Highlights from Recent Services:
November 20, 2022 – Read the script from the Trans Day of Remembrance service.
November 13, 2022 – Old ways of thinking and acting won’t help us birth those possibilities to new life. For that, we’re just going to have to try something completely different. Read the script.
November 6, 2022 – ‘Being, Then Becoming.’ This service focusses on personal change, the choices we make to enable change, and the possibilities that grow as that change deepens. Read the script.
October 17, 2022 – UUCM’s Small Group Ministry facilitators share some of their experiences participating in these intimate groups, discovering together the deeper experience of what it means to be church together. Read the script.
October 9, 2022 – ‘Ordinary Courage’ Courageous acts don’t always alter history! In addition to the heroic acts that alter history, there are also the daily choices that prevent history from altering us! Bending the arc of the universe toward justice deserves praise, but so does the ordinary work of integrity and not allowing ourselves to be bent. Read the script
October 2, 2022 – ‘From Caring Comes Courage’ As individuals and as a congregation we have the potential for courage. History has shown us that whether we act alone or with others, the most important step is commitment and the courage to keep it. This service shows us that every act of courage takes choice, commitment and caring. Moral outrage goes only so far. Moral courage changes the world. Read the script
September 18, 2022 Read the script from the ‘Return Again’ service, in which we reaffirmed our Covenant and which included the Water Communion ceremony.
September 11, 2022 ‘Eucatastrophy’ In life as in literature we sometimes find ourselves in a situation that can only turn out badly. We begin to lose hope when, unexpectedly, things take a turn for the better that we perhaps don’t deserve. Life hands us a gift. It happens all the time in fairy tales, but in real life we call it being blessed with another chance. What happens to us after grace finds us. Read the script.
September 4, 2022 ‘What’s In it for Me’ – This service offers some insights on how we value what we have to give, and what makes for a rich life experience. Many of us offer time to UUCM. What do we recognize as the value to both ourselves and our community from giving rather than receiving? Read the Script
August 28, 2022 – Fractals, Patterns, and Repetition: How Shape and Structure Organize Us From the Inside Out. Read the script.
August 21, 2022 – This service explores the many kinds of spiritual nourishment that are
possible through giving and receiving and connecting to the oneness in the world. Read the script.
August 7, 2022 – Dystopian literature and film have long been powerful tools to paint a worst-case scenario as a warning for societal change. We’ll look at four famous novels and movies (The Handmaid’s Tale, Atlas Shrugged, Okja, and the Matrix) that have made us think about the role of religion, class and privilege, the power of business, and human exploitation of the natural world. Then we will consider how authoritarian control isolates human beings from their best instincts. Read the script.
2022 Summer Vesper Services focus on the natural elements:
- July 20 – WATER Read the script
- August 3 – AIR Read the script
- August 17 – EARTH Read the script
- August 31 – FIRE Read the script
July 24, 2022 – ‘Living on the Margins’ There is a direct relationship between biodiversity loss and climate change. Some of the choices we make can help. Read the script.
July 10, 2022 – The Ukrainian people are only the latest in a sad chronicle of humanity’s worst decisions. What does this systemic inequality tell us about ourselves? Read the script.
July 3, 2022 – How has this powerful anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ shaped the struggle for equality and human rights? Read the script.
June 19, 2022 Revisit the services created by the Worship Team this past church year.
May 29, 2022 – Read the script and listen to the choir’s offerings for Music Sunday.
May 15,2022 – ‘Once upon a time, the stuff of you and the stuff of me glittered in the Great Canopy until a very big bang occurred and we were carried on stellar winds. When the winds slowed down enough to become interstellar clouds, some of the heavier elements formed the Earth – and that eventually gave rise to us!’ Read the text.
May 8, 2022 – ‘Our bodies are the conduits through which all beauty passes in order to first be recognized as beautiful.’ Read the text.
May 1, 2022 – “Becoming Stewards of the Sacred Balance” This service will look at the ways we can develop right relationship with nature, honoring our dependence on the earth with respect and spiritual connection. Read the text.
April 24, 2022 – “Preserving the Sacred Balance” UUCM has a covenant of right relations to help us always be aware that we belong to each other. Maybe we should have a similar covenant with all of nature which holds us even more closely in a delicate balance of support. This service will look at the ways we can develop right relationship with nature, honoring our dependence on the earth with respect and spiritual connection. Read the text
April 17, 2022 – “On Some Much Needed Resurrection” What does Resurrection have to do with Unitarian Universalists? Read the text.
