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Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church
 

Archive of Sunday Sermons

In addition to sermons by settled and interim ministers, the archive includes guest and lay-led services. In particular, it is our tradition that most summer services are organized by the Worship Associates with lay speakers, some of which are represented in the archive.

2017

Oct 15Unpacking White Supremacy: Going behind the language to greater understanding by Rev. Rachel Christensen, Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Paul Wester, Worship Associate; and the Choir
Our UU`s of color have invited and encouraged all congregations to learn more about the issues of race. We will be joining some 700 congregations that are doing this work. To be followed by Reverberations discussion.
Oct 8Resistance and Resilience for Times Like These by Guest Speaker Rev. Karen Lee Scrivo; with Worship Associates Beth Charboneau and Elizabeth Porter; and Carla Miller, DMRE
As people of faith and conscience, we must push back against hatred, bigotry and white nationalism as part of a long-term sustained movement-- not an every now and again thing. Where can we find strength for ongoing resistance? And how can we remain resilient in the face of such repeated and systemic injustice?
Oct 1Ground of Being by Rev. Rachel Christensen, Minister; with Mary Rooker, Worship Associate; Carla Miller, DMRE; and the Choir
How do I think about God within my Unitarian Universalist theology and context? What is my Ground of Being without which I could not exist?
Sep 24Climate -- our religious responsibility by The Reverend Rachel Christensen, Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Worship Associates William Snyder and Samantha Evans; and Special Music from a Brass Quintet
How shall we respond to what might be the existential threat of our culture and our world?
Sep 17Annual Congregational Ingathering with Water Ritual by The Reverend Rachel Christensen, Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; our Worship Associate team; the Choir; and the Chalice Dancers
Join us for a renewal of the Paint Branch community! Bring a small amount of water representing your journey this year, whether physical. emotional, or metaphorical.
Sep 10Singing in the Spirit by Members of Voice Exchange: Amado Ohland, Beth Lyons & Paris Kern; with Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate
Back by popular demand, the founding members of Voice Exchange, including Paint Branch`s own Beth Lyons, return to lead us in CircleSinging. Join us as we come together in presence, spirit, heart and voice to embrace our community of individuals, and celebrate our commitment to learning and living the rhythms, harmonies, and interlocks that allow us as Many to function as One. And thus we rediscover the magic of co-creating community through song.
Sep 3As Summer Turns to Fall by Rev. Rachel Christensen, Minister; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; and Carla Miller, DMRE
Labor Day is one of the inflections in our lives beginning of school, end of summer, changing light in the day. How do we use this to empower us?
Aug 27Entering into Community by Rev. Rachel Christensen and the Worship Associate Team; with Carla Miller, DMRE
What are the promises we make to each other as we form and re-form and strengthen the community that is Paint Branch? What does it mean to make these promises?
Aug 20Small Discoveries by Rev. Rachel Christensen; with Worship Associate William Snyder
Small Discoveries - Larger challenges:What part of the story of Charlottesville do we need to own? What would it mean to Own the Story?
Aug 13Reflections on God and our UU Faith by PBUUC members Melissa Graham, Louise Waugh, Celinda Marsh, and Tricia Most; with Worship Associate Van Summers; and Carla Miller, DMRE.
In the book ``A History of God`` by Karen Armstrong, the author explores how the monotheistic religions have fashioned the idea of God over time to suit the changing needs of their followers. Exploring these changes during the book group at 4Fs has helped me come to a more comfortable relationship with the concept of God, one that clearly reflects my UU journey. Join me and other book group members as we reflect on how ideas in ``A History of God`` resonate with our UU experience.
Aug 6The Time is Now! by PBUUC member Tricia Most; with Worship Associate Paul Wester; and the PBUUC Chalice Dancers.
Recent controversies over hiring practices in the UUA led to a transformational General Assembly (GA), every session of which served as an orientation for re-envisioning our faith. Tricia Most, an onsite delegate from Paint Branch, will present her perspective on this GA.
Jul 30Where Do We Come From? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? Going Through the Difficult Places Toward Beloved Community. by Diversity/Anti-Racism Transformation Team (DARTT) Annual Summer Service; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate
This Service will explore our past, present, and future in moving toward Beloved Community in our denomination, in our congregation, and in ourselves. Reverberations to follow Service.
Jul 23A Country for All: The Problem with the `Christian Nation` Myth by Rob Boston, Dir. of Communications, Americans United for Separation of Church and State; with Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate
This service debunks the idea that the United States was founded to be a Christian nation and explains why the myth persists and why it is dangerous. This topic is especially relevant now, with claims by leaders posing as defenders of our nation`s alleged Christian heritage.
