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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.

2014

Dec 28Kwanzaa All-Ages Service by Carmelita Carter-Sykes with Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Education; Bettie Young, Worship Associate; Audrey Andrist, guest pianist; 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 "Selma Then, Ferguson Now." The service will be followed immediately by the Kwanzaa Sharing Feast.
Dec 248:00 PM Joyful Singing in Solemn Stillness by Rev. Russ Savage with Worship Associate Noel Monardes, the Choir, and Chalice Dancers
Come, hear carols familiar and carols new, stories old and stories true. Sense the calm settling in around us on this dark night, the angels bending to sing "Peace on Earth, to all good will." The service will end with the traditional candlelight ceremony. [The offering at both Christmas Eve services will support the Warm Nights program to shelter the homeless.]
Dec 244:30 PM All-Ages Service with Living Nativity by Rev. Russ Savage and Dayna Edwards, Director, Multigenerational Religious Exploration, with Worship Associate Van Summers, the Children’s Choir, and the Chalice Dancers
The Christmas story will unfold in a spirited, no-rehearsal nativity pageant. Wear your own barn animal, angel, shepherd or magi costume, or one of ours, or just watch and be enthralled. The service will end with the traditional candlelight ceremony. [The offering at both Christmas Eve services will support the Warm Nights program to shelter the homeless.]
Dec 21Norse Yule by Guest speaker Katherine Earle; with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate; and the PBUUC Chalice Dancers
On this shortest day of the year, people use this time for introspection, reflection, and family. The Norse tradition believes in "a gift for a gift." As we give our congregation the gift of support and fellowship, we will ask the gods for a gift in return as the wheel of the year turns.
Dec 14Holiday Choir Service by The Choir led by David Chapman, Music Director; Rev. Russ Savage; and Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate
Join us for this traditional joyous service of holiday music. The choir will offer works for both Christmas and Hanukkah, and all will join in singing familiar Christmas carols.
Dec 7Already Home for the Holidays by Guest Speaker Beth Charbonneau; with Carol Boston, Worship Associate
For many of us, the holiday season can give rise to a very strong longing for home--whether we conceive of that as an actual or idealized place. The teachings of Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh have much to say about those yearnings. Join PBUUC member Beth Charbonneau in exploring the possibility that we are already home for the holidays as she shares perspectives as a Buddhist and psychotherapist.
Nov 30Prescription for Holiday Stress by Rev. Russ Savage, with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director, Multigenerational Religious Exploration
The holidays are upon us once again, and often they are a time of stress. There are so many things to do, and so many expectations to fulfill, that it can be overwhelming. On this Sunday as the holidays get rolling full speed, I will share some tips I’ve learned over the years for dealing with the stress.
Nov 23Thanksgiving for Life by Rev. Russ Savage, with Carol Boston and Genie Ahearn, Worship Associates; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Choir
Every faith tradition calls its followers to give thanks. We think of this especially at this harvest time of year, but it is true throughout the year. We are called to a spirit of gratitude by life itself. In this all-ages service, we will take up a special collection for the UU Service Committee’s Guest At Your Table program, and we will share a harvest communion.
Nov 16Flying by the Seat of My Pants by Rev. Richard Speck, guest preacher; with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate
Life is like being a pilot. There are skills that you learn that help you navigate your journey. We will explore some of the similarities and what I have learned about living and flying. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to soar!
Nov 9Orphan Sunday by Rev. Russ Savage; with Van Summers, Worship Associate; and the Choir
Millions of children around the world are at risk. Either one or both of their parents are gone; they lack access to education and health care; sometimes families are so poor they put children in institutions because they cannot feed them. Many churches are observing Orphan Sunday this month to shed light on this topic and what can be done. What do our UU principles teach us to do about this problem? This sermon topic was selected by Kathi Yu, who purchased it in the 2013 PBUUC Auction.
Nov 2With A Little Help From Our Friends by Beth Baker, guest speaker; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director, Multigenerational Religious Exploration
Beth Baker, local author and member of Washington Ethical Society, will talk about grassroots efforts to live with more intention and community in the next chapter of life. These issues are explored in her latest book, With a Little Help From Our Friends: Creating Community As We Grow Older, which will be on sale after the service.
