Recent Sermons & Services

Worship Calendar with Sermon Topics

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Sunday, February 28
“To All Get Free Together” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Bayard Rustin was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. His journey offers some lessons on our journey towards collective liberation.
Music: Virtual Chalice Choir, Creation of Peace, by celebrated Methodist composer, Mark A. Miller


Sunday, February 21
“Dance in the Desert, Bring Your Tambourine”
The Rev. Erin Walter
Drawing upon scripture, spiritual practice, and original music, we reflect on how to foster joy and gratitude in 2021, even as we continue to live in a pandemic.
Rev. Erin J. Walter is a community minister, nonprofit director, writer, and musician based in Austin, Texas. Her work is rooted in the powerful connection between the arts, justice movements, and multicultural community.


Sunday, February 14
“Better Together: The Beauty and Morality of Groups”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
In this time of pandemic isolation, let’s celebrate the power and grace of what we can do together.


Sunday, February 7
“The Power of a Word”
The Rev. Tania Márquez
Words are powerful, they help us make sense of the world and many times can help us see things with more clarity. This message is about a word coined by the Spanish Philosopher Adela Cortina that was selected as the word of the year in 2017. Let’s explore together what this word offers us and how it challenges us, too.
Rev. Tania Y Márquez is the assistant minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. She is also a group leader of the UU College for Social Justice. She has a background on Latin American Literature and Spanish Linguistics, is married and has two teenage daughters. She has lived most of her life in the border region and her fronteriza experience has greatly influenced her ministry.
Music: We will sing the contemporary Spanish-language hymn Cuando el pobre:
“Cuando el pobre nada tiene y aún reparte…va Dios mismo en nuestro mismo caminar. When the poor ones, who have nothing, still are giving…we see God, here by our side, walking our way.”
Sermon Text


Sunday,January 31
“Eulogies”
The popular, annual service dedicated to notable people who died in the last year. Though 2020 brought so much grief, let us not forget to celebrate some of the regular people whose lives touched ours, even if we never knew their names. Inventors, activists, scientists, and more… come for good music and good stories; leave with a spring in your step. Angela will also pass the ceremonial Key to the Church to Bob today.


Sunday, January 24
“Being Born”
The Rev. Angela Herrera & Olivia Herrera
Although every person on earth was born, the subject of birth is conspicuously absent from religious art and literature. Angela (a former doula) and her daughter Olivia, a nurse at Dar a Luz birth center, will reflect on this, and on what being present with birth has taught them.
Text Version


Sunday, January 17
“MLK’s Gift & Challenge”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
On this MLK weekend, we’ll honor Rev. Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr., and also reckon with what his message
means to us today. Spoiler: It’s not what you think.


Sunday, January 10
“Religious Imagination”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Unitarian Universalism is the result of courageous acts of religious imagination. Our tradition went from looking a lot like other mainline Protestant denominations to the vibrant and evolving religion that we are today. Rev. Bob will talk about a few of the amazing people who helped us get


Sunday, January 3
“Spiritual Imagination”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Whether we are inspired by science, ancient stories, or
our own experiences of transcending mystery and wonder,
imagination plays a big role in our understanding of
ultimate reality and our place in it.
Sermon Text


Sunday, December 27
“Inside the Chrysalis”
The Worship Coordinators
We’ll contemplate stillness and metamorphosis as we welcome the New Year together. How are you
transforming in this time of waiting? What will you become? This intergenerational, interactive service will
incorporate our annual worship stations, modified for Zoom.


Thursday, December 24
“Virtual Christmas Eve Service”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Homily Text


Sunday, December 20
“Kings and Their Gods”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Sermon Text
In 2008, Catholic priest and activist Daniel Berrigan wrote a book called “The Kings and Their Gods” about the pathology of power, using the books of Kings from the Hebrew Bible as a leaping off point. Twelve years later, Rev. Bob reflects on power and morality in this moment.


Sunday, December 13
“Gratitude and Expectation”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
A sermon about gratitude and the blessing of low holiday expectations. First preached by Angela in 2011,
this message has fresh relevance today as we reshape our holiday plans in the world’s pandemic year.


