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A Little Bit and a Little Bit More

November 19, 2017 - 12:00pm

Reflection delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on November 19, 2017. 20th century Unitarian Universalist theologian James Luther Adams used to say that “Church is a place where you get to practice being human.” We all – all of us – have to practice being human, because none of us – not even the grown ups – have it all figured out.

The theme for November is what it means to be a people of abundance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Living Into Abundance

November 12, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on November 12, 2017.

The theme for November is what it means to be a people of abundance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Let's Change the World

November 5, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Nathan Hollister on November 5, 2017. Rev. Hollister, board member of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), speaks to why he, as a lifelong proponent of culture change, believes the UUSC embodies our Unitarian Universalist values and is especially effective in meeting the needs of some of the most marginalized people all over the world.

Rev. Hollister leads the ministry of Scared Fire Unitarian Universalist, which plants and grows deliberate communities supporting life and social justice all across the country. He received degrees in Political Science and Sociology from Northeastern University, and his Masters of Divinity and Masters of Leadership from Meadville Lombard Theological School, where he now serves as Affiliate Faculty. "Nato," in addition to his UUSC board position, chairs the UUA's Commission on Appraisal as well as the board of his local Immigrant and Refugee Community Partnership.

The theme for November is what it means to be a people of abundance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

The Courage to Remember

October 29, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on October 29, 2017. 

The theme for October is how to be a people of courage. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Abolition Democracy

October 22, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Colin Bossen on October 22, 2017. W. E. B. DuBois posited that the United States faced a choice between abolition democracy and white supremacy. As part of the UUA-wide teach-in on white supremacy, we’ll explore how the quest for abolition democracy is connected to our religious journeys as Unitarian Universalists.

An award winning preacher, scholar and social justice organizer, Rev. Bossen is currently working on his doctorate at Harvard University where he is studying the relationship between theology and populism. Twice a month he preaches at the First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist, Ashby, Massachusetts, where he serves as the parish minister. His research has been supported by the American Studies program of Harvard University, a Harvard Merit Term-Time Fellowship, a Frederick Kettner Scholarship from the Biosophical Institute, the Fund for Nurturing Unitarian Universalist Scholarship, multiple Joseph Sumner Smith Scholarships, the Joseph Gittler Fund for Religion and Ethics, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the Center for American Political Studies. Prior to returning to academia Rev. Bossen served as a parish minister for six years. He serves on the Board for the Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society and is the author of two religious education curriculums and close to two dozen published essays, articles, book chapters and poems. Colin's brother is the painter Jorin Bossen. His oil and crayon painting is the image for this podcast listing.

The theme for October is how to be a people of courage. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

We Were Made for These Times

October 15, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Scott Aaseng on October 15, 2017. The times we live in are difficult, distracting, troubling. Yet our faith is grounded in deep roots which enable us to not only withstand the storms, but to become stronger by living into the solidarity of interdependence. As Clarissa Estes puts it, we are indeed made for these times.

Rev. Aaseng was a musician, a community activist, and a Lutheran pastor (among other things) prior to discovering his call to Unitarian Universalist ministry. Today, he is Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI) and UTUUC's Community Minister.

Scott graduated from the St. Olaf Paracollege with a degree in Peace Studies, and spent a year studying and traveling in South Africa during the apartheid years. He volunteered as a teacher in rural Tanzania, before returning to the U.S. and earning his M.Div. at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He interned at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and served a small Lutheran congregation on the southwest side of Chicago for five years in the early 1990’s.

He left ordained ministry to become primary caregiver for his two daughters, while becoming project director and then grant-writer for the Southwest Youth Collaborative, a community-based youth organization he helped found. He also served as musician for a number of church gospel choirs, and went on to serve as Village Musician at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in the mountains of Washington state. Upon returning to Chicago in 2005, he became a project assistant with American Friends Service Committee, coordinating a nationally touring display of combat boots and civilian shoes showing the human cost of war. He also began attending Third Unitarian Church in Chicago with his family.

Becoming a musician at Third Unitarian in 2009 re-awakened his call to ministry, now more clearly grounded in Unitarian Universalism. He took classes at both Starr King and Meadville Lombard seminaries, completed his internship at Unity Temple, and went on to serve as Unity Temple’s first Assistant Minister for Social Justice. He has since served as part-time Consulting Minister at the Unitarian Church of Quincy, Illinois and at First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana. He now serves as Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois. 

Scott has lived on the west side of Chicago for 20 years with his spouse, Gale Holmlund, and their two teenage daughters, Sunniva and Brita. He enjoys bicycling, playing piano, being outdoors, and traveling with his family.

