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6/12/11

It Gets Better

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

When several gay teenagers committed suicide recently, sex columnist Dan Savage made a video wherein he spoke frankly of the hardships that he endured as a young gay male, and promised "it gets better." His act started a grassroots movement, with hundreds of celebrities and ordinary people making their own video letters of hope and solidarity to contribute to the campaign.

6/5/11

This Old House

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

As the Unitarian Universalist Association celebrates 50 years since their merger, it is exciting to look ahead and imagine the possibilities for the movement and for our church. That’s what we’ll do this morning, kicking off a process that we’ll continue into 2012-2013.

5/29/11

Memorial Day Reflections

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

On the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, we will reflect on the internal struggles shared by the Rev. Samuel May and William Tilden, staunch abolitionist religious leaders of this congregation during the terrible conflict.

5/15/11

The End Times

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

May 12, 2011 has been identified by some Christian groups as the Judgment Day. Assuming that we are all still alive, we will gather to consider the powerful hold the End Times have on the popular imagination. Where did this rapture for the Rapture come from? Is there anything useful in the idea for us?

5/8/11

No Brown M&Ms: On Being Faithful in Small Things

 

Stuart Twite

We have control over so very little. Our fears come from an inability to accept this.  It is for us to do the nearest duty, cultivate the field in which we live and be faithful day by day. It may not be glamorous but it is everything else.

5/1/11

The Yetzer HaRa

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We will be introduced to the concept of the “yetzer hara,” or evil inclination, and reflect on the shadow side within ourselves and as a species. Without wallowing in shame and guilt, what does our religion ask us to do about it?

4/23/11

The Green Yarn

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

I love the miracle stories. Easter is the great miracle story of the Christian family.

4/10/11

Life Boat: Never Turn Your Back on the Ocean

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

We are at a scary place as a human species, a scary time. There's a lot of fear and aggression between humans -- and a lot of turmoil in our ecosystem that we have caused and don't know yet how to manage. A lot of big waves are out there right past the shoreline. It's hard to know how to engage, how to swim out into it -- and we wonder whether or not we should.  It may be better to scramble for dry land and observe with a pair of binoculars.

4/3/11

Su Camino

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

There is an expression used on the pilgrim's path. It is "su camino," which simply means, "your road." You don't have to keep up with anyone-- it's su camino. Do you need to rest, take some sun, stop to pray, write a postcard, sing a song? It's su camino. Do what you need to do to get there. It is your pilgrimage, and no one can make it for you

3/6/11

The Peace That Passeth Understanding: The Joys and Consequences of Living With Integrity

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Rev. Victoria Weinstein

The religious search is a search for integrity. It is a search for that peace which the world can neither give nor take away.

2/20/11

"What's Holding Us Back?"

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

One of the questions frequently put to me is “Unitarian Universalism is such a great, modern religion. Why are we so incredibly tiny in numbers, then?” I will give my best answer, and reflect in depth about the way religion and church affiliation has changed even in the fifteen years since I entered the ministry.

2/13/11

Do I Have To Love Everyone?

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

You don't have to love everybody with affectionate, warm feeling. Nor are you required to hold the human race in high regard when you see evidence that it is corrupt and vile. What you are required to do, if you are a follower of this religious tradition, is to hold hope for each human being, to root for the full flowering of each human's potential and to love by having faith in.

1/30/11

Horizontal Hold...or Jesus on the Ground

 

Stuart Twite

What, with you abides? Maybe it is Jesus or the Buddha or another religious figure. Maybe it is a philosophy of life, a long ago learned way of being, maybe it is a community - perhaps even this community. What with you abides through the springtime of life when all seems possibility and promise and yet a lingering doubt or fear lurks just outside the margins?

1/23/11

Mining Time

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Each year at the beginning of the year, it has been our tradition to look at the Good News of the Year In Religion. This year, Rev. Weinstein will focus on one story that particularly captivated her on many religious, emotional and symbolic levels.

1/9/11

The Morning After the Arizona Murders

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

This Sunday, many Americans will go to church. A sizeable number of those people may be hoping to hear something that helps them make sense of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the others who had gathered at her sidewalk town hall in Tucson. If we have a vision of the world improved by humans better living into our potential as ethical beings, we need to get busy clarifying how that looks and living into it ourselves while encouraging others to do the same.

