What do You Think the Bible Is?

Our UU faith tradition was grounded in Christianity. As such, the Bible and its many interpretations have largely shaped UU history.  Yet, for many of us the Bible is a strange, largely unknown book that we rarely, if ever, open. Yet, English authors over the centuries have presumed that their readers were Biblically literate. In […]

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Are You Awake?

This talk is not an examination of anyone’s sleeping habits.  Nor am I concerned whether or not some of us occasionally doze off at UU.  Rather, we will consider whether our lives “bring us to the point where we become part of creation rather than merely observers of it.”  The Benedictine abbess, Joan Chittister, an […]

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Back to our Future

Can we possibly glimpse a desired future by recalling the past? Has the environmental movement in the United States failed?  A noted authority thinks so. Do we understand that “Nature is no conservationist?” What legacy might we wish to leave for our descendants? Dick Smythe is an entomologist retired from the research division of the […]

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What Kind of Creature Are We?

This question has been asked and debated for thousands of years. When I first talked at UU on October 30, 2011 my topic was “Our World of Wonder.” I suggested then that an appropriate human response to the fact that we exist at all would be an attitude of wonder, awe, gratitude, and humility. This […]

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Messages from Mystics

Upon seeing this title some of you may be thinking, “Are you putting us on? This is 2015 and we are a UU Fellowship, not a monastery or convent.  You can’t be serious…are you?”  I am serious. Maybe, just maybe, we might be both surprised and reminded of a few worthwhile thoughts and practices. Dick […]

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Forgiveness (95) And Judgment (646)

Most of us would probably agree that forgiveness is almost always a good quality and judgment of others is often ill-advised.  And yet, don’t many of us struggle at times with both behaviors?  I know I do.  We will review two real-life stories illustrating almost unbelievable examples of forgiveness and non-judgment.  Then we will end […]

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Three (Plus 1) Views Of God And Religion

By some measures the USA is the world’s most religious country. Yet, Americans are the least religious now than they have ever been. We will briefly examine the views of three exceptional people – a famous preacher, a famous scientist, and a highly regarded physicist turned Anglican priest. We will conclude with a brief story […]

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Our Invisible Minority

Who are these people? They comprise less than 1% of our population. Their average annual income is less than one-half the poverty level. Male life expectancy is 44 years. Female life expectancy is 47 years. What might they teach us? What might we learn about ourselves if we knew them better? Dick Smythe is an […]

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