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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.


Dec 25On Christmas Day by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Ken Redd, Worship Associate
No Religious Exploration Program/No Nursery Care An intimate service of stories and lovely, less-sung carols.
Dec 24Christmas Presence! by Rev. Diane Teichert with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, PBUUC Youth Singers, and Chalice Dancers
The familiar Christmas Story will be told, and more, with carols and candlelight, and we will share in fun and good humor the meanings of Christmas in our own lives. Babies through elders, all are welcome!"
Dec 24Love is Born Again by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Celinda Marsh, Worship Associate, the Choir and Chalice Dancers
Come, hear carols familiar and carols new, stories old and stories true. Sense the peace settling in around us on this dark night, for when "our hearts are open, love is born again," and let yourself be lifted by joy."
Dec 18All Ages Winter Solstice Service: Eight Lights of Hanukkah by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Ken Redd, Worship Associate
Featuring a Dramatization by Erica Shadowsong,DRE, with the Middle School Class, the Chalice Dancers, and All Ages Holiday Choir. No RE Classes, but nursery care is provided in Room 5. One of the "festival of lights" at the winter solstice, Hanukkah is an ancient story with meanings through time to the present. We will take a journey together this morning in drama, dance and song. Please bring mittens or other warm items for the Mitten Tree (see page 11 of the December issue of Branches. The holiday Meal will follow.
Dec 11There's Holiday Music In The Air! by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Don Mitchell, and Erica Shadowsong, DRE
Holiday Choir Service - The PBUUC choir will present its annual Holiday Service featuring familiar chestnuts, as well as new, thought provoking repertoire. Come join the festivities as the choir puts us in the holiday spirit! Today is Signing Sunday, for those who wish to sign the PBUUC Membership Book.
Dec 4Find A Stillness by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Clarie Boston, Worship Associate, Paint Branch Youth Singers and Chalice Dancers
Just when the long, dark nights suggest we might have time to find some stillness, the "holiday season" tempts (or drags) us into being crazy-busy. Oh, to offset the preparations,procuring, and parties with some peace!
Nov 27What Should a Good Unitarian Universalist Do? by Guest Preacher: MD Delegate Doyle Niemann with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate And Abby Crowley offering the Together Time
Overcoming our weaknesses and charting a positive path in a changing world"¦ or how do we avoid being our own worst enemy? Our guest preacher, a PBUUC member, is a representative in the Maryland House of Delegates. There will be an all ages drumming workshop for children and youth in the Kelley Room, after the Sing-away Song, with Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, and drummer Mark Cornick.
Nov 20For All that is Our Life by Rev. Diane Teichert with John Sebastian, Worship Associates; Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Choir
Gratitude and praise, humility and generosity… why ought these Thanksgiving themes be our everyday disciplines? Today we begin Guest at Your Table, a holiday-long fundraiser for the UU Service Committee’s empowerment work around the world.
Nov 13Public Education Sunday by Featuring students from Suitland High School’s Center for the Performing and Visual Arts; Rev. Diane Teichert with Marilyn Pearl, Worship Associate
The performances by these young people are always inspiring! The homily will explore “what makes a great teacher.” The Special Collection will be for the string program at Suitland High School. DARTT will host a brunch before the service for the students and accompanying friends and family.
Nov 6Still Loved by Rev. Diane Teichert with Ken Redd, Worship Associate, and the Choir
Is a person without memories still the person, and how do we cope with these losses – our own and our loved ones? Today we will thank and covenant with the lay leaders who help us be a “caring community,” our Pastoral Care Associates and We Care Coordinators.
Oct 30Honoring the Ancestors: An All Ages Samhain Service by Rev. Diane Teichert with Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration John Sebastian, Worship Associate, and Members of the Nature Spirituality Circle
Join us for a creative celebration at this time of the "thin veil." The service will be followed by the "Fall Fest" organized by the Religious Exploration Committee - come one and all!
