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



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