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Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation's Podcast

Sermons by resident and guest ministers on themes like Curiosity, Trust, Mystery, Sanctuary and so much more.Feel free to download and share our podcasts!

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Seeking Wholeness

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on April 7,2019. How could a worship service in 1987 where the minister distributed condoms be nearly forgotten? Rev. Taylor shares reflections of Rev. Mark DeWolfe, the first openly gay minister in Canada, whose brilliant career was cut short by AIDS and the prophetic witness of his colleague Carl Titchener whose prophetic witness should be celebrated. The theme for April is what it means to be a people of wholeness. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections

21mins

7 Apr 2019

Rank #1

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Loving Our Bodies

Sermon delivered by Intern Minister Kellie Kelly on May 28, 2017. While our bodies take much abuse from living and aging in the world, we often inflict the most damage to our bodies ourselves. Kellie reflects on how we can learn to accept and love our bodies in their perfect imperfection. The theme for June is what it means to be a community of embodiment. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

20mins

28 May 2017

Rank #2

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The Spiritual Roots of Environmental Injustice

Sermon delivered by Rev. Brian Sauder on May 26, 2019. In this message, UT member Scott Metzger talks about his work with the Eco Justice Faith in Action Team. Then, Rev. Sauder explores the theme of curiosity and courage by sharing more about his journey in growing the impact of Faith in Place alongside diverse faith communities such as Unity Temple. Rev. Sauder is the President & Executive Director of Faith in Place (www.faithinplace.org). His passion is empowering faith communities across Illinois to take measurable steps to connect the dots between faith, environmental justice, poverty, mass incarceration, race, violence, class, and health. Rev. Sauder is ordained by the Mennonite Church U.S.A. and worships with Chicago Community Mennonite Church in East Garfield Park. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Garrett Theological Seminary, co-teaching an environmental certification course for future clergy. The theme for May is what it means to be a people of curiosity. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections on our website.

20mins

26 May 2019

Rank #3

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Into the Unknown

Sermon delivered by Rev. Allison Farnum on December 29, 2019. Rev. Farnum is a Unitarian Universalist minister, returned to the Chicago area from eleven years serving her first call at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, Florida. She is currently serving as Adjunct Consultant for our UUA’s MidAmerica Region as she discerns how best she may next fulfill her call to serve the Spirit of Love. Rev. Allison loves all things culinary and is a proud mother of 2, and wife to her beloved Andy. The theme for December is what it means to be a people of awe. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

25mins

29 Dec 2019

Rank #4

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Why Pray?

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on January 27, 2019. Many of us are reticent about prayer. If you have wondered whether prayer might have a place in your UU existence, Rev. Taylor shares how prayer ushers forth a trust in what we cannot see, and opens us up to change - both change within ourselves and to change in which we can participate amidst our wider world.  The theme for January is what it means to be a people of possibility. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections

23mins

27 Jan 2019

Rank #5

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The Sanctuary of Kindness

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on October 14, 2018. We are capable of creating sanctuary for one another through kindness. The theme for October is what it means to be a people of sanctuary. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections.

18mins

14 Oct 2018

Rank #6

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Love in Action, A Vision for Our Time

Sermon delivered by Andrew Harvey on June 30, 2019. Andrew Harvey has spent 40 years devoting himself to the Rumi Renaissance and to Rumi as the prophet of love of the new universal mysticism. And now, he focuses his passion on the other great universal mystical poet, Kabir the powerful poet of India, loved by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs but whose vision of the One transcends all religions. In this sermon, Mr. Harvey acts as translator and unifier for Ruminator and Kabir, inviting us to experience the extreme, stunning, mystical dialogue of the heart between these two universal masters. Rumi made us vulnerable to love and now Kabir kills us into the eternal life of truth in embodied Divine humanity. Andrew further presents these two perspectives as an urgent calling to us to take action in response to our immediate climate emergency. The theme for June is how do we lead a life of beauty? To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

25mins

30 Jun 2019

Rank #7

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Christmas Eve: Do You Believe in Miracles?

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor at the 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve worship service on December 24, 2019. Rev. Taylor reflects on the promises of the Season. The theme for December is what it means to be a people of awe. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

14mins

24 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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Engaging Our Neighbors

Sermon delivered by Rev. Scott Aaseng on October 20, 2019. Crises like the ones we’re facing call for radical action. Not necessarily more extreme action, but radical in the sense of addressing the roots of these crises. One of the most radical actions we can take is to talk – and listen – to our neighbors. Rev. Scott Aaseng is the Executive Director of the UU Advocacy Network of IL (UUANI). UUANI builds community and power among UU congregations in Illinois to put our UU values into effective action for justice, beloved community and a healthy planet. For more information, contact Rev. Scott Aaseng at uuani@uuani.org. The theme for October is what it means to be a people of belonging. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

19mins

20 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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The Immigrant Experience

