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 27||Heri Za Kwanzaa by The Members of the Diversity and Anti-Racism Transformation Team; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate|
PBUUCs DARTT members lead our annual Kwanzaa service.
|Dec 24||Family Service at 4:30 pm & Lessons and Carols Service at 7:30 pm by Rev. Keely and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration;|
At 4:30 pm - A Christmas Eve celebration for all ages. Children and youth are invited to remain in the Meeting House for the entire service. At 7:30 pm - Service of readings and song for Christmas Eve.
|Dec 20||The Longest Night by Rev. Keely; with Will Snyder and the entire Worship Associate team ; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
Cultures throughout the world have recognized the winter solstice as a special moment in the year. What can it mean for us?
|Dec 13||Holiday Choir Service by The PBUUC Choir Directed by David Chapman; with Rev. Keely; Noel Monardes Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Childrens Choir|
The PBUUC Choir will present its annual Holiday Service featuring traditional French, Spanish and Bulgarian carols and a Christmas Goes Classical medley with an explosive ending. And you wont want to miss a sweet collaboration with the Children Choir on May All Children Everywhere.
|Dec 6||Dedication by The Rev. Evan Keely; with Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the New Way Band.|
The Festival of Lights in the Jewish tradition is an opportunity for us to remember what is most sacred to us.
|Nov 29||Expectations by The Rev. Evan Keely; with Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associate|
The Christian season of Advent invites us to reflect on universal human themes of expectation.
|Nov 22||Our Song of Thanksgiving by Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; with Rev. Evan Keeley; Carol Boston and Beth Charbonneau, Worship Associates; the Choir; the Chalice Dancers; and the Childrens Choir|
We gather together at this season of harvest for a multi-generational service of gratitude. Please bring a non-perishable food item, or grocery store gift card to help a family in need celebrate Thanksgiving.
|Nov 15||The Artists Way by Carol Carter Walker and Sophie Bernheisel, leading the Worship Associate Team; with Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; the Chalice Dancers; and the Choir|
This is a multi-experiential service based on the principles of Julia Camerons landmark book The Artists Way, featuring the Worship Associates, Choir, Chalice Dancers and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration. The topic was selected by Penny OBrien who won the bid for a topic/theme of her choice for a Sunday Service led by the Worship Associates at the 2014 Auction.
|Nov 8||To Learn from Crises of Anguish by The Rev. Evan Keely; with Worship Associates Noel Monardes and Will Snyder; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Childrens Choir|
Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the complex and immensely important relationship that our country has with its military and those who serve in it.
|Nov 1||All Souls by The Rev. Evan Keely; with Van Summers, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Choir|
We gather in grateful remembrance of those whose lives have ended but whose legacy lives on in us. ** Remember to FALL BACK one hour, but if you forget and show up early, you can join the Meditation Group in Room 1 at 9:30 am. **
|Oct 25||Children of the Same God: The Common Threads of Islam and Unitarian Universalism by Dr. Bob Clegg; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
Unitarian Universalists and Islam hold a number of ideas in common in which UUs differ from our historical Christian roots. For example, Islam is explicitly monotheistic. Also, there is no original sin in Islam. In addition, moderate Muslims maintain what, to many Americans, is a surprising open-mindedness toward other Abrahamic religions. These characteristics invite us to consider the commonalities between Islam and Unitarian Universalism, as a possible basis for building relationships and partnering in distributive justice-compassion work.
|Oct 18||Spiritual Maturity by The Rev. Evan Keely; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate ; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Choir|
Retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong has remarked, When youre born again, youre still a child. People dont need to be born again; they need to grow up. What does spiritual maturity look like?
|Oct 11||All the Peoples on This Earth by The Rev. Evan Keely; with Worship Associates Carol Boston and Beth Charbonneau|
Columbus Day raises hard questions. There is much pain and injustice in human history and in the present. Can we build a more compassionate and more just future?
|Oct 4||The Servant Leader by Rev. Evan Keely; with Van Summers, Worship Associate; with Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Choir|
What do we expect from our leaders - in our church, in our community, in our world? What are the qualities of just and effective leadership?
|Sep 27||Why Church? by Rev. Evan Keely; with Worship Associate Noel Monardes; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
Why do we go to church? What purposes does an intentional religious community serve?
