Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville, Maryland

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Our Sermons

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Upcoming Sermons & Services

 

 

All in-person gatherings at UUCR are suspended until further notice. ALL INFORMATION BELOW IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. View the latest "All-UUCR" emails here for ongoing updates re: virtual gathering.

Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom (virtual worship space opens at 10:15 a.m.)

 

If My Body were a Tree Trunk

Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, April 18 — Author Robert Hensel wrote, "If my body were a tree trunk, the rings would surely reveal the time it has had to mature." Following our spiritual theme of Becoming and the arc of the life of a tree, we turn to growth and depth in our spiritual lives. Too often, we become "quagmired" in our own stories and inhibit our own growth. What do our rings reveal? Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage. 
Becoming Branches
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, April 25 — In this special service with both our UU Ann Arbor kin joining us AND multigenerational leadership in worship, we will explore gratitude and growth...becoming and extending...and revel in the ways we can transform as life calls us on. Roots hold me close, wings set me free. As we conclude this month of "Becoming" what are we willing to let go, that no longer serves us or our faith, in order to become free? Where is gratitude leading us? Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage.

Past Sunday Services

Encouraging New Growth
Ministerial Intern Kirk Freeman
Sunday, April 11 — Some trees - like fruit trees in an orchard - are constantly pruned back to ensure crops that are more valued on the market. From a young age, we are taught to notice differences. Systems and institutions encourage us to fear difference and to be ashamed if we don’t fit in. For some, this fear and shame can emerge in subtle and harmful behaviors that we may not even realize or intend. This Sunday we will explore how we can accountably disrupt this behavior as we seek to grow into a beautiful tangle of multicultural beloved community. Led by Ministerial Intern Kirk Freeman. 

Tomb of the Soul
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, April 4 — As we begin the month of "Becoming,", the arc of worship for the month follows the growth of a tree: seeds in the ground, the sapling stage, rising through the core, and then finally the full extension of branches. This week begins with darkness: the tomb of the soul, the darkness of the womb, seeds that are underground, waiting for emergence and vitality. At times, doubt and perfectionism can keep us immobilized. How is this a time of planting seeds and watering a new normal for our spiritual lives? Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage, with special music by the UUCR Community Choir. 

Say Yes
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, March 28 — Guess what? It's Membership Sunday and yes, we actually have Beloveds who have chosen to make UUCR their spiritual home - in the middle of a pandemic. Wow! They are saying YES to us. As author Brian Andreas reminds us, "Say Yes. Whatever it is, say yes with your whole heart, and simple as it sounds - that’s all the excuse life needs to grab you by the hands and start to dance." In following our theme of "Commitment," how does saying YES give space for us to dance? 

Holy Redirect
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, March 14 —  Our Annual Canvass Sunday is here! There is nothing more astonishing than a community that makes the intentional decision every week, and every year, to affirm that this Beloved Community is important, life changing, and heart nourishing. We are a people of Covenant, and we affirm our Covenant by living our values and principles, because that's what we do to build the world we seek. Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage and with special music by Bonfire of the Mannakeys.

Because That's What We Do
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, March 14 —  Our Annual Canvass Sunday is here! There is nothing more astonishing than a community that makes the intentional decision every week, and every year, to affirm that this Beloved Community is important, life changing, and heart nourishing. We are a people of Covenant, and we affirm our Covenant by living our values and principles, because that's what we do to build the world we seek. Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage and with special music by Bonfire of the Mannakeys.

Youth Worship
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, March 7 — The Spiritual theme for the month of March is "Commitment." Commitment begins with heart, what we love, what we cherish! When we hold something dear to our hearts, we make intentional choices to return to it time and again with our time and our talents. Our spiritual lives become more rich when we "Love. Serve. Grow." What does "Commitment" look like in Beloved Community?

Youth Worship
RE High School Youth 
Sunday, February 28 —  Our annual tradition of welcoming our Youth to lead worship is a welcomed delight! Come join them as they share reflections around experiencing community under COVID-19. This special and always powerful worship will include their personal learnings and what it means to be alone and together in this time of pandemic. 

May Your Lives Preach Louder than Your Lips
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, February 21 — "May your lives preach louder than your lips." This quote from an early 19th century Unitarian minister, Rev. William Ellery Channing, is often a coda from Rev. Rebekah. What does this truly mean for our spiritual lives? With strife and cultivated divisions all around us, and even in our families, what does this look like with our call to live our values of justice and compassion? Special music by guest musicians Emily Jaworski & Tad Koriath.

Share the Love
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, February 14 — In this culminating Sunday of the 30 Days of Love Campaign, we are invited to Share the Love in a Big Way! To live our faith is to love it so much, we share it widely and invite more to join us at the table. This is a perfect Sunday to welcome friends and those who may be seeking a spiritual community. Yes, beloveds, #UUvangelism at its finest. Share the love! So many are hurting and isolated right now, and this Beloved Community has room to welcome them in. Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage, with special music by Khalid Alzouma. 

