October Worship Theme is “Transcendence”

October 1 – “Awe (Yom Kippur)What does it mean to experience awe. Is it something we can seek?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

October 8 – “Sukkot Without a Roof” Rev. Aija Simpson preaching at this multi-gen service with worship associate Julie Ham.  Join us as we celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish festival of huts.

October  15 – “Silence”  We often speak of entering into a time of prayer and meditation. What does that look like for us?  Rev. Aija preaches with worship associate Michele Burton.

October 22 – “” Our new Student Minister Megan Mathieson preaches with worship associate Dick Poland.

October 29 – “All Souls?”  We say all souls are sacred. Do we mean it?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Rachel Teates.

August 2017  – Worship Theme is “Words That Unite/Words that Divide”

August 6 – “Apocalypse” Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

August 13 – “Covenant” Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

August 20 – “Held by a VisionSpecial Guest Speaker David Pyle is preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.  Every congregation has a vision of themselves and the world they wish to build.  A congregation could not exist without one.  For many congregations, however, that vision exists in the implicit assumptions of the members and friends of the community.  Rev. Pyle will look at some of the implicit visions that have held Unitarian Universalist congregations, and challenge us to turn our implicit assumptions into an explicit understanding of the mission, vision, culture, and identity of our congregation, in this time of looking to the future.

Rev. David Pyle is our congregation’s UUA Staff Primary Contact as a staff member of the Central East Region of the UUA.  He is a UU Minister who has served congregations in Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and California.  He has also served for the last 10 years as a member of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.  He serves as the UUA Staff Primary Contact for the congregations of Central Pennsylvania, Greater Baltimore, and the Delmarva Penninsula, and serves the region as the Governance, Arts of Ministry, and Large Church consultant.

 

August 27 – “SGM Sunday- What’s In It For Me?” Our Small Group Ministry Committee will lead the service with several reflections about the benefits of SGM for members, for facilitators, for UUCV as a congregation and for the world beyond.  Rev. Aija Simpson will also talk about the benefits of small group ministry for the congregation.  The children will experience the “Check-In” process during Moment for all Ages.

 

June’s 2017 Worship Theme is “Family”

 

June 4 – “A Chosen Family” What does it mean to be family? Are we living up to our promises?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

June 11 – “RE Sunday” We pay tribute to the Religious Educators that have worked with our children during this past school season.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associates from our Religious Education Committee.

June 18 – “All Of Our Parents” On this Father’s Day we ask the question: is there something inherently special about fathers? About mothers? About our many gendered parents?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.  Guest Accompanist Carole Knisely provides service music.

June 25 – “Who Else Is Family?”   Even the best families cannot be everything to their children. There is always the larger family, outside of the nuclear family and even outside of relatives altogether. Who has been part of your larger family?  Gisela Roethke is service leader with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

May’s 2017 Worship Theme is “Principles: Follow-Up”

 

May 7 – “The Eighth Principle” – “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
But wait a second. That’s not one of our principles…is it?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

May 14 – “To You I Give” – Mothers Day/Flower Communion.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

May 21 – “An Impossible Promise” – Are we safe? Should we be?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching.  The Annual Congregation meeting will follow the service.

May 28 – “An Agnostic in Seminary: Year One” – Teman Cooke reflects back upon his first year as an agnostic seminary student after spending almost 10 years as a physics professor, and discusses what insights he’s found interesting and valuable.  Julie Ham is worship associate.

April’s 2017 Worship Theme is “Inter-Dependent Web of Existence”

 

April 2 – “Ripples” – Every moment matters. Even the ones you thought you were alone for. Especially the ones you thought you were alone for.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

April 9 – “An Invisible Life” – Is it possible to not matter?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Julie Ham.

April 16 – “Resurrect, Not Restore” – We will come back. We have before and we will again. We will come back. But can it ever be the same? Would we want it to be?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

April 23 – “Leaps of Faith and Taking Risks” – Taking risks usually involves a little faith.  Why do we take risks and how do they affect our lives?  Rachel Teates is service leader with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

April 30 – “The Web” – Pull one string, pull them all.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

March’s Worship Theme Is “World Community”

March 5  “Finding Our Gifts”  We are all born with gifts and responsibilities. How do our responsibilities call us to use our gifts? How do our gifts call us to responsibilities?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Dick Poland.