|Sep 20||The View from Mount Nebo by Rev. Evan Keely; with Worship Associate Carol Cater Walker; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
A time of intentional transition in any community creates opportunities for renewal.
|Sep 13||Ingathering Sunday by Rev. Evan Keely; with Carol Boston, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; the Chalice Dancers; and the Choir|
We begin a new church year with new possibilities, facing them with old challenges and old strengths.
|Sep 6||How Can I Keep From Singing! by Worship Associate Jonathan Mawdsley and Music Director David Chapman, Worship Leaders; with Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
Select, hear and sing your favorite hymns from diverse religious traditions.
|Aug 30||Dear Vegan: Please Go Away by Mary “Tyrtle” Rooker; with Van Summers, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
Many non-vegans feel disturbed around vegans and react negatively to veganism, even if we appear positive or neutral externally toward the vegan. Find out why this response to veganism is so common and natural and why it's uncomfortable to talk about not wanting to talk about it. Learn tips to get beyond this stage and feel more comfortable. Special Reverberations discussion in the Meeting House will follow the service. Contact Mary "Tyrtle" Rooker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Aug 23||Because of Her, We Can by Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate|
We will examine the life and actions of Rosa Parks and how her act of civil disobedience can inform and inspire our own activism today.
|Aug 16||Blessing of the Animals by Jonathan Mawdsley and Cory Carter , Worship Leaders; with Carol Boston, Worship Associate|
Join us for this special all-ages celebration of our animal friends and the many ways in which they enrich our lives. Well-behaved animal companions are welcome, as are photographs of animals that are special to you. The service will include opportunities for sharing our experiences with wild animals, working animals, and animal companions, as well as a short homily on "St. Francis for UUs."
|Aug 9||Singing in the Spirit by Members of Voice Exchange: Amado Ohland, Beth Lyons & Taunya Ferguson; with Bettie Young, Worship Associate|
Back by popular demand -- the members of Voice Exchange, including Paint Branchs own Beth Lyons, return to lead us in CircleSinging. Explore and experience the musical and spiritual as we sing, share, and discover the magic of co-creating community through song.
|Aug 2||The Wide Umbrella of Unitarian Universalism by Tricia Most, Worship Leader; with Van Summers, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and special music by the New Way band|
All ages are invited to celebrate and 'listen creatively' as we hear Van Summers, Elizabeth Porter, Montana Monardes, Ciara Bonilla, Jessica Sharp, and Renée Katz tell and sing to us about where they are on their faith journeys. Music by the New Way band, Keith Miller, and Richard Johnston. Paint Branch’s new Moyo Steel drum will debut.
|Jul 26||Famous Unitarian Universalists by Kathy Kearns and members of the Womens Group; with Carol Boston, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; special music by Renee Katz and Ebeth Porter; and guest pianist Markus Williams|
Join us for a lively and educational game of Jeopardy, with Kathy Kearns serving as Alexa Trebek and members of PBUUCs Womens Group providing UU-focused categories and answers for which youll provide the questions. Dont worry if youve never seen the show: We promise fun for all ages as we learn more about noteworthy Unitarian Universalists, past and present.
|Jul 19||World Our of Balance by Guest Speaker Kay McGraw; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate|
This service on climate change is being led by PBUUC member Kay McGraw, a marine biologist. Talking about climate change is a bit like being the "Greek messenger" -- few want to hear about it, because then they will have to think about it, and woe unto the messenger. Some people will not like what I have to say, but that never stopped me from speaking the truth.
|Jul 12||Letting Go by Rev. Russell Savage; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate;and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
As our time together draws to a close, some reflections about the process of parting and how we go about it. This will be the last sermon given at Paint Branch by Rev. Russ as our Interim Caretaker Minister. Please plan to stay after the service for a Farewell Reception, during which a light lunch will be provided and childcare will be available.
|Jul 5||Emancipation: Proclamation & Progress by Led by the PBUUC Diversity/Anti-Racism Transformation Team (DARTT), Carol Carter Walker, Worship Leader; and Bettie Young, Worship Associate|
Reflections from African-Americans and European Americans. Carmelita Carter-Sykes and Peter Wathen-Dunn, from Paint Branch; and Lynda Davis, Van Caldwell, and Rusty Vaughan, from Coming to the Table, an organization that provides leadership, resources and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States history of slavery. Followed byReverberations on Race & Indoor Potluck Picnic with Paint Branchers and Coming to the Table Members from DC, MD, and VA.