Oct 23Being Green by Rev. Diane Teichert and Donald Milton, MD DrPH and Green Team Members Celinda Marsh, Worship Associate Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Choir
We celebrate our new official status as a UUA "Green Sanctuary" by exploring scientific and spiritual contexts for environmental justice efforts, and get excited about what may be next in "greening" PBUUC. Don Milton is the director of the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at UMD and is Diane's spouse.
Oct 16Doing the Right Thing: the Motive is the Message by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Claire Boston and Marilyn Pearl, Worship Associates; Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Chalice Dancers
This is the Auction Sermon of 2010, won by Kenneth M. Jenkins, who asked the minister to "summarize and critique Immanuel Kant's Moral Philosophy." She had not read Kant since autumn of 1970, but she will gamely rise to the challenge, with some help from the congregation.
Oct 9Human Nature and the Origins of War by PBUUC's Quest Book Group, with Don Mitchell, Worship Associate, and the Choir
In his book The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War, David Livingston Smith applies the evolutionary lens in answering questions such as "What is it about how we evolved that may have led to our proclivities towards war? How can compassionate people justify war? Is war a rational endeavor? What about the future of war?" Join members of the Quest Reading Group to reflect on poignant themes they gleaned from Smith's perspective.
Oct 2The Help, the Quote, and Fortune by Rev. Diane Teichert with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate
The  recent  book/movie,  the  quotation  on  the  new Martin  Luther  King  Jr.  Memorial,  and  local public  events  honoring  the   life  and  memory  of a  slave  named  Fortune  conspire  to  create  a timely  moment  for  a  conversation  on  race  in  our  culture. We will covenant with our Board of Trustees and Officers and take up a special collection for our Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
Sep 25The Power of the Unitarian Universalist Story by Rev. Diane Teichert with Marilyn Pearl, Worship Associate; Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration
How do we narrate our history and theology - so that it has POWER to transform ourselves and the world? Newcomers are invited to the Minister's Office for conversation with her after the service. Bring a friend, neighbor or family member for what will be a great introduction to our faith, but not a repeat for the long-timer!
Sep 18Wade in the Water: Annual Ingathering Sunday - A Celebration for All Ages by Rev. Diane Teichert with Don Mitchell, Celinda Marsh, and all of the Worship Associates; Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration; the Choir and the Chalice Dancers
Come to discover (or rediscover) the power of our stories as we tell them, they become our collective story, one that draws in new folks and invites us all into a deeply joyful experience. Please bring a small amount of water representing your summer's most meaningful story (for newcomers or those who forget, pitchers of water will be available). A Special Collection will be taken for the UU Church of Brunswick, Maine. After the service, visit the Opportunities and Activities Fair. Bring relatives, friends or neighbors on our opening Sunday! Children and youth participate for the entire service. Nursery care is provided for the youngest.
Sep 11Turning to Peace by Rev. Diane Teichert with John Sebastian and Ken Redd, Worship Associates; Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration; the Choir and the Chalice Dancers. Plus a solo dance performance by Sharon Werth, Director of the Chalice Dancers.
On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we pause to remember, probe for meanings in the world as it has become since, and affirm with story, music and dance humanity's yearning for peace. Bring relatives, friends or neighbors for this deeply inspiring commemoration. After Together Time, middle and high school youth are encouraged to remain for the duration of the service while younger children will gather in the RE Building for multi-age activities.
Sep 4Poetry Service by Shantida, Worship Associate
Today, some published and amateur poets among us will share their musing in ways diverse and colorful.
Aug 21Homeless in Prince George's by John Bartoli and Community Crisis Services, Inc. with Tish Hall, Worship Associate
People are homeless all year long, not just in the winter. Come hear how Paint Branch made a difference last January, and how we can continue to make a difference and advocate for these men, women, and children who struggle at the edges of our society.
Aug 14The Power of Our Stories by Rev. Diane Teichert, with John Sebastian, Worship Associate
What is your story? What is PBUUC's story? Our new Director of Religious Exploration, Erica Shadowsong, will offer her first Together Time story.
Aug 7We Are All Migrants by Members of DARRT & Social Action
This service will life up and link our immigrant stories.
