Rev. Erin Gingrich

Stone Soup

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The old story of Stone Soup tells of two weary travelers who arrive in a small village and unexpectedly bring a community together under the guise of making a delicious soup from stones.To make this story come to life, we’re encouraging everyone who can to bring pre-cut veggies to add to the pot, as well as non-perishable food to support the children with their food drive. This participatory service will engage young and old alike in this important tale and also offer food to the hungry in our community. Special music by visiting musician Peter Mayer.

Abundance as a Spiritual Asset

Watch the video of the Reflection | Watch the video of the Sermon (YouTube links)

Having a sense of financial abundance is about more than having the ability to buy plenty of things. Or is it? Depending on our income and class background, depending on our family’s relationship to money, or on major events in our generation’s lifetime, we will have different experiences that have shaped how we understand abundance, having enough and our definition of generosity. Reflection by Darin Jensen.

Cherish: A Service of Remembrance

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This service for all ages remembers the loved ones who have passed away. As we honor their memories, and the ways they shaped our lives, we’re also reminded to cherish every moment we have with those we love. Please bring a photo or item of remembrance for any people and/or animals who has passed away that you (or your family) would like to remember during this service.

Dismantling White Supremacy- Teach-in #2

Watch the Video (YouTube link) | Watch Lisa’s Reflection video (YouTube)

Unitarian Universalists are collectively taking action to dismantle white supremacy. On Oct. 22nd, worship services and religious education classes will focus on disrupting white supremacy in our lives and communities. This is our second teach-in; the first took place last spring when our church joined with over 700 UU congregations across the country in examining white supremacy in our lives.

Immigration: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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In September, Rev. Erin Gingrich joined with 8 Iowans and more than 30 faith leaders from across the United States to meet with our Members of Congress in DC. She will share stories and reflect on the American dreams and American nightmares in our current system and its history.

River of Life

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Each September, we celebrate our “ingathering” as a community and reaffirm our covenant as people committed to transformation of our own lives and the life of the world. In this service, we use water, the source of human life, as a symbol of our interconnectedness to all living beings. All life emerged from water; all life requires it; and the water cycle, from rain to rivers to oceans to clouds to rain, is a continuing reminder of the cycle of life. In today’s service, we reflect on our passage along the River of Life and the ways we restore our hearts, minds, and spirits through life’s challenges and changes. Just as water buoys us up, this community supports and sustains us during our life’s journey. Together we covenant, and together we renew, our life together.

Renewal

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Transitions take energy. Starting or going back to school, changing work, moving, finding new doctors, making space for new love or a broken heart, becoming politically engaged. It takes energy to try out and begin new ways of doing things. What might it take for us to find new stores of energy along the way as well?

Move from the Center

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Every moment is fresh. Each day is brand new and totally unknown. We may dismiss this reality, fearing change, to instead cling to our routines for a semblance of control. At other times, we may wish we could embrace a beginners mind to be open and know wonder again. How might mindfulness support us through transitions, repetitive responsibilities, or chronic pain? Let us take stock of our recurring inner monologues to see what thoughts and feelings are shaping our days.

The Love that Disrupts

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The speakers at a conference Rev. Erin recently attended called participants to be creators of “Revolutionary Love”. They defined this as loving ourselves, loving those who are marginalized, and loving those we consider our opponents. The conference was title, Revolutionary Love: Disruptive Ethics to Dismantle Racism. How might we allow love to disrupt our lives? As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us recall when and how love has been revolutionary in our lives.

Celebrating Our Shared Ministry with Rev. Stringer

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A special service to honor the conclusion of Rev. Mark’s ministry with our church. Everyone is invited to attend, enjoy some storytelling, a slideshow, a “charge” to us from Mark, and a ritual of “de-installation”. This is our final service with Rev. Mark, to celebrate 16 years of shared ministry, and to offer thanks and blessings for his future with the ACLU.

Ending with the Start

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In August of 2001, Rev. Mark Stringer delivered his first sermon as our settled minister. In that sermon, “Start with the Ending”, Mark spoke about the unique relationship of a minister to a congregation and reminded us that there would come a time when the relationship would, inevitably, end. For this Sunday, Mark’s last preaching in our auditorium as our senior minister, he will revisit the themes of that first sermon, believing that it may have wisdom that could be useful as the congregation prepares to welcome a new interim minister this fall. New members will be recognized at this service.

Annual Congregational Meeting at 11 am.

White Supremacy Teach-In

9:15 & 11:00 am; Celebrant: Martha Shen and Terry Meek
This Sunday we are answering the call of Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism and participating in a white supremacy teach-in. We will reflect on recognizing white supremacist culture, how it impacts us and what we can do about it. There will be no services in the auditorium and no forums; instead, as you enter you will be directed to a room for small group learning and sharing. If you have children, please take them directly to their classroom for their classes (PK-Gr5: Room 111; Gr6-8 (9:15am only): Rm 114). If you’d like to read about white supremacist culture ahead of time, please look at our church Facebook page for links.

Lost & Found

>>Click on the Sermon title to access YouTube link of the sermon.<< More of us are engaging in advocacy and social change in new ways, even as we feel overwhelmed and at times struggle with despair. We are simultaneously lost and found. As a people of risk, how can we sustain our stepping in while also living with the uncertainty of the outcomes we seek? How can we sustain engagement through our discomfort? How can we support one another in living at the intersection of lost and found?

Remaining Open in Groundless Times

>>Click on the Sermon title to access YouTube links of the sermon and celebrant reflection.<< Though we may not notice it, change is always happening- change in our relationships, our bodies, our communities. We see it clearly now in our government and church. How can we remain open in the midst of the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with "groundlessness"?

Prophetic Thresholds

9:15 & 11:00 am: Rev. Erin Gingrich; Celebrant: Chris Paxson.

Let us bring in the New Year asking ourselves how we can more fully enter our lives and community. We will share in our annual tradition of passing through a threshold in this multi-generational service. The service is geared towards children 6 and up.