An Urban Center in Detroit for Spiritual Renewal and Social Justice

Liberate Truth - Radiate Kindness - Love Courageously

Sunday Worship

Upcoming Services

Services begin at 11:00 AM unless otherwise noted
Child care is available.
Hearing assistance receivers are available.

July 2, 2017

Ordinary Time
Jessica Joslin
Ordinary Time is the name for the period on the Christian liturgical calendar between Pentecost and Advent, and it starts up again between Epiphany and Lent. It is longer than any other portion of the Christian calendar, but doesn't nearly get as much attention as the festivity of the Christmas and Easter seasons. Yet, after the exciting fires of Pentecost and the joy of Epiphany, what are we to do with all this ordinary time? What exactly makes time ordinary?
Jessica Joslin is a Ph.D. candidate in education at Michigan. Her research examines the role of religion in higher education. Jessica is approved for ordination in the United Church of Christ and has a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. Outside of her studies, Jessica works as a hospital chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. She currently lives with her partner and two dogs in Ann Arbor.

July 9, 2017

Reparations—A Love Story
Anita Belle
 
Anita Belle is a Detroiter. She practiced law--suing the CIA for the drugs in black communities--and substitute teaches. She focuses her volunteer efforts on fighting for people of African descent to receive reparations, not only for slavery, and founded the Reparations Labor Union in 2013. She is a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and auntie

July 16, 2017

Poverty Sucks
Sherry A. Wells
 
Congregation Member Sherry A. Wells considers herself a welfare expert—she’d been a recipient, a caseworker and she’s a taxpayer!

July 23, 2017

Detroit Today
Stephen Henderson
 
Stephen Henderson is a Detroit journalist who writes for the Free Press and hosts a program, “Detroit Today,” on WDET Public Radio station. His journalism has been called “fact-based, fair and compelling,” with “authentic Detroit point of view and integrity.

Previous Services

Note: Audio recordings of many recent services are also available here.

June 25, 2017

Hail to the Sun God! (He is a fun God.)
Amber K and Azrael Arynn K
Amber K and Azrael Arynn K are Wiccan priestesses from New Mexico.
Order of Service

June 18, 2017

On Father’s Day
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Each year, our culture appoints a day in which we are to celebrate our parents. On this Father's Day, we consider the role that our fathers play and have played in our lives.
Order of Service

June 11, 2017

Anticipating Summer
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
The turn of the seasons is upon us, as are all sorts of transitions in our personal and work lives. Today, I will examine how the summertime months mark our lives.
Order of Service

June 4, 2017

The Journey to Wholeness from Victim to Bystander to Ally
Stephen Spreitzer
President & CEO
Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion
One of the consequences of our hyper-segregated and hetero-patriarchal upbringing is that we are all at risk of becoming relationally delayed at best, with ignorance and apathy keeping us from helping to create the Beloved Community. Our journey to be whole and spiritually complete goes through the other, the very people we have likely been estranged from. While the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion has been involved in human relations work over the past seventy-six year, it is only within the past ten years that this journey has moved to equity and equality. I am honored that my personal destiny has drawn parallel to the journey of the organization I have been tasked to servant lead.
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May 28, 2017

The Serenity Prayer
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Following up on last month's sermon on Reinhold Niebuhr's 13 years as a pastor in Detroit, this month we will examine one of the ways that mainstream culture often examines him, as the author of "The Serenity Prayer," which has been taken on as an important element of Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery group meetings.
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May 21, 2017

The Baltimore Sermon
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
One of the most important moments in the development of Unitarian Universalist history was William Ellery Channing's "Baltimore Sermon" gave a powerful defense of Unitarian thought and practice, in opposition to the rising Christian orthodoxy of his day. We will explore this definitive moment in UUA history. Unlike Channing's "Baltimore sermon," this one will not be an hour and a half long.
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May 14, 2017

Mothering Peace
Halima Cassells, Michelle Martinez & Lydia Wylie-Kellerman
Three local mothers; a writer, an artist and a radical disciple. All activists, they will share their individual musings on what it means, what it looks like and what it takes to model peace in this world.
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May 7, 2017

On White Supremacy
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
In response to recent events in the life of the national denomination of the Unitarian Universalist Association, our church will talk about the issues of white supremacy within the church and denomination settings. We will join a movement of over 500 American UUA churches that plan to address this topic in a two week period.
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April 30, 2017

The Web of Existence
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Concluding our monthly series on the seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I will focus on the Seventh Principle, "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."
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April 23, 2017

On Reinhold Niebuhr
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
One of the preeminent American ethicists of the 20th Century was Reinhold Niebuhr, who before joining the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in New York City was a pastor in Detroit for 13 years. This talk will discuss Niebuhr, focusing on his Detroit years and legacy. This month, PBS is showing a documentary called "An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story."
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April 16, 2017

In Search of Sanctuary
Rev. Larry Hutchison, UU Detroit Minister Emeritus
Sanctuary is a warm, beautiful, strong, safe and challenging word for me. In a world with so much hostility we offer a counter-culture of hospitality. And sanctuary is always a summons to practice hospitality. "I was a stranger and you welcomed me." (Matt. 25:40)
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April 9, 2017

Going Forward
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
As we consider the next steps forward for our church, this sermon will focus on the importance of continuing to build community, expand our programs, and commit our faith and conscience toward justice work together. We will talk about our hopes and fears, and how we can contribute to the common cause of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Detroit.
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April 2, 2017

Nobel Laureate Women Working for Peace
Jody Williams, Nobel Laureate
"Women Nobel Laureates Working for Peace," is the topic of the 2017 Max Mark-Cranbrook Peace Lecture and Sunday Sermon at UU Detroit. The women's initiative has been led by Jody Williams, partnering with other women Nobel laureates to build on their activism and achievements to further peace prospects in our troubled world. We will learn about the project's latest gains and accomplishments, as well as hear about Ms. Williams' continued work in the field of eradicating landmines world wide, including the global convention still to be signed by several major powers. This is a rare opportunity to welcome and engage with one of world's the most renowned figures in peace activism.
Jody Williams is a Peace Activist and driving force in the launching of an international campaign against landmines. The Ottawa Convention, which was signed by 120 states and entered into force in 1999, will always be associated with the names of Jody Williams and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). It banned the use, production, sale and stock-piling of anti-personnel mines and contained provisions concerning mine clearance and the obligation to provide humanitarian assistance. After the service, join us for an Awards Luncheon in our Social Hall sponsored by the Wayne State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Ms. Williams and local activists Dr. John H. Hartig, Pastor Barry Randolph, Dr. Stan Levy, and Dr. Bernice “Bunny” Kaplan will be presented with the Max Mark-Cranbrook Global Peacemaker Award. 2017 Peace Maker Awards
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March 26, 2017

On Cornel West
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Cornel West, Harvard professor and one of the preeminent public intellectuals of our time, will be speaking in Grosse Pointe soon. As some of the members of our church prepare to attend this public lecture, I wanted to speak about the legacy of Cornel West, especially his flagship books Race Matters and Democracy Matters.
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March 19, 2017

Chaos or Community?
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
In today's political climate, many of us wonder whether we are headed toward chaos. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an important book, Chaos or Community?, for a different time. However, the lessons of this book are ones that may still apply to American society today.
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March 12, 2017

The Power of Protest
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
One of the most potent forms of resistance against governments is protest. As we live in an America where 60's radicals suddenly find themselves turning on TV screens to find millions of women marching in the streets, protesters on against an oil pipeline huddled in snowy terrain, and plans for new massive protests afoot, how do we interpret this social phenomenon?
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March 5, 2017

Peace, Liberty, Justice
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Continuing our monthly series on the seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I will focus on the Sixth Principle: “The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.”
Order of Service

February 26, 2017

Conscience and Democracy
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Continuing our monthly series on the seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I will focus on the Fifth Principle: “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.”
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February 19, 2017

On James Baldwin
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
During this Black History Month, a request that came from a member of our congregation is that I speak about novelist, playwright, and social critic James Baldwin and his legacy.
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February 12, 2017

A New America?
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, we have heard about a troubling rise in disturbing behaviors which many would describe as racist and anti-immigrant, including the national story that originated out of Royal Oak here in Michigan. Is this a new American reality, or is this indicative of who we were already?
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February 5, 2017

Mapping the Water Crisis
Monica Lewis Patrick
Deeply disturbed by the water crisis here in Michigan, Lewis-Patrick set out to provide daily essentials to those in need. She has helped low-income families and the elderly, from Detroit to Flint, gain access to clean water—something many of us take for granted. Through her work with We the People, the organization she co-founded, Lewis-Patrick has set up emergency water stations, opened hotlines, delivered water, provided education, and conducted community research to raise awareness. Her grassroots approach coupled with a steadfast commitment to justice has inspired people of all backgrounds to come together and build communities they’re proud of. Ms. Lewis Patrick is a contributor to a community research collective publication, Mapping the Water Crisis. She will speak about her arc of experience as a community activist here in Metro Detroit. Monica was awarded the 2016 Kind People Award for her work.
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January 29, 2017

Reimagining Detroit
John Gallagher
John Gallagher, a Detroit Free Press reporter and author of several books, including “Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City” and “Revolution Detroit: Strategies for Urban Reinvention,” will be sharing his thoughts.
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January 22, 2017

A New America?
Dr. Hannah Hofheinz
January 20 marks a major transition for the United States. As we have so many times before, we witness the handing over of national executive power from one president to another. For many on both sides of the political aisle, the transition marks a new set of possibilities. While Trump's campaign looked to the past—"Make America Great Again"—his inauguration portends a future that for many of us will be rife with economic, social, and bodily pains. We can refuse this vision. The marching of women across the country shows this. How can we think about our roles, as communities committed to love and to justice, equity, and compassion in all our relationships, in this time?
Dr. Hannah L. Hofheinz is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Church History at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit.
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January 15, 2017

MLK and Civil Disobedience
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
As we approach the inauguration of our 45th President, many communities are considering how they will engage and disengage with this new administration. It is helpful to look to the example of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for how moral force can encounter political power for positive effect.
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January 8, 2017

The Fourth Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Continuing our monthly series on the Seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I will focus on the Fourth Principle, "A free and responsible search for truth and meaning."

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January 1, 2017

Poetry As Visionary Resistance
Tawana Petty
What does it mean to resist and what role should vision play in our resistance? Toni Cade Bambara said, “The role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible.” I strive to embody that responsibility.
     Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty is a mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet and author. She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and is intricately involved in water rights, digital justice and visionary organizing work. She is the past recipient of the Spirit of Detroit Award, the Woman of Substance Award, the Women Creating Caring Communities Award, the Detroit Awesome Award, the Black Law Student Association’s Justice Honoree Award, and was recognized as one of Who’s Who in Black Detroit in 2013 and 2015. Tawana is a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, a Data Justice Community Researcher for the Detroit Community Technology Project, a Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) Fellow, and a member of Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, and The Detroit Digital Justice Coalition.
    As an organizer, Tawana has organized a vast array of social justice initiatives bringing together thousands to advocate for social justice and create alternatives and solutions in Detroit and around the world. In 2014, she spoke with comrades on water rights issues at the United Nations in New York on International Peace Day and in 2015 was a featured speaker at the School of Americas Watch Vigil (SOA Watch Vigil) in Georgia. Tawana's work and writings have been featured on numerous television and radio programs and in print and online media publications. Also known as Honeycomb on stage, she is the author of Introducing Honeycomb and Coming Out My Box.
    Learn more about Tawana "Honeycomb" Petty by visiting honeycombthepoet.com.

Order of Service

December 24, 2016 7:00 PM

Christmas Eve - A Light in Darkness
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray with Todd Ballou
In the midst of the religious calendar and seasonal changes, we celebrate Christmas Eve, marking one of the most important holidays that spans both religious and secular symbolism.
Order of Service

December 18, 2016

Acceptance and Encouragement
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Continuing this sermon series over the course of several months, we are exploring and meditating upon the Seven Principles upon which the Unitarian Universalist Association bases its relationships. The Third Principle of the UUA is that of "Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations."
Order of Service

December 11, 2016

Human Rights
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Our annual joint service/celebration with Amnesty International is held on the day after the celebration of Human Rights Day. We will think about what constitutes human rights and how the persistent terror of racism in America violates these tenets today.
Order of Service

December 4, 2016

The Heidelberg Project
Tyree Guyton
Artist Tyree Guyton will speak about the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor community art environment and the brainchild of Mr. Guyton, a native Detroit artist. It began in 1986 and was originally designed as a creative response to ongoing blight and decay in the neighborhood in which he grew up. The elements of the canvas contain recycled materials and found objects, most of which were salvaged from the streets of Detroit. Each work of art is carefully devised to tell a story about current issues plaguing society. As a whole, the Heidelberg Project is symbolic of how many communities in Detroit have become discarded.
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November 27, 2016

The Violence of White Silence
Kim Redigan
The violence of white silence is profound and deep - some have called it this country's national anthem. Those of us who are the beneficiaries of white supremacy - heirs to its brutal legacy - have work to do at both the personal and the structural level. Silence is deadly and unacceptable.
Kim Redigan is a human rights activist, nonviolence trainer, and vice chair of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, where she represents MCHR as a member organization of the People's Water Board Coalition. Kim has served on several domestic and international peace teams with Michigan-Meta Peace Team and has organized walks to Lansing and Flint on behalf of peace and water rights. She is a high school teacher and a mother of four who blogs on spirituality and social justice.
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November 20, 2016

Food Justice: Challenges and Possibilities
Malik Yakini
Malik Yakini, the executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) will talk about the food justice movement in Detroit, why it is important, the potential that it has to contribute to the transformation of Detroit and the challenges it faces due to the limitations of the logic of capitalism and the system of white supremacy. He will also talk about DBCFSN's programs and projects including the Detroit Food Commons that it is developing in Detroit's North End.
Malik Kenyatta Yakini is a founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN). DBCFSN operates a seven-acre urban farm and is spearheading the opening of a co-op grocery store in Detroit’s North End. Yakini views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equality. He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Blacks communities in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa.
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November 13, 2016

After the Election
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
The first week after the elections, our country will have a better sense of the next steps in our nation’s 240 year history. We will know not only who our next President will be, but also the results for the House and Senate. Emerging from a rancorous campaign season that has turned political parties upside down, how do we reaffirm an America which seems more divided than ever? How can we speak a unifying message of hope into this situation?
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November 6, 2016

Justice and Compassion
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
Continuing this sermon series over the course of several months, we are exploring and meditating upon the Seven Principles upon which the Unitarian Universalist Association bases its relationships. The Second Principle of the UUA is that of "Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations."
Order of Service

October 30, 2016

Festival of Lights
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray
The celebration of the Hindu holiday of Diwali, "The Festival of Lights," is the closest that most religions comes to a party. We will explore what Diwali means to Hindus and why it often is the most popular holiday to be celebrated on college campuses today.
Order of Service

October 23, 2016

Temporary Shelter
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Today is the final day of the Jewish holiday, Sukkot, during which one erects a temporary shelter. We will explore this idea of “temporary shelter” to understand how people of any faith or no faith might come to appreciate Sukkot.
Sukkot-A-Palooza
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October 16, 2016

Forgiveness
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Recognizing that we are approaching the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, this sermon will focus on the concept of “Forgiveness,” the central focus of this Jewish Holiday.
A Prayer for Yom Kippur
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October 9, 2016

Worth and Dignity
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

The beginning of a monthly sermon series on the Seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association, this sermon will focus on the First Principle, namely "The Inherent Dignity and Worth of Every Person."
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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October 2, 2016

Days of Awe: From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur
Joy Gaines-Friedler

Sunset on October 2, 2016 begins Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It is also the beginning of The Days of Awe, tens days in which we go inside ourselves to reexamine, contemplate, to ask ourselves what matters to us, who matters, and what is it we have done this year that may have harmed ourselves or others. We are asked to ask forgiveness from others (not G-d) for any harm we may have caused. This is not easy. The Days of Awe are days of wonderment, meditation and introspection that culminate in Yom Kippur – a day of fasting and atonement. May each of us be rewritten into The Book of Life and may we each enjoy a sweet new year.
Bio: Joy Gaines-Friedler teaches poetry and creative writing for non-profits in the Detroit area and throughout Michigan. Her work has taken her, among other places, to The Lapeer Correctional Facility where she works with “lifer” prison inmates, to teaching professional writers, DPS school kids, and mental health care.

