Embracing Change

June 22, 2014

by Reverend
Matthew McHale

Part Two of the Series: We often think of our daily lives as being fairly routine and unchanging, and take a certain com-fort in knowing what to expect from day to day. Yet our individual lives are filled with countless changes and transi-tions—births, deaths, jobs, health, graduations, relation-ships, moves—not to mention the global shifts currently underway. If “change alone is unchanging,” can we em-brace change and uncertainty for the possibilities they open up? Or, at least, learn to go with the flow? This Service will include our annual flower communion, so bring your fresh cut flowers. The youth will be in part of the service and will leave to participate in an RE program.


How to Raise a Dragaon

April 27, 2014

by Reverend Wayne Arnason with

Kathy Strawser, Director of

     Lifespan Faith Development

Join us for a Multigenerational Sunday with Reverend Wayne Arnason and Kathy Strawser all about the care and feeding of growing dragons! Parents, did you know that you might have a little dragon in your house? Children, maybe your brother or sister is a dragon! Singles, maybe you are already a dragon! Come find out what Chinese cultural beliefs about dragons can tell us about how humans grow, and why growing up to be a dragon might not be a bad idea.


The Mountain That Moved

January 26, 2014

by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz with
Kathy Strawser, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

What would it take to move a mountain? In this morning's story The Mountain that Loved A Bird we'll explore the give and take of relationships and the balance of doing what’ s best both for “me” and for “us.” The Junior Choir will sing Go Down Moses” at both services.


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


Hope In the Dark

December 22, 2013

by Reverend Wayne Arnason with
Kathy Strawser, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

As the days get shorter, and the nights longer and darker, join us for a multi-generation service that challenges us to question whether dark times are times without hope. We’ll hear a story about a father and daughter who go into the woods one winter night to see if they can find an owl! We’ll sing about the gentle comfort and strength that can be found in dark nights. We’ll hear reflections and stories about where hope in the darkness can be found.


The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

November 24, 2013

by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz with
Cathy Stawser, Director of Life Span Faith Development

We are told from an early age that it's important to always tell the truth, but just what exactly is the truth? Are all sto-ries true, or just some stories, or just some parts of sto-ries? Do we ever change the truth because it makes us, our family, or our nation look or feel better? Telling the truth is risky business and not as easy as it sounds! This service will include the Guest at Your Table kick-off and a bread com-munion. Please bring some bread to share, preferably from your ethnic tradition.


When I Am Frightened

October 27, 2013

by  Matthew McHale, Intern Minister and
 Kathy Strawser, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

There once was a boy who hid under his bed whenever he was afraid. We all have different ways of responding to scary situations. Join us for a multi-generational service of story and song, where we explore the different ways we face our fears. This service also includes a child dedication ceremony; please see the announcement on the next page for more information.


Let Justice Flow Down Like Waters

September 1, 2013

by  Reverend Kathleen Rolenz and
Reverend Wayne Arnason

Justice issues associated with water inspire the homilies at this annual multi-generational Water Ceremony service that begins the new church year. Bring a sample of water with you that represents some of the meaning you have found this summer.   

Our new intern, Matthew McHale, will join the co-ministers in worship for the first time.

With  Kathy Strawser, Director, Lifespan Faith Development

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


My Heart Will Not Sit Down
by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz and
Kathy Strawser, DLS

February 24, 2013

“Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law,” begins our chalice lighting words most Sundays. During the opening words we encourage people to "serve needs greater than our own." What happens when our hearts compel us to service in extraordinary ways? Are we, young and old, up to the task? Reflections from a story set in Cameroon will help us explore answers these questions. The Junior Choir will sing “Cuando el Pobre,” and we will collect the Outreach Offering for Cleveland’s May Dugan Center.

