August 6: “Preaching to the Corn". Are we practicing perfection or possibility? Pick one. Reverend Jordinn Nelson Long visits us from Boston.
July 30: “Improv” Church. Reverend Diane Miller will share with us how the principles of improv comedy are an excellent guide to being and to spiritual growth with participation by our UU youth.
July 16: Compassionate and Conscious Listening. In our culture, with so many distractions, we are in danger of losing our ability to really listen to one other. David Hanson will discuss ideas to help understand what listening does on a spiritual level.
June 25: Emery Diercks, a native Salinan and resident here her whole life (except when her family was in the military and her 2 children were born) will share her experiences growing up and living in Salina—and the U.S. Emery has been a tireless arts and poetry advocate, bringing in poets of many backgrounds and experiences to one mic and other presentations at Ad Astra Books and Coffee, Heart of Dixie, and Side B studios.
June 18: The Spirit of ZEST! It’s easy to be consumed by all that needs to be done, by all the wrongs that need to be righted, by all the ways we want to be better and do better. When is the last time you felt zest in your life? Who in your life embodies zest? On this Father’s day, we will pay heed the words of Walt Whitman: "To you, clerk, literary man, sedentary person, man of fortune, idler...UP! The world (perhaps you now look upon it with pallid and disgusted eyes) is full of zest and beauty for you, if you approach it in the right spirit!” Presented by Barb Gutsch.
June 4: Re-homing. What does it mean to belong somewhere, and how do we know when we're home? How does familiarity play into happiness, and how do nomads maintain wellness? Please join us for a service about finding and making homes. Rev. Rose Schwab, minister of Shawnee Mission UU Church in Kansas City Kansas, and prodigal grandchild of Kansas presents.
May 28: Visual Voice featuring Kae Brown: As we have in the past, this Sunday is an opportunity to hear from the artist whose work is exhibited in our fellowship gallery. Come to a conversation with the current artist, Kae Brown, and hear possible answers to what is next.
May 14: Honoring Our Mothers. The first celebrations in honor of mothers were held in the spring in ancient Greece. They paid tribute to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 17th century, England honored mothers on "Mothering Sunday," celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Today we honor all the ‘Mothers' in our Fellowship. We will celebrate with a Flower Communion. Please bring a flower, or a few, to share. Created and presented by UUFS children and youth.
May 7: Impermanence. Willow Leenders just spent a week hosting Dr. Jampa Yonten and his Tibetan family from Bangalore, India and she will share lessons learned from time with a healer from a different culture and tradition.
Apr 30: May First is International Labor Day. So why don’t we celebrate it in the US? Patrick Harrington will present some facts of American history that make us celebrate Labor day in September.
Apr 24: Life Lessons from Creation. Pastor Noni Strand will share reflections based on her journey of living into “Earthly-mindedness,” that is, living with Earth in mind. From childhood experiences of camping to her recent publication of Rooted and Grounded in Love: Devotions for Growing Couples, Strand traces the life-long emergence of her ecological awareness and passion for sustainability, and invites her listeners to do the same. Strand currently serves as interim Director of the Chaplaincy Department at Salina Regional Health Center with a focus on collaboration and spiritual resilience for patients, their supporters, and her co-workers.
Apr 16: Hallelujah! Everybody is Saved! The Genius of Universalism. Rev. Diane Miller shares with us a sermon on the good news, the saving news, of our tradition. The sermon begins with Hosea Ballou’s treatise on the Ancient History of Universalism, published in 1829. The book is old and crumbling, but the ideas are relevant to our lives now. Our Universalist heritage proclaims that all are saved, no one is damned. It affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The children’s time will be an Easter egg hunt, a no-candy hunt to find eggs containing coins. Later the children will decide what to do with the money they discover.
Apr 9: What does it Mean to be a Community of Transformation? We are fascinated by transformation movies, from "Beauty and the Beast" to "The American Werewolf in London". It doesn’t matter if someone horrifying becomes beautiful or someone beautiful becomes horrifying, we watch with rapt attention. What is the catalyst for transformation? How does it affect my spiritual life? What does it mean for our church community? Lay Leader Barb Gutsch will present.
Apr 2: A Farm Boy with a Guitar. Tom Neilson, singer-songwriter and social activist, will highlight workers’ rights at our Sunday service. Neilson played last year in Salina to rave reviews and has been described as “the Jon Stewart of folk music.” His songs draw in listeners, raising human consciousness in an era where human worth and dignity are often diminished. His music has been used in documentaries, television shows, stage and street theater. In the spirit of Woody Guthrie, he tells the stories of people’s struggles against greed & violence, interjecting levity and laughter along the way.
