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Worship

If we wonder why religion and politics so often collide it is because they both arise from deeply held beliefs about what life should be about. In this most turbulent of political seasons, there is a role religion and UUism can play—and should!—that is sorely missing. Guest Minister Rev. Fred Wooden considers that role in the September 13, 2020 Service.

Rev. Fred, who recently retired from the Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan after many years of service, has just begun serving as Interim Minister at the Valley UU Congregation in Chandler, Arizona. Of local interest: Before Fountain Street, Rev. Fred served just around the corner from us at the UU Congregation in Brooklyn.

On 9-11, 2020, the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower, together with the Cosmic Orchestra, led "Soulful Sundown," an every-second-Friday contemporary Worship Service. Through moving spoken word and extraordinary music, this spiritual consideration of the concept of evil and grace offered religious grounding for those with and without connections to traditional religions.

So much has changed and is changing. We were already in a state of flux before COVID-19. We were already feeling the weight of white supremacy culture before George Floyd’s murder. The possibility of political change is on the horizon, yet we are not sure what will happen. Amid this milieu of constant turbulence, how might we prepare ourselves? How might we sustain ourselves? How might we renew ourselves?

Rev. Michael J. Crumpler is the LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director at the Unitarian Universalist Association and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Michael lives in Harlem and is very active in social justice ministry at the historic Judson Memorial Church of New York City, where he served President of the Board, 2016-2018. He is most passionate about intersectional ministry centered in blackness, queerness, HIV/AIDS, economic justice, and emotional well-being.

Guest minister Rev. Kimberley Debus presents the second part of her two-part series, "The Sacred in the Profane: Media and Making Meaning." Together, we examine some of the lessons popular culture has to teach us about our relationships to each other, our ethics, our communities, and our faith. The Sunday Service titled, The Sacred in The Good Place, considers what may be the single most remarkable half hour of network television! The show did not shy away from broad humor as it explored some of our deepest questions. This Service looks at some of the core lessons The Good Place teaches us.

Sunday, August 23, 2020: We’ve been through almost six months of medical and social upheaval. With all the mess we’ve faced, Rev. Gamblée is thinking that there may be a metaphorical pony in there somewhere... and he's wondering what the pony might look like. This Sunday, with the help of the music of Peter Cetera, we  asked the question, “Where are we going?”

On Sunday, August 16, 2020, Rev. Kimberley Debus, Guest Minister introduced the series, "The Sacred in the Profane: Media and Making Meaning." In this series, Rev. Debus examines some of the lessons popular culture has to teach us about our relationships to each other, our ethics, our communities, and our faith. In Part I, "The Sacred in the West Wing," she explains that while this popular political series has been off the air for 14 years, it continues to be a source of inspiration for many. This Service includes a look at some of the core lessons The West Wing teaches us.

This Sunday, we welcomed to our virtual pulpit The Rev. Dr. Ken Reeves, who returns to UUCSR—his home congregation—each summer. Rev. Reeves proposes that in this pandemic we need: truth, each other, and spiritual support. He alludes to how UU traditions have supported all three. He notes the conflict in human history and the present between truth and the avoidance of truth, and the conflict between working together and individualism, and the nature of spiritual support.

Long Island Unitarian Universalist Congregations joined together to worship on August 2, 2020. The Service, "Our Living Tradition," was a collaboration between Long Island Unitarian Universalist congregations to highlight our UU community as vital, connected and continuing through the pandemic and beyond. UU clergy and members from around Long Island participated in readings and an unprecedented musical video collaboration. The Sunday offering/plate collection benefited LIACUU.

One of our UU Principles is respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part. This recognition of interdependence with the Earth and all its inhabitants calls us to minister to the Earth—to be stewards of it—to treat it as a sanctuary. Surely this calling begins at home, whether on the grounds of our Shelter Rock congregation or within the homes we each inhabit.

 On July 26, 2020, the Green Sanctuary Committee addressed "Greening the Globe" in Sunday Service with Rev. Jaye Brooks.

On July 19, 2020, Rev. Jennifer L. Brower asked, "Have you ever had an experience of awe? You know, a direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life, as our Unitarian Universalist sources cite?" On this morning, we shared a reflection in song and spoken word offered by The Cosmic Orchestra.

Prior to walking into an extra-judicial execution, Coalhouse Walker, in the play, Ragtime, exhorts his friends to tell the story of the challenges of Black life in America. Our Service includes a little Broadway, Dr. King quotes, and a challenge or two. Everything you want in a summer UU Service.

Live on Sunday evening July 10, 2020 at Soulful Sundown Worship Service led by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower with the Cosmic Orchestra.  Where music resides at the heart of the religious experience. Soulful Sundown: Second Fridays monthly

Sunday, July 5, 2020: Principles and Promises Independence Day reminds us of the principles that form the idea of America: people are equal, their rights are inherent, and our government is created by the people to serve the people. These ideas resonate with our UU principles: the inherent worth of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; the use of democratic process in our congregations and in the world. These principles, clearly stated, carry with them an implicit promise that we will act together to make them live vibrantly in our national public life.

Father’s Day Sunday Service: LIVE Sunday Service led by Rev. Jennifer L. featuring music by the Cosmic Orchestra from Soulful Sundown at Shelter Rock. This Sunday Service includes a Father’s Day reflection. Join us on Zoom at 12 pm, June 21, 2020 for our Virtual Coffee Hour - https://zoom.us/j/99000464736 or via phone: +1 646 558 8656 Meeting ID: 990 0046 4736. Today’s offering is for MusiCares. There are several ways to Donate to MusicCares. Contact us for assistance: .

