Growing Up with Money

February 10, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

What lessons did you learn about money as a child? Was it the key to security, or happiness – or was money’s power a temptation to guard against, a pathway to immorality? We tend to carry such early lessons into adulthood, where they can exert more influence than we know. What money lessons do you hope to demonstrate in your life? What money stories do you hope your church will teach?

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Growing Up With Money
Sermon Only

February 10, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

What lessons did you learn about money as a child? Was it the key to security, or happiness – or was money’s power a temptation to guard against, a pathway to immorality? We tend to carry such early lessons into adulthood, where they can exert more influence than we know. What money lessons do you hope to demonstrate in your life? What money stories do you hope your church will teach?

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Remember Those Who Forget

January 13, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Marty Blachly-Cross

Worship Associate

"Remember Those Who Forget," an article written by a Presbyterian elder, asks us to imagine how congregations might become more dementia-friendly. Why is this important to Unitarian Universalists? How might our own experiences with those who suffer from cognitive memory loss—those in our congregation, families and larger communities—transform us and move us to act on our values?

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Where is This Holy Church?

January 6, 2019

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

The third and final year of this interim period has reached the halfway point, and it’s time to pause and take stock. How many of the goals set for this transitional time have been met, and which ones are still out of reach? What opportunities and challenges have shown up along the way, and how have they changed the West Shore story? Reflections on what has happened so far, and what comes next. The Free Spirit Band will play.

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A Story for Christmas

December 23, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Martha Boesel

Worship Associate

All are welcome as we retell Truman Capote’s timeless story “A Christmas Memory.” The largely autobiographical story, which takes place in the 1930s, describes a period in the lives of the seven-year-old narrator and an elderly woman who is his distant cousin and best friend. The evocative narrative focuses on country life, friendship, and the joy of giving—and gently yet poignantly touches on themes of loneliness and loss. Is it fruitcake weather yet?

 

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In the Stillness of These Moments - SERVICE

December 2, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

Advent as a spiritual practice: pondering the mystery of waiting expectantly, when we don’t quite know what we’re waiting for. The Free Spirit Band will play; come early to hear the Junior Choir sing in the sanctuary!

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In the Stillness of These Moments - SERMON

December 2, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Gerry Meader

Worship Associate

Advent as a spiritual practice: pondering the mystery of waiting expectantly, when we don’t quite know what we’re waiting for. The Free Spirit Band will play; come early to hear the Junior Choir sing in the sanctuary!

 

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Memories of Family Gatherings

November 18, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

Memories of all kinds tend to grow from the rich soil of family gatherings for the holidays. Come explore together the nature of memories, and some wise magic for transforming the “grungy” ones into joyful, appreciative ones. We'll worship together as a congregation: PreK-K class and older children will stay in the Sanctuary for the whole service and sit with their families.

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Called to Beloved Community

November 4, 2018

by Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President and

Reverend Tricia Hart

Unitarian Universalists are being called at this moment to live more powerfully and boldly into a vision of a Beloved Community. What does this look like and how do we answer “Yes” to this calling in our lives and in our congregations? Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray was elected President of the Unitarian Universalist Association on June 24, 2017. Prior to her election, she served as Lead Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, Arizona. Susan played a critical role in the long-term campaign to end the constitutional violations of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Susan received a Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is a lifelong UU who grew up at in the St. Louis area. She lives now in Cam-bridge, MA with her husband, Brian and their son.

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Welcoming Every Generation

October 21, 2018

by Reverend Patricia Hart

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Dana Morgan

Worship Associate

West Shore has made a commitment to be a “multi-generational” community: a place where persons of all ages are not only welcome but where opportunities abound for those of different generations to interact and learn from one another. Some reflection and history about child dedications, and a celebration of legacy gifts from several elders who have gone before us.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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What We Need is Here

November 19, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Maura Garin

Worship Associate

Thanksgiving is a reminder of the abundance in our lives: how much we have, and how grateful we are; or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Some thoughts on the power of being grateful (even when you don’t feel like it).

 

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Overwhelmed?

November 12, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Christine Salontay

Worship Associate

Some seasons, the world throws more at us than we know how to handle. Join us for reflections on keeping on when the way is rough, and ways we help one another.

 

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Can We Talk about Class?

November 5, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Betsy Leondar - Wright and Rev. Lee Paczulla

Inclusivity Ministry Task Force Presenters

The Inclusivity Ministry Task Force responded to many calls to take on the challenging topic of class in America by hosting the ground-breaking Class Conversations workshop here at West Shore on Saturday, November 4. Sunday’s worship service will feature that program’s presenters, Betsy Leondar - Wright and Rev. Lee Paczulla, in dialogue with Rev. Hart. How does “class” fit into our commitment to become an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural congregation?

 

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Practicing Resurrection

April 16, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Barbara Walker

Worship Associate

Easter and Passover show up as springtime celebrations, full of good food and family get-togethers. But the religious stories behind both of these holidays deal with profound change and dislocation, when all that is familiar gets over- turned and something truly new begins

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Changing Lives

April 2, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

This year’s stewardship campaign is posing two questions: How has West Shore UU Church changed lives? and How could West Shore change even more lives, even more effectively, in the future? Answers offered so far have been fascinating, and broadly focused. Stewardship is all about connecting people’s dreams of a vital future with the resources needed to make it all happen. The Free Spirit Band will play!

 

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According to Our Better Angels

March 26, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Wisdom counsels us to be our “authentic selves.” But what kind and level of authenticity should we strive for—to be who and what we already are, or to reach for the better self we’ve always meant to achieve? Reflections on what it could mean to actually live out your highest values. This Service Auction sermon was won by Chris Baumhauer.

 

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Finding Balance

March 19, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

The Equinox is approaching—winter is waning, spring is upon us, as day and night move back into equilibrium. This is a good season to seek balance: in one’s personal life, and even in our communities. What would it look like, to be a community in balance? What might it take to get there?

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Parallel Histories

February 19, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Americans have spent time celebrating “Black History” in February for almost a century, since Dr. Carter G. Woodson initiated Negro History Week in 1926. Those celebrations have focused on some of the ways that African Americans and White Americans have lived separate histories in our country. Can we find a way to see the whole story, more fully?

 

Photo is of  Louis Latimer.  He  received a patent in January 1881 for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of carbon filaments used in lightbulbs

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Love and Money

February 12, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

As Stewardship season begins at West Shore, we will look at how two very powerful forces in life—love and money—can pull us in opposite directions. How can we allow ourselves (and teach our children) to bring our love and our money back in line?

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Just the Way You Are

February 5, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

We are all the same… and we are all different, too. Join us for this All Ages service as we explore questions of identity and community through a delightful story, “The Checker Players” by Alan Venable. Can we truly honor one another as individuals and still find a way to common ground and shared commitment? The Free Spirit Band will play, and children first grade and older will stay for the entire service.

 

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The State of the Church

January 29, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

As we approach the halfway mark of this first interim year, it makes sense to mark where we are: to celebrate accomplishments, notice challenges, and look ahead to see what might be coming next. Rev. Hart will talk a bit about lessons from the Timeline, begun in November by the Board, Emeritus Council and Transition Team. The timeline will be posted in Baker Hall on Sundays in early January—there is still time to add your own comments.

 

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