Oct 26The Structure of Forgiveness by Rev. Russ Savage; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate
Forgiveness is not a simple social act, but a complex psychological and spiritual process with a definite structure and necessary steps. Let us examine this structure in light of our own personal needs to forgive and be forgiven, and in light of the current world situation. This sermon topic was selected by Ken Montville, who purchased it in the 2013 PBUUC Auction. This is a Signing Sunday—for those who are ready to join the church, meet at the chalice after the postlude.
Oct 19Holy Land by Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael and Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael, guest preachers; with Carol Boston and Genie Ahearn, Worship Associates; and the PBUUC Chalice Dancers
Rev. Scott and Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael  honor our congregation's 60th Anniversary by exploring the nature of "Holy Ground" - the lands we consecrate with our beliefs and our intentions.  Their reflections draw on their encounter with the disputed lands of Israel and Palestine. This service will include a ritual honoring PBUUC's remaining founding members.
Oct 12Rich Man, Poor Man by Rev. Russ Savage; with Bettie Young and Van Summers, Worship Associates
We see it all around us; maybe we even experience it. People with no job, or with a low-level temp job which pays little and offers no benefits and no security; and people with plenty, far more than enough, building houses like castles behind closed gates. This past June at the General Assembly, the UUA adopted a Congregational Study Action Issue entitled Escalating Inequality. Let us examine how our faith interacts with the social and economic reality in which we presently live.
Oct 5Identity: A Reflection by Michel Léger, guest speaker; with Jonathan Mawdsley and Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associates
How DO we speak about a topic that is at once so vast and so focused, so PERSONAL? How can we untangle the Gordian knot that is at the heart of who we are as a political people, who we are as a nation, who we are, each individually, from the inside...from the outside? How can we as a spiritual movement open our doors and our hearts to an expanding diversity while maintaining a spiritual IDENTITY? I make no promises about reaching conclusions that will satisfy my own (or YOUR) desires for neatness; but I'll offer my reflections in any case—as my contribution to the conversation.
Sep 28A Faith for Today by Rev. Russ Savage; with Carol Boston, Worship Associate
Research tells us that the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion is growing rapidly. What are people seeking that faith traditions are not providing? Let’s consider why our Unitarian Universalist faith might be a faith for the world and the times we live in. -- This is a Signing Sunday: those who have decided to make PBUUC their spiritual home may sign our membership book; and those wishing to learn more about PBUUC or Unitarian-Universalism may meet with the minister at 11:30.
Sep 21Wildfires Burning by Rev. Rebekah Montgomery, guest preacher; Noel Monardes, Worship Associate and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration
Rev. Rebekah Montgomery is a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. She is a chaplain and has served in Afghanistan.
Sep 14Do You Want to Be Made Whole? by Rev. Russ Savage; with Bettie Young, Worship Associate
Life sometimes places us in difficult or painful situations. How are we to respond? Perhaps the most valuable lesson is that these situations will teach us something about the world and ourselves, will transform us into something new.
Sep 7Ingathering Sunday by Worship Associate Team; with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; The Chalice Dancers and The Choir
Our first service of the new church year, Ingathering, will be a celebration of community and recognition of the transitions that occur as we move from summer to fall. Bring water for our Water Communion and your backpack for our Backpack Dedication.
Aug 31Now Let Us Sing! by Service Leaders Carol Carter Walker and David Chapman; with Mary Wester, Worship Associate
You’ll get a chance to hear and sing some of your favorite hymns from diverse religious traditions. Part of the service will be devoted to pre-selected tunes. Part will be devoted to those from the teal and gray hymnals that you’ll call out on the spot.
Aug 24Moral Tribalism or “Can We All Get Along?” by Service Leader Tess Morrison; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate
Join members of the Quest book discussion group in a service about the ideas in Joshua Greene’s book, Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them, which explores neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy to encourage matching the right kind of thinking to the right kind of problem. When it is Me versus Us, think fast; when it is Us versus Them, think slow. How do we bridge the gap between the two? Perhaps the common ground between Us and Them is a global moral philosophy.
Aug 17Young Adults and International Justice Work: More Fun Than a Rugby Game by Service Leaders Marge Owens and Sophie Bernheisel; with Ken Redd, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration
Youth and older adults have been participating in a zinger of a 4-day seminar series focused on international peace and social justice in New York City for over 50 years. Hear from several PBUUC members of various ages who have attended this Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office event over the years.
