Rev. Paul Oakley

Peace, Liberty, and Justice for All

In December we hear carols proclaiming “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All!” We never achieve that goal, but having it allows us to do good in the world. In this third sermon of eight in the series on UU Principles, we explore the meaning and value of the Sixth Principle.

Bread Service

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we bring homemade breads that are meaningful to us to share with those who have gathered. Grandma’s recipe from the old country. A bread you discovered. We explore the metaphoric and symbolic use of bread as it brings us into community with each other.

Conscience and Democracy

In this second of eight sermons on Unitarian Universalist Principles, we look at the Fifth Principle. Unitarian Universalist congregations and our association function democratically and promote the same in the world. And just as the Qur’an says there is no compulsion in matters of faith, the individual conscience remains free.

Our Unitarian Heritage: William Ellery Channing

Channing was a flag-bearer in an early-1800s culture war, against a harsh Calvinist orthodoxy. His sermons helped Unitarianism break from Congregationalism and develop a separate identity and theology. Is Channing relevant today, or is he past his sell-by date?

#UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn Part Two

In the spring we responded to the call of UU leaders of color to learn about ways in which, against our best intentions, white supremacy is embedded in beloved structures. Now we answer their call to examine other ways we carry forward an inequitable system and what it looks like.

General Assembly Roundup

This year the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association took place in New Orleans, Louisiana. At this service, our GA attendees will share from what they experienced/ learned at GA.

The Seventh Principle

This is the first sermon in a series of eight this year on the principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations covenant with each other to affirm and promote. Our much-loved seventh principle is: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” What does affirming and promoting this principle call on … Continued

Water Service

Hurricane Harvey has left huge areas under flood waters. At the same time, some parts of the world do not have enough clean, potable water. We will recognize both of these realities as we engage in our annual ingathering ritual in which we bring water to pour into a common bowl, symbolizing the inextricable joining … Continued

What’s With the Hyphens?

In our foyer there are brochures titled “The Faith of a Unitarian Universalist ____________.” And each brochure fills the blank with another perspective: Buddhists, Christians, Humanists, Pagans, Jews, Theists… Many Americans, though, believe you should choose one religious perspective and eschew the others. So what’s with the hyphens?

The Challenge of the “Alt-Right”

A week ago groups on the far-right fringe gathered in Charlottesville, ostensibly to protest the city’s decision to remove a Confederate memorial. Most Americans were not prepared for the challenges that unfolded. How can we respond?