The Buddha Is in Everything — December 3, 2006, Sermon

Buddhism says we are disappointed by the world because of faulty expectations. It is faulty to think that babies will never cry and dogs will never bark and brakes will never screech, so why let those things throw us off? The Buddha is even in hateful thoughts and violent crime.

The Challenge of Compassion — February 26, 2012, Sermon

Now that I think of it, I guess I showed compassion by stepping in for an ailing minister with just a few days’ notice in February 2012, to write and deliver this sermon on compassion. ***** Rick Ruzzamenti, of Riverside, California, is an electrical contractor with a surly streak and an impulsive side. But he…

Memories Are Made of This — October 20, 2013, Sermon

This isn’t really the word’s etymology, but when we re-member it’s as though we are bringing together various members of the thought into one coherent memory, and the members – the various bits from various parts of our brain – change over time.

Temporarily Embarrassed Millionaires

I used that title for a sermon I delivered in February 2012 about income inequality. The phrase, which has been attributed to Steinbeck, is a very loose paraphrase from his “America and Americans”: Socialism never took root in America because Americans don’t see themselves as poor – only temporarily embarrassed millionaires. I added that, speaking as…

The 5th Precept and the 12 Steps — December 1, 2013, Sermon

Even though she had been clean for some time and in fact was working in a recovery center, she broke down when she talked about her failures to care for her daughter, as she told us: “There’s no love greater than the disease of addiction.”

That Arc Bends Toward Truth, Too — March 2, 2014, Sermon

To find today’s, I didn’t have to dig very deep into my vault of sermons not yet posted here. This one tells two remarkable stories. I’ll start with the prelude: Many of you know that it was 19th Century Unitarian minister Theodore Parker who originated the phrase about the moral arc of the universe bending…

What Lives Matter? – A sermon by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar – YouTube

We Unitarian Universalists drive people away from our congregations by adopting a cause or phrase du jour and demonizing anyone who is not ready to adopt it. Currently, it’s “Black Lives Matter.” This sermon by the Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar does a stellar job of explaining why the phrase, and the movement, are important, without…

Community: Warm & Fuzzy or Cold & Hairy — September 14, 2014

Whenever I meet newcomers to Unitarian Universalism, one of the things I talk about is the community – that it plays a bigger role for us than it does for many other religions. We don’t come to church on Sunday mornings to pay homage to a deity and improve our chances of making it into…

My Loose-leaf Bible — August 30, 2015

I don’t know why I often begin my sermons with stories from my time at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, so forgive me for doing it once more. In Reston, we had a process for prospective members similar to what we do here in Loudoun, with one exception. A couple of times a year…