Mar 19: History of White Privilege Continued. The UUFS Social Action Committee will continue exploring the history of white privilege, using the UUA Examining Whiteness curriculum. Topics for this service include the origins of “WASP”, National Identity in America, Race Science, Social Darwinism, Immigration of Whites from Europe, and the rise of the White working class. Members of our committee will present these segments that are still so relevant today.
Mar 12: Visual Voices Rewind. Maggie Mae Fisher was an exhibiting artist in the Visual Voices: Art at UU gallery at the end of last year. Her artist’s talk was scheduled on a day when we had an ice storm, so she’ll present to us this Sunday in a dialogue conversation with Lee Romaniszyn about her art.
Mar 5: The Risk Taker in Each of Us: Exploring our Vulnerability and Strength. Along the road of life, we are confronted with many opportunities to risk; for adventure, love, justice, career, health, and much more. How do we determine which risks to take and which to avoid? What do we risk when we choose not to risk? Barb Gutsch will lead us in exploring Risk.
Feb 26: “With the Privilege…” My mom often said to us kids “With the privilege goes the responsibility.” As a kid, I associated privilege with having to do work in order to get to do something fun. With recent discussions of “white privilege” and “male privilege” I’ve started thinking more about it. What is privilege? How does having or not having privilege affect our world view? And if we have privilege, what then is our responsibility? Join us as we explore these questions. Rebecca Gant is a former teacher, Girl Scout Leader, congregational Chair and all around volunteer. In addition to many other roles, she joyfully serves as a worship associate and the worship team leader in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lawrence.
Feb. 12: Intellectual Bravery, Curiosity, and Hunger for Truth. We celebrate International Darwin Day by considering what Charles Darwin has to teach us about our UU Fourth Principle (A free and responsible search for truth and meaning), 208 years after his birth in 1809. Presented by Barb Gutsch.
Feb 5: Love, Identity, and Community. Rev. Diane Miller looks at Exodus 3:14 where God speaks to Moses in Hebrew words that are generally translated, “I Am What I Am.” Identity politics may go back even earlier, but in recent years awareness of one’s identity has become an important aspect of Unitarian Universalism. How many identities do we have? Am I my identities? Or is there more to who we are? And how does this apply to the urgent political issues of our time?
January 29: Visual Symphonies: The Collision of Music and Paint. Our current artist, Carolyn Gutsch, will speak about her inspiration for the show and how the connections within the pieces were made for her. Carolyn will also facilitate an interactive activity exploring how music connects with visual art for each of us.
January 22: White Privilege: The History of White Supremacy in the United States. This morning’s service is presented by the UUFS Social Action Committee. The culture of white supremacy has a history that goes back over four hundred years. As a result of this history, we live in a society based on white cultural supremacy. When we examine our history and our privilege, we develop a historical, cultural, and institutional framework for understanding how these larger forces impact on our personal lives and shape us as white people and Unitarian Universalists.
December 25: Being Present: The Gift of Self. In a column entitled “The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice,” Parker Palmer writes "Advice-giving comes naturally to our species, and is mostly done with good intent. But in my experience, the driver behind a lot of advice has as much to do with self-interest as interest in the other’s needs — and some advice can end up doing more harm than good.” Sometimes we can give our best self to others by simply being present and bearing witness, even when we yearn to advise or fix. Barb Gutsch presents this Christmas morning.
December 11: Love, Love, Love. SMUUCh (Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church) member Caroline Dawson explores an alternate definition of love. This talk comes highly recommended by former UU of Salina members, Kent Johnson and Yvonne Gibbons.
December 4: The Body of Jesus. What do the Nativity stories tell us about the birth of Jesus or the presence of the holy in ordinary life? Why was the child’s name foretold as Emmanuel, meaning “God with us?” This will be a sermon from our Liberal Christian roots and our tradition of Incarnational Theology, or what we might call Embodied Faith by Rev. Diane Miller who is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister and former denominational executive now living in Salina. She served on the Committee that wrote the UU Purposes, Principles and Sources statement that was adopted in the 1980's. There will be a story for children about Advent.
November 27: I am Thankful…for my whiteness? In this month of “stories” we will begin the exploration of our white privilege, particularly as it relates to Black Lives Matter and the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy. Our stories of white privilege in United States history and culture have had a significant impact on this nation and have played out in our Unitarian Universalist Association. How does it impact us and our congregation? Barb Gutsch presents.
