Rev. Erin Gingrich

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.


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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.

Showing Up

9:15 & 11:00 am: with Rev. Erin Gingrich; Celebrant: Garrett McGuire.

This month our theme asks what does it mean to be a community of presence. Join Rev. Erin and Hibo Jama, Director of Nisaa African Family Services, to consider how we might show up as a community of presence with our immigrant and Muslim neighbors.

Life After the Election

Watch the Video (YouTube link); Watch the Video of the Celebrant Reflection (YouTube link). >Trump’s bigotry is a pointed expression of many people’s feelings.  If Trump loses, as it seems he will, where will that anger and blame go after the election? What will happen when our nation’s first African American presidency is followed by … Continued

We Remember Them: A Festival of Remembrance Service

Watch the Video (YouTube link) > For this, our traditional end-of-October service of remembrance to honor those who have died and to celebrate the continuity of life, we will together create an altar adorned with items that we think would be beautiful to our departed loved ones. All who attend are encouraged to bring photos, … Continued

Sexual Healing

Watch the Video (YouTube link) > One in three women and one in four men are sexually violated at some point in their lives, with the majority of transgressions occurring before the age of 12. This means we have either experienced this ourselves or know someone who has. It also means we likely know perpetrators … Continued

Reflections on Learning

9:15 & 11:00 am: Rev. Erin will reflect on some of the ideas and books she is engaging during her study leave. Celebrant: Chancy Bittner

Flower Communion

9:15 & 11:00 am Flower communion is an annual multi-generational celebration of the many gifts we experience in community. Please bring a flower or two to the service, either picked or purchased, to share with others as a symbol of your unique presence in our community. We will hold our child dedication ceremony during the … Continued

Question Box Service

9:15 am ONLY It is our convention to have only one service on the day of our congregations annual meeting at 9:15. On this day, the sermon is replaced by a question box in which the congregation asks questions and one of the minsters responds. As Rev. Erin finishes her second year with our congregation, … Continued

Giving and Receiving

9:15 & 11 am: with Rev. Erin Gingrich; Celebrant: Carissa Fields UU minister Jaco ten Hove writes, “I may lift up and articulate well the principle of interdependence, but then live out of an exaggerated independence. To the extent that any of us are able to ask for help, we invite that life-giving spirit to … Continued