April 10, 2022 – “Faithful Risking: Let’s Make It Real” Spiritual Leadership calls us to risk stretching beyond where we are comfortable, beyond what we think we are capable of in the name of Love and Justice. Read the script.
April 3, 2022 – “Tending to Tradition & Doing Our Inner Work” What does it mean to bind ourselves to something bigger than us? Read the script.
Mar 27, 2022 – ‘Everyone has, and can further develop, the capacity for Spiritual Leadership. You don’t have to be a “leader” to practice it.’ Read more from this service.
Mar 6, 2022 – “Church v Social Club” Right now, the world needs the church. Our nation needs the church. Milford, New Hampshire needs the church. But not iChurch – not the social club – because that ain’t going to get us where we need to be. No. The yearning one feels with one’s ear to the earth, one’s fingers on the pulse of the world, and one’s heart open to cry of injustice is the church of people committed to building Beloved Community, a community of justice inside and beyond our congregations, heaven…right here on earth. Read the script.
Feb 27, 2022 – “Look for the Helpers” Being the ‘helpers’ we seek in a faithful context involves …. conceiving, believing and then achieving the restoration of the Beloved Community right here, right now. Read the script to learn how our faith gives us the tools we need.
Feb 20, 2022 – Rev. Shayna encourages you to view Kimberly Jones ‘We Can’t Win.’ The point is to encourage us all to stop being so defensive around issues of race that we cannot fully engage the work that will be necessary to dismantle it, the work which will allow the full promise of our faith to bloom within and beyond our doors. Read the script of this worship service.
Feb 13, 2022 – In her sermon ‘Let in Loving Kindness’, Rev. Shayna says : If metta is capable of overcoming social, religious, racial, political and economic barriers, what are we waiting for? We want desperately to grow our congregation – our denomination – and if metta is the universal, unselfish and all-embracing love that can get us there, my word…what are we waiting for? And, here’s the best part, metta, as it turns out, is well within our reach. It involves engaging a spiritual practice, but it’s really quite simple.” Read the script.
Feb 6, 2022 – “Julian of Norwich” Rev. Linda Goodman re-enacted a conversation with Julian of Norwich, who said “When we see that the power of love overcomes the spirit of evil, it fills our hearts with comfort and joy…. ” Her ancient wisdom is as relevant now as it was in the 14th century’s world of plague, prejudice, and war. Read the script.
Jan 30, 2022 – Last week I shared with you some of my own journey towards intention. Today I want to spend a little time exploring another factor which can complicate our journey to the center of self. Read the script of this service, ‘Free at Last’
Jan 23, 2022 – “Become Better, Become Yourself” Setting intention, …according to Buddhist teachings, is quite different than goal making. It is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on how [we] are “being” in the present moment. Read the script
Jan 16, 2022 – “We all want a future for our children and grandchildren that does not include
them having to do battle with an angry environment just to survive”. Read more of the Sunday service in which Rev. Shayna urges some steps we the ‘climate action army’ can take to help.
Jan 9, 2022 – Rev. Steve Eddington, Minister Emeritus of UU Nashua, conducted the January 9th service entitled ‘God is not God’s Name’. Read the script.
Jan 2, 2022 – Living with Intention – If you haven’t already broken your New Year’s resolutions, research indicates that you’ll be lucky to keep even 20 percent of them. There is a better approach that has the benefit of not making us feel like a failure, and you can read about it here
Dec 26, 2021 – Transitioning from one year to the next is a dance of hanging on and letting go. We enjoy continuity and the security of the expected but feel the lure of the new and the challenge of the unknown. This simple service by the Worship Team lets music and poetry move us from darkness toward the growing light as we embrace new possibilities and renewed purpose. Read the script.
Dec 24, 2021 – Christmas Eve. The traditional Christmas Eve service was celebrated with songs and candles, as Rev. Shayna retold Luke’s story of Jesus’ birth and its significance to us today. Read the script.
