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River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
53 minutes | Nov 28, 2021
Walt Whitman mused that it is the trees which “know the amplitude of time.” At the end of this month when our congregations reflect on what it means to hold history, we’ll follow the old growth trees into deeper time than our own short lives, paying homage to what Ursula K. Le Guin has called the “tall fraternal fire of life as strong now as in the seedling two centuries ago.”
65 minutes | Nov 21, 2021
Told and Untold - The Places That Make Us
As we continue to hold our history, we move into our personal histories. The stories of the places we have lived, learned, and loved, are foundational to who we are and who we are becoming, still. During this service we’ll dig into the roots of Rev. Amanda’s hometown, which also happens to be the birthplace of the Atomic Bomb and home to the National Security Complex. How do we hold the complex histories of which we are a part? How can we shape the present and affect the future?
68 minutes | Nov 14, 2021
In This Place - Holding Our History
As we continue our exploration of Holding History, we dive into how we hold the history of this area and how we live into the legacy. Joined by our friends from Macedonia Baptist Church, we will take a deep dive into the struggle of protecting what is sacred, the trauma of land theft, and how we can show up by leveraging our resources. How can we as people of faith and conscious live into this moment?
56 minutes | Nov 7, 2021
The Many Lives We Live
In Hinduism, there is the essential concept of ashramas, or stages of life. Each stage carries different kinds of skill, knowledge, and wisdom, and each has the potential to find us stuck, unable to proceed to something new. How can we shake ourselves loose from one self so that we can find the courage to embrace the next stage?
49 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
On a Dark and Stormy Night
We dream of imaginary monsters because we have real fears. Sometimes we make monsters seem cool and mysterious because we ourselves are enchanted by the edges between life and death. This sermon will use history and legend to tell the story of one such beautiful monster. Inspired by River Roaders Suzyn Smith-Webb and Jana Kirkman, this one will introduce you to the original brooding romantic vampire you just might love to hate.
63 minutes | Oct 24, 2021
As we explore what it means to cultivate relationship, we tap into what it means to nurture our relationship to our spirituality. As Unitarian Universalists, we are pluralistic in nature, and it’s often easy to deprioritize our spiritual connection – especially for those of us who do not identify as spiritual. But how can tapping into our spirituality connect us to one another, to our shared faith, and even to ourselves? How can we cultivate that hidden wholeness within each of us?
56 minutes | Oct 10, 2021
Drawing from the insights of botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Kirsten will explore the concept of “radical gratitude” as it relates to RRUUC’s efforts to engage with the history of our land in order to build an ever more expansive definition of Beloved Community going forward.
50 minutes | Oct 3, 2021
There is an idea in the Book of Genesis that all the earth is planted like a garden – tended by the holy so that all things were “very good.” How is that garden of first-beginnings planted not in isolation, but in a network of truly intertwined relationships?
44 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
We Can Do Hard Things
In a society that rushes us through the “bad” to get to the “good,” how do we make space for what is hard? How do we – as author and podcaster Glennon Doyle puts it – “Help each other carry the hard so we can all live a little bit lighter and braver, more free and less alone”?
52 minutes | Sep 19, 2021
Before, After, Always
What parts of us persist over time? What has changed in a way that might never quite come back, and what changes do we welcome with our whole selves? There is the before and after in our lives – and then there is the always – what sustains and persists through it all.
60 minutes | Sep 12, 2021
Yes, No, Maybe: The Answer is Under Construction
What is the answer we want to the biggest questions? When do we find power in “yes,” in “no,” and perhaps even in “maybe?” - especially in these ever-changing times.
42 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
Walking the Second Marathon
Here we are at the end of a full-out marathon. In a spiritual and emotional sense, so many of us have been running full-out since the pandemic began – but just when we thought we were at the finish line – a whole second marathon begins. Can we walk the second marathon, lovingly, carefully – together?
52 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
Persistence in Practice
How do ritual and habit serve to build resilience in our spiritual lives? How can we cultivate habits that expand our hearts and keep us going even in hard times?
60 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
Aliens, Encounters, and Rich Guys in Space
Each summer, Rev. Nancy promises a “big science sermon,” and this one has gone to a whole new dimension. A little bit science, a little bit history, we’ll look at whether first encounters across the barriers of difference could be anything other than the unmitigated disaster stories history often shows them to be.
45 minutes | Jul 25, 2021
What does it mean to be good? To do good? What does it mean to choose something “for good” or on behalf of “the greater good?” This service will playfully and philosophically explore goodness itself - as an aspect of our individual and communal identities.
39 minutes | Jul 11, 2021
How It Feels to Be Free
As we put in the work to bring about the Beloved Community, we take pause to explore what Freedom, Justice, and Liberty really mean in our daily lives and the lives of those around us. How do we create the world we long for and cultivate the love that’s living in our hearts? What does it mean to really be free?
46 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
In sacred Hindu scriptures, did you know that all things are created through the playtime of the gods? Not the intention or the planning or the due diligence – but the sheer ebullient playtime of the holy. What lessons can we take from this story? From the ways in which play creates something new, just as much as planning ever could – and maybe more. We’ll also recognize our annual Senior Bridging ceremony today!
59 minutes | May 30, 2021
The Doctrine of Dolly
We’ll be joined by our awesome Affiliated Community minister this week for a shared reflection on the theology and wisdom of that saint of our time - Dolly Parton herself. With that can-do Dolly spirit and some beautiful music, we’ll consider what the troubadour has to teach us.
68 minutes | May 25, 2021
Going to the Rising of the Sun
55 minutes | May 9, 2021
Stories as Doorways
How do the stories we tell shape the future? Is it possible that our stories can be portals or gateways into some new reality we haven’t yet created? Is a story a doorway between one version of the world and the next, and how are we going to choose the stories we tell about this time in our lives and in history?
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