Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

When we count our blessings we may often first think of those things that have brought forth happiness, comfort and safety. “Bless this Mess” is a phrase that appears on wall hangings and quirky knicknacks meant for placement in our homes or offices. As we explore what it means to be a people of blessing, we’ll do so from the perspective of the first part of our UUCSH mission statement: Explore Spirituality. How is it we hold all the things of our lives, including the messy and/or broken, as blessings?

Direct download: UUCSH_2016.05.01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Chris Buja, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

As the Religious Education classes “create” a new religious education experience through the workshop rotation experiment this month, we can also explore our power- and limits- to create and re-create our own identities and the world at large.  Whether it is a religious education program, one’s vocation, or a congregation’s ministry – what is at the core of those functions that remains constant while the forms they take are re-created?  DLFD Chris Buja offered some answers — but mostly more questions — on the human capacity to create and re-create.

Direct download: UUCSH_2016.04.17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Scott Kitchen

This sermon was delivered on April 10, 2016 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey.

Direct download: UUCSH_2016.04.10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

"We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky." — Walter Mosley

Direct download: UUCSH_2016.03.13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Our community aims to be a caring community - one of which we feel connected to and belong. This morning we explored how we each contribute to this sense of connection and belonging.

Direct download: UUCSH_2016.02.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Let who cannot be alone be aware of community. Let who is not in community beware of being alone." Our service explored how we might integrate our inner lives (personal feelings, values, faith) with our outer lives (influence of others and the world around us) so that we might hold the tension of what we know is true and what is possible.

Direct download: UUCSH_2016.01.31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

In our annual multi-generational Thanksgiving service we celebrated the shared love found in all combinations of family relationships.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.11.22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Inspired by the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, our service explored gender diversity. Unitarian Universalism recognizes that there are more than two genders, and an infinite variety of gendered experience in the world.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.11.15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

What are the signs of needing renewal? How do we engage in renewal? How do we make time for activities that are renewing when our plates already feels full to overflowing?

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.11.08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

"Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask?" said Søren Kierkegaard. Do you fear that midnight hour? And/or do you find yourself looking forward to the time of day when you can take off the mask(s) you wear?

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.10.25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

There are moments so engrained on our hearts and minds they stay with us, perhaps buried deep, only to re-appear after our waking hours. Some of these thoughts and feelings are not serving us; they are not letting us grow. How do we release our grasp? How do we keep experiences and memories from dragging us back?

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.10.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This reading was delivered on Sunday, October 4, 2015, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Rev. Jennifer Kelleher.

Direct download: Reading_2015.10.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

UUCSH Men's Group

These personal reflections were shared at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by members of the UUCSH Men's Group.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.09.06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Christopher D. Sims

This sermon was delivered on August 9, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by guest speaker Christopher Sims.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.08.09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Kim D. Wilson

This sermon was delivered on August 2, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by guest minister Rev. Kim D. Wilson.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.08.02.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This sermon on American Universalist history was delivered on July 26, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.07.26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

UUCSH Green Team

These words were delivered on July 12, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.07.12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Mark Allison & Ann Perry

These words were delivered on June 28, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.06.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Rev. Jennifer invited us to reflect together on this past year—in shared life and in shared ministry—and naming some of our shared hopes as we strive to build a brighter world together.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.06.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

We continue reflecting together on our worship theme: “What is the meaning of my death?” by discovering how it is we wish to live and how we might communicate those wishes to our loved ones. Five Wishes, from organization Aging With Dignity, was inspired by the work of Mother Teresa. The focus: getting the care we want when we need it the most, providing peace of mind to ourselves and our families, and maintaining human dignity. This Sunday, be a part of creating a safer space in which we may explore these important discussions that can often be difficult to begin.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.05.17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Sam Gugino