March 12  “Seeking Balance” –  The Spring Equinox (March 20) is a time of balance between hours of daylight and night. In this time of challenging news, many people report increasing disequilibrium or feeling unbalanced. We’ll explore some ways to celebrate the equinox and to invite more balance into our lives.  Dot Everhart preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

March 19  “Finding Treasure” –  Join us as we go on a treasure hunt. Will we follow the clues? Does X mark the spot?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching.

March 26  “A Different Life” – Imagine a different life. Different food, different customs, different family, different everything. Would you want it? Would you be different if you had it?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

 

 

February’s Worship Theme Is “Conscience And Democracy”

February 5 “Losing It” – Francis David, father of Transylvanian Unitarianism is often (mis)quoted as saying “We need not think alike to love alike.”  Whatever the problem with the attribution, this nicely sums up a core tenant of our faith.  But do we really mean it?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching.

February 12 “Oh shush” – How often do you sit in the silence?  In our modern world we have so many noise making devices that our opportunities for quiet have shrunk.  But if it is never quiet how do we learn how to listen?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

February 19 – “Making Love A Practice” – Leading up to Valentine’s Day, we’ve been awash in flowrs, hearts, and messages about romantic love, but what might it mean to make love a spiritual practice?  Pamela Philips will be our guest service leader.

February 26 “Traditions”What do we choose to do year after year?  What do those choices tell us about ourselves?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

January’s worship theme is “Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning”

January 1 – “Fireworks”   On this first day we come to remember, mourn and celebrate this past year. Join us in a ritual of fire as we clear the slate and prepare for what is coming.  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching in this multi-gen service.  Nursery care will be provided.

If the Facebook community has anything to say about it, 2016 is a year we’re all looking forward to putting behind us. But we are not the first to stand expectantly on the brink of a new year. Music director David M. Glasgow shares service music, and a couple of special vocal pieces, that honor both of Janus’s faces as reflect on the year’s challenges and look toward a hopeful future.

January 8 –  “In Process”  Many Unitarian Universalists reject the language of creation. We reject the notion that all of the world was made in one moment. But what if we think of creation not as a moment but as a process. And what if the creators were us?  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching  with worship associate Michele Burton.

January 15 –  “What Will You Do?”  As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr we ask ourselves how we will live up to his legacy. Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching  with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

On this poignant Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the beginning of inauguration week, the UUCV Combo supports congregational singing with a gospel touch; the UUCV Choir shares André Thomas’s setting of Langston Hughes “I Dream a World,” and Harrisburg theatre personality Jeremy Patterson joins the Choir for a powerful re-statement of a timeless gospel classic.

January 22 – “What Story Will We Tell” Just two days after the inauguration, we’ll explore how our personal and national narrative might unfold in the coming months. How will we shape that story as we step forward into this challenging moment in our history?  Guest Speaker Norman Allen will be preaching with Worship Associate Dick Poland.

An award-winning playwright, Norman Allen has seen his work produced by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Kennedy Center, and other venues in the Washington, DC area, as well as at theatres in Prague, Tokyo, Cape Town, and Budapest. His essays can be found on spirit-oriented websites such as OnBeing, OnFaith, and Tikkun, and in leading print publications, such as the Washington Post and Smithsonian and Yes! magazines. He serves as Intern Minister at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, MD, and is completing his studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

January 29 – “A Good Lie?”  We affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Is there such a thing as irresponsible truth? What about responsible falsehoods?  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching  with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

 

December’s worship theme is “Acceptance and Spiritual Growth”

 

December 4 – “Where did Santa Clause come from?”   From Bishop Nicholas of Myra to our modern Santa and his elves. What can we learn from the fourth century saint?  Gisela Roethke is service leader with worship associate Rachel Teates.

December 11 –  “Faith’s Power”  As we prepare for the season of festivals of light, we explore the Chanukah story and the quest for religious freedom.  Julie Ham is service leader.

December 18 –  “Other People’s Spirits”  How do we honor the deepest truths of each others lives. In the season of Christmas, Hannukah, Solstice, Kwanza and more, how do we make space for other people’s traditions while we honor our own.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

December 24 –  “Follow the Light” Join us for an evening of Stories and Carols.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Rachel Teates.

