Sunday Service

Sunday Service - 10:30 am

Sunday Service begins every Sunday at 10:30am in the sanctuary. Rev. Susan Manker-SealeMinister 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.

  • Sun
    01
    Jan
    2017

    Guest: Ven. Kusala Bhikshu

    Lay Leader:  Catherine Rowlee

    Ven. Kusala Bhikshu has become a tradition at MVUUC, having spoken to us on the 1st Sunday of the New Year for many years. He is an entertaining speaker and musician whose message is always uniquely profound. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

    Ven. Kusala Bhikshu (Thich Tam-Thien) is an American born Bhikshu (monk) ordained in the Zen Tradition of Vietnam.  Kusala lives and works at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in the Korea town section of Los Angeles. He cares for the grounds, facilitates meditation and discussion groups and feeds the cats and the koi fish. He gives presentations at local high schools, colleges and local churches on Buddhism and social action.

    Learn more about Ven. Kusala at his websites: www.kusala.info and Urban Dharma (www.urbandharma.org

  • Sun
    08
    Jan
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    Is there a relationship between physical clutter and mental/spiritual clutter?  I’ve certainly cleared out my life with so many moves over the past few years, but I still haul around my father’s books, and I manage to always stop unpacking before I’ve actually put everything away.  Do I like the stack of book boxes in the corners of my office and life?  There is something to the flow of energy, the relationship of space and mind, spirituality and theology, alluded to in the insights of feng shui.  As we enter a new year, how might we clear not just the physical, but the mental and emotional impediments that keep us from flowing into new awareness, compassion, and action?  Mary McMahon is Worship Associate.

  • Sun
    15
    Jan
    2017

     Rev. Susan Manker and Jill Raiguel, Worship Associate

    The song, “We shall overcome,” still touches our hearts deeply over all these years, and reminds us of the unending struggle for justice and peace.  We’ll explore the challenges of this new year and presidency as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; kick off the Standing on the Side of Love’s 30 Days of Love 2017; and recognize the rally’s and protests taking place this month around our nation.  Stay after the service for the “Preparing for the Ministerial Search” Workshop.

  • Sun
    22
    Jan
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    “Better Together” is the slogan our stewardship team has adopted for the 2017 pledge drive.  This Sunday will be an opportunity to explore what the congregation and Unitarian Universalism mean to us, as a whole and in small groups.  They say that money follows the heart, so let’s raise our awareness of why we come to church and what we love about it, about us.  This is not the actual kick-off of the pledge drive, but rather part of a theology of year-round stewardship—learning to care for our religious home.

  • Sun
    29
    Jan
    2017

    Guest:  Michael Eselun
    Lay Leader:  Abraham Peraza

    Popular guest speaker and UCLA Oncology Chaplain, Michael Eselun, will explore the idea of pilgrimage -- our pursuit of inspiration and enlightenment. Internal journeys and external ones -- and some in between.

  • Sun
    05
    Feb
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate: Catherine Rowlee

    As a teenager, Mary Anning was the first to discover dinosaur fossils in Great Britain.  She was not credited with these finds for most of her life, being poor and a woman and a Dissenter (pre-Unitarian), but she changed the world for Darwin and all of us.  She is the “she” in the tongue-twister, “She sells sea shells by the seashore.”  I’ve been a member of the Clergy Letter Project for many years, preaching for evolution, and I’m grateful to its founder, Michael Zimmerman, for sending me free, the book, The Fossil Hunter, by Shelley Emling.
    The mid-year Budget Review for the current fiscal year will be held after the service.

  • Sun
    12
    Feb
    2017

    Guest Speaker: Dee Masters
    Worship Associate:  Abraham Peraza

    A short history of Valentine's Day. What you can do on that very perplexing day. Defining "love." This is an interactive sermon.

     

  • Sun
    19
    Feb
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  Dick Olson

    Stewardship sermons are jokingly called the “sermons on the amount.”  We do need to talk about money—openly.  But, money follows the heart, and I want to share my reflections on what it is that I, as your interim minister, see you loving about this congregation and Unitarian Universalism.  We started this conversation three weeks ago.  What can we do to ensure the continued health of Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation?  How can each of us become conscientious stewards of our faith and religious community?

