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Sermon Archive

Below the Valley

Date

A haunting folk song tells an Easter story with a Universalist message of resistance to power and the power of resistance. Matt Lynch will perform the song and I’ll try to unpack some of its meaning.

By Rev. Moro

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Decolonization: Until All Of Us Are Free, None Of Us Are Free

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Decolonization has become quite an academic and social buzzword in the last few years, even within religious settings. Originally applied to the work stressed by Indigenous people to come out from under the hundreds of years of subjugation and cultural genocide, this term is now being applied to mainstream society and American culture. Join me as we explore the nuances and applications of this self-reflective method for freeing ourselves from the yolks that oppress us all. Decolonization has the potential to truly help save our world. 

Rev. Gary McAlpin was raised mostly with his maternal grandparents in rural Northeast Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas, with his grandmother being a strict Baptist and his grandfather a traditional ceremonial Cherokee.   Gary has an undergraduate degree in Cross-Cultural Services, an MDiv with emphasis on Native American Pastoral Care and a Masters in Clinical-Counseling Psychology with concentration in Indigenous Psychology and Inter-Generational Trauma. Gary found the UUA around 13 years ago after serving in different denominations as church planter and a minister, both adult and youth. Rev. McAlpin has also served as a therapist for over 12 years in mental health settings, mostly with adolescents and families. 

Currently, Rev. McAlpin is a UUA Community Minister serving the people of Cherokee County, the heart of Cherokee Nation with outreach, aid and support for the community and families affected by pediatric cancer and environmental climate justice. His organization is called Sweetwater Foundation, a 501.c.3.

 

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Nice Little Church

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How big is our religious community? Physical dimensions and numbers of members can be deceptive.  When we come together on Sundays—virtually or in person—we gather on something like the tip of an iceberg.  There’s so much more beneath the surface!  Let’s explore such thoughts together as we move forward with our annual stewardship campaign.

By Rev. Craig Moro and the Stewardship Team

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Recognizing & Creating Rhythms for Wellness

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Today marks the first day of Daylight Savings Time, a stark reminder to all of us how tied we are to the rhythms of our world.  We have heard of circadian rhythms and the influence they have over our sleep.  Dr. Han Liang brings his work and experience in mental health to highlight the science and the importance of attention to rhythm for our overall well being.

Dr. Han Liang is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist serving families here in Portland.

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Renouncing the Fruit

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India’s Mahabharata is the longest epic poem in the world, more than ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined.  It’s a cluster of many stories framed in the overarching narrative of a great civil war between two branches of the same clan; a war that goes on for years but achieves very little; a war that is set in motion by a game of dice.  What a crazy reason to fight!  You would hope that “religion” would provide a way out of such conflict.  What good does it do if it only pulls us further in?

This is the first of a four-part series of sermons inspired by sources from the Hindu and Indian Buddhist traditions (one each in March and April and two in June).

By Rev. Craig Moro

 

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Police Accountability & Community Safety

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Speaker: Derek Bradley, Policy Director for Commissioner Hardesty

We'll learn about recent efforts to promote police accountability in the City of Portland, and explore the question, "What does community safety mean to us?" We'll also hear Derek's story of coming into this work and what it means to him.

Derek moved to Portland in 2002 to attend Reed College.  After that he worked in state politics including working for State Representative Greg Matthews in the Oregon Legislature. He eventually went to law school at Lewis and Clark and has worked for Commissioner Hardesty since January 2019.

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Things Fall Apart

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Chinua Achebe, born in colonized Nigeria, found the title for his first novel in the third line of a famous poem by William Butler Yeats, who was born in colonized Ireland: Things Fall Apart.  And he also found much more. First published in 1958, it is probably the most widely read book by any author from sub-Saharan Africa. I re-read it recently after more than 50 years and found so much that I had missed before. I will try to put it all together this morning.

By Rev. Moro

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What is Love?

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It's Valentine's Day, of course, yet that occurrence usually brings to mind only one image of love. Wy’east members and friends will share their own take on different kinds of love. For family members. Pets. Neighbors. Friends. Community. Nature. Stories that engage us. Lessons learned.  Join us.

By Wy'east members and friends

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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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