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said that “The only thing that is constant is change.” And for many of us, change often means loss—the death of a loved one, getting laid off from a job, the end of a relationship. However, while we may lose when change occurs, we may also gain, perhaps something even more significant to our lives. We can (and should) grieve when we experience loss. But we should also open our hearts and minds to what good things may lie ahead.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.05.10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Latest reports predict that the recent earthquake in Nepal may result in as many as 10,000 lives lost. A city just to our south rages in pain and anguish after the news of yet another African American man's death in police custody. Our family members and friends struggle with life threatening disease; some will leave this earth soon. How do we make sense of it all, this heartbreak on so many levels? Unitarian Universalist minister Forrest Church says "religion is our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die." We reflect on the deep importance of spiritual community as we grapple with our living and loving. And as we accompany one another on the journey of our lives -- lives we affirm living with love, hope and compassion.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.05.03.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Chris Buja, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Do you feel “called” to run a marathon? To run…period? No? Chris Buja, Director of Lifespan Faith Development, has felt that call–and continues to work toward answering the call–to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. And while you may not feel the same call to run, the journey of faith is something all are called to–runner and non-runner alike. Mr. B’s sabbatical provided a unique opportunity for him to reflect on both his journey of running and his journey of faith- discovering how the two can be intertwined. This worship service explored how some lessons and wisdom from running can apply to our faith journeys- with encouragement to take the next step in your “spiritual marathon” training!

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.04.26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Green Sanctuary Team with Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

People across the globe, including our own country, struggle for access to clean water. This fight is becoming even harder as climate change affects our communities. Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience are coming together to take action on global climate change. This Earth Day Sunday, our dedicated and inspirational Green Team shared stories of the problems people face regarding water, and how and why they are committing to respond. Rev. Jennifer reflected on spiritual stewardship of our one and only precious earth, and its inhabitants.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.04.19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

The work of our hands mixed with the warmth of our hearts can be powerful. We hold a great deal in our hands in the care of others and ourselves. As a congregation, we often join with others to give back to our community through the shared actions of our many hands. In this service of renewal we honored how much we embrace with these hands.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.04.12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

In this holy week, of two significant holidays, one Jewish and one Christian, we’ll reflect together on calling. While honoring the separate heritages of Passover and Easter, we explored how the stories of those times continue to speak to us today about living lives of purpose.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.04.05.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

It was the Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, which inspired the word serendipity. Sometimes, and with surprise and happiness, things fall together in a way we could not have expected. In this service, we reflected on serendipity and how it may relate to the great mystery.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.03.29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This service celebrated our dedication to UUCSH’s future: one we envision as bright, strong & growing. We lift up the present good works and future goals of our shared ministry. Together we are embracing our community within a message of hope, love and healing. It is a presence we are striving to continue for many years to come.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.03.22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon

Whether or not there is something we are meant to do with our lives, the idea of calling: the mysterious ways in which the universe tugs at our lapels - is a fascinating one to explore. We'll take a look at one of the great stories about calling, the book of Jonah, and whether there is a "holy tug" in the universe towards our truest selves.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.03.15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Who or what is in charge of time? Sometimes it feels like there is never enough of it. Does it feel sometimes like our days control us? If so how does that affect us physically, emotionally, spiritually? How might we contribute to our time together so that we make the most of what we share?

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.03.08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Charlie Dieterich

This sermon was delivered on February 22, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Rev. Charlie Dieterich.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.02.22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Carol Haag

Knowing what we know is a slippery business – words have varying meanings to different people and in different times. The fourth Principle of our Unitarian Universalist faith is A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning. But how can we know if what we know is true?

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.02.15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

UUCSH Social Action Committee

This service highlighted the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) through its Guest at Your Table program. Guest at Your Table teaches us about real people engaged in struggles for justice in the United States and around the world. It also teaches us about our own power to change the world and inspires us to share our blessings to support the many amazing people the UUSC partners with. This service shared with the congregation the truth that the UUSC has discovered in its work throughout the world.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.02.08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

When we are met with challenges: should we, could we, can we get to YES?!?!

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.01.25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

What we say is only matched by what we do. On this Sunday in which we recognized the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., our service reflected on themes from Mark Morrison-Reed’s newest book, The Selma Awakening. Morrison-Reed is the foremost scholar of African-American Unitarian Universalist history. Selma represented a turning point for Unitarian Universalists. How might our history of placing faith in action inform our future?