 

November’s worship theme is “Justice, Equity and Compassion”

November 6 – “Love Wins” We often speak of justice and compassion as though they might be in contradiction with each other. On Tuesday we will be called to make a decision in a campaign where both Justice and Compassion have often seemed in short supply. How do we bring these values out of the sanctuary and into the streets, the dinner table and yes, even into the polls? Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Cheryl Parsons. The 2016 political climate has felt unprecedented for many—even psychiatric professionals are reporting unusual levels of anxiety in their patients, focused on the possible outcomes of Tuesday’s election. Music director David M. Glasgow, the UUCV Choir, and a few special guests share hope and perspective through selections made famous by Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Legend, the Wailin’ Jennys, and more.

November 13 – “Compassion? Equity? Justice?  In this Election?”   Dick Poland preaching with worship associate Dot Everhart.  Service music by music director, David M. Glasgow.

November 20 – “We Offer Thanks” We offer thanks for the gifts we have been given. To what and to whom do those gifts behold us?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associates from the Mozambique Steering Committee.  On this Sunday before Thanksgiving, we consider for what, and to whom, we might feel gratitude. The choir sings music of Stephen Schwartz, pianist Pat Spader offers a prelude, and music director David M. Glasgow provides service music.

November 27 – “But It’s Not Fair”   We often use the words justice and fairness as thought they were interchangeable. But are they. Are there some things that are just but just aren’t fair?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.  Service music by guest pianist Carole Knisely.

October’s worship theme is “Inherent Dignity and Worth”

October 2 – “Dignity” We affirm and promote the inherent dignity and worth of every person. That sounds great but what, exactly, does it mean. And how to we gauge dignity? [Can it be lost? Can we surrender our dignity? Take others’?]  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship assicate Cheryl Parsons.

October 9 – “Silence (And Other Figments of Our Imagination)”: It may seem paradoxical for us to focus on silence at our annual Music Sunday service. On the other hand, where else is a musician to begin, but silence? And what do we do when we can’t find any?  Our Music Director, David M. Glasgow, leads this special Music Sunday along with the UUCV Choir.

October 16 – “The Deadly Virtue of Tolerance.”  Many UUs think our first principle is about tolerance, but I tend to think that it is so much more than that.  As one of our most famous UU ministers, Forrest Church, once said, “virtues are only deadly when malpracticed, . . . for they lend the appearance of nobility to evil.”  So what can be evil about tolerance?  Rev. Bob MacDicken will be the guest minister with worship associate Dick Poland.

October 23 – “Stump the Minister”  Got a burning theological question? Wondering why we do certain things in the service? Curious about the inner workings of the church? Come ask the minister and find out?  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship assicate Gisela Roethke.

October 30 – “Yes, even him. And her. And him again”  We don’t mean the inherent worth of everyone do we? Certainly there must be one or two exceptions, right? Spoiler Alert: There Aren’t.  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship assicate Julie Ham.

September concludes “Words that Unite/Words that Divide” and will begin focusing on an Introduction to Principles

September 4 – Words that Unite/Words that Divide: “Guilt and Shame”  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship assicate Gisela Roethke.

September 11 –  “Water: We Can’t Live Without It”    Cheryl Parsons is service leader with worship associate Michele Burton. Today’s service celebrates the many ways that water enhances our quality of life and also explores the challenges we face when our life waters become turbulent or in short supply.  Our much-loved water ceremony provides an opportunity for those in attendance to share either real or virtual water, along with a short reflection about how water has influenced their lives in the last year.

September 18 – “Principled”  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.

September 25 – “Hey, Who Made This Decision?”  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Dick Poland.

 

 

August continues with the summer series “Words that Unite/Words that Divide”

August 7 – “Doctrine” – Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Dick Poland.

August 14 – “Evangelize” – Rev. Aija Simpson is preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

August 21 – “Small Group Sunday” – UUCV’s Small Groups will be leading the service

August 28 – “Sin” – Rev. Aija Simpson is service leader with worship associate.

