Is UU The True American Religion?

With an emphasis on reason, personal responsibility, equality, democracy and autonomy, Unitarian Universalism might be the religion that is closest to the American ideal. A meditation on faith in America. The Rev. Joan Shiels has graduate degrees in Religion, Theology and Divinity. She is also deeply interested in the American experiment and the spiritual context […]

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Robert Green Ingersoll, although little remembered today, was the foremost orator and political speech-maker of late 19th century America.  He was a controversial figure, but very prominent and highly regarded, even amongst those who disagreed with him.  He crisscrossed the country and spoke before packed houses on topics ranging from Shakespeare to Thomas Paine, from […]

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Was Jesus A Unitarian?

The Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor wrote that “our past is sedimented in our present, and we are doomed to misidentify ourselves, as long as we can’t do justice to where we come from.” In that light, there is no escaping our UU past: we came out of liberal Christianity. So figuring out where we stand […]

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How to be Happy (Part II)

A Chinese proverb says “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.” This is Part Two of a message about what the world’s wisdom traditions say about how to be happy. Joan Shiels is a long-time friend, and frequent speaker […]

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How to be Happy (Part I)

The goal of philosophical inquiry is to find Truth. The goal of spiritual inquiry is to find Peace. A peaceful heart makes for a happy person. A short, and quirky, look at what the great wisdom traditions tell us is required to be happy. (Part II follows next Sunday.) Joan Shiels is a long-time friend, […]

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“I look at this life as a puzzle without all the pieces in the box.” — Jonathan Anthony Burkett Thirteen UUFDC Members and Friends in their 60s, 70s, and 80s recently gathered to discuss how our lives were shaped by the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1970s.  We talked and listened and pondered how our individual lives unfolded amidst a cultural shift […]

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Angels Who Have Forgotten

About his sermon, Tony says: “Not long ago I came upon an article by someone who almost died in a hospital but who, through the help of friends who came to visit, pulled through. She came to feel that each gesture they made for her was almost miraculous. But she also knew that they didn’t […]

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Are You Feeling Lucky?

Some people are described as lucky and seem to get all the breaks. Others seem destined for tragedy, and if something can go wrong, it usually does. What is luck? And how much of it (if any) is within our control? Rev. Dr. Tony Larsen has been pastor of Olympia Brown UU Church in Racine […]

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Facing Up to the Millennials

It is the function of the young to question existing norms and values. It is the function of the elders to stand up for values and customs which have proven to be reliable through the centuries. We elders capitulate too easily. It is through the struggle between old and young, left and right, that we […]

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Freedom vs. Obligation

Freedom is a cherished ideal in our country and in our Unitarian Universalist movement. Our fourth principle promotes the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and we can easily see the value in freedom but often look sidelong at the idea of obligation. To whom and what are we obligated in our covenantal communities? […]

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