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.01.18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Louis Sapirman

A word can tell a thousand pictures. We explored the power of using only six words to capture the meaning and purpose in a person’s life.

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.01.11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

The service reflected on one of our biggest of big questions: Who Am I?

Direct download: UUCSH_2015.01.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Frank Holstein

For New Years, do you find that you are sometimes dismayed by persistent pressure to be happy and full of fun? So why not resolve instead to cast-out the New Years demon that demands we make merry even when we may have good reason to decline. So let us be compassionate about our non-conformity and instead welcome the New Year by confirmation of our free will to design our own religious and personal renewal.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.12.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Chris Buja

This story was delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Chris Buja, Director of Lifespan Faith Development.

Direct download: Christmas_story_2014.12.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This sermon was delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Rev. Jennifer Kelleher.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.12.24a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This sermon was delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Rev. Jennifer Kelleher.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.12.24b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

These words were delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Rev. Jennifer Kelleher.

Direct download: Reading_2014.12.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this year’s Holiday Pageant, our children and youth looked to the nighttime sky to celebrate “Celestial Seasons.” Under a “Hanukkah Moon,” the children explored Latin American customs while sharing the Festival of Lights with both human and animal friends.

Direct download: Pageant_1_2014.12.21_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In this year's Holiday Pageant, our children and youth looked to the nighttime sky to celebrate "Celestial Seasons." "Tali the Christmas Star" retold the Christmas story from the vantage point of a small dim star and a group of ornery sidereal sidekicks.

Direct download: Pageant_2_2014.12.21_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This reading was delivered on Sunday, December 14, 2014, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Rev. Jennifer Kelleher.

Direct download: UUCSH_Reading_2014.12.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Chanukah means "dedication". The festival commemorates the battle between Jewish people led by the Maccabee family and foreign conquerors that were trying to take away their cultural practices and religious freedom. It is a holiday celebrating the dedication to their culture and their G-d. "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation," writes playwright Jonathan Larson. This service explored the history of the Chanukah festival and lessons we might learn from that history as we strive to be creative and compassionate peoples of faith.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.12.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Half of all community plate collections in November and December will be donated to the Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children, which has been helping abused, neglected, and homeless youth in our area since 1973. Through its seven programs for youth ages 13 to 21-plus, Somerset Home provides a safe haven and caring support for teens from difficult family situations. By providing assistance such as food and shelter as well as counseling, medical attention, education, recreation, and career and employment counseling, Somerset Home helps hundreds of young people each year to move beyond their troubled past and build a brighter future.

Direct download: Community_plate_2014.12.07.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

The holiday season is now in full swing. In the busyness and bustle of planning, shopping, cooking, preparing, wrapping and partying - often at the request of others: what are you setting aside for yourself? Our service reflected on self-compassion.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.12.07.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

In 1620, 102 men, women, children and crew set sail from England to what was known as the New World. History named them Pilgrims. Some came to seek their fortunes; some came seeking religious freedom. None knew exactly what they would find on the other side of the ocean. What might we learn from Thanksgiving’s history about trust?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.11.23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Each one of us is a blessing. Our shared faith affirms each person’s inherent worth and dignity. We trust in basic human goodness. Yet when we face acts of utter tragedy, violence and pain - who and what can we trust? Rev. Jennifer shared her thoughts prior to the Ferguson, MO verdict.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.11.09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher & Chris Buja

Fairy tales and storybooks often end with the phrase, "And they lived happily ever after". What is a life of happiness?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.10.26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Sam Gugino

Guest worship leader Sam Gugino is a member of the Unitarian Society of Germantown, PA. He reflected on the concept of grace from different theological perspectives, including his own as an atheist.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.10.12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Susan Karlson