July begins our summer series “Words that Unite/Words that Divide”

July 3 – “Religion”  Dan Cozort will be service leader with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

July 10 – “God”  Rev. Aija Simpson is service leader with worship associate Dick Poland.

July 17 – “Tithe”  Rev. Aija Simpson is service leader with worship associate Michele Burton.

July 24 – “Covenant”  Rev. Aija Simpson is service leader with worship associate Deb Stille.

July 31 – “Gay Pride”  Dot Everhart will be service leader with worship associate Michele Burton.

The Worship Theme for June is “Starting Over”

June 5 – “Beginner’s Mind”  Is there wisdom to be found in not knowing the answer?  Yes, but…beginner’s mind ≠ ignorance.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

June 12 – “We Forgive Ourselves and Each Other”  But how?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Julie Ham.

June 19 – “We Need Each Other”  This Sunday we will worship with a joyful, solemn intentionally multigenerational service that honors the lives of those lost and the communities that support us all.  Special musical guest Indian Summer Jars will join us for an hour dedicated to our sorrow and our joy.  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

June 26 – “Religion and Science: Partners in Faith”  Julie Ham is service leader with Rachel Teates as worship associate.

 

 

May 1, 2016 – “Practice Matters” What role does practice play for our body, mind, and spirit?  Gisela Roethke is service leader with worship associate Kate Barr.

May 8, 2016 – “Flower Communion”  We celebrate our mothers.  The ones who brought color to our lives.  The ones who could be prickly.  The ones who were exotic and the ones who were beautiful in their familiarity.  We invite you to bring a flower to share as we explore the variety of love that makes our collective bouquet.

May 15, 2016 – “This Matters” This, right now, this matters.  Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not somewhere else, not someone else. This matters.

May 22, 2016 – “Gratitude” Come celebrate the amazing work that our RE teachers and committee members have done in holding our program steady through this year of transition.

May 29, 2016 – “Where I Stand and Learn to Fly”  A personal look by service leader, Julie Ham, at UUCV and her faith journey on the 20th anniversary of her first visit with worship associate Dot Everhart.

April 3 – “The Waters of Life” Water is sacred in traditions worldwide both present and past.  Why is this element so powerful?  Kate Barr will be preaching with worship associate Julie Ham.  “The cure for anything is saltwater, sweat, tears or the sea.” Isak Dinesen

April 10 – “How Much Does Your Soul Weigh?” – People once believed that you could weigh a human soul – now we’re not even sure if we’ve got one, let alone what it would weigh. What does it mean to have soul? Do you have one?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Dick Poland.

April 17 – “Soul Siblings” – Some people touch your soul – if you are willing to let them close enough to do so. Are you brave enough to try?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.

April 24 – “The Dark Night of the Soul” – What gets us through?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching.

 

 

 

March 6 – Love and Justice: Universalists Heritage. Rev. Kathy Ellis serves the remaining Universalist heritage congregation in Philadelphia. She will share some Pennsylvania Universalist history and discuss why it still matters today.

March 13 – Hand in Hand:  From the moment we are born to the moment we die we need each other.  Even the most self-sufficient among us probably lives in a home that someone else built, eats food that someone else tended, uses goods that someone else made.  We cannot escape our connections from each other, what a lonely, hard world it would be if we tried. Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Kate Barr.   Music director David M. Glasgow provides service music, and the choir sings.

March 20 – Where I Come From: In our mobile world it is hard to remember how much place has mattered to humans for all but our most recent history. Are we still rooted in place? Do our roots hold us tighter than we might think?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

 

March 27 – We know how the Easter story ends. How do we cling to the hope of Resurrection when its coming is less certain?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaches with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.   The Choir performs with Music Director, David M. Glasgow.

February 7 – “Running Wild” Join us for a multi-generational service as we celebrate Mardi Gras.  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.  The Town Hall meeting will follow the service.

February 14 – “Every Person, Not Everyone” Our first principle asks us to affirm and promote the inherent dignity and worth of every human person. How do we live up to this promise? Are there ways that we fail to honor the dignity of some people and tell ourselves we are doing right?  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Michelle Burton.

February 21 – “Bring It Here” Here We invite you to bring us your joys, your sorrows and the full truths of your life.  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching.

February 28 – Rachel Teates will be the service leader with worship associate Dick Poland.