Aug 10Engaging Ourselves in the Creative Arts: An All-Ages Service by Service Leader Carol Boston; with Bettie Young, Worship Associate
Enjoy a hands-on celebration of the creative practices embodied in our congregation, from music to visual arts to poetry to dance. Join people of all ages to experiment with your favorite medium and share what you create with others. Everyone is a creative genius today!
Aug 3The Challenge of Couple Relationships by Service Leaders Barbara and Don Fairfield; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate
We enter into a committed relationship on the wings of validation with the hope of happiness and the wish for passion. What we actually get is a challenge to grow beyond our limitations. Meeting this challenge has its rewards, making it ultimately worth the effort.
Jul 27Our Family Matters by Service Leaders Carmelita Carter-Sykes, Janet Overton, and Bekki Ow-Ärhus; with Bettie Young, Worship Associate; and, guest pianist Audrey Andrist
A family is as strong as each member's ability to accept and appreciate all of its members. A family is secure when all can share their thoughts and feelings and know they are heard. A strong family doesn't denigrate its members for being different, and stands against those who do. As a church family, we at PBUUC have issues to come to terms with. This DARTT Summer Service and the Enrichment Hour Reverberations discussion that follows aim to create a more inclusive family in which all can thrive. Please join us as we examine the effects of assumptions and prejudgments on everyone.
Jul 20Hungry for Change by Service Leader Mary "Tyrtle" Rooker; with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate, and guest pianist Deni Foster
Many of us want to make minor or major dietary changes for any number of reasons, but we struggle with how to make short-term or long-term change. How can we make it easier and succeed? What spiritual aspects apply, and how can they help? If you’re still hungry, come to the Enrichment Hour Reverberations discussion for a second helping.
Jul 13Singing in the Spirit by Service Leaders: Members of VoiceExchange (Beth Lyons, Amado Ohland, Paris Kern, and Taunya Ferguson); with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate
The impulse to make music is as old as humanity itself, and the singing voice is the original musical instrument. Join us for an exploration of what it means for all people to be naturally endowed with this ability to make musichow it helps to create bonded community, comforts the sick-at-heart, and inspires transcendent wonder. Guest presenters VoiceExchange will speak on these aspects of singing together, and more importantly, lead us in joyful, tender, and uplifting experiences in song. Lets raise our voices in song together!
Jul 6Personal Sources by Service Leader Carol Boston; with Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration
Unitarian Universalist congregations share a "living tradition" of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from many sources. On this Independence Day weekend, join PBUUCers as they reflect on the varied beliefs and practices that contribute to their personal spirituality, including Andy Myrup and Neil Davidson on Johrei, the practice of channeling light; Mary "Tyrtle" Rooker on shamanism and mysticism; and Shantida Joseph and Lynn Johnson on meditation. Stay to explore some of these practices yourself during Enrichment Hour.
Jun 29Blessing of the Animals/Blessings of the Animals: An All-Ages Service by Guest Speakers Jonathan Mawdsley and Cory Carter; with Carol Boston, Worship Associate
Join us for a celebration of the animals in our lives—our animal companions, animals that serve us, and the wildlife around us. Please bring your well-behaved cat, dog, or other animal friend, or a picture of an animal that was or is special in your life.
Jun 22Religious Freedom: What It Is and What It Is Not by Guest Speaker Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State with Ken Redd, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration
This sermon examines ongoing controversies over the meaning of religious freedom. Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State will discuss how Religious Right-led attempts to redefine religious liberty would affect LGBT rights, reproductive rights, access to health care, and the equal treatment of all Americans, religious and non-religious.
Jun 15The 2014 Annual Choir Service by The PBUUC Choir led by Music Director David Chapman; with Worship Associate Jonathan Mawdsley
You don't want to miss the annual  choir service!  Come and enjoy an eclectic mix of musical pieces -  some familiar, some brand new.
Jun 8Lost and Found by PBUUC Youth Group; with Mary Wester, Worship Associate
This annual youth-led service features music, dance, and drama, as we explore the topic of loss, and the opportunities that arise from it.
