West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
Looking for the Truth

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

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

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

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

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.

We Are All Called

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?

On Being an Imposter

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?

Elijah’s Angel

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

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

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?

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.

 

Can We Talk about Class?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Martin Luther King & the Question of Class

Martin Luther King & the Question of Class

January 15, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

There are reasons why America celebrates the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King as a crusader for racial justice, and fails to mention the part of his legacy that focuses squarely the injustices of poverty and class in America. We will look back at King’s prophetic vision, and look forward to what is needed today.

 

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On Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, and Intersectionality

On Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, and Intersectionality

January 8, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Unitarian Universalists and other progressives have struggled to “make the world a better place” for a very long time. For most of that time, we have worked on one issue at a time. Now, we are challenged to see how injustice toward one group is connected to injustice elsewhere. Some thoughts about why UUs went to Standing Rock, and other stories. The Free Spirit Band will play, and the children will join us in the Sanctuary for the beginning of the service.

 

 

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The Battle for Christmas

The Battle for Christmas

December 11, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart 

Given current controversies over language and “the holidays,” you might not know that Christmas has not always been accepted as a legitimate religious holiday in America. Come hear some of the stories of how Christmas became a beloved and sacred holiday in our country, and how Unitarians and Universalists led the way!

 

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The Welcome Table: Building An Inclusive World View

The Welcome Table: Building An Inclusive World View

December 4, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Chaplain Kevin Lowry

Director of Covenant Student Ministries

During the holiday season, we may find ourselves at many different tables. How do we as Unitarian Universalists create an inclusive worldview that widens the Beloved Community and welcomes all to the table? The Free Spirit Band will play, and a special Youth Choir will sing. Kevin Lowry is the Chaplain and Director of Covenant Student Ministries, an ecumenical Campus Ministry in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood, and a seminarian with the UU House of Study at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Kevin lives in Wooster with his wife Alex, Daughter Estella and the soon to arrive Baby Boy.

 

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Getting the Story Straight

Getting the Story Straight

November 20, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Thanksgiving is a cherished American holiday, celebrating gratitude and community, and commemorating the hospi-tality of the “first Thanksgiving” between the Pilgrims and the Indians in the early days of the Plymouth Colony. But what really happened almost 400 years ago is much more interesting than the stories we learned in elementary school.

 

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Discovering the Stories of West Shore

Discovering the Stories of West Shore

November 13, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

How would you complete this sentence: “West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church is a congregation that ____________?” There are facts that belong in such a de-scription, of course; but the ways people feel about and remember their church’s “story” have enormous power in representing both its present challenges and future possibilities. What story will you tell about West Shore?

 

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What Shall We Say?

What Shall We Say?

November 6, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

The election is (finally) upon us, and it would seem that our country is coming apart. Divisions are deep, the American Dream is coming under fire, and the search for common ground can feel like a pointless exercise. What are we called to do, as “faithful” people? How do our religious values and principles inform our actions and our words, even now? Especially now!

 

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Rememberance

Rememberance

October 30, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Kathy Strawser

In this darkening time of the year, it is fitting to remember beloved friends, family, and even pets that have passed away. For our ritual of remembrance, all are invited to bring a picture or memento of a deceased loved one or pet. What is the power of remembrance?

 

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Unitarian Universalism: Saving Lives!

Unitarian Universalism: Saving Lives!

October 23, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Reverend Christopher Long

Worship Leaders As Unitarian Universalists and friends of the great, living tradition, we put great trust in the ability of science and medicine to heal our physical bodies in some instances, and rightly so. Let’s explore together what, if any, role our UU Principles and Sources, and UU theologies, play in healing in our lives. Rev. Christopher Long returns to the Cleveland area after eleven years of being away. He graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry (May 2009), was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist Minister by the First Unitarian Church of Oakland (June 2009), and spent the last seven years in Madison, WI, where he worked at the University of Wisconsin as an Assistant Associate Program Specialist.

 

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Collaborative Ministry? Really?

Collaborative Ministry? Really?

October 16, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Times are changing, and so is the church. The roles of Minister, Board, staff and volunteers look quite different than they did even a few decades ago—not to mention the fact that social media has brought what happens at West Shore to many who may never come to church. How shall we, together, create something that fits our time?

 

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Going With Empty Hands

Going With Empty Hands

October 2, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

The Jewish traditions of Rosh Hashanah teach the importance of restoring balance to life by asking for and granting forgiveness. Is it always right to ask forgiveness from those we have harmed, or to offer it to those who have harmed us? What does it mean to forgive?


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Defying Hate

Defying Hate

September 25, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

In 1939, two Unitarians—Rev. Wait still Sharp and his wife, Martha Sharp—traveled to Europe on behalf of the whole denomination to try and help Jews, dissidents and immigrants escape from the growing Nazi threat. Because of the new Ken Burns documentary about the Sharps (to be televised on September 20), UU principles and American values are getting some attention this fall. What can we learn from hearing this story? And what comment does it make in the fierce debates swirling in our time?

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What We’re Here To Do

What We’re Here To Do

September 18, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Ours is a “covenant” faith: what matters most in our congregations is not the word of some divine authority or even pronouncements from UUA “headquarters,” but the gathered wisdom of the people. Each of us feels called to do the right thing… so how does a congregation of individuals become a covenanted group and what does that mean in practice?

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In-gathering!

In-gathering!

September 11, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Come one, come all, to a joyful celebration of the West Shore community, and the “kick-off” Sunday for what promises to be a busy and important church year. This All Ages service will feature “Singing Down the Rain,” a story about water, joy, learning, and how communities grow stronger.Don’t forget to bring water from a place that is important to you and your family. In the annual Water Communion,we will pour our offerings of water together, symbolizing the gifts everyone brings to create the community that is West Shore

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Work and Justice

Work and Justice

September 4, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

On this Labor Day weekend, we will look back at some of the triumphs and losses of our country’s labor movement, and reflect on how cultural attitudes about work shape the structures of our society. Plus, a brief visit from the original “Mother Jones,” an Irish immigrant to America who became an important labor and community organizer.

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Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now?

August 21, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Interim Senior Minister

At this, the beginning of our two-year shared "interim," Rev. Hart will talk about what she’s learned about transitional ministry, where Unitarian Universalism seems to be heading in this tumultuous time, and some of the work we might do together here at West Shore.


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