Rosh Hashanah Symbols
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September 25, 2016

Detroit Musings: Underneath My American Face
M. L. Liebler

As part of our Detroit Musings series, poet M. L. Liebler will read from his work and discuss his evolution from working class to community poet and cultural activist.
M.L. Liebler website
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September 18, 2016

The Holy Land
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

I will spend the week before this sermon in Washington, DC, participating in a World Council of Churches Consultation with American religious and political leaders on the Holy Land. I studied in Israel in the summer of 1997, receiving a first-hand education on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and now, nearly 20 years later, have the opportunity to revisit this issue in depth. In this sermon, I will share glimpses of the week-long conversation that we shared in our nation's capital.
Jerusalem Panorama
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September 11, 2016

9/11 - 15 Years Later
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

On the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, I will speak about what it was like to live in New York City at the time of 9/11/01, and talk about how this important moment continues to affect the lives of Muslims and other religious minorities in America.
New York Skyline
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September 4, 2016

End of Summer
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Labor Day: Growing up in Delaware, a state that lives and breathes on the rhythms of the beach season, the Labor Day weekend was the official end of summer. Children return to school, young adults head off to college, and churches often set the Sunday after Labor Day as the "start" of the year, a strange phenomenon for an institution that meets year round. Today, we will spend time thinking about what the end of summer means for people of faith and social justice.
End of Summer
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August 28, 2016

Detroit Musings, 'Scrap Metal Mantra': a Love Song to Detroit
Ken Meisel

Ken Meisel is a poet and psychologist from Detroit, a Kresge Arts fellow and Pushcart nominee. He will read from his poetry, which has been called a "poetic homage" to the working class, "tinged with mortality and transience, giving it an anguished intensity."
Kresge Arts in Detroit
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August 21, 2016

The Gospel of Bruce
Joel Batterman

The rise of Donald Trump has focused attention on America's white working classes: their fears, pains and aspirations. For nearly half a century, however, few public figures have given those feelings more eloquent voice than Bruce Springsteen, the Jersey-born poet-rocker who gained international fame in the twilight of postwar U.S. prosperity. What lessons does Springsteen's deeply humane vision hold for us today, as we stare down the twin threats of homegrown fascism and an intolerable status quo?
Jammin'
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August 14, 2016

Ecumenism, Yesterday and Today
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

It is interesting that today, as individuals tend more toward quiet ecumenism rather than strict denominationalism, that the ecumenical movement itself is going through a considerable downsizing. In this sermon, I will talk about the history of how denominations decided to work together ecumenically through organizations such as the National Council of Churches, and how that intentional inter-denominational organization and activism has unravelled. In addition, I will speak about atheist views about participation in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.
Coexist Movement
UU Chalice and Symbols of Other Religions
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August 7, 2016

Race, Class and Justice in America
Abayomi Azikiwe

Racial and class divisions are growing inside the United States despite the rhetoric of eight years ago that the country was becoming a post-racial society. Both the Republicans and Democrats have fostered these divisions through partisan rhetoric as well as the legacy of mass incarceration and financial deregulation. I will outline my thoughts on these issues and make some suggestions for actions to be taken on a community level.
Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of the Pan-African News Wire and a co-founder of the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) and the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs. Azikiwe is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science/Public Administration and Educational and Administrative Studies. He has published numerous articles, pamphlets and books on African affairs. Azikiwe has traveled extensively in Africa conducting field research on political economy and history. www.4thmedia.org/category/opinion/abayomi-azikiwe/

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July 31, 2016

Again We Rise
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

In the aftermath of the Republican and Democratic national conventions, all of us have been pushed and pulled in different ways on the political spectrum. There is so much dangerous political rhetoric afloat, but also messages that seek to unite and identify diversity as a strength. This week, we will talk about where we stand as a nation and as people of conscience in the aftermath of these two national party conventions.
Ben & Jerry
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July 24, 2016

Heartland - Where Faiths Connect
UU Detroit Members

The theme of this year's UUA General Assembly, recently held in Columbus OH, was, "Heartland - Where Faiths Connect". Join us to hear some of UU Detroit's members speak about their impressions of G.A. from a spiritual perspective.
Former UU Detroit Minister Bill Neely with Danny Rebb
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July 17, 2016

Mandela
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

On the weekend that the world commemorates the life of Nelson Mandela, we consider one of the moral giants of our time.
Mandela Wisdom
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July 10, 2016

A Grown Woman’s Tales of Detroit
Marsha Music

Marsha Music will share from her two acclaimed essays, The Kidnapped Children of Detroit - about the mid-last century flight from Detroit, and Just Say Hi (the Gentrification Blues) - about the flight back to the city.
Marsha Music, writer and poet, is the daughter of legendary pre-Motown record producer Joe Von Battle, and has life-long roots in Highland Park and Detroit. She reflects upon Detroit and its musical legacy in several literary anthologies and on her blog, Marsha Music – A Grown Woman’s Tales of Detroit. She is a veteran activist and former labor leader, now dedicated to affirming accurate Detroit narratives. Ms. Music is a noted speaker, storyteller and a contributor to many oral history projects and films.
A self-described “Detroitist”, Marsha Music has been acclaimed for her one-woman show, “Live From Hastings Street” and her essays, including “The Kidnapped Children of Detroit” and her epic poem, “Just Say Hi (The Gentrification Blues).” She is a 2012 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow, a 2015 Knight Arts Challenge awardee, and 2016 Ideas City Detroit Fellow. In 2015, her poetry was commissioned for the celebrated Symphony in D, which she read in performances with the DSO. Ms. Music is a dynamic presence in the arts community and widely regarded as a Detroit ambassador. She lives in historic Lafayette Park, works in the courts, and is married to artist David Philpot.

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July 3, 2016

Send me your tired, your poor....Welcoming Refugees
Christine Suave and Monica Boomer

Christine Suave, Southeast Michigan Community Coordinator, Welcoming Michigan and Monica Boomer, Director of Community Engagement, Zaman International will speak on World Refugee Day. Come to hear what we can all do to make this world a little better for refugees throughout the globe.
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June 26, 2016

Orlando
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Reflections on recent horrific shooting.
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June 19, 2016

Creating Ritual and Relevancy Out of the Past
Diarra McKinney

An educator and performance artist in love with the cultural traditions of Africa and the African Diaspora, Diarra McKinney is a storyteller, singer, and percussionist. She specializes as a producer of edutainment programs, field archivist, and outreach librarian. Ms. McKinney will present an interactive encounter with history on our Juneteenth Sunday celebration.
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June 12, 2016

Moral Imagination
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

A favorite way to teach ethics is through the subject of "moral imagination," by which one studies literary characters in order to come to understand the dynamics of the choices made by the characters. Stepping out of your own shoes and into the shoes of another can promote understanding and empathy.
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June 5, 2016

Prejudice and Difference
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

One of the ways that we often fail as individuals and as a society is by adhering to prejudices, some of which we are conscious of, and others that live insidiously deep. Today, we will talk about how we address those issues and how to confront the biases that we hold.
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May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Blues
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Memorial Day is often a hard time to reconcile for lovers of peace. We do want to honor the sacrifices of those who went before us, and at the same time, want to insist on alternatives to war in the present and future. How do we strike a resonant note that allows both for respect and rebellion? How can we be patriotic and critical all at the same time?
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May 22, 2016

Remembering Tillich
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Paul Tillich was one of the most important theologians of the 20th century, and often seen as a patron saint by Unitarian-Universalists because of his work on the relationship of theology and culture and an expansive theology of world religions. A week after delivering the keynote address at the 50th anniversary of Paul Tillich's internment at the Paul Tillich Park in New Harmony, Indiana, I will talk with our congregation about why this theologian is still relevant for us to read and discuss today.
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May 15, 2016

Unitarians in the D - Since 1833
Danny Rebb

The boundaries between Unitarians and Universalists in Detroit were often quite fuzzy from the 1830's until the two congregations merged in 1934. Our historical reenactment service in January showed how Universalists worshipped in this sanctuary during its very early days; this service continues our Centennial history theme by giving equal time to our Detroit Unitarian ancestors.
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May 8, 2016

The Mother in Me
Anita "Ruby" Jones

Exploring and sharing stories about my matrilineal line, I will reveal the characteristics and traits that have become inextricably woven into the Mother that I am.
BEFORE CHURCH: You are invited to meet at church at 7:30AM and join our walk to Grand Circus Park. There, we will gather (around 8:00am) on the east side surrounding the bronze statue redubbed "Ikwe Michigamma" (Woman of the Great Waters). We will offer prayers, songs and intentions to bring justice, compassion, equity and peace into the affairs of our social, political, economic and spiritual institutions. We will return to First UU for a special Mother's Day service at 11:00 AM.

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May 1, 2016

May Day
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

One of the ways that many cultures in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate Spring is through the celebration of May Day. Since we conveniently have worship on this date, we will explore what all of the jubilation and fun is all about!
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April 24, 2016

Prejudice and Difference
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

One of the ways that we often fail as individuals and as a society is by adhering to prejudices, some of which we are conscious of, and others that live insidiously deep. Today, we will talk about how we address those issues and how to confront the biases that we hold.
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April 17, 2016

A Century at Cass and Forest
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

We are celebrating the centennial of worshipping in our sanctuary at the corner of Cass and Forest. This extended 90 minute service will include speeches by all four of the women who were ordained to the Unitarian-Universalist ministry by this church, and a sermon by Dr. Murray about our history at this location.
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April 10, 2016

Competition or Community? Humanizing Schooling in Detroit and Beyond
guest speaker Joel Berger, DPS teacher

In 1988, longtime Detroit activist James Boggs stood up at the First Unitarian Universalist Church and argued for a paradigm shift in Detroit’s education system, pressing for a “fundamental change in our concept of schools,” away from preparation for an eventual spot in the global economy, and towards engaging students in the immediate work of community building. Nearly thirty years later, Boggs’ clarion call for a new way of thinking about our schools is more relevant than ever. Recent policy efforts to improve the Detroit Public Schools have focused on making the schools more “competitive.” Yet this “competition” language obscures the fact that to truly transform our schools in Detroit, we need to move away from our cultural obsession with competition and towards an embrace of public schools as incubators of and practicing grounds for democracy, community and social justice. Detroit teacher Joel Berger will share his personal journey and reflections on what it will take to make our schools more humane, healthy, joyful places, in Detroit and beyond.
Joel Berger spent his formative years growing up in Detroit’s East English Village neighborhood. He is a second generation teacher in Detroit schools – his mother taught in Detroit Public Schools for twenty-seven years. He is in his sixth year teaching, now teaching high school English in the Detroit Public Schools. He has also been active in a number of education activism efforts in Detroit.

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April 3, 2016

On Stewardship
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

How do we participate in the mission of our church? What are the ways that we ensure the present and future of a church that rightfully celebrates its proud past? How do we use our gifts to expand our capacities beyond ourselves and for the betterment of others and the world?
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March 27, 2016

Cycles
Robert Johnson

It's that time again. Seasons come again. But just because we are back at the beginning again, just as we rise again from the darkness of the season it doesn't mean we are where we were once before.
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March 20, 2016

Women and Ordination
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Unitarians and Universalists were among the first denominations to welcome women to join the ranks of ordained clergy, and indeed women always have been at the forefronts of these two, not twinned, religious movements. In conjunction with research done by Danny Rebb at our church’s archives at the University of Michigan, I will discuss some of the influential UUA women who have moved through our church in Detroit.
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March 13, 2016

Defining Spirituality
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

One of my charges for this year is to offer programs on “spirituality.” This is an almost infinitely broad term, intentionally capacious in its scope. Today, I will speak to various approaches to spirituality and how we, as a congregation, might explore spirituality together through engaging programs in the months ahead.
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March 6, 2016

Feminist Theology
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

As we enter into Women’s History Month, I want to offer a brief review of feminist theology and its responses to the first wave, second wave, and third wave of feminist thought.
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February 28, 2016

Water: A Tale of Two Cities
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

The Michigan cities of Detroit and Flint have made international headlines over water issues, and both situations beg questions regarding political economy and race in America.

NOTE: We are participating in the KEEP THE WATER FLOWING SUNDAYS with the Peoples Water Board. On February 28th we will collect financial and bottled water donations. If you have not already purchased water we encourage 1 gallon containers. The money and water collected will assist the Peoples Water Board in getting water to people in Detroit and Highland Park who have had their water shut off due to poverty.

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February 21, 2016

Sisters in the Wilderness
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Womanist theology is the constructive theology of black women who offered strong critiques both to the often male-centric black liberation theology and the often white-centric feminist theology. The title of this sermon comes from the powerful book Sisters in the Wilderness by Delores S. Williams.
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February 14, 2016

White Privilege/Black Pride and Never the Twain Shall Meet
Satori Shakoor

Satori Shakoor is Executive Director of The Society for the re-Institutionalization of Storytelling and a host of The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers. She has received international acclaim as a singer with “Parliament/Funkadelic” and is one of “The Brides of Funkenstein.” Ms. Shakoor will share her storytelling and musical talents with the congregation.
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February 7, 2016

Black Theology & Black Power
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

At the outset of Black History Month, I want to consider the first, ground-breaking work of James H. Cone, the father of Black liberation theology. One of the most important theological texts of the 20th century, Black Theology & Black Power opened the doors to contextual theologies in America. This is the first in a month-long series on the influence of black scholars on theology and religion in America.
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January 31, 2016

Remembering Vic Schumacher
Rev. Lynda Smith & Rev. Yvonne Schumacher Strejcek

A long time member of First UU Detroit, Vic Schumacher was dedicated to peace and justice and was a WWII conscientious objector who spent three and a half years in prison for his beliefs. Vic became “Mr. Social Action” as the many-year chair of the Social Justice Committee. He was involved, and involved the church, in just about every issue of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The sermon will be jointly presented by former First UU members Rev. Lynda Smith and Rev. Yvonne Schumacher Strejcek. Rev. Smith is now a UU minister serving a congregation in Ohio and Rev. Strejcek, who is Vic’s daughter, grew up in our church school. Come and hear the legacy of a First Church UUer.
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January 24, 2016

Did Jesus Mean It?
Danny Rebb

Danny will be speaking on a book published in 1922 by Rev. Dr. Frank Durward Adams, a former minister to the Church of Our Father (the Universalist predecessor to our joined congregation). More details in the “Centennial” section of the January newsletter.
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January 17, 2016

The Beloved Community
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudiced will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.
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January 10, 2016

On Religious Extremism
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

The news is full of stories concerning religious extremism in the world today, whether one is speaking about the international terrorism and military-styled conflict committed by Daesh/ISIL, or the domestic terrorism of a Christian-professing gunman opening fire at a Planned Parenthood or a major federal building or a school. It is important not merely to dismiss these actors as atypical offshoots of religion, stating categorically that such agents do not represent the religion from which they originate. After all, faith is known in the world by how it is practiced, and the external narrative concerning a religion can be shaped, changed, and transformed by the actions of a few, resulting in widespread fear of the many.
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January 3, 2016

A New Year and A Century
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit celebrates in 2016 a century of worshiping in this sanctuary through its roots in the Universalist tradition. As we celebrate a new year, we also will consider the legacy that comes of this community worshiping in this space.
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December 27, 2015

Embracing Kwanzaa
Basira Norris and Anita "Ruby" Jones

The sixth day of Kwanzaa celebrates Kuumba (Creativity). Our service will embrace this sixth principle and offer a unique expression of this latter day African American festival which grew out of the Black Nationalist movement of the 60's and has grown into a tradition embraced worldwide. Our guest presenter will be Basira Norris.
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December 24, 2015 7:00 PM

On Giving and Taking in the Stranger
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

