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Sermons from The Unitarian Universalist Church-Rockford, Illinois.

Sermons from The Unitarian Universalist Church-Rockford, Illinois.
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Sermons from The Unitarian Universalist Church-Rockford, Illinois.




5/5/19 "The Mystery of the Mind"

The Mystery of the Mind May 5, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson The Human Mind remains one of the great mysteries of science and biology. The more we learn, the more questions we have. How does memory work? How does intuition and creativity happen? How are our minds connected to each other? We’re also learning a lot more about neuro-diversity, and turning away from the assumption that our minds all work the same way. We’ll learn about that diversity, celebrate the many ways of...


4/28/19 "A Wonderous Love, a Saving Love"

A Wonderous Love, a Saving Love April 28, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Karen Armina Salvation is a term that may – or may not – be useful to Unitarian Universalists. This morning we’ll talk about some traditional concepts of salvation, and consider the roles of wonder and love in what saves us.


4/7/19 "Salvation by Faith"

Salvation by Faith April 7, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson “Salvation” and “Faith” are complicated words for Unitarian Universalists. More than 200 years ago, we diverged from our protestant colleagues by arguing that we didn’t need to be saved, and that faith wasn’t sufficient anyway — it was deeds that mattered. But what would it mean to reclaim “salvation” and “faith” in new ways - and to think about how we might be “made whole through hope.”? What does “wholeness through...


3/31/19 "The Truth About Trust"

The Truth About Trust March 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Misha Sanders Trust is easier lost than gained, easier broken than repaired. Who do we trust? Is it possible to trust after we've been betrayed? Why even bother? Let's take the risk of trusting each other just enough to explore the question a little bit this Sunday.


3/24/19 "The Truth About Stories"

The Truth About Stories March 24, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Intern Minister Christe Lunsford Are all stories “fake news” or are stories carefully crafted as a way of survival? How do the stories we tell shape our lives, our identities and our communities? How do we speak the truth and acknowledge that there can be a multitude of truths all in one story? What stories do we want others to know and tell about us when you’re gone? Are we able to craft stories that capture the fullness and richness...


3/17/19 "The Truth About Stuff"

The Truth About Stuff March 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson Science! The Cosmos! Quarks! Climate? Vaccines? Neurology? Evolution! Faith? We’ll talk about the relationship between science, faith, and truth.


3/10/19 "The Truth About Doubt"

The Truth About Doubt March 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson Unitarian Universalists have long embraced doubt as necessary for the religious quest. We “quest” – which is to say, we question. But there’s a fine line between doubt and critique, and between wonder and cynicism. We’ll celebrate doubt, explore what it means, and how it can be helpful to us today.


3/3/19 "The Truth About Healing Racial Trauma"

The Truth About Healing Racial Trauma March 3, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Pastor Danny Givens Many have been steeped in the seemingly non-stop tweets, posts, articles, and media headlines of injustice in the world we live in today. The trauma endured, embodied, and experienced in justice work impacts our growth and faith formation as we commune to seek justice and facilitate healing in our world. How do we, in this time, access the healing we seek? Join us Sunday as Pastor Danny Givens speaks to...


2/24/19 "Surrender: Paganism"

Surrender: Paganism February 24, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Intern Minister Christe Lunsford Recognizing that paganism is an umbrella identity for a lot of complex faith practices, it is the wheel of the year ever turning that informs pagans and provides the opportunity to surrender again and again. It's the circle of life, in constant motion where pagans search for truth and meaning. Where is your place on the path unwinding?


2/10/19 "Buddhism"

Buddhism February 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson The Buddha famously taught about the dangers of attachment, and the spiritual necessity of letting go. But what exactly did him mean by non-attachment? What would it mean to move past the clichés about the Buddha’s teachings and actually look at this idea closely? It isn’t quite what you might think.


1/27/19 "Bright Shining as the Sun"

Bright Shining as the Sun January 27, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson A celebration of hope, beauty, and the grace of beginning again. Our journey through grace has travelled from intention, to pain, to justice, and will conclude with joy. Appropriately, we’ll also celebrate some of the poetry of Mary Oliver. Don’t miss it.


1/20/19 "Lead Me Home"

Lead Me Home January 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson Reflections on the connection between grace, justice and freedom. How might we move together to the world we dream of.



Wretch Like Me January 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson We continue our month of “amazing grace” by reflecting on that state of “needing grace.” What do Unitarian Universalists think of “sin” anyway, if we think of it at all? When we are down for the count, and feeling wretched, how do we find a way forward? How might these moments be invitations to spiritual growth?


12/2/18 "Dream of Peace"

Dream of Peace December 2, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson We sing of peace in this season, but violence rages – in Yemen, in Honduras, and in the neighborhoods of our very city. How can our dream of peace become real? How, as Dr. King said, can we make peace “not the destination, but the way”?


11/18/18 "Bread"

Bread November 18, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Intern Minister Christe Lunsford Bread, a predominant food in a large part of the world and yet culturally it is widely different. From one barker to the next, there is no two loaves of bread that will look or taste the same. As a form of kitchen witchery, bread is often thought to be imbued with magic. What magic do we perform when we make bread and what magic happens when we share the bounty with each other?


11/11/18 "Sweet Potatoes"

Sweet Potatoes November 11, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson There’s a through line between sustainability, freedom, and gratitude. We’ll explore the connections between liberation theology, local agriculture, and ecology through the most pleasant of tubers: the sweet potato. We’ll also give some thought to the work of peace on this veterans day, and reflect on what’s next after the election. See you in church.


11/4/18 "Pumpkin Pie"

Pumpkin Pie November 4, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson We'll explore the topic of gratitude by reflecting on the most iconic act of thanksgiving: being gathered around a table (for pie!). What does the simple and essential practice of sharing a meal tell us about what it means to be human and to be connected.


10/28/18 "Formed by Our Ancestors"

Formed by Our Ancestors October 28, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson


10/21/18 "Forming Non-Toxic Men"

Forming Non-Toxic Men October 21, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson