Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 11AM by Rev. John Buehrens
Alex Darr, who grew up in UUSF, will serve as Worship Associate, and Kristen Pedersen will work with Rev. Buehrens to create a service that will include the voices of young adults testifying to how UU values were part of their transformations and personal growth.
Sunday, March 2, 2014 by The Revererend Dr. David Sammons
This past November the Masons celebrated the life of Thomas Starr King here at our church. Rev. King is the most famous of our past ministers. It's not exactly that they stole him. King was a Mason, and proud of it. And it is great the Masons are proud of him, too. But on this 150th Anniversary of his death it is time for our church to have a celebration of our own for a person not only important for his contribution to California and the Union, but to the church he loved here in San Francisco.
Sunday, March 9, 2014 by The Revererend Dr. David Sammons
Soon our church will be asking a new minister to come take the place of our Interim Senior Minister. In thinking about what it would mean if he were to be the person, Dave Sammons would like to reflect on Ministers and the communities of faith in which they work.
Sunday, March 30, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. David Sammons
In their film about the life of a make-believe prophet like Jesus, the crazy men who make up "Monty Python" have him hanging on the cross singing with his cross-mates "Always look on the bright side of life." We should. But there's also a not-so-bright side, too, as we could see with him hanging there. How do we negotiate a life when there's often an unpredictable balance between the bright and the not-so-bright?
Sunday, April 6, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. Dorsey Blake
The Reverend Dr. Dorsey Blake, who succeeded Howard Thurman as the minister of The Fellowship of All People here in San Francisco. Dorsey also serves on the faculty of Starr King School for the Ministry, where he is one of the school's favorite teachers. In his sermon Dr. Blake will pick up on the hopeful themes to be found in the writings of Howard Thurman, a man who encouraged people of all backgrounds to live a better future into being by working to both envision a better future and to achieve it.
Sunday, April 13, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. David Sammons
This sermon is about that day, long ago, when Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey through a gate strewn with palms. What did this mean and does it have anything to say to us today - we folks who've outgrown donkeys and palms?
Sunday, April 20, 2014 by the Reverend Dr. David Sammons
The music, stories and thoughts woven together in this service are meant to honor the spirit of Easter: the rebirth of life that comes with Spring and the re-beginnings that can happen for people if they leave behind what's not working in their lives and move ahead with an uplifted spirit.
Sunday, April 27, 2014 by the Reverend Dr. David Sammons
This Sunday after Earth Day we should reflect on what religious groups have to say about the issues threatening the earth today, from climate change, to resource depletion and the pollution of our rivers, oceans and lakes. If the Baptists can speak out about what's happening, what about us?
Sunday, May 4, 2014 by the Reverends Alyson Jacks & David Sammons and the Coming of Age Class of 2014
We celebrate the culmination of this year's Coming of Age program with a special worship service for our seven graduates: Maeve Dellert, Alicia Cover, Spencer Gowin, Fiona King, Olivia Ong, Mara Pulgram and Lana Whealey. The year-long class, which includes three district-wide retreats gives youth time and opportunity to explore their spirituality and to deepen their relationship to their home congregation and our wider UU movement. During the service, each graduate will share their personal credo statements. In addition, there will be songs, special music from the church and bell choirs and much more. The Reverends Sammons and Jacks will be there to round out the worship team.
Sunday, May 11, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. David Sammons
Thirty years after she died, Dave Sammons feels it's time to write a letter to his mom. She died after suffering through a stroke, her husband's death, and a year in a nursing home. Dave wants to share his letter so that all of us might think about our mothers in a way both caring and honest. It's tough being a mom, yet after the game is over, even the burliest football player lets tears roll down his cheeks and says "I love you, Mom. This game was for you."
Sunday, May 18, 2014 by The Reverend Jeremy Nickel, Guest Minister from Mission Peak UU Congregation in Fremont, CA
Jeremy is a graduate of Pacific School of Religion (PSR), former intern at this church and currently serves as the Minister of the Mission Peak UU Church in Fremont, CA.He says of his topic: "In a time when distractions abound and attention spans are at an all-time low, we need to be reminded of the importance of really hearing each other."
Sunday, May 25, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. David Sammons
On Memorial Day in some towns and cities people gather in cemeteries where the dead of war are buried to pay tribute to their sacrifice. But what would these troops have wanted said about them in thier eulogies we might say for them to say - and what would we want said in our own eulogies? Would it be the same as what others would say about us after we're gone?
Sunday, June 15, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. David Sammons
Most of us like to think of ourselves as truthful, but every once in awhile we catch ourselves telling one of those "little white lies." We're tired, so we say: "I wish I could come to your party but I've already made a commitment to go to see Joe." "Oh yeah, the person wonders, why does Joe always trump my invitation? Why doesn't my party take precedence? Little white lies can set traps hard to get out of.
Sunday, June 22, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. David Sammons
As Dave Sammons takes his leave he'll reflect on his ministry with us and his hopes for our future. The past two years have shown him what a solid congregation this is and what it has going for it as a new minister guides it forward.
Our Own Sacred Cows & the Probability of Global Spirituality
Sunday, June 29, 2014 by The Reverend John Young, Guest Minister
We each have sacred cows: ideas and life practices that we do not find it easy to have challenged or to change.What are some of the common ones for UUs, for Americans & for you? In the 21st century, spirituality is going global, just as are the other aspects of our lives.How could this globalization of spirituality challenge and help us and our religious movement?
Sunday, July 6, 2014 by Molly Johnson, Guest Preacher
When was the last time you listened with more than your ears? Join us in an exploration of deep listening: what it is, how we do it, and its meaning for us as Unitarian Universalists. Come prepared for a fully embodied and engaging experience led by Youth and Young Adult Coordinator and divinity student Molly Johnson.
