Sunday Service - 10:30 am
Sunday Service begins every Sunday at 10:30am in the sanctuary. Minister Rev. Susan Manker-Seale presides over most services. Guest speakers or lay members present occasionally and during July and the first two weeks of August.
The following describes the upcoming sermon topics. You may also click on "All" or a specific year to review the topics of prior Sunday services.
Our brains constantly search for patterns and find them -- or make them up. Humans are truly "The Storytelling Animal," to reference the title of Jonathan Gottschall's book. Stories make us humans. We will explore common patterns in stories, including the centrality of trouble. When is it possible to change a story's ending? ~ Rev. Ann Schranz
Sponsored by MVUUC Book Club
Presentation by Delores Burris and the Book Club.
Abraham Peraza, Lay Leader
Lily Popova, Piano
Unitarian Universalists get irritated with the way that fundamentalist Christians seem to cherry pick passages from the Bible to legitimate behaviors that we often find unacceptable and socially destructive. I will argue that economic fundamentalists do much the same thing with Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations to justify behaviors that are equally destructive.
Presented By: Dick Olson
A comedian once quipped, "How can I miss you if you won't go away?" Many of us had an opportunity to travel away from home for a day or a week or possibly even longer this summer. As summer rhythms give way to the rhythms of fall, we mark our time of reunion with the Unitarian Universalist Water Ceremony. You are invited to bring real or virtual water from the tap at home or from farther away and pour it into our common bowl in this annual ceremony. Families with children will have an opportunity to speak early in the service, and then children will go to their classes.
Minister: Rev. Ann Schranz
The Jewish tradition marks Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as High Holy Days. We will reflect on those we have hurt in the past year and on those who have hurt us. How can we move forward with integrity? Individual responses may differ, though the first step is acknowledging the presence of hurt. In a culture that values feeling good, religion can help us work with feeling "not so good."
Minister: Rev. Ann Schranz
Treating people with dignity is important as an expression of Unitarian Universalism. In this multi-generational service, we will explore ways to treat people with dignity.
Presented by: Amy Randall and Rev. Ann Schranz
Abigail Clauhs will use her experiences in Israel and Palestine this summer (as part of the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East's human rights delegation) to explore how building peace is linked to justice work--an important lesson for our efforts here at home as well. This will be a Lay led service.
Lay Leader: Abigail Clauhs
Criminal justice systems in this country and around the world are flawed. It is easy to become discouraged at the size of the problem. However, we can join caring people near and far who support the United Nations in its work to improve criminal justice systems. The focus of our annual United Nations service is on the shift from punitive to restorative international criminal justice. We will receive an update from the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and also mark the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty.
Lay Leader: Jeanine Little
Are we defined by what we do? And what does that say about inherent worth and dignity? Popular guest speaker and oncology chaplain, Michael Eselun will explore these questions.
Michael Eselun, a certified chaplain, serves as the chaplain for the Simms-Mann/UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. He has worked extensively in oncology, hospice, palliative care and with acute psychiatric patients. He's been invited many times to speak to students, doctors, nurses, social workers, and to dozens of faith communities across the country about his work as a chaplain. He recently gave the keynote at the national conference for Women Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer in Philadelphia, and was the keynote speaker at the Promising Practices for Mental Health and Aging Conference at the California Endowment.
Michael is also a co-founder and chair of a non-profit, volunteer anti-homophobia speakers bureau called GLIDE, Gays and Lesbians Initiating Dialogue for Equality. Over the last 20-plus years, Michael and his fellow speakers have spoken to an audience of over 150,000 students, teachers, and other various groups and agencies in the LA area about homophobia. He has a TED talk available on-line via You Tube, called “It’s Magic” and you can find out more about him at www.michaeleselun.com. He will have CD’s available for purchase after the service which include several of his talks.
Our second Unitarian Universalist Principle relates to justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Justice, equity, and compassion are "super powers" that each of us can use. They may not give us X-ray vision or allow us to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but justice, equity, and compassion change lives. They help us become better people and help us make the world a better place. In this multi-generational service, we will explore our super second Unitarian Universalist Principle (the second of seven Principles).