Jun 1RE Sunday with Flower Communion by Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration with Bettie Young, Worship Associate; and the RE Choir and Band
Join us for a celebration of color and flowers as the Religious Exploration program shares its wonderful gifts with the entire congregation. This All-Ages Service will include a flower communion, so bring your flowers to share. At an All-Ages Service, children and youth are invited to remain in the Meeting House for the entire service. The RE Choir and Band will perform.
May 25Be Astonished by Guest Preacher Rev. Gretchen Weis with Ken Redd, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration; guest pianist Deni Foster and a Flute Quartet
A poet offers three simple instructions for living in this world:  Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.  We become what we pay attention to, the poet warns.  Our observations and curiosity continue to make and remake us.   When we take the time to pause and shake our senses fully awake, we open our hearts to rich, profound levels of experiencing wonder, mystery and awe.  We are transformed.
May 18Where the Theology Meets the Road by Guest Preacher Rev. Michael Eselun, with Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration, Bettie Young, Worship Associate, and the Choir
We think we know what we believe and what we hold to be true, but when it comes to a crisis of illness or death, often all bets are off.  Michael Eselun, an oncology chaplain at the Simms/Mann - UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, will share an exploration of the different ways patients' theologies intersect with such crises, and the common themes that seem to surface from the atheist or fundamentalist alike.
May 11Learn and Let Learn: Lessons from Flying Trapeze by Guest Preacher Rev. Rob Keithan, with Mary Wester, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration
At home, work, and play, life gives us endless opportunities to learn and to support learning. Sometimes we're the student, and sometimes we're the teacher. And sometimes it's not that clear! This is also Child Dedication Sunday, see BRANCHES for more information if your family would like to take part.
May 4In the Blink of an Eye by Guest Preachers Rev. John Manwell and Rev. Phyllis Hubbell with Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration; Carol Boston, Worship Associate; performances by the Choir and Children's Choir
Too often, life disrupts our best-laid plans. We revisit this morning the ancient question: How can we live intentionally and embrace life fully, in the face of the uncertainty of life? We will also recognize and honor PBUUC's newest members in a ceremony coordinated by Polly Pettit, Chair of the Membership Team.
Apr 27Circle for the Planet: Annual Earth Day Service by Guest Speaker Professor Derrick Lampkin; with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate; and the Children’s Choir
What can we learn from Terra's fast-changing "Big Ice" and why does it matter for the future of human life on our planet? PBUUC’s Green Team will show "Chasing Ice" during Enrichment Hour.
Apr 20Easter Service with a UU Twist: An All-Ages Service by Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration, with Rev. Diane Teichert Noel Monardes, Worship Associate, and the Choir
We will honor Easter by celebrating the cycle of destruction and creation that is a part of life, nature, and the most ancient of religions. There will be audience participation for anyone who wishes to become a part of the story. "All Ages" means that children and youth will participate for the full hour, with more arts and activity than usual. Easter Egg Hunt after the service, weather permitting!
Apr 13Be Here Now by Leo Jones, preaching, with Carol Boston, Worship Associate
We spend so much time thinking about the past or the future that we sometimes miss the many benefits of experiencing the present. How does living in the present improve the quality of our lives, increase our capacity for compassion, and help us to live our Unitarian Universalist values? The Special Collection will be taken for the Zero Waste Prince George's County.
Apr 6The 9th Annual Dance Service: We Are One by The Paint Branch Chalice Dancers, Sharon Werth, Director The Erika Thimey Company, Classical Indian Dance, Hip Hop, and Salsa Rev. Diane Teichert, Ken Redd, Worship Associate, Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration
We invite you to join us as we give expression through dance as a unifying spirit of many cultures. Dance has existed at all times, and among all people and ethnicities. When we dance – we are one. Today is Signing Sunday – for those ready to make the commitments of membership, please meet the Minister and Trustee at the chalice after the service.
Mar 30On Creation and Creationism by Rev. Diane Teichert and Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate, and the Choir
Today we begin a new "arc" in our worship year, focusing on the Earth, and will start with our own Judeo-Christian tradition and its - not one but two - creation stories. Newcomers are invited for informal conversation with the Minister in her office from 11:30 to 12:30.
Mar 23Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall: Claiming Our Social Justice Story by Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg with Bettie Young, Worship Associate, Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Choir
President Obama's Second Inaugural Address memorably connected "Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall." We will explore how the connections between those social justice stories can inspire and inform our present and future UU work for social justice.