Nearly two years since the shock of Hurricane Sandy, with at least six years of recovery ahead, how do we support justice, sustainability and resilience in our response to Climate Change?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.09.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Do you have a repeat track in your head with a tape that plays over and over, affecting your vision of yourself and the possibilities of your life? What might need to be erased or re-recorded for us to reframe the stories we tell ourselves? How might those stories hold us back or provide a push forward?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.09.21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

What makes us Unitarian Universalists? What is the purpose of our journey? Are we free to believe anything we want?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.08.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jen Kitchen

Story plays a powerful role in our lives as individuals, as community members, as citizens of the world. One of the earliest forms of communication, it remains a strong way to connect people across generations and cultures.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.08.03.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Life spark and creativity emerges from amusement and fun. Is play a priority in our lives? As individuals? As a congregation? We gathered this morning in the creation of a playful connection to joyful spirit. Let’s play!

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.06.08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Louis Sapirman

It may be human nature to seek out those things that are most familiar, most comfortable and embrace them as our own. We will journey together to places where differences are everywhere and in almost everything. It is here that we may learn the importance of appreciating the sameness that exists in us?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.05.11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jen Kitchen

Each Sunday we speak together words that affirm our intentions as a congregation to help one another. We are a faith that believes deeply in service and in finding one's personal ministry. A continual deepening of personal relationships often comes as we do the good work of this our beloved congregation. What might you find in your personal ministry? What gifts might it bring?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.05.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Carol Haag

In the early 1960s, the Unitarian Universalist Association was created from a merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America. The word order of the resulting association gave Universalists the noun; the Unitarians were relegated to adjective. Why, then, do we so often refer to ourselves as Unitarians? Rev. Carol Haag's thesis is that we are truly Universalists and that Universalism is central to what we have to offer to the 21st century.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.03.16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Story of John Murray - March 16, 2014

Rev. Carol Haag

Rev. Carol Haag told the story of how the English preacher John Murray came to New Jersey, met the farmer Thomas Potter, and gave the first Universalist sermon on the American continent.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.03.16_John_Murray.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu once said that peace in the world stems from peace in the heart. Our service explored how we might cultivate peace in our hearts and what we might consider as sources of serenity in our day-to-day lives.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.03.09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Sometimes our lives might feel like we don't have enough: enough time, enough energy, enough understanding. How in these times might we find an opening to abundance?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.03.02.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Michael Thayer

Why do we listen to each other? How can listeners change the world? Michael Thayer talked about different ways that listeners have had impacts in history, and how our first two UU principles align with listening mindfully.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.01.19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

In the words of the Rev. David Bumbaugh, two of the essential questions which we grapple with as a liberal religious community are: “Whom do we serve? To whom or what are we responsible?” The world is calling. How can we hear what it is asking of us? How will we respond?

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.01.12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

In this service, we reflected together on listening to the song within our own hearts and how it informs our life dreams, yearnings and callings.

Direct download: UUCSH_2014.01.05.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This sermon was delivered on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills in Somerville, New Jersey by Rev. Jennifer Kelleher.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.12.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

"Enlightenment does exist," says meditation master Jack Kornfield. In recognition of Bodhi day – the day the Buddha was said to achieve enlightenment – we explored how we might prepare our hearts to awaken. Together we reflected on how we might integrate that ecstatic awareness into the mundane of our day-to-day lives.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.12.08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

December is here. Evening comes early and we are beginning to be enveloped in more hours of darkness. This Sunday is the first day of Advent and the fourth day of Chanukah. While they are vastly different times of commemoration they each hold rituals that involve the lighting of candles. In our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition we begin our gatherings with the lighting of a flame. This first Sunday of the winter holiday season we reflected on these symbols of light.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.12.01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher and Chris Buja, DLFD

Thanksgiving is a holiday in which we focus our attention on gratitude. However, the full history of the first Thanksgiving is not the story many of us learned as children. During this multigenerational service, we shared the thanksgiving story from multiple perspectives and reflected together of how this might bring us to a more complex expression of meaning.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.11.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Melanie Davis

