Actually, This IS Who We Are

October 14, 2018

by Reverend Peter Newport and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

Loss of identity, not knowing who you are, is part of white supremacy culture—for white people, anyway. A personal look, this morning, from where one white person came from; some of the confusions that arose along the way; and the story of John Wampus.

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Maybe. Maybe Not

October 7, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Michael Miller

Worship Associate

Churches often highlight growth as part of their vision— when things are going well, and when they're not. How does growth actually happen in a congregation, and why does it stall? What is the connection between money and growth? Observations about opportunities and obstacles before West Shore UU Church in this pivotal chapter of its history. The Free Spirit Band will play!

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Beyond Categorical Thinking: The Van Gogh Café

September 30, 2018

by ReverendKeith Kron

UUA Transitions Director

Living our Unitarian Universalist values isn't always as easy as we would like it to be. Often what we strive for is not what actually happens. How can we improve the odds that we will lead with our best values inside and outside our congregation? This sermon will explore these issues as they pertain to your next minister.

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A Covenantal Faith

September 23, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

In Unitarian Universalism, everything important is rooted in the covenant that members make with one another. Everyone is free to believe and practice their own faith—but even in that freedom, there is the mutual commitment to a vision and way of being together. (How does that work?)

 

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Look Carefully

September 16, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

In this creedless faith, we need to know what lessons we can teach our children that might serve as their moral or spiritual grounding in life. How does teaching others help us learn about ourselves? Everyone is invited to help launch a new year of Religious Education for children, youth, and teachers.

 

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Ingathering

September 9, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

A new church year begins with a multigenerational celebration of all that is West Shore now, and everything it may be in years to come. The service will include a story told by the members of the Board of Trustees, with a glimpse of the challenges and opportunities of this important time. Remember to bring a small amount of water from a special place in your life for Water Communion. Children (1st grade and older) and youth are invited to stay for the entire service. The Free Spirit Band will play, and the Choir will sing!

 

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The War on Poverty and Worker Justice 2018

September 2, 2018

by Reverend Chris Long and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

 

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What Does It Mean To Call a Minister?

August 26, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart with

The Ministerial Search Committee and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

West Shore has begun the search for the next Senior Minister who will be “called” to serve this church. How does that search happen, and what (who) is it for? What's the tradition and theology behind this long involved process? How is it changing in our time? How will West Shore approach this process? And, how can you get involved? Bring your questions and thoughts as Rev. Tricia and the Search Committee reflect together.

 

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Keeping It Real

August 19, 2018

by Reverend Peter Newport and

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

Kids don't struggle the same way adults do with fantasy and reality. The idea that things might be "all too real" is an adult one. We have learned to be afraid of our nightmares. What do we do with that knowledge is the everyday work of our everyday lives.

 

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History and Mystery

August 17, 2018

by Barbara Walker and

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

 

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On Being a Foreigner

August 12, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Martha Boesel

Worship Associate

Nations create borders to separate “our people” from everybody else. Wars and political alliances move borders, people uproot their lives to move to a different part of the world… and suddenly who “we” are isn’t so clear. Moral and spiritual reflections on the power of crossing borders, and growing minds and hearts.

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Lammas—First Harvest

August 5, 2018

by Dana Morgan and

 

Gerry Meader

Worship Associates

As the harvest season comes upon us, what seeds have you planted (started) in the spring? What projects have you tended through the summer? What fruits of love, joy, commitment do you harvest in this season? Best news of all, we still have time to plant for a second harvest, so think on what fruits of the spirit and community you would like to consider for your second planting.

 

 

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Small

July 29, 2018

by Warren Campbell-Gaston with

Martha Boesel

Worship Associates

 

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How Can We Show Hospitality as UUs?

July 22, 2018

by Worship Associates

Maura Garin and Marty Blachy-Cross

 

Being hospitable as a congregation might take on different forms from the traditional view of what hospitality is. In today's world, what does hospitality look like: from our own congregation to how we relate to others in the global sense?