Shake Up the Nation
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, February 7 — Mahatma Gandhi said, "In a gentle way, you can shake the world." As we reflect on this week's theme of "Restoration and Reparations" from the 30 Days of Love Campaign, how do we engage this process within ourselves and our community? What part does forgiveness play in restoring wholeness and reparations from the past?

Reflections on Imagination
Worship Arts Team
Sunday, January 31 — Please join the Worship Arts Team for a lay-led service around the theme of Imagination. Special music by guest singer-songwriter Crys Matthews.

All Hail the Kween
Ministerial Intern Mathew Taylor
Sunday, January 24 — The Winter Solstice marked our astrological shift and that great shift has begun. We have been in stasis; what happens when we emerge?  How will we claim who we are becoming? Join Ministerial Intern Mathew P. Taylor on this "Tiara Sunday" to claim your sovereignty with music inspired by the Queen herself,  Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. (Don't forget to bring your tiaras!)

King for A Day
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, January 17 — The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led with wisdom and grace, and gave our world a blueprint for building Beloved Community. In this time of global pandemic and societal upheaval, we know that how we show up, care for each other and ourselves, and continue comes down to how we embrace life, or abiding the further fracturing of the interdependent web of which we are a part. Dr. King challenged and called us to the highest good, with the true faith that is it possible to heal the divisions of our country. What is our part? What if we were Dr. King for a day? Special music offered by HALO and members of the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries. Led by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage.

Lamentation & Divine Rage
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, January 10 — We watched, the country watched and the world watched the events at the Capitol unfold in shock, dismay and horror. We are in mourning for the hopes we held for this time. In the first of two services, we will hold space and consider this occasion for lamentation and rage, as we wonder together how we face this moment.

Dreamed into Being
Ministerial Intern Kirk Freeman
Sunday, January 3 — “Nature never hurries,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Atom by atom, little by little, it achieves its work.” As we enter into a new year and a new monthly spiritual theme of imagination, we will explore the creative impulses at work in the universe and within our lives. Special music offered by multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer Hal Walker.

PJ's & Poetry
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, December 27 — At this annual UUCR tradition, we gather together for a very informal, casual service to share a love of poetry. Make your pancakes ahead of time, put on your coziest pajamas and slippers, and grab your favorite poem to share (on camera live, or shared in the chat, or read by Rev. Rebekah). All ages welcome; bonus points if you bring props to go with your poem! Justin Furnia on piano.

The Liberation Theology Story of Christmas
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Thursday, December 24 at 8:30 p.m. — " A child is born and brings a message of revolution to the world. With each child comes the call again to co-create our world anew. How would Jesus be born in our world today? Come and let us join together for this special Christmas Eve service at 8:30 p.m. with carols, special music, and a little Liberation Theology to light our journey ahead. A Joint UU Choir and MUUSICA will be featured. Join our 8:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service here. Virtual worship space opens at 8:15 p.m.

Christmas Eve Multigenerational Worship with Pageant
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage and Carla Miller, Director of Religious Education
Thursday, December 24 at 4:30 p.m. —  One of the most joyful celebrations of the winter holidays at UUCR is the annual pageant presented by our children and youth. This year will be no exception, as part of our 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service! We are delighted to bring you a virtual pageant, retelling the Christian story of Christmas. Traditional carols, special music from our choir, and Rev. Rebekah's message provide a fully multigenerational Christmas Eve worship experience!  Join our 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service here. Virtual worship space opens at 4:15 p.m.

BLUE Vespers
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Wednesday, December 23 at 8:00 p.m. —  For many people and families, the holidays are a time of joy and connection. For many of us, the holidays are reminders of loss, disconnection and challenges. BLUE Vespers is a space for honoring the Holidays and not centering how we "should" be joyful and celebrate at this time. Bring your tears and sorrow, they are welcomed here. Just being together offers a balm to weary spirits. Join our Vespers service here on Wednesday evening.

What a Wonder, the Winterland!
Ministerial Intern Mathew Taylor and Wheel of the Year
Sunday, December 20 —  "What a Wonder, the Winterland!" During this time of year there are several holidays or Holy Days that we celebrate. We invite you to this service with Mathew and The Wheel of the Year Group as we bring you a Winter Solstice filled with story and song. For the month of December, Justin Furnia offers a live musical prelude. Special music by Unfolding.

Lights of Wonder
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, December 13 — For our Jewish kin and those at UUCR who celebrate, we gather together to reflect on the miracle story of Chanukah. How do the Lights of Wonder call us to Stillness? With the mounting loss around us, we have lost many bright lights of our time. When lights of wonder go out, how does Stillness hold us? For the month of December, Justin Furnia offers a live musical prelude. 