Mid- and older age can provide one's most satisfying sexual experiences, yet harmful stereotypes persist. As a result, adults in long-term care often lose their sexual rights, while lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors often hide their sexuality in order not to offend caregivers. Melanie Davis, PhD, is a member of UUCSH and is the Unitarian Universalist Association's Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education Program Manager. She is a sexuality consultant, author, and adjunct professor; in addition, she is co-president of the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.11.17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Many of us spend a good portion of our days or weeks running from one thing to the next. Our lives can often feel a bit hectic and over-scheduled. We begin to feel this even more the closer we get to the holiday season. Together we’ll explore how we might find some breath in between the busy.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.11.10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. While voting rights in the United States are often taken as a given, there are segments of the population who still experience significant challenges casting their vote come election time. What does it mean when we don't see the votes that are not being counted?

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.11.03.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Calling all Zombie Hunters, Ghostbusters, Vampire Slayers and Superheroes: the earth is again under attack and we need your help! Really, why are Zombies everywhere these days?

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.10.27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Gregory Pelley, UU Minister

Biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan refers to miracles not as changes in the physical order, but rather as changes in the social order. So let us take a thoughtful and curious look at a couple of miracle stories - one ancient and one new. Perhaps therein we might find a way to do our own miracle-making.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.10.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

There is a great deal of stigma and prejudice around the serious health concerns of mental illness. Through the sharing of stories we'll reflect together on spiritual community and the role of faith in recovery for individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.10.13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

The physical headquarters of the Unitarian Universalist Association is moving to a new location. Our denominational leadership seeks to do so in a way that preserves our rich history and allows for greater welcome, accessibility and community building our movement. How might that story inspire our own narrative?

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.10.06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Donna Renfro

Working against all the 'isms' is a spiritual practice with the power to change us as much as we seek change. We are at a new place in our denominational work on anti-oppression and multiculturalism, continuing the journey to transformation and wholeness, with stops of cultural humility and competence along the way. Donna shared insights from this new program for ministers, and used the world of work as a way to look at how to be good neighbors.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.09.29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Unitarian Universalism is a faith with a rich heritage of justice making. How might we learn from our ancestors, continue to take bold steps forward, and work towards creating a future of greater care and equality?

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.09.22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This service provided reflections on the Jewish High Holidays, which will have just come to a close, and explored themes of forgiveness, reconciliation, resilience and new beginnings.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.09.15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

This service was centered around a ritual frequently offered in the autumn at many Unitarian Universalist congregations around the country: Water Communion.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.09.08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Ann Perry and Mark Allison

In the summer of 2013, Mark Allison and Ann Perry went on a six-week journey following the Lewis and Clark "Corp of Discovery" trail up the Missouri River in search of the Northwest Passage. Ann and Mark shared the lessons of faith and love that they experienced along the way after covering over 8,800 miles through 24 states, 4 national parks, 4 Native American reservations, and numerous national forests.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.08.25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Karen White

Karen White of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers spoke about increasing the minimum wage and also spoke about other benefits that are needed to help workers be both productive employees and responsible family members.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.08.18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Linda Milkes

This service centered around the power of music and how it satisfies many of our needs and can have significance in our lives.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.08.11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jen Kitchen

Jen Kitchen shared her thoughts about improvization, Unitarian Universalism, and life.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.08.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Melanie Davis

Learn how to be a more compassionate and effective helper in times of personal and larger-community crises.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.07.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Nancy and Raymond Brungard

This service on Hope has been presented by Nancy and Ray Brungard and also included their musical performances.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.07.21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Michael Thayer

Mike Thayer spoke about the massive changes that have taken place in American public education over the last decade and a half, and described some of the possible outcomes for our society and our democracy. In particular, he addressed how these changes mesh or conflict with UU principles.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.07.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Aaron Hershkowitz

Aaron Hershkowitz shared with us the thoughts and beliefs of ancient philosophers on death and the afterlife.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.07.07.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Everything Possible - April 28, 2013