The Christmas story is one that is a very human one: A struggling man and woman, strangers in a strange land, who find that there is no room at the inn, but who nonetheless are shown a modicum of hospitality for the birth of what portends to be a remarkable, world-changing child.
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December 20, 2015

The Dark Side and the Light: A Meditation on Morality in Star Wars
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Since the 1970's, the phenomenon of Star Wars has shaped our cultural reality on a societal and individual level. As someone who was part of the generation which grew up wielding light sabers, I am fascinated by how the duality of the Force, its Dark Side and the Light, has affected our moral imagination.
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December 13, 2015

Human Rights Day and Race in America
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

On the Sunday after the celebration of Human Rights Day, we think about what what constitutes human rights and how the persistent terror of racism in America violates these tenets today.
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December 6, 2015

Entering Hanukkah
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Our Jewish friends are about to enter one of the most popular, if least important, of the Jewish holidays: Hanukkah. What is this holiday, and how has it come to take on such prominence when it is, in fact, a minor holiday. What might message of Hanukkah mean for those who appreciate the wisdom of Judaism from outside of its traditions?
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November 29, 2015

Thankings and Beginnings
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Many of us are just on the other side of celebrating Thanksgiving, an utterly American holiday. What have we been thankful for in our lives, and how does being thankful open the doors for changes in how we live? This day marks the beginning of Advent, the Christian season before Christmas, and we will ask, as the “Christmas Season” of Santa and elves and brightly lit trees dominates our cultural consciousness, what Advent might mean for faith and for those who cannot help but observe.
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November 22, 2015

My Journey in See Minor
Lee Thume

We’ll take a musical journey together. Lee Thume is one of five children, four of whom were born legally blind, during the Depression, of a legally blind-piano tuner. Lee will share with us how she worked at problem solving after getting her major in music.
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November 15, 2015

The world on autopilot: To whom do we trust the future?
Robert Johnson

Who decides which way our future heads? Who do we trust to pick our path? Or are we merely letting fortune and short term considerations decide our path? And what are the ramifications of doing so?
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November 8, 2015

Remembering All Souls
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Earlier this week, on November 2nd, is the traditional observation of “All Souls’ Day,” and observance of those who have passed. While All Souls’ Day was first instituted at the monastery in Cluny in 993 CE and quickly spread throughout the Christian world, people held festivals for the dead long before Christianity. We will examine some of the ways people have honored the dead across time and cultures.
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November 1, 2015

OK, Wasn't Halloween Just Grand?
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays of the year, in part because we celebrate while intentionally taking on an identity that is not our own. Looking at different ways of celebrating Halloween, we also will look at what this holiday has meant in Detroit.
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October 25, 2015

UUSC: at 75
Mary Lou Malone

Mary Lou Malone will talk about the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee in Detroit and around the world.
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October 18, 2015

Indigenous Peoples and American Immigration
Reverend Stephen Murray

Following "Columbus Day," it is important to reflect on who the natives of "America" truly are, and in discussing American attitudes toward immigration today. In the context of the Syrian mass-exodus of refugees and the ongoing discussion of border issues with Mexico, how do we define the mass movements of peoples and how do we understand this to be a nation that celebrates or anathematizes immigration?
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October 11, 2015

Coming Out and Breathing In
Reverend Stephen Murray

On a weekend where Columbus and anti-Columbus statements usually take the headlines, it is important instead to mark National Coming Out Day. While our faith community has done so much positive work to embrace and uplift the LGBTQ community in the Detroit area, it is impossible to recognize that this is not a minority community, and that recognizing one's identity often involves a conscious break or rupture with the majority culture. "Coming out" isn't just a metaphor, but is life and death, joy and pain.
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October 4, 2015

World Communion Sunday for a Church that Doesn’t “Do” Communion
Reverend Stephen Murray

All around the world today, churches are celebrating World Communion Sunday, a religious observance that UU’s don’t really do. But just because we are not participating with bread and wine (or grape juice!) doesn’t mean that there isn’t something spiritually of interest going on out there in the world. What does communion mean to all of these churches in their cacophony of theologies, and what significance does this spiritual practice have for UU churches?
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September 27, 2015

Friendships with the Religious Other
Reverend Stephen Murray

Encountering the “religious other” is a constant in a cosmopolitan society, especially when one takes on the identity of Unitarian-Universalism in the city, where one throws one’s arms wide open to all who would come, from wherever they would come. Perhaps the most important way that we can know another person is through friendship, and in this sermon, we will explore the joys, the burdens, the challenges, and the triumphs of inter-religious friendships.
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September 20, 2015

A Dream of Peace
Reverend Stephen Murray

On the day before the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, it is important to ask why there is this annual demarcation. What might we consider to be the basis of conversations on peace, and what resources might we bring to bear in considering peace? Of particular interest is how forgiveness is involved in our dream of peace.
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September 13, 2015

Black Lives Matter
Aurora Harris

Acclaimed Detroit poet, AURORA HARRIS attended the #BlackLivesMatter conference this year in Cleveland, Ohio. She will share an update and her personal reflections on the movement.
Ms. Harris is the winner of a 2015 National Lawyer's Guild- Michigan Chapter Unsung Heroes Award, the 2014 Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace Studies and the 2012 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Award for her book of poetry Solitude of Five Black Moons. She holds an M.A. in Social Foundations of Education from Eastern Michigan University. Ms Harris is a Lecturer at The University of Michigan-Dearborn teaching English and African American Literature courses.

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September 6, 2015

A Theology of Work
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

On the Labor Day weekend, we often forget why indeed we celebrate the American labor movement and the social and economic achievements of workers. In Detroit, a city synonymous with American labor, it is important to recognize how industry has affected American sensibilities regarding community and identity, and how communities of faith have been shaped, changed, and transformed by these shifts in society.
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August 30, 2015

Flower Communion
Olga Klekner and Danny Rebb

Hungarian poet Olga Klekner will read new poems she composed specially for this service. Just as individual flowers form a bouquet more beautiful than the sum of its parts, our congregation formed by the covenant we share is better able to liberate truth, radiate kindness, and love courageously more than all of its members individually. Please join us for our annual celebration of community.
Please bring a flower or two to add to our congregational bouquet and put them in the vases at the front of the sanctuary prior to the start of the service. Please also feel free to wear your finest floral attire to add to the festiveness of the service.

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August 23, 2015

The New Religious America
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

The United States often is described as a “Christian” country, but in fact this is perhaps the most religiously diverse country on the planet, while also steeped increasingly in a secular culture. How do people of faith respond to these changes in society, and what should a church that stands for social justice and religious liberty do in such a city?
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August 16, 2015

Another Tale of Two Cities: Detroit and Cleveland
Robert Johnson

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ...” After a recent trip to Cleveland, Robert Johnson observes comparisons between Cleveland and Detroit and the duality in each city itself.
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August 9, 2015

Starting Our Conversation
Reverend Stephen Butler Murray

Every church is a community of seekers and believers, but perhaps none embraces that shared identity more than Unitarian-Universalists. In my first Sunday in the pulpit, I want to talk some about who you are and who I am, about the journey that we have ahead, and the conversations that I hope we will share regarding spiritualities, social justice issues, and the role of religion in the life of the city of Detroit.
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August 2, 2015

My Mutual History with Detroit
Dawn McDuffie

Dawn McDuffie’s poems celebrate Detroit as she has seen it through 47 years of intimate engagement. There are poems about neighbors, the homes that are restored to beauty, and the homes that sink into oblivion. Although her poems include some of the tragedies she has witnessed, she insists the city has a beauty all its own. Detroit is at the center of every one of McDuffie’s books, and it is the inspiration for her next book as well.

Dawn McDuffie grew up in Milford, Michigan, and moved to Detroit in 1968. She earned an MA in Humanities from Wayne State University in 1973, and an MFA in poetry from Vermont College in 2003. McDuffie's poems have appeared in Rattle, The MacGuffin, CT Review, Feminist Studies, and the Paterson Review, and in the anthology, Good Poems– American Places edited by Garrison Keillor. Since 2000 she has taught creative writing in Detroit. Her books, People in My Head, Carmina Detroit, Bulky Pick Up Day, and Flag Day, portray her love and experience with her city, Detroit.
Ms. McDuffie will offer her books for sale during coffee hour, and will donate 40% of the money to our church.

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July 26, 2015

On Receiving the (Un)Holy Ghost: Learning to Listen to the Underside of the Strait
James Perkinson

This century promises to be the century of water wars--so say the planners. In Detroit, it has already begun. As a strait, where passes one fifth of the planet's fresh surface water, we live on embattled turf. Living well in the future--indeed, living at all--will require new relations, not only among ourselves, but to our entire watershed and the history of struggle it carries on its back. Detroit spirituality today has its work cut out. It begins with listening to the ancestors of place--all of them, whether human or not. They await our heart and attention.

James Perkinson is a long-time activist and educator from inner city Detroit, where he has a history of involvement in various community development initiatives and low-income housing projects. He holds a PhD in theology from the University of Chicago, with a secondary focus on history of religions, is the author of White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity and Shamanism, Racism, and Hip-Hop Culture: Essays on White Supremacy and Black Subversion, and has written extensively in both academic and popular journals on questions of race, class and colonialism in connection with religion and urban culture. He is in demand as a speaker on a wide variety of topics related to his interests and a recognized artist on the spoken-word poetry scene in the inner city.

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July 19, 2015

Detroit's Deep Dish Democracy: Solutions from the Ground Swell
Kim D. Hunter

Kim Hunter will discuss grassroots movements for affordable water, for community benefits ordinance that could bring long overdue neighborhood development and a community radio station licensed to broadcast from the heart of the city that could serve as a hub for Detroit's progressive communication.

Kim D. Hunter is life-long Detroiter, raised in a working class, African American family and is currently employed in media relations for social justice groups. He has served as Poet-in-Residence in several Detroit public schools through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project. He co-directs the Woodward Line Poetry Series. His work has appeared in Rainbow Darkness, Abandon Automobile, Triage, Hipology, Metro Times, Dispatch Detroit and Graffiti Rag. His has published two collections of poetry: borne on slow knives (Past Tents, 2001) and edge of the time zone (white print inc, 2009). He was awarded a Kresge Literary Fellowship for 2012.

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July 12, 2015

The 7th Principle
Julie Brock

Beyond what we believe, how are we connected? How do we depend on one another and on the earth? Are there images or language we can use that evokes meaning and purpose for all when talking about these things?
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July 5, 2015

Unitarian Universalist Theology
Julie Brock

The very name of our religion is derived from two major tenets of our historical belief systems; God is one entity, rather than a trinity, and universal salvation exists. We still hold the name Unitarian Universalist, but these beliefs are no longer at the core of who we are theologically. Does UUism have a core belief system? How do we live collectively and believe differently? Do we hold common things sacred?
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June 28, 2015

A World with No More War
Professor Ronald Glossop

About Dr. Glossop: Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Ph.D.from Washington University in St. Louis [1960]. He has authored three books: Confronting War [1st ed., 1983; 4th ed., 2001], Philosophy, An Introduction to its Problems and Vocabulary: [1974], and World Federation? A Critical Analysis of Federal World Government [1993]. President of the American Association of Teachers of Esperanto, national board member of Citizens for Global Solutions, and Chair of the Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis. Honorary member of Rotary International and Esperanto-USA and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Beta Phi.

Guest musician is Chris Nelson

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June 21, 2015

Searching for Nannie B.
Nancy Owen Nelson

Accomplished author and academic, and First Church member, Nancy Owen Nelson, will celebrate the launch of her memoir, "Searching for Nannie B.", an inspirational search for her roots in Alabama and her lost grandmother, Nannie B. Chandler, who died giving birth to Nancy’s mother, Nannie B. Nelson. "Searching" will be available for purchase during social hour following the service. All proceeds will go to the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Detroit. Author's Website
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June 14, 2015

Juneteenth: Throwing Off the Chains!
Jahra Michelle and Joré McKinney

Joré McKinney is a creative artist known for her exquisite beadwork. She also specializes in song and African folkloric dance. She expresses herself through her art, playing with colors and pattern. She is the proud mother of Mahe and Lulana.
Jahra Michelle McKinney is an educator and performance artist in love with the cultural traditions of Africa and the African Diaspora. She is a storyteller, singer, and a percussionist. She specializes as a producer of edutainment programs, field archivist, and outreach librarian. She is the mother of four daughters including Joré, and grandmother of three boys and a girl.
Join us for a special Juneteenth celebratory potluck following the service, including food and song. Bring your favorite Juneteenth dish to serve in the church house, a musical instrument for a jam session, and picnic blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the outdoors.

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June 7, 2015

What are we called to?
Julie Brock

We have reflected on and thought about how where we come from shapes our voice and perspective in the faith. How are we called to use our prophetic and authentic voice? How can we call ourselves and our faith to be accountable to its proclamation that voices on the margin matter? How can we strengthen our wider Universal Web by standing both in and outside a place of privilege? If we know what it means to be from here, what are we then called to do?
(Part Two of a Two Part Series)

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May 31, 2015

What does it mean to be from here?
Julie Brock

People from Detroit love their city. Our pride is well earned, as our folks haven't had it easy. But what does it mean to practice a religion that is culturally white and upper class, in a city that isn't? Join a home grown Detroit girl as she reflects on lessons she could have only learned in the pews of 4605 Cass, how they translate to wider UU culture, and how wider UU culture affects our congregation. (Part One of a Two Part Series.)
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May 24, 2015

Techno Religion
Joel Batterman

As devotees of electronic music converge on Detroit, what can we learn from this phenomenon? What are the parallels between techno music and Unitarian-Universalist faith, and how can we transcend the contradictions between individual and collective action in a technocratic age?
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May 17, 2015

Diving Into the Future
Reverend Roger Mohr

This is Rev. Mohr’s last Sunday in the pulpit with First Church. Let’s take a moment to celebrate the possibilities of new beginning, new cultivations, and new possibilities.
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May 10, 2015

Radical Mothering
5 Voices

Join us on this Mother’s Day with 5 voices from the community:

  • Kim Redigan - Teacher and Non-Violence Trainer with the Michigan Peace Team
  • Susan Sunshine Earth Poet - MiCats (Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands)
  • Jahra Michelle McKinney - Singer, Songwriter, Storyteller & founding member of Hakamma
  • Carolyn Doherty - Raging Grannies and Peace Activist
  • Sylvia Banks - Chapter Leader Metro Detroit Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.
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May 3, 2015

The Meaning of Work
Reverend Roger Mohr

May 1 is International Labor Day, a time for celebrating the importance of work, and working people, in our lives, and in our culture.
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April 26, 2015

The Exact Center of the Modern World: Philip Levine’s Detroit
Frank Rashid

Please join us for another in our Detroit Musings series of guest speakers. Lifelong Detroiter Frank D. Rashid is professor of English at Marygrove College where he teaches American literature, composition, and Detroit studies courses; writes about Detroit literature, history, and culture; and edits the online Literary Map of Detroit. He is former chair of the English & Modern Languages Department, past president of the Faculty Assembly, and a founding member of Marygrove’s Institute for Detroit Studies. The father of three children, he lives with his wife Kim Stroud in Detroit’s University District.
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April 19, 2015

Earth Day
Reverend Roger Mohr

As we celebrate Earth Day, we are drawn to ask the question of what our personal relationship with the Earth may be, and how we might make it better.
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April 12, 2015

Reflections on Dr. Viola Liuzzo by Her Children
Penny Herrington, Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe, Tony Liuzzo, and Sally Liuzzo

Viola Liuzzo's children will speak on Viola’s legacy, carrying on her legacy, personal reflections, and relevance to today’s issues.
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April 5, 2015

April Is the Cruelest Month
Reverend Roger Mohr

In T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Wasteland” he begins with images of revitalization and hope after a season of struggle and suffering. On this Easter morning, may we be reminded of the tenacity of life.
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March 29, 2015

Reflections on the Struggle for Marriage Equality
Ken Mogill

A personal examination of what marriage is and how the DeBoer case has affected people's views of marriage as a matter of law and social/religious conceptions.
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March 22, 2015

