Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in Western Civilization for more than 2000 years. It’s a fact we sometimes forget in our liberal religious tradition. Many of you do not consider yourselves Christian. It is not a term you would use to describe your personal religious view. Some of you grew up in […]

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A Special Thanksgiving Production

“A Thanksgiving Visitor” by Truman Capote presented in a reader’s theater format Adapted by our own Joan Mead and assisted by Cyndy Stiehl, we learn about an 8-year-old Alabama boy in 1933, his best friend, and his bully. Join our local actors for this touching and inspiring presentation.

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Things I Thought You Knew

This is a short, miscellaneous collection of things Joan thought everybody knew. She recently learned that not everybody does not know them–she but thinks they should. Included in this miscellaneous collection; How to Solve a Problem and How We Die. Rev. Joan Shiels has been bringing messages to the UUFDC for 16 years. The focus […]

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The Holy Longing

I wish to focus on what I believe is the most fundamental essence of who we are and how we navigate this world. One of the most influential books about this question of what is driving me and you, what makes church appealing is Ronald Rolheiser’s book, The Holy Longing, published in 1999. Rolheiser is […]

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Remembering Forward

Halfway between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, when the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween appear on our doorsteps, is a time regarded in many cultures as one when the veils between this world and the next are thin or even lifted. We will mark the occasion, known variously as All Souls or All […]

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Dwelling on the Border

With so much focus on immigration today, what might we learn from the efforts of many today to secure and lock down our borders? What happens in that lock down, on our physical borders or the borders of difference and identity? Who gets locked in and who is locked out? And who holds the keys? […]

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Prayer and Poetry

My title does it, but why do I put poetry and prayer together? Are they similar? How so? Very good questions. And by the way, can you define what poetry is, or what a poem is? Or for that matter, what constitutes a prayer? We all think we can recognize them when we see them, […]

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Whom Do We Really Know?

How many people do you really know? Do you agree with Joan Chittister? Who has written, “…We are becoming a world of cardboard figures, entombed in technology, living in hermetically sealed personal planets. We don’t really know anybody anymore, and nobody really knows us.” We will take a close look at a world famous individual […]

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The Wisconsin Idea

When moving to Wisconsin in 1970, we were required to take a course in Wisconsin history to sustain teaching certification. I learned then what the Wisconsin Idea was all about. In recent state history, the concept has taken on challenges by changes in state government, but remains intact. I have been surprised more than once […]

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The Gifts of Imperfection

Perfection is the preoccupation of millions of Americans. The quest for perfection is a widespread and feverish affair in a consumer society. We are all flawed, designed with handicaps. Often it is our infirmities and imperfections that are our greatest gifts. If Jesus actually said: Be Ye perfect, he was having an off day. Phil […]

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