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher

Our lives are full of transition, never static, and often in places of growth and transformation. How might we approach transition with open hearts and possibility? How might we embrace transformation in our personal lives and also in our faith communities. This service reflected on personal growth and shared ministry.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.04.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Service Is Our Heart - March 24, 2013

Ann Perry and Melanie Davis

Discover how to experience congregational work as an integrated element in a fully rounded spiritual life. Meditation, ritual and prayer are a side of spiritual life, but service is its heart. This worship service explored the concept that service to the community is spirituality in action. Our president and vice-president shared their stories of how to balance service to our UUCSH community with living out personal missions.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.03.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

An Active Soul - March 10, 2013

Rev. Tracy Sprowls-Jenks

Guest minister Rev. Tracy Sprowls-Jenks spoke about Ralph Waldo Emerson and translated his lessons into a gift for us today. On the way, we learned something about Transcendentalism, nature and human nature, and how we should be in the world.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.03.10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Can a Unitarian Universalist Be a Stoic? - March 3, 2013

Joe Jiuliano

Can the 2000 year-old stoic philosophy be relevant to modern Unitarian Universalists? UUCSH member Joe Jiuliano explored this topic and shared his thoughts.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.03.03.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

FLASH Service - February 24, 2013

Future Leaders at Somerset Hills (FLASH)

This service was presented by our Future Leaders at Somerset Hills (FLASH) high school youth group. They shared their perspectives and thoughts on Unitarian Universalism and what our congregation means to them.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.02.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Heart of Democracy - February 10, 2013

Rev. Craig Hirshberg

Democracy is often confused with politics. But there are very clear, substantial values that Unitarian Universalists bring in our participation in the body politic. In this service, Rev. Craig Hirshberg, Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey, our UU presence in Trenton, explored our UU values upholding our actions as we engage in current legislative issues.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.02.10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love and Understanding? - January 13, 2013

Rev. Beth Putnam

Maybe it's happened to you, you speak your heart's desire for a world with justice and equity, where we follow the path of human dignity and a world community, and those around you scoff. They say that's not how people or the world work. Here's a look at why peace, love and understanding aren't so funny after all.

Direct download: UUCSH_2013.01.13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

New Year's Resolutions - December 30, 2012

Doug Ford

In this service, Doug Ford shared his thoughts on New Year's resolutions and how they have evolved over time.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.12.30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Seasonal Silliness in Stories and Songs - December 16, 2012

UUCSH

In this service, the children, youth, and adults of UUCSH performed the traditional holiday pageant. This year's pageant drew inspiration from many sources. These included the books "The Runaway Latkes" by Leslie Kimmelman and Paul Yalowitz, "Hanukkah Ha-Has" by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, and the Central Baptist Church of Wayne, Pa. and its "Inclusivity Nativity." Music was provided by UUCSH's youth musicians, the children's choir, and the adult choir.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.12.16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Seasonal Silliness in Stories and Songs - December 16, 2012 +++ Video +++

UUCSH

In this service, the children, youth, and adults of UUCSH performed the traditional holiday pageant. This year's pageant drew inspiration from many sources. These included the books "The Runaway Latkes" by Leslie Kimmelman and Paul Yalowitz, "Hanukkah Ha-Has" by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, and the Central Baptist Church of Wayne, Pa. and its "Inclusivity Nativity." Music was provided by UUCSH's youth musicians, the children's choir, and the adult choir.

Direct download: Holiday_Pageant_2012.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Matters of Principle - December 2, 2012

UUCSH Music Committee

This service was hosted by the UUCSH Music Committee and organized and written by Nancy Brungard. All readings and musical selections reflected and celebrated our seven UU principles, affirming and promoting the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.12.02.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Why Does Peace Have to Be So Hard? - November 11, 2012

Rev. Dr. Heidi Swarts

Guest minister Rev. Dr. Heidi Swarts has lead this service about peace, consistent with the Coalition for Peace Action's 33rd Annual Interfaith Service and Conference on Peace which was held in Princeton later that day. UUCSH was a co-sponsor of this event.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.11.11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Beyond Categorical Thinking - November 4, 2012

