Recent Sermons & Services

To access videos on a tablet or phone, or access our full sermon archive, click here.

January 22, 2023: “Self Centered” with the Rev. Angela Herrera
Author and activist Christopher Heuertz says, “We all find ourselves bouncing around three very human lies that we believe about our identity: I am what I have, I am what I do, and I am what other people say or think about me.” A sermon about knowing (and forgetting) the true self at our center.

Text Version

January 15, 2023: “Creatively Maladjusted” MLK at the 1966 GA, with the Rev. Bob LaVallee
As we observe the MLK holiday, we’ll share Dr. King’s remarks spoken to UUs at the 1966 General Assembly, our denomination’s annual business meeting. How can we continue to “Not sleep through the revolution?”
Music: Lara Manzanares

January 8, 2023: “Centering Our Bodies: Physical Anti-Racism” with the Rev. Bob LaVallee
Resmaa Menakem’s powerful book My Grandmother’s Hands discusses how racism lands in our bodies, regardless of our race. How can our bodies undo the consequences of that racism? This service will include gentle movement suitable for all bodies.
Music: Lydia Clark and Lowell Burton

January 1, 2023: Web of Connection with the Worship Coordinators

This year, instead of examining our individual selves on New Year’s Day, let’s consider the context of community. What can we learn from the web of life that connects the forest floor? Stay in your PJs at home and join us for a Zoom-only service, or join other congregants to watch the service together, starting at 10:30 am in the Social Hall. Coffee and other beverages will be served. Have writing and coloring tools available for our annual worship stations! Download the coloring page for the Creation Station here.
Music: Lydia Clark, piano & vocals

December 25, 2022: Christmas Day with The Rev. Bob LaVallee

December 18, 2022: “A Very Musical Solstice Service” Susan Peck, Director of Music and The Ministers
The poet Wendell Berry writes, “To go in the dark with
a light is to know the light./ To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,/ and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,/and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.” Join us in celebrating the longest night of the year in this service featuring the Chalice Singers Choir, our band Spare Parts, Revs Angela and Bob, and Intern Minister Kristin Famula.

December 11, 2022: “What’s So Bad About Being Woke?” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
“Wokeness” seems to be easily dismissed by the some, but in an era of growing Christo-fascism, our progressive values are more important than ever. This topic was chosen by the winners of the Social Justice Auction.

December 4, 2022 “Wholeness in Beloved Community” The Rev. Angela Herrera & The Rev. Jane Davis
Rev. Jane, co-chair of the 8th Principle Explorations Task Force, joins Angela in reflecting on our work this year toward dismantling oppression and a big congregational decision coming up in January.

November 27, 2022 “Changing How We Love: Attachment Theory” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
The new science of attachment theory gives us some surprising insights into how we form relationships. Can we love better? And what does attachment theory tell us about being members of a church?

November 13, 2022 “So…Here We Are.” Kristin Famula, Intern Minister
Intern minister Kristin Famula reflects on this week’s election with a message of moving forward with love. Artist in residence, Francisco Ruiz leads the First Unitarian choirs and the congregation in song.

November 6, 2022 “Where Are We Now?” The Rev. Angela Herrera
Rev. Angela updates a sermon from 2010 – “Where Are We?” about approaching the new with a sense of adventure. Our Sunday services are now live-streamed over Zoom from our sanctuary at 9:00 am each week!

October 30 2022 “Connections that Heal: Partnering for a Just Transition” The Rev. Mary Katherine Morn
How do we stop systems based in relentless extraction and move towards ways of being that heal and restore? Communities in the front lines of the climate crisis are leading the way towards the transformations necessary for our collective survival and flourishing. Join us as Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, president of Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, shares stories of the remarkable work they’re engaging in around the world with the support of our UUSC members.

October 23,2022 “Putting Our Bodies in the Way” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
For a faith that is sometimes fairly accused of being too intellectual, there’s a strong tradition of resistance in Unitarian Universalism. What can our history teach us about protest today?

Sunday, October 16, 2022 “Courageous Joy”  The Rev. Angela Herrera
Joy, pleasure, play– we are born for these! To embody them in the face of dehumanizing systems is an act of resistance and makes rebellion irresistible.

Text Version: Courageous Joy

Sunday, October 9, 2022  “Trauma and Courage”  The Rev. Angela Herrera
Life includes risk from the very beginning. That’s part of what makes life so precious to us. But when we’ve experienced trauma, the feeling of danger can become overwhelming. A sermon about finding our center again.

Text Version: Trauma and Courage

Sunday, October 2, 2022  “The Great Leap?”  Kristin Famula, Intern Minister
What do we do with the in-between-ness of the times we’re living in? Join us as we explore together life in a new age of uncertainty.

Sunday 2022 09 25 “Our Thing” The Rev. Bob LaVallee
What makes Unitarian Universalism so special, and how does that come alive at First U ABQ?

September 18, 2022: “Scandalous Universalism” The Rev. Angela Herrera
Universalism—the idea that all are saved—has been an outrageously controversial idea. But what does it even mean in today’s Unitarian Universalism? Is there any cosmic/divine justice?

Text version

September 11, 2022: “Within, Among, Beyond” The Rev. Bob LaVallee.
Theology should be about the things that we most cherish as a community. How do we move from focusing on individual beliefs to sharing meaning and purpose?

2022 09 04 “To Whom Does Our Work Belong?” The Rev. Angela Herrera.
In light of recent changes in the labor market, as well as the outrageous concentration of wealth in relatively few hands, a Labor Day sermon on working, agency, and liberation.
Sermon text:

3 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

  3. Kimberly Caputo-Heath says:

    Thank you for being open about why First Unitarian does not have a land acknowledgement in your sermon on ‘Settler Colonialism”, Rev. Bob Lavalee. I feel very inspired to join or start a conversation about what we can do as a congregation to start more actively engaging in decolonization to the point where we can feel comfortable creating a land acknowledgement. One start would to be to find a way to add one or even several symbols of Indigenous Spiritual beliefs to our wall of religious symbols spanning the world. We are blessed to have several nations historically and currently tied to this land on which we reside. Let us not overlook that Dine (Navajo), Jicarilla Apache, Mescalero Apache, are also a part of this land’s history. (Which brings up an interesting question… If we tie our acknowledgements to land specifically, then how do we remember nomadic nations? Does this support an idea that nomadic civilizations are “less than” which is just another layer of settler colonialism?)

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