Look at the Heart
Mr. Peace

Kevin Szawala, or ‘Mr. Peace’, age 29, is a motivational speaker, youth minister, poet, hip- hop artist, peace activist, visionary and friend. In this talk, the audience is made aware to the severity of the epidemic of bullying from the perspective of a national youth speaker along with examining powerful facts, stories and testimonials revolving around the issue. Once we understand the potential impact of our actions, words and inaction towards others, we can come to realize how much of a necessity it is to never cause the pain in the first place. Ultimately we have a choice to destroy or uplift one's spirit and either one only takes a couple of seconds; this talk will reach inside your collective heart to show why we should want to choose the latter in order to leave a legacy that all will want to remember.
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March 15, 2015

Circling the Sun
Reverend Roger Mohr

As we move toward the Spring Solstice the significance of our path around the sun becomes more apparent, as well as more significant. Isn’t it nice to know that we can achieve relative certainty about the realities of our universe.
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March 8, 2015

Blessed to be Human
Reverend Roger Mohr

The foundational theology of Western culture presents a pretty negative picture of human nature. But we are better than we might believe that we are.
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March 1, 2015

The Ragged March of Progress
Reverend Roger Mohr

Sometimes it seems that things are getting worse. But it is easy to make the argument that things are getting better, even when it seems like we are falling.
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February 22, 2015

What's YOUR Black History story?
Satori Shakoor

Satori Shakoor is Executive Director of The Society for the re-Institutionalization of Storytelling and a host of The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers. She has received international acclaim as a singer with “Parliament/Funkadelic” and is one of “The Brides of Funkenstein.” Ms. Shakoor will share her storytelling and musical talents with the congregation.
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February 15, 2015

The Graceful Life
Reverend Roger Mohr

Sometimes it seems like life moves from disaster to disaster. Yet we may be able to find grace among the ruins.
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February 8, 2015

Social Hedonism
Reverend Roger Mohr

Hedonism is the idea that the purpose of life is to maximize our own pleasure. But human beings very often prefer shared pleasures, Ubuntu. What if we built a world in which joy was the goal?
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February 1, 2015

Human Becoming
Reverend Roger Mohr

It is always possible to become more fully human. Indeed, human being may well evolve beyond humanity – or at least, beyond human being as we now know it.
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January 25, 2015

Anger
Matt Friedrichs

Reflections on a night in Ferguson and St. Louis.
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January 18, 2015

Relational Ethics
Reverend Roger Mohr

Ultimately, one might argue that ethics is about love. But it does require an understanding of power to love with awareness.
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January 11, 2015

An Evolutionary Culture
Reverend Roger Mohr

It seems that contemporary culture tends to be too much about defending our learned practices and preferences. But perhaps an evolutionary culture is about creating adaptive practices and preferences.
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January 4, 2015

A Resolution of Joy
Reverend Roger Mohr

As we begin the New Year, it is a time for resolutions. As we make commitments to recreate our realities, let’s make a resolution to live more joyfully this year.
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December 28, 2014

Practicing a Personal Internationalism: Finding a Place in a Globalized World
Paul Chislett

Traveling from Windsor to Detroit most Sundays can be routine, and yet the border crossing formalities are a reminder that one has crossed a frontier. How can community be extended across borders? Expect more questions than answers to be generated by this talk...
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December 24, 2014 7:00 PM

Christmas Stories
Reverend Roger Mohr and Todd Ballou

Join the First Church family for our annual Christmas Eve service featuring carols, special music, and a UU Christmas message.
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December 21, 2014

The Significance of Friendship
Reverend Roger Mohr

We are often reminded of the centrality of family in the definition of “The Good Life.” However, most philosophers and spiritual directors put a much higher priority on friends and chosen relationships.
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December 14, 2014

A Queer Tradition
Reverend Roger Mohr

Unitarian Universalism is a unique faith. We affirm and promote the fullest possible opportunities for our members to explore and create their best selves…even when those choices seem a bit queer to others.
Also Todd’s other choir “Sing Out Detroit” will perform as our special guests with a preview of their upcoming concert, “Fa-La-La Frozen”. Our choir will join them for one number. And there will be news of an exciting new congregational welcoming endeavor. A service not to be missed!

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December 7, 2014

Crisis and Commercials
Reverend Roger Mohr

It seems that we are confronted with increasing levels of urgency and hysteria every day. But why?
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November 30, 2014

Detroit Musings ~ Part 3 of 3
Shea Howell

Shea Howell is a Detroit activist, author & columnist, writing a column for the Grace Lee Boggs newsletter; she works closely with Grace Lee Boggs and was active in First UU's "Detroit Summer" program.
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November 23, 2014

Detroit Musings ~ Part 2 of 3
Perma Detroit

Kate Devlin, aka Perma Detroit, heads Spirit Farm and Faith Farm & is an activist for community gardens and teaching locals to grow their own food.
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November 16, 2014

Blessing the Beloved
Reverend Roger Mohr

One of the gifts of spiritual practice is the ability to greet the world with an open and loving heart. However, it DOES require practice.
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November 9, 2014

Detroit Musings ~ Part 1 of 3
Keith Owens

Keith Owens is an author, journalist and musician who cares deeply about Detroit.
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November 2, 2014

Pro-Choice Is Pro Life
Reverend Roger Mohr

Women’s rights are under attack from the right, with not only abortion but contraception in jeopardy. Our tradition demands that we defend women’s right to decide.
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October 26, 2014

Move the Money
Reverend Richard Peacock

The war horse is a vain hope for victory; however, Pentagon spending is huge. Is that why Americans aren't getting what we need? Can Pentagon spending become smarter and smaller? What can peace activists do? Rich, a retired Methodist minister, is now with Peace Action of Michigan and Peace Voter.
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October 19, 2014

Cain and Abel: Racial Violence at the Urban Boundaries
Reverend Roger Mohr

As the incidents of inter-racial violence proliferate, it is important to step back and understand the class tensions that fuel them.
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October 12, 2014

As the Wars Come Home
Reverend Roger Mohr

After a decade of war overseas, it seems that we are doing less and less to manage the repercussions here.
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October 5, 2014

Cultivating Peace
Reverend Roger Mohr

In our world, there seems to be a continuous roar of issues and information, usually presented as a crisis. It is no wonder if we are anxious and unhappy. We need to create a zone of quiet and rest for ourselves.
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September 28, 2014

Girl Scout Sunday Trailblazers: Meet UU Women Who Changed the World!
Kathleen Jacobs Johnson, Sharlene Gage, Nancy Owen Nelson, Stephanie Chang

1st UU welcomes Girl Scouts from the neighborhood to learn about Unitarian-Universalism and examine leadership in some of the most groundbreaking women of the 19th and 20th centuries. UUs and Girl Scouts alike will notice the similarities between the UU principles and Girl Scout Law.
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September 21, 2014

The Gift of Listening
Reverend Roger Mohr

As we build relationships and connections, we build power. But relationships depend on our ability to discern another person’s interests. We have to learn to listen.
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September 14, 2014

Progressive Missionaries
Reverend Roger Mohr

First Church is at the heart of an attempt to organize regional progressives into an active and powerful voice in Michigan. Want in on that?
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September 7, 2014

The Art of Breathing
Reverend Roger Mohr

There are many different kinds of spiritual practice, and many of them focus on breathing. Why is respiration a spiritual question?
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August 31, 2014

Water Rights and Responsibilities
Mary Lou Malone

A Water Ceremony will be included in the service.
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August 24, 2014

The Social Lifeboat
Reverend Roger Mohr

The “Lifeboat Dilemma” is a classic philosophical problem about how we make choices. Sound social policy requires clarity of thought in terms of our decision making criteria.
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August 17, 2014

Regional Religious Progressives
Reverend Roger Mohr

At First Church’s annual planning retreat we agreed that FUUD has a mission to provide leadership and support for the Detroit metropolitan region, for regional UUs, but also for regional progressives. We are the Chalice Church. How do we make that claim into a practical reality?
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August 10, 2014

In Praise of Memory
Mary Minock

Mary Minock, a poet and memoirist, and long-time Detroiter, reads from her published memoir, The Way-Back Room: A Memoir of a Detroit Childhood (Bottom Dog Press, 2011). She then offers examples from her process of writing it to comment on the transcendent power of an active memory of the past. Memory is actually a dialogue with the present, and so truth(s) that are uncovered are ever-changing and ever rich in possibility. Studied excursions into memory promise to keep us from the rocks of nostalgia and guide us as we navigate the future.
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August 3, 2014

Prayin' for the Big Easy God
Wardell Montgomery

Speaker Wardell Montgomery, Jr. is an urban folk poet and a member of Plymouth United Church of Christ. He will give us a sermon in poetry exploring a literal interpretation of the Bible versus a metaphorical one.
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July 27, 2014

Walls, Fences, and Gates
Reverend Roger Mohr

It has been said that good fences make good neighbours. A major challenge for every organism, and organization, is to set appropriate boundaries.
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July 20, 2014

Blinded By the Blight
Reverend Roger Mohr

Detroit has achieved international fame for its abandoned buildings. But it is important to see beyond the ruins.
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July 13, 2014

Speaking Truth WITH Power
Reverend Roger Mohr

In postmodern culture, truth was understood ironically, with every truth understood as a power claim. But the power of truth was often lost in irony.
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July 6, 2014

The Arc of Justice and the Golden Age of Capitalism
Dan Secrest

The moral arc of the universe may bend toward justice. Yet many of us are frustrated that corporate power reigns supreme in the 21st century, eclipsing democratically elected governments in many respects. How might these be reconciled in the near future?
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June 29, 2014

Flower Communion: The Earth Laughs in Flowers
Danny Rebb

Just as individual flowers form a bouquet more beautiful than the sum of its parts, our congregation formed by the covenant we share is better able to liberate truth, radiate kindness, and love courageously more than all of its members individually.
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June 22, 2014

Juneteenth: Civil Rights Celebration
Kathleen Jacobs Johnson and the Worship Committee

Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act into law, and the impact it has had on us.
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June 15, 2014

The Creative Cosmos
Reverend Roger Mohr

The universe is in the process of continuous becoming, an ongoing creation in which we are active collaborators.
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June 8, 2014

Affirming Same Sex Marriage for Over Forty Years
Reverend Roger Mohr

Same sex marriage is a current issue in politics, but UUs have had an increasingly general consensus about the issue for decades.
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June 1, 2014

Not Just for UUs: Leading the Beloved Community
Reverend Roger Mohr

Religious leadership entails a responsibility to seek the well-being of all people, and the planet as a whole.
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May 25, 2014

Laughing with UUs
Mary Lou Malone

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May 18, 2014

We Are Getting Better and Better
Reverend Roger Mohr

The idea that people can freely choose to improve themselves and their world is the radical theological premise at the core of Unitarian Universalism.
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May 11, 2014

The Flame of Hope, the Chalice of Community
Reverend Roger Mohr

As First Church develops a vision of regional leadership, it is up to us to create a church that offers a model of spiritual well-being.
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May 4, 2014

Calm Down. Aim. Hit the Ball
Reverend Roger Mohr

In general, progress in any endeavor is more a matter of conscious discipline and consistent practice than of sudden inspiration or instinctive reactions.
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April 27, 2014

Another Great Awakening?
Dan Secrest

In his March 2 sermon, Reverend Roger Mohr mentioned previous "Great Awakenings" in U.S. religious history. I'll discuss these in greater detail and consider the prospects for another great awakening.
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April 20, 2014

Here Comes the Sun
Reverend Roger Mohr

With Easter, we embrace the arrival of Spring. Let's also give thanks for the revitalization of our church, even as we look forward to future challenges and opportunities.
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April 13, 2014

Progressive Regional Leadership
Reverend Roger Mohr

First Church has begun to build its outreach efforts with a strategic vision to reach beyond Detroit’s city limits. How can we, as Unitarian Universalists, be more effective in shaping our region, as well as our neighborhood?
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April 6, 2014

The Center of the Universe
Reverend Roger Mohr

A central challenge in social justice is the experience of alienation and despair. How do we experience spiritual renewal?
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March 30, 2014

Trans-Humanism: Humanity and Technology
Reverend Roger Mohr
Humanity is increasingly dependent on technology. But perhaps that is the foundation of future evolution.
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March 23, 2014

The Feminist In Me
Nancy Owen Nelson and Friends
In recognition of Women's History Month, Nancy Owen Nelson and other members of First UU will discuss the notion of feminism in their lives.
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March 16, 2014

Ubuntu, Interdependence, and the Soul
Reverend Roger Mohr
Often, religious thought focuses on selfless love. But perhaps our relationships are better understood in terms of Dr. King’s Network of Mutuality.
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March 9, 2014

The Significance of Herstory
Reverend Roger Mohr

March is Women’s History Month. A woman who treats her life story as being of general human significance is much more likely to treat herself as worthy of care and respect. Readings by Nancy Owen Nelson.
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March 2, 2014

Race, Class, and a New Consensus
Reverend Roger Mohr

The issues that we struggle with in regional Detroit need initiatives that can reach across lines of race, class, and community.
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February 23, 2014

Moving the Goalposts
Reverend Roger Mohr

As we move into the spring, we begin to think about what we need to accomplish next year.
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February 16, 2014

Queer Love, Radical Altars
Katherine DM Clover

With the upcoming Michigan Same Sex Marriage court hearing, Katherine Clover, who married her partner Chelsea in September, will share her thoughts and concerns on gay marriage. A perfect way of re-imagining love as we embrace Valentine's Day as a social justice holiday by Standing on the Side of Love.
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February 9, 2014

1st UU and Civil Rights
Coordinated by Mary Lou Malone

Our members reflect on their roles in the Civil Rights Movement and how it affected their lives. Sally Borden, Ivan Louis Cotman, Sharon Mills, and Kathleen Jacobs-Johnson.
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February 2, 2014

Lessons From the Ancestors
Reverend Roger Mohr

In the book, Five Regrets of the Dying, we can learn from the decisions other people have made in their lives, and wish they would have done differently.
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January 26, 2014

Polytheism: Creating Your Own Pantheon
Reverend Roger Mohr

Each of us has our own understanding of the Divine. And most of us have more than one.
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January 19, 2014

White Like Me In the D
Joel Batterman

What responsibilities might young, educated white people moving into Detroit bear towards the fulfillment of civil rights and "beloved community" today?
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January 12, 2014

The Politics of Progress
Reverend Roger Mohr

What might a progressive political strategy look like from the perspective of Detroit in 2014?
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January 5, 2014

Dark and Deep, Cold and Clean
Reverend Roger Mohr

The New Year is a time of purification, as Nature disciplines and tests us.
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December 29, 2013

CARL HENRY SINGS!
Carl Henry and the Worship Committee

Carl Henry is a folk singer-extraordinaire, performing political, union-solidarity, blues, folk, hymns, and sing-a-long. He comes with several guitars, harmonica AND snappy chatter w/ stories, many about local issues, very community-minded, gracious & loving, with a voice like a steel drum...
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December 24, 2013 7:00 PM

Christmas Eve Service
Todd Ballou and Reverend Roger Mohr

Todd will lead us in our annual Chrstmas Eve service of carols and hymns, with inspirational commentary from Rev. Mohr.
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December 22, 2013

The Solar Wheel
Reverend Roger Mohr

On the Winter Solstice, we are reminded that the journey of the Earth around the Sun is a major influence on our inner life.
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December 15, 2013

The Transcendental Ape
Reverend Roger Mohr

Human beings are spiritual animals, looking beyond what is, to imagine what could be.
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December 8, 2013

The Circumspective Perspective
Reverend Roger Mohr

Sometimes we become so focused that we forget to look around.
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December 1, 2013

Transcending the Family
Reverend Roger Mohr

In contemporary life, the family is generally understood as the core of relationship and meaning, but family is not destiny.
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November 24, 2013

The Theist in Me
Danny Rebb

Unitarian Universalism in general, and the beliefs of this speaker in particular, cannot be captured by a single label. There is a theist in me. The idea of god arose from vague sources in the misty human past. God, as I understand the idea, so permeates every part of existence—in fact, is existence—that whenever life’s meaning is discussed, god, whether specified or not, is also discussed.
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November 17, 2013

