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Sermon Archive

How to Skin a Cat (and Renew a Community!)

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Electronic devices offer us so many “virtual” ways to interact with each other and with a host of virtual worlds.  Sometimes, though, we need to get down to the real flesh, blood, and bone.  Today I’ll describe how one community of young people renewed itself by creating a powerful ritual together.  I’ll also tell you one way to skin a cat(fish).  If you’re squeamish, you might want to cover your ears for that part of the story!

By Rev. Moro

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Weaving and Leading with Love

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While our country was shaken this year by pandemic, protests and politics, small acts of courage and care showed the path forward to repairing our nation’s frayed and torn social fabric. 2021 offers us an invitation to recommit ourselves to one another, to build on the commitments we made this year to care for friends and strangers alike, seeing the worth and dignity in all.

New York Times columnist David Brooks and the non-partisan Aspen Institute started Weave: The Social Fabric Project to help people across the country who are weaving our tattered social fabric by bringing their communities together, forming deep relationships, and serving each other across differences. Our vision is to create a nation brimming with deep, healthy connections to each other, where mutual trust and affection is our standard, equity is implicit, and people find joy in daily life.   

Join Weave’s Research Fellow, Hershawna Frison, as she shares how Weave is shining a light on Weavers across the country and building a network of support in communities. We plan to engage in meaningful reflection, asking you “What’s your call to action as it relates to weaving across our country?” “Are there small ways in which you show up for others and Lead with Love?”

 

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It Takes Practice by Matt Meyer

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Our favorite songs, whoever the artist or whatever the style, were created in a strange alchemy of study and inspiration, of strict practice and of letting go.

Spiritual Practice is a similar combination of dedication, muscle memory, and perhaps a little divine inspiration. Join us for a musical exploration of learning to risk, building the muscle memory of courage, and the spiritual practice of relationship when things around us are changing fast.

Matt is a musician and worship leader who has led hundreds of services for UU congregations across the country. He has a degree in hand drumming and serves as Director of Community Life for Sanctuary Boston.

Wy’east will be hosting, but this is a joint Service with Mid-Columbia Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Hood River, OR.

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Good People, Bad Practice

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The Confucian tradition tells us that “Human beings are by nature good.” Prophetic teachers like Martin Luther King also affirmed the inherent goodness, worth, and dignity of all people.  He taught us to express this through the practice of transformative public rituals, tightly linked to political action. But in times of conflict he never simply asserted that there are “very fine people on both sides.”  What’s the right ritual response for good people to make in times like ours? Not an easy question to answer!  Service led by Rev. Craig Moro.

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Rep. Tawna Sanchez

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Representative Tawna Sanchez joins us as part of our Social Justice Focus for this church year on Indigenous Peoples.  She is currently serving in the Oregon Legislature (representing District 43 which covers North and Northeast Portland) and has spent her life working to strengthen our community. Born of Shoshone-Bannock, Ute, and Carrizo descent, Tawna grew up in Portland, and for many years has been a leader fighting for the rights of women, indigenous people, and the most vulnerable.  

 

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What Time Is It?

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What we call 2021 is also the Hebrew year 5780, the Chinese year 4656, and the Thai year 2563. But what time is it in the cycle of your life? Can you name the season—spring, summer, fall or winter?  Can you even name the month? Is it helpful to think about such things? Let’s ponder them together today.

By Rev. Moro

Join our Virtual Service Sunday at 10:30

Click Here to link to the Zoom Service

Meeting ID: 275 194 110

Phone In: (669) 900-6833

Soul Circle: Toward a New Year

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The year is almost over, and we wanted to take a moment to reflect, asking our congregation, “What would you like for yourself in the new year?” For our fourth participatory "Soul Circle" service, based on the small group ministry concept of Chalice Circles, we will all have the opportunity to reflect and share deeply.

How would you like to move through the world in 2021? Do you have resolutions, plans, hopes? What would you like to take with you? What would you like to leave behind?

We will begin with an introduction to the topic and some quick guidelines. We'll then break into circles of 4 or 5 people, each with a volunteer facilitator to track the time. After about 20 minutes, we'll all come back together for Joys and Sorrows to conclude the service.

This service will be led and facilitated by Wy'east members & friends.

Join our virtual service Sunday at 10:30am.

Click here to link to the Zoom service.

Meeting ID: 275 194 110

Phone in: (669) 900-6833

Christmas Eve Gathering at 5pm

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On Christmas Eve, we will “gather for renewal and fellowship” as called for by our mission. We’ll do so virtually, as called for by current pandemic restrictions, alongside our covenant to be cared for and to care for others. We will share stories, light candles, and close with the traditional Silent Night, led by members of the choir. In community together, though separated by screens, we will grieve what we are missing and lift up our hopes shining through the darkness. You're invited to bring a candle to light from your home worship space.

Join our virtual service/gathering at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

Click here to link to the Zoom service.

Meeting ID: 275 194 110

Phone in: (669) 900-6833

Gifts and Offerings

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Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti reminds us that after all the storefront Santas and sappiness, the doctrinaire posturing and nonstop advertising, the real thing is still there, waiting to get through to us: Christmas.  When it does, it can almost seem like a miracle!

By Rev. Moro

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Celebration of Light

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In the spirit of innovation demanded by 2020, we have reimagined our annual Celebration of Light service.  In more usual times, our children would regale us with adorable costumes and antics in their annual Winter Pageant, acting out the solstice stories of eight different religious traditions.  This year, show writer & producer Anders Liljehom, will tell the story of the creation of this production celebrating how we all find meaning in the darkness of winter, no matter which stories are told and which holidays we observe.  A few members will share their stories of celebrating holidays.

Service coordinated and led by Anders Liljeholm.

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