West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
The Stories That We Tell

The Stories That We Tell

July 25, 2021
Rev. Dave Clements, Guest Worship Leader
Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate
David Blazer, Music Director
 
As we look to the time when we will move past this pandemic what will be the stories that generations will tell about this time. What have we learned?  What has changed in our lives? What meaning and purpose have we found in Unitarian Universalism. How will we be different? What hopes do you have for our faith and for this congregation? How will we find value in our own stories?

 


REV. DAVE CLEMENTS: Ministry for me is a second career.  My first career was spent doing the work of an organizational development consultant. My career allowed me to work in the areas of strategic planning, entrepreneurship and fundraising.  My religious background growing up was mixed. My mother was Jewish and my father Catholic.  I learned how to celebrate both holidays and found joy in doing so.  

Most of my adult life was spent building a career, raising five children as a single parent and just trying to make my mark on the world.  I held several management and director positions in Human Resources, Sales and Fundraising.  My life has been a series of journeys and with each journey I have developed and grown.  I moved to Cleveland in the summer of 2008, to start a new life with my partner, and a few years later started a consulting business. 

In September of 2013, I received my call to the Ministry. Once I made the decision, things started to unfold for me.  I enrolled at Meadville Lombard Theological School in the summer of 2014, completed a Chaplin’s residency in 2015, and spent 2016 and 2017 serving as the Minister Intern at the Kent UU church in Kent Ohio.  In May of 2017, I graduated from Meadville.  I was offered a position that summer as an Interim Minister for the Cape Town Unitarian Church in Cape Town, South Africa.  Living and serving as a Minister outside of my native country has been and continues to be a life-changing experience.  I have learned how to minister to a mixed multicultural and multiracial congregation.  My time spent in South Africa was a life-changing experience.  I have learned that it is always in the quiet moments of our lives when the Holy speaks to us.  In January of 2019, I left South Africa to serve as the Interim Minister in Peoria, IL.  I finished serving that congregation in June of 2020 and accepted a position to serve as the Sr. Interim Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, IN, where I am currently serving.  As an Interim Minister, it is always exciting to learn new ways to engage the congregation especially fostering deep and spiritual connections during this unique time of COVID-19.

 

 

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The World’s Religions:  Unitarian Universalism

The World’s Religions: Unitarian Universalism

June 13, 2021
by Reverend Anthony Makar, Worship Leader
Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate
David Blazer, Director of Music

Our year-long sermon series exploring some of the world religion sources of our Unitarian Universalist spiritual way concludes with Unitarian Universalism.

 

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Coming of Age

Coming of Age

May 16, 2021
 by Barbara Walker, Lay Minister
Melinda McGucken, Judy Montgomery & Grace Durfee, Worship Associates
David Blazer, Director of Music

Today’s service is a feast of perspectives on “Coming of Age” Our 9th Grade Coming of Age graduates will offer their personal credos, and several of our Worship Associates will contribute their reflections around the journey of personal growth.

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Annual Blessing of the Animals

Annual Blessing of the Animals

April 25, 2021
by Reverend Anthony Makar, Worship Leader
Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate

Today is our second annual Blessing of the Animals service! In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we are celebrating the animal companions we love. If you have an animal companion, please share a picture of yourself with them and send it to Christine Salontay at csalontay@gmail.com. Christine will create a video montage, which we will enjoy during the service.

 

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The New Normal

The New Normal

February 21, 2021
 by Reverend Randy Partain, Worship Leader
Elizabeth Gerencser & Melinda McGucken, Worship Associates
David Blazer, Director of Music

We’ve heard about a “new normal” for quite a while. Many people have also said that "normal" is just a setting on the washing machine. We might take pride in being unique. And yet, when it comes to the way we judge or accept others, it often comes down to how well another person fits our personal definition of "normal." How can we draw the circle of welcome wider and still embrace our own sense of individuality?