Faustus: Choice, Choices, and Choosing
Reverend Roger Mohr

Our lives are about the human privilege of choice.
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November 10, 2013

The Cosmic Drum
Reverend Roger Mohr

One piece of living in harmony with the Cosmos is learning to feel its rhythm.
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November 3, 2013

We Remember Them
Reverend Roger Mohr

This is a season when in many cultures we pause to remember our beloved dead. What are the gifts they left behind for us?
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October 27, 2013

Mary Magdalene, Yoga, and Gnosis
Nancy Owen Nelson

I discuss how I came to an understanding of gnosis, or inner knowledge. My journey includes my upbringing, the practice of yoga, and finding personal truth in the gnostic text, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene.
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October 20, 2013

Global Grace
Reverend Roger Mohr

As a world power and global citizen, how can the United states best express its role in the world?
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October 13, 2013

InterBeing: An Urban Eco-Spirituality
Reverend Roger Mohr

How can we tie our concern with our relationship to the Earth to our relationships to one another, our community, and the Cosmos?
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October 6, 2013

Mad Hatter Day
Reverend Roger Mohr

Perhaps you didn’t know that the character from Alice In Wonderland had an official holiday. But a little madness has its virtues. Feel free to wear your favorite hat!
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September 29, 2013

Equal Justice and Dignity- the State of LGBT Rights in Michigan
Jay Kaplan, ACLU

With the federal ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional, the Michigan Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments October 1st to repeal Michigan's ban on gay marriage and adoption by same sex couples. Jay Kaplan from ACLU will discuss the implications and what we can expect from it.
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September 22, 2013

Fall: Our Shadows
Reverend Roger Mohr

In his poem “The Hollow Men,” T.S. Eliot writes, “Between the idea, and the reality, between the motion and the act, falls the Shadow.” With the growing shadows of autumn, we are invited to explore the shadows within ourselves, as well.
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September 15, 2013

Better People for a Better World
Reverend Roger Mohr

A major theme last year was “Ubuntu,” the idea that we create one another in our relationships and our community. How does that inform and influence this year’s theme of “Integrity”?
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September 8, 2013

Waiting for God-ot
Reverend Roger Mohr

Waiting for God-ot. The play by Samuel Beckett is about time spent in waiting for someone else to arrive. Why do we wait?
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September 1, 2013

The Wisdom of Detroit
Reverend Roger Mohr

Detroit has among the deepest and richest histories of any US city. What have we learned?
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August 25, 2013

Maggie’s Farm
Reverend Roger Mohr

The Bob Dylan song (and excellent Rage Against the Machine cover) offers some useful
insight into systems of exploitation and how to liberate ourselves.

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August 18, 2013

Still I Rise
Reverend Roger Mohr

Maya Angelou’s poem is an emphatic declaration of her transcendence. What can we learn from her?
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August 11, 2013

Watery Reflections
Corinne Streicher, Paul Chislett, Dan Secrest, Lee Thume

"Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong." Lao Tzu
Representatives of different generations will reflect on water power in our lives.

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August 4, 2013

UUs Around the World
Sherry Wells

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists is a body devoted to fostering connections between Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist groups around the world. Sherry Wells will speak of her experience and passion for Universalism on a global scale.
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July 28, 2013

Beyond the Politics of Identity
Reverend Roger Mohr

Political action has been defined by demographic categories, but those classifications are less useful than in the past.
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July 21, 2013

NAFTA on Steroids
Lacey Kohlmoos

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive “free trade agreement” that isn’t really about trade at all. If it passes, the TPP would have an impact on the food you eat, the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the cost of your medications. It would give the green light to global corporations that send jobs overseas, thus undermining the U.S. labor movement and creating a global race to the bottom. The TPP would undermine democracy worldwide and forever change the way we use the internet. But we can stop the TPP and we will!

Join Lacey Kohlmoos, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Sr. Field Organizer, for a talk about the TPP and what you can do to make a difference.

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July 14, 2013

Growing Together
Reverend Roger Mohr

Following up on our First Church leadership retreat, what are the priorities for our church this year?
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July 7, 2013

Negotiating With the Cosmos
Reverend Roger Mohr

In a sense, all of life is a process of coming to terms with it.
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June 30, 2013

Welcoming Worship
The Worship Committee

The First UU Church of Detroit is a place where we strive to love courageously, radiate kindness, and liberate the truth. For many of us, there is a fine line between liberating the truth as we see it, and exhibiting rudeness or disrespect for people with differing beliefs. The Worship Committee will discuss the challenges and opportunities we face in furthering our mission and vision in a creative and welcoming manner. We are open to new members and look forward to working with those interested to match volunteer interests with committee roles and responsibilities.
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June 23, 2013

Our Church History and the 50th Anniversary of the March Down Woodward
The Worship Committee and EMEAC (tentative)

On the 50th anniversary of the great march led down Woodward by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we invite a representative of the Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) to reflect upon the role First UU has played in Detroit history, and how we are moving forward.
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June 16, 2013

Finding Your Voice
Reverend Roger Mohr

One sign of oppression is when we feel unable to share our thoughts and feelings.
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June 9, 2013

Detroit Future City
Reverend Roger Mohr

The DEGC and the Kresge Foundation have just released their plan for economic development in Detroit. What does the future hold?
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June 2, 2013

Play-time, Play-space, Play-mates
Reverend Roger Mohr

It is possible that we are all on vacation together here on Earth, for the fun of it. But are we enjoying our trip?
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May 26, 2013

Flower Communion
Elayne Sikelianos and Danny Rebb

   The Flower Communion usually takes place in the spring near the time of Easter. In this ceremony, members of the congregation are asked beforehand to bring a flower to the Sunday service. Upon entering the sanctuary, each person places his or her flower on the altar or in a shared vase. The flowers are blessed by the minister or congregation during the ceremony, and the sermon usually reflects upon the flowers' symbolism. At the end of the service, each person brings home a flower other than the one that he or she brought.
   Reginald Zottoli wrote "The significance of the flower communion is that as no two flowers are alike, so no two people are alike, yet each has a contribution to make. Together the different flowers form a beautiful bouquet. Our common bouquet would not be the same without the unique addition of each individual flower, and thus it is with our church community: it would not be the same without each and every one of us. Thus this service is a statement of our community."
   The Flower communion service was originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek, who founded the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. The service was later brought to the United States by his wife, Maya.

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May 19, 2013

Relational Ethics
Reverend Roger Mohr

For most religious traditions, morality is based on obedience and duty. But we might also ground ethics in mutuality and relationship.
Annual Meeting will follow the service.

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May 12, 2013

Our Feminist Faith
Reverend Roger Mohr

On Mother’s Day, we remember our legacy of activism for women’s rights and voices. Readings selected and presented by Nancy Owen Nelson.
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May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo: Celebrating Cultural Evolution
Reverend Roger Mohr

The US is changing, and we have the opportunity to choose our strategies in relation to the foreseeable future.
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April 28, 2013

Arise Detroit!
Luther "Badman" Keith

ARISE Detroit is a broad-based coalition of community groups which deal with issues troubling our community – illiteracy, high school dropout rates, crime and youth violence, drug abuse, domestic abuse, neighborhood blight and unemployment. Luther Keith, executive director of ARISE Detroit!, is a former award-winning editor and columnist for The Detroit News. He is also an accomplished Blues musician and is known as "Badman" in the Blues world.
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April 21, 2013

Earth Day, Detroit!
Reverend Roger Mohr

What would a green Detroit look like, and how can we help to make that happen?
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April 14, 2013

Voluntary Simplicity: Spring Cleaning
Reverend Roger Mohr

Spring is an excellent time to lighten the load and lose the baggage, in both our inner and outer lives.
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April 7, 2013

Global Humanism
Reverend Roger Mohr

Humanism is NOT a minority position. Not in the US. Not even in other lands and nations. Humanism is the foundation of the modern world.
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March 31, 2013

Easter, Ostara, and the Arrival of Spring
Reverend Roger Mohr

Easter is about excellence, the opportunity to embrace the possibility of new growth.
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March 24, 2013

Democracy, God, and Pascal’s Wager
Dan Secrest

Belief in God works, although God is open to a wide variety of interpretations. Likewise, democracy requires faith to perform its magic. So argues Dan Secrest, a member of our congregation and degreed economist. Mr. Secrest also holds a Master's Degree, in Science!
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March 17, 2013

Deep Listening: Zen Buddhism and a Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning
Koho Vince Cousino Anila

Koho is the Guiding Teacher of the Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple in Detroit. He will speak about Buddhist and Zen history including the whys and hows of the practice. He will discuss parallels in other traditions, including Christianity ("Contemplative Prayer" by Thomas Merton, etc.).

After practicing at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Ann Arbor with Ven. Haju Sunim and P'arang Geri Larkin, Koho helped found Still Point as its first Board President and one of its first seminary students. A husband and father, Koho is also a writer with a BA in English from Wayne State University. He was ordained by P'arang Geri Larkin in 2003, and follows the trails of ancient monks and nuns around South Korea as often as possible.
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March 10, 2013

The Purpose of Leadership
Reverend Roger Mohr

As I said at the beginning of this church year, a major theme is Ubuntu, the idea that we create one another through our actions and decisions. How we work together matters as much as what we are doing.
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March 3, 2013

Urban Eco-village
Reverend Roger Mohr

The eco-village movement is a way of forming eco-logically and socially sustainable communities. Is it time for a Detroit experiment? (will include visual aids)
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February 24, 2013

Called To Be Human Beings
Reverend Roger Mohr

Perhaps to be human means to be called to create a life of meaning through creating meaning.
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February 17, 2013

Earth Faith
Reverend Roger Mohr

What is the role of our religion in a non-religious world?
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February 10, 2013

What Would Jesus Do? Exploring Catholic Social Teaching
Dr. Jeannie Murphy O’Connor

Jeannie Murphy O’Connor teaches Comparative World Religions at Henry Ford Community College and is also Director of Service Learning there. She is a ‘cradle catholic’ and now identifies herself as a ‘socially active catholic’ – not referring to her social life but her investment in living Catholic Social Teaching. She grew up in a small town between Lansing and Flint called Owosso and considers Metro Detroit her home now, having lived in the area for the past 18 years. She has worked in several Catholic church settings as a youth and young adult minister and has set her number one priority in each of those settings as engaging young people in service. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Ecumenical Theological Seminary and titled her doctoral dissertation: “The Transformative Effects of Street Retreats.” She looks forward to sharing her life of faith in action with you.
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February 3, 2013

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness
Reverend Fran Dew

Since I consider prophecy, as well as revelation, to be open and ongoing, I've chosen my own quartet of Twentieth Century prophets: moral and ethical innovators who bring messages society does not want to hear; those who diagnose our societal ills and are ignored or defamed for serving as our collective conscience. This morning I'll share why American author James Baldwin made my list.
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January 27, 2013

Tolerance vs. Acceptance
Kathleen Jacobs Johnson

UUs are known for their tolerance, but maybe that's not what we should be known for. Tolerance implies that something has to be put up with, but is not accepted and embraced. As UUs, we should move beyond tolerance and stand on the side of love.
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January 20, 2013

The New American Dream
Reverend Roger Mohr

Martin Luther King talked about his dream of America’s future. America was founded as the CITY on a hill. How can we make our cities work better?
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January 13, 2013

The Heart of Love
Reverend Roger Mohr

It is easy to lose track of love. We must intentionally cultivate love in ourselves.
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January 6, 2013

Change: The Only Constant
Reverend Roger Mohr

Change is both a necessity and an opportunity. The challenge is to get good at change.
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December 30, 2012

The Spiritual and Social Transformation of The Great City of Detroit in 2013
Rabbi Dorit Edut

Rabbi Edut will speak on why the transformation of Detroit is a spiritual issue, what challenges we face, what accomplishments can we build on, and where interfaith partnering can bring new energy and power to this work.
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December 24, 2012 7:00 PM

Christmas Eve Service
Todd Ballou and Reverend Roger Mohr

Todd will lead us in our annual Chrstmas Eve service of carols and hymns, with inspirational commentary from Rev. Mohr.

December 23, 2012

X-mas and the Politics of Resentment
Reverend Roger Mohr

Christmas is a time when we are supposed to be positive. But sometimes we have trouble looking on the bright side.
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December 16, 2012

Black, White, Brown, and Green
Reverend Roger Mohr

As we near the Winter Solstice, we meditate on race, class, and privilege in a progressive and sustainable culture.
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December 9, 2012 4:00 PM

Aspirations: What do we want to achieve, and why?
Reverend Roger Mohr

This is an experimental service, intended to be more quiet and centering as we return from our weekends and prepare for the week ahead. This service will be held in the sanctuary, with soft lights, meditation, acoustic music, and conversation about a chosen topic.

December 9, 2012

Our Cruelty to Strangers
Reverend Roger Mohr

Our supposed ethical superiority depends on how we treat others, especially those who oppose us. We will observe Human Rights Day, December 10. The service will include a brief presentation from a representative from Amnesty International concerning American practice of torturing political prisoners.
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December 2, 2012

The Home of Progressive Thought
Reverend Roger Mohr

First UU Church is the historical home of progressive thought in Detroit, and we are proud to claim that title today.
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November 25, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude
Robert Johnson

Gratitude is often the answer to people’s problems, for it helps them to reframe their life in a positive context. Gratitude allows people to look at what is right in their life, identify their strengths, and see what is good about them and others.
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November 18, 2012

Working Our Quirks
Reverend Roger Mohr

It is true, we are all unique. But how do we use those differences for our collective benefit?
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November 11, 2012

Better Bottom Line
Reverend Roger Mohr

The progressive idea of the Triple Bottom Line is about considering People, Planet, and Profits in our business decisions.
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November 4, 2012

Enlightened Government
Reverend Roger Mohr

With the elections upon us, it is time to reflect on the relationship between politics and our UU tradition and values. We are an activist tradition, but that does not mean a clear allegiance to one party or another. Historically, we have been on both sides of most issues. But we do have a set of values to use as the basis for assessing our government. Ubuntu recognizes that we are shaped by our government and politics. What would an enlightened government look like?
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October 28, 2012

Poetry's Divine Defiance
Terry Blackhawk

The presentation will discuss poems that range from Philip Levine's Detroit to Emily Dickinson's Universe, and points in between.
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October 21, 2012

The New Detroit
Reverend Roger Mohr

Detroit is obviously changing, changing fast, and changing for the better. It is an exciting time to be living in the D! However, progress does have its price, and there are people suffering for these improvements. "Ubuntu" means that this is our success. But Ubuntu also means that this is our suffering. How can we build our sense of community as Detroit experiences such a welcome and necessary renaissance?
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October 14, 2012

A Life Worth Loving
Reverend Roger Mohr

The autumn is a beautiful and exciting time of the year. As the temperatures drop, we are more thoughtful as we spend more time in the comforts of hearth and home. But there is so much beauty to experience outdoors - we need to get out and breathe that crisp, cool air, the changing light, and thrill with the autumn colors. Life is good. How can we make it even better?
Order of Service

October 7, 2012

A Post-Religious Faith
Reverend Roger Mohr

It is widely noted that the fastest growing faith, globally and in the US, is no religious identity at all. The percentage of people claiming "no religion" as their religious identity is approaching 20% and growing quickly. However, that does not mean a lack of "spiritual" feelings or needs. It means a rejection of traditional orthodoxies and models. While that is bad news for most religions, it is consistent with Unitarian Universalism. How can we minister to those in this growing and hungry group?
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September 30, 2012

Arab Women - Religion, Taboos, and Stereotypes
Dr. Mary Assel

There is a triangle of challenges that Arab women face in America and in the Arab world: religion, stereotypes and taboos. The taboo of religion is the most challenging and has sparked interest among universities and professors throughout the country. Dr. Mary Assel, Arab-American author and retired director of the English Language Institute at Henry Ford Community College, will share the history behind the Arab female oppression, the differences between culture and religion, and the dilemmas and predicaments Arab women face as they struggle to deal with stereotypes and the declaration of freedom in their newly formed liberal societies.
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September 23, 2012