Dec 19, 2021 – REPENT! – from the Greek translations, we see that the word repent has more to do with changing directions than it does with being scolded for something we may have thought, said or done. And that was to be the topic of my sermon today. I was going to talk about how changing directions can become a spiritual practice that can open us to joy, which is our theme for the month of December. But, then a funny thing happened. Between the time I initially conceived of this topic for a sermon and the time when I actually sat down to write it, a number of you asked me about my own spiritual journey. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my spiritual journey has been one chock full of changes in direction, and so rather than simply preach about repentance I’m going to invite you to experience it with me. (Rev. Shayna)
Dec 12, 2021 – ‘Bring Me Someone Who Knows How to Play‘ Church is a place where serious work is done. But, any church, any congregation, involved in such work as this needs to have that work infused with a little joy now and again in order to remain sustainable. Not because we need joy to overcome the difficulties life can hand us – bad feelings do not need to be excised or suppressed by stronger, better feelings – but rather because joy opens us to be able to feel more, see more and do more. Read the script .
Dec 5, 2021 – What is joy? Is it something we can quantify, or do we just know it when we feel it? Read the script by the Worship Team which explored both the personal joys that happen to each of us and the more esoteric joy that transcends an individual.
Nov 28, 2021 – ‘The Hard Parts of UU History’ As both Advent and Hanukkah begin this Sunday we are reminded again of stories of endurance. This note finds resonance as we delve into some difficult UU history that is still with us today. Read the script.
Nov 21, 2021 – As we delve more deeply into this month’s theme of Holding History, it only makes sense to look also at that history we hold, but which may not be serving us so well anymore! Where have we been, and where the heck are we going? Read the script of this service.
Nov 14, 2021 – ‘Don’t Give Up’ If you are a person who lives with other human beings in your life, and you work hard at affirming and promoting the inherent worth and dignity of ALL people, you will want to revisit this service during Trans Awareness Week.
Nov 7, 2021 – In ‘Women Making History’, the Worship Team offered a moving and thought provoking service about women, historical and contemporary, famous and forgotten, who have held, created, and made history. Read the script here.
Oct 31, 2021 – Each year we pause to honor both those lost to us over the past year and those lost in previous years. Read the script to discover how an old Celtic tradition is reflected in our celebration of All Souls Sunday.
Oct 24, 1021 – For many of us, if we were to be really honest, the concept of self-love likely conjures up images of tree-hugging, latte sipping, hybrid driving, tie-dye wearing, folk music loving, yoga pants clad vegans with too much time on their hands… or cheesy self-help books. Or, maybe that’s just me! But, it turns out, self-love is much, much more. Read the text of Rev. Shayna’s service ‘ALL’ to find out more.
Oct 17, 2021 – ‘Plurality and diversity of ideas and views, united in a shared intention, mutually enrich one another toward the achievement of an end.’ In her sermon, Rev Shayna talked about how we can align ourselves behind our stated objective to honor every person’s search for truth as we learn to work together. Read the script.
Oct 10, 2021 – The notion of ‘de-centering’ our white experience is one that comes up often in the context of anti-racism work. In this service, ‘Who is My Neighbor’, Rev. Shayna revisited an ancient tale about a person who did just that! Read the text of the service.
Oct 3, 2021 – “Mending the Sacred Circle”. The Worship Team presented a historical retrospective of the Native Americans in the United States. With photos, words, and songs of the many tribes that once populated the US, we recalled the vibrant natives that once lived here and learned what we could do to honor their memory. Read the script.
Sept 26, 2021 – “The Church is Your Spiritual Gym” For many UU’s, church work is not spiritually enriching. Why is that and how might we begin working to change it? Read Rev. Shayna’s answer.
Sept 12, 2021 – “What Happens When the Pause Gets Pregnant?” – We’ve been in a state of pause for 18 months and have often found it challenging and disheartening. But what if it were an opportunity to reassess what’s essential and what new direction our interrupted dreams might take? Maybe a pause is a good thing in some ways, letting us focus anew, cherish the important things, and take a wider, more tender look at relationships. This service looks at a pause as an element of the time continuum, suggesting that when it comes to valuing the time we have, developing quality time is more essential than worrying about its quantity. Read the script for this service by the Worship Team.
Sept 5, 2021 – ‘Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast’ Click here for a little light fun, play trivial pursuit, and open your mind to what could be with the theme for September. Discover why it takes practice to believe the impossible and the possible things that we encounter in our lives. The Worship Team.