  • Sun
    26
    Feb
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  April Fissel

    I’ve taken the title from this year’s District Assembly (DA) of Unitarian Universalists, which will be held a month earlier than we’re used to.  We are meeting in the borderlands of Arizona and Mexico, March 31 through April 2, and you are invited to witness and participate in border activities near Nogales, Green Valley, Sierra Vista, and Tucson.  I’ll share my experiences in the borderlands and tell you what to expect in this very different, hands-on district assembly.  Visit the website at http://justiceda2017.weebly.com.  Early registration discount ends February 15 and  registration stays open through March 15.  There will be a new member recognition in the service.

  • Sun
    05
    Mar
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  Jill Raiguel

    Is a belief in God central to the religious quest?  Many think so.  But Unitarian Universalism teaches a core of faith, of human values, that transcend binding definitions of a higher power.  Are we afraid to let go of God?  Can we even hold on to such an idea?  In a society where “atheist” is the most feared word, are we ready for religion beyond God?  Lily Popova will direct the choir.

  • Sun
    12
    Mar
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  Mary McMahon

    We love it when comedians do the top ten of anything, so let’s apply that to congregational life.  I gathered my own list of funniest and most profound over many years of parish ministry.  I’ll share my favorite jokes and insights, always, always protecting the identity of the guilty (mostly me, though), and have some fun with faith and an offbeat look at life in general.  Don’t worry—this is not about any parishioner’s confidences and confessions; it’s mostly just self-awareness and revelation. 

     

  • Sun
    19
    Mar
    2017

    Worship Associate:  Abraham Peraza
    Worship Associate:  Chris Sanchez

    Éirinn go Brách! In this service we will Celebrate the Irish culture and lore as well as explore the Irish journey to America and the injustices and prejudices that were faced once they got here. 

  • Sun
    26
    Mar
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate: Julie Steinbach

    Rights at Risk is the title for this year’s Justice Sunday. Every year congregations hold a membership drive for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), delving deeper into issues than we can during the holiday’s Guest at Your Table Program. Some of the rights at risk around the globe include sexual orientation and gender identity, refugee status, and natural disaster relief. This year, UUSC is asking us to join in support of marginalized communities targeted because of who they are: people under particular threat because of religion, race, and immigrant or refugee status.

  • Sun
    02
    Apr
    2017

    Coordinator:  Rita Salama

    This service affirms our new slogan “Many Beliefs, One Community.” As Unitarian Universalists, we support each other in our individual search for truth and meaning. This Sunday, three members of the congregation will share what they believe. Come see how their personal beliefs are part of our MVUUC community.

  • Sun
    09
    Apr
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Assistant: Lyn Shaible

    Come a little early and BRING FLOWERS to decorate the Hana Mido (arbor) as we celebrate the Japanese Flower festival of the birth of the Buddha.  Through poetry, meditation and reflection, we’ll rest within the still center of our beings and create sacred space.  The children will join us for the first part of the service to ladle sweet tea over the statue of the baby Buddha.  Lily Popova will conduct the choir.  Plan to stay for the special congregational meeting after.

  • Sun
    16
    Apr
    2017

    Amy Randall, Lily Popova and Rev. Susan Manker

    Wear your Easter finery and renew your spirit with stories, songs, dance, and laughter in this service for all ages.  The Easter Bunny might make an appearance on the patio after the service, along with goodies for the kids.  The choir will sing.  Happy Easter!

  • Sun
    23
    Apr
    2017

    Led by Monte Vista UU Youth

    In celebration of Earth Day, we recognize the role youuth camp plays in our personal and spiritual growth as UUs.

  • Sun
    30
    Apr
    2017

    Lay Leaders:  Abraham Peraza, Catherine Rowlee

    We all have passions and there are many ways to express those passions. In this service, we will celebrate poetry as a means of communicating one's interests, passions, and the rhythm of life.