The Goyim's Debt to Judaism
Rev. Tony Perrino

During the High Holy Days" being observed by our Jewish friends, I want to recognize the profoundly important contributions to western civilization that were made by the Hebrew tradition. The service will include a "sounding of the Shofar".
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Sermon Text

September 16, 2012

Continuous Enlightenment
Reverend Roger Mohr

There are many terms to refer to achieving our potential as human beings. Some speak of “salvation.” Others of “spiritual growth.” Some of “satori” or “mukti.” While these are all useful terms, in the humanist tradition, the closest cognate is “Enlightenment.” But for us, enlightenment is something we achieve by our own attention and efforts, over time. How can we be more enlightened tomorrow?
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September 9, 2012

Ubuntu: African Humanism
Reverend Roger Mohr

In my Doctor of Ministry program, the majority of the students are from other countries. One is from Argentina, another from Japan, from Congo, from Poland, Korea…a few are even from the U.S.! During conversations about our dissertation projects, a colleague from Sierra Leone talked about Ubuntu: As Leymah Gbowee expressed it, “I am what I am because of who we all are.” We are created by our relationships with one another. We are leaders inasmuch as we help to build a better self to offer for the betterment of our communities. How can we make it better together?
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September 2, 2012

Voting Rights Martyr: Viola Liuzzo
Reverend Roger Mohr

In the history of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit, there are many of our spiritual forebears who have done great and wonderful things for the cause of social justice. But few have given their lives. One of our members, Viola Liuzzo, was shot and killed by the KKK in 1965 for helping to register voters. But why does voting really matter? And how much must we sacrifice for our faith?
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August 26, 2012

Kum Ba Yah
Todd Ballou and Gwen Foss

The summer camping trip is a tradition-- particularly in Michigan. If you haven't gotten away this summer, come take a short excursion with us. We celebrate nature, solitude, and singing around the camp fire. It's warm in the summer-- feel free to wear your most comfortable summer attire. Then, we celebrate our returning home with a variation of our traditional water ceremony.
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August 19, 2012

Dune: Successful Social Struggle
Reverend Roger Mohr

In response to my, “I dare you to preach on…” sermon topic request, one of our members challenged me to preach on the movie Dune and the Orange Bible. To me the most important lesson of Dune is about how one can successfully effect major social change. How can we win the struggle for social justice?
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August 12, 2012

A Rock That is Higher Than I: Finding My Primitive Baptist Roots in Alabama
Nancy Owen Nelson

Nancy Owen Nelson is on a journey to know her grandmother, who died in childbirth. She will speak on her research trip to Alabama where she engaged the Primitive Baptist experience. There will be photos to accompany her message.
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August 5, 2012

Democracy: Lincoln, Obama, and Servetus
Dan Secrest

Unitarians often regard Michael Servetus as the first Unitarian martyr. Servetus has also been credited with being one of the modern forerunners of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience in the Western world. The evolution of freedom of conscience can be traced from Servetus and the Polish Socinians, to John Locke and to Thomas Jefferson and the American Declaration of Independence. We'll examine our 5th principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
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July 29, 2012

Achieving Our Spiritual Best
Reverend Roger Mohr

In doing the reading for my doctoral coursework, my first course is about spiritual development. In our culture, we often understand that to be a purely internal process. But our spiritual life is bigger than just whether or not we happen to meditate. Spirituality is a holistic concept, and includes every part of our lives. What difference does your spiritual life make?
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July 22, 2012

Re-examining the American Dream: We vs. Me
Kathleen Jacobs Johnson and Robert Johnson

The American Dream tells us that if you are ready and able to work hard, then you will be rewarded with success. But as any who are willing to look with open eyes will recognize this is not entirely true. We examine why this is, why the dream persists, and what can be done about it.
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July 15, 2012

Our Humanist Tradition
Reverend Roger Mohr

In Unitarian Universalism, a very important source is Humanism – the belief that human agency and activity is the primary source of positive change in the world. There are many different ways of understanding and applying Humanism, but it arguably where our disparate perspectives find their common ground.
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July 8, 2012

Healing Love
Sister Janet Stankowski

Sister Janet will talk about healing ourselves, healing our community, and healing the world. She is with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Read all about them at www.adriandominicans.org/.
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July 1, 2012

Dreaming of the Future
Reverend Roger Mohr

During the summer, there is a mild lull in activity, while we regroup and plan for the next church year. That may seem like a time to rest, but it is also a time for us to spend some energy in imagining what we want the church to have done and become by this time next year. What do YOU dream for First UU next year? Let’s dream together.
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June 24, 2012

All About Midsummer's Eve
Danny Rebb and Elayne Sikelianos

Join us on Sunday, June 24th for our Summer Solstice service, Flower Communion, and meet the Sun King!
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June 17, 2012

Juneteenth: Racism and Detroit
Reverend Roger Mohr

Detroit is a city in which about 80% of the residents are of African American ancestry. That makes Detroit a very interesting environment in which to consider some of the implications of racism.
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June 10, 2012

Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow
Reverend Tony Perrino

Reverend Perrino, who served as Minister of our congregation from 1969 until 1972, was well known in the city as a champion of social justice causes. He led a bus full of church members to Washington, D.C. for a protest of the Viet Nam war, and hosted gathering of "the Winter Soldier Investigation" which featured a talk by Jane Fonda! But this sermon, forty years later, will be a reflection on the last ten years of his ministry as a Hospice Chaplain.

More information regarding Reverend Perrino's more recent activity can be found on his website.
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Sermon Text

June 3, 2012

Why We Support Same Sex Marriage
Reverend Roger Mohr

UUs were among the first to support same sex unions, as well as to ordain homosexual clergy. Why? Well, because it is consistent with our Principles and Purposes, of course!
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May 27, 2012

In Praise of Weeds
Mary Lou Malone

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May 20, 2012

CELEBRATION SERVICE
Reverend Roger Mohr

Rev. Roger Mohr will lead a service celebrating the transfer of the church buildings to the Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council. This is an exciting experiment in co-operative use of the space. Join us in celebrating the success of this process!
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May 13, 2012

Reverend Kenneth W. Phifer
Kenneth W. Phifer was the senior minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor Michigan from 1980 - 2005. His thought-provoking sermons, caring leadership, vibrant sense of humor and dedicated community involvement provided their congregation with much inspiration for 25 years. Ken continues active work with the Human Subject Review Committee of the University of Michigan Medical School. Ken is a founder of the Interfaith Roundtable, and has worked on issues relating to peace, aid in dying and lesbian/ gay male/ bisexual/ transgender concerns. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Divinity School, Ken is the author of two books: Hold On: Getting Through Tough Times and Becoming at Home in the World.
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May 6, 2012

Women’s Disappearing Rights
Reverend Roger Mohr

After nearly two centuries of progress, the last few years have seen a steady erosion of women’s rights. Why is this happening, and how can we fight back?
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April 29, 2012

Celebrating May Day
Reverend Roger Mohr

May first is perhaps one of the most overlooked of all our holidays. It is no wonder. It is a deeply pagan holiday, with its maypoles and fertility rituals. And it is also a huge labor holiday, celebrated throughout the world, but largely ignored in the US. It is our loss; there is much to celebrate.
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April 22, 2012

Messages from Earth
Elayne Sikelianos, with Lumumba

Celebrate Earth Day with nature sounds from our guest percussionist, Lumumba, and earth sutras from our own Elayne Sikelianos.
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April 15, 2012

Soul Food
Reverend Roger Mohr

Soul food consists of foods that feed us emotionally and physically. Where can we look for nourishment to fortify ourselves for the long journey of life? The service will be followed by a potluck, Bring the things and/or foods that comfort you.
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April 8, 2012

Inspirational Detroit Mythology
Dan Secrest

Detroit was a 20th century boom town that attracted people from a wide variety of cultures. Each culture brought a collection of myths which mixed uneasily, yet provided valuable inspiration and structure for life in the impersonal industrial metropolis. As with other religions, Unitarian Universalism provides heroes, sacred stories, and timeless principles to comfort and guide us. Uniquely, our mythic landscape stretches in reaction to the changing world about us, encompassing traditions from the various cultures which have found their way to Detroit during the past century.
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April 1, 2012

Four Billion Years of Evolution: Now What?
Reverend Roger Mohr

It is estimated that life has been evolving on Earth for about four billion years. That means that every living creature is the result of four billion years of success. How can we express and actualize that success in our behavior?
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March 25, 2012

There is No Fun in Fundamentalism
Marilyn Mitchell

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March 18, 2012

Begin Again
Reverend Roger Mohr

The Spring Equinox reminds us that it is time to give our heart and soul to cultivating the
ground of our lives. Plow deep, turn the earth, plant with love. Now is the time to get into the ground and to do what it takes to make our dreams our reality.

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March 11, 2012

What Matters
Robert Johnson

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March 4, 2012

Life on the Serengeti
Reverend Roger Mohr

In nature programs, we often are shown images of life in the natural, as opposed to the human world. It isn't usually so gentle and loving as we might like. A meditation on personal responsibility and the human potential to make it better.
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February 26, 2012

The Greater Sacrifice
Lencha Acker, reading a sermon by Rev. Fred Small of Littleton, MA

We who are anguished by the earth's injuries are no longer scorned eccentrics. We are the emerging majority.
Order of Service

February 19, 2012

Learning to Love
Reverend Roger Mohr

In response to Rev. Mohr's messages on spiritual virtues and the philosophy of
non-violence expressed by Martin Luther King Jr., members are asking for a course on the doctrine of love. This message will speak to the doctrine of love and how it can provide the basis of spiritual growth in our personal and religious lives. An adult RE course on this subject may be offered this spring.

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February 12, 2012

Laughter Yoga!
Sue Ann Ansari

Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason.
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February 5, 2012

Break On Through
Reverend Roger Mohr

As we pass the halfway mark in the winter, we know that spring is just down the path. This is the season of waiting, of stirring. Indeed, Imbolc the pagan holiday celebrated this week, means "in the belly," a time of gestation. What new life grows within you this year?
Order of Service

January 29, 2012

The State of the Church
Reverend Roger Mohr

With the annual meeting following the service, there is good reason to be excited about First UU and its future. We are poised for success!

January 22, 2012

The Church That Laughs
Reverend Roger Mohr

Our Cantor, Gwen Foss, has collected a book of UU jokes that will form the be the basis of the service. UUs are fond of laughing at ourselves. why is that a spiritual virtue?

January 15, 2012

The Spiritual Teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.
Reverend Roger Mohr

Dr. King made a significant difference advancing race relations in the US. However, he founded his work on a body of spiritual principles which continue to have merit.

January 8, 2012

Immigration Reform in America 2012
Ryan Bates

Ryan Bates is currently the Director of the Alliance for Immigrants Rights & Reform – Michigan. A native of Metro-Detroit, Ryan is a graduate from the University of Michigan Residential College and has worked in politics and community organizing throughout the state. He has worked as a community organizer from the east side of Detroit to the upper penninsula, as a canvass manager working to stop urban sprawl and raise the minimum wage, and as a campaign manager of five successful competitive bids for state house. In 2009, he led the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, and became the founding director of the Alliance for Immigrants Rights in 2010.

January 1, 2012

Reclaiming the Light
Reverend Roger Mohr

A message of hope on the increasing light through the winter, our desire for social and self improvement, and the mission of Unitarian Universalism.

December 24, 2011
6:30 PM

A UU Christmas
Reverend Roger Mohr
Join the 1st Church family for our annual Christmas Eve service featuring carols, special music, and a UU Christmas message.

December 18, 2011

The UU Spiritual Path
Reverend Roger Mohr

UUs have the option of choosing from a wide variety of spiritual traditions, so there is really no singular UU path. But there are some signs that one is growing in our faith that allow us to pursue our growth more intentionally.

December 11, 2011

The UU Principles: What the heck are they about?
Robert Johnson

Unitarian Universalism is a positive religion, with seven principles. It seems miraculous that our discursive denomination was able to agree on these bold statements.

December 4, 2011

Why Are We Gathered Here?
Reverend Roger Mohr

People often ask why we go to church, or say that they feel much more spiritually fulfilled doing other things. But the reason we gather in community is to remember and express the values of our UU faith, to celebrate our connections to one another, and to re-affirm our place and role in the wider community.

November 27, 2011

Tears, Cheers, and Jeers in Music
Todd Ballou and Gwen Foss

Music for a wide spectrum of human tastes and emotions. Featuring organ, cello, and hymn parody.

November 20, 2011

Environmental Justice
Reverend Roger Mohr
Mohr and Ahmina Maxey will share the pulpit, talking about the values of the Environmental Justice Movement, the Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council, and how it relates to Unitarian Universalist values.

November 13, 2011

Love is the Doctrine of this Church, and Service is its Prayer
Mary Lou Malone

November 6, 2011

Money, Meaning, and Message
Reverend Roger Mohr
We'll discuss Occupy Detroit, with a dramatic reading from Death of a Salesman.

October 30, 2011

Viva Los Muertos!
Lencha Acker
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.

October 23, 2011

Race, Class, Gender, and...Plato?
Reverend Roger Mohr
Many of the structural biases we struggle with in our society reach back well before the advent of Christianity, into our foundational philosophies. Real change requires deep awareness, contemplation, and transformation.

October 16, 2011

The Drum Knows Your Heart
Reverend Roger Mohr
The emotional power of music, what your music says about you, and the ways that we create community through music. Featuring a musical emphasis combining organ, drums and vocals!

October 9, 2011

The Welfare of Women
Kathleen Jacobs Johnson
Kathleen will speak about women in poverty and how US welfare reform affects them.
UN support for the rights of women began with the Organization's founding Charter. The UU-UNO recommends that congregations schedule a UN Sunday service in recognition of the birth of the United Nations on October 24th, 1945
.

October 2, 2011

A Renewed Community
Reverend Roger Mohr
Our concept of our community needs to change to accommodate and embrace different times and circumstances. We celebrate change as an opportunity to engage an exciting new future.

September 25, 2011

How the Mind Works
Dan Secrest
A holistic and completely natural look at the mind and spirituality.

September 18, 2011

Mountain High, Valley Low
Reverend Roger Mohr
A message about spiritual discipline, from a zen perspective.

September 11, 2011

Peace for Lands Afar and Mine
Elayne Sikeleanos, Lencha Acker, Robert Johnson
Remembering 9/11, from Vietnam to Iraq, from Martin Luther King to the Arab Spring, we take stock of our place in the world.

September 4, 2011

Whose Idea Was This?
Reverend Roger Mohr
A message about the current state of UU theology and organization, and the way that the past brings us to the present.

August 28, 2011

Cassandra's Gambit
Reverend Roger Mohr
A message about the challenge of embracing the future.

August 21, 2011

Try it- You’ll Like it!
Todd Ballou & Gwen Foss
A musical feast, with a menu to match.

August 14, 2011

The Journey
Julie Brock

August 7, 2011

Sustainable Agriculture
Mary Lou Malone

July 31, 2011

Everyday Miracles
Kathleen Jacobs Johnson

July 24, 2011

From the Letter Box
Katherine Maurer

July 17, 2011

De Re Humanism
Robert Johnson

July 10, 2011

It's OK to Pray
Julie Brock

July 3, 2011

Choosing to be UU
Lencha Acker

June 26, 2011

A Parting Blessing
Reverend Bill Neely
Our planned year of Interim ministry comes to a close, meaning that it is time to say good-bye. On this, our final Sunday together, Rev. Neely will reflect on what he sees as the power and promise of First Church and offer his own blessing for our future.

June 19, 2011

Still Waiting for Freedom
Reverend Bill Neely
Juneteenth acknowledges former slaves in Texas being informed of their freedom more than two years after it was granted. Freedom is always to be celebrated, but more broadly, how is freedom still delayed for so many in this country? How can our faith be a more effective agent of freedom?

June 12, 2011

The Church of Love
Reverend Bill Neely
Love has been the commitment of our faith and this congregation since both began, and yet as times change both have periodically needed to reinvent themselves to remain prophetic. As the congregation considers major changes, we'll consider both the stability and creativity of the Love that guides us in caring for each other and transforming the world.