Aug 29, 2021 – ‘The Memory of Trees’ The Worship Team explores our relationship with trees and why we love their dependable beauty and diversity. Read the script.
Aug 22, 2021 – ‘Seeing is Believing’ – In this service, the Worship Team suggests that how you see is more important than what you see. Read the script.
Aug 8, 2021 – ‘Heroes and Sheroes’ (S)heroes can be real, imaginary, personally inspiring or generally accepted for their actions, values, or compassion. They can be role models. They can be quiet, inspiring heroes who don’t always pop into mind when you say hero, but they are. Read what other UUCMers said about the (s)heroes who inspire them.
July 25, 2021 – In the online service entitled ‘It’s the Journey that Matters,’ Lynn Coakley and the Worship Team explored some of the stories that have lifted our spirits and challenged us to think beyond the ordinary. Read the script.
July 18, 2021 – Rev. Jeanne Nieuwejaar shared some of her experiences working with incarcerated women in her sermon ‘Lessons in Love I Learned in Prison‘.
July 11, 2021 – ‘Dandelion Wine – Painting & Poetry of Summer’ To stir your imagination, Nancy Baker and the Worship Team presented lovely art and poetry which you can find here.
July 4, 2021 – ‘All the Things We Cannot See’ Read some ideas about how to relearn the delights of the world and see the wonders. By the Worship Team
June 20,2021 – Read text of ‘ The Worship Year in Review’ By the Worship Team
June 13, 2021 – ‘May People See’ – If you missed the story about the history of Norbert Capek and the UUs Flower Communion service, you can read the text here.
June 6, 2021 – ‘ Building Bridges, Giving Thanks‘ – As is our spring tradition, we honor our high school graduates (Henry B., Evelyn D., and Mitch S.), and we thank so many of you who have helped keep our vibrant congregation going during this unusual time. Rev. Shayna
May 30,2021 – ‘Gather Up All These Things‘ – What would it feel like if we were to stop trying to box people in, stop trying to fit people into our constructs of gender identity, and instead, spent some time expanding those constructs? Let us gather up all these things and just boldly declare them part of us too. If we can pull that off, we’ll be a few steps closer to being the community we all yearn to be. Rev Shayna
May 23, 2021 – What’s Your Story? “It is not by chance that you arrived here today. You have been looking for something larger than yourself. Inside of you there is a yearning, a calling, a hope for more, A desire for a place of belonging and caring. And so, you began seeking a beloved community.”Read why the UUCM covenant binds our community together. Rev. Shayna
May 16, 2021 – What It Was, and Should Be‘ – In 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered “The Divinity School Address”. He was looking to a time when the spirit that inspired the prophets of old would again animate humanity. Rev. Shayna offers her thoughts. .
May 9, 2021 – Encountering Awe, Discovering Resilience – To take another look at Rev. Shayna’s service about the spiritual practices of this sacred tradition of Ramadan and what they might teach us about awe and resilience, click here.
May 2, 2021 – Read and listen to the Blessing of the Animals service that the Worship team offered with such joy!
April 18,2021 – “A Sense of Wonder: A Powerful Tool for Saving the Earth” Consider the difference it might make to environmental protection and justice if we cultivated a sense of wonder in our practical and spiritual connection to nature. Read the Worship Team’s hope-filled message.
April 11, 2021 – ‘Un-Becoming’ Our spiritual journeys are often thought of as a process that involves living into our full selves. But we UU’s are largely ‘come-outers’ – folks who have come to Unitarian Universalism from other traditions. For us, the process of a spiritual awakening starts not with a blank slate, but rather with the need to wipe one slate clean. Then what? Read more here. Rev. Shayna
April 4, 2021 – ‘Easter-ing’ UU Rev. Scott Alexander preaches that, “Easter is a decision, a decision of the human heart, a brave and beautiful decision to live – fully, recklessly, courageously – even in the face of death and despair itself.” This Sunday we’ll explore Easter not just as a noun, a localized event that occurred once upon a time, long, long ago, but also as a verb: “Easter-ing”. You Easter. I Easter. We Easter when we choose hope over fear, love over hate. We Easter when, in times of trial, we reach for hope, and faith in service to a greater good. Read the script of this service. Rev. Shayna.
