West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
Serenity, Courage and Wisdom In Our Time

Serenity, Courage and Wisdom In Our Time

March 29, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

David Blazer, Director of Music

One of the best-loved prayers of all is the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. This is a great prayer to pray in our time. Let’s take a closer look.

One more thing. During this Sunday’s service, when Rev. Makar lights our West Shore chalice, he will at the same time invite you to light something in your home—anything resembling a chalice will work. This will symbolize our solidarity. The physical distance does not matter if our spirits come close together.

 

Click here to view the service

Stay At Home Spirituality

Stay At Home Spirituality

March 22, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar

The joke that's circulating is how introverts were born for this time of social distancing. Being one myself, I get it; and yet I'm still struggling. So what must it be like for the extroverts among us? We all need to stay at home as much as possible to do our part in reducing community transmission of the coronavirus - and it's not easy! So how do we do this? How might we engage this from a more spiritual perspective? One more thing. During this Sunday’s service, when Rev. Makar lights our West Shore chalice, he will at the same time invite you to light something in your home— anything resembling a chalice will work. This will symbolize our solidarity. The physical distance does not matter if our spirits come close together.

Click here to view the video of the service

Special Service

Special Service

March 15, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar

Events and circumstances related to the Coronavirus are moving fast. Where things stood earlier this week are very different from where they stand now. We must do our part to reduce the rate of infection, and prevent our healthcare systems from being overburdened. We must act now to preserve the health of the community and especially of the most vulnerable among us. I must, therefore, call for West Shore to cease face-to-face gatherings starting this Sunday, March 15, to extend through the month of March. Instead, we will Livestream our worship service for the first time ever at West Shore! After that, we will see where things stand with the pandemic situation.

 

Click below to view via FaceBook.

 

https://www.facebook.com/WestShoreUU/videos/2252114688415619/UzpfSTEwMDAwNDQxNzM1MzUwMjoxNTQ2ODEzNDUyMTQyNTUy/?story_fbid=1546813452142552&id=100004417353502&comment_id=1546835472140350&notif_id=1584289298154834&notif_t=feed_comment

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

March 1, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Ryan Rosu, Worship Associate

“Pay It Forward” is about a way of being kind in a world that needs kindness. It’s about putting your time and energy and money in service to Love. Come and find out how you might take part in this. There will also be a surprise that you simply won’t want to miss!

Music: Wonderful, Beautiful People by Jimmy Cliff Free Spirit Band; Laird Wynn, lead vocal

  You Can Get It If You Really Want by Jimmy Cliff Free Spirit Band; Bill Hudson, lead vocal

Soul Foodie

Soul Foodie

February 23, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Victoria Warden, Worship Associate

If a “foodie” is someone who has refined tastes in food and drink and tends to seek out new food experiences, a “soul foodie” is someone who is like that in the religious realm. Today we talk about how Unitarian Universalism invites people to be soul foodies and what we need to be aware of in order for our worship to be hospitable to that.

Music: I am Resilient by Rising Appalachia, sung by Margaret Gardner and Ally Jagoda

Youth Service: Growth in a Community

Youth Service: Growth in a Community

February 16, 2020

by West Shore Youth Group, Worship Leaders

Once every year our youth prepare and deliver a Sunday morning service for the congregation. The services provided by the youth are typically heartfelt, engaging, and inspiring. This year’s service is on the theme “Community.” The Youth will be sharing what it's like to grow up and GROW in a Community; whether that community is church, family or another type of community.

Music:

The Times They are 'a Changing by Bob Dylan Performed by The Byrds

Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan Performed by Abby Rosu & Seth Wanner

Changes by David Bowie

The Gospel of Neuro-plasticity

The Gospel of Neuro-plasticity

February 9, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Christine Salontay, Worship Associate

Feeling like you belong is a two-way street. Part of it has to do with how others treat you—whether they are being invitational and hospitable. But an equally important part of feeling like you belong is your own openness to that, and things you do to enhance your sense of belonging. As Care of the Soul author Thomas Moore says, “Belonging is an active verb, something we do positively.”

Love Me in My Shame

Love Me in My Shame

February 2, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Elizabeth Gerencser, Worship Associate

The experience of shame is so intense that often the result is lashing out at the very person whose love we crave. But what would it mean to allow another to love us in our shame? What happens to us if we truly embrace our vulnerability?

