Click the "Read More" link below to read descriptions of 2010 LCUUC services.
December 26: "Hold Fast" by Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson, presented by Barb Adams, Worship Committee
The Choice for Church of the Larger Fellowship, this approach to perserverance while maintaining a compassionate heart is a tonic during our consumer driven holidays!
December 24: "Christmas Eve Celebration" by LCUUC members
Please join us at 4 p.m. and share in a time of readings, singing, and warm refreshments appropriate to the day.
December 19: "The Beauty of Christmas" by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Please join us this Sunday to celebrate the beauty of Christmas, through readings, songs, pageantry and peace. And a Merry Christmas to All! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
December 12: “Intention and Reality” by Bruce Forciea (Canceled due to bad weather.)
This service will explore the link between intention and reality. Can intention really produce effects in the physical world? How can our thoughts affect physical reality? These questions and more will be explored by Bruce Forciea.
December 5: “Festival of Lights” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Today marks the middle of Hanukkah and our lit menorah will mark the occasion. Come to this celebration of” The Festival of Lights” and learn some of the story that surrounds this meaningful early December Jewish holiday.
November 28: "Fuzzy Questions, Fuzzy Answers" by Rev. Bruce Clear, presented by Barb Adams, LCUUC Worship Committee
In this service from the Church of the Larger Fellowship, we will explore UU beliefs vs. values. Do they change over time? Is ambiguity a strength or a weakness? Rev. Clear's thoughts will help you better articulate your faith.
November 21: ”Thanksgiving Service” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
How do we celebrate the holidays when there are unspoken, unresolved, unmet feelings in our lives? As much as the holidays are beautiful and meaningful, they can also be stressful, leaving us feeling empty inspite of the abundant food the majority of us get to share. Our souls and our hearts need to be filled at these times of the year, perhaps more than at any other time. Come and listen, and may you come away feeling fed. Followed by our Annual Pot Luck Thanksgiving Dinner! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
November 14: ”My Spirt” by Mike Santo, LCUUC Member
Mike will share his personal story with the congregation, as an example of how one’s spirit moves in various directions, while being founded in the life of one’s body. The tension arising from the desires of spirituality and the physical requirements of living, provide the scenery for our spirit’s journey from here to where our hearts may lead us. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
November 7: ”Not Everything Under the Sun: What Does It Mean To Be UU?” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
This is “Guest Sunday!” All are encouraged to invite friends and family to worship with us! Are you searching for a liberal religious home to call your own? Do you want to attend a church where asking questions is central to the search for truth and meaning in life? Are you interested in a religion that draws from the world’s religions as well as from philosophy and literature, one that is inspired by prophetic calls to justice? Ours is a religion where we want to reach out to the world and let it know of our existence, but do not proselytize. Ours is a religion where we go to a place called ”church” but where atheists, agnostics, humanists and theists sit side by side in a common goal toward world peace. We are a denomination that is old and yet we are everchanging as is the world in which we live. We are many things and yet we are one thing. So what does it mean to be UU? Come and find out. Maybe this church will become your church. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon)
October 31: “Nature Mysticism: The Pagan Path to Spiritual Consciousness,” by nature therapist and columnist Philip Chard
Persecuted for centuries, so-called “Pagans” continue to engender wariness, misunderstanding, and even discrimination. Despite repression, this tradition lives on in Wicca, Taoism, Native American spirituality, and other nature-based and polytheistic philosophies. Today, nature mysticism, which is central to Pagan beliefs, is re-emerging as a recognized path to spiritual awareness and transformation. We will examine the core attitudes and actions of present-day nature mystics, how these are validated by the natural sciences, and their connection with the new discipline of eco-psychology.
October 24: “Cultivating a Philosophy of Abundance,” by Rev. Scott Gerard Prinster
The most prominent themes in our country’s current political debate, news reports, and advertising messages is the fearful conviction that there won’t be enough to go around—enough money, enough time, enough freedom, and so on. What is the spiritual root of this noxious fear, and how can free ourselves from its influence? We’ll explore together the sources of abundance and how we can reclaim a sense of abundance in our lives.
