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Our lives, our gatherings, our world, in ways large and small, are now shaped by the climate crisis. What day-to-day habits are we cultivating to accompany one another in unexpected heartache, joy, and possibility? What spiritual practices within our Unitarian Universalist tradition can galvanize and sustain us—as individuals and communities—amidst joy and sorrow? Join guest minister Daniel Lawlor, Co-Director of UU Ministry for the Earth, to consider spiritual habits that allow us to lament, slow down, and connect in times of climate crisis.

Soulful Sundown led by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower with music from The Cosmic Orchestra. Friday, October 8, 2021, 8:00 PM.

In this traditional outdoor service, we gathered with beloved animal companions to recognize their unique contribution to our well-being. The ministers blessed these furry (and otherwise) friends as we celebrated the beauty of our relationships. Favorite toy animals and photos of beloved animal companions were also welcomed to receive a blessing.

Love, Loss, Resilience, and Gratitude, led by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower. This worship service includes a ceremony of remembrance for COVID losses and praise for responders and frontline workers. We have been through so much together; we have been present for one another; today we acknowledge the toll on heart and mind even as we express gratitude for the dedication of those who continue to serve others.

On this Sunday, when Shelter Rock traditionally celebrates "Homecoming" after the end of summer, we gathered both on-site and online to celebrate our beloved community. One of the things we've learned to appreciate over the last 16 months is the importance of flexibility and resilience. Our on-site worship service was outdoors under a large tent—livestreamed for those who gather online. Wherever each of us was, we were together again.

Sometimes when we want to be seen by those in our life we care about the most, we put on layer after layer hiding beneath our roles. On September 12, 2021, we looked at John 21, where there is a line that has always made me wonder a bit. A group of disciples is out fishing when Jesus appears on the shore. Peter puts on his clothes to swim to Jesus. Peter often mixes things up a bit. We explored what it means to have to strip from the layers that appear to protect us, that are really in our way, the role of vulnerability, and why you might consider fishing naked. Led by Rev. Tamara Lebak, Guest Minister.

Soulful Sundown led by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower with music from The Cosmic Orchestra. Friday, September 10, 2021, 8:00 PM

On this Labor Day Sunday, we will feel our way together into the territory of the emotional, spiritual, and physical work that so many of us end up—perhaps unexpectedly—providing for loved ones. What are the implications when relationships shift from, for example, offspring, spouse, or sibling—to caretaker? How can we provide support for one another under these circumstances?

Li Kynvi is an intern minister at First Parish Church of Groton, MA, and a hospice music therapist.

To many Unitarian Universalists, prayer is life-affirming—yet other UUs may react to prayer with discomfort or skepticism. Joshua Berg, a UU seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School, explores prayer from his perspective as a cultural Jew, a humanist, a chaplain, and a soon-to-be Unitarian Universalist minister.

What is it about picking up a pair of binoculars, lifting your eyes up to a far-off fluttering, or attuning your ears to a familiar chirp, that transports so many of us to spaces of peace? Whether you’re in the woods with friends, on the seashore with family, or looking out the window of your apartment, Cassie Montenegro, Master of Divinity student at Harvard Divinity School, invites you to consider a joyful journey into birding and birdwatching that can restore connection and confidence in our communities and ourselves.

Rev. Sana Saeed will use storytelling to explore the areas of life where we may feel empty in life and where we feel abundance during this time of pandemic and move towards gathering again. We'll explore Buddhist on balance.

This Soulful Sundown is a special Rebroadcast of the August 8 Soulful Sunday Morning Service led by the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower with LIVE music from The Cosmic Orchestra! Come, join us for a toe-tapping, hand-clapping, singing, dancing, Soulful Sundown-style service.

The Rev. Jennifer L. Brower with LIVE music from The Cosmic Orchestra
Once again, Friday night has come to Sunday morning! Come, join us for a toe-tapping, hand-clapping, singing, dancing, Soulful Sundown-style service.

Rev. Lebak wrote, "I have described my own theology as rational mysticism, religious humanism, and even described myself as a Gestalt theist. Coming away from training in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy, I have been engaged more and more in conversations with how it is possible to be both rational and mystical. I would argue that religious idolatry and idolatry of the mind are equally as dismissive to the big picture of our existence. Award-winning Journalist John Horgan has written a book called Rational Mysticism that explores how science, theology, and philosophy all attempt to formulate an empirical explanation about the meaning of life." On August 1, 2021, Rev. Lebak explored how to link the mind of a skeptic with the heart of a seeker.

What’s the difference between joy and happiness? How can spiritual practice help us find and maintain joy? How does reciprocal relationship help us nurture joy? When the weight of the world feels so heavy, how do we practice joy? Former UUCSR tenor soloist and current Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta minister, Rev. Nic Filzen, led a joy-full journey on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

In a world where so many of us feel compelled to “do” rather than “be,” what does it mean to sow the seeds of being? Given all the demands of Zoom and modern life, as the world continues to open up for many of us this Spring, to what extent can silence and rest factor into our own lives? And what would it mean to the ecology of our communities if they did? Join us, and Cassie Montenegro Master of Divinity student at Harvard Divinity School in an exploration of who we might continue to become together if we allowed ourselves more time to “be.”

