Rev. Paul Oakley

The Empowerment Controversy, 50 years later

In the late 1960s, while racism and the battle against it roiled in American society, it also roiled in Unitarian Universalism. It threatened to the ship of this then fledgling association of religious congregations. If you were not a Unitarian Universalist in those years, you … read more.

Belonging and the Democratic Process

This service will be somewhat shorter than usual to accommodate the Annual Meeting at which Members will receive reports from congregational leaders, ask questions, share opinions, and vote on incoming Board members, the budget for the coming fiscal year, and other issues that may have … read more.

The Future of the Sources

At first this sounds strange. What is the future of the past? But the statement of the sources of our living tradition is a document subject to revision and rethinking over time. In this last sermon of eight on the sources of our tradition, we’ll … read more.

Confronting Liberal Anti-Semitism

We know that fascists, neo-nazis, and the KKK hold their hatred of Jews as central to their project of making a society devoid of diversity. But people on the left, people whose values we like to think of as like ours, often also harbor a … read more.

Courage, Courage and Faith

Courage is a word with many connotations, from the battlefield, to facing health challenges and injury, to being truthful regardless of consequences. It is a common concept, but often not very well understood.

Flower Service

Each year on Easter Sunday according to the Western Christian calendar, we have our annual service sometimes called a Flower Celebration or Flower Communion, in which people bring flowers from their yards or that they have bought to share in a service of belonging and … read more.

Celebration and Harmony

This is the seventh in a series of eight sermons on the sources of our living tradition enumerated in the bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The final source is: “Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us … read more.

Save the cheerleader, save the world!

On March 20, the Jewish holiday of Purim begins. On Purim, people dress up in costumes, engage in raucous fun, sometimes drink too much, and the scroll of the Book of Esther is read, with people cheering every mention of the name Mordecai and booing … read more.

Heeding science and avoiding idolatries

This is the sixth in a series of eight sermons on the six sources of our living tradition enumerated in the bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association: “Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn … read more.

Investing in Our Beloved Community

It’s easy to think about costs. We know how much it takes to keep the power on, for example. But what if we changed our focus from cost to investment and asked ourselves the question, how can we invest in our future? What can we … read more.