Jul 31Many Religions - One Person: What I Like About My Neighbor's Religion by Vanessa Landau with Worship Associate Tish Hall
Many UUs come to this faith community upon rejecting their religion-of-origin; but, even if we appreciate some of its aspects, are we a community that casts away the trappings of religion?... or are we a community that draws from the many founts of religion? What do we glean from Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. when it is not our religion-of-origin? PBUUCers express what they like about the faith traditions other their own.
Jul 24Hello. Nice To Meet You. What Do You Do? by PBUUC Men's Fellowship with Worship Associate John Sebastian
Does this sound like a familiar exchange? Our culture judges a man by what he does and by what he has accomplished. Men grow up having to prove their worth so they can be accepted. Is there a way that we can accept a man for who he is rather than what he does? Join Paint Branch men as we explore this and other cultural standards that a man must navigate simply to be accepted.
Jul 17Songs From Home by Leo Jones, with Worship Associate Carol Carter Walker
Most Unitarian Universalists left a religion of origin in which they spent their formative years. While they may no longer accept the dogma the religion espouses, there are aspects of their early spiritual journeys that still resonate and remain an important part of who we are. Members and friends will share the music, hymns, chants, and prayers set to music from their religions of origin that bring back fond memories, strike an emotional chord, or have retained an important spiritual connection.
Jul 10The Muse Of Summer by with Worship Associate Donald Mitchell
Join with us to celebrate the beauty of musical expression. When we open ourselves to the possibility of creating music we are connecting to the Web of Life in a way that is spiritual and moving to the creator and those that share in that moment.
Jul 3Blessing The Animals by Jim Flaherty, with Worship Associate Shantida
Animals are part of our worship today because animals are intimate to our humanity. Whether it's a dog or cat, fish, or bird; whether it's kept in your house or enjoyed in the forest, we share life and consciousness with animals. Bring your (well-behaved and controllable) animal to church today or bring your reminiscence. You will have the opportunity to share your (short-version) story with the community as we bless and appreciate the animals. We encourage all to take care of themselves and families in deciding if you or your children will attend this service, esp. related to allergies.
Jun 26The 'Christian Nation' Myth by Robert Boston, with Abby Crowley, Worship Associate
Recent polls show that a large number of Americans believe that the U.S. Constitution offers special recognition to Christianity. How did the myth of an officially Christian America get started, and why does it continue to have such a hold over the people? Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State will explore these questions and explain the true origins of religious freedom in America.
Jun 19In My Father's Shoes by Rev. Diane Teichert with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate, and Men's Choral Ensemble
Join us for a variety of voices speaking (or singing) about having fathers, being fathers, and (gender-non specific) "fathering." After the service, the DRE Search Committee will introduce and host a reception for Erica Shadowsong, whose tenure as our new Director of Religious Exploration will begin the week of August 1st.
Jun 12Celebrating Our Year In Religious Exploration by Karen Lee Scrivo, Interim Director of Religious Exploration with Rev. Diane Teichert John Sebastian, Worship Associate
Join us for this All Ages service in which our children and youth share what they've learned about respecting everyone, celebrating our diversity and caring for our earth. Featuring Youth Dancers too!
Jun 5¡Cantar! (Sing!) by The Paint Branch Choir with Rev. Diane Teichert and Abby Crowley, Worship Associate
In this annual choir service, the choir will be singing our hearts out in Latin, Italian, Hebrew, Spanish and, of course, English. Featuring soloists Don Mitchell, Pat Tompkins and Allison Hughes; and John Lagerquist playing flute.
May 29The War Prayer by Mark Twain by Dramatic reading by Donald Mitchell and Tish Hall, with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate
On this and every Memorial Day, it is timely to consider deeply Twain's poem, about which he said, I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead." "
May 22Towards An Intentional Multicultural Congregation: Next Steps In The Journey by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Don Mitchell, Worship Associate, And members of the Diversity Anti-Racism Transformation Team
This service will echo the "welcoming differences" theme for May in some of our children's Religious Exploration classes. With Rev. Marta Valentin's poem "The Resting Place Makes the Journey Doable" moving us, we will explore transformations already underway and what next commitments would need to be made for us to move toward being an intentional multicultural congregation. A "congregational conversation" will follow during Enrichment Hour in the Meeting House.