June 5, 2011

The Story of Ruth
Reverend Bill Neely and Katherine Maurer
Full of tenderness and struggle, the Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Scriptures beautifully speaks to the complexities of family, commitment, and community. Join Rev. Neely and Katherine Maurer for a re-telling of this traditional story.

May 29, 2011

Memories of Love
Reverend Bill Neely
On Memorial Day weekend, we'll honor those who died in battle as well as all of those who are gone but not forgotten in our lives. Join the First Church family for a service of memory, love, and peace.

May 22, 2011

Ayn Rand vs Altruism … the final showdown?
Robert Johnson

May 15, 2011

Down and Dirty in the D
Lencha Acker, Mary Lou Malone, and the Worship Committee
Wear your overalls and roll up your sleeves. It's time to join the sower and plant some seeds.

May 8, 2011

Heaven
Reverend Bill Neely
What did our ancient ancestors think of heaven and how did their thinking shift over time? Flying through thousands of years, we'll see heaven as the ancient ones did and consider how those images inform us today.

May 1, 2011

Stewardship
Julie Brock

April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday
Reverend Bill Neely
Unitarian Universalist Christians try to “worship God, and follow Jesus.” This classic sentiment of Unitarianism challenges us to model life after a prophet of tremendous justice, compassion, and service. Without needing to worship him, what would “following Jesus” look like today? How would it inform our political structures, our corporate entities, and our own unique lives?

April 17, 2011

A House of Spirit and Service
Reverend Bill Neely
Come celebrate the 95th Anniversary of the church’s life in its beautiful, current building. Special music, several reflections, and some thoughts about the future will center our gratitude for the church’s home for nearly a century. Stay after the service for a special potluck celebration.

April 10, 2011

Frontiers of Faith
Jeff Liebmann
We all travel unique religious paths. Some common landmarks exist -- points at which we achieve some measure of spiritual balance -- that many of us can identify in our journeys. Today we discuss one framework you can use to share the stories of your travels, and perhaps better understand your own odyssey.
    Jeff Liebmann is the Consulting Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Smithton, Pennsylvania. He is a recent graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School and received his preliminary fellowship in ministry in September.

April 3, 2011

April 3, 1968
Reverend Bill Neely
Martin Luther King Jr.’s life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968, one day after he delivered his famous “Mountaintop” speech in support of striking Sanitation workers in Memphis. This service will explore that speech using the thoughts of social commentators Michael Eric Dyson, bell hooks, and audio clips of Dr. King himself.

March 27, 2011

Spiritual Humanism
Reverend Bill Neely
Humanism is a central theology within Unitarian Universalism and is reflected deeply in our principles, polity, and religious witness. A new form of humanism, one that is more open, spiritual, and embracing, is emerging from our congregations and transforming the world. This sermon will explore why, and how, humanism is changing with the times.

March 20, 2011

A UU Gone Wrong
Reverend Bill Neely
In a sermon I delivered earlier this year, I mentioned that there is a fundamentalist strain within Unitarian Universalism that harms us and the world. Several of you found this surprising. This is what I meant …

March 13, 2011

Sacred Atheism
Reverend Bill Neely
The recent resurgence of fundamentalist Christianity in mainstream politics opened up space for renewed interest in atheism. Several vocal authors filled that space with angry atheistic books that sold well, but haven’t led to positive change. What does sacred atheism look like? How is it a valuable piece of Unitarian Universalism?

March 6, 2011

Progress and Process
Reverend Bill Neely
We’re over the half-way point of our year of Interim Ministry together, and it’s been wonderful and faith-filled time for me. It’s time for reflection on our accomplishments, strengths, and the work we’re still called to do, together.

February 27, 2011

Shabbat!
Reverend Shelley Page
    What is the meaning of Sabbath in our lives today? Discover more about this ancient practice and how it has the power to transform your life.
    Shelley is the Interim Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Flint, MI. She and Reverend Bill have become fast friends this year.

February 20, 2011

Disintegration
Reverend Bill Neely
The African American community is often portrayed as one body with common dreams, experiences, and leaders, but is there really a singular "Black America"? Eugene Robinson, in his book, Disintegration, defines four specific African American communities that represent, in his words, "the Splintering of Black America". If true, what are the implications for racial equality movements in America?

February 13, 2011

Love and Beloved
Reverend Bill Neely
Love is that which transforms even the harshest of realities into something bearable, and sometimes even enchanting. Using Toni Morrison's Beloved and some writings of Christopher Hedges, this service will celebrate the grace of love in a sinful world.

February 6, 2011

The Human Darwin
Reverend Bill Neely
Darwin has gained near rock star status in our faith as religious liberals have used his teachings of evolution to counter a surge in creationist political activity. No problem there, but have we moved past appreciation of scientific contributions to the deification of his life? How can the very human Darwin better inform our days?

January 30, 2011

Why Bother?
Reverend Steven Protzman
    The Hebrew prophet Joel wrote: "The Spirit will be poured out on all people; your sons and daughters shall prophesy; the old shall dream dreams, and the young shall see visions." Unitarian Universalism challenges us to be modern day prophets who will respond to the voice of the Spirt that calls us to wake up and live out our faith in the world.
    Steven is a UU minister who lives in Minneapolis and is a 2009 graduate of the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He was ordained last year and enjoys serving as a guest minister.

January 23, 2011

Why Anti-Racism has Failed
Reverend Bill Neely
In 1992, Unitarian Universalists attending our annual General Assembly passed a racial and cultural diversity resolution that eventually fueled the development of a UUA anti-racism program. After becoming familiar with the program, two prominent UU theologians predicted its failure. It now seems that they were more right than wrong. Why?

January 16, 2011

A Dream Deferred
Reverend Bill Neely
On Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, we’ll hold Dr. King’s famous dream of racial equality up next to the timeless Langston Hughes poem, A Dream Deferred. How has Dr. King’s dream, which is our dream, been deferred? How has it been realized?

January 9, 2011

True Colors
Julie Brock

January 2, 2011

Love Beyond Belief
Reverend Bill Neely
The Unitarian Universalist theologian Thandeka writes of a “love beyond belief” that pulses at the center of our faith. What does this love look like, and how does it shape us and the world?

December 26, 2010

Earth, Flesh, and Theology
Reverend Bill Neely

December 24, 2010
6:30 PM

The Weary World Rejoices
Reverend Bill Neely
Join the 1st Church family for our annual Christmas Eve service featuring carols, special music, and a UU Christmas message.

December 19, 2010

A Dark and Brilliant Faith
Reverend Bill Neely
Winter Solstice reminds us that life begins in the dark, ends with the dark, and yet the light of life still shines.

December 12, 2010

That Time I Saw God
Reverend Bill Neely
Some hints: it was at worship, not here, and no one looked like George Burns.

December 5, 2010

Lights of Hope
Reverend Bill Neely
A Hanukkah-themed reflection on community, resilience, and the lights that will not die.

November 28, 2010

Worth the Wait
Reverend Bill Neely
With today’ s beginning of Advent and the upcoming celebration of Bodhi Day on Dec. 8,
both Christians and Buddhists turn toward the spirituality of waiting at this time of the year. In such a fast-paced world where busyness defines many lives, how might the practice of waiting deepen and soothe us? What might be worth the wait?

November 21, 2010

Spider Woman
Reverend Bill Neely
The Native American story of Spider Woman weaves together themes of beauty, vocation, obsession, and love. As part of Native American Heritage Month, this service will reflect on this timeless and provocative tale.

November 14, 2010

Scarcity Thinking vs. Abundance Thinking
Jim Moir

November 7, 2010

The Transience and the Permanence of First Church
Reverend Bill Neely
Serving as your Interim Minister means that our ministry together is rooted in transition.
First Church today is unlike First Church yesterday, and probably First Church tomorrow, too. Amidst all this change, what abides about First Church’ s ministry in Detroit?

October 31, 2010

We Wear the Mask
Reverend Bill Neely
The title of a Paul Laurence Dunbar poem, “We wear the mask” speaks of the oppressed wearing masks of happiness and complacency to shield deep personal pain. More broadly, we all wear masks, every day, and they’re all shielding something. As the ghouls and goblins take over Halloween, we’ll explore some of the masks we most often wear and consider the common humanity underneath them.

October 24, 2010

The Question Box
Reverend Bill Neely
This is your chance to have the topic of your choosing receive the attention of the preacher from the pulpit during the Sunday service. Write down a question on a note card, submit it during the service, and in place of a sermon, Rev. Bill will read and respond to as many questions as possible. What are you wondering about - theology? Social Justice? My favorite flavor of pie? Write it down and see what happens! Questions can also be emailed to Rev. Bill ahead of the service.

October 17, 2010

How to Save the World
Reverend Bill Neely
Our faith and our consciences call us to work for justice and equality, but how we best do that often isn’t clear. Sometimes those on the same side of a movement spend more energy arguing strategy among each other than working toward the common goal. How do we work together to create the world of which we dream?

October 10, 2010

Money Matters
Reverend Bill Neely
As the First Church Board of Trustees begins a fall focus on congregational stewardship, we’ll explore generosity and giving from a spiritual perspective. How do our gifts reflect our deepest held values? How does our relationship with money change and form us?

October 3, 2010

Membership Matters
Reverend Bill Neely
Our faith stresses individual autonomy and personal freedom so much that we sometimes lose sight of the importance of formal church membership. What does membership in a congregation mean? How does membership change and form us?

September 26, 2010

Searching
Mary Lou Malone and Friends

September 19, 2010

Leading Spiritually
Reverend Bill Neely
Leading in churches, either professionally or as a volunteer, requires not simply leadership skills, but skills in spiritual leadership. How does one lead spiritually? How is spiritual leadership different from other types?

September 12, 2010

A Mosque in America
Reverend Bill Neely
The plan to build a mosque in New York City near the site of one of the 9-11 attacks has garnered considerable attention. What does this controversy say about the religious climate of America, and how can our faith help shape the discussion?

September 5, 2010

Many Rivers, One Water
Reverend Bill Neely
While taking many different forms, Water Communion is a common Unitarian Universalist ritual that honors the diversity and unity of our religious communities. For this service, all are encouraged to bring a small sample of water representative of your home or travels to merge in our common bowl. As many, and as one, we’ll join together in the spirit of our faith.

August 29, 2010

The Good News
Reverend Bill Neely
As we begin our year of transition ministry together, let's recall and envision the good news of our faith. What does First Church bring to life in Detroit? How is our faith a blessing in this world?

August 22, 2010

Come Sing a Song With Me
Todd Ballou, Gwen Foss

August 15, 2010

Appreciating Ambiguity
Cassandra Hartley

August 8, 2010

Expect Nothing, Live Frugally on Surprise
Kathleen Jacobs Johnson

August 1, 2010

Unitarian Universalism, What's It All About?
Robert Johnson, Katherine Maurer, Dan Secrest

July 25, 2010

Celebrating the Small Stuff
Julie Brock

July 18, 2010

Appreciate The Commons
Reverend Lynda Smith

July 11, 2010

Celebrating Uppity Women
Mary Lou Malone

July 4, 2010

Slender Threads: God's Will vs I Will
Brad Rutledge

June 27, 2010

Social Forum, UU's, & Connectivity
Robert Johnson, Linda Darga, and Danny Rebb

June 20, 2010

Who's Your Daddy?
Al Acker and Julie Brock

June 13, 2010

Another Threshold
Reverend Drew Johnston

June 6, 2010

Integrity, Hope, & Pride
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 30, 2010

The Beauty of Letting Go
Stephanie Chang, Dessa Cosma, Robert Johnson

May 23, 2010

Reclaiming Religion
Reverend Doug Gallager and Celia Thurston

May 16, 2010

To Tell the Truth
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 9, 2010

She Made Me
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 2, 2010

Point of Origin
Reverend Drew Johnston

April 25, 2010

Still In Orbit
Reverend Drew Johnston

April 18, 2010

Conundrum, Koan, Puzzle
Reverend Drew Johnston

April 11, 2010

The Question of Evil
Reverend Lynda Smith

April 4, 2010

Easter
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 28, 2010

Putting It In Order
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 21, 2010

To Be, . . . or not
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 14, 2010

An Examined Faith
Reverend Lynda Smith

March 7, 2010

Our Ancient Emotional Souls
Jim Moir

February 28, 2010

Greater Hope
Reverend Drew Johnston, with Robert Johnson

February 21, 2010

Public Transportation and Rosa Parks
Lee Gaddies and Dan Jones

February 14, 2010

Radical Hospitality
Written by Reverend Marilyn Sewell, Delivered by Mary Lou Malone

February 7, 2010

Labor of Love
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 31, 2010

Telling Church
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 24, 2010

Freefall
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 17, 2010

Ministers, Ministry, and Movin' On
Reverend Nana Kratochvil

January 10, 2010

It's Nothing Personal
Reverend Drew Johnston
(Congregational Meeting Following the Service)

January 3, 2010

Future Memories
Julie Brock and Robert Johnson

December 27, 2009

Embracing Change
Lencha Acker and Julie Brock

December 24, 2009
6:30 PM

Christmas Eve
Reverends Drew Johnston and Lynda Smith

December 20, 2009

A Winter Solstice
Rev. Lynda Smith

December 13, 2009

Surprise Packages
Rev. Drew Johnston

December 6, 2009

Becoming Who We Are
Rev. Lynda Smith and Dessa Cosma

November 29, 2009

Bringing Hope Where Hope is Hard to Find
Worship Committee

November 22, 2009

Deep Gratitude
Reverend Drew Johnston & Reverend Lynda Smith

November 15, 2009

Fire of Thought
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 8, 2009

Gratuitous Good
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 1, 2009

A Family of Saints
Reverend Lynda Smith

October 25, 2009

Where Fear Lurks
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 18, 2009

Sit Down and Stand Up
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 11, 2009

Coming Out, Coming Home
Reverend Lynda Smith

October 4, 2009

Life Stages
Reverend Drew Johnston

September 27, 2009

Indirectly
Reverend Drew Johnston
with special music by Roy Zimmerman.

September 20, 2009

Highly Holy
Reverend Drew Johnston

September 13, 2009

Boundary Water
Reverends Drew Johnston and Lynda Smith

September 6, 2009

Water Ceremony
Reverend Drew Johnston

August 30, 2009

Playful and Determined
Reverend Drew Johnston

August 23, 2009

The Cool Congregation
Alicia Biggers

August 16, 2009

Having Plenty
Reverend Drew Johnston

August 9, 2009

The Labyrinth
Reverend Lynda Smith & Friends

August 2, 2009

Darwin
Len Zettel

July 26, 2009

Do No Harm
Randy Block

July 19, 2009

Do No Harm
Mary Lou Malone

July 12, 2009

OMG! An Atheist Evolves
Jim Moir

July 5, 2009

Fearless Change
Brad Rutledge

June 28, 2009

Fear and Choice
Reverend Lynda Smith

June 21, 2009

Seeds of Freedom
Reverends Drew Johnston & Lynda Smith

June 14, 2009

Oh, The Places You'll Go
Reverend Drew Johnston

June 7, 2009

What Have You Done Lately?
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 31, 2009

Evolving
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 24, 2009

Honoring Memories
Reverend Lynda Smith & Members of the Congregation

May 17, 2009

Why You Matter
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 10, 2009

What Momma Said
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 3, 2009

A Question of Normal
Reverend Lynda Smith

April 26, 2009

Collaborative Justice
Reverend Drew Johnston

April 19, 2009

Gifts of Gender - Male, Female, and the Rest of Us
Reverend Drew Johnston

April 12, 2009

Easter
Reverends Drew Johnston and Lynda Smith

April 5, 2009

Justice in Action
Reverend Lynda Smith

March 29, 2009

Church: The Musical
Todd Ballou

March 22, 2009

Metaphors Be With You
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 15, 2009

March Freely
Reverend Lynda Smith

March 8, 2009

The Next Knot
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 1, 2009

Marching On
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 22, 2009

Loving the Night
Reverend Lynda Smith

February 15, 2009

Loving Anyway
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 8, 2009

Love and the Other
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 1, 2009

Love, Learn, Repeat
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 25, 2009

On a Clear Day
Reverend Lynda Smith

January 18, 2009

A New View
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 11, 2009

Bright Ideas
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 4, 2009

Matters of Fact
Reverend Drew Johnston

December 28, 2008

Celebrating Kwanzaa
An Act of Self-Empowerment for African Americans
Dr. Amorie Robinson

December 24, 2008
6:30 PM

Christmas Eve
Reverends Drew Johnston and Lynda Smith

December 21, 2008

Waiting for Love
Reverend Drew Johnston

December 14, 2008

Waiting for Kindness
Reverend Lynda Smith

December 7, 2008

Waiting for Truth
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 30, 2008

Comfort Food, Comfort Faith
Jim Moir

November 23, 2008

To Receive is to Give
Reverend Lynda Smith

November 16, 2008

Ready for Grace
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 9, 2008

New Prospects
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 2, 2008

Matters of Consequence
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 26, 2008

An Agent for Change
Guest Speaker: Dr James Robinson
with Reverend Drew Johnston

October 19, 2008

Our Liberal Tradition
Reverend Lynda Smith
Our enduring legacy has both religious and cultural lessons. From the great theologian, James Luther Adams, till today, liberalism affirms basic values of democracy.