November 13: Environmentalism as a Human Imperative. The deep crises our world faces demands we re-examine our collective way of life, a task important for all of us, but particularly for younger generations who inherit our world, and hope to transform it. Jordan Jerkovich grew up in Salina, and has experienced his own transformation, from study and especially from study abroad. He will share his life story and resulting perspective. “Environmentalism is a human imperative that crosses identity lines. I will talk about where capitalism and environmentalism are and are not reconcilable, about social reasons for committing to a just/sustainable economy, and about how that can be justified as a virtue of faith and spirituality.”
November 6: Samhain. Jesseka Green and David Hanson will lead us in a Gaelic festival celebration marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Our celebration will include a time of remembrance, so please bring a photo of someone you would like to honor with remembering during this service.
October 23: Awe Nature. Michele Clark, the former director of the Stiefel Theatre in Salina, currently a resident of Tahlequah, OK, is currently exhibiting her nature-made art in the Visual Voices Gallery and will share more with us about how she sees art in all of nature. Michele says, “It can be fungus, tree roots, knots on tree limbs or the tiniest rock. There is art in every bit of nature, if you just look and use your artist eyes.”
October 16: Caring Conversations: Faith and Values in End of Life Decision-Making. Faith communities are reassessing their approach to illness, end of life, and grief. As Unitarian Universalists, how does our faith inform our approach to death and illness? How do we support our members, families, and friends, as they experience the death of a loved one or approach their own end-of-life concerns? During this month’s focus of healing, lay leader Barb Gutsch will present how caring conversations about the end of life can help us heal after loss.
October 2: A Time for Turning. Reverend Thea Nietfeld asks these questions, as seasons change, how might we respond to the call for spiritual turning? What intentions and practices might support our efforts?
September 24: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About Covenantal Relationships. Covenant is one of those words that can initially sound kind of stuffy, academic and out-of-date. But when you unpack its meaning and its practices, covenant holds a whole vision for how to live in this complicated, beautiful and broken world. It is a vision that says we are most human when we bind ourselves in relationship. But not just any relationship – relationships of trust, mutual accountability and continual return. These words are from the September 2016 Soul Matters curriculum and David Hanson will shed some light on covenantal relationships from the viewpoint of Chinese philosophers.
September 18: Defying the Nazis UU Action Project Martha and Waitstill Sharp of Wellesley, Massachusetts, risked their lives to save many lives as the Nazis invaded Europe. Their story is being told on PBS as a Ken Burns documentary on September 20th, entitled “Defying the Nazis: the Sharps' War.” What is the legacy of the Sharps, the Flaming Chalice, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee? Rev. Diane Miller, a UU minister for the past 40 years, serving congregations on both coasts and as Director of Ministry for the Unitarian Universalist Association presents.
September 4: "In All Thy Getting, Get Understanding". In this Part 2 report from the 2016 Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, Barb Gutsch will share a sermon by Nancy McDonald Ladd, challenging us to become a place of deep encounter where borders are crossed and faiths connect, where real stories and real struggle intersect and understanding arises anew.
Begin video at 1:12:00 to see Reverend Ladd's sermon.
August 28th: The Search of Meaning. The author of Ecclesiastes 3:19 (NIV) stated, “Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.” David Hanson will guide the service and discussion, dealing with the search for meaning in our lives, especially in light of the Unitarian Universalist Principles we hold so dear.
Due to technical difficulties, not all summer podcasts are available. Sorry.
June 19: Buddhism and Christianity revisited. In July of 2000, Bill Martin gave a talk at the Salina UU in which he was critical of Buddhism and in which he supported some aspects of a "Christian" perspective. In the intervening time, Bill's perspective has changed in significant ways; in his talk he will discuss this journey in terms of both ideas and personal events.
June 5: UU Rites of Passage. Unitarian Universalists have many ways of celebrating life and marking life transitions. We share our joys and sorrows, supporting one another through difficulty and success. From birth to death, our congregations help us live with deeper gratitude, greater connection, and more reverence for life. Every UU congregation is free to create and celebrate its own unique rites of passage. Barb Gutsch will lead a celebration of life transition. We will also welcome Rachael as our newest member.
