SERMON ARCHIVES

Overcoming Obstacles to Mindfulness

Rev. Terry Sims  | April 11, 2021

No matter how much we want to be mindful of the present moment and all that is around us, the rest of life constantly works to steal our mindfulness and our peace. In this service we will look at some obstacles to mindfulness and how we might overcome them.

Miracle at the Sink

Rev. Terry Sims  | April 4, 2021

“Louis L’Amour said: “Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.” Mindfulness, learning to pay attention and then practicing that attention, offers a solution. The Eastern religions have known that for millennia. But each of us must find it for ourselves. Being mindful of the most ordinary of ordinary moments can reveal them for the miracles they are. We will also remember that it is Easter!

Respecting What Sustains All of Us

Rev. Terry Sims  | March 28, 2021

I hope the last four years re-taught most of us the value of norms, institutions, ideals, and the interdependent web of all existence. And I fervently hope that we are now engaged in re-establishing those elements of social life that sustain us all.

Respecting What Is Not Ours

Rev. Terry Sims   | March 21, 2021

We teach children that they need to respect what is not theirs. We do that so they will learn not to steal, destroy, diminish, or fail to take care of what others have that is important to those others. As adults, I wonder whether we are willing and able to treat beliefs that are not ours with similar respect, and even whether we should.

Faithfully Family

Amy St. Peter, Guest Speaker  | March 14, 2021

In these times of divisiveness and alternate realities, how do we decide who is in our family? Have we divorced others who do not share our faith or values? Perhaps more than ever, it can be helpful to consider who are our spiritual parents, siblings, and extended family; what these bonds call us to do; and how we cultivate a stronger sense of family blessed with diversity and compassion.

Respectful to the Core

Rev. Terry Sims  | March 7, 2021

What are we bound to respect? Certainly not all sources of information are worthy of respect, nor are all ideas. But the core humanity of people, including those who have been led astray by untrustworthy sources to believe absurdities? That is another matter.

Virtually Authentic

Amy St. Peter, Guest Speaker  | February 28, 2021

Increasingly, we live in a virtual world, surrounded by screens and embedded in code. We will explore the spiritual implications of searching for authenticity in a virtual world.

Unmerited Mercy

Rev. Terry Sims  | February 21, 2021

Everyone deserves justice. Mercy, however, is specifically reserved for those who do not deserve it. That is precisely what can make mercy hard to give. But it can also be what elevates not only the undeserving recipients, but all of us.

What Is Required Of Us?

Rev. Terry Sims  | February 14, 2021

The prophet Micah asked that question before providing this straightforward answer that has inspired millions, including me: “To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” On this Valentine’s Day, we might think about what we can love, not only about one other human being in particular, but about all of us.

Of Demands and Pleas

Rev. Terry Sims  | February 7, 2021

Justice is the minimum a society should provide all its members, not that our society always, or ever, does that completely. So justice can be demanded. Not so with mercy. That we can only plead and hope for.

Loving Like a Rock: A Theology of Connection

Dr. Mary Logan Rothschild, Guest Speaker  |  January 31, 2021

 

Dr. Rothschild is a member and frequent preacher at our sister congregation, Valley UU in Chandler.  She is Professor Emeritus of History and Women’s Studies at Arizona State University.

 

Consolation: Receiving and Giving

Rev. Terry Sims  | January 24, 2021

I’m not sure what life is for, other than consoling others, relieving pain and suffering. Henri Nouwen says, “we need to be angels for each other.” If there is a higher human purpose, I don’t know what it would be. And, maybe, surpringly, consoling others helps all of us bear our own desolation better. 

 

Desolation: Swimming, Not Drowning 

Rev. Terry Sims  | January 17, 2021

There are times when I wonder if, in the end, there is only suffering and the absence of suffering. Desolation is real. But it is not all there is forever. And joy is real, too. If desolation is the ocean we swim in, it need not be where we drown.

 

The Polarity of Existence 

Rev. Terry Sims  | January 10, 2021

The Rev. Kirk Loadman-Copeland writes: “It is not clear if life is joy punctuated by tragedy, or tragedy punctuated by joy.” We live forever between the poles of existence, between desolation and consolation, but the Rev. Dr. John Buehrens tells us that the way we live in that space “matters forever.”

 

Unseen 

Amy St. Peter, Guest Speaker  | January 3, 2021

Each day we may walk into the unknown, into unseen growth, challenges, and mysteries. As we depart 2020 and step into unseen experiences awaiting us in 2021, we can pause for a moment, gather our breath, reflect on what we have learned, and prepare to welcome the new year.