October 17: “Social Justice Sunday,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
What exactly does it mean to be a UU? In whose footsteps are we following and who then will follow in ours? What is LCUUC’s reason for being, the core thing that sustains and inspires us as we gather together inside these walls, challenges us and does not let us rest, but urges us always onward? There are many ghosts in our past and in our path. Who are they? Why do they matter? When were they here and where are they now? Come and listen and be prepared to help bring these lights of truth and justice to the fore once more.
October 10: “Why Love Is,” by LCUUC member Susan Taylor
Love is, and love is all there is. You may have heard me say this during the Joys and Concerns part of our service. Although love is difficult to talk about and explain, I know in my heart that it is the essence of all that we are. And, our behavior is an out-picturing of this love when we are connected to a greater consciousness.
October 3: “Association Sunday,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Today we have something to celebrate: the 50th Anniversary of our faith in one another! The Unitarians and the Universalists consolidated their efforts 50 years ago. They were motivated not just out of an instinct for survival but because they knew that working together they would be better able to pursue their common vision. We have something to celebrate: over these 50 years we have blended our theological and sociological strengths to develop a faith for the future, a faith that can speak spiritually to more people and more effectively empower us to create a just, equitable, and peaceful world. We gather together today to celebrate this association of congregations, as well as reminding ourselves of our own association as diverse individuals who come together each and every week to create and sustain LCUUC and all that we hope it stands for. Please remain after this special service . (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
September 26: “Here We Are Gathered,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Life is built by being born and dying. Living is what happens in between. What sort of world do we want to create, and how do we do this together in those inbetween days? What is possible, and then, what is more possible? These ponderings and more are at the forefront of this day’s service. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
September 19: “My God, It’s Full of Stars!,” by Rev. Lori Hlaban
Our living tradition draws from six major sources, the first of which is “direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life.” From mystics of various religious traditions, through the Transcendentalists, to modern scientists, we will explore the varieties of expression of awe and wonder.
September 12: “Water Communion Service,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
As we gather again for the beginning of our new church year, please bring with you a bit of water that either reflects a place you went to this summer or a place that holds a place of importance in your life, a place of importance in your memory. Together we will listen to our stories, watch the waters come together, and be reminded and inspired to do the work the world needs us to do.
September 5: “Patching Together a Meaningful Life,” by Rev. Dr. Linda Hansen
With the help of a quilt-maker and the poet Sylvia Plath, Rev. Hansen will explore the making of a meaningful life as something like the patching of quilts—not seamless wholes, yet perhaps even more beautiful. Rev. Hansen comes to us from the UU congregation in Mukwonago.
August 15: “Shibboleths and Talismans,” by Rev. Lori Hlaban
Code words and signs are often how we identify one another – and how we sometimes make a judgment that someone is “a Unitarian Universalist but just doesn’t know it yet.” Let’s explore the world of Unitarian Universalist shibboleths and talismans, and think about how they do – or don’t – serve us as a religious body. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
July 11: “Practicing Buddhism in THIS life,” by Jenny Straight, lay minister, Fox Valley UUF
Jenny reflects on the ways we can introduce the practices of Buddhism into our culturally busy lives. Head shaving and vegetarianism are optional!
June 6: “Flower Communion Sunday,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Please join us as we celebrate our traditional Flower Communion service. Everyone is invited and reminded to bring a fresh flower. Together, these different flowers will become a beautiful bouquet. From the bouquet, people will be invited to take a flower different from the one they brought. Our Unitarian Universalist tradition of the Flower Communion lifts up the idea that our common bouquet would not be the same without the unique addition of each individual flower, and thus it is with our church community – it would not be the same without each and every one of us. All are welcome to this intergenerational service. Let’s pray for good weather so that we can experience this service in our beautiful memorial garden, where reflection on hope springing eternal is the theme. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
May 30: “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty,” by Rev. Richard S. Gilbert, presented by LCUUC Worship Committee
On this Memorial Day weekend, although most of us are not in a position to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, there are certainly other ways in which we can make the world a better place for our fellow travelers on the journey of life. Join with us to share these thoughts by Rev. Gilbert, brought to us through the resources of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Rev. Gilbert served 44 years in UU ministry, and is the author of the “Building Your Own Theology” adult religious education series.
