Sermons

Listen or Read
The sermons offered here are representative samplings of recent services. The messages speak to the issues we struggle with as human beings in an increasingly complex, interdependent world, as well as to the timeless religious themes of humanity. We hope that you might find inspiration and spiritual nourishment to take you a few steps further on your own journey.


 

A Window on All Time

Rev. Jill Jarvis

April 21, 2013

Is there a moral direction to human history? Few Unitarian Universalists find meaning in the traditional concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing deity.  But somewhere between illusion and imperfect conception, there may exist something we can meaningfully call divinity. It’s not just an interesting (or tedious) theological mind game. It informs the reality of our mutual lives — our search for truth, our commitment to justice, and most of all our need to love and be loved.

(MP3) (PDF)


 

Life On The Fault Line

Rev. Jill Jarvis

April 14, 2013

Freedom, faith in the future, and joy are essential to a life of meaning and purpose. Fear in its many disguises is a deceptive roadblock on the spiritual journey to becoming more fully human. To confront our fears –whether the result of personal experience or imposed from without – is courageous soul work, and important to resisting the many oppressions of our lives.

(MP3) (PDF)


 

To Sustain a Soul

Rev. Jill Jarvis

January 27, 2013

Each of us, from birth to death, is vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of life: the natural transitions, the randomness, the consequences of our own and others’ choices. Paying attention to the moments of our lives is a spiritual practice best done in the context of a caring, affirming community. To live an ethic of care calls us not to act carelessly nor to abandon one another. It takes a village to sustain a soul.

(MP3) (PDF)


 

“From IChurch to Beloved Community”
by Rev. Jill Jarvis

November 25, 2012

There are cultural changes at work in Unitarian Universalism, as in American society. Shall we honor our pilgrim heritage of promising one another mutual trust and support in a covenantal relationship?  Or follow our 20th-century path toward extreme individualism? The challenge to creating a Beloved Community is in finding the balance: devoting ourselves to the common good while honoring our individual differences.
There are great rewards to getting it right!

(MP3) (PDF)



SAVE THE MALES: Liberal Religion and Masculine Spirituality
by Rev. Jill Jarvis
November 11, 2012

As liberal religion has cultivated a feminist consciousness, how well are we responding to the spiritual needs of men?  Men and boys have unique concerns to share and gifts to bring. To honor the inherent worth and dignity of male bodies, male spirits, and male hearts, a religious community must provide both male-positive programming and supportive male presence. Growing boys need to feel both admired, and challenged to grow spiritually in the presence of caring adult males.  How might our congregation be a more supportive, open space for boys and men to cultivate an unabashedly liberal, generous, liberating masculine spirit?

(MP3) (PDF)


 

WHENCE THE WAR ON WOMEN?
by Rev. Jill Jarvis
October 21, 2012

It’s said that there is a “war on women” in this country, heating up during this election season. What’s going on?  Whatever it is, it deeply affects the lives of every one of us, regardless of gender. Our ingrained culture of extreme individualism (“you’re on your own”) is the backdrop for a nation of individuals and families struggling just to live lives of integrity. Is the reality of women’s lives easily dismissed in the budget-cutting battles? Where is the hope for the next generation? Our service today is enriched by the voices and stories of a multigenerational group of UFL women.

(MP3) (PDF)



TRUST, BETRAYAL, AND THE BLESSED COMPLEXITY OF FORGIVENESS
by Rev. Jill Jarvis
September 30, 2012

Trust is what makes our interdependent lives possible.  It is essential to every relationship – partnership, family, friend, community, self. Yet, every one of us has experienced betrayal as well as betrayed another’s trust. In this service honoring the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur from our Jewish heritage, we remember the love that calls us to forgiveness without thereby betraying our own souls.

(MP3) (PDF)


 

SUBVERSIVE CHURCH
Rev. Jill Jarvis
September 16, 2012

Our religious tradition has included both challengers to and supporters of the prevailing cultural status quo. But what if Unitarian Universalism were really to become “the subversive church,” a true countercultural alternative to materialism, violence, greed, and extreme individualism?

(MP3) (PDF)


 

COMPASSIONATE CLUELESSNESS
Rev. Jill Jarvis
May 27, 2012

From personal relationships to large-scale societal change, liberal religion calls us to help make others’ lives better. But how much can we really understand the experiences that shape others’ reality? And what happens when our cluelessness undermines our compassionate intentions?

(MP3) (PDF)


 

HONEY, YOU GOTTA SIN TO BE SAVED
Rev. Jill Jarvis
April 29, 2012

Our faith tradition has a long history of “heretical” views on sin and salvation. Most modern-day Unitarian Universalists don’t talk about “sin” or “salvation” at all, as we focus on optimism and the potential for human progress. But do we ignore the dark side of human nature at our own and the world’s peril?

(MP3) (PDF)


 

PASSION, PROTEST, AND OCCUPY JERUSALEM
by Rev. Jill Jarvis
Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012

The last week of Jesus’ life has been taught as a story of suffering and salvation from sins. Some of Christianity’s most respected biblical scholars say that the Gospels themselves teach a very different story — a story of subversion, resistance, and a call to radical transformation both personal and political. Experience an eye-opening, powerful, and joyful Easter service as we take a new look at an ancient story with a very relevant message for the twenty-first century.

(MP3) (PDF)


 

THE IMPOSSIBLE WILL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE
by Rev. Jill Jarvis
January 22, 2012

To live our faith in a religious tradition that actively seeks to end injustice, to be constantly aware of suffering and oppression even in our own community – that can lead to what’s sometimes called “compassion burnout.” Do all our caring and efforts really matter? Social activism grounded in community, empathy, and a deep sense of the larger process is transformative and nurturing.  It’s a spiritual discipline that is not so easily practiced in the endless struggle to make sure “our side”
wins.

(MP3) (PDF)