Turning of the Year: This Service celebrates the Summer Solstice. The turning of the year occurs no matter what human beings do. This year we welcome the sun and celebrate the summer solstice in the loving religious community we create online from our own little pockets of connection with the Earth. Led by WinterFlower Robinson, with May Choi-Steele and Carson Jones. A project of the UUCSR Green Sanctuary Committee.

On June 14, 2020, the Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore addressed our power to change the world.

In light of the protests against police violence against Black people, while sitting in the midst of pandemic fears and inequality, we are called not just to be involved now, or to listen and learn now, but to engage in a deep re-imagining of what our transformed world might become. We must exercise our moral imagination if we are to give birth to a world we have never known.

Sometimes we look at what's happening around us and we wonder what we can do to build a more just and joyful world—especially now, in the shelter-in-place time of pandemic. There's a first task that offers itself to us no matter where we are or how often we leave home: Listen. With an open heart, listen.

 

We honor our religious education program and our religious volunteers. They began the year leading our classes in the building and are continuing to be teachers, mentors, and guides remotely. The UUCSR Religious Education Program remains at the center of our community of love and care.

 

"This Too Shall Pass" Facebook Live on Sunday evening May 24, 2020at Soulful Sundown Worship Service led by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower with the Cosmic Orchestra. Where music resides at the heart of the religious experience. Soulful Sundown: Second Fridays monthly beginning June 12, 2020

On Memorial Day weekend, our thoughts turn to those who spent their lives in service to their country. This weekend we remember them. We remember, too, the many essential workers who keep our country going while risking their own lives. How do we bring meaning to their sacrifices on behalf of those of us who are sheltered on the home front? Led by the Rev. Jaye Brooks and the UUCSR Ministry Team

 

Led by the Rev. Dr. Natalie M. Fenimore

Each Spring we celebrate the milestones of our young people in a Bridging Ceremony. We won’t be able to have that ceremony as usual this year. However, our young people still stand at the threshold and prepare to cross the bridge from here to there. It may be different than any of us planned, but they will still cross. We come together to honor their growth and learning – and to give a shout out to our High School grads. 

 On this Mother's Day, Worship Service is presented by the Rev. Jaye Brooks together with the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower, and the Rev. Natalie M. Fenimore. Members of the UUCSR choir sing the Shaker song, “Simple Gifts,” with a fresh new video of individual singers in a choral anthem. We hold all of our members in heart and mind on Mother's Day. Not only is this year’s observance made challenging by the presence of COVID-19 in our world, and the discomfort of social distancing, we are aware that the day is always emotionally complicated.

For some, this is a joyful occasion when mothers and motherhood are honored and celebrated. We share your joy.

For others, this day is uneasy; bittersweet or mournful or to be avoided altogether. We honor your feelings. We hope that you that you are able to find joy and comfort in this Service, and in the world around you.

 

On this morning, in song and story we reflect upon essential elements in our life, beginning with water. With Rev. Jennifer L. Brower, Rev. Jaye Brooks, and Rev. Dr. Natalie M. Fenimore. John Fogarty's "Have You Ever Seen Rain," performed by Brace Negron. "Water of Life," the Story for All Ages presented by Carson Jones, is a tale of three travelers who learn to lay aside the trappings of their existence to receive the true essentials of life.

As we honor Earth Day, we celebrate the young leaders emerging to call us to care for the Earth. This service lifts up the liberating passion of the 20 youth ages 8–19 who in their lawsuit Juliana v. US asked the federal courts to compel the United States to protect the Earth. UUCSR children and youth share the inspirational messages of these young leaders. Presented by the UUCSR Ministry Team

In anticipation of the beginning of Ramadan on Thursday, April 23, we invoke the beauty and inspiration of Sufi Muslim poetry. The title is taken from a poem by Ibn Arabi (1165–1240), “My Heart Has Become Capable” by the 13th-century Sufi poet and philosopher who was born on the 17 day of Ramadan in Murcia, Spain. The Rev. Jaye Brooks, The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower, The Rev. Dr. Natalie M. Fenimore Music performed by Farah Chandu and Paul Carbone

Although our community is unable to gather together in our Worship Room on this Sunday morning, we are together in our hearts. We remain a connected and caring family. We can help each other to get through this time of anxiety and isolation. 

Today our worlds are turned upside down by an unseen virus. But this is not the first time in human history when we have waited and struggled with fear. As we wait for COVID-19 to pass over, we remember those who waited through the first Passover and together found their liberation as a stronger community.

The Rev. Jaye Brooks wrote, "In difficult times, the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King resonate: “We must hew from the mountain of despair a stone of hope.” During the last few weeks, we have learned to find hope in the faces of loved ones, in the voices and smiles of friends and family, and in the recognition that a resurgence of community is possible. We gather as a loving religious community, virtual but real. "

On Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM, the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower provided a Worship Service titled, "Preparing Through Practice," the Service addresses Evelyn’s question, “What do you do when the stuff hits the fan?” The question can be answered this way: we prepare through practice. So what do you practice everyday? 

 On Sunday, March 15, 2020, the Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore, a member of the UUCSR ministerial team, led worship. Rev. Dr. Fenimore serves as Minister for Lifespan Religious Education.  She has served UU congregations in Maryland and Virginia as well as New York. You can find her writings in these UUA Meditation Manuals and publications: Voices from the Margins, To Wake and To Rise, Centering: Navigating Race and Authenticity In Ministry, After the Good News, The Spirit that Moves. And on the UUA Worship Web.

VIDEOS OF WORSHIP SERVICES AT UUCSR

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock is committed to providing support and assistance to our members and our community. We’ll have an online and social media presence to keep you company while you are at home – stay connected with us.

Additional midweek programming is available here. Please bookmark the UUCSR homepage for updates. Join the UUCSR mailing list here.

See earlier Services below, and a complete collection on YouTube.