Skip directly to content

Feed aggregator

The Responsibility of White Environmentalism

Latest Podcasts - April 22, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Brian Sauder on April 22, 2018. In this Earth Day sermon, Rev. Sauder lifts up a Tillichian theme of mutual priesthood by sharing his journey as the President of Faith in Place. Our faith traditions provide the tools of emergence for personal spiritual transformation. It is this spiritual transformation that further allows people of faith to lead the environmental movement to new heights of impact.

Rev. Sauder is the President & Executive Director of Faith in Place. His passion is empowering faith communities across Illinois to take measurable steps to connect the dots between faith, environmental justice, poverty, mass incarceration, race, violence, class, and health. Rev. Sauder is ordained by the Mennonite Church U.S.A. and worships with Chicago Community Mennonite Church in East Garfield Park. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary, co-teaching an environmental certification course for future clergy.

The theme for April is what it means to be a people of emergence. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Requiem by Gabriel Fauré

Latest Podcasts - April 15, 2018 - 12:00pm

This Choir Sunday from April 15, 2018 features a performance of the Requiem by Gabriel Fauré. UTUUC Music Director Marty Swisher offers an introductory reflection and conducts the Unity Temple Choir with soprano soloist Henriët Fourie Thompson, a UTUUC member, and baritone soloist Jeffrey Ray. They are accompanied by UTUUC organist/pianist Peter Engel Storms on organ and Chicago area orchestral musicians on harp, violin, violas, cellos, double bass, trumpets and timpani.

The theme for April is what it means to be a people of emergence. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

We Have Only Begun

Latest Podcasts - April 8, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on April 8, 2018. In his last sermon before a sabbatical, Rev. Taylor highlights some of the defining moments in the congregation's past few decades. He encourages members to continue their spring "emergence," blossoming as a community, to unleash courageous love.

The theme for April is what it means to be a people of emergence. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Waking Up To Love

Latest Podcasts - April 1, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on April 1, 2018. On Easter morning, Rev. Taylor reflected on the faith of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the teachings of Jesus interpreted by Dr. King’s mentor, Howard Thurman, affirming love as the most durable power in the world and the function of religious community to make paradise tangible.

The theme for April is what it means to be a people of emergence. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Skin in the Game

Latest Podcasts - March 25, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Scott Aaseng on March 25, 2018. Working for justice can sometimes seem like a matter of giving up what we want and acting entirely for the sake of others. But is there a way of looking at action for justice as something in which we have a stake in what happens – with our own skin in the game?

Rev. Aaseng was a musician, a community activist, and a Lutheran pastor (among other things) prior to discovering his call to Unitarian Universalist ministry. Today, he is Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI) and UTUUC's Community Minister.

Scott graduated from the St. Olaf Paracollege with a degree in Peace Studies, and spent a year studying and traveling in South Africa during the apartheid years. He volunteered as a teacher in rural Tanzania, before returning to the U.S. and earning his M.Div. at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He interned at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and served a small Lutheran congregation on the southwest side of Chicago for five years in the early 1990’s.

He left ordained ministry to become primary caregiver for his two daughters, while becoming project director and then grant-writer for the Southwest Youth Collaborative, a community-based youth organization he helped found. He also served as musician for a number of church gospel choirs, and went on to serve as Village Musician at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in the mountains of Washington state. Upon returning to Chicago in 2005, he became a project assistant with American Friends Service Committee, coordinating a nationally touring display of combat boots and civilian shoes showing the human cost of war. He also began attending Third Unitarian Church in Chicago with his family.

Becoming a musician at Third Unitarian in 2009 re-awakened his call to ministry, now more clearly grounded in Unitarian Universalism. He took classes at both Starr King and Meadville Lombard seminaries, completed his internship at Unity Temple, and went on to serve as Unity Temple’s first Assistant Minister for Social Justice. He has since served as part-time Consulting Minister at the Unitarian Church of Quincy, Illinois and at First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana. He now serves as Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois. 

Scott has lived on the west side of Chicago for 20 years with his spouse, Gale Holmlund, and their two teenage daughters, Sunniva and Brita. He enjoys bicycling, playing piano, being outdoors, and traveling with his family.