11/7/10

Thank You For Looking At Me: Encounter on the Street

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

The sermon title comes from something a homeless man on the Mall in Washington, DC said to me this summer. I responded, "Oh my God, don't ever thank someone for looking at you! If people can't even look at you there's something wrong with them, not you!" The man laughed until he cried, and we wound up spending a lovely afternoon together touring the city, talking and having lunch. Since I made a commitment to respond to every panhandler in some way (with money, with food, or at least with a greeting), I have learned so much and been lucky to meet some wonderful people.

10/31/10

A Good Afterlife

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

All Souls Sunday originates with the Celtic pagan festival known as Samhain, which morphed into All Hallow's Eve, which eventually became our Halloween.

10/3/10

Soul Force

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Happy Birthday Gandhi. The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated as a national holiday in India. Gandhi was born on October 2, 1889 and today we re-visit his philosophy of Satyagraha ("soul-force").

9/26/10

East and West

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

We have all heard by now about the uproar surrounding the proposed building of an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City. How do we read the times and think about the issue of Islamaphobia as Unitarian Universalists?

9/12/10

The Big-C Sense of Church

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Our homecoming service. We celebrate our new program year with adults and children together, to make music, hear stories, and rejuvenate our commitment to being church.

5/2/10

The Midas Touch

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Continuing in our series on the Seven Deadly Sins, we look at Greed, perhaps the most morally confusing of the vices. In America, greed also goes by the name “having it all,” and “the good life.” In a society afflicted by “affluenza,” do we really want to get well?.

4/4/10

Easter 2010 - Still Being Raised

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Rev. Victoria Weinstein

The resurrection story told at Easter is a mystical experience that was captured in time by the gospel writers thousands of years ago. Today we celebrate the Easter not as a one-time event centering on one man, but as rather a statement about how the Holy works in all our lives – and is still working in our lives. We are all being raised, and always being raised.

3/21/10

Lust For Life

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Another of the Seven Deadly Sins

3/7/10

Benevolent Rage: Putting Anger to Work

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Rev. Victoria Weinstein

There is red-hot anger that burns non-productively, and the white-hot anger that theologian Rebecca Parker calls “benevolent rage.” Is Anger really a deadly sin? Not if it’s used in the service of transformation.

2/28/10

A Distortion of Desire: On Envy

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Rev. Victoria Weinstein

In her second in the Seven Deadly Sins series, our minister looks at perhaps the most truly emotionally non-productive of the 7, Envy.

2/21/10

And Pride Can Also Cometh After a Fall

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Rev. Victoria Weinstein

In the first of a series on contemporary takes on the Seven Deadly Sins, we look at pride, the first of the bunch. We’ve heard that pride cometh before a fall, but life experience tells us that pride, legitimate pride, can also come after failure.

2/7/10

Faithful Friends: Founders Sunday

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Speaker IconCommentary

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

On the anniversary of the founding of our congregation in 1642, we reflect on spiritual friendship and the inspiration and challenge we get from each other. I will share some passages written between two very dear Unitarian friends, James Freeman Clarke and Margaret Fuller.

1/10/10

Contagious

Speaker iconSermon

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

I have heard recently that loneliness is contagious, and I read an alarming study last year that claimed that obesity is contagious. My goodness. What with the H1N1 virus and all these warnings about catching loneliness and corpulence from each other, maybe we should all find a separate mountaintop and live there alone. My friends, the human condition is contagious, and thank God for that.

12/13/09

Where the Wild Things Are

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

A reflection on the wilderness experience of teen life, and what it means to all of us.

12/6/09

Second Naivete: The Mystical Way of Faith

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Speaker IconCommentary

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

The season of Advent is all about finding the spirit of the child within. Philosopher Paul Ricouer coined the phrase “second naivete” to describe the religious faith we can develop after we have passed through the critical dismissal of literal beliefs.

11/22/09

Thanksgiving Homily

 

 

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Kodak Moments: Ordinary Life As a Work Of Art

10/18/09

13 Ways of Looking at a Vampire

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Vampires are back in a big way, my friends. They’re stalking the New York Times best-seller list, topping the lists of DVD rentals, dominating television and cable network ratings, and raking in hundreds of millions at the box office.

10/11/09

A Better Master

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

Here is how Ralph Waldo Emerson described what I am trying to say:

"A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming."

9/13/09

Peak Moments, Valley Sojourns, and the Good Life in Between

Rev. Victoria Weinstein

We "gather in hope, compassion and strength/Gather to celebrate once again" our beloved community and its call to love and to serve. In consideration of the fortieth anniversary of the lunar landing, we reflect on peak moments in human and individual achievement, and the inevitable valleys of the same.