Sunday, December 6
“Stillness”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
In her poem “Today,” Mary Oliver writes, “I’m taking the day off. Quiet as a feather. I hardly move thoughreally I’m traveling / a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors / into the temple.” Today we’ll lookthrough that “door,” in an introduction to this month’s theological theme.


November 29
“A Theology of Forgiveness”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Unitarian Universalism has many strengths: deep inclusiveness, an explicit call to work for
justice, and the encouragement of personal pursuit of meaning and purpose. However, our
faith does not have a well-articulated theology of forgiveness and redemption. How can we
do better, and develop resilience and connection within ourselves and our communities?


November 22 Virtual Worship Highlights
The Promise and the Practice (BIPOC Voices)”
The Rev. Dr. Rebekah A. Savage
The Promise and the Practice is a celebration of our shared commitment to live into a new
chapter in the story of our faith. This worship centers the voices and stories of Black,
Indigenous, and other People of Color UUs, calling upon the lived experience of BIPOC
religious professionals as sacred text. It’s a turning moment; a choice to listen deeply to the
stories in our movement that have not been heard—or taken to heart—by all UUs.
Sermon Text


November 15
“Healing Powers”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
A sermon about the human capacity for healing, even when we aren’t sure how to do it.


November 8
Virtual Worship Highlights
“What Now?”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Sermon Text
The votes are in. What now? What do we make of this moment? How shall we proceed in
light of all that has happened and is happening?


November 1, 2020
Virtual Worship Highlights
“Healing the Planet, Healing Ourselves”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Sermon Text
We humans are tied to the land and the water and the air. It’s a vibrant system in which
both the planet and the human race either thrive or decline together. In this season of
drought in New Mexico, how do we bring healing to our environment and ourselves?


October 25,2020
Virtual Worship Highlights
“The Secret Life of the Ego”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
Text version
Can your ego cause you to wear a “mask” that hides your true self? Have you known
someone with a “monstrous” ego? (Okay, okay, enough with the Halloween puns). This
sermon is about why egos get a bad rap even though we need them, the difference between a
big ego and a strong one, and the role of the ego in becoming spiritually wise. It’s sure to be
a real “treat.” (Sorry!)


October 18, 2020
“Will You Listen to Yourself?”
The Rev. Christine Robinson, Minister Emerita, First Unitarian
Church of Albuquerque. We are often told that the good life is one of “being in the moment,” always aware of what is going on around us in the world. Dogs are really good at that, and it is one of the things we love them for. But people are more complicated than dogs because we have an inner life … which we also need to listen to and learn from. Christine was the Senior Minister of this church for 28 years before retiring three years ago. Since then, she has done some church consulting and minister mentoring, tended her garden, and has enjoyed being an active member of this congregation.

Sermon text:


October 11, 2020
Virtual Worship Highlights
“Beloved Conversations”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee
Clergy, staff, and congregants from First U started the Beloved Conversations program about anti-racism in early October. What are they doing—and more importantly—what are they learning?

Sermon Text


October 4, 2020
Virtual Worship Highlights
“Transformative Listening”
The Rev. Angela Herrera
October’s theological theme is “Deep Listening.” In this first sermon on the topic, we’ll
consider listening’s transformative power and how to do it in troubling times.

Sermon Text


October 4,2020
The Ordination of Dan Lillie

Order of Service


September 20, 2020
Virtual Worship Highlights
“Racial Justice Is Faith Formation”
The Rev. Bob LaVallee

Sermon Text


2 Responses

  1. Sara Neyer says:

    Today I read “What do we believe,” Rev. Angela Herrera’s sermon from February 10, 2019, at the Prairie Wind Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Gillette, Wyoming. We truly enjoy your sermons here, and since we have no minister of our own, we are a “do it yourself” type church. Thanks for making your sermons available in text form. You give us great ideas and we appreciate your sharing so freely.

  2. I appreciated and enjoyed Rev. LaVallee’s sermon on El Salvador. It was inspiring that he traveled there for a powerful ministry effort. I need to do that, myself. Bob has an excellent ministerial presence in the pulpit, too. Very comforting. xk

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