     

  • Sun
    07
    May
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    On May 1, communities around the world will demonstrate for the rights of immigrants.  The movement has been titled “Rise Up,” and reminds me of the UUA curriculum, “Rise Up and Call Her Name,” in which we uplifted the goddesses in religious history who had been written out of our awareness.  When we choose to rise up, change will happen.  I’ll reflect on what’s been rising up within the UUA, as well as our nation, and explore the theology of resistance with its many ways to rise up.  uua.org/RiseUpMay1.

     

  • Sun
    14
    May
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    Worship Associate: Jill Raiguel

    Mothers.  In this day and age, people are creating many different kinds of families, and choosing to mother in wonderfully different ways.  We’ll share some stories of loving mothering, the kind that sustains us in difficult times and challenges us to aim as high as we can see

  • Sun
    21
    May
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    We have finished a year of interim ministry together and accomplished a good number of our goals.  In the congregational meeting today, you will vote on the search committee which will choose your next minister.  You also voted in April to enter negotiations with the mall developer.  These are huge accomplishments.  Let’s celebrate the highs of this year and the power of positive behavior.  This is Rev. Susan’s last service until August 13.

     

  • Sun
    28
    May
    2017

    Worship Associate:  Catherine Rowlee
    Worship Associate:  Abraham Peraza

    Please join us as we learn about the origins of the Unitarian Universalist Flower Communion, the minister, Norbert Capeck of Prague, Czechoslovakia, who created it for his congregation and how it came to be celebrated by Unitarian Universalists in the United States. We will then participate in the Flower Communion in much the same way as the first communion was held in 1923. Bring one flower to add to the communion vase. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    04
    Jun
    2017

    Led by Amy Randall and RE Teachers

    We take a look back at this year's program - Discovering OUUr Faith, finding the treasures that were discovered, and honoring those who have worked to make it so successful.

  • Sun
    11
    Jun
    2017

    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    Join us in celebrating life and music as the choir recaps the year with songs most loved by the congregation! Members of the choir and members of the congregation at large will speak on "What Music Means To Me". This service is one of our congregation's high spirited favorites so come celebrate with us!!!

  • Sun
    18
    Jun
    2017

    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza
    Guest Speakers:  Joseph Greene and Steve Shirley

    Join us in honoring our often unsung hero: Dad!!! Steve Shirley will bring some interesting stories of fatherhood based on his experience as a family law attorney and share perspectives on various types of Dads!!!

  • Sun
    25
    Jun
    2017

    Lay Leader: Jeanne Coats

    A presentation in drama and chant of the Pagan Wheel of the Year, which consists of eight Sabbats or festivals. Modern Pagans view time as circular, as did our Pagan ancestors. Time, for them moved at a slower pace, marked by the motion of the Earth, the apparent motion of the sun, and stars, and the lunar phases. Nature marked out the turning seasons with a series of alternating white and green harvests, and it was from these that the original eight Sabbats, came to be established. It is these we will be sharing.

  • Sun
    02
    Jul
    2017

    Lay Leader: Catherine Rowlee

    Iris Rowlee and Terrie Maguire will speak on the topic and we will sing songs of inspiration as we approach the 4th of July. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    09
    Jul
    2017

    Guest Speaker: Professor Madeleine Scully
    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    We are honored to have Professor Madeleine Scully return to MVUUC to talk about how music moves people on a primal level and how the “Voice” of God is different than His “Word”. She will touch on being transgender and her insight into how music can make people feel welcome. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    16
    Jul
    2017

    Guest Speaker: Rev. Ellen Livingston
    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    "Travel is broadening" the saying goes, it's true. But I see it as more complicated than that. And now that summer is officially here, the subject of leaving home is upon us. I would like to share a few thoughts and memories on this subject and pose the question: Why do we travel? And does that help to bring more knowledge and understanding between other people and the traveler? Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    23
    Jul
    2017

    Lay Leaders: Amy Randall and Catherine Rowlee

    Creativity is a central part of human life. Engaging in the arts as a spiritual practice means honoring the process and cultivating a relationship to mystery. Join us for an interactive, hands-on opportunity to experience the creative process and discover your own insights.