The theme for October is how to be a people of courage. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

The Courage of Generosity

October 8, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on October 8, 2017. Rev. Taylor explores what it means to be a people of courage and connects it to how we are called to give of ourselves generously, sometimes even when it feels like a sacrifice. 

The theme for October is how to be a people of courage. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

The Call of Our Faith

October 6, 2017 - 12:11pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray on October 1, 2017. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, the newly elected first woman president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), shares her vision for the UUA, of which Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation is a vibrant part.

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray was elected as the President of the UUA on June 24, 2017. Previously, she was the Minister of the UU Congregation of Phoenix, where she had served since August 2008. She also served as Minister at the First UU Church of Youngstown from 2003-2008. Community organizing and justice leadership have been key components of Rev. Frederick-Gray’s ministry. In October 2014, when marriage equality came to Arizona, Rev. Susan married 13 same-sex couples on that day outside the downtown Phoenix Clerk’s office. Susan and her congregation have worked closely with the Puente Human Rights Movement to bring national attention to the human rights abuses in Maricopa County and the need for national humane immigration reform. She organized Unitarian Universalists nationally in the campaign against Arizona’s SB 1070, including being arrested in an act of civil disobedience on the Day of Non-compliance against SB 1070. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray can be reached at sfrederickgray@uua.org.

The theme for October is how to be a community of courage. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

The Gates of Repentance Are Welcoming Us

September 24, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on September 24, 2017.

The theme for September is how to be a community of welcome. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Open Minds, Loving Hearts

September 17, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Minister of Faith Development ev. Emily Gage on September 17, 2017. "It makes me think of each of us, walking through the door here, sometimes bearing gifts or our lesson plans or supplies or cookies, but mostly just offering our presence to one another. We don’t always do it as well or as kindly or as smoothly as we would like to (I certainly know this is true of myself), but still we offer up who we are, and hope that that is enough. It is enough."

The sermon references the book Come with Me by Holly McGhee as well as poems from Brian Doyle's book The Kind of Brave You Wanted to Be. 

The theme for September is how to be a community of welcome. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. Read more at http://unitytemple.libsyn.com/gratitude-for-our-ancestors-work#cc2dTKYA4AMl0glG.99

Would You Harbor Me? Would I Harbor You?

September 10, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on September 10, 2017. In this time of hurricane relief and the loss of security for DACA residents, Rev. Taylor reflects on the sacred call of sheltering one another. Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you? How can we protect one another?

The theme for September is how to be a community of welcome. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. Read more at http://unitytemple.libsyn.com/gratitude-for-our-ancestors-work#cc2dTKYA4AMl0glG.99

Gratitude for Our Ancestors' Work

September 3, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Intern Minister Kellie C. Kelly on September 3, 2017.

The theme for September is how to be a community of welcome. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Homecoming Sunday

August 27, 2017 - 12:00pm

These reflections were given by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on August 27, 2017, the official first Sunday of the 2017-18 church year. In a worship for all ages celebrating Homecoming Sunday, Rev. Taylor shares his love of the water communion and his growing awareness of how to live into the question: "Who are you to think that you can change the world?”

The theme for August is how to be a community of connection. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Beloved Conversations

August 20, 2017 - 12:00pm

The presentations in this podcast are from UTUUC members who participated in the program called Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race and Ethnicity earlier this year. Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage first gives a brief overview of the program. This is followed by reflections from Clara Lewis, Betsy Davis, Shirley Lundin, Elizabeth Freeland and Sybil Madison-Boyd with additional remarks from Rev. Gage.

The theme for August is how to be a community of connection. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

MyHAT: Replacing the Stigma with Compassion

August 13, 2017 - 12:00pm

Reflections offered by congregant David Llull and Intern Minister Kellie Kelly on August 13, 2017. As part of the Unity Temple Mental Health Awareness Team service (MyHAT), David and Kellie both share how mental illness has touched their lives in the hopes that sharing their stories will help reduce the stigma and increase our understanding.

The theme for August is how to be a community of connection. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Work in Progress

August 6, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Brian Chenowith on August 6, 2017. Brian is a lifelong Chicagoan with roots in the South Side. His spiritual upbringing was Catholic and Anglican though he came to Unitarian Universalism in middle school. It was there, in that UU church where he spent his formative years, that he heard the call to ministry most clearly. He earned his degree in Theology & Religion from Elmhurst College in 2008. From there he entered seminary in 2011 after a period of discernment and preparation for theological education and graduated from Meadville Lombard in Chicago in 2014. Brian served two congregations as a ministerial intern for three years. Two of those years were spent at Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois and the remaining year was at First Parish in Concord, MA. Through these two congregations, the real learning in ministry happened. He is currently the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington, Kentucky.

The theme for August is how to be a community of connection. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.