have a beginner’s mind.

Direct download: First_Lines_August_26_2007_by_Richard_Foushee.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:06pm CDT

Is it possible that starting a backyard flock of three chickens could be a meaningful response to the human crisis of inequity in food production and distribution? What does producing our own food at the really local level reveal to us about the relationship between feeding our communities and nourishing our souls? And what are you supposed to do when one of your hens begins to crow? Kerri Meyer reflects on the growing trend of keeping chickens and the ‘inexpressible satisfaction’ that comes from more than just fresh eggs.

We in America are immersed in a culture of violence, and in general we don’t even notice. Our news, our entertainment, and our societal norms lead us to accept horrific violent acts as normal, acceptable, business-as-usual. As Unitarians, as people seeking to lead a religious life, should we be concerned? What response can we offer?

Direct download: Unitarians_in_a_Culture_of_Violence_Chico_Hathaway_August_12_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01pm CDT

In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. It may also be a journey to a sacred place or shrine of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith. Lyn Burton will share joys, hardships and insights from her seven-year journey of faith as a Unity Church sponsored candidate for UU parish ministry on the path to Preliminary Fellowship in the UU Minister’s Association.

Direct download: To_Be_a_Pilgrim_Lyn_Burton_August_5_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:39pm CDT

For many people, working in corporate America seems both necessary and unavoidably numbing. Is workplace spirituality really an oxymoron? Must it be so? Come for some observations about the alleged conflict between work life and personal essence based on Craig’s 15 years working for large Minnesota businesses.

Direct download: Soul_in_the_Dilbert_Zone_Craig_Allen_July_29_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:50pm CDT

In a world in which money and success are intimately tied with time and efficiency it is difficult to stop and reflect on and appreciate our actions as well as the way in which society and nature act upon us. Based on Thich Nhat Hanh’s book "Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life," we will explore simple ways to incorporate mindfulness into our busy lives in order to create a more peaceful and meaningful existence.

Direct download: Taking_Time_to_be_Silent_Jessie_Light_July_22_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14pm CDT

Oh Say Can You See, By the Dawn’s Early Light? — Tom Esch

It is time to really put our imaginations to use. Fewer people can doubt that we are near or at a point of crisis on many levels as a planet and as a species. Is it time for all of us to begin to see new things in new ways? Where do we as a UU movement find our vision and inspiration in times of desperation?

Direct download: Oh_Say_Can_You_See_By_The_Dawns_Early_Light_July_8_2007_Tom_Esch.mp3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:35am CDT

The Eldercare Journey - by Rev. Ann Romanczuk

Many of us in this congregation are caring for, or anticipating caring for, our aging parents. Author Mary Pipher writes of this process: "if we embark freely and willingly on this voyage of discovery, we may find joy, empathy, understanding, and intimacy. We expand our definitions of what it means to be human. We grow our own souls in the garden of time." Rev. Ann Romanczuk will explore this difficult and potentially rewarding passage.

Direct download: The_Eldercare_Journey_July_1_2007_by_Rev._Ann_Romanczuk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:15am CDT


During the month of May, our ministers Rob and Janne Eller-Isaacs made their way along the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage trail that culminates at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compestella. They return to Unity Church to tell us why they chose to go beyond Santiago and to end their pilgrimage at the sea.

In this 4 part sermon, Rob and Janne reflect on their sabbatical, on making a pilgrimage, and on the importance of "taking time" to truly reconnect with ourselves and our deepest callings.

Direct download: Wallking_Toward_the_Sea_June_17_2007_by_Rob_and_Janne_Eller-Isaacs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:42pm CDT

The Joy of Ripeness Justin Schroeder

Life is full of beginnings and endings. Yet, there is that magical moment, that space someplace between the beginning and the ending, where a fullness and perfect readiness is reached. It is as if we have been preparing our whole lives for this moment, this moment that can come again and again in our lifetime. It is a moment of joy, a moment of perfect ripeness - filled with sweet nectar, ready to burst forth.

Direct download: The_Joy_of_Ripeness_by_Justin_Schroeder_June_10_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:23am CDT

The Journey We're Ready For by Teresa Schwartz

We make our paths by walking them, step by step. If our lives are a journey, are we ever truly ready? How would we know? What is the role of faith as we step into the unknown, especially as Unitarian Universalists? As we reach the close of our church year, we"ll reflect on the paths we�ve made together, and what lies ahead as we move into the ripe season of summer and the ripe season of ourselves.

Direct download: The_Journey_Were_Ready_For_June_3_2007_by_Teresa_Schwartz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:59pm CDT

Service and Sacrifice: The Complexities of Memorial Day by Justin Schroeder

In part, Memorial Day is a day of remembering all who have given their lives in service to our country. In this remembering, we are drawn into larger questions of meaning and purpose in our own lives: What am I willing to sacrifice? Who or what am I most authentically serving?

Direct download: Service_and_Sacrifice_by_Justin_Schroeder_May_27_2007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:44pm CDT

Heading into summer is the perfect time to pause and reflect on the nature of joy and pleasure. How do we find our true course in the midst of so many distractions? What is the difference between a joy we can trust and follow inward and a pleasure that is only a temporary fill for the "God-shaped Hollow."

Katie Lawson was Unity's Hallman Ministerial Intern in 2005 and 2006 and was fellowshipped with the Unitarian Universalist Association in September. She spent the summer as chaplain at Ferry Beach, a Unitarian Universalist retreat center, and currently teaches seventh and eighth grade social studies at St. Paul Academy.

Direct download: False_Idols_and_Feelin_Good_by_Katie_Lawson_May_20_2007.mp3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:42am CDT