Jul 16UU Strategies for Success and Happiness by PBUUC Member Ebony Contreras; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate
The seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalism help guide us in our lives, spiritual journey, and moral compass. Considering the unique interconnection and cascading effect that the 1st, 4th, and 7th Principles have on each other, how might we apply this knowledge for a more successful and happy life?
Jul 9Everyone Is Doing the Best They Can. (Even Me.) by Celinda Marsh, PBUUC member since 2007 and former Worship Associate; with Worship Associate Will Snyder
In the book Rising Strong, Brene Brown struggles with the question, Is everyone doing the best they can? She discovers that compassion and peace follow those who choose to believe it is true. To me, her reflections resonate with our first UU Principle - promoting the inherent worth and dignity of every person. But, as a workaholic perfectionist, the hardest part for me is not giving other people the benefit of the doubt, but imagining that (maybe) I am doing my best, too.
Jul 2Democracy, Social Justice, and Our UU Principles by PBUUC Worship Associate Annual Auction Service
Pat Behenna won this service by the Worship Associates at our 2016 church auction and chose the topic. The WA`s will reflect on our nations history concerning racial justice, gender equality, climate justice, and peace vs. war. How do our UU principles relate to these large themes in terms of our past, present, and possible futures?
Jun 25Struggling for Wholeness; Faith Community & Mental Health by Carla Miller, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and Paul Wester, Worship Associate
Many of us find the spiritual and social connectedness that encourages wholeness through participation in faith communities. How does our faith, and our church, keep us mentally and emotionally healthy? How might PBUUC become even more welcoming of those with mental illness, and supportive of their loved ones, than we already are?
Jun 18RE Sunday - The Magic of Religious Exploration by Carla Miller, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; with Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate; The Chalice Dancers; and special musical performances by the RE classes.
Our Harry Potter-themed Junior Youth class, Harry & U.U. will help us to conjure up a magical worship experience as we bring our RE year to a close. This worship service will be led by our Children`s Religious Exploration community. We will honor our Teachers for their service; and celebrate with a gathering in the glen following service.
Jun 11Determined Still to Do Our Best to the Last by The PBUUC Choir with The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; Carla Miller, DMRE; and Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate
This is the final day of the relationship between PBUUC and our Interim Minister. It is a time for goodbyes, but also a time to say hello to the future.
Jun 4The Journey Begins by Rev. Rachel Christensen; with Carla Miller, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; Paul Wester, Worship Associate; and the Choir
As we consider the possibility of beginning this journey together, how shall we walk together? Honoring our past and considering the future, what is the next best step? This sermon marks the end of Rev. Rachel Christensen`s week with us. The congregation will vote to call during the annual meeting following the service.
May 28The End of the Runway May be Obscured by Presented by Ministerial Candidate The Rev. Rachel Christensen; with Carla Miller, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and Mary Rooker, Worship Associate
The path of our journey is never clear, even when we think we know where we are going.
May 21Spirit of Life by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with the PBUUC Worship Associate team; and the Choir
Carolyn McDade`s Spirit of Life is truly among the most beloved of songs for Unitarian Universalists. What does it mean to us?
May 14Happy Mothers Day to Mother Earth! Annual Flower Communion and Multigenerational Worship by Carla Miller, Director of Multicultural Religious Exploration; with Abby Wester, Worship Associate; the PBUUC Green Team; and the Childrens Choir
We will celebrate our beautiful Mother Earth, and honor her need for our loving attention. Please bring a flower for each family member attending. You will go home with a flower from another member of our church community.
May 7We Must Love One Another or Die by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate; Carla Miller, DMRE; and the Choir
Perhaps the choices for how to live a human life boil down to two: a defensive tribalism, or inclusion.*Featuring the world premiere of a special Choir piece commissioned by Auction Winner Pat Behenna and composed by Markus Williams.*
Apr 30Hymn Sing by David Chapman, Music Director and Pianist, with Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate; and Carla Miller, DMRE
Gather around the piano and lift your voices in song this Sunday for our Hymn Sing service. Put the name of your favorite hymn in the basket when you come in and see if it is chosen! Greatest hits, oldies but goodies and intriguing new tunes are all welcome for suggestion. Sing out strong, tap your toes or sit back and listen. All voices wanted and welcome!
Apr 23`And Still I Rise` -- 12th Annual Dance Service by The Paint Branch Chalice Dancers, Sharon Werth Director; with The Erika Thimey Dance & Theater Co. & The Adat Shalom Dancers; Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; and Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate
What hard times have you faced and how do you rise above them? Yes, ``Hard times require furious dancing`` Alice Walker.
Apr 16The Song of Mary Magdalene by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Van Summers, Worship Associate; the Chalice Dancers; and the Choir;
Easter Sunday reminds us that out of devastating loss can come inextingushable hope. *** Followed by an Easter Egg hunt. ***
Apr 9Miriam`s Timbrel by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Will Snyder, Worship Associate; Carla Miller, DMRE; the Children`s Choir; and special instrumental music.
Reflections on Passover, which begins on April 11.
Apr 2Hari Om by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister and Gita`s Dream; with Carla Miller, DMRE; and Mary Rooker, Worship Associate
Gita`s Dream (a.k.a. Gita and Christopher Zember) will lead us in a session of kirtan, an ancient tradition of devotional chanting.
Mar 26Disciplines by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Paul Wester, Worship Associate; and the Choir
A phrase like spiritual practice might invoke in our minds images of specific rituals. That is one way of understanding spiritual practice, but ultimately it is about attitudes and ways of living.
Mar 19Altruism by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Van Summers, Worship Associate; and the Children`s Choir
Understanding how we can make a difference for the better is always important, but its especially urgent for us now.
Mar 12The Long Road to Nineveh by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Beth Charboneau, Worship Associate; and the Choir
The Book of Jonah in the Hebrew scriptures is many things: prophecy, satire, metaphor. ***Remember to Spring Forward and set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night.***
Mar 5Kindness by Guest speaker Rev. Pratima Dharm; with Will Snyder, Worship Associate
Christian Nestell Bovee wrote, Kindness is a language which even the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Rev. Pratima Dharm will speak on the topic of kindness to remind us of how we need to be more kind in order to live with hope instead of hate especially to fight the wrongs present in our society today. Kindness when applied on self and others, is a strategy that helps us not only to adhere to the principles of our faith better but also helps us hear our own inner voices of truth and justice in order to create our Beloved Community.
Feb 26The Workshop of Our Common Endeavor by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Van Summers, Worship Associate; the Chalice Dancers; and the Choir
Building and maintaining a beloved community of memory and hope demands much of us, and brings much joy and beauty into our lives.
Feb 19Reconstructing by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; and Paul Wester, Worship Associate
Many in our congregation are reading the book The Third Reconstruction by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber. This book, and the moral movement it describes, has much to teach us.
Feb 12As Hearts Beat As One by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Abby Wester, Worship Associate; the Chalice Dancers; and the Childrens and Adult Choirs
We gather in community to remember what love demands of us.
Feb 5Membership in the World is Not Optional by Guest speaker Rev. Judith Morris; with Carla Miller, DMRE; and Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate
Rev. Judy Morris, a retired Unitarian Universalist Minister and current member at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church will share thoughts about membership and its meaning for us as a community and as citizens.
Jan 29The Order of Melchizedek by The Reverend Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; and the Choir
Clergy leaders of one kind or another have been present in every human civilization for thousands of years. What does clergy leadership mean to us?
Jan 22Love, Love and Love by The Reverend Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Mary Rooker, Worship Associate; and Scottish Fiddle Music by Sunita Pathik
Its challenging to love, especially as we recognize that there are different ways to love, and that there are different kinds of love.
Jan 15The End of the Obama Era and the Rise of Trumpism by The Rev. Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; Paul Wester, Worship Associate; and the PBUUC Choir
Racism has always been part of American culture, but after a time of some progress, the nation appears to have regressed. And so the work of justice and compassion must continue.
Jan 8Resolution by The Reverend Evan Keely, Interim Minister; with Carla Miller, DMRE; and Van Summers, Worship Associate
A new year is as good a time as any to renew our commitment to being who we truly want to be.
Jan 1Kwanzaa: An All Ages Celebration, Assessment and Feast by Carmelita Carter-Sykes with Carla Miller, Director of Multigenerational Exploration, Worship Associate Will Snyder, and the Chalice Dancers
This service sponsored by our Diversity/Anti Racism Transformation Team, (DARTT), will feature traditional music and rituals, drumming, stories, creation of art and the Chalice Dancers. In the Kwanzaa tradition of assessment as part of this end of year celebration, PBUUC members and friends will examine Black Lives Matter. The service will be followed immediately by the Kwanzaa Sharing Feast.

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Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church • 3215 Powder Mill Road • Adelphi, Maryland 20783-1097
301-937-3666 • Fax: 301-937-3667 • churchadmin@pbuuc.orgwebmaster@pbuuc.org

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