Sermon Archive

Wonder, Grace, and Gratitude…RE Sunday
Sally Armstrong, DRE and Friends June 5, 2016

Our annual multigenerational service celebrating the past year in Religious Education… a chance to sing our favorite songs once again before summer break, an opportunity to honor and thank our amazing volunteers, and time to mark the transition of our departing Director of Religious Education.

Download June 5

Creativity as a Spiritual Practice.
Reflections of UCM Members and Friends May 29, 2016

This service explores the endless possibilities for creativity in us all. Come prepared to enjoy a smorgasbord of creative reflections, dance, singing, poetry, and activities in a service meant to inspire new ways of thinking about what it means to be creative.

Download May 29

Creating Communities of Resilience
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval May 22, 2016

Together we participate in the meaningful and life-giving work of creating community. We have known the power of community to keep us connected and offer us love and strength in hard times. Given the social and environmental challenges we face on a global and local level, how do we create communities that can respond with love and resiliency to the needs of our world?

Download May 22

Creation and the Divine Feminine
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval May 8, 2016

The divine feminine appears in religions all across the world and throughout history. It honors the creative, compassionate, and nurturing life-force within the universe. What truths might we discover in recognizing and honoring the divine feminine?

Download May 8

Coming of Age Sunday
May 1, 2016

Don’t miss this very special service featuring “This I Believe” statements from our Coming of Age Youth. Coming of Age is a yearlong, uniquely UU, rite of passage offered to youth in 7th and 8th grade. Throughout the year the youth, adult facilitators and guides have explored a variety of topics including some of life’s BIG questions. Come, listen, and have your heart warmed as these marvelous young people give you a snapshot into their beliefs.

Download May 1

Download a PDF of the “This I believe” statements

Hope Changes
Maeve McBride April 24, 2016

On the heels of Earth Day, Maeve McBride will explore the parallels of the current climate crisis and being witness to her mother’s terminal illness. As we celebrate Mother Earth in this season of rebirth, we also mourn the losses of previous seasons, species, and loved ones. How are we called to act in this time of crisis? How could ferocious love of people and the planet bring about our own joyful resurrection?

Download April 24

We Are the Ones
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval April 10, 2016

It can be easy to despair in the face of the realities of our current political climate and our enormous global challenges. how do we draw from the resources within and around us to stay grounded in the here and now as engaged participants in the world?

Download April 10

Staying Where Your Feet Are
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval and
Sally Armstrong, DRE April 3, 2016

During this Multigen service we will explore what it means to be present in the here and now with a reminder that each of us…whether 6 or 106 can only live one day at a time.

Download April 3

The Promise of Life after Death
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval March 27, 2016

What happens after we die is one of the greatest mysteries of human existence. The Easter story, with its celebration of resurrection, brings this question sharply into focus. Could it be that death is not the end of the story? This Easter, let us reflect on the ways new life can spring forth from death even in our darkest moments.

Download March 27

Finding Meaning in the Great Unknown
Rev Joan Javier-Duval March 20, 2016

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” These questions give shape to our lives as spiritual beings wired for meaning-making. Science helps us to investigate the world and arrive at some answers. And, yet, the universe and our place in it remains quite mysterious. How do we find answers and make meaning within the great mystery of the unknown?

Download March 20

Mysticism for the Rest of Us
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval March 13, 2016

Mysticism is an ancient form of spirituality found in many religious traditions that draws from direct personal experience of some greater mystery. It is often associated with extraordinary experiences of the sacred only available to a select few. Yet, moments that put us in touch with wondrous mystery can be available to all of us in any moment. What can mysticism offer us as spiritual seekers today?

Download March 13

Teach the Children Well
Rev. Kate Braestrup March 6, 2016

In which I consider the messages that we as religious liberals are offering to the children in our lives about the fears we live by and the dreams we would feed to them.

Download March 6

Faith in Love’s Imperfection
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval February 28, 2016

We all long to receive and give love. Yet, living in loving relationship can be messy and heart-breaking. Can grappling with and accepting love’s imperfections lead us to the love we seek?

Download February 28

The Amazing Mathematical Properties of Love
Sally Armstrong, DRE February 21, 2016

The song says: “Love is something if you give it away you end up having more.” How can you give something away and still have more? And…how do you give love away in the first place? Join us as we explore these ideas in the first Multigenerational service of the year.

Download February 21

Give All to Love
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval and UCM Stewardship Committee
February 14, 2016

In the spirit of love, so many individuals give generously of their time, talents, and treasure to support the Unitarian church of Montpelier. This Sunday, we celebrate this generosity and consider the spiritual dimensions of giving as we kick off our pledge drive for the 2016-2017 church year.

Download February 14

A Universal Love
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval February 7, 2016

“Do not push them deeper into their theological despair, but preach the kindness and everlasting love of God.” John Murray’s famous words encapsulate the essential message of early Universalism. Universalists have continued to this day to proclaim a hopeful belief in the power of an all-inclusive love. How does this message inform our lives and spiritual journeys today?

Download February 7

“Built in Our Image”
Rev. Mark W. Harris January 31, 2016

How do our buildings create our congregational ethos? How is our UU faith reflected in our buildings? This is a look at the impulse to create houses of worship that struggle with traditional notions of authority and espouse freedom and democracy. On this 150th anniversary, we will look at what of us is in our building.

Download January 31

“Dedicating Ourselves for Another 150 Years,”
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval and the 150th Anniversary Committee
January 24, 2016

Download January 24

Living Out King’s Legacy
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval January 17, 2016

On this Sunday before Martin Luther King Day, we will explore King’s continuing legacy of radical justice-making and the implications of his message of human dignity and Beloved Community on our lives as people of faith today.