|Jun 28||Hey, This Is Our Bay by UU Arlington visitors Dick Graham and Jane McKeel; with Worship Associate Noel Monardes|
Strong respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part—the 7th principle of our faith—fuels concern for the restoration efforts of the Chesapeake Watershed…and about a concerted attack on those crucial efforts at this very moment. Dick Graham and Jane McKeel developed this presentation in the form of a scripted television interview. Dick was founding director of the UU Affordable Housing Corp. in 1990 (now morphed into the Open Door Foundation). Jane is co-author of two UUA curricula, Living the Promise and Jesus & His Kingdom of Equals, and is a former Director of Religious Education at the UU Church of Arlington.
|Jun 21||How To Say A Good Goodbye by Rev. Diane Teichert; with Bettie Young, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; the PBUUC and Childrens Choirs; The PBUUC Chalice Dancers; and other special music|
Why do our goodbyes so often feel incomplete or less than satisfying to us? Music, dance, and participatory rituals will be interspersed with Dianes reflections on our mutual feelings of sadness, on looking back at our time together, and on looking forward with hope for herself and for the congregation. We will celebrate a fond farewell as she resigns, for health reasons, as our Minister. Please plan to stay after the service for a Farewell Reception for Rev. Diane, during which a light lunch will be provided and childcare will be available.
|Jun 14||The Glory of Music—Annual Choir Service by Guest Speaker Bruce Baker; Worship Associate Carol Carter Walker; and the Choir|
David Chapman, Music Director and Pianist will direct the Choir in presenting all six movements of Francis Poulenc's Gloria, one of the masterpieces of the 20th century choral repertoire, highlighting soloists Allison Hughes, Alexandra Dilley and Elizabeth Porter. Former Worship Associate Bruce Baker will reprise his commentary on the Poulenc Gloria.
|Jun 7||A Celebration of Multigenerational Faith Formation by Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards; with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate|
Lets vision together. We will explore the idea of living in multigenerational community and celebrate the work we have done to live into our multigenerational goal. Additionally, we will celebrate a Tree Communion. Similar to the beloved, Flower Communion, the Tree Communion will celebrate nature and our human connection to it. Please bring a piece of a tree (twig, leaf, branch, seed, flower, bark) - without harming the tree - to service on this Sunday.
|May 31||What Brings Me Serenity? by PBUUC Youth: Milan Monardes, Sophie Bernheisel, Abigail Wester, Lillian Enoch, Kevin Ahearn, Caleb Porter, and Sara Earnest; with Youth Advisor Sonny Katz; and Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards|
The life of a teenager is filled with many competing priorities: school, family, work, church, extracurricular activities, friends, and the list goes on. This year’s youth service will focus on how we de-stress, in healthy ways.
|May 24||The Use of the Democratic Process by Rev. Russ Savage, with Worship Associate Noel Monardes and Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards|
Our Unitarian Universalist principles call us “to affirm and promote the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” How do we do this? How strongly should we promote the use of the democratic process upon others? This sermon topic was selected by auction winner Pat Behenna.
|May 17||When Grace Strikes by Rev. Rob Keithan, with Worship Associate Van Summers; Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards; and the Children’s Choir|
Theologian Paul Tillich wrote that “Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness” and leaves everything “transformed.” This sermon will reflect on what it means for grace to “strike,” and what we can do to be ready for it! Rev. Rob Keithan is a faith organizing and training consultant specializing in reproductive health, rights and justice issues as well as congregational social justice programs. He is an affiliated minister of All Souls Church Unitarian and lives with his partner Mandy in Washington, DC.
|May 10||Loving the Hell Out of the World by Rev. Christina Leone Tracy, guest minister; with Worship Associate Carol Boston; and the Choir|
Our mission as Unitarian Universalists is to create the beloved community, to stand on the side of love in the face of fear and hate, to literally "love the hell out" of the world. What does our history and theology call us to do, and can we be more than "community"? Rev. Christina Leone Tracy is Faith Development Minister and self-described "UU Evangelist" at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis. She and her husband Brian live in Hyattsville with their two dogs, Zoe and Jester.