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Meaning and Morality from an Agnostic Perspective

July 15, 2018

by Martha Boesel and Gerry Meader

Worship Associates

If life’s meaning isn’t dictated by God, then what is it? If our moral code isn’t carved in stone or engraved on our hearts by God, then where do we find it? Those questions are gently explored from an atheist/agnostic perspective.

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Lessons From Different Homes

July 8, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

Every one of us starts out in a particular home and family that teaches us what life is and how people behave; who is powerful, and who is not. When we move—because of school, work, necessity or opportunity—our lessons about life change, too. Rev. Tricia will reflect on what the churches and places she has served have taught her about being a Unitarian Universalist.

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Secrets and Elephants

July 1, 2018

by Reverend Dave Clements and

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

Secrets can be defined as those experiences, thoughts, sometimes feelings that we choose to keep from view or to talk about. There are some secrets that by their very nature contain information whose authorized disclosure could endanger lives or security. But then there are secrets that become “elephants in the room.” These can be questions, problems, solutions or issues that many people choose to ignore because to do otherwise could cause embarrassment, sadness or even trigger an argument. What happens when secrets become elephants in the room?

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Not Sure

June 29, 2018
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General Assembly 2018

June 24, 2018

by Reverend Susan Frederick Gray

UUA President

We will be bringing the heart of General Assembly to Rocky River this year, through live-streaming the largest Unitarian Universalist worship service of the year as it is happening in Kansas City. You won’t want to miss this experience of worshipping and singing “with” 5,000 other Unitarian Universalists from around the country and the world.

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Welcome Kiya Heartwood

June 17, 2018

by Special Guest Worship Leader Kiya Heartwood and

Martha Boesel

Worship Associate

Award-winning roots rock and folk singer-songwriter Kiya Heartwood is stopping by West Shore on her East Coast Tour of UU churches and house concerts, before performing at General Assembly in Kansas City. Kiya is the Artistic Director of the People's Orchestra of Austin, TX. The UK's Broadway Baby describes her as "an award-winning American singer-songwriter who writes smart, funny and poignant songs about the famous and not so famous legends of America." Kiya's music serves up a lively batch of original songs that follow two of the oldest traditions of folk music—storytelling and political broadside.

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Crossing the Threshold

June 10, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

In this season of graduation and commencement, we will reflect on the significance of moving from one chapter of life to the next—known, and unknown. When have you crossed a threshold in your life? What transitions are you facing now? We will celebrate the “bridging” of West Shore’s graduates from high school into young adulthood.

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The Blessing of Knowing Who You Are

June 3, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Worship Associate

PRIDE SUNDAY Unitarian Universalism’s third principle calls us to accept one another (as we are) and encourage one another to grow (into what we might become). Sounds simple—and of course, it’s not easy. Come celebrate with West Shore today: as we welcome new members, share Flower Communion, and learn what Pride can teach us all.

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Of Grief and Imagination

May 27, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

On this Memorial Day Sunday, some reflections on the power of ritually remembering those who died in war— remembering individually, remembering as families, and especially remembering as a community. What does Memorial Day ask of us? Is it possible to imagine a world without war?

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Missa Gaia Earth Mass

May 20, 2018

 

West Shore Choir David Blazer, Director of Music Join us for this year’s final installment of the B. Neil Davis Artist Series, as the West Shore Choir presents Missa Gaia (A Mass in Celebration of Mother Earth) released by Paul Winter in 1982. It is an environmental liturgy of contemporary music. The Mass features the instrumentation of the Paul Winter Consort along with choir, vocal soloists, and the calls of wolves, whales and many other animals that are woven into the pieces. Joining David Blazer with the instrumental accompaniment will be Jon Eager (Soprano Sax), Marty Neubert (Oboe/English horn), Derek Snyder (Cello), Brian Kozak (Guitar), Dan Shell (Bass), Mell Csicsila and Evan Mitchell (Percussion).

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Habits of Love

May 13, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

What actually happens when one person cares for another? “Mothering” changes lives—of growing children, of caregivers and those around them. Not to mention how it changes the world! Honoring Mother’s Day beyond greeting cards and brunch.