Music: Shame by Avett Brothers
Performed by: Free Spirit Band; Laird Wynn, lead vocal

Music: Hold Your Head Up by Rod Argent
Performed by: Free Spirit Band; Bill Hudson, lead vocal

Courage

Courage

January 26, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Marty Blachly-Cross , Worship Associate

Courage is key. Maya Angelou calls it the “the most important of the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” As for Winston Churchill, he said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Let’s talk about courage today.

Lessons In Leadership: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Lessons In Leadership: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Jeff Modzelewski, Worship Associate

When we lose touch with our heroes’ stories, we lose touch with our own powers and potentialities. We hear a call to leadership, but our response can be, Who, me? Yet the message of the life of every hero who has ever gone before us, or who may be in our midst right now, is that you don’t need to be perfect to have a dream. Today, we explore some of Dr. King’s story and how it speaks powerfully to our own today.

The Power of We

The Power of We

January 12, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Ryan Rosu, Worship Associate

Hearts hunger to be a part of Beloved Community, which is a place where people feel enlivened and vital and loved. So what’s involved in creating Beloved Community, and then sustaining it? How might you help?

The State of Our Justice Union: Looking Back a Little To Move Forward

The State of Our Justice Union: Looking Back a Little To Move Forward

January 5, 2020

by Reverend Chris Long and

Judy Montgomery, Worship Associate

West Shore is known throughout Greater Cleveland for its justice-making. The work that our congregational Task Forces and our Social Action Committee continues to do, with a few highly dedicated members and friends of the congregation, is astounding. We will reflect on our individual and collective journey over the last year with our justice efforts at West Shore and beyond. Rev. Long will also share some of his experiences with our Interfaith Community Partners and other organizations in Cleveland. He will also include details regarding his faithful journey with our denominational efforts in becoming a living tradition striving to become an “anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural” faith movement as we lean into 2020. This holy work needs more of us in it!

Music: I am Resilient by Rising Appalachia, sung by Margaret Gardner and Ally Jagoda

Christmas by the Book: A Selection of Holiday Readings

Christmas by the Book: A Selection of Holiday Readings

December 29, 2019

by Martha Blachly-Cross and Ryan Rosu, Worship Leaders

Vicki Warden, Worship Associate

For the shortest, darkest weeks of the year, human beings have, from the beginnings of time, created festivals of light to brighten their days. Christmas, Hanukkah, Epiphany—each anticipates the longed-for return to spring, each has its rites, symbols and above all stories. For the holidays, then, a reading list. Chaucer urged, “To read and drive the night away.”

Dear Mary: Letter to the Mother of Jesus

Dear Mary: Letter to the Mother of Jesus

December 22, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Gerry Meader, Worship Associate

The Christmas Story involves any number of fascinating figures: Joseph and Mary, the wise men, the animals in the stable, the angels, King Herod, and so on. There’s more to each than meets the eye. This year, I will share my personal letter to Mary.

The Spirituality of Money

The Spirituality of Money

December 8, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Vicki Warden, Worship Associate

What do spirituality and money have to do with each other? Everything! Come and find out about how we might relate to money (and talk about it!) in healthier ways.

Live to the Point of Tears

Live to the Point of Tears

December 1, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Michael Miller, Worship Associates

Religions around the world honor the gift of tears and have found ways to ritualize it. During the Passover Seder, when Jews remember their escape from Egypt, they bring salt water to their lips to symbolize the tears of bondage. In ancient times, when a person died, mourners put their tears in bottles and sometimes even wore them around their necks. Over the ages, the weeping of tears has been a sign of the mystical experiences of saints and repentant sinners. These transcendent moments go beyond what the mind can comprehend; tears are a response of the heart. Today, we explore the role that tears might play in our Unitarian Universalist faith life.

All songs are played in their entirety at the end of the service

How Many Days to America?

How Many Days to America?

November 24, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar,

Judy Montgomery and

Ryan Rosu, Worship Associates

In this time of unprecedented migration all around the world, what does it mean to find home? This Sunday we invite people of all ages to experience a powerful Thanksgiving service centered around Eve Bunting’s story, “How Many Days to America?” While acknowledging that some will show up to this holiday time with celebration in their hearts, others will be feeling emotions that are decidedly mixed. Come to a service that makes room for all of this and will send you out into the world inspired and hopeful.

