Sam’s Sermons 2007

Tree Hugger’s Unite! PDF December 16, 2007
Health Care is a Human Right, PDFMP3 December 9, 2007
The Michael Moore movie that came out this summer called “Sicko” helped energize the debate on healthcarereform. Bring friends and family Saturday night, December 8 at 5:30pm for pizza, soup, and salad followed by a showing of Sicko at 7:00pm.  However we organize health care in the future, government has a central role in defining the moral framework and imperatives.
The Atheist Revival PDFMP3 December 2, 2007
Ever since Sam Harris’ book “The End of  Faith” was published in 2004, there has been a flood of books about atheism. People are buying these books so there is strong interest among those who reject the hegemony of religion in the public square these days. Will we Unitarian Universalists be following up our exploration of a language of reverence of a few years ago with a language of unbelief?
as an Object of Contemplation
PDFMP3 (Lenore Flynn) November 11, 2007
Upon her return from a meditation retreat at Auschwitz, Lenore Flynn shared her experiences using Auschwitz as an objection of contemplation. She  explored the relevance of such places to our lives today and for anyone who aspires to work for peace in our world. She discussed the personal role Auschwitz played in her life and how it inspired her.
Descent into Fear PDF,MP3 November 4, 2007
Ascent to Hope PDFMP3 November 11,2007
These two linked sermons will address two powerful forces in human and religious life. The first will explore the uses and abuses of the instinctive urge to protect ourselves from danger. That danger can be an immanent threat or a vague suspicion or a dread of the future, in the case of the fear of hell. Hope, on the other hand stimulates our will to be and become. Hope outlines what is possible and what we can aspire to. Unitarian Universalism encourages us to move from fear to hope to action.
Getting “The Great Turning” Going Right Here PDF September 30, 2007
David Korten’s book titled The Great Turning was featured this year at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly in Portland, Oregon. Much as our planet is in crisis right now on many levels, there are also social movements and opportunities for transformation that the world has never seen before. Rather than becoming paralyzed contemplating the many possible disasters that could be in store for us, there are ways to act right now, right here that can make a positive difference!
Beginning Again in Love PDF September 23, 2007
On the occasion of the High Holy Days coming to completion the night before this service with Yom Kippur’s conclusion, let us take the occasion to remember a core value of our congregation: love thy neighbor. Those three words are easy to say but very hard to practice. Yom Kippur is a yearly reminder to rededicate ourselves to this moral imperative and begin again in love.
Imagination into Reality PDF September 16, 2007
Having thanked and appreciated all the people who helped create our new space and having dedicated our new building the afternoon before this service, now we have to get real. How do we take our dreams which helped create our new space and bring them to life?
Becoming a Learning Community MP3 June 3, 2007
Critical to our success in achieving our dreams of growing our faith here in the Capital Region is learning. Our health as an organism depends on our ability to respond to our environment,communicate effectively, and adapt to changing conditions. Learning is central to who we are as a religious community.
Lighting Our Beacon MP3 May 20, 2007
“Beacon of light” is an architectural theme that has inspired the design of our new building. The different light sources in the community room promise to make our community room very attractive. So, how will the light our new beacon also shine out of our community room and into the world? This sermon contains a good summary of the values of our congregation.
Our Fight For Women’s Reproductive Rights PDF MP3 May 13, 2007
On a day set aside for mothers, we’ll celebrate it as a choice rather than an obligation. Members of our congregation had been staunch advocates or women’s reproductive rights.  Some fore-mothers from our congregation worked hard to secure these rights. Come and hear their stories.
Facing Loss MP3 April 1, 2007
Jesus’ humanity is vivid as he prays that the cup pass from him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Most of us waiting for the surgeons knife, a tooth extraction, a vaccination, or in a hospital waiting room know the anguish of anticipating the possibility of pain and loss and wishing it would go away. Jesus makes his peace saying, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Is this how we, too, should face loss?
UU History: Samuel Johnson PDF MP3 March 18, 2007
UU History: Free Religion PDF MP3 March 25, 2007
During my 2006 sabbatical, I spent a week looking through the Harvard Divinity School Library for original nineteenth and early twentieth century books by Unitarians and Universalists. My research led me to an inspirational minister and an important organization that helped shape our religious tradition today. In Rev. Johnson’s life and in the papers presented to the Free Religious Association, key religious questions were given shape. Understanding these questions through their eyes can give us insights into our answers for today. These two sermons explore those historical roots and their contemporary connections.
Sacred Sexuality, March 11, 2007
Our sexuality can be a powerful and often under appreciated resource in our personal and spiritual development. Some in the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender communities, in particular, are exploring the connection between sexuality and spirituality. When society rejects you for not being heterosexual, one’s sexual identity can get magnified in importance. That greater recognition of sexual identity can also open new doors to explore the nature of one’s humanity and spirituality through the body.