May 22: How The World Breaks. Stan Cox and his son, Paul, have recently released a book on “natural” disasters and how many of these disasters really have their roots in human activity and are therefore preventable in the longer term, if we are willing to seriously engage in behavioral change. A review of the book says, “Here we learn that change is more than mere adaptation and life is more than mere survival.” Come to learn how you can be a part of the change.
May 15: An Exodus From Syria. In conjunction with our tradition of Flower Communion and New Member Welcome Sunday, the UU Popcorn Theology Kids will present a service after viewing the movie “Chicken Run”, the UU Kids discussed Exodus in today's world and created a short play about a young girl's exodus from war-torn Syria.
May 8: Inner Democracy. In this accountability sermon, Rev. Thea Nietfeld links our Unitarian Universalist faith in the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process to the public deliberation work which she has been doing in central Kansas over the past year. Poetry and mysticism continue to be faith resources in community ministry.
May 1: From My Mother. Author Darcy Leech will share about her journey while caring for a mother with myotonic muscular dystrophy. The first child born to a woman with myotonic dystrophy, Darcy Leech was raised to expect her brother to die before she did. She matured quickly as a child living amid medical crisis and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Bethany College as a nationally award winning student athlete. From My Mother tells the family story of the strongest woman Darcy will ever know, her mother, Jo Lyn, who died from weakening muscles.
April 24: The Liberating Nature of Unitarian Universalism. “True wisdom comes in understanding that sometimes, you are both the prison and the key.” Words by Johnathan Jena. Barb Gutsch, our lay leader, will guide us in exploring how Unitarian Universalism can help us unlock the bars around us whether they be of external or internal origin.
April 17: Peas in a Pod. What do Gumby and nuns have to do with art and an expression of our connection and equality? Come find out when local artist, Carolyn Wedel comes to share with us about her current show in the Visual Voices Gallery.
April 10: Sister of the Earth. Lorraine Anderson celebrates both nature and the feminine in her collection of women's prose and poetry entitled Sisters of the Earth. Jackie Magnuson Ash has selected excerpts from several pieces in the book to share as meditation, aiming to affirm Anderson's argument: if we as a people can learn "to revere what is feminine, the image of earth as mother will evoke the reverence that is earth's due." Bev Lethem Davis and Jackie will read the selections.
April 3: Stories and Songs about People’s Struggles. Tom Neilson provides a voice for those who believe in the power of folk music to effect change. Come listen to his words and songs. Learn more about him at http://www.tomneilsonmusic.com/
March 27: Our Christian Roots: Re-visioning Easter Sunday. We live in a predominantly Christian nation. Christmas and Easter are all the rage: high mass, family gatherings, big meals, and presents. Even non-church-goers will show up in church on these two Sundays. As a Unitarian Universalist, I struggle to find meaning for myself and my children in this hype. If I reject the doctrine of the birth of a savior and the resurrection of the same, what do these holidays mean? Barb Gutsch will explore with us our Christian roots and what Easter Sunday might mean to a UU.
March 6: Flint Hill Wisdom Keepers. The Flint Hills Wisdom Keepers Foundation invites you to join in a conversation that began more than 25 years ago. Started by indigenous Elders from tribes across the country, the original conference sought to share the Elders’ cultural wisdom and insights. During this morning’s service, we will talk about the history of the annual gathering, show photos and discuss the Native American elders who have participated with us, and go over the gathering program content, including some ceremonies during the weekend. We will talk about our experiences with these elders and how they have taught us about traditional ways of their upbringing.
February 28: Articulating our UU Faith. Have you ever told someone you were a Unitarian Universalist and then got tongue-tied when they ask “What’s that?” Have you ever NOT told someone where you went to church because it was just too hard to explain? In today's service, Barb Gutsch will lead us in exploring how to better articulate our religious identity.
February 21: Mennonite Project for Racial Justice. Michelle E. Armster, the transitional executive director for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States Region, will share her work with us as she does when she connects with her constituents. MCC, a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. The mission of MCC is relief, development, and peace.
February 14: What’s Love Got to Do With It? Mike Neustrom will talk about the fellowship’s mission and how it is fulfilled.
January 24: Gather the Spirit - Water Service. Barb Gutsch reminds us that the Earth is our home, a place where waters flow and life thrives. Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to stewardship of the Earth, recognizing that without our stewardship, humanity and all other life may not survive. We will gather waters from our lives/travels and give thanks for our abundance of this precious resource.
January 17: Reflections of Ourselves. Dee Boyd undertook an "appreciation project" as a way to recognize the participation we have in each others' lives and to also appreciate the exemplary contributions we make to the Salina community. The service will center around remembering and appreciating Salina Unitarian Universalists who make up our history.
