Lighting the Chalice: Sermons from the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County
Wholeness: Roots and Wings

Wholeness: Roots and Wings

April 28, 2019

For those who are raised in Unitarian Universalist communities, Unitarian Universalist values are in their DNA. For those who come to Unitarian Universalism from other religious traditions or none, Unitarian Universalist values are typically an expression of what they already believe. In a sense, UU is in their blood too. Those newer to UU express this as the experience of discovering that they were Unitarian Universalist all along but didn’t know it, or as a feeling of coming home. So whether raised inside or outside Unitarian Universalist communities, for those who become members, UU is part of who they are. It becomes part of their identity.

An Undivided Life

An Undivided Life

April 7, 2019

READING: excerpt from Hope and Other Superpowers by John Pavlovitz

"We all love to see superheroes being born in pages or on-screen. There’s something magical about those beginnings that moves us. . . . It’s thrilling to watch human beings mutating from nondescript, regular schlubs like you and me into the monumental stuff of legend, to see them struggle to comprehend the gravity of the moment, to recognize the responsibility of access to such great power—and ultimately to run, swing, or fly headlong into their destiny. Over and over again we line up to breathe in these mythologies, because we love the idea of being thrust into stratospheric glory instead of being stuck here on the ground with the rest of the mere mortals and gawking bystanders..."

The American Trappist monk Thomas Merton said that “there is in all things . . . a hidden wholeness.” The Gospel of Thomas, one of the gospels that did not make it into the official Bible, teaches that “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Celtic Wisdom

Celtic Wisdom

March 17, 2019

Celtic spirituality is a source of wisdom for modern-day seekers. Celtic concepts, such as the sacredness of the everyday, love of nature, and the mystical presence of the divine, support the inner journey. In this service, we'll explore how to make Celtic wisdom our own.

Many Paths, One Faith

Many Paths, One Faith

March 10, 2019

Part of our community's mission is to encourage each other on our individual spiritual journeys. And yet we share in this one UU faith. Today we'll explore the religious diversity and multiple sources of Unitarian Universalism.

The Call to Journey

The Call to Journey

March 3, 2019

Each of us has a story to tell about our life's journey. And that story is always changing. This morning we'll embrace the power of describing those stories in six words.

Moments That Cry Out To Be Fulfilled

Moments That Cry Out To Be Fulfilled

February 24, 2019

Mary Oliver writes that "there are moments that cry out to be fulfilled." Oliver was describing moments when we set aside caution because what we do might save a life, might save our own lives, or the planet. Today we'll reflect on what those moments are in our individual lives and in our church.

Trusting Yourself

Trusting Yourself

February 17, 2019

This morning we'll explore how to overcome self-doubt. Is it best to take a leap of faith or baby steps? How can we overcome our fears and flex our "I believe in myself" muscles?

What Happens Next

What Happens Next

January 6, 2019

With Jane Palmer

We’ve lived two years under the Trump administration, two months since an historic “blue wave” upset the power balance in Washington, and two weeks since the wheels came off the bus.  The intensity of our public life has taken a toll, and it’s natural to long for an easier, softer way of life. But when everything we hold dear is on the line, and the path forward is lined with fear and anger, we have to find new ways of being – and doing.

We Shall See

We Shall See

December 30, 2018

A contemplative service with Matt Owen, worship associate, which will explore the intersections of meditative practice with the spirituality of the end.

Christmas Celebration

Christmas Celebration

December 23, 2018

Celebrate the Christmas holiday with a lively service filled with song, readings, reflections, and story for all ages. This week we share our full service, and this morning we light our fourth Advent candle for love.