On this special Choir Sunday on April 14, 2019, the Unity Temple Choir under the direction of Marty Swisher, Unity Temple Music Director, performs John Kramer's "The Immigrant Experience," a choral cantata in seven movements. Scored for full chorus, soprano, baritone and tenor soloists and chamber ensemble, the work describes the journey and struggles of immigrants coming to America to realize the promise of freedom. The work features texts by our U.S. founding fathers establishing our country as a place of welcome for immigrants. The musical offering is preceded by a reading from We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria by Wendy Pearlman. John Kramer serves as Music Director at the Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, Massachusetts. The performance includes guest vocalists tenor John Concepcion, baritone Keanon Kyles and soprano Rosalind Lee. They are accompanied by Peter Engel-Storms on piano, Jean Hatmaker on violoncello, Meg Lanfear on violin and Daniel Williams on clarinet. Those wishing to follow along with the text of "The Immigrant Experience" while listening can find it at http://www.unitytemple.org/sites/default/files/The%20Immigrant%20Experience%20Text.pdf. Additionally, the composer's program notes can be found at http://www.unitytemple.org/sites/default/files/Program%20Notes%20by%20the%20Composer.pdf. The theme for April is what it means to be a people of wholeness. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections

31mins

14 Apr 2019

Rank #10

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The Way Appears

Sermon delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on February 10, 2019. We tend to think of trust as a big word, and it is--it’s big in its meaning and impact. But trust in relationships is also about everyday moments. The theme for February is what it means to be a people of trust. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections

23mins

10 Feb 2019

Rank #11

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Luminous Night of the Soul

This service from December 16, 2018 features the Unity Temple Choir under the direction of Music Director Marty Swisher performing "Luminous Night of the Soul" by Ola Gjeilo, accompanied by pianist Peter Storms and assisted by a string quartet . Reflections by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor and Marty Swisher precede the musical offering. The theme for December is what it means to be a people of mystery. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections

19mins

16 Dec 2018

Rank #12

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Einstein’s Religion

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on February 17, 2019. The media has long represented Albert Einstein as an absent-minded brilliant scientist, but he was a highly engaged, compassionate activist for human rights, for the ethical guidance of technological innovation and, unbeknownst to many because so rarely publicized, for racial equality. Rev. Taylor reflects on how his religious convictions informed his moral leadership. The theme for February is what it means to be a people of trust. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections

21mins

17 Feb 2019

Rank #13

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The Low Tide of the Soul

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on November 10, 2019. During low tide, so much becomes revealed that is typically hidden. Rev. Taylor reflects on the low tide of the soul—challenging times in our lives that especially call for our attention. What does this mean for us as individuals and a wider community? The theme for November is what it means to be a people of attention. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

23mins

10 Nov 2019

Rank #14

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What Is Evil?

Sermon delivered on November 17, 2019 by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor. Often evil is hard to pin down but the impacts of evil are very clear. As evil is human-created hell for other people through either personal action or the structures of society, it matters that we pay attention or else our lack of attention and silence shall allow evil to flourish. The theme for November is what it means to be a people of attention. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

20mins

17 Nov 2019

Rank #15

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Belonging to the Book of Life

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on October 6, 2019. Reflecting on the life work of Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche communities, and Brene Brown's distinction between "fitting in" and "belonging," Rev. Taylor finds the Jewish High Holy Days an apt time to explore the relationship between community and forgiveness. The theme for October is what it means to be a people of belonging. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

21mins

6 Oct 2019

Rank #16

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Entering the Unknown

Sermon delivered by our Intern Minister Zsolt Elekes on October 21, 2018. Zsolt shares his experiences of showing up the first time in the United States from Transylvania and how we all are responsible for sharing our own stories and being a welcoming community. The theme for October is what it means to be a people of sanctuary. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections.

19mins

21 Oct 2018

Rank #17

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Looking Forward Together

Sermon delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Alan Taylor on September 30, 2018. If we consider vision as “looking forward together,” there is much to reflect on from where this congregation has come and now where it is going, especially in light of toxic masculinity promoted in the halls of power. The theme for September is what it means to be a people of vision. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections.

20mins

30 Sep 2018

Rank #18

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Lucky

Sermon delivered by Minister of Faith Development Rev. Emily Gage on December 23, 2018. Things happen like that, sometimes. We’re just going about our daily business, and then boom--our hearts crack open and our worlds become bigger, and suddenly there’s more good all around us. The theme for December is what it means to be a people of mystery. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith-development/soul-connections

11mins

23 Dec 2018

Rank #19

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Affirming Worth and Dignity

Sermon delivered by Mony Ruiz-Velasco on September 15, 2019. Mony Ruiz-Velasco is an immigration lawyer, an organizer, and the executive director of Proyecto Accion de Suburba Oestas (PASO) or the Western Suburbs Action Project, an immigration rights organization that is centered in Melrose Park. Mony works to combine legal and organizing efforts to advocate on behalf of immigrant rights and social justice. She has provided legal services, representation and counsel to thousands of immigrants and their families. She focuses her work on women, LGBTQ immigrants, survivors of crimes and other vulnerable populations. Mony can be reached at mony@pasoaction.org. The theme for September is what it means to lead a life of expectation. To read about our theme-based ministry, please visit http://www.unitytemple.org/faith.

22mins

15 Sep 2019

Rank #20