May 15Begin With The End In Mind by Rev. Diane Teichert and Karen Lee Scrivo, Interim Director of Religious Exploration with Shantida, Worship Associate and the Choir
What's been changing in our Religious Exploration program and how is our congregation growing as a result, in these nearly two "interim" years? What's germinating? What might be awaiting pollination? A child dedication ceremony will be included, and we will take up a Special Collection for CROP Hunger Walk 2011
May 8In Our Mother's House by The Paint Branch Chalice Dancers with Carol Carter-Walker, Worship Associate Also featuring the Choir and The Erika Thimey Dance Company

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This Dance Service celebrating nurturing and community will include the premier performance of You Raise Me Up, the 2011 Auction dance purchased by Nancy Boardman. "How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these." - George Washington Carver.
May 1Beauty Before Us by Rev. Diane Teichert, John Lagerquist and Shantida with John Sebastian, Worship Associate
Join the minister, a musician and a photographer for a three-way conversation about the nature of beauty. On this day we also welcome our newest members.
Apr 24Arise, Hope! Easter Service with Flower Communion by Rev. Diane Teichert and Interim Director of Religious Exploration Karen Lee Scrivo, with Abby Crowley, Worship Associate, the Choir and the Chalice Dancers
We may not interpret The Resurrection literally, but we do want to be (in the words of the poet May Sarton) "the always hopeful gardeners of the spirit who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light nothing flowers." Please bring flowers from garden or roadside for this celebration of Earth's annual rebirth.
Apr 17The Man Who Planted Trees by Rev. Diane Teichert, Interim DRE Karen Lee Scrivo, with Shantida, Worship Associate, Young Dancers and Holiday Choir
Continuing the "tree theme" that began on Samhain and continued with the Winter Solstice Service, this All Ages service will lift up environmental action steps households can undertake. In a departure from past All Ages services, we will share written Joys and Sorrows as part of a Meditation modified for children. This month's Special Collection will be taken today for Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Apr 10Living In The Heart Of The Civil War by with Worship Associates Tish Hall, Shantida, Abby Crowley, Donald Mitchell, John Sebastian and the Choir
Our nation's interpretation of the Civil War has varied over the years, from a 50th anniversary soldiers' reunion and reconciliation at Gettysburg while Jim Crow and sundown towns expanded"¦ to a centennial focused on military pageantry at the height of the civil rights struggle. April 12 marks the 150th anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter. How does our interpretation of the Civil War today fit in with the events and ethos of our times?
Apr 3Saving The Future by The PBUUC High School Youth Group
It's our earth and it's our job to save it. An extraordinary special collection for UUA Japan Relief Fund will be taken
Mar 27The Sensitive Buddha by Rev. Michael Relland, with Tish Hall, Worship Associate and the Choir
We all possess a masculine and feminine spirit, which, like the culturally androgynous Buddha, can guide us to a full understanding of ourselves. Put simply, we become whole through the full acceptance of the many parts of ourselves. (See "Meet the Guest Preacher" in the March edition of Branches, on page 4.)
Mar 20Good Good-Byes by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Don Mitchell, Worship Associate
Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending," said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a Unitarian. We are artists of endings, all our lives up to and including at the end. Our Special Collection for the month will be taken today for the Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice.
Mar 13Freedom Is Coming, But It Won't Get Here By Itself by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Abby Crowley, Worship Associate, and the Choir
The streets of Cairo and elsewhere in the Middle East have been alive with protest, much like ours were in civil rights movement days. Now, as then, the media portrays movements as spontaneous. Not! We will commemorate both Black and Women's History Months by lifting up the role of women in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. During Enrichment Hour, Diane will show an Al-Jazeera/English video about the organizers of the freedom movement in Cairo and the origins of their non-violence.
Mar 6For Us And For Others by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate, the Choir and Chalice Dancers
Ministers are encouraged to occasionally "get the view from the balcony" and so, as we kick-off our Annual Stewardship Drive, our still relatively new minister will reflect on what she sees with heart, soul, mind and body.
