SERMON ARCHIVES

“What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

Juliet Gustavson, Guest Speaker | June 20, 2021

What’s love got to do with it? When it comes to our daily bread…EVERYTHING.

A Special Sermon on The Golden Rule

Stephanie Tudel & Rebecca Riggs, Guest Speakers | June 13, 2021

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. In a world looking for spiritual guidance and encouragement, “The Golden Rule”, as it is commonly called, is a simple expression of a complex idea that has woven itself into the moral edicts of most religions and continues to bring unique promise and hope to the world. This will be an exploration of how our UU Principles and Purposes express this concept.

Springing Into Change: Dream

UUJAZ | June 6, 2021

Spring has come to Arizona, bringing with it signs of a new life. Will we emerge from our COVID winter to a changed world, or will we go back to our old ways? How do we prepare to make real the world we’ve dreamed about? Hear directly from a few of UUJAZ’s partners in the Latinx community, and how they describe their dreams for the future.

After Being Broken

Rebecca Riggs, Guest Speaker | May 30, 2021

On this Memorial Day weekend, we set aside time to honor those who have died in wars. My message is not directly related to this holiday, but losing those we love, to wars or anything else, inevitably brings heartache. And heartache and heartbreak is my theme this morning. How do we learn to heal in a world that often discards that which is broken?

We Might Have Missed it All

Rev. Terry Sims | May 23, 2021

This will be my last sermon to you, a fact that I accept with a good deal of sadness. As singer/songwriter Jackson Browne wrote, “all good things must come to an end”. Those good things include ministry and life itself. When they end, it seems natural to look back and ask the existential question: “What was it all for?” I think our 15 years together have given me at least a few, uplifting answers to that question that I would like to share as I leave you.

For Terry

Amy St. Peter, Guest Speaker | May 16, 2021

On this day we will gather, standing together on the cusp of change. Your messages to Rev. Terry will give voice to what he means to us as we celebrate the gifts he has generously given to us, shape the aspirations as we wish him well for his next adventure, and ponder what lies next for our spiritual home.

A Wider Acceptance

Rev. Terry Sims | May 9, 2021

It is a challenge to accept ourselves as we are, and others as they are, rather than as we would like all of us to be. That goes for life, too. It is at least as difficult to accept life on its terms rather than on ours. But wider acceptance is the first, indispensable step toward all the possibilities of transformation.

Lessons from the Pandemic

Amy St. Peter, Guest Speaker  | May 2, 2021

As we transition from quarantine to vaccine, we can consider what we have lost, gained, and learned during our time apart and what we can embrace by coming back together in person. This includes impacts and insights for our spiritual and social connections.

The Postmodern Elephant in the Room

Emrys Staton, M.Div., Guest Speaker  | April 25, 2021

Those topics that are looming but uncomfortable to talk about lead to this classic metaphor. But the world is shifting where we each have our own perception of the elephant and what it means. This sermon will lean on the many teachings of elephants to see what wisdom they may offer our postmodern world where everything is relative and little is certain.

Mindfully Doing Our Part

Rev. Terry Sims  | April 18, 2021

The effort of being mindful allows us to become aware of all that is around us, including the needs of others and the world, in addition to our own needs. Such awareness can awaken compassion, a desire to do our part to relieve suffering and to let all people lead their best lives.

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.