Celebrating Life

A sermon isn’t just a lecture. It’s part of a celebration of life: one piece in a larger offering of music, poetry, communal singing, and gathered community. … When we rise together to sing, we literally stand in solidarity with one another.”

The week-in, week-out rhythm of lively and varied worship services offers congregants respite, inspiration, and intellectual stimulation. A sermon isn’t just a lecture. It’s part of a celebration of life: one piece in a larger offering of music, poetry, communal singing, and gathered community. All those aspects of Sunday morning support the sermon, and the sermon must nurture all those aspects of Sunday morning—as well as the larger life of the congregation. Gathering in community creates bonds that last beyond a Sunday morning service. When we rise together to sing, we literally stand in solidarity with one another. It’s that solidarity that supports us through life’s challenges. 
 
Services for all ages offer the opportunity to engage adults in playful ways that they might resist without the presence of children. Sometimes helping children make sense of the world’s many religious traditions helps to answer to some of our adult questions. In any religious tradition, there is a risk that people will become dogmatic about the details so that doctrine overwhelms the central message. As UUs, we focus on that central message, finding a common ground of shared values. This stance encourages each of us to respect religious traditions we don’t practice so that we can support the UUs who do.

“Jennifer’s sermons have been intellectually, as well as emotionally, stimulating. They have caused me both to think and feel. It is a gift to be able to do that simultaneously. In addition to meaningful, well-written content, her oral presentation is expressive and engaging, and she displays a sense of humor and joy that delights and inspires.”

— —Dixie Hicks, Member, All Souls UU Congregation, Kansas City

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