Soulful Sundown, led by Rev. Jennifer Brower with The Cosmic Orchestra. Where music resides at the heart of religious experience.

On July 11, 2021, in-person outdoor Worship Service led by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower was live streamed online. When asked why he repeatedly took his life into his own hands with his daring stunt jumps, 1970’s stuntmaster Evel Knievel said, “I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair.

Soulful Sundown, led by Rev. Jennifer Brower with The Cosmic Orchestra. Where music resides at the heart of religious experience.

Democracy, Through My Eyes, on July 4, 2021, was led by guest minister Rev. Anthony Mtuaswa Johnson. Rev. Johnson wrote, “When I first heard, years ago, that the word DEMOCRACY was nowhere in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence I was startled. This could not be true. Our government is a democracy! As it turns out, our Founders actually feared democratic rule. The Founders preferred the word REPUBLIC. " Rev. Johnson's sermon shared the truth about the differences between the two words.

On Sunday, June 27, 2021, the largest annual gathering of UUs joined in worship together. The Sunday Worship from the UUA General Assembly was led by the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis.

Until Love Wins–Today’s challenging times require a nimble and resilient spirituality. We need a demanding, inspiring faith and a love strong enough that it will not let us go. We draw the circle wide, gathered our strength, and promised to stay in the struggle and joy until love wins.

Presenters: Musicians, Franco Holder, Aimee K. Bryant, and Dr. Randal Buikema, and religious professionals, Lauren Wyeth, Julica Hermann de la Fuente, and Revs. Arif Mamdani, Karen Hutt, and Jen Crow will lead the service.


For each of us, the time comes to turn the page. We mark milestones and we find ways to let go in order to open ourselves to whatever wisdom the next chapter might hold. In their final service as Student Minister, Alia Shinbrough will offer some reflections on this year of learning and growing into ministry with the community at Shelter Rock.

The Unitarian Transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Human beings learn so much from play. A sense of playfulness might be one of the things we need in our toolbox in order to continue to learn and grow as we move toward post-pandemic congregational life. This was our second in-person, outdoor worship service at UUCSR. A small number of preregistered members were present; other members, friends, and newcomers joined worship simultaneously via livestream.

Soulful Sundown led by special guest Alia Shinbrough, Student Minister, with music from The Cosmic Orchestra. Friday, June 11, 2021, 8:00 PM

During these exceptional and often traumatic times, our young people have continued to explore Unitarian Universalism. They have thought about what they believe now and how they live out their personal beliefs and our Unitarian Universalist Principles. This service recognizes and celebrates our 8th grade Coming of Age class.

A century ago at the close of another pandemic and global war, poets and preachers struggled with how to mark the magnitude of loss they had collectively experienced. In our time, how do we tell stories of loss while proclaiming the love at the heart of our faith?

How long has it been? Too long. This outdoor service was the first on-site Sunday worship service since March 8, 2020. A small number of preregistered members were present. Together we shared a creation story: creating community, making meaning, and lifting our hearts and hopes in celebration. Together, we bring about the blossoms of new life.

It has been a year like none other for our children, youth, and families. Through this time of isolation, separation, anxiety, and zooming everything – our young people have also built determination, empathy, resilience, and a strong commitment to justice in the world. In the Bridging Worship Service on May 16, 2021, we recognized and celebrated our graduating High School seniors. Included were stories, readings, and reflections from Lifespan Religious Education Coordinator Carson Jones, Student Minister Alia Shinbrough, Senior Seminar Advisor Bill Carmody, and graduating members of the Senior Seminar youth group. Featuring music from the UUCSR Vocal Quartet, Jazz Ensemble, and a new recording from the Young People’s Choir conducted by RE Music Specialist George Weisman.

Soulful Sundown led by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower with music from The Cosmic Orchestra. Friday, May 14, 2021, 8:00 PM

Celebrating Mother’s Day in community brings forth a range of experiences from grief to gratitude and beyond. Especially this year, how do we show up for each other on this day which can be both meaningful and heart-wrenching for many among us? On Mother’s Day of 2021, we joined together to live into our complexities, lean into our differences, and honor these contradictions through our communal celebrations.

The Genesis of the Exodus, led by UUCSR Women's Group and the Rev. Jennifer L. Brower. Remember that long ago, brave people migrated to seek better lives. Today, families continue to try to escape violence, poverty, and despair at great peril. People of the Unitarian Universalist tradition are committed to helping those in need and to encouraging what is good in this world grow and thrive.

Earth Day 2021: New Hope  The world celebrates Earth Day on April 22. On Sunday, April 25, 2021, Green Sanctuary members and Rev. Jaye Brooks lifted up the emerging causes for hope for our planet. Even in the midst of climate change and the real risk of serious environmental and humanitarian harm, new efforts, new discoveries, and new wisdom offer unanticipated paths to a more hopeful future.


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock is committed to providing support and assistance to our members and our community. Please bookmark the UUCSR homepage for updates. Join the UUCSR mailing list here.