Download January 17

Transforming Toward Wholeness
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval January 10, 2015

Personal transformation can involve becoming something or someone seemingly different from who you once were. But, it can also mean becoming even more fully who you are. What would it look like to transform even more deeply into a sense of wholeness?

Download January 10

Christmas Eve
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval December 24, 2015

We welcome Christmas into the world and into our hearts during this “Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols.”

Download December 24

Happy Holidays
Sally Armstrong, DRE December 20, 2015

Enjoy a festive and spiritual dose of holiday cheer on this final Sunday before Christmas in this multigenerational worship service.

Download December 20

We Welcome All
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval December 13, 2015

The first line of our mission statement reads, “We Welcome All.” To welcome all we must recognize, honor, and navigate the differences amongst us along with all that we hold in common. How do we go about engaging difference as a way of living with hospitality? This Sunday, we will also welcome into our community the newest members of UCM.

Download December 13

Hospitality as Spiritual Practice
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval December 6, 2015

The holidays are often a time when we play the roles of host and also of guest. Can we find space within the holiday busyness to pause and appreciate the gift of offering and receiving hospitality?

Download December 6

“Prayers from the Parliament of the World’s Religions: Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity”
Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy November 29, 2015

The Parliament, which meets only every three to five years, convened in Salt Lake City, Utah in October. Rev.
M’ellen attended as part of a Sufi delegation. In this worship service, Rev. M’ellen will share stories, reflections and prayers from the Parliament.

Download November 29

The Legacies We Leave Behind
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval November 22, 2015

We are gifted and challenged by what we have inherited from those who have come before us. We will be exploring how we understand our own legacies and how they might shape those who come after us.

Download November 22

Covenant: A Gift from Our Ancestors
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval November 15, 2015

As Unitarian Universalists, we are part of a sacred chain of religious ancestors who have passed down a rich tradition and history. One of our inheritances is the gift of covenant. How does the notion of covenant inform our life as a religious community today?

Download November 15

Remembering Our Ancestors
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval November 8, 2015

We are each part of a larger story of those who came before us and those who will come after us. Remembering our past and grappling with the difficult truths that the past might contain is a part of living and shaping our life stories.

Download November 8

What the Heck is a Saint Anyway?
Sally Armstrong, DRE November 1, 2015

Unitarian Universalist don’t often consider saints. What are they anyway? Do UUs even have saints? What does it mean to be called to live as saints? Who are the saints in our lives? Together we will explore these questions as we honor the saints who came before us, those who live among us and those we hope to become.

Download November 1

Re-imagining Prayer
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval October 25, 2015

As Unitarian Universalists we engage in a constant process of re-imagining and re-inventing religious language and spiritual practices. One of the practices that can often be the most challenging is prayer. When we’ve given up on old images of God or the Divine, prayer as a spiritual practice can be left without meaning. What would it look like for us to re-imagine prayer in our liberal religious tradition?

Download October 25
Sermon Audio

Download October 25 Sermon Text

Imagining Our Way to Beloved Community
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, October 18, 2015

Exercising our moral imagination is a spiritual practice that holds the potential for transformation. Recent events across the country – from Ferguson to Cleveland to Charleston to Houston – have shown that racism and its violent effects still pervade our nation. How can we use our moral imagination to understand and support the movement for racial justice in this country?

Download October 18 Sermon Text (due to technical difficulties this week – audio sermon is not available)

“What is…What if…What can be”
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval October 11, 2015

George Bernard Shaw writes, “Imagination is the beginning of creation.” What new possibilities and realities could we realize if we engaged the full potential
of our imaginations?

Download October 11 Sermon Audio

Download October 11 Sermon Text

Fluent in Faith
Rev. Jeanne Nieuwejaar October 4, 2015

Although our deepest experiences of the spiritual are felt in a place beyond words, language is a necessary tool to capture and hold those experiences and to communicate them. But religious language is challenging for many in our liberal faith…

Download October 4 Sermon Audio

No Sermon Text Available

Just Imagine!
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval and the 2020 Vision Task Force, September 27, 2015

This fall we begin the process of creating together a five year vision statement for the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. We are invited to connect with our hopes and dreams for our religious community and to imagine who and what we might become in the next 5 years. This Sunday, we will begin our journey of imagination together.

Download September 27 Sermon Audio

No Sermon Text Available

From Fragments to Wholeness
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval September 20,2015

We can sometimes live as if we are isolated, separate beings. Yet we long to be more fully connected to others. How might we move from a place of isolation to deep connection and discover wholeness in the process?

Download September 20 Sermon Audio

Download September 20 Sermon Text

Ingathering Sunday
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval September 13, 2015

On this our Ingathering Sunday, we welcome our newly settled minister, Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, as she leads us in our annual Water Ceremony. 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 both re-connect with one another and forge new connections as we begin together this new chapter in our congregational life.
Download September 13 Sermon Audio

Download September 13 Sermon Text

Love’s Collaborators
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval May 10, 2015

In this sermon, I will reflect on the creative possibility of our Unitarian Universalist religious community. Let us explore together how building loving community, within our church walls and beyond, can allow us to feel blessedly alive.
Download May 10

Following Life’s Call
Rev. Joan Javier-Duval May 3, 2015

The search for meaning and purpose in our lives does not always lead us down the most obvious paths. How do we nurture our souls in solitude and in community so we can move towards life’s beckoning call?
Download May 3

An Inclusive Congregation, Welcoming All