May 23: “RE Sunday – Religious Education Is All Around Us,” by our RE Class Members
Whether experiencing the web of life, having adventures, learning about interesting Unitarians from history, or taking time to learn about other faith traditions, our children know that religious education is all around us. In this service, we will enjoy the creative talents of our children and youth as they share some of the highlights of their RE year.
May 16: “Voices in the Wilderness,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
We may know some of our UU history, the important people of the past who have made our denomination the relevant one that it is. But how many of us know the lives of people right here at LCUUC who are also contributing to the creation of this denomination by the lives they lead? Come and hear their stories, as we add their names, and yours, to this historic enterprise called life. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
May 9: “Celebrating Transitions: Mothers, Children, and Seniors,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Mother’s Day, Child Dedication, and High School Senior Transitions Sunday is upon us. Please come and celebrate moments of transition in the life of various people in our church as we call them out and celebrate their existence in our midst. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
May 2: “The Spiritual Practice of Leadership,” by Chaplain David Pyle
Why is it that we spend so much of our time and our energy working in the leadership of our churches and our liberal faith? Perhaps an answer can be found in the examples of many of those who have been leaders of our liberal faith movement, and in the struggles that they faced. We will look at the leaders of our faith during the Civil Rights and Black Empowerment movements. David Pyle is a UU minister in Preliminary Fellowship, and Chaplain Resident in Park Ridge, Illinois. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
April 25: “Understanding Islam Through a Father’s Advice to his Son,” by Muhammed Isa Sadlon
This service, based on a letter from the Prophet Muhammed’s son-in-law Ali to his son, gives insight into the message of Islam. Isa Sadlon is the Executive Director and CEO of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.
April 18: “Reconnecting with Earth,” presented by the course study group at LCUUC.
Reconnecting with Earth is a six-session course for the workplace, faith center, or home addressing core values and how they affect the way we view and treat the Earth. This is another of a series of courses offered by the Great Lakes Earth Institute. We will be sharing our insights learned from this course in this Earth Day service. Other Earth Day activities are being planned for the day .
April 11: “The Uncommon Common Good,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
In this second of three Auction Sermons, this service will take a look at the concept of the Common Good and how or if it is possible to tap into it within our diversely religious world. With a starting point of Catholic social teachings, this service will be one of thoughtful consideration about how Unitarian Universalism echoes the voices of other religions and is willing to do the hard work to land alongside them as partners in the creation of a world that holds, as it core premise, the common good. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
April 4: “Easter Sunday Service,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
With the rising of the sun and the Rising of the Son, Easter is here and we will be in full celebration! Come and enjoy a beautiful Easter service with glorious music, stories old and new, traditions from here and abroad, and maybe even a large rabbit sighting! Wear your best and join in this celebration!(CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
March 28: “The Economic Injustice of Housing Foreclosures: What We Can Do”
Join us for our annual Justice Sunday, in which UU congregations nationwide come together to take action on a pressing social justice issue. The theme this year is economic justice, in light of the global economic downturn. This service will focus on the problem of housing foreclosures, which affects the communities in our region. A speaker from Common Ground, a southeastern Wisconsin social issues organization, will discuss the injustices surrounding the foreclosure crisis and how we can promote economic justice on this issue on a local level.