Mar 16Pay It Forward by The Worship Associates with Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration
In this auction service, won by PBUUC member Paul Young, the Worship Associates discuss their perspectives on the "Pay It Forward" concept through personal reflections, spirit plays, and music.
Mar 9Mind, Hands, Heart, and Spirit: An All Ages Service for Stewardship Sunday by Rev. Diane Teichert with Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration, Worship Associate Bettie Young, the House Band, Adult Choir, Children’s Choir and Chalice Dancers
Shaped around our Chalice Lighting words, this service will help you to identify which of the four parts is "most you" and help us see that we all fit in and are needed. "All Ages" means that children and youth participate for the full hour, with more arts and activity than usual. The Stewardship "Helping Hands, Loving Hearts" luncheon will follow the service, to kick off our 2014-2015 financial pledge drive.
Mar 2Sense of Wonder amid Signs of Doom by Rev. Diane Teichert and Noel Monardes, Worship Associate and a guest-presenter for the Together Time
We honor Women’s History Month by searching the writings, both personal and public, of Rachel Carson, who lived in Silver Spring and worked in Laurel, and is often credited with launching the mid-twentieth century environmental action movement.
Feb 23Forgiving or/and Forgetting by Rev. Diane Teichert with Mary Wester, Worship Associate, Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Chalice Dancers
We honor Black History Month with the Chalice Dancers’ 2013 Auction Dance “We Shall Overcome” and by searching the writings, speeches and sermons of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for wisdom on the topic of forgiveness. The Special Collection will be taken for The Family and Friends of Incarcerated People. Newcomers are invited for informal conversation with the Minister in her office from 11:30 to 12:30.
Feb 16God(s) Bless America by Guest Preacher George Glady, with Ken Redd, Worship Associate, Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Choir
Our guest preacher will offer a religious liberals" look at American patriotic songs and holidays
Feb 9Sympathy, Fidelity and Courage by Rev. Diane Teichert with Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration and Noel Monardes, Worship Associate
Celebrating the birthday of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809, we will let him lead us on an exploration of the nature of altruism, appropriate for our theme this winter, Compassion and Justice. Please stay for the annual Town Hall Meeting.
Feb 2From a Trinity of Errors to a Trinity of Promises by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Worship Associate Carol Boston, and the Choir
Just as individuals form a congregation, congregations form our Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. And if UUism is a “living tradition” as we like to call it, and a movement more than a denomination, where is it/where are we moving?
Jan 26The Other 1% by Guest Preacher Neil Donovan with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate
Each year, approximately 3.5 million Americans - one percent of the US population - experience the most radical form of persistent poverty: homelessness. As conscientious Unitarian Universalists committed to social justice, what can be done to end this crisis? The Special Collection will support the Community Caf. Warm Nights setup begins after the service, with hosting starting tonight through Sunday morning, February 2
Jan 19Who's Got Shoes ? The Morality Of Income Disparity by Rev. Diane Teichert, Director of Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards Bettie Young, Worship Associate, with the Choir and Chalice Dancers
In honor of the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we will explore his words on poverty, inequality, and greed. Newcomers are invited for informal conversation with the Minister in her office from 11:30 to 12:30. Volunteer for Warm Nights in the Foyer after the service.
Jan 12We Begin Again in Love by Rev. Diane Teichert with Rev. Renee Ruchotzke preaching, and Ken Redd, Worship Associate
Without a shared doctrine or even a shared theology, what is it that binds us as a congregation? We will explore how Unitarian Universalist polity, our form of organization, itself – when practiced in the tradition of our ancestors – provides the answer. Volunteer for Warm Nights in the Foyer after the service.
Jan 5Note to Self by Rev. Diane Teichert with Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration and Noel Monardes, Worship Associate
Let’s be light-hearted about the persistent custom of New Year’s Resolutions, even as we know that some of us have, with great resolve, made challenging changes in our lives. The service will include an expression of gratitude to our RE volunteers, and it is Signing Sunday – for those who are ready to sign the PBUUC Membership Book, meet the Minister and Board Greeter at the chalice after the service. Volunteer for Warm Nights in the foyer after the service.

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Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church • 3215 Powder Mill Road • Adelphi, Maryland 20783-1097
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