Dark Matter and "Doing" Church in the New Millennium
Sunday, July 13, 2014 by Jeffrey Melcher, Guest Preacher
Sundays mornings are now for baseball, soccer, and dance practices in the secular world. Where has the Sabbath gone? How can we "Do" church and religious education while competing with these other interests? Can we radically remake our style for this era? And what does Dark Matter have to do with anything anyway? With a background as a mathematician and a theologian, Jeffrey stays up on the latest theories science has to explain this incredible experience we know as the Universe. He will bring his interests
to his sermon.
The Interfaith Community and Its Meaning to Our City
Sunday, July 20, 2014 by Michael Pappas, Guest Preacher
The Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of San Francisco, Michael Pappas, will speak from his experienceabout the role the Interfaith Community plays in the life of the city and how our church fits into it.
Sunday, July 27, 2014 by The Reverend Susan Porter Conrad, Guest Minister
How do we listen for, and respond to, the sacred when we are up against a problem that isn't easily "fixed," when we feel overwhelmed by our own powerlessness and limitations? This theme is especially relevant in the world of health care, one of the most intimate areas of our lives where, despite our increasing technological innovations, our human vulnerability and imperfections persist. We will reflect on lessons learned from the world of health care chaplaincy and how we can put these to work in our everyday lives.
Sunday, August 3, 2014 by The Reverend Dr. Lynn Ungar, Guest Minister
What is the purpose of poetry? What is the purpose of religion? How do the two purposes overlap? Our speaker, Rev. Dr. Lynn Ungar, both a UU minister and a published poet, will share her theology, her poetry, and how the two interrelate.
Sunday, August 10, 2014 by Millie Phillips, Guest Preacher
Aging With Grace: An Intergenerational Discussion. Church member Millie Phillips will share about what she has learned about the issue of aging, particularly from our Unitarian Universalist perspective. Getting older brings with it limitations and changes, but it's also a time to embrace life.
Sunday, August 17, 2014 by The Rev. Dr. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
"How dare you assume that I am . . ." Well, fill in the blank! In an opening series of sermons on the ABCs of spirituality and life in community, our new Senior Minister promises that if we don't make too many assumptions about him, he won't make many about us. Then we can really begin to meet, connect and grow spiritually through I-Thou encounters.
Sunday, August 24, 2014 by The Rev. Dr. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." These words are often attributed to Goethe. In fact, they have another origin. Beginning with other beloved but misattributed sayings, I will explore both myth making and the art of beginning well to promote change that lasts...
Sunday, August 31, 2014 by The Rev. Dr. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
"Only connect!" said the novelist E.M. Forster. But "connections are made slowly," warned poet Marge Piercy, "sometimes they grow underground." John Buehrens will preach, but the service will also include a chance to learn how to connect at UUSF to other spiritual seekers and skeptics through Small Group Ministry.
Sunday, September, 7, 2014 by Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, Guest Minister
Our children, youth, and teachers will process in following their welcome back breakfast. Minister Emerita Kay Jorgensen will invest John with an official cap from the Faithful Fools Street Ministry. Margot Campbell Gross will again lead us in meditation and prayer. And our preacher will be the new President of Starr King School for the Ministry.
Sunday, September, 14, 2014 by Rev. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
The poet Marianne Moore once began a poem, "Poetry: I too dislike it." Our new minister feels the same about religion! And yet, like the poet, finds "in it, after all, a place for the genuine." Surely for today's "cultured despisers of religion," of whom we know many-for those who consider themselves atheists, agnostics, and "spiritual, but not religious-what we offer here is "a place for the genuine." Again, you are urged to invite unaffiliated friends.
Taking A Long Look: Finding The Fresh In The Familiar
Sunday, September, 21, 2014 by Cindy Pincus, Intern Minister
We're taught as children that it's not polite to stare. But what happens when we look long enough to see something delightfully new beneath a familiar façade? This week, embrace the value of taking the long look and learn how to stare. Our new Intern Minister is entering her final year of studies at the Pacific School of Religion. She is an environmental scientist by training.
Sunday, September, 28, 2014 by Rev. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
We mark the Jewish High Holidays, the "Days of Awe,"with the sounding of the shofar and the call to teshuvah - which means turning, or returning. The birds and animals do this instinctively. For humans, it takes a decision. As Shlomo Carlebach sings, "Return to who you are; return to what you are; return to the home of your soul."
Sunday, October 5, 2014 by Rev. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
The great Unitarian minister A. Powell Davies reportedly said that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul." Another Unitarian, the Bay Area's own poet-songwriter-activist, Malvina Reynolds, wrote a prose poem she called "The Soul Book." Come, join us in exploring what it might really mean to "grow a soul."
Sunday, October 12, 2014 by Rev. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
John sometimes jokes that he keeps getting called back into ministry because God knows he still needs to learn patience! But the actress Meryl Streep recently wrote that experience taught her there are some things with which it's fine to have no patience at all. Ah, the wisdom to know the difference!
Sunday, October 19, 2014 by Bruce Knotts, Executive Director UU Office at the United Nations
On this UN Sunday, we welcome the Executive Director of the UU Office at the United Nations. Bruce Knotts is a retired US diplomat who has become a leader among NGOs at the UN on climate change, LGBT rights, and refugee issues. John Buehrens will conduct the service with Bruce.
Sunday, October 26, 2014 by Rev. John Buehrens, Senior Minister
Many today harbor a barely concealed despair, anxious about the future - for themselves, for the planet, for coming generations. Yet they've also largely given up on traditional doctrines of salvation.' What does Unitarian Universalism have to offer to such spiritual seekers today?