October 12, 2008

What Could Be Better?
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 5, 2008

Ultimate Value
Reverend Drew Johnston

September 28, 2008

Gratitude: for the beautiful and the difficult.
Reverend Lynda Smith

September 21, 2008

Transcending Faith
Reverend Drew Johnston

September 14, 2008

New Rhythm
Reverend Drew Johnston

September 7, 2008

Next Steps
Reverend Drew Johnston

August 31, 2008

Mingling Waters
Reverend Drew Johnston

August 24, 2008

Age is Not A Disease
Averil Spence-Clarke, Windsor UU Church
We react to aging, perceive it as a loss of central core skills and thought patterning in our lives. What if we change how we think about aging and life? What would be the impacts?

August 17, 2008

Water Ceremony
Wherever You Go

August 10, 2008

Environmental Justice in Southeast Michigan
Reverend Lynda Smith
Global warming, sustainability, urban agriculture, buy local--the issues are compelling and contentious. Environmental justice calls for public policy that promotes environmentally safe livelihoods and neighborhoods for all people. It demands an economic and cultural liberation that will change us all.

August 3, 2008

Justice in the Middle East
Sarah Smith-Redmond
She reports on her trip last fall, with 9 other U.U.s, to Israel/Palestine to observe first-hand.

July 30, 2008

Candlelight Vigil in Solidarity with Knoxville UU Church
Rev. Drew Johnston
A candlelight vigil was held at 7pm on Wednesday, July 30, at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit in solidarity with a community near Knoxville, Tenn. that was violently attacked in an apparent anti-gay shooting. The gunman opened fire during a youth service at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in part, police said, because he opposed the church's gay-friendly stance. FBI officials are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

July 27, 2008

Say Nice!
S'eri U'elz
"Love thy neighbor as thyself,” a check-up and tips on how to do both better for a better community.

July 20, 2008

The Gospel of Thomas
Jim Moir
The Gospel of Thomas was unearthed in 1945 near Cairo. It is not a narrative like the established gospels; rather, it is a collection of sayings and quotations attributed to Jesus. There is controversy about the age and the reliability of this gospel, issues which Jim Moir will address. This book reinforced Jim's interest in the life and teachings of Jesus. He hopes to show how Thomas can give us a new perspective on Christian scriptures.

July 13, 2008

Enoch: The Green Prophet of the Abrahamic Religions and Vegetarianism
Felice Rizzo

July 6, 2008

Spiritual Politics
Reverend Olaf Lidums

June 29, 2008

Wired but Not Connected
Brad Rutledge
"Geeks" welcome. Is communication technology increasing or decreasing the distance between us?.

June 22, 2008

Juneteenth
Reverend Drew Johnston, with Dr. James Robinson
With the theme "Never Give Up" on ourselves and in working to build a more just society, we consider Julius Waites Waring (1880-1968) who was a distinguished American lawyer and jurist who played an important role in the early legal battles of the American Civil Rights Movement.

June 15, 2008

Father Knows What?
Reverend Drew Johnston

June 8, 2008

Wile E. Coyote, My Minor Deity
In describing Wile E.'s divine qualities, I will show why coyotes in nature are such attractive models as spiritual beings
Jim Moir
Jim has completed three years at Meadville Lombard Theological School and is preparing for his internship in UU ministry. He is a lifelong UU who attended 1st Unitarian in Detroit as a child. Jim recently lost his wife Robin to cancer. He is working as a Youth Librarian in Dearborn Heights until he can resume his education.

June 1, 2008

Embracing Change
Reverend Lynda Smith
Change is a process that does not depend on luck or willpower. Understanding the stages of change can help you make positive changes in your life.

May 25, 2008

The Challenge of Democracy
A Panel of Speakers

May 18, 2008

Life Tidings
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 11, 2008

Everyone's Mother Love
Reverend Drew Johnston

May 4, 2008

The Struggle for Peace and Social Justice in an Era of War and Inequality
Abayomi Azikiwe

April 27, 2008

A UU Community Ministry
Reverend Lynda Smith

April 20, 2008

Pray Without Apology
Reverend Drew Johnston

April 13, 2008

Being Useful
Reverend Drew Johnston

April 6, 2008

The Question of Race
Reverend Harold Beu

March 30, 2008

For Dear Life
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 23, 2008

Everday Ascension
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 16, 2008

On Healing Our isms
Reverend Olaf Lidums

March 9, 2008

Creativity: Living the Dream of the Universe
Brad Rutledge

March 2, 2008

Getting Close
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 24, 2008

Compassion
Reverend Lynda Smith

February 17, 2008

Loving Wildly
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 10, 2008

Return to Love
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 3, 2008

Loving Courageously
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 27, 2008

Greater Hope
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 20, 2008

Dreaming a World
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 13, 2008

Ever/Never New
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 6, 2008

We're All in the Same Boat
Bill Secrest -- Professor of World Religion, Environmentalist

December 30, 2007

KWANZAA -- Unity in Community
Dr. James Robinson

December 24, 2007-- 6:00 PM

Christmas Eve
Reverend Drew Johnston

December 23, 2007

The Pause that Refreshes
Reverend Drew Johnston

December 16, 2007

Faith, Hope, & Love
Reverend Drew Johnston

December 9, 2007

Waiting and Faith
Reverend Drew Johnston

December 2, 2007

Waiting and Hope
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 25, 2007

To Be in Balance
Reverend Lynda Smith

November 18, 2007

To Be Grateful
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 11, 2007

To Be of Use
Reverend Drew Johnston

November 4, 2007

To Be Proud
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 28, 2007

Enough
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 21, 2007

Dismantling Fear
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 14, 2007

Somewhere Out Here
Reverend Drew Johnston

October 7, 2007

From Repression to Freedom: One Woman’s Journey
Cynthia Khan

September 30, 2007

Dawn of the Space Age
Reverend Drew Johnston with Len Zettel

September 23, 2007

Radiating Kindness
Reverend Drew Johnston

September 16, 2007

Being and Relatedness
Reverend Drew Johnston
We will explore Transcendentalism, the over-soul, and similar Emersonian ideas - and apply them to the ways we are in relationship, using a metaphor of islands.

September 9, 2007 We Have a Plan
Reverend Drew Johnston
Reverend Lynda Smith
Reverend Athena Kolbe

Return to 11:00 AM start time
September 2, 2007

Water Ceremony -- Reverend Drew Johnston
Worshipful Music -- Michael Krieger

Last Summer Service

August 26, 2007

Notes from Eagle Lake
Reverend Drew Johnston

August 19, 2007

Dialogue About Justice -- Call to Action
Randy Block, Michigan UU Social Justice Network

August 12, 2007

If I Dream Alone
Michael Ohlrogge

August 5, 2007

On Prophetic Consciousness
Reverend Olaf Lidums
What is this distinctive mode of thinking?
What are the key grounding and foundational components?
What are the implications for how one relates to the current cultural scene?
W
hat are some challenging existential, emotional and spiritual dynamics?
What are the hoped for outcomes and effects for our human community?

July 29, 2007

A Declaration of Religious Freedom
Reverend Larry Hutchison, Minister Emeritus
Freeing us from Metaphysical Dogmatism
Freeing us to love life and care for others
Freeing Religion for dialogue

July 22, 2007 Spirituality and Consciousness
Reverend Olaf Lidums
Consciousness isa wonderfully complex, mystical, and distinctive capacity, which is far-reaching for human beings. There are levels of consciousness, and different types, such as sense-based processing, memories and images, abstract reasoning, intuitions ("6th sense"), and the capacity for a "7th sense" - spirituality.
July 15, 2007

The Power of Imagination
Reverend Olaf Lidums
"Philosophy stirs the intellect; religion stirs imagination." [James Cone]
Imagination is fundamental to our human capacity to be creative, to project possibilities, to dream dreams, and to dare to venture forth, as Star Trek says, "where no human has gone before." In terms of personality development, the fostering of the child's imaginative capacity is fundamental to solid socialization, because imagination is the precursor of empathy and compassion
.

July 8, 2007

Unitarian Universalist Buddhism: Relevant in This Moment
Rev. Lynda Channa Smith,
UU minister and Buddhist teacher ordained in the Zen tradition
Pacifism as a process and as a deep value will be explored. Comparing the Buddhist precepts with our UU principles, the sermon will propose similarities and differences between UU religious beliefs and Buddhist teachings.

July 1, 2007

Unitarian Universalist Buddhism: A Historic Meeting
Rev. Lynda Channa Smith,
UU minister and Buddhist teacher ordained in the Zen tradition
The shared history of our UU religious tradition and the teachings of Buddhism will be highlighted. What makes us different and keeps us separate and what connects us? What is the larger context of the meeting of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions?

June 24, 2007

Lebanon-A Multi-Cultural Country
Rima Abou Mrad, Rotary International Student from Lebanon
First Summer Service -- 10:00 AM.

June 17, 2007

Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration
Dr. James Robinson
Potluck Picnic on the Church Grounds Following the Service

June 10, 2007

Leap Forward into Mystery
Reverend Drew Johnston, Reverend Lynda Smith

June 3, 2007

Staring Back ~Reverend Laurie Thomas

May 27, 2007

New and Old Remembering ~Reverend Drew Johnston

May 20, 2007

What DO UU's Believe? ~Randy Magner
Intergenerational

May 13, 2007

Universal Mothers ~Reverend Drew Johnston

May 6, 2007

From Many Sources ~Reverend Drew Johnston
On Universalism

April 29, 2007

Out of the Waste Land ~Reverend Drew Johnston

April 22, 2007

Embracing Life - Fully, Deeply, Richly ~Reverend Olaf Lidums
Life within the framework of Earth-Human Community.

April 15, 2007

A Radical Yes! ~Reverend Drew Johnson
We have the chance to say yes or no to various parts of life and our answers can come from outside influences or a deeper, personal place. How can we risk a radical "Yes"?
Potluck Sunday

April 8, 2007

Rising Hope ~Reverend Drew Johnston
While we explore the meanings of Easter, we will be joined by the Singers of United Lands. Four professional singers from four different continents join us for the purpose of developing international and cultural relationships.
Easter breakfast at 9:00

April 1, 2007

Queer Thinking ~Reverend Drew Johnston
One of the opportunities (and obligations) offered by a non-dogmatic religion is the expectation that we are interested in thinking "outside the box." Cultural norms limit our thinking and we might benefit from understanding where these norms originate. Both queer theory and gender theory can aid our understanding.

March 25, 2007

The Once and Future Church ~Reverend Drew Johnston
Program of Russian Music ~Todd Ballou
Meeting After Church to Discuss Appreciative Inquiry Results

March 18, 2007

UUs as Truth Speakers to the Religious Right
Michael Whitty, Professor of International Management at the University of
Detroit Mercy College of Business Administration
Potluck Sunday

March 11, 2007

You Catch What You Catch
There are expectations in life and there are inevitabilities. Sometimes we confuse the two.
Reverend Drew Johnston

March 4, 2007

Responsibilities of Privilege
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 25, 2007

Love and the Soul
So much gets in the way of reaching the thing called soul! How do we allow ourselves to perceive the essence of our selves and each other? Is our soul really ours, or part of something larger?
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 18, 2007

Sticking with Love
It's not just about candy.
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 11, 2007

Love in Bloom--
What are the roots of love and how do they thrive? As Valentine’s Day approaches we will look deeper than gifts and candy for the origin of love.
Reverend Drew Johnston

February 4, 2007

Another World is Possible--
A Report from the 2007 World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya

Frank Joyce

January 28, 2007

How We Speak.
Reverend Drew Johnston

January 21, 2007

Dream Big.
Can we find a collective, collaborative dream for this congregation?

Reverend Drew Johnston

January 14, 2007

Thoughts on Morality and Justice
inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reverend Drew Johnston

January 7, 2007

Five Christianities
Reverend John Weston
Unitarian Universalist Association
Discussion of Ministerial Search Process Following Service

December 31, 2006

Transitions
Reverend Olaf Lidums

December 24, 2006 -- 6:00 PM Reflections on the Season
Reverend Lynda Smith
December 17, 2006

We're All in This Together
Reverend Drew Johnston
Our Full Time Minister effective January 2007

December 10, 2006 American Culture and Post-Apocalyptic Thinking
Dr. Charles Mabee
Ecumenical Theological Seminary
December 3, 2006 Community of Life
Dr. Linda Schweitzer
Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences
Oakland University
November 26, 2006 Healing Systemic Dynamics -- Features of Positive Change
Dr. Olaf Lidums
Adjunct Professor, Ecumenical Theological Seminary
November 19, 2006 Healing Relational Dynamics -- Reconciliation
Dr. Olaf Lidums
Adjunct Professor, Ecumenical Theological Seminary
November 12, 2006 Healing Internal Dynamics -- Emotional Healing
Dr. Olaf Lidums
Adjunct Professor, Ecumenical Theological Seminary
November 5, 2006

Frank Joyce
Michigan Coalition for Human Rights

Affirmative Action Revisited

Plus

Lencha Acker
El Dia de Los Muertos

October 29, 2006

Rev. Harold Beu
Emerson UU Congregation of Troy
On Patriotism

October 22, 2006

Rev. Dr. Olaf Lidums
Adjunct Professor, Ecumenical Theological Seminary

On Our Earth-Human Community

October 15, 2006

Rev. Dan Krichbaum
CEO National Conference for Community and Justice

Forgiveness... the Greatest Gift

Potluck Sunday

October 8, 2006

Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher of the DuPage UU Church In Naperville, IL

Alex Darr, Outreach Minister for the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco

The End of the Homeless Problem

October 8, 2006 (4:00 PM) Ordination of Rev. Lynda Smith
October 1, 2006 Religion in the United States, the Case for Bypass Surgery
Reverend Larry Hutchison, Minister Emeritus
September 24, 2006 A Sermon on Things on Things I Don't Really Know About
Michael Ohlrogge, UU Minister in Training (extraordinaire)
September 17, 2006 “The Wisdom of Dr. Seuss”
Randy Magner, Emerson Church
September 10, 2006 “Homecoming Water Ceremony”
Lynda Smith
September 3, 2006 “Labor Day Song Fest”
David Robinson & Jonathan Schultz
August 27, 2006 “Holy Conversations”
Lencha Acker
August 20, 2006 Congregational Meeting
August 13, 2006 “Walking the Talk”
Rev. Lynda Smith
August 6, 2006 Rev. Hanna Wells – Guest Speaker
July 30, 2006 “Interfaith Conversations”
Rev. Daniel Krichbaum
National Conference Community & Justice
July 23, 2006 Michael Ohlrogge
July 16, 2006 “Intelligent Design”
Dr. Linda Darga
July 9, 2006 Future Facilities Task Force
Congregational Meeting following the service
July 2, 2006 Michael Ohlrogge

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