January 10: Learning from Cultural Diversity. Sommer Chalfont explores how globalization and interactions with diverse cultures benefits both international and domestic students, with an emphasis on diversity that is prevalent in higher education and how members of the community can help to encourage and improve these interactions.
January 3: Burning Bowl Tradition. Willow Lenders leads this annual New Year tradition New Year is a time for releasing the past, relinquishing anything that may weigh on your heart and mind as well as looking forward to the future to begin fresh and new.
December 27: Ashby House, A Way that Caring Happens in our Community. Bryan Anderson will be our guest this morning and share with us about homelessness and hope in our Salina community.
December 13: Thoughts on Spiritual Realization. David Hanson finishes the discussion on The Dark Night of the Soul by some of the ways one can know they are, indeed, on a spiritual path or journey. Concepts and insights from many of the Wisdom Traditions will be presented.
December 6: Connected By Flesh: Animals, Writing, Reading and Women. Lori Brack reads a couple of excerpts from her essays and some stories and articles from a class she gave on animals and gender that ask provocative questions. Then she'll open up for discussion rather than taking questions, she says she has no answers but only intuitions, ideas, dreams and more questions herself.
November 15: An Inside Job. We increase our sense of interconnectedness as human beings and as a community, by sharing aspects of our selves, and one aspect we all have is our creativity and/or our appreciation of creativity. Art at UU focuses on the creativity of the congregation this month, so come hear about our fellowship and its creative expression through visual art.
November 8: Justice, Equity, and Compassion. Rev. Thea Nietfeld shares that “since July, I have worked to encourage community discussion of criminal justice reforms. I look forward to sharing how this work expresses my UU faith. Each of us can bring our principles to life as we grow from experience and reflection.”
November 1: A Spiritual Odyssey. George Kramer says this about his journey, “It seems that I have always been a teacher. I live and breathe the process of learning. Rather than following a straight line, my experience has emerged a spiraling process in which my experiences are seen differently with each turn. I believe that I carry with me reasoning in all its stages: pre-causal, concrete-operational and abstraction. My concepts of life are colored by all that has gone on before. I find myself looking forward to many more turns of the spiral.”
October 25: Sharing on Writing. When she’s not reading, playing the piano, or talking to other writers, Marlene Lee holds down a table at the Lakota Coffee House in Columbia, Missouri, confronting blank pages during business hours and postponing the inevitable with another cup of coffee.
October 11: Hope for the Long Haul. As we confront challenges that we have no chance of solving completely, how do Unitarian Universalists maintain hope? Should we even try? Join returning guest and Meadville Lombard Seminarian JordinnNelson Long as we stake a bold claim on joy and optimism, even amid discouragement.
September 27th: Searching for Spirit. Our third principle is the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. Barb Gutsch will reflect on the spiritual growth portion of that principle and introduce the eight spheres of spiritual growth as spiritual practice.
September 20th: You Could Be Wrong. Each of us has probably considered how to offer forgiveness when we have been wronged. This Sunday we will look at another side of that question: what does it mean to know that we might be wrong? How can we act decisively, say no to oppression and injustice wherever we find it, and stand on the side of love . . . in the knowledge that we will make mistakes, and that our best intentions will sometimes lead us astray? Meadville Lombard seminarian, Jordinn Nelson Long, considers the role of humility and repentance in the context of our UU values.
September 13, 2015: Artist Randy Clark, who is currently exhibiting his artwork in the Art at UU gallery shares about his work and his process. Read his artist statement in the UUFS September newsletter.
September 6, 2015: Labor Day started as a part of the labor union movement, to recognize the contributions of men and women in the US workforce, but modernly is seen as a chance to celebrate the last weekend of summer. This morning, Patrick Harrington has some thoughts to share on Labor Day.
August 23, 2015: Youtube is not Your Truth: Locating Reality in an Unreal World. Think of a time in your life when you suddenly became aware of a reality not recognized before. How did you find it? On one hand, we have never had more information nor contact with the “real” world. On the other, that mere fact can be debilitating. Contemporary media (not just ‘reality TV’) is well-stocked with ill-equipped and sometimes false guides. So, how do we discover our own story—and tell it? How do we find true reality on a journey where only we are our ultimate guides? David Norlin will explore our common journeys while sharing parts of his own. Perhaps we can all unearth at least a shovelful of reality.