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Choices

May 6, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Christine Salontay

Worship Associate

Today—as the 2018 Stewardship Campaign ends and the Ministerial Search begins—the focus will be on the choices before West Shore in this extraordinary moment. How will this church bring more beauty, kindness, joy and affirmation into the world? After the service, please stay for the brief Special Congregational Meeting to elect the Ministerial Search Committee, followed at noon by an important program on West Shore’s finances: “Our Money and Our Values.” All members and friends are welcome to attend both programs.

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Home

April 29, 2018

by Youth Group

Worship Leaders Home is the base where everything begins. The youth will share their stories of what home means to them. How does home offer safety and support during times of trouble? Can home be more than your family?

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Creator’s Workshop

April 22, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Martha Blanchly-Cross

Worship Associate

We will celebrate Earth Day with a charming and thought-provoking story service about this beautiful and fragile planet, and the role that human beings play in the great drama of life.

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Home. Community. Justice

April 15, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Martha Boesel

Worship Associate

What do you love about West Shore? What are your wishes for its future, as the congregation gets ready to move into a new chapter, with a new minister? What are the two or three most important aspects of this church you believe must guide West Shore’s vision of its future? As STEWARDSHIP 2018 moves into full swing, come to church for an interactive service that celebrates all things West Shore. Watch Enews for more details about this fun day!

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Passion That Transcends

April 8, 2018

by Reverend Chris Long and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

“During last year’s Service Auction, I offered a sermon topic to the highest bidder. Laird and Jen Wynn won, and asked for a worship service around the topics of ‘transcendence and passion.’ Both topics resonate deeply with me—what charged to the fore of my mind was how Unitarian Universalism has helped me allow my passions to transcend deep emotions, even anger, throughout the last 18 years. Plus, some special music...see you there!”

~Rev. Chris Long

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Called Into Life

April 1, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Barbara Walker

Worship Associate

Easter is many things: a celebration of new life in Spring, a time for family gatherings, a timeless festival of the earth and fertility, and the holiest day in the Christian year. Join our Easter festivities at West Shore, as we celebrate the return of life in song and story! 

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Hallelujah!

March 25, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

Do Unitarian Universalists pray? The answer, of course, is: “Yes, some of us pray. In lots of different ways…” On this Christian Holy Day of Palm Sunday, we will look at the role of prayer, centering, meditation and practice in this creed-less religion of ours. Who or what are we praying to?

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Looking for the Truth

March 18, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Martha Boesel

Worship Associate

It’s never been easy to know the Truth. In these days of “fake news,” disinformation and deep cultural and class divisions, it can be especially difficult to separate fundamental truth from instinct and intuition… much less be open to those who hold very different opinions. What does it mean to promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning?

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A Question of Balance: Mind, Body, Spirit

March 11, 2018

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by Ken Lowry

Guest Worship Leader and

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

In early (First Century) Judaism and in many other cultures, there was no such thing as “Religion.” It was not until the invention of Christianity as a religion that cultures started to separate the spiritual/religious from the rest of the human experience. In this era of rebalancing religion, how can we allow ourselves to integrate our mind, body, and spirit into one harmonious way of being in the world? How does that inform our living tradition of Unitarian Universalism?

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Freedom of Mind and Soul

February 25, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

On January 13, 2018, we marked the 450th anniversary of The Edict of Torda—one of the world’s first statements of religious freedom, issued by a religious gathering in eastern Europe presided over by the first Unitarian King. In recent decades, dozens of American Unitarian Universalist congregations have formed partnerships with the congregations that grew out of that tradition—including West Shore. What do we have to learn from this brave history, and the perseverance of our Transylvanian Unitarian cousins?

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Your Money and Your Life

February 18, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Martha Boesel

Worship Associate

As Stewardship season begins here at West Shore, it is time to consider the biggest questions about money. How do the choices we make about spending and saving and debt and investment reflect our values? Are we managing our money, or is it managing us?

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Learning to Hang In

February 11, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart  and Rev. Chris Long with

Christine Salontay

Worship Associate

From an early age, each of us learns what matters most in this challenging and unpredictable adventure we call life. What did your family and community teach you about surviving, and even thriving as you grew? When did you learn to be wary, and how did you learn to dive into new experiences? Reflections on being members of a community that holds different ideas of perseverance.

