Living Prophets: sermons from liberal religion-logo

Living Prophets: sermons from liberal religion

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A digest of sermons or other speeches and conversations from unitarian universalist ministers, mennonites, UMC, and other liberal religious voices.

A digest of sermons or other speeches and conversations from unitarian universalist ministers, mennonites, UMC, and other liberal religious voices.
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A digest of sermons or other speeches and conversations from unitarian universalist ministers, mennonites, UMC, and other liberal religious voices.








The Long Arc

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice” is an often spoken idea from abolitionists to civil rights leaders. Martin Luther King used it often. This episode explains and illustrates what this means. This pulls from a 2007 William Schulz sermon – Schulz was a one-time President of Amnesty International […]


Power in a name

Two sermonlets about the power found in a name. Rev Justin Osterman (UU Raleigh) tells his story of when we served as a translator in Guantanamo. When he entered the prison cell, he did the most natural human thing. In another story Rev Rob Hardies (All Souls UU DC) tells the story of Moses and […]


Speaking out: reconciling diversity within the movement

A core part of effective activism is individual witness – standing up to those who one sees and works with every day. This sermon captures the story of one minister’s behind-the-scenes efforts to cleanse her church’s leadership of sexism and sexual predators and the conflicts that emerged. It reveals how even the most liberal institutions […]


MLK: How to love your enemies

Martin Luther King, Jr was an amazing preacher. Listen to excerpts from one of his sermons on how to love your enemies. He says, “Jesus has become the practical realist… his commandment [to love your enemies] is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization.” He argues it is the only pragmatic way to […]


Moral Vulnerability

There are three parts of being an effective activist: (1) To protect and serve the vulnerable. (2) To wake people up to the plight of the marginalized. And (3) to practice individual witness to those who stand against progress as a bridge towards mutual understanding, reconciliation, and restoring justice. This explains is what that third […]


Effective Activism

“Do you need to be an activist to be a Unitarian?” That was the question posed to Rev Dr Justin Osterman of the Raleigh UU fellowship ( His answer is the best 20 minute explanation of how to be an effective activist I’ve ever heard. Advertisements


The dream of racial justice and the courage to pursue it

Two sermons from two Unitarian Universalist churches (Washington DC and Tulsa OK) from MLK Sunday (2018) about courage and the journey towards justice that continues, 50 years later. Both tell the story of James Reeb – a UU minister and activist martyred in 1965 – an event that triggered the signing of the voting rights […]


Owning the pain of grief with tears of praise for life

This combines two sermons from All Souls UU Church in Washington, DC 2010. Rev. Rob Hardies and Louise Green speak about grief, and finding a way to express both the pain of loss and the praise for life. Our tears are a lament and a prayer – of thanksgiving for what life offers us every […]


Deniece Mason: Mountains beyond the transfiguration

Reverend Deniece Mason tells two stories: Trekking in the Himalayas as a teenager with friends, and an episode of a woman in a nice neighborhood who noticed a homeless figure sleeping for days on a bench at the bus stop on her street. Both stories are a reminder that Jesus is not high on a […]


Jesus among the outsiders, on the margins of society

Doug Brown draws parallels between the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers and how we approach outsiders in our communities today. Jesus was himself an outsider, and that gave him a perspective that revealed more truth. In this story, though all ten lepers were cleansed (cured) as they traveled to present themselves to the […]


Parable of the Red Cranes in the DMZ

With news of Trump in Korea this week, and talk of the unlimited potential of human endeavors to reshape the planet as a technology-enabled paradise, this parable of the red cranes offers a different viewpoint. In the DMZ between North and South Korea there live rare majestic birds whose habitat would be crushed by development […]


Find a god as you understand god – the key to liberation

“Find a god as you understand God. That was the key to my spiritual liberation,” explains Father Leo Booth. Booth ( a recording from 2000) shares his story of struggle with addiction and with the essential ingredients of the disease, and his redemption. These feelings mirror those of victims of sexual assault, as Rev Kathy […]


Buying into other people’s power: Addiction, recovery from racism

“The danger for us is to think too small. Buy into other people’s power rather than the power that we have. In every solitary one of us, there is a Martin Luther King.” Father Leo Booth provides makes a compelling case that addiction and recovery are a spiritual journey of becoming aware of our own […]


Bullets could not deter me and I would not seek revenge – Malala

Dear Friends, on the 9th of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed. And then, out of that silence came, thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and […]


Bono: Grace is the opposite of Karma

U2’s singer Bono used to be a believer in Karma but through his journey, he’s grown to be a firm believer in Grace. Most religions are based on Karma. The ancient Israelites believed in Karma (“we are God’s chosen people” and “lepers must have sinned to be diseased”). Hinduism and the caste system is about […]


A prophetic vision of peacemaking

We have a prophetic vision of peace, not unlike we see in a local nonprofit – they are cutting up military uniforms, pressing the fibers into pulp to make paper, and transforming ex-soldiers into artists. Peace and justice are built around rebuilding relationships. Jesus dismantled the law, the commandments and the ordinances in order to […]


The fierce ugency of now – Rob Hardies

Rob Hardies – The fierce ugency of now (sermon at All souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Washington, DC) is about the Treyvon Martin story and how it relates to the 1963 march on Washington, when a pastor at this very church was killed in Selma Alabama – James Reeb. Lessons for today. Advertisements


What is Peace, really?

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” Pastor Deniece Mason explains what this means in a modern context. She points out that Memorial Day wasn’t a holiday before 1971. And long before that, it’s origins come from women in Mississippi who, while decorating the graves of their ancestors in […]


Creating sanctuary after Trump

In the days after the 2016 election with a surprising Trump victory, many in the congregation were shocked and horrified and despondent. Rob Hardies’s sermon struck a perfect balance between accepting the results and preparing All Souls Church as a “sanctuary” for the times ahead. He reminded us that the church’s bell, crafted by Paul […]


How Hope – faith in the future – Transforms and Sustains

From the Gospel story of the woman who sneaks through the crowd to touch Jesus’s robe because she believes she can be healed, Deniece Mason explains why there is more to the story of a nameless, sick, ostracized woman than it first seems. This story is about coping with and hoping through tragedy in our […]


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