Jacqui Williams, Allyson Diane Hamm

As we dream about our next minster, we might unconsciously be narrowing the field. This service set the tone for the afternoon workshop titled, Beyond Categorical Thinking. Jacqui Williams and Allyson Diane Hamm (Representatives from the UUA) shared information from their lives as a way of helping us understand what it is like to be among marginalized identities. The purpose of the day was to promote inclusive thinking and help prevent unfair discrimination in the ministerial search process.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.11.04.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The Rights of All Our Children - October 28, 2012

Carol Levin

Some of us may remember trick or treating for UNICEF. It is less common today, but the needs of children throughout the world are still striking. This service looked at the hopes and dreams and current realities of the world's children. In the second part of the service Melanie Davis and Linda Lovero-Waterhouse introduced our new UUCSH website and discussed ways to use social media to reach out to our community and beyond.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.10.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

What Does It Mean to Be Human? - October 14, 2012

Rev. Rosemarie Newberry

Have you considered what characteristics are needed in order to be a human? Is it just a body, or is the ability to communicate, think, rationalize necessary? The Rev. Rosemarie Newberry expanded the definition and told us about people that have helped her understand the answer to this question.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.10.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

International Peace Day Celebration - September 23, 2012

Dr. Tulsi Maharjan

In this service, Rev. Marcia Marino was joined by Dr. Tulsi Maharjan, President of the Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition, along with members of the Coalition as they join together in unity to celebrate International Day of Peace.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.09.23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Growth: Let Me Count the Ways - September 16, 2012

Ann Perry, UUCSH President

When we think of growth we tend to focus on numerical growth only. There is so much more to the growth of a healthy spiritual community than numbers. UUCSH has joined a 3-year growth initiative entitled "Growing Stronger", specifically designed for congregations of our size, who have the commitment and motivation to grow in strength, in influence and in numbers. This service reviewed this program, the areas of growth, our goals and priorities in each growth area, and what you can expect to see over the coming year. Learn about Maturational Growth, Organic Growth, Incarnational Growth, Associational Growth, as well as Numerical Growth and how growing our congregation in each of these areas will strengthen our community and spiritual home.

Direct download: UUCSH_1212.09.16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Folded Flag - May 27, 2012

Rev. Dr. Anthony P. Johnson

It is customary to fold the flag on a veteran's coffin into a triangle and present it to the family. The late veterans whose funerals Rev. Johnson has conducted have been a varied lot, ranging politically from Communist to Republican and religiously from Unitarian Universalist to Baptist. Rev. Johnson has shared his thoughts on seeing the folded flag as representative of often complex lives in difficult times.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.05.27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Mothering as Misunderstood, Mystifying, Miraculous Metamorphosis - May 13, 2012

Rev. Linda Goonewardene

How can we honor and celebrate the people in our lives who function as mothers on various levels? Can we learn from other people such as Hildegard of Bingen, Margaret Sanger, and Alice Walker? Guest minister Rev. Linda Goonewardene shared these Mother’s Day reflections with us.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.05.13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT

Chris Buja, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Religious education for children and youth at UUCSH has been a tremendous source of pride and attraction for many over the past 15 years. The interim time is an opportunity to reflect, revive, and recommit to RE as an integral part of UUCSH's service to the wider community. This service explored what about RE is so important to children, youth, and adults and how to grow this ministry for another 15 years.

Direct download: UUCSH_2012.04.29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

...and Justice for ALL - Mar 25, 2012

Jon Galluccio, Vice Chair, Garden State Equality

During this service we will hear about Jon's work for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender (GLBT) equality and for Marriage Equality. We will learn about what needs to happen next to override the veto in NJ and how we all can make a difference.
Direct download: UUCSH_2012.03.25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

To Be or Not to Be - Nov 27, 2011

Aaron Hershkowitz

Aaron Hershkowitz shared with us the thoughts and beliefs of ancient philosophers on death and the afterlife.
Direct download: UUCSH_2011.11.27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT



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