Building a New Way

Building a New Way

November 17, 2019

by Reverend Michelle Ma and

Gerry Meader, Worship Associate

Unitarian Universalists talk a lot about "living our values" and "building a beloved community.” West Shore strives to be a radically inclusive, multicultural, anti-oppressive community, and so does Denison UCC. We are two very different churches with different ministries and very similar goals. Affiliated Community Minister Michelle Ma will talk about her work with Denison UCC and how and why West Shore should get involved.

Is All Hope Lost?

Is All Hope Lost?

November 10, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Ryan Rosu, Worship Associate

This past September, Jonathan Franzen wrote an article in The New Yorker entitled, “What If We Stopped Pretending?” His essential argument was that the destruction of the plan-et by human-induced climate change is inevitable and that environmentalists and climate change activists are delusion-al for trying to stop it. This is just one example of defeatism about the environment, and defeatism these days is pervasive. But is defeatism truly reasonable? Is it possible to affirm hopefulness as a more rational position?

Showing Up as Wonderful: Letter to Wonder Woman

Showing Up as Wonderful: Letter to Wonder Woman

November 3, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Worship Leader Elizabeth Gerenscer

Wonder Woman is a comic book superhero whose story inspires people of all ages. An essential part of this story is her struggle to come into her power and to be powerfully herself against the efforts of others to keep her small. In his personal letter to Wonder Woman, Rev. Makar explores this and the challenge all of us face to be wonderful in our own unique way.

Our Universalist Heritage: Entering Paradise in This Life

Our Universalist Heritage: Entering Paradise in This Life

October 25, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Jeff Modzelewski

Worship Associate

This is the third and last sermon in a series entitled “Our Universalist Heritage." What if I said that Paradise is not lost but already here and now? And that spirituality is about entering it in this life, through a renewal and restoration of one’s mind and senses? Three hundred fifty years ago, that’s what Universalist Jane Leade preached, and her vision has been taken up in our time by Unitarian Universalist minister the Rev. Rebecca Ann Parker. Let’s take a closer look.

The Spirituality of Dementia from the Inside-Out and Upside-Down

The Spirituality of Dementia from the Inside-Out and Upside-Down

October 20, 2019

by Kathy Strawser and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

The Very Reverend Tracey Lind and

Emily Ingalls

Guest Speakers

In 2017, the Very Reverend Tracey Lind stepped down as Dean of Cleveland's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, following a diagnosis of early-onset dementia. What changes did this bring to her personal life, her activism, her ministry and her spiritual life? We welcome Rev. Lind and her wife Emily Ingalls to our pulpit to share their learnings and a message about what it means to be human.

Our Universalist Heritage: How to Love with Integrity

Our Universalist Heritage: How to Love with Integrity

October 13, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Jeff Modzelewski

Worship Associate

Love, we say, is of transcendent worth. We affirm our Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles and in this way affirm the ultimacy of love. But often with our actions, we fall short. Often, we don’t walk the talk. So what does that mean? Does it mean we are hopeless hypocrites? Or is there a way to be a people who proclaim Love’s worth with integrity? Today’s sermon is the second in a series entitled “Our Universalist Heritage.”

Guest Musician: Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout

Our Universalist Heritage: Loving the Hell Out of the World

Our Universalist Heritage: Loving the Hell Out of the World

October 6, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Judy Montgomery

Worship Associate

Universalism represents one side of our amazing historical heritage. Come explore Universalism's essential wisdom of "loving the hell out of the world" and its guidance on what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist today.

Re-Membering as a Spiritual Practice: Where Do We Go After This Life Has Ended?

Re-Membering as a Spiritual Practice: Where Do We Go After This Life Has Ended?

September 29, 2019

by Reverend Chris Long, and

Elizabeth Gerencser

Worship Associate

A special thank you to Jodith Janes and Tom Williams who purchased a sermon topic of their choice at this year’s Service Auction. As we all know, death is a part of life and living, and there comes a time when it happens to us all. What is less clear is what we as Unitarian Universalists or friends of this vibrant faith community do or discuss regarding what happens to us after we die? What theological, scientific, spiritual, and/or religious beliefs help us to navigate such times? What aspects of our faith sustain us individually and collectively during such transitions? We will share our experiences with the subject through some theological touchpoints, reflections, curiosity and song.

Four Noble Truths

Four Noble Truths

September 22, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Ryan Rosu

Worship Associate

In the historical Buddha’s very first sermon, he presented the fundamental principles of his teaching, which have since become known as “The Four Noble Truths.” Come hear Rev. Makar’s contemporary Unitarian Universalist take on these profound insights that the Buddha gave to the world.