Feb 27Lilies and Sparrows by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Tish Hall, Worship Associate, and youth dancers Lillian Enoch, Mary Wester and Nirvana Lutchman
When you feel anxious or are carrying heavy burdens, how do you find rest and relief? Jesus gave advice that sounds amazingly contemporary, so it must be that human beings have been stressed out for at least two millennia! This is the last in a series of three services related to the Bible Stories theme in our Religious Exploration program. Please plan to stay for the annual Congregational Town Meeting after the service.
Feb 20Babble: A Modern Bible Story A Service for All Ages by Rev. Diane Teichert and Karen Lee Scrivo, Interim Director of Religious Exploration, with John Sebastian, Worship Associate
Join us for this All-Ages service loosely based on the biblical story of the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis. What happens when ambition and greed overshadow our common purpose? What's the cost of seeking results over relationship? Come and help us tell this timeless tale that reminds us that success is empty without love and the warm spirit of community. This month's Special Collection will be taken today for College Bound.
Feb 13Speaking Of Commitments by Mark Shute & Theresa Brown Shute, John Sebastian & Michael Léger, Lowell & Marge Owens with Shantida, Worship Associate, and the Choir
On the eve of Valentine's Day (and the annual marriage equality Lobby Day in Annapolis) and in the season of reflecting on what PBUUC means to us, we asked three couples to muse aloud on their commitments to their life partner, on if/how being legally wed or not impacts their commitment, and on how their commitments to our church may differ from or be similar to love.
Feb 6Self-Discovery and Anti-Racism by Rev. Preston Mears, Worship Leader, with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate
Our commitment to civil rights and social justice is often tinged, if not tainted, by condescension. Our commitments can be a doorway to discovering ourselves in new ways in others and to promoting social justice. Rev. Mears' recent trip to see family in Guangzhou, China just may come up
Jan 30Standing On The Side Of... Marriage? by Rev. Diane Teichert and Tish Hall, Worship Associate, with the Choir
Marriage equality in Maryland is one of two social justice issues chosen for our focus in 2010-11 by attendees at PBUUC's Social Action Kick-off, but heart-felt questions arise: why advocate for the right to such a troubled institution? how best to talk with family or friends who are opposed? what small things can I do? Please stay for a Community Conversation, World Cafe style, after the service.
Jan 23Quoting The Bible by Rev. Diane Teichert and Don Mitchell, Worship Associate
Bible Stories is the theme for several of our children's Religious Exploration classes January until March, so in worship today we will explore Biblical beauty and truth, and some of the paradoxes inherent in quoting it.
Jan 16My Soul Has Grown Deep by Rev. Diane Teichert and John Sebastian, Worship Associate, with the Choir
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a civil rights leader but he also championed workers rights and, as early as April 1967, an end to the Vietnam War. Was he doing too much? Is PBUUC doing too much? We will explore a vision to better orchestrate our social justice efforts for more depth. The Special Collection for January will be taken today, to provide support for student academic success at nearby High Point High School.
Jan 9Lighting The Chalice: More Than A Ritual by Rev. Diane Teichert and Abby Crowley, Worship Associate
We'll explore the history of the "chalice with flame" as the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist living tradition, why it has come to have meaning to so many UU congregations, and how it is used to strengthen and grow our UU movement through the Chalice Lighters program, which - in our District - was started by our own Ron and Ellen Cotts, in whose honor we want to sign up new members on this Chalice Lighters Sunday.
Jan 2New Year's Reflections by Worship Leaders: Mary "Tyrtle" Rooker and Shantida, with Deni Foster, pianist.
Children start in the Meeting House, and then go to the Kelley Room for multi-age child care. Youth are encouraged to attend the service. No diets, no exercise pledges, no resolutions required. Come celebrate the turning of the calendar and be led to find a perspective on who you are, where you've been, and where you might be going.

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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

Regular operating hours for the Church Office are 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Friday. Any exception to these hours will be posted in the Sunday Order of Service.