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The World Religions: Islam

The World Religions: Islam

February 14, 2021
 by Reverend Anthony Makar, Worship Leader
Melinda McGucken, Worship Associates
David Blazer, Director of Music

Our year-long sermon series exploring some of the world religion sources of our Unitarian Universalist spiritual way continues with Islam. Our study text is Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions: The 50th Anniversary Edition (available at your local bookstore, at Amazon, and other outlets). Reach out to Rev. Makar directly if you are unable to afford purchasing the book. As preparation for the sermon, please read the chapter on Islam (pp. 221-270) before the service.

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An Enlightened Presence In A World Falling Apart

An Enlightened Presence In A World Falling Apart

December 27, 2020

by Param Srikantia, Guest Worship Leader

Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate

David Blazer, Director of Music

COVID-19, racial tensions, economic insecurity and political differences have generated tremendous stress. The acronym VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic and Ambiguous) has been invoked to describe periods of discontinuity and disruption. The talk will explore the theme of "Enlightened Presence" suggesting five pathways that will enable us to light the lamp of inner wisdom so that we can be a healing presence to ourselves and to others around us. Dr. Param Srikantia, Professor, School of Business at Baldwin Wallace University, is a former television host and a TEDX speaker who is well acquainted with the art of energizing a live audience. Dr. Srikantia has recently embarked on public seminars based on non-traditional ways of unleashing human potential that have now grown to a contagious level of popularity reaching over 100K attendees in Cleveland, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Toronto and the New York metropolitan areas. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration, Human Resources and Organizational Psychology.

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The World’s Religions:  Confucianism

The World’s Religions: Confucianism

December 13, 2020

by Reverand Anthony Makar, Worship Leader

Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate

David Blazer, Director of Music

Our year-long sermon series exploring some of the world religion sources of our Unitarian Universalist spiritual way continues with Confucianism. Our study text is Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions: The 50th Anniversary Edition (available at your local bookstore, at Amazon, and other outlets). Reach out to Rev. Makar directly if you are unable to afford purchasing the book. As preparation for the sermon, please read the chapter on Confucianism (pp. 154-195) before the service

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Thanksgiving 2020: A Thanksgiving Wish

Thanksgiving 2020: A Thanksgiving Wish

November 22, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar

Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate

David Blazer, Director of Music

Today is our intergenerational Thanksgiving service, so all ages will be together to enjoy our focus story entitled “A Thanksgiving Wish” written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by John Thompson. As you listen to the story, here are some questions to keep in mind: Does your family have any special Thanksgiving rituals? Is there anybody you’ll be especially missing over the holidays? When you are sad, what helps you feel better?

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The World’s Religions: Hinduism

The World’s Religions: Hinduism

October 18, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar

Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate

David Blazer, Director of Music

Our year-long sermon series exploring some of the world religion sources of our Unitarian Universalist spiritual way begins with Hinduism. Our study text is Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions: The 50th Anniversary Edition. The book is available at your local bookstore, at Amazon, and other outlets. Reach out to Rev. Makar directly if you are unable to afford purchasing the book. As preparation for the sermon, please read the chapter on Hinduism (pp. 12-81) before the service.

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The Story of Our Faith

The Story of Our Faith

September 20, 2020

by Reverend Anthony Makar

Melinda McGucken, Worship Associate

David Blazer, Director of Music

Did you know that the history of our faith - its journey across time - can be told using the Six Sources? Come hear Rev. Makar tell our story in a way you may never have heard it told before!

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Lies About Allies

Lies About Allies

March 16, 2014

by The Ministry Team


On this weekend, we are hosting the national conference of the Allies for Racial Equity (ARE), a network of white allies accountable to people of color in the struggle against oppression and racism. It’s easy enough to call yourself a white ally. It’s a lot harder being one. This Sunday we’ll explore the lies about allies, and see whether in doing so, we can uncover a little truth as well.

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