March 28, 2021 – ‘Which of the Four Shall We Welcome?” In the middle of the Passover Seder, during the ‘telling’ (maggid) of how the Israelites passed from slavery into freedom, we are introduced to four children – the wise, the wicked, the simple and the one who doesn’t know how to ask. Which one would be welcome here? Read Rev. Shayna’s response and the rest of the service.
March 21, 2021 – ‘Turning our Faces’ March is upon us, and transition is all around us. I can’t help but think that a little transition might be just what we need. Where will we go? What are we hoping to accomplish? What will sustain us along the way? More importantly maybe, can we commit to the long-haul, to the patience it requires to impact transition in these times? Read more of Rev. Shayna’s message and listen to the videos.
March 14, 2021 – ‘When Commitment Gets Complicated’ Click here to read the script and listen to RocketKids “Stop Making Excuses and Own Your Actions” Rev. Shayna
February 28, 2021 – ‘A Song in a Weary Throat’ – Read the script and hear the video from the service about Pauli Murray’s extraordinary life as offered by Rev. Ariel Aaronson-Eves
February 21, 2021 – ‘Owning Up’ At the end of her sermon, Rev. Shayna said, ‘Beliefs, no matter how noble, must be embodied in a living institution or they will have no convincing power. This is what Jews understand about Judaism, and maybe one of the reasons they go so joyfully berserk once a year. We could learn something from such an embodied faith, don’t you think?’ Read more here.
February 14, 2021 – ‘Essential Liberty’ This file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings plus links to the videos . Rev. Shayna
February 7, 2021 – ‘ Connections; Changing the World’ This file contains the text of the Reflections and links to the YouTube videos. Worship Committee
January 31, 2021 – ‘A More Perfect Union’ This file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings plus links to the videos . Rev. Shayna
January 24, 2021 – “Journey to Emmaus” This file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings plus a link to the video for the Time for all Ages. Rev. Shayna
January 17, 2021 – ‘In the Name of All That is Holy‘ This file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings plus a link to the video for the Time for all Ages. Rev. Shayna
January 10,2021 – ‘Can You Imagine‘ This file contains the text of the Reflections. Worship Committee
January 3, 2021 – “Beyond Dogma, Creeds and Codes” This file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings, plus links to the YouTube videos that were shown. Rev. Shayna Appel
December 27, 2020 ‘Are We There Yet?” Revisit last Sunday’s online worship – this file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings, plus links to the YouTube videos that were shown. Rev. Shayna Appel
December 20, 2020 ‘Embrace the Dark, Come Into the Light” Revisit last Sunday’s online worship – this file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings, plus links to the YouTube videos that were shown. Rev. Shayna Appel
December 13, 2020 ‘Finding Stillness, Discovering Self‘ Revisit last Sunday’s online worship – this file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings, plus links to the YouTube videos that were shown. Rev. Shayna Appel
December 6, 2020 ‘Whisper of the Heart’ Revisit last Sunday’s online worship – in this file the Worship Committee shared their thoughts on why a search for stillness deepens our ability to focus, connect and clarify our emotions and experiences. Whether we find stillness within us or around us, it is a resource when we most need reassurance and a sense of peace.
November 29, 2020 ‘Forgiven, Not Forgotten‘ Revisit last Sunday’s online worship – this file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings, plus links to the YouTube videos that were shown. Rev. Shayna Appel
November 22, 2020 ‘Comfort & Control, or Beloved Community’ Revisit last Sunday’s online worship – this file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings, plus links to the YouTube videos that were shown. Rev. Shayna Appel
November 15, 2020 ‘Cracked Pots’ Revisit last Sunday’s online worship ‘ Cracked Pots’ – this file contains the text of the Sermon and Readings, plus links to YouTube videos that were shown. Rev. Shayna Appel
November 8, 2020 ‘We the People’ and our democracy will all benefit from a bit of healing. Read the text of this service. Rev. Shayna Appel
November 1, 2020 ‘All Souls’ Sunday‘ honors loved ones who have died. Read the text of this service Worship Committee
October 25, 2020 Read the text of ‘Resistance is not Futile’. Rev. Shayna Appel
September 20, 2020 Rev. Shayna said that “although life is simply too much and sometimes resilience is not enough, don’t drop out, but instead lean into what you know”. Listen to her entire sermon.
September 13, 2020 Our Annual Ingathering Service is challenging this year, but Rev. Shayna offers us a way to say Alelulia Anyhow