The theme for March is how to be a people of balance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Navigating the Narrow Ridge

Latest Podcasts - March 18, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on March 18, 2018. Taking his family on a hike, Rev. Taylor stumbled on the metaphor of “the narrow ridge” for the faith journey. Drawing wisdom from Howard Thurman and Rabbi Martin Buber, this sermon provides a provocative perspective on the theme of balance. 

The theme for March is what it means to be a people of balance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Balancing Stones

Latest Podcasts - March 11, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on March 11, 2018. Do you struggle with staying centered? Reflecting on the Buddhist teaching of the Bamboo Acrobat, Rev. Taylor shares challenges and fruits of cultivating a sustained spiritual practice. 

The theme for March is what it means to be a people of balance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Keeping Your Balance

Latest Podcasts - March 4, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on March 4, 2018. All our lives we focus on balance whether we think about it or not. In the very beginning we master sitting up, standing up, walking -- they are, in part, all a matter of balancing. Later in life, it’s often this kind of balance we focus on again, as we lose some of those abilities and need help. When the balance of our bodies is out of whack, that’s what we tend to focus on all the time. But there is also the question of balance on the inside.

The theme for March is what it means to be a people of balance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Silence, Suffering, and the Salvation of Sharing

Latest Podcasts - February 25, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on February 25, 2018. Reflecting on the #MeToo movement as a call for justice, Rev. Taylor explores how it is also a men’s issue: how women and men willing to honestly address the painful reality of toxic masculinity can together change our culture by actively promoting the inherent worth and dignity of all. 

The theme for February is what it means to be a people of perseverance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

The Courage of Persistence

Latest Podcasts - February 18, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Intern Minister Kellie C. Kelly on February 18, 2018. In our own personal lives and in our communal work for social justice, the ability to persist and persevere is an important skill to build and strengthen. Sometimes, it is the only type of courage we need. 

The theme for February is what it means to be a people of perseverance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

Called to Be Creatively Maladjusted

Latest Podcasts - February 11, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on February 11, 2018. What are the gifts and sacrifices that come with being who you really are and embodying your values? Rev. Taylor reflects on the journey of the Guatemalan man in our care, the story of the founder of the first LGBTQ human rights organization in Guatemala, and the role that severe depression played in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The theme for February is what it means to be a people of perseverance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website

The Next Right Step

Latest Podcasts - February 4, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on February 4, 2018. It’s not often you hear about the day someone heard "no" for the seventh time and they just flipped out. Or the many days like that. It’s not often that you read about the time they just sat down and sobbed and sobbed. Or the multiple times like that. It’s not often you hear about the Herculean effort it took to get out of bed that morning. Or efforts it took to do whatever. But these things are always part of the story. Always. Always.

The theme for February is what it means to be a people of perseverance. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Lead with Love

Latest Podcasts - January 28, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Colleen Vahey on January 28, 2018. The sermon was preceded by "Imagine" by John Lennon, performed by the Unity Temple Singers. Rev. Vahey explores the importance of bold visions, moral courage and abundant love to see us through devastating times. She outlines the guiding principles of our growing Faith in Action Network, and shares upcoming calls to action to keep bending the moral arc of the universe toward justice!    

In September 2015, Colleen joined the Unity Temple staff as our part-time Faith in Action Coordinator. She is an ordained UU minister who, over the past twenty-five years, has served as a hospital chaplain, a religious educator, a college lecturer and assistant minister. Since August 2017, Colleen also serves as the part-time minister of Third Unitarian Church of Chicago. 

The theme for January is what it means to be a people of intention. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

A Myth For Our Time?

Latest Podcasts - January 21, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on January 21, 2018. What do the history of covenant and Rev. Taylor’s favorite Star Wars movie have to do with one another? How does covenant, shared intention, transcend our present moment and connect us to the generations past and future?

The theme for January is what it means to be a people of intention. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

Steps Toward Freedom

Latest Podcasts - January 14, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on January 14, 2018.

The theme for January is what it means to be a people of intention. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website. 

The Pull of Intention

Latest Podcasts - January 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on January 7, 2018. Ellen Bass writes: "The thing is to love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it, and everything you've held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it…. Then you hold life like a face between your palms, a plain face, no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, I will take you I will love you again." 
Sometimes it is easy to know how to love life again. Sometimes it is not.

The theme for January is what it means to be a people of intention. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.