Growing Up. Growing Old. Growing True.

Growing Up. Growing Old. Growing True.

September 15, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar with

Reverend Chris Long,

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

Today, we begin a new year of religious education classes, and that means we begin again the powerful work of supporting the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth of our children and youth. But what does it mean to grow? Rev. Makar shares a story about his Baba (that’s Ukranian for “grandmother”) and, through it, explores three dimensions of the growing journey as it impacts all ages.

Making the World More Beautiful

Making the World More Beautiful

September 8, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Reverend Chris Long

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

Now that school has started again, and we have returned from summer travels away or “staycations” in Cleveland, we come home to West Shore and begin a new program year. Our multigenerational service draws from the classic story “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney. Here’s a short excerpt: In the evening Alice sat on her grandfather’s knee and listened to his stories of faraway places. When he had finished, Alice would say, “When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I am old, I too will live beside the sea.” “That is all very well, little Alice,” said her grandfather, “but there is a third thing you must do.” “What is that?” asked Alice. “You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” said her grandfather. “All right,” said Alice. But she didn’t know what that could be. What might you do to make the world more beautiful? Let’s explore this together as we usher in a new program year at West Shore

Bad at Meditation

Bad at Meditation

September 1, 2019

by Christine Salontay and

Vicky Warden

Worship Associates

“I can’t stop thinking.” “Am I doing this right?” “There is no way I can sit still that long” “This is boring.” We spend most of our lives lost in thoughts. And although there is a growing body of scientific evidence that strongly suggests meditation is another important pillar of wellness, why is it so hard to get ourselves to spend a few minutes each day meditating? This Sunday, explore why meditation can be so difficult but how sticking with a meditation practice can have life long benefits.

A Spiritual Perspective on Alzheimer’s

A Spiritual Perspective on Alzheimer’s

August 25, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar and

Michael Miller

Worship Associate

Worldwide, there are approximately 50 million people with Alzheimer’s, and the ripple effects of this mean that millions of more lives of family, friends, and others have been impacted. It’s a difficult journey, but one that contains many lessons for UUs of all ages about human dignity, the nature of caregiving, and the depths of human devotion and love.

Beauty and the Butterfly

Beauty and the Butterfly

August 18, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar

Author, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou once said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” We explore some of these changes in Maya Angelou’s amazing life, across a span of almost 90 years

Instant Happiness

Instant Happiness

August 11, 2019

by Reverend Anthony Makar

Life is full of challenge and change, and it can wear down even the strongest person. Today, join Reverend Makar for an exploration of ways we can proactively nourish our hearts and spirits. Our Unitarian Universalist spiritual way wants all people to stay refreshed and renewed for the journey of life!

Three Wishes

Three Wishes

August 8, 2019

by Intern Minister Michelle Ma and

Elizabeth Gerencser

Worship Associate

Time has sure flown during my internship, and I’ve learned so much! Now it’s time for me to reflect back some of what I’ve learned; maybe you’ll learn something about yourselves.

Breaking Open

Breaking Open

July 28, 2019

by Rev. Chris Long & Michelle Ma, Worship Leaders

Justice work isn’t just about transforming the world: it’s about transforming ourselves. Transformation leads to transformation.

We Need to Talk - sermon only

We Need to Talk - sermon only

July 21, 2019

by Marty Blachly-Cross, Worship Leader

As civil discourse becomes more uncivil, what are the guidelines for respectful interactions, and does our Covenant with each other support this?

What Were You Thinking?

What Were You Thinking?

July 14, 2019

by Worship Associate Gerry Meader

We will explore mindfulness and some of the ways in which we accept ideas without the benefit of any serious intellectual rigor. How do we come to accept “truth” when real evidence doesn’t exist, or when the “evidence” is misleading? And how might these precarious beliefs affect our commitment to social justice or our world view?

CLICK HERE FOR SERMON ONLY

What Were You Thinking? - sermon only

What Were You Thinking? - sermon only

July 14, 2019

by Worship Associate Gerry Meader

We will explore mindfulness and some of the ways in which we accept ideas without the benefit of any serious intellectual rigor. How do we come to accept “truth” when real evidence doesn’t exist, or when the “evidence” is misleading? And how might these precarious beliefs affect our commitment to social justice or our world view?

