Sam’s Sermons 2002

How to Fight Terrorism November 2, 2002
One of President Bush’s primary justifications for invading Iraq is fighting terrorism. With the destruction of September 11th haunting us and renewed terrorist activity from a reconstituted Al Qaeda, we need to look rationally at what strategy works to reduce terrorism. War may actually increase the threat, not lessen it.
What’s It All About? September 29, 2002
Rev. Trumbore will explain the Unitarian Universalist approach to religion and spirituality. This will be an excellent opportunity to bring a friend or neighbor or learn how to better answer that vexing question, “What is Unitarian Universalism anyway?” He believes our approach is a natural evolution of where religious institutions are headed for the 21st Century.
Growing Bigger by Getting Smaller, September 22, 2002
People who are comfortable fear change and growth. People who hunger and thirst long for it. Our vision of Unitarian Universalism for Albany can both feed the spiritually hungry and thirsty as well as being a place of comfort and care. The secret is getting smaller while getting bigger.
Choosing Faith, Nurturing Hope September 15, 2002
The Jewish High Holy Days are celebrated this week. The Days of Awe feel more like New Year to many of us who follow an academic calendar. Following the Jewish calendar for this Sunday, this will be a service of introspection, renewal and resolution.
A Trailblazing Religion June 2, 2002
We need signs and markers as we grow up and move through our religious lives. Unitarian Universalism encourages us to read those signs and make up our own minds which road to take. This Sunday was religious education Sunday so this message focused on children and their needs for guidance and our responsibility to guide them.
Looking for the Big Rocks May 19, 2002
Three years ago, the Rev. Davidson Loehr gave a sermon here using a story about big rocks. I’ll retell that story (with a little embellishment) and use it as the focus for us to share with each other our stories of what the big rocks are in our personal lives, family lives and our congregation’s life. This will be a shorter service to accommodate our Annual Meeting.
Wonder and Awe of the Womb May 12, 2002
Bringing new life into the world recapitulates the chain of evolution. Some of the details of the process go beyond fascinating. They give us a glimpse into the inner workings of the universe. Let us return to the womb together as we celebrate Mother’s Day.
Stigma of Mental Illness May 5, 2002
Not all of us experience the world the same way. Unfortunately people get stigmatized for any deviation from the norm. This sermon will be a short excursion out of normative reality so we can appreciate better those who do not share it.
The Permaculture Solution April 21, 2002
We must move toward living in sustainable balance with our ecosystem or risk disaster. We are so far away from that sustainable balance it is hard to even imagine how to get there. Thankfully there are people working on solutions. A solution created by Bill Mollison called “Permaculture” could be a viable one to consider as we celebrate Earth Day.
The Power of Commitment April 7, 2002
My involvement in community organizing has been one lesson after another about the power of commitment. In one way commitments appear to tie us down and limit us. In another they liberate our energy and focus our strength. The challenge is to make commitments wisely and follow through.
Easter 2002: The Truth Lives, March 31, 2002
This was our intergenerational Easter service. We celebrated it all: The promise of returning spring, easter bunnies, and the man whose eternal story and wisdom will not die. The great truths live. And even if they are forgotten, they will be rediscovered. We celebrate the living truth we inherit and pass on to the next generation.
Grief and Resurrection, March 24, 2002
Unitarian Universalist minister, Jack Kent, has a fascinating theory of the resurrection story. He understands it as a grief response to Jesus’ death. Could this finally be a reasonable explanation of the empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus after his crucifixion?
Examining an Ethic for Taking Life, March 17, 2002
The taking of life is abhorrent to many of us, particularly human life. The pacifist wouldn’t take a life in war or even perhaps in self-defense. Yet there may be times when it is ethically appropriate. A good argument can be made for physician assistance in dying. What would a socially acceptable ethic look like to permit the taking of individual life? (This sermon was purchased by Reese Satin at the 2001 auction)
Eclectic Spirituality March 3, 2002
Sometimes Unitarian Universalists are criticized because of our individualistic approach to religion. We are accused of taking a smorgasbord approach to spirituality – a little of this and a little of that. I will argue this is our strength and not our weakness. In fact we are the vanguard of a religious tradition that can have a global span yet respect and draw strength from individual difference.
Religion of the World Bank February 24, 2002
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank exert tremendous control over the lives of countless millions of people in underdeveloped countries. In exchange for money, they impose their beliefs and values, partly in our name, under the banner ‘globalization.’ We need to reflect on these 20th century values and whether they should be carried forward into the 21st century.
(This sermon is a response to the Study/Action Issue passed by the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in June 2001)
Living with Sleeping Dragons, February 5, 2002
The Rev. Faith Scott, recently retired as co-minister of religious education in Little Falls, recently described her experience of remission of cancer as living with a sleeping dragon. A sleeping dragon is a powerful metaphor for the uncertainty the cancer survivor experiences. Cancer is but one of the many sleeping dragons we take great care not to disturb as we journey through life. What are the sleeping dragons you step around and what if they wake up?
Making Racism Abnormal January 13, 2002
What makes fighting Racism so hard is overlooking the problem because it is normalized and institutionalized. Most of us are not overt racists. Yet we often unknowingly cooperate with it. To become human race activists, wemust learn to see white privilege at work and interrupt it.
Breaking New Ground January 6, 2002
December 9th, our congregation voted to ask our architect to design a new sanctuary on the west side of our building. This vote broke new ground for our congregation. This vote signals an emerging vision about who our congregation wishes to be in the twenty-first century.