  • Sun
    30
    Jul
    2017

    Lay Leader: Mary McMahon
    Song Leader: Abraham Peraza

    Come join in singing and learning songs from our hymnbook, “Singing the Living Tradition” and “Singing the Journey” as we experience and learn how music impacts the way we worship. There will be lots of congregational singing!!! Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    06
    Aug
    2017

    Guest Speakers: Delores Burris, Chris Williams, Marsha Cookingham

    Introduction by Delores Burris

    Book 1:  Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
    Chris Williams

    Book 2:  The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness In a Changing World
    Marsha Cookingham

  • Sun
    13
    Aug
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    I spent a week this summer as minister at elementary camp, and I’m filled with joyful memories of laughter and creativity.  I witnessed the friendships that blossomed over that week, and the dedication of adults to the growth and development of these children in Unitarian Universalism.  General Assembly was also an awesome, profound gathering of witness to the struggles of our faith.  I’ve been pondering the bonds that tie us to one another in hope and love in religious community.

  • Sun
    20
    Aug
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    Many people spend their entire lives searching for truth and meaning, and only momentarily sensing the eternal, if at all.  Religions offer paths, “the way,” as the Taoists call it, and define steps to deepen one’s encounters with the divine, god, spirit of life, human conscience, connection, understanding.  What does a Unitarian Universalist “way” look like, if a single path could be laid out?  Or are we all going our separate ways?

  • Sun
    27
    Aug
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    Our culture is full of ideas, some better than others, some new and some very ancient.  Where do they come from, and which ones have most strongly influenced our religious traditions and world community?  How might these ideas be carving the future of humanity?

  • Sun
    03
    Sep
    2017

    Lay Leader: April Fissell Chokshi
    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    One of the greatest satisfactions in work is finding congruence between who we are and what we do. Another is the mindful presence that we bring to our work. This Sunday we’ll explore what this means.

  • Sun
    10
    Sep
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker and Amy Randall, DLRE

    Bring water (real or metaphorical) from places that touch your heart to this annual ingathering service.  We’ll pour our waters into a common bowl as we share those special meanings with one another.  We will also introduce our new intern minister, the Rev. Maggie Yenoki, as well as the RE council.  And, there will be a special visit from our former minister, the Rev. Ann Schranz, who is moving to Wisconsin.

  • Sun
    17
    Sep
    2017

    Lay Leader: Jeanne Coats

    The Congregation is invited to join CUUPS as we celebrate Mabon, which is the eighth Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year, the wine and apple harvest, and the Pagan Thanksgiving. Part of the ceremony will give those who wish to a chance to pass through the portal of the Autumnal Equinox and into the beginning of the Dark Time of the year. There will be chanting and singing, in which all are invited to join.

  • Sun
    24
    Sep
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts this year on September 20.  It is the beginning of the High Holy Days, called the Days of Awe, which end on September 30 with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (at-one-ment).  This is a time to engage in the ancient practice of returning to the “home of your soul,” through self-assessment, apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

  • Sun
    01
    Oct
    2017

    Evensong Facilitator:  Abraham Peraza

    The soulful and uplifting Evensong service comes to Sunday Morning! Please bring a poem, reading, or song that inspires you or is important to you so that you might share with the congregation in the spirit of getting to know each other through worship. Participation is encouraged or you may just sit back, relax and take it all in and nourish your spirit.

     

     

  • Sun
    08
    Oct
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker, Rita Salama, Maggie Yenoki, and Maria Wortham

    What do you care most deeply about?  How do we share our values with others, in small groups and in worship?  We will explore the nature of small-group ministries, and kick off the program with sign-ups for these Finding Heart Chalice Circles.

     

     

  • Sun
    15
    Oct
    2017

    Rev. Maggie Burbank Yenoki

    The folks at “Your True Nature” [www.yourtruenature.com] have built a successful business by offering advice gathered from sources we don’t normally consider to be deep wells of wisdom. The advice they share comes from diverse origins such as a bear, Mother Earth, our oceans, and many more! In this service, we will explore many of the ways the advice available to us from our own UU Chalice can bring us challenge, growth, and resilience!

