Flower Communion Sunday
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval June 11, 2017
We bring our regular church year services to a close with our annual Flower Communion Sunday. We celebrate the earth’s reassuring abundance and our capacity, in each moment, to choose joy.
Religious Education Sunday
Liza Earle-Centers and Rev. Joan Javier-Duval June 4, 2017
In this annual celebration, we recognize the gifts and contributions of our children, youth, and religious education volunteers. Four of our high school seniors will participate in a “Bridging Ceremony.”
Preaching to the Corn
Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long May 28, 2017
Are we embodying perfection– or possibility? Pick ONE.
Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long is the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval and
Participants of the “Our Whole Lives” Program May 21, 2017
Many of us have been taught that talk of sex and sexuality is to be avoided, at best, or is immoral, at worst. Our liberal faith can instead teach us how to honor our bodies and our sexualities as sacred aspects of self. How might we embrace an affirming theology of “good sex”?
Embracing Our Full Humanity
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval May 14, 2017
Our diversity as human beings is embodied in the variety of ways our minds and bodies work. Yet, our cultural practices and systems often exclude people who don’t fit the “typical” range of physical, mental, or emotional abilities. What would it take to truly recognize, honor, and include the humanity and gifts of all people?
The Cultural Embodiment of Racism
Rev. Danielle DiBona and Rev. Joan Javier-Duval May 7, 2017
This Sunday, we will join with over 550 other Unitarian Universalist congregations in interrupting our “business as usual” worship service for the UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn. In this service, will explore how racism is not just a matter of individual privilege and actions but is also embodied in our culture as a whole. And, we will explore what we all can do about it (regardless of your racial identity).
A Physician’s View of Suffering and Healing
Dr. Jeremiah Eckhaus April 30, 2017
A reflection on the universality of human suffering and healing from a Unitarian Universalist, Buddhist-inspired physician. Jeremiah Eckhaus is a board certified holistic family physician who has practiced medicine for 14 years, currently at Integrative Family Medicine-Montpelier. He is the Vice President of the Medical staff at the University of Vermont Health Network- CVMC and co-chair of the Community Alliance for Health Excellence, a population health community collaborative. He is also an Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth.
Hear the Earth’s Cry
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval April 23, 2017
We have a sacred connection to the earth that can sometimes be easier or more convenient to ignore. How do we attune ourselves to the needs of a planet in distress and ecological crisis? How might we embrace our role in bringing our world into balance?
Joy Comes in the Morning
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval April 16, 2017
The author of this ancient psalm declares a hopeful truth when he writes: “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” During this time of holy days, we consider the ancient stories of Passover and Easter and what they can teach us about human struggle, liberation, and healing.
To Be Healers
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval April 2, 2017
Each of us is called to be a healer in a hurting world. This can feel like an overwhelming task at times especially when we face our own pains and struggles. We can wonder, “Am I enough? What do I have to offer?” How do we respond to this call to heal the world?
Risk and Commitment
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval March 19, 2017
James Baldwin once wrote, “To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger.” When we invest our money, we are warned that there is an element of risk—we might gain a good percentage return on our investment, or we might lose it all. How does that apply to investing in our values? What do we risk when we commit ourselves to our values? What do we risk when we commit ourselves to our church community? What do we risk when we don’t? What might we gain?
Sanctuary in Risky Times
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval March 12, 2017
In a time when protections for vulnerable populations are being taken away, how are we called to create sanctuary? What risks do undocumented people, Muslims, the LGBT community, and other vulnerable groups face everyday? And, what risks are we willing to take to unite in solidarity with our neighbors?
Risking Our Whole Heart
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval March 5, 2017
We learn from the painful experiences in life to avoid emotional hurt and shame. We learn to protect ourselves by keeping the whole of our selves from others. But, what if vulnerability is a key to unlocking the fullness of life? How do we find the courage to engage in the risky endeavor of living with our whole hearts?
One Wild and Precious Life
Presented by the UCM Worship and Arts Committee February 26, 2017
The poet Mary Oliver asks, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Members of the UCM community from across the lifespan offer their responses to this important life question.
Identity is (Only) Skin Deep
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval February 19, 2017
Understanding one’s own racial identity is an important part of cultivating relationships of mutuality, respect, and solidarity. In this service, we explore how race shapes who we are and how we relate to others.
Who’s a UU?
Liza Earle-Centers and Rev. Joan Javier-Duval February 12, 2017
From time to time, you might be asked, what is a Unitarian Universalist? For many of us, this is a difficult question to answer. In this multigenerational service, we explore together what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist.
Becoming Who We Are,
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval February 5, 2017
Just when we think we know who we are, circumstances change and our identities shift. This is true on both the individual and communal level. How do we respond when life changes and our identities transform? How do we become more and more who we are?