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Perseverance Pizzazz

February 4, 2018

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by Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development and

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

To launch the monthly Soul Matters theme and our consideration of “Perseverance” we will explore some thoughts and tools for engaging joyful perseverance in times such as these. We'll visit Imbolc, Kindness, The Edict of Torda, "Love and Laughter", Ants and Turtles all woven into a tapestry of Perseverance Pizzazz.

 

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Creativity and Transformation

January 28, 2018

 

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by Reverend Renee Ruchotzke and

Barbara Walker

Worship Associate

Congregational life can provide opportunities for growth and deepening as individuals and as communities. How might our congregation work faithfully with Rev. Tricia Hart in this time of interim ministry, to co-create such a community at West Shore? Rev. Renee Ruchotzke serves NE Ohio congregations as a part of our larger Unitarian Universalist Association. She is West Shore’s primary contact with the UUA and the region. She serves as dean of the online UU Leadership Institute and blogs at Growing Vital Leaders on the (click it) UUA Website

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Intent vs. Impact

January 21, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

Intentions matter. Living out a commitment to be kind, thoughtful, or open-minded can make an enormous differ-ence in our relationships, and in what we teach our chil-dren. But what someone means to do or say is only part of the story—we have to learn the essential skill of paying attention to the impact our words or actions make. Essen-tial… and really difficult.

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We Are All Called

January 14, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Martha Boeselk

Worship Associate

On this anniversary of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are called to consider the legacy each one of us is creating in the struggle for justice. Young Rev. King did not predict the role he would play when he accepted the call to his first church in Montgomery, Alabama. How have you been called? And how have you answered?

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On Being an Imposter

January 7, 2018

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Christine Salontay

Worship Associate

Have you had the sense that you are an imposter: pretending to be successful, or competent, or even happy, when it doesn’t seem quite true? “Imposter Syndrome” is to be a widespread condition (though it’s hard to know for sure, since people are pretty good at hiding it). What might happen if you worried less about your deficits and embraced your willingness to try?

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Tick Tock

December 31, 2017

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by Reverend Anya Johnston and

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

The end of 2017 reminds us that time is passing, either marking lost opportunity or setting the stage for new hope. We play a part in choosing hope or a sense of loss. Let’s consider what to do with the past so we can awaken to a new year of progress and enlightenment! Rev. Anya Johnston was last heard at West Shore at the ordination of Dave Clements in October. A Westerner by training and temperament, Reverend Anya has enjoyed immersive ministry since 1999.

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Elijah’s Angel

December 24, 2017

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Dana Morgan

Barbara Walker

Worship Associates

Traditions and teachings about Hanukkah and Christmas come to life in this story about a Jewish boy and an African- American barber, who find ways to connect in this beautiful and difficult season of the year. All ages are welcome at this informal story-service.

 

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No recording

December 17, 2017

Due to copyright issues

no recording this week

Something Old, Something New

December 10, 2017

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by Reverend Peter Newport and

Martha Boesel

Worship Associate

Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

In the three millennia since Isaiah, it’s hard to find anything new to say about Christmas that hasn’t already been said at least a hundred thousand times. But even as we wade through the commercial wasteland that stretches through the holiday season one more time, can we find anything to say about Christmas that’s real, that’s new, that’s hopeful, that hasn’t been said before? Signs point to “Yes!”

 recording coming soon

 

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Be Hopeful, Anyway

December 3, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

Much of what religions teach about is not the world as it is, but as it might be. In order to make this more than an abstract exercise, we need to take the (often irrational) risk of hoping for something that is not yet true. Where is the line between faithful commitment and naiveté? Does being hopeful make a difference, in the world?

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Living Within Abundance

November 26, 2017

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by Barbara Howell and

Barbara Walker

Worship Associates

As we observe our cultural celebration of gratitude, Worship Associates and Barbara Howell invite us to find the light in these darkening days. We are thankful for abundance. Is that all there is?

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