|May 3||The Inevitability of Change by Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate with the entire PBUUC Worship Associates Team; and the Choir|
All things, including ourselves, are in the process of changing. To quote the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, we cannot step into the same river twice. Join the entire PBUUC Worship Associates team as we explore different dimensions and types of change in our lives. This service was commissioned by PBUUC member Ethelyn Bishop, who won the right to select the service topic for the Worship Associates' Service at last fall's PBUUC Church Auction.
|Apr 26||The Nature of Hope by Rev. Russ Savage, with Worship Associate Bettie Young, the Chalice Dancers, and Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards|
Of all the living and sentient beings on the earth, it is likely that humans are the only ones who know of hope—and of despair. This is so because both hope and despair have to do with our expectations of the future, and the future is a complex intellectual concept probably not shared by other beings. On this Earth Day Sunday, we will lift up our reverence and concern for the planet which is our home. ** To be followed by a Special Congregational Meeting at Noon. **
|Apr 19||Love, Still. That is All. by Rev. Diane Teichert; with Worship Associate Jonathan Mawdsley; Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards; and the Choir|
How does the "transforming power of love" actually work? Let us explore together theologies of recovery. The sermon is a sequel of sorts to Rev. Diane’s sermon from November, 2011 "Still Loved" which drew on the story of the book "Still Alice" on which the recent movie by that name is based.
|Apr 12||Fracking the Interdependent Web by Marilyn Moors, Guest Speaker; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; and the PBUUC New Way Band|
The Maryland Legislature is considering a two or three year moratorium on fracking the Marcellus Shale of western Maryland in order to study issues related to public health and economic growth. On a larger scale, the questions needing to be asked have to do with the effect of fracking on everything (the interdependent web) and whether it can safely be done at all given the present state of the technology and the economic structures through which it works.
|Apr 5||All-Ages Passover and Easter Service by Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate; the Choir; and the Children’s Choir|
At this sacred time in the Judeo-Christian calendar, we will explore the connection between the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter traditions. This lively all-ages service will include audience participation.
|Mar 29||The 10th Annual Dance Service: “At The Still Point … There The Dance Is” by The Paint Branch Chalice Dancers, Sharon Werth, Director; with The Erika Thimey Dance Company; and Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate|
We invite you to join us as we explore dance that comes from the still point, the meditative place inside us all. An excerpt from "Burnt Norton" in the "Four Quartets” by T. S. Elliot inspired the theme of this service.
|Mar 22||Questions of Ethics by Rev. Russ Savage; with Worship Associate Van Summers; and Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards|
Many situations we encounter in our complicated lives bring up questions of ethics. Just what is a question of ethics, and how is our response to ethical questions informed by our religious faith? Let us examine how reasonable persons might come to different answers on some of these difficult questions.
|Mar 15||Learning to Fly by Debbie Cole, guest speaker, with Worship Associate Carol Carter Walker; Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards; and the Choir|
We may all confront our growing edges differently, but at one time or another we find ourselves reaching for a higher bar. It can be scary and exhilarating and all part of learning to fly. Come fly with our guest speaker this morning as she talks about reaching beyond our comfort zone and reaping the rewards of being fully engaged as an individual or as a congregation. Debbie Cole is a Unitarian Universalist candidate minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She is a licensed pilot and certified diver who seeks adventure from within. As an accredited T’ai Chi Chih (pronounced chuh) instructor she finds peace in her T’ai Chi Chih practice as well as other forms of meditation. She is also the Cluster Coordinator for the Joseph Priestley District Greater DC/Maryland congregations.
|Mar 8||Building Our Way Together by Rev. Diane Teichert and Rev. Russ Savage, with Worship Associate Bettie Young, Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; the Choir; the Chalice Dancers; and the Children’s Choir|
Many people of faith are in Selma and Birmingham this weekend to observe the 50th anniversary of the 1965 March on Selma and to commit to continuing progress in multiculturalism and diversity. Today is also the kick-off of PBUUC’s annual Stewardship Drive in which we make our commitments for financial support for the coming year. Diane and Russ will examine the parallels between these two observances and what they mean to us and our faith.