Growing Up
Jim Blue, UUCR Member
Sunday, December 6 — It's not just about getting taller, or older, and not just for younger people. We can continue "growing up" all our lives. The UUCR Chamber Ensemble will be featured. For the month of December, Justin Furnia offers a live musical prelude. 

Slower and Slower
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, November 29 — Have you heard about the Slow Movement? Slower and slower everything. Living, eating, moving. Lily Tomlin wisely shared, “For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” In our last Sunday in the month of our spiritual theme of Healing, we consider the pace of things in the quest for wholeness.

Gratitude and Heartbreak
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, November 22 — Nietzsche wrote, "One must have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star". How else can we possibly explain the state of our lives as other than semi-chaotic? So where's the dancing star? With our spiritual theme of the month, Healing, what enduring lessons come from friction and heartache?

Let It Be Enough
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, November 15 — With each morning, life begins again. At the end of the day, "Let it be Enough" is the prayer of our hearts. In this time of uncertainty and challenge, of connection and separation, how do we find and honor our enough-ness? How do we honor the enough-ness of others?

Healing: Ourselves and a Nation Divided
The UUCR Worship Arts Team
Sunday, November 8 — On Sunday the first Sunday after the election, the Worship Arts team leads us a participatory service focusing on this month's theme of Healing: personal,  familial, societal, and more.  Please join us!
Threads of Healing
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, November 1 — As a people of faith, we are tied to our past and to those who will follow us. Threads of life, of love, connect us to our ancestors. With gratitude, we remember our beloveds who are no longer with us this Sunday at our annual All Souls service. 
That, That! I Want More of That!
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, October 25 — Do you hear voices sometimes? I do. Well, maybe not voices but spirit whispers that say, "Stop and Listen." Spirit whispers that make me pause and take note. Are you on a path that is not yours? Are you called to something or someone that won't let you go? Are you being nudged to say, "Yes, I'm here - send me!" or is spirit warning you with, "Danger, danger Will Robinson"? Listen; we are being called to listen. October 25 is also New Member Sunday! On this day, we formally recognize and welcome the newest members of UUCR with our Director of Communications & Membership, Adrian Graham.
Who We Listen to Is Who We Become
Mathew Taylor and Kirk Freeman, Ministerial Interns
Sunday, October 18 — We often say, "you are what you eat". It is also true that who we listen to, we become. Led by our Ministerial Interns Mathew Taylor and Kirk Freeman, in this special service featuring a diverse range of multigenerational speakers, we will explore their messages and challenges for us.
Harvesting a Deeper Way of Living
Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
Sunday, October 11 — When we plant the seeds of compassion, justice grows. As we seek justice on earth, and justice for the earth, how are we harvesting a deeper way of living? What are we feeding and what are we starving? Come and drink deep in our time of worship with special guest musician, Laura Congdon on the handpan.
Vote Love, Defeat Hate
UUCR Worship Arts Team
Sunday, October 4 — The Unitarian Universalist Association has invited all UU congregations to participate in a special UU the Vote worship service, drawing together voices from across Unitarian Universalism as we ground together in our faith and roll up our sleeves to bring our values to the public square in the 2020 elections. The UUCR service will incorporate elements provided by the UUA, including a homily by UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, with live components featuring UUCR’s Get Out the Vote activities. In this service, we aspire to provide hope, inspiration, and encouragement, so that our collective spirits can be bolstered for the work ahead.

Click here for more details on the following summer services:

September 27 — "Naps As a Form of Resistance" with Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
September 20 — "Renewing and Beginning Again" with Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
September 13 — Ingathering & Water Communion with Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage, Incoming Settled Minister
Septebmer 6 — "Renewal Is an Inside Job" with Dr. Laura Shay, MTS, Guest Preacher
August 30 — "Chronos and Kairos" with Dr. Laura Solomon, Guest Preacher
August 23 — "Peace in Our Time?" with Greg C. Carrow-Boyd, Guest Preacher
August 16 — "Balancing the Scales"  by Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage shared by Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel, settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County in State College, PA
August 9 — "Peaces" with Christin Green, MDiv, Guest Preacher
August 2 — "A Complicated Bounty" with Tyler Coles, MDiv, Guest Preacher

 

Past Sermons

Read or listen to a recent Sunday sermon below, or visit our archived sermons for more. Transcripts are saved as PDFs, and mp3 audio can be played online.

07/26/2020

Surprised by Joy

Rev. Kimberley Debus, Guest Preacher
Reading(s):

07/19/2020

Learning to Say Goodbye

Rev. Dr. Linda Olson Peebles
Reading(s):

07/12/2020

It Takes Practice

Matt Meyer, Guest Preacher
Reading(s):
  • lifelong spiritual discovery
  • beloved community
  • a just world
freedom