Upcoming Services

(Detailed listings follow this summary)

    September 21
  • 10:30 am: Katie Culbert, Ministerial Intern: "Love Reaches Out"
  • 10:30 am: Programs for Children and Youth: The benefit of cooperation, nature's partnerships and the birth of Buddhism. 
  • 9:30 am Forum: "Kindness as a 'Sturdy Intellectual Value' and Verb"
    New Series: Four Sermons About Relationships
  • Part 1 - "Should We Abolish Marriage?"- September 28
  • Part 2 - "Forgiving Our Ex-Partner" - October 5
  • Part 3 - "Are Partners Like Orca Whales?" - October 12
  • Part 4 - "Staying Together: Long Term Relationships" - October 19
    September 28
  • 10:30 am: Rev. Roger Fritts: "Should We Abolish Marriage?"
  • 10:30 am: Programs for Children and Youth: Beach clean-up  
  • 9:30 am Forum: "Preserving Our Coral Reefs - Or, How I Learned about Entropy (The Hard Way)"
    October 5
  • 10:30 am: Rev. Roger Fritts: "Forgiving Our Ex-Partner"
  • 10:30 am: Programs for Children and Youth: Sacred Space -- Spooky Fun
  • 9:30 am Forum: Smoke Alarm
    October 12
  • 10:30 am: Rev. Roger Fritts: "Are Partners Like Orca Whales?"
  • 10:30 am: Programs for Children and Youth: Dr. Seuss and Buddha teach about interconnectedness of life and perseverance to end suffering
  • 9:30 am Forum: Living in a Social Democracy -- My Life in New Zealand

(Scroll down for more details about each Sunday)

Katie Culbert, Ministerial Intern, speaks at a recent Sunday Service. (Picture by Richard Czina)  

  

  September 21, 10:30 am, Sunday Service 

 Sermon:

 

 

 

Love Reaches Out

 

Sermon by Katie Culbert, Ministerial Intern

There is never a shortage of junk going on in the world. News headlines are filled with depressing and disheartening stories and leave us searching for hope. When my heart is battered and my spirit is bruised I wonder, “What would our world look like if our Unitarian Universalist values thrived throughout our world? What if we burst out into our surrounding community and spread the good news of liberal religion beyond our walls?” Let’s envision this together.

(Map of Sarasota and Manatee Counties courtesy US Census Bureau)

 

 Music (during 10:30 service):

 

 

 

Choir; Don Bryn, piano.

Religious Education for Young People (during 10:30 service) 
 

 

Nursery - Loving care for infants and toddlers is available.

PreK-Kindergarten: The children will learn the importance of everyone’s voice being heard and the benefit of cooperation with Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.

 

 

1st-2nd grade: The theme for today is, “Nature's Partnerships.” The children will experience the benefits of partnership by working together cooperatively. They will also be introduced to leadership roles they will take on over the course of the program.

 

 

3rd-5th grade: The class will begin to discover a tale of Buddha today as part of their “Exploration of World Religions.”

 

 

 

6th - 12th grade (Youth Group): Youth-led, adult-guided programming that is age and developmentally appropriate.

(Last five Photos via Wikimedia Commons, Buddha image by By YashiWong)

Forum September 21, 9:30 to 10:15 

 

 

Kindness as a "Sturdy Intellectual Value" - and Verb

Syracuse University Professor and award-winning author, George Saunders, gave a convocation address in May 2013 with a simple thesis: be more kind. After a transcript of this address was subsequently published on the New York Times Web site, it went viral--resonating with an audience far and wide. A NPR interview with Professor Saunders will surely provoke a lively discussion about kindness--or its lack thereof--in our lives, spiritual community, and modern society. More importantly, what will we DO with this information? Presentation by and discussion moderated by Mandy Riebe. 

 

 

(Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons 

New Series:

Four Sermons About Relationships

Part 1 - Should We Abolish Marriage?

September 28

Part 2 - Forgiving Our Ex-Partner

October 5

Part 3 - Are Partners Like Orca Whales? 

October 12

Part 4 - Staying Together: Long Term Relationships

October 19 

(Five Images above, top to bottom: © Depositphotos.com/gjeerawut; Rings by Jonata via Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Ksunka-11 (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons; Orca and trainer by Curimedia | P H O T O G R A P H Y (One Ocean Show Uploaded by tm) via Wikimedia Commons; © Depositphotos.com/Ambrophoto,) 

September 28, 10:30 am, Sunday Service 

 Sermon:

 

Should We Abolish Marriage?

Sermon by Rev. Roger Fritts

If coupling were an entirely private affair, all the discussion about gay marriage would become irrelevant. Same sex marriage would not have the official sanction of government, but neither would straight marriage.

Rings by Jonata via Wikimedia Commons

 

 Music (during 10:30 service):

 

   

Don Bryn, piano

Religious Education for Young People (during 10:30 service) 
 
 
 
Nursery - Loving care for infants and toddlers is available.

PreK-12th grade: The children and youth will participate in a beach clean-up today. Childcare provided at the church for those who want to attend the service.