Lay Leader: Amy Randall, DRE
Join us in celebrating the lives of those that have passed on by keeping their memory alive in this beautiful tribute based on a Mexican tradition that is celebrated in many places around the world. Lots of music, fun and a soulful meditation that leads to writing an "ofrenda" to your dearly departed. One of our favorite services at Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
Last month in Salt Lake City, about 9,000 people gathered, reportedly representing over 200 religious traditions. This was only the sixth Parliament of the World's Religions. (The initial one took place in Chicago in 1893). Dozens of Unitarian Universalists attended, including three people from this congregation. We will share reflections and intriguing questions that emerged. Among other topics, Rev. Ann will talk about the presentation on "Healing Moral Injury in Returning Veterans and Families." Our "Share the Plate" offering will benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Pomona Valley.
Our guest preacher, The Rev Ms. Denise Tracy, was ordained in 1974 as a Unitarian Universalist Minister. Come meet and hear what Rev. Tracy has to share with us about love. During her career she had ministries on Campus, (Hartford, 74-76) in the Parish (Greater Lansing, MI 76-84), UUA Staff (Central Midwest 84-92), Consultant (Alban Institute 92-07) Interim (07-12) South Bend, Cincinnati, San Mateo.) She serves as a Police Chaplain for the City of Elgin, IL, where she lives. She received the 2014 MLK Jr. Humanitarian Award for her work in making Elgin a City of Peace. She tutors two days a week in a middle school. She retired from UU Ministry in 2014. Retired, however, is not a word that describes her life. She has been accepted into Pilgrim Place moving to Claremont within a few years.
Our third Unitarian Universalist Principle is about acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth. To honor the acceptance of each other we are going to celebrate with a breaking of bread. Like the grain that rises into bread loaves, we will share stories that will help encourage us to grow spiritually. Bring bread from your heritage or a family favorite to share.
UUSC's annual GUEST AT YOUR TABLE program begins. Come witness a unique approach to Social Justice.
December is the roughest time of the year for many folks, including upbeat Unitarian Universalists. How do we deal with loneliness and despondency during December? How can we experience deep and abiding joy? Guest speaker: The Rev. Dr. Tom Owen-Towle has been a parish minister since 1967 and is the author of two dozen books on personal relationships and spiritual growth. Tom and his life-partner, the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle, are the active parents of four children and seven grand-children. Tom is a guitarist and parlor magician, who currently sings with seniors, mentors children and youth-at-risk, and volunteers with San Diego’s homeless. His sermon will be based upon his recent book entitled: UNWRAPPING The Inner Gifts of Christmas. This book and others will be available following the service. Tom is gratified to be returning to the Monte Vista UU Congregation.
Join us this Sunday to a morning filled with music as the choir sings its holiday concert during the service to lead us into the holiday season. Bring your friends and family and sing along to Christmas carols.
For two millennia, people have told of the child in a Bethlehem manger; of angels who announced his birth to shepherds, and of learned men who traveled a great distance to view him. In this time of world unrest, we experience the Christmas Story and expound on the messages of hope, love, and peace. Lay Leader: Amy Randall
Given the pace of daily life and given the responsibilities that may weigh heavily upon us, it may be tempting to treat another person as "it" -- an object that either helps us or hinders us. In contrast, we may regard another person as "Thou" -- a subject entitled to high regard and worthy of authentic relationship. The Jewish writer Martin Buber wrote about the distinction between "I - It" relationships and "I - Thou" relationships in the early 20th century. He did not wish to be considered a philosopher or a theologian, yet his wisdom has much to offer us. We will explore ways to improve the quality of our relationships.
7:00PM in the Sanctuary. In this season when news stories about refugees abound, we remember the birth of Jesus. His parents had trouble finding a place to stay, and Christian tradition holds that he was born in a stable manger. Just as Jesus could not be defined by the circumstances of his birth, neither can we be defined by the circumstances of our birth. In this traditional service filled with music and congregational singing, we will reflect upon Jesus' message of inclusion and hope. You are invited to bring treats to share at the reception following the service.
Our annual poetry and pot luck! Bring your favorite dish and poetry to share.