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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. 

Time For an Upgrade! Using UU Buddhist Wisdom to Modernize Our Minds

Latest Podcasts - December 31, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by UTUUC member Terry Kinsey on December 31, 2017. Terry suggests it's time to upgrade our "operating system" so that we will act from a more skillful responsive space and not a reactive "habit pattern." Our habit pattern space has evolved over time and if we want to upgrade it, we'll need to put into practice an intentional plan including "designing" the desired operating system and then "installing" the upgrade through practice. He presents a specific UU Buddhist plan of action.

Terry Kinsey joined Unity Temple in 1982. As a member of this congregation he has taught many AYS/OWL classes for junior high students. He participates in the original Men's Group which started in 1984 and has led several Men's Retreats. Terry founded Mother Earth Adventures which existed from 1991-2010 and offered vision quests and sweat lodges. In 1985, he became a counselor at Marwood Camp, a weeklong UU rites of passage summer camp for adolescents. Professionally, Terry is a retired pediatric physical therapist. His interest in secular/liberal Buddhism began in 1998. He has attended many 9- to 11-day silent Buddhist wilderness backpacks and canoe retreats as well as many 6- to 11-day silent center-based Buddhist retreats. His Buddhist "coaches" are Stephen Schettini and Erik Kolvig. Terry can be reached at mindful@unitytemple.org or terrykinsey@gmail.com.

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

 

Following a Star

Latest Podcasts - December 24, 2017 - 12:00pm

This reading and homily from the Christmas Eve Pageant service were delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on December 24, 2017. This is precisely why the Christmas story is so completely awesome: It is about following the star... and actually finding where it is leading you. It is about the impossible being possible. It is about miracles.

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

Christmas Eve

Latest Podcasts - December 24, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor at the 11:00 p.m. service on December 24, 2017. In this Christmas Eve homily, Rev. Taylor reflects on the saving tradition of Unitarian Universalism that thrives in the congregational life at Unity Temple, acknowledging the beauty of being back in our space while lifting up the call to embody kindness, curiosity, and joy.

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

Hopes and Dreams

Latest Podcasts - December 17, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on December 17, 2017. The sermon is preceded by the story for all ages, "The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming" by Lemony Snicket. Rev. Gage says, "This December, we are exploring the theme of hope. That sounds about right. I'm up for some more hope. Even that wasn't the theme, I'd be up here working on hope, preaching on hope, finding hope wherever I can find it."

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

Find a Stillness

Latest Podcasts - December 10, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on December 10, 2018. In this typically frenetic time, Rev. Taylor urges us to take time to find stillness. He explores the relationship between stillness and revelation, as there is often so much hidden from us, both exquisitely beautiful as well as horrific.

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

Seeking the Gates of Hope

Latest Podcasts - December 3, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on December 3, 2017. Rev. Taylor provides a sermon on seeking hope in a time of despair. Sometimes history and even our lives seem like Pandora’s Box has been opened. How do we keep hope even when cultural forms of hope seem vacuous and irrelevant to the times?

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

Choosing Abundance

Latest Podcasts - November 26, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Intern Minister Kellie C. Kelly on November 26, 2017. Despite what society teaches us, we can create abundance when we give ourselves the gift of gratitude.

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

A Little Bit and a Little Bit More

Latest Podcasts - November 19, 2017 - 12:00pm

Reflection delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on November 19, 2017. 20th century Unitarian Universalist theologian James Luther Adams used to say that “Church is a place where you get to practice being human.” We all – all of us – have to practice being human, because none of us – not even the grown ups – have it all figured out.

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

Living Into Abundance

Latest Podcasts - November 12, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on November 12, 2017.

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

Let's Change the World

Latest Podcasts - November 5, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Nathan Hollister on November 5, 2017. Rev. Hollister, board member of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), speaks to why he, as a lifelong proponent of culture change, believes the UUSC embodies our Unitarian Universalist values and is especially effective in meeting the needs of some of the most marginalized people all over the world.

Rev. Hollister leads the ministry of Scared Fire Unitarian Universalist, which plants and grows deliberate communities supporting life and social justice all across the country. He received degrees in Political Science and Sociology from Northeastern University, and his Masters of Divinity and Masters of Leadership from Meadville Lombard Theological School, where he now serves as Affiliate Faculty. "Nato," in addition to his UUSC board position, chairs the UUA's Commission on Appraisal as well as the board of his local Immigrant and Refugee Community Partnership.

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

The Courage to Remember

Latest Podcasts - October 29, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on October 29, 2017. 

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

Abolition Democracy

Latest Podcasts - October 22, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Colin Bossen on October 22, 2017. W. E. B. DuBois posited that the United States faced a choice between abolition democracy and white supremacy. As part of the UUA-wide teach-in on white supremacy, we’ll explore how the quest for abolition democracy is connected to our religious journeys as Unitarian Universalists.

An award winning preacher, scholar and social justice organizer, Rev. Bossen is currently working on his doctorate at Harvard University where he is studying the relationship between theology and populism. Twice a month he preaches at the First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist, Ashby, Massachusetts, where he serves as the parish minister. His research has been supported by the American Studies program of Harvard University, a Harvard Merit Term-Time Fellowship, a Frederick Kettner Scholarship from the Biosophical Institute, the Fund for Nurturing Unitarian Universalist Scholarship, multiple Joseph Sumner Smith Scholarships, the Joseph Gittler Fund for Religion and Ethics, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the Center for American Political Studies. Prior to returning to academia Rev. Bossen served as a parish minister for six years. He serves on the Board for the Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society and is the author of two religious education curriculums and close to two dozen published essays, articles, book chapters and poems. Colin's brother is the painter Jorin Bossen. His oil and crayon painting is the image for this podcast listing.

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

We Were Made for These Times

Latest Podcasts - October 15, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Scott Aaseng on October 15, 2017. The times we live in are difficult, distracting, troubling. Yet our faith is grounded in deep roots which enable us to not only withstand the storms, but to become stronger by living into the solidarity of interdependence. As Clarissa Estes puts it, we are indeed made for these times.

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

The Courage of Generosity

Latest Podcasts - October 8, 2017 - 12:00pm

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on October 8, 2017. Rev. Taylor explores what it means to be a people of courage and connects it to how we are called to give of ourselves generously, sometimes even when it feels like a sacrifice. 

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

The Call of Our Faith

Latest Podcasts - October 6, 2017 - 12:11pm

Sermon delivered by Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray on October 1, 2017. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, the newly elected first woman president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), shares her vision for the UUA, of which Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation is a vibrant part.

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray was elected as the President of the UUA on June 24, 2017. Previously, she was the Minister of the UU Congregation of Phoenix, where she had served since August 2008. She also served as Minister at the First UU Church of Youngstown from 2003-2008. Community organizing and justice leadership have been key components of Rev. Frederick-Gray’s ministry. In October 2014, when marriage equality came to Arizona, Rev. Susan married 13 same-sex couples on that day outside the downtown Phoenix Clerk’s office. Susan and her congregation have worked closely with the Puente Human Rights Movement to bring national attention to the human rights abuses in Maricopa County and the need for national humane immigration reform. She organized Unitarian Universalists nationally in the campaign against Arizona’s SB 1070, including being arrested in an act of civil disobedience on the Day of Non-compliance against SB 1070. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray can be reached at sfrederickgray@uua.org.

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