Growing in Faith

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The First Smooth Stone

The First Smooth Stone

December 13, 2009 sermon

Today is Bring a Friend Sunday. Some of you are here this morning out of curiosity. Some of you, hopefully, are here because you have seen the fruit of this life-affirming faith in a friend or neighbor and want to get some of  it for yourself. I want to let you in on a little secret. For even the most dedicated of Unitarian Universalists, the hardest part of sharing our faith is  figuring out what to say.

This is just a darn hard religion to explain. First of all, most major religions have a creedal statement that is somewhat self explanatory. Read more »

The Great Task Remaining

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“The Great Task Remaining”

November 15, 2009 sermon by Rev Roberta Finkelstein

In the fall of 1969 I began my freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. What a year it was! Opposition to the Vietnam war reached fever pitch with the invasion of Cambodia and the bombing of Laos, Kent State and Jackson State . . . The year began in my girls dorm with parietal rules still in effect – including the infamous ‘3 feet on the floor’ rule. By spring, the campus, along with much of the country, was in chaos. Years later by room-mate and I would reminisce; we agreed that there couldn’t have been a more challenging year for two naïve and confused teen-age girls to be living away from home for the first time.

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Sharing Life with Intention: Facing Challenges, Embracing Purpose

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Your Mission, Should You Chooose to Accept It

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Your Mission, Should You Chooose to Accept It
November 1 sermon by Rev. Roberta Finkelstein

“Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” Those words, from the Gathering Call back in August, capture the essence of the question before you in this in-between year. They were the first words I heard and sang with you when we began our year of interim ministry together; a year that is already one-quarter finished. Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? In order to thrive, or even just to survive, you will need to know the answers to those questions, the bid idea questions.

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The Jonah Complex: Why Should I Be Involved?

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Building the World We Dream About… Together

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“Building the World We Dream About . . . Together” by Rev. Roberta Finkelstein

In 1648 the Puritans of Massachusetts wrote The Cambridge Platform, a document designed to settle differences among the local congregations in the New World.  This document established the principle of congregationalism, the belief that the best and most biblically faithful form of church governance recognizes the sovereignty and importance of the local congregation. It also reaffirmed the importance of the relationship between local congregations. UU historian Conrad Wright, in his book Walking Together, pointed out that “congregationalism meant, and should still mean, not the autonomy of the local church, but the community of autonomous churches.”

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On Turning: The Spiritual Discipline of the High Holy Days

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“On Turning: The Spiritual Discipline of the High Holy Days” by Rev. Roberta Finkelstein

October 4, 2009

The Days of Awe have just ended. Those are the days in the Jewish liturgical calendar book-marked by Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, marks the day when the scrolls of fate roll open before God. On the scrolls Yahweh finds every life as it has been written by every individual – choices made, words said and unsaid, deeds done and left undone. The rabbis tell us that God reads every entry and passes judgment on everybody for the year to come.

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We’re on a Mission – Setting Priorities for Our Future

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Sacred Promises

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“Sacred Promises: A sermon” by Rev. Roberta 9/20/2009

On September 14,1974 a couple of 22 year olds walked into a Justice of the Peace in upstate New York and got married. It was very low key; just us and our parents and my somewhat confused grandmother and my brother. We didn’t want an elaborate ceremony and we held the reception in a nearby park.

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