  • Sun
    22
    Oct
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  April Chokshi

    Diwali is one of the most popular festivals for Hindus.  It celebrates the yearly victory of light over darkness, and uplifts knowledge, goodness, and hope, in the way people have done for millennia:  with lights.  Millions of lights brighten the cities and homes, and we will celebrate in our own playful way this Sunday, as it is the happiest of holidays.

  • Sun
    29
    Oct
    2017

    Worship Associate:  Christopher Sanchez

    On our journey through life, we make many decisions, some small, some large and some of life-changing importance.  We examine some of the ways that people make tough decisions; we explore where they found the wisdom or guidance needed to make them; and we extrapolate how we can adapt these findings in our own lives.

     

  • Sun
    05
    Nov
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker, Amy Randall and Abraham Peraza

    Bring mementos of loved ones who have died and ofrendas for the altar as we celebrate this annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  With ritual, story and song, we’ll honor our dead and remember that life continues within each of us in the spirit of abiding love.  This is a multigenerational service, and we are excited to have the children with us for this entire celebration.

  • Sun
    12
    Nov
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker and Jeanine Little

    So many issues that plague our world, from climate change to racism, refugees, islamophobia, transgender discrimination, economic inequality, violation of indigenous rights, homophobia, and reproductive injustice, have been perpetuated by armed conflict.  This year’s UUUN Sunday focuses on exploring how disarmament can contribute to conflict resolution and peacebuilding.  We will also start UUSC Guest at Your Table this Sunday.

  • Sun
    19
    Nov
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker and UUA General Assembly Attendees

    The title of this service is quoted from Leon Spencer, one of the three interim presidents of the Unitarian Universalist Association, in his opening remarks at this year’s General Assembly in New Orleans.  We will share some of the tensions in our movement which have resulted in this call, and the transformations that are still in progress as we move ourselves toward deeper justice.  Some of the twelve people from our congregation who attended GA in June will share their reflections on this momentous gathering.

  • Sun
    26
    Nov
    2017

    Rev. Maggie Yenoki, Intern Minister

    Walking through our days with a thankful heart is one way that we bring ourselves closer to our best selves and devote our lives to the spiritual practice of embracing and embodying gratitude. When we gather together for our Service on Thanksgiving Sunday we will blend the thankfulness we each carry and create a portion of gratefulness that is big enough to fill us to the top with leftovers to share with the world...

  • Sun
    03
    Dec
    2017

    Lily Popova, Abraham Peraza and Rev. Susan Manker

    Join us as we open the holiday season with songs, music, and reflections on the December worship theme of light.  Lily Popova will direct the choir and delight us with special music.  Rev. Manker will share a few words with us, and Abraham Peraza will be worship associate.

  • Sun
    10
    Dec
    2017

    Amy Randall and Rev. Susan Manker

    Each birth is a blessing.  At this time of year we celebrate the birth of a baby named Jesus and what that means to Unitarian Universalists.  This multigenerational service explores the Nativity story and its universal message.

  • Sun
    17
    Dec
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  April Chokshi

    Winter comes with fires to chase away the cold, colored lights to brighten the long nights, and traditions handed down through generations to connect us, whether we want them to or not, to our past and an ancient hope.  How much of the healing power of the holidays do we allow to touch us, or are there only days of stress and regret?  We’ll look again at how the myths of these days can reshape our lives and bring us joy, if we let them.  The choir will sing.

  • Sun
    24
    Dec
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker and Rev. Maggie Yenoki

    Before you rush off to finish shopping or wrapping gifts this last day before Christmas, take a moment to pause and remember what is holy about this time.  Let go what is unfinished.  Be at peace with what is.  We shall uplift the joy of the holidays this Christmas Eve morning.

  • Sun
    24
    Dec
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker, Lily Popova, Abraham Peraza

    Let’s celebrate this special night with carols sung in candlelight, children snuggled close and jingle bells.  Rev. Susan will tell a story she wrote, and there will be special music to lift your spirits, even if they don’t need it.  We’ll follow this hour-long, multi-generational service with refreshments, so BRING GOODIES if you can manage it (but don’t bother if you’re stressed - just gather everyone up and join us!)  Merry Christmas!