UUCDC Sermons

The Spirituality of an Atheist

"Religion is what's written down. Spirituality is an inside job.” As a religion which has no definitional creed, no doctrine, we struggle to find language that embraces us all. 

Reverend Kate Seitz Bortner, a UU Community Minister, has served the York City Police Department, the UUs of Gettysburg and the UU Congregation of York, PA.  Currently part of our Regional Seminarians In-Care team, Kate provides vocational support and encouragement to UUs studying for the ministry. She is part of York Hospital’s Spiritual Care and Education program; a member of South Central PA First Responders Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM). She and husband, Lynn, have leapt into the magical world of FaceTime since their daughter and granddaughter moved to Hawaii.

Kate Seitz Bortner

My Life Matters: Perspective from a Black UU

Unitarian Universalists have a long history of anti-racism and anti-oppression activism.  Connie Simon offers her perspective as a Black UU on why it’s critical we remain committed to this important cause and shares some thoughts on how we can make our congregations and communities stronger and more united.

Connie Simon says her life is a ministry devoted to the principles of Love, Integrity, Knowledge and Service and describes herself as a “Creative Spirit who just came here to help.”   She currently serves as Director of the Center for Employment and Training at the People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia and is also pursuing a Master of Divinity degree as a full-time student at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.

Connie Simon

The Unitarian Universalist Babel Fish

The babel fish is described in the book The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as a small, yellow, leech-like fish that if you stick one in your ear, you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. UUs are an eclectic bunch. Some are lifelong UUs and grow up understanding the language of the faith; some are ‘converts” from other similar faiths and have to adjust to a new dialect of a familiar language; and for some it is a “foreign language” that needs to be learned, translated and interpreted for it to make sense within the context of their background and history. Humanists, atheists and agnostics in particular struggle with the “religious” aspect of the UU vocabulary. Some words can be abrasive to the anti-theist senses, for example the word ‘Faith’ itself. But with a bit of practice and the development of an inner UU babel fish, we can get past the language barrier and appreciate the broader benefits of being part of a UU community.

Peter Cooke has been a member of UUCDC for 10 years. Previously: Board member, Board President, Executive Team member. Currently: a Soul Matters facilitator and YUUCKI advisor. 

Peter Cooke

Christmas in July

How can we move beyond rote "thank yous" to cultivating a true spirit of gratitude?  With a little help from Charles Dickens and Jim Henson, we will explore what it takes to hold each other close in a thankful heart.

Chrissy Bushyager is a member of UUCDC and has served in a variety of positions around the church including RE teacher, worship associate, and co-leader of the Young Families group. A long time ago, she was a marketing manager at a small custom A/V company. Somewhat more recently, she was a counselor and health educator at West Chester University. Currently she divides her time between caring for her two children and writing novels. Who knows what she'll do next?

Chrissy Bushyager

Haiti, To Help, Fix or Serve?

The Haitian people have endured human and natural catastrophe with indominatable spirit. Since 2012 the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the College of Social Justice has brought more than 25 groups of volunteers to Haiti to learn about just recovery models, after the 2010 earthquake, and to support projects initiated by local communities.

Ruth Hendry, an active member of UUCDC, went to Haiti in January 2016 with the members of WellSprings Congregation as a part of the CSJ Haiti Beyond Recovery program.  Mike Carpenter and Nuala Denham, members of Mainline Unitarian Church for 40 years, were the group leaders for this their 4th trip to the Central Plateau. Through music, poetry, pictures, and personal reflections, they will share their experiences of working with Haitians as they make a new “…road for humanity.”

Ruth Hendry

Finding Hugh Miller: A Universalist Journey

Are birth dates and DNA all there is to our ancestry? What about our spiritual ancestry and how do we reconcile our spiritual lives today, with what is for most of us,  a non-UU past?   Joe will explore these topics drawing on his research on Hugh Miller, his great-grandfather, and a Scottish physician.

Joe Miller is a long-time member of our congregation and currently vice president of our Board of Trustees. 

Joe Miller

Patriotism: Vice or Virtue?

George Bernard Shaw wrote, “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.” Is patriotism just a selfish, xenophobic act or does it embody the values of pride, loyalty and sacrifice and so is something to be admired? Why is patriotism defined in so many different ways in our country, particularly in this most interesting political season? And what do Unitarian Universalists have to say about patriotism? Come and celebrate the holiday with us.  Fireworks to follow the service. (Just kidding)

Mark Bernstein is the guest speaker and has been a patriotic member of UUCDC for the past 22 years. A former Congregational Life staff member of the Central East Region of the UUA, he regrets that he has only one life to give for his congregation.

Mark Bernstein

A Fun Mess

This Sunday 10 am single service is a multigenerational celebration of our community. As we wrap up the "regular" church year, we celebrate all that we are and all that we can be. Rev. Peter and Interim DRE Erica Shadowsong lead us in this festive occasion, which is followed by our annual summer kick-off potluck picnic.

Rev. Peter Friedrichs

Freedom From. Freedom To.

Keeping with our theme of "Simplicity," this Sunday Rev. Peter does his best to answer questions about the simple expression of freedom in Unitarian Universalism.  Are there limits to one's personalized UU faith and if so, what are they?

Rev. Peter Friedrichs

The Complexity of Simplicity

This Sunday we'll begin our exploration of the monthly spiritual theme of "Simplicity." We are constantly urged to simplify our lives and yet they seem to become more and more complicated. What are the gifts and the challenges we face when we try to "KISS" or "Keep it Simple, Stupid?"

Rev. Peter Friedrichs