Coming from a Place of Love
“Finding Your Way” A Reflection by Nancy Schulz
Welcoming Congregation Committee and Rev. Joan Javier-Duval January 29, 2017
This worship service explores moving into an uncertain future from a place of love. The LGBT community is one of the vulnerable groups on high alert regarding what may lie ahead. With classic songs and positive words, we’ll address the need to guide one another, especially our young people, with compassion and understanding, through the complex challenges of this new age.
Journey Toward Economic Justice
Deb Robinson January 22, 2017
In previous years, our nation has made remarkable progress toward gender justice and sexual identity justice. We have also made some progress toward racial justice, though we still have much to do on this issue. This sermon looks at the process used in these journeys to give us some guidance on how we can move toward a more just economic structure.
Repairing the Breach
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval January 15, 2017
The Rev. Dr. William Barber II is a leading prophetic voice on the moral issues of our day. His book, “The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear” is the UUA Common Read of the year. In our service on this Martin Luther King Day weekend, we reflect on Barber’s call for people of faith to be “ repairers of the breach ” and to work towards the good of the whole.
Living in Prophetic Tension
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval January 8, 2017
We begin a new year boldly with the exploration of the theme of prophecy. Prophecy seems to call us right into action. Yet, living prophetically also requires grappling with grief and despair amidst our urge to act decisively and boldly. How can we hold this tension as we choose to live prophetically? What spiritual practices will it take for us to truly live into our calling to be a prophetic community?
An Abiding Presence
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval December 11, 2016
What is it that sustains us during times of tumult and chaos? In what can we have faith in times of great uncertainty? Let us explore these questions together.
The Gift of Presence
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval December 4, 2016
Our simple presence can be a great gift to those around us. Our presence, fully offered, can be powerful and healing. How do we cultivate a presence that witnesses and accompanies others even in difficult times?
Showing Up At the Table
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval November 20, 2016
This Thanksgiving holiday, many of us will gather at the table with family and friends bringing with us offerings of food and drink, conversation and laughter.
We also gather at the “table” of community on a daily basis offering one another comfort and solace, joy and connection. What gifts do you have within you to bring to the table? How can you offer those gifts to the world in these challenging times? Join us for a service of reflection, gratitude, and re-commitment.
The Space Between Stories
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval November 13, 2016
We often find ourselves in the space between stories as an old story ends and a new story is yet to begin. After Election Day, we will be in such a space as a nation. We also find ourselves in this space in our personal lives. How do we navigate together these uncertain but also creative spaces as we both grapple with the stories that have past and work to shape new narratives?
Living Our Unitarian Universalist Story
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval November 6, 2016
The story of Unitarian Universalism offers us good news as we seek to live lives rooted in love, justice, and hope. Let us connect with the larger story of our faith for inspiration.
Diwali: The Festival of Lights
October 30, 2016
A multigenerational service celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali. Together, we will reflect on the significance of this holiday and participate in traditional Hindu rituals to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval October 23, 2016
Political division and lack of civil dialogue seem to be dominating our public life. It can be difficult to find true understanding across our differences. How are we called to treat one another in a climate of deep division?
Our Song to Sing
Matt Meyer October 16,2016
We can imagine a world with more equity and compassion, but the journey to get there is long. How we do celebrate ups and downs on the road while we travel? Where do we find joy in the community that assembles along the way? Join us for a service of rhythm and song as we celebrate this beautiful and complicated faith journey together.
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval October 9, 2016
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s first mission was rescuing refugees from the Nazis in Europe. Today, we again face a refugee crisis all around the world and the moral challenge of deciding how to respond. Is it possible to create a climate in which refugees are welcomed and embraced in our communities?
From You I Receive
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, October 2, 2016
Asking for help doesn’t often come easily. We are afraid to burden others. We can feel vulnerable acknowledging the ways we need others. Yet, helping and being helped also makes love real and affirms our interdependence. How can we learn to face those fears and ask for help?
Rooted in Place
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, September 25, 2016
A connection to a particular place offers many of us a sense of rootedness and belonging. Whether we’ve lived here 25 years or 2 months, the particularity of place can ground us more fully in the here and now and in ourselves. How can “place” keep us grounded and connect us more fully to ourselves and others?
Finding Home Within
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, September 18, 2016
We live in a culture that is constantly challenging our connection to our deepest selves. The speed of our lives and the constant noise all around us can make it difficult to hear the call of our inner voice. Yet, being connected to our innermost selves, to the soul within, is vital for spiritual wholeness. Let us reflect on how we stay rooted from the inside out.
Ingathering Sunday, “Watering Our Roots”
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, September 11, 2016
On this our Ingathering Sunday, we come back together to ground ourselves in community. We bring together the water we have gathered during our summer journeys – those that have taken us afar and those that have kept us close to home. We also acknowledge the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and reflect on how community can offer a sense of rootedness during life’s troubling times as well as its joyful times.