March 21: “An Alleluia Chorus: The Sun Hath Returned!” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Come and celebrate the Spring Equinox with this joyful service! Enjoy music, song, and merriment as we dance in a new season: the budding of the earth, the renewal of the soul, the lightness of the heart. Here comes the sun! (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
March 14: “Charting Our Own Existence,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Regardless of the best laid plans of mice and men, we are all bound to find ourselves, at one time or another, facing difficult things in our lifetime. How do we heal ourselves, find the path out of hard times, and rely on what we have within? Sometimes breaking the rules, stepping off the path, and marching to a different drummer can be a hard decision. But it can be a life-saving one, too. In this service about finding one’s own way in the world, Rev. Jane will share her own personal story. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
March 7: “Free to Choose,” by Lori Hlaban
We say we are a “free church,” but what does that mean? We might point to our lack of creed, but it’s more about our covenants and polity. As this free congregation prepares to ordain one of its own to the Unitarian Universalist ministry, we will take a look at what that means both for the future minister and the congregation.
February 28: “Being There,” by church member Mike Santo
This sermon explores the awesome fact that we are being there in the world and responsible for the world as existence itself. We are the beings who ask “Why is there anything rather than nothing at all?” (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
February 21: “Sallying Forth: A Religious Venture – Auction Sermon #1,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen What does our UU religion have to offer our nation? How does our Judeo-Christian heritage position us realistically today? In these times of stronger and more vocal utterances by the Christian right in this country, on this Sunday I will be speaking about the future of faith, the Christian faith, and how our religion either resonates with that future, or it doesn’t, and what that will mean for us in the long run.
February 14: “Love and What the Heart Can Bear,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
In this February service we will focus on the re-imagining of Valentine’s Day by celebrating National Standing on the Side of Love Day. The UUA in Boston has created this social justice Sunday for February 14th of this year, and UU congregations across the nation are being invited to participate in this day of worship and practice of the works of love. I hope you will join us for a full day of listening, discussing, sharing, and learning what the challenges are for this chosen religion we call our own: a religious life that centers squarely upon social justice issues, here and abroad. We care, but what is possible? How much can we really do?
February 7: “Depression – the Reality” by LCUUC friend Mark Brewer
We see depression everywhere, including TV commercials for prescription medicine and the headlines. Some of us get “depressed” this time of year with the colder weather and shorter days. Isn’t our faith/spirituality supposed to help us not be depressed? I will explore this thing called depression, and mental illness in general, to help us better understand each other and ourselves. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
January 31: “If At First You Don’t Succeed,” by Rev. Dr. Linda Hansen
On the edge of February, we’ll use the 1993 film Groundhog Day to consider what Jung called the “shadow side” of our personalities. What does it take (and how long!) to become the fuller, deeper selves we’re capable of becoming? (You needn’t have seen the film to follow the sermon, but it’s a fun and thoughtful film if you have the time.) Linda Hansen is in her 16th year of ministry, and is currently the Consulting Minister of the United Unitarian & Universalist Society of Mukwonago.
January 24: “War and the Soul,” by Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth
In honor of the peacemaker Martin Luther King Jr., this service will be an examination of the experience of active duty troops and a reflection on Rev. Groth’s military family members and those she has counseled.
January 17: “O Flame, Burning Bright: Heretics Remembered,” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
Fire. A comfort, and a source of pain, anguish, and death. The history of the world is filled with punishment and torture, fear and reprisal. How common it is to react to change or difference with acts of rage, threats, and violence. How uncommon to respond with courage and openness. What do the heretics of the world have to teach us about truth and wisdom? What does our call to integrity ask us to do? (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
January 10: “Who’s In and Who’s Out?” by Rev. Jane Esbensen
It is part of the human condition to feel as though we’re the only ones who feel the way that we do; that we are the only ones going through what we’re going through; that we feel isolated and alone and misunderstood. “No man is an island,” we are told, but sometimes it feels that way. In this service I would like to lift up our commonalities, speak about the visible and invisible lines which divide, and consider ways to do this thing called Life better. (CLICK here to listen to the sermon.)
January 3: “Borning and Dying,”a service created by Lori Gorgas Hlaban and presented by Gerry Flakas
This is our traditional first service of the New Year, where we reflect on the past year and celebrate births, honor those who have passed away, and set our intentions for the year before us. Special thanks to soon-to-be-ordained UU minister (and LCUUC member) Lori Gorgas Hlaban for her contribution to this service.