Stories To Tell

Stories To Tell

July 7, 2019

by Maura Garin, Worship Leader and

Elizabeth Gerencser

Worship Associate

We learn and remember from stories our elders have told us. What will we leave behind for those who follow?

Both/And

Both/And

June 30, 2019

by Intern Minister Michelle Ma and

Worship Associate Maura Garin

Intersex people “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies” and were–and still are–subject to stigma and discrimination. What do intersex people have to teach Unitarian Universalists about science, gender, and ambiguity?

CLICK HERE FOR SERMON ONLY

Both/And - sermon only

Both/And - sermon only

June 30, 2019

by Intern Minister Michelle Ma and

Worship Associate Maura Garin

Intersex people “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies” and were–and still are–subject to stigma and discrimination. What do intersex people have to teach Unitarian Universalists about science, gender, and ambiguity?

Endings and Beginnings

Endings and Beginnings

June 16, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart

The very best way to get ready for a wonderful new beginning is to pay attention to the ending of what came before. Thoughts on the gifts and losses of transitions in our lives, on Rev. Tricia Hart’s last Sunday worship service at West Shore.

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Endings and Beginnings - sermon only

Endings and Beginnings - sermon only

June 16, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart

The very best way to get ready for a wonderful new beginning is to pay attention to the ending of what came before. Thoughts on the gifts and losses of transitions in our lives, on Rev. Tricia Hart’s last Sunday worship service at West Shore.

Let It Be a Dance

Let It Be a Dance

June 9, 2019

by Reverend Chris Long,

Guest Speaker Jessica York

Director of Congregational Life at the Unitarian Universalist Association and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

Jessica York will share a sermon grounded in themes and ideas related to dance, specifically dancing in partnerships, in our work toward racial and social justice. She will also share how our efforts here at West Shore are connected to the racial and social justice mission of Unitarian Universalism. We will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Rev Chris’ Ordination as a UU Minister, as well as the “bridging” of West Shore high school graduates into young adulthood.

CLICK HERE FOR SERMON ONLY

Let It Be a Dance - sermon only

Let It Be a Dance - sermon only

June 9, 2019

by Reverend Chris Long,

Guest Speaker Jessica York

Director of Congregational Life at the Unitarian Universalist Association and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

Jessica York will share a sermon grounded in themes and ideas related to dance, specifically dancing in partnerships, in our work toward racial and social justice. She will also share how our efforts here at West Shore are connected to the racial and social justice mission of Unitarian Universalism. We will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Rev Chris’ Ordination as a UU Minister, as well as the “bridging” of West Shore high school graduates into young adulthood.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

June 2, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Reverend Chris Long with

Michael Miller

Worship Associate

The theme for this all-ages Pride service is Sanctuary, focusing on how the Unitarian Universalist faith and West Shore embraces and creates a safe space and culture of all. Especially youth! We will recognize all those who served this year as West Shore’s Religious Education teachers. Children of all ages are welcome to stay for the entire service.

The Power of Remembering

The Power of Remembering

May 26, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

On this Memorial Day Sunday, we will tell stories of communities living out their promises to remember the gifts of those who have died, long into the future. The service ceremony will conclude with a brief dedication of the now-complete Memorial Garden and a reception in the Courtyard for everyone.

CLICK HERE FOR SERMON ONLY

The Power of Remembering - sermon only

The Power of Remembering - sermon only

May 26, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

On this Memorial Day Sunday, we will tell stories of communities living out their promises to remember the gifts of those who have died, long into the future. The service ceremony will conclude with a brief dedication of the now-complete Memorial Garden and a reception in the Courtyard for everyone.

Living the Tradition - sermon only

Living the Tradition - sermon only

May 19, 2019

Reverend Anthony David Makar and

Michael Miller

Worship Associate

Unitarian Universalists speak of their faith as a “living tradition.” We see that language on what might be the most popular and used book in our congregations, our hymnal entitled, “ Singing the Living Tradition.” But what is the story of our Tradition that Lives? Join Rev. Makar for an inspiring and uplifting message about who we are in the world and who we aspire to be. Immediately following the service, please plan to attend the Congregational Meeting. This will be a two-part meeting. The first part will be our Annual Meeting to elect the new Board of Trustees and Nominating Committee members. The second part will be a special congregational meeting on calling Rev. Anthony Makar as our NEW Senior Minister.