Cultivating Peace and Gratitude

High Street Church Zoom Worship with – Rev. Sarah Oglesby, September 27, 2020

Here at the end of the month we’ll draw from International Peace Day and World Gratitude Day to explore practices of renewal that impact our spiritual lives and our shared communal lives by developing a sense of gratitude and a commitment to the work of peace-building.

Download MP3: Cultivating Peace and Gratitude

Awakening Authenticity: The Ram’s Horn and the Call to Wake Up

High Street Church Zoom Worship with – Rev. Sarah Oglesby, September 20, 2020

Join us as we explore what it means to awaken our own authenticity. What’s possible when we engage the practice of starting anew together? “The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is the beginning of the first day of the new year and its central feature is the blowing of the ram’s horn. This horn is not, nor has it ever been, a musical instrument. It emits only a harsh blast, a wailing, groaning, threatening, annoying, and frightening cry. The blowing of the ram’s horn at the start of the new year is a hint to sleepers to awake from their slumber, it is a call to examine their souls and improve their ways. The ram’s horn therefore is not intended to beguile the ear, but to arouse, shock, provoke those who sleep…[it’s an] awakening of the capacity to be oneself instead of a copy of advertisements, or neighbors, even of oneself when younger and more authentic.”

Download MP3: Awakening Authenticity: The Ram’s Horn and the Call to Wake Up

Water Communion: A Ritual for Healing

High Street Church Zoom Worship with – Rev. Sarah Oglesby, September 13, 2020

Rev. Sarah invites you to send her pictures and/or recordings of you and your friends and/or family with water; with people and places in your life that are renewing; and to share words that tell us how you experience healing and being held by this community. Can be a short 2 minute video, or a picture and text. Please send by Sept. 6! We’ll create a montage and an online ritual that reminds us of what it means to begin together and what we each give and receive in community.

Download MP3: Water Communion: A Ritual for Healing

Flourishing in Difficult Times

High Street Church Zoom Worship with Cynthia Alby, September 6, 2020

For many years I had been leisurely learning about positive psychology, a movement that seeks to help individuals increase their well-being, mostly through simple, easy to learn strategies. Then the pandemic hit, and I knew I had to race to develop my expertise and use what I was learning to help others. Please join me as we examine two questions: Which strategies might be useful for you for your own well-being, and how might a “well-being practice” also become a “spiritual practice”?

Download MP3: Flourishing in Difficult Times

Return Again…

High Street Church Zoom Worship with – Rev. Sarah Oglesby, August 30, 2020

Rev. Sarah explores how showing up and returning to school, to church (and work, and other aspects of life) in the midst of COVID 19 are offering new challenges and understandings of what it means to be a (UU) community. Rev. Sarah explores Rev. Nancy MacDonald Ladd’s book “After the Good News: Progressive Faith Beyond Optimism” and asks us to consider how we can let go of our white, middle class assumptions that “it’s all good, it’s all gonna work out” and instead be aware of where and for whom it is most definitely not working out. How can we let go of our inherited sense of triumphalism and certainty, decenter whiteness, and show up to the work at hand, however imperfectly we may do so? “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it” (Torah 2:21). What are we called to do together, and with whom are we called to do it?|

Download MP3: Return Again…

Why Sunday?

High Street Church Zoom Worship with – Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan with Reflections by Rev. E. Arlen Goff and Rev. Nana’ Kratochvil, August 23, 2020

What does it mean to come together once a week on Sunday as a pluralistic community? What does “worship” signify in a group with many ideas–from atheism, non-theism, religious humanism, Buddhism, liberal Christianity, to many other identities that are both cultural and theological? What is the purpose for gathering and what can we create together that is needed/necessary in our lives? Rev. Sarah and the HSUUC Worship team explore these questions, inviting participants to ask these questions, too.

Download MP3: Why Sunday?

Planning the Garden: What Does it Mean to Discern Together?

High Street Church Zoom Worship with – Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, August 16, 2020

Interim ministry is different from other ministries. What will this “interim period” require of High Street and of its new minister? Margaret Wheatley says that “There is no power to change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”  During this interim time we’ll explore questions like: “In what ways have you received support or inspiration from High Street?  What kinds of support would you like to see HIgh Street offer to individuals, families, and the wider community?” and “What gifts do you offer or wish to offer this gathered community?  What kind of legacy do you dream about?” Join us as we embark on a new path together!

Download MP3: Planning the Garden: What Does it Mean to Discern Together?

Being Patient with Patience (in times like these)

High Street Church Zoom Worship with Rev. Marti Keller, August 9, 2020

This week’s guest Minister comes from a family of impatient people – inclined to honk at and even cuss at other drivers, and clock watching. Not an admirable quality – especially in times like this – but is there a justice seeking upside after all?

Rev. Marti Keller has been both a parish and social justice Minister for 22 years—serving congregations in the South, speaking extensively in pulpits in this country and abroad. For six years, Rev. Keller was the gender justice and equity Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, for whom she tracked and did public witness on reproductive justice and other intersectional issues impacting women and girls.

She most recently was a co-interim Minister in Jacksonville Florida. She has also been active in the small group ministry movement and in Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness. She was the co-editor of Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism ( Skinner House Press). She is the surprised and proud recipient of this year’s Ministry to Women Award from the UUWF. She is a published poet: her latest chapbook is “Red Wool Socks and Dark Chocolate: Life in Three Lines.” (Matrika Press)

Download MP3: Being Patient with Patience (in times like these)

Proper Care and Feeding of a UU Minister

High Street Church Zoom Worship with Rev. E. Arlen Goff, August 2, 2020

This sermon has deep roots. I first shared it in the mid-1990s after our first Settled Minister left and we were anticipating the arrival of our first Interim Minister. It has been preached on a regular basis since then, usually in late July or early August just prior to the arrival of a new minister (settled or otherwise).

This sermon has even deeper roots, in that, as a minister myself and the son of a Minister, I have experienced ministerial transitions numerous times in my life, in churches large and small, city and country, liberal and conservative. Each experience was both totally unique and remarkably the same. Going to a new congregation is both strangely familiar and familiarly strange. Join me for a much briefer version of this oft-repeated message.

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From the Darkness

High Street Church Zoom Worship with – Rev. Tina Clark, July 26, 2020

I’ve heard so many deep thinkers say over the last few months that we are living through a gargantuan paradigm shift in our life time—that we are fortunate to be witnessing and experiencing this existential event(s). So much is happening at a rapid pace and sometimes it can cause us to feel disoriented, disheartened and confused, even afraid. This may feel like a season of Darkness to us. But even though Darkness can be frightening, it is also a time when new life burrows deep into the womb and becomes something new and wonderful waiting to be born while doing the work of growth and change. I’ve found the Darkness calling to me over the last many months. I’ll share some of my lessons from my time in my “cave.”

Download MP3: From the Darkness