Brother Can You Spare a Dime sung by April Stoltz

With Worship Associate Anne Osborne


Decisions Made For Us
by Reverend Wayne Arnason with
Kathy Strawser, LFD

January 27, 2013

When a national decision is made, how far and wide do the ripples go? The story Pink and Say, a Civil War story by Patricia Polacco, frames our service’s theme and tells the story of two teens; Pink, a soldier from a family of slaves, and Say, a white soldier, and how the nation’s decision to fight a civil war, impacted their own decisions, friendship and their very lives. We’ll reflect on decisions, often out of our own control, that do change us, in remarkable ways. Junior Choir will present “There’s a River Flowin’ in My Soul,” a song written by Rose Saunders, Alabama’s first female African American judge.

With Worship Associate Dave Willet

Inter-generational Service


by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz and
Kathy Strawser Director of Lifespan Faith

October 28, 2012

All of us will face significant transitions in our lives; whether a new school, a new job, a first crush, a first heartbreak, going away from home for the first time, saying goodbye to a loved one for the last time. We may find ourselves in a strange place, where everything is the same, and nothing is the same. What resources does our faith provide for us during these times of transition - during the in-between times? Join us for this inter-generational service featuring the West Shore's Junior Choir performing "UU Kids."


Labors of Love
by Co-Ministers Kathleen Rolenz and Wayne Arnason

September 2, 2012

Two of musician/activist Pete Seeger's lasting legacies will surely be his commitment to our country's labor movement and the environment. His efforts to support labor unions and to clean up New York's Hudson River teach us that all work has dignity and that clean water is not to be taken for granted. Join us for story, song and reflection on this Labor Day Sunday as we begin our new church year that includes our annual Water Ceremony. Don't forget to bring a small amount of summer water collected from the backyard pool, the local river/lake, or a more exotic place from your travels.

With Kathy Strawser, Director of Lifespan Faith Development


Through the Looking Glass
by Reverend Wayne Arnason and
Kathy Strawser, Director of Lifespan

April 29, 2012

A hundred fifty years ago, a young teacher named Lewis Carroll was taking care of his headmaster's three daughters for a day and told them stories about the adventures of a girl named Alice. Alice knew who she was when she got up that morning but by the end of the day, after many adventures, she had "grown" bigger and smaller, timid and brave, foolish and wise. Using "Alice in Wonderland" as our looking glass, let's see what it means to grow up and what grownups look like to kids. The Junior Choir will join us for this service, singing "Like a Bird."


Ties That Bind
Ellen Carvill-Ziemer, Intern Minister and
and Kathy Strawser

October 30, 2011

In the spirit of the Mexican celebration, Day of the Dead, let us engage and reflect on the connections and memories that tie us to family and friends who have gone before us. What wisdom, courage and joy did they live that continues to visit and impact our lives today? How do we acknowledge their gifts? What gifts will we leave for the next generation?


Youth Sunday Service

May 22, 2011

The tradition of the Youth Sunday Service is to give the ninth through twelfth grade youth of our church a broad canvas to present their ideas. This year is no exception as the youth put their talents, ideas and hearts into a presentation that explores the nature of UUism for youth. It is an opportunity to share some of what they explored this year in terms of their developing spirtuality. Most importantly, it is a great chance to see these youth in a fun, energetic and thought-provoking life. Please join us!



Get Out of That Shell!
by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz

April 17, 2011

Spring is a time when everything is "breaking forth," from birds to butterflies. Transformation - the movement from one state to another - is a metaphor that holds true for the human spirit as well. This service will look at the journey of the monarch butterfly and what that might teach us about the interdependent web.

Intergenerational Service
With Kathy Strawser

Sermon text not yet available


It’s Not My Fault:
by Rev. Wayne Arnason and
Ellen Carvill-Ziemer, Intern Minister

March 20, 2011

Almost all of us, young and old, remember the times when we got accused of something bad we didn't do! We also remember when we got away with something bad we did do! For children, avoiding blame can be the first major moral temptation and challenge they encounter. But it's a challenge that continues throughout our adult lives.

Intergenerational Service text unavailable


Everybody Makes Mistakes
by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz and
Ellen Carvill-Ziemer

February 27, 2011

People break up and things break down. We all mess up and nobody's perfect! Can we learn to accept our own and each other's errors? A worship service you won't want to miss with story, music, and movement plus a special appearance by a Junior Church Free Spirit Band!

Intergenerational Service

text unavailable


Saying No to Yes and Yes to No
by Rev. Kathleen Rolenz and
Rev. Wayne Arnason

January 30, 2011

We say "no" to a lot of things - no to broccoli, no to bad television shows, no to being dragged to places we don't want to go. In some ways it's much easier to say "no" to small things than "yes" to big things. What are those big things? Why would we want to say "yes" to them?

Intergenerational Service


Keeping the Piece: An Intergenerational Service with Rev. Kathleen Rolenz and Kathy Strawser

November 21, 2010

Holidays are often a time when peace is hard to find, yet we all play an essential “piece” in "keeping the peace" with our relatives, families, friends and ourselves. What are the elements that make for peaceful interactions? What spiritual resources can we draw upon? The Junior Choir will join us today to sing Gaudeamus Hodie. We welcome gifts of homemade bread loaves from your ethnic tradition to share during and after the service. Bring a can of food, as non-perishable food donations will also be collected. The Social Action Offering today will be given to the Cleveland Food Bank.

sermon text unavailable


The Veil Between the Worlds: An Intergenerational Service with Rev. Wayne Arnason and Kathy Strawser

October 31, 2010

Samhain (pronounced sow-en, from a Gaelic word meaning the "end of summer") is the ancient Celtic New Year and an important holiday in the contemporary pagan practice that has attracted some of West Shore's membership. Rather than conforming to the co-option by popular culture of this holiday and offering an intergenerational Halloween service, we have invited the advice and support of West Shore's pagan practitioners in fashioning an intergenerational service that honors the ancient and contemporary Samhain traditions.

Sermon text unavailable


Ingathering Water Ceremony: An Intergenerational Service

September 9, 2010

We use water to dedicate children because water is both commonplace and extraordinary. As we start a new church year, we’ll hear the story of the “Water Boy” and consider water’s many meanings. For the Water Ceremony in this service, bring any water you collected that symbolizes something about the summer that had meaning for you. We alternate the forms of the sharing we do, and this year people will be invited to offer a brief word about their symbolic water.


Feed Them on Your Dreams: An Intergenerational Service with Rev. Wayne Arnason and Kathy Strawser

May 9, 2010

All ages and stages of life involve us in balancing body and mind to make our dreams come true. Parents and children feed each other with the dreams they share and act upon. In a service where we will celebrate motherhood and remember parents both present to us and lost to us, a service in which we will dedicate children, honor a graduate, and thank our teachers, we will find many ways to encounter the dreams that sustain us throughout our lifespans. Bill Hudson and our youth choir will each offer special muisic. Please remember to bring canned food for our monthly collection for local pantries.

Read sermon here


Where Do the Mermaids Stand? An Intergenerational Service with Sunshine Wolfe and Kathy Strawers

April 18, 2010

We will celebrate Earth Day by exploring how creatures find their own place in the world. How do we know what our role is in the web of life? What do we do once we figure it out? What can we learn from chickens, rabbits, mermaids, and ourselves about each being’s place on this planet? What is our responsibility for caring and protecting Mother Earth?


Tomorrow’s Church: An Intergenerational Service with Rev. Rolenz, Kathy Strawser, and Sunshine Wolfe

March 21, 2010

West Shore has long been a place where we attempt to make real the values and principles we claim to believe. When we say we're committed to being an "Anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural institution," what does that really mean? This high energy/all ages 45-minute service will provide the framework for an all-church conversation, to be held immediately following the worship service about what a multicultural West Shore might look and feel like in the next chapter of our common church life. We'll be planning and dreaming "tomorrow's church" through story, song, and with some help from the Intergenerational Choir's anthem "There's a New Day Dawning."