|Mar 1||Hey This Is Our Bay by Guest Speakers: Dick Graham, Jane McKeel, Hank Lewis, Joan Lewis, and Bob Maybury; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate|
The service on March 1st was created by two longtime Unitarian Universalists from Arlington, VA, Dick Graham and Jane McKeel. Their strong respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part – the 7th Principle of our faith – fuels their concern for the restoration efforts of the Chesapeake Watershed … and about a concerted attack upon those crucial efforts at this very moment. To share this situation with others, they developed this presentation in the form of a scripted television interview: "Hey, This is Our Bay." Dick was Founding Director of the UU Affordable Housing Corp. in 1990 (now morphed into the Open Door Foundation). Co-author of two full-year UU curricula, Living the Promise and Jesus & His Kingdom of Equals, Jane McKeel served UUCA as Director of Religious Education 1985-91.
|Feb 22||-- CANCELLED -- by Rev. Russ Savage and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; with Carol Boston, Worship Associate; the Chalice Dancers; and the Children’s Choir|
Because of Them We Can In recognition of Black History Month, we examine the lives of contemporary African-American heroes such as Rosa Parks, whose courageous acts moved our nation forward. Because of their lives, we can more confidently move toward being a multicultural society.
|Feb 15||The Name of God: Should It Be Exclaimed, Reclaimed or Buried? by Guest speakers Haytham Younis, Dennis Skocz, Daniel Spiro and John Shook; with Bettie Young, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Choir|
An imam, a traditional Christian, a progressive Jew, and an unabashed atheist talk about God. Followed by a Q&A and discussion period during Enrichment Hour.
|Feb 8||Arjuna, the Reluctant Warrior by Rev. Russ Savage, with Genie Ahearn, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration|
The Bhagavad Gita, a scripture sacred in the Hindu tradition, tells the story of the warrior Arjuna and his spiritual struggle with whether to resist evil or lay down his arms. Let us examine this ancient classic and see what it might teach us about struggles we face today.
|Feb 1||What This Unitarian Universalist Believes by Rev. Dave Hunter, with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and the Choir|
Unitarian Universalists are creedless; beliefs aren't key for us; we're not required or expected to believe alike. But still people want to know what we UUs believe, and despite our protests, common beliefs are important for us. Our seven principles aren't enough. Rev. Dave Hunter is co-minister of the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg, PA. He is a graduate of Princeton University, Harvard Law School, and Wesley Theological Seminary. In an earlier career he was an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department.
|Jan 25||Transitions by Rev. Russ Savage, John Bartoli, and Rev. Diane Teichert, with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Religious Exploration; and The New Way Band|
Change challenges us when it comes upon us. We know we are leaving the old familiar place and heading toward a new place which we see but dimly. The space in between can be filled with confusion and doubt. Perhaps PBUUC is in such a space right now. We will examine what that feels like and how we might move ahead.
|Jan 18||Sweet Freedom by Rev. Kate Walker, guest preacher; with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate; Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Education; and the PBUUC Choir|
This sermon will look at the complexity of freedom as envisioned by our founding fathers to Martin Luther King Jr. It will ask what liberation theology and our UU Principles have to teach us about how to navigate the moral ambiguity of freedom. Also,selections from the choir. Rev. Kate Walker is minister of the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria, VA.
|Jan 11||New Words for Old by Rev. Russ Savage; with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate; and Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Education|
Someone brings it up every year: “I wish we could sing Christmas carols with the old words I remember instead of the new ones in our hymnal.” The words we change are a reflection of what is important to us, and many words are changed not only in Christmas carols but in other hymns as well. Let us see what we can learn about ourselves from comparing the new words with the old.
|Jan 4||Be Ours a Religion? by Leo Jones, guest speaker; with Dayna Edwards, Director of Multigenerational Education; Van Summers, Worship Associate; and guest pianist Deni Foster|
Unitarian Universalists have embarked upon a seemingly endless search for an "elevator speech" that explains Unitarian Universalism. We have become defensive about our faith, and have engaged in an unnecessary, and sometimes painful, attempt to prove to others and ourselves that ours is a religion. Why and how can we move forward with pride in our faith and represent Unitarian Universalism without apology?