 

 Forum September 28, 9:30 to 10:15 

 

 

 

 

 

Preserving Our Coral Reefs - Or, How I Learned About Entropy (The Hard Way)

Coral reefs are part of the “interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” But, what is “coral”? Where are coral reefs located and why do they matter? Why are coral reefs in danger and, more importantly, how can we help to preserve them? Come learn about and discuss this topic, which raises many ethical, legal, environmental, and political issues. Presentation by Mandy Riebe to be followed by open discussion.

(Photo by USDAgov via Wikimedia Commons )

October 5, 10:30 am, Sunday Service 

 Sermon:

 

Forgiving Our Ex-Partner

Sermon by Rev. Roger Fritts

Yom Kippur is about facing up to the mistakes we have made over the past year, making amends to the people we have hurt and forgiving those who have hurt us. The sermon will explore the question of forgiveness after a breakup or divorce.

Photo by Ksunka-11 (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

 

 Music (during 10:30 service):

 

 

Choir and Don Bryn at the piano.

Religious Education for Young People (during 10:30 service) 
 

 

Nursery - Loving care for infants and toddlers is available.

 

 

 

 

 

Sacred Space (PreK-12th grade): A service for children and youth with singing, a short sermon, and sharing. The theme for today is, "Spooky Fun." 

 

 

(Photo credits: Nursing baby, MOs810 via Wikimedia Commons; children singing, UUWorld.org)

 Forum October 5, 9:30 to 10:15 

 

  

Smoke Alarm

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths and disease in the United States. Cigarettes are a “delivery system” for a psychoactive drug, nicotine. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs that we have ever created. The Food and Drug Administration has a responsibility to ensure the safety and effectiveness of all drugs. So, why hasn’t the FDA exercised its responsibility with regard to cigarettes? Why is it still legal (and profitable!) for tobacco companies, despite convictions in numerous personal injury lawsuits, to continue to market such a dangerous product? We’ll explore and discuss the moral, legal, and business issues involved in the American tobacco culture. Presented by Mike Riebe with Mandy Riebe moderating the subsequent discussion.

 

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

October 12, 10:30 am, Sunday Service 

 Sermon:

 

Are Partners Like Orca Whales?

Sermon by Rev. Roger Fritts

A few years ago Amy Sutherland wrote an essay in The New York Times called “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage.” For months it was the most popular article on The New York Times website. Can animal training guide us to a happy relationship?

Photo By Curimedia | P H O T O G R A P H Y (One Ocean Show Uploaded by tm) via Wikimedia Commons 

 

 Music (during 10:30 service):

 

 

Don Bryn, piano; Dan Jordan (Concertmaster, Sarasota Orchestra) violin.

Religious Education for Young People (during 10:30 service)

 

 Nursery - Loving care for infants and toddlers is available.

PreK-Kindergarten: The children will explore the interconnectedness of life with Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

 

 

1st-2nd grade: Today the children will discover the vital role trees play in our ecosystems, as imaginatively told in a story about a young girl in India. They will physically embody a tree in an activity that teaches the purpose of each part of a tree.

 

 

 

3rd-5th grade: The class will engage with activities inspired by the story, “The Buddha and the Bodhi Tree.”

 

 

 

6th - 12th grade (Youth Group): Youth-led, adult-guided programming that is age and developmentally appropriate.

(Photos: Infant By Bonnie U. Gruenberg via Wikimedia Commons, Toddler via Wikimedia Commons, Bartholomew and the Oobleck courtesy Amazon Appstore, and http://store.barefootbooks.com/the-barefoot-book-of-earth-tales-4224.html)

 

 Forum October 12, 9:30 to 10:15 

 

 

Living in a Social Democracy - My Life in New Zealand

Jody McBrien (left) and her husband Dick Stammer found themselves living in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, from December 2013-August 2014, as Jody completed her sabbatical and award as an Ian Axford Fellow in Public Policy. Her worked situated her in the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment which also houses Immigration NZ and the Refugee Working Group. New Zealand recently instituted a new Refugee Resettlement Strategy that Jody analyzed during her time in NZ (more about that in a future Forum).

In terms of daily living, Jody and Dick found themselves in an interesting new culture that is based on very different policies than that of the US. For instance, 55% of the country's budget goes to education, health, and other social services in comparison to roughly the same percentage going to the military in the US. The political system does not allow for a majority party, so the parties have no choice but to work together to form coalitions. New Zealand is at least as multicultural as the US, if not more. Social and historical incidents have made a difference in how we treat our diverse populations. These are the issues Jody and Dick will discuss as we consider questions of how we might move forward progressively as nations.

(Photo of Bowen St. Gulley, Wellington, by Phillip Capper via Wikimedia Commons)

 

October 19, 10:30 am, Sunday Service 

 Sermon:

 

Staying Together: Long Term Relationships

Sermon by Rev. Roger Fritts

I invite members of the congregation who were or are partnered with the same person for at least 30 years to tell me what has kept you together. Put another way, what advice do you have for young couples? I may use what you tell me in the sermon without using your name. Please do not share with me things that you do not want the whole world to know.

Photo © Depositphotos.com/Ambrophoto,