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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Making It Up

April 3, 2016

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by Reverend Wayne Arnason

The most creative thing that we are engaged with every day is the improvisation of the life we live. We all have to make this up as we go along. Often we find out what we really know when we are forced to say it. Inevitably we make mistakes,and we have to “make up” for them too—but we can’t let the risk of failure stop us from the creativity that is our birthright. The Free Spirit Band will offer the music for this service, and they are considering—what else? Improvisational jazz.

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Opening music is played in it's entirety after the service.

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Your Free Life

March 1, 2015

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by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz and

Reverend Wayne Arnason

Can we be anything we want to be? We are blessed to live in a society where personal individual freedom is maximized and the message of unlimited potential for those who dream big and work hard is widespread. But how true is that message? Are we in fact limited only by our vision? What price are we willing to pay for a “free life?” The Free Spirit Band will be perform “Your Free Life” and “My Life,” as well as one Grammy-award winning song with new lyrics. This service will kick off this spring’s Stewardship Campaign and offer a vision for the year ahead.

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Women’s Lives Matter

January 11, 2015

by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz

Throughout history women have left their mark on culture and innovations, but for centuries they remained largely invisible. Women often still receive less pay for equal work. Women and girls are exploited for slave labor or sex traf-ficking. Despite many gains in women’s rights, there are times when I want to call up my government and say “act as if women’s lives matter!” How would our culture and coun-try be different if women’s lives mattered more to lawmak-ers and those in positions of power? The Outreach Offering will be received for The Renee Jones Empowerment Center for their programs to combat human trafficking. The Free Spirit Band will play I Hope originally recorded by the Dixie Chicks.

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In God’s Country

December 7, 2014

by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz

Last month, the National Cathedral in Washington DC held a Muslim prayer service for the first time in its history. While some celebrated this as a step towards becoming a truly multicultural country, many other voices decried it as a symbolic slap, believing that the United States is first and foremost a “Christian Nation.” It begs the question: in which country do we live? The Free Spirit Band will play

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it’s Not About Me

February 2, 2014

by Reverend

Wayne Arnason

Theater has always been a part of my life. I began acting professionally when I was nine, and continued to perform in theater until I began serving my first congregation. It was both challenging and intoxicating to develop the skills to play the roles I was cast for, and I loved the applause. So my hardest lesson was to learn, to really learn, that the play was not about me. The Free Spirit Band will be playing this Sunday, featuring a song country star Lee Ann Womack wrote and popularized, I Hope You Dance.

Opening music is played in it's entirety at the end of the recording.

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I Saw the Light

December 8, 2013

by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz


“I Saw the light…” can refer to a conversion, a moment of enlightenment or the hopeful waiting for daybreak. Regardless of the experience, “seeing the light” whether an intellectual truth, an emotional breakthrough or a spiritual change of heart is something that happens to human beings all the time. In honor of Buddha’s enlightenment (Bodhi Day) and in recognition of the season of Advent, this service will explore when and how we “see the light.” This is New Member Sunday and the Free Spirit Band will be playing for this service.

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Why God Is Not One

November 3, 2013

by


Reverend Wayne Arnason


Wait a minute! Isn’t this a “Unitarian” church? The “ Uni “ means God is One, right? Truth be told, not really. Stephen Prothero’s popular theological best-seller has inspired this sermon about the shallow and easy metaphors that suggest all religions really point to the same reality. I used to think that. I don’t any more. The more I learn about multicultural competen- cy, the more convinced I am that both God and religion are more complex, diverse, and amazing than any of our easy metaphors can capture.

The Free Spirit Band will perform.

The opening musical piece is available for listening in it's entirety following the closing of the service.


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How Our Minds Have Changed
by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz and
Reverend Wayne Arnason

June 9, 2013

Service Auction attenders this year were astonished when church administrator Debbie Lydon ran up the bidding on this year's "your choice" sermon. It turns out that Debbie was the agent for an anonymous bidder who couldn't be present. The winning bidder for this year's Service Auction sermon has asked the co-ministers to take the first sermon they preached together at West Shore and use it as means to reflect on how we work together, how our minds have changed, and how we continue to feel called. The sermon we will draw on for this task was preached on October 1, 2000, and is titled "Our Common Call." The Free Spirit Band offers the music this week, featuring Neil Young's Change Your Mind.

With Worship Associate Anne Osborne

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Letting Your Heart Break Open
by Reverend Katie Norris

February 3, 2013

Dr. Brene Brown says "Connection is why we are here. It’s what brings purpose and meaning to our lives." And yet, the thing we need to have in order to obtain that connection is vulnerability. The ability to let our hearts break wide open and allow other people know who we truly are. Most of us fear vulnerability because we don't want to get hurt but if vulnerability is what brings connection and thus meaning and purpose into our lives, how do we let our heart break open anyway?

With Worship Associate Dave Clements

The pre-service music is available in it's entirety following the normal end of this service.

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Crossroads
by Reverend Wayne Arnason

January 6, 2013

The first service of the new year is a time to look back and look ahead. At any crossroads, however, we don't just look ahead and look back. We look right and left as well. We have four choices about which way to go when two roads intersect. This service will explore the ways we make the decisions that define us. The Free Spirit Band will join us to perform the classic Delta Blues song "Crossroads" and the Hunter/Garcia tune "New Speedway Boogie."

With Worship Associate Dave Clements

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Roadside Distractions
by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz

December 2, 2012

The time between Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas morning often feels like a sprint to the finish line instead of a leisurely drive through the landscape of the holiday season. During the advent season, the "road trip" that first comes to mind is the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a journey we can imagine involving hardships, rest stops and roadside distractions. As we make our own journey to Christmas Day, how do we keep ourselves from being distracted by all the glittery possibilities on the way to our destination?

with Worship Associate Tom Hughes

>> An unabbreviated version of the gathering music (by Free Spirit Band) has been placed at the end of the service.

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