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Best River Road UU podcasts we could find (Updated October 2019)
Related podcasts: Religion Sermons Unitarian Universalist UU
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Sermons from our ministers, Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd and Rev. Louise Green
 
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Join Rev. Amanda for our first Justice Sunday, a time to highlight the holistic work of our Social Justice groups. The morning begins with a service centered around the broad justice work and issues in which our congregation is involved.
 
Jean Vanier is a Canadian philosopher, theologian, and the founder of L’Arche communities. Last year upon turning 90, he shared his thoughts on life and on growing older with his “ten rules for life to become more human”. Please join us as we learn more from his insights and wisdom.
 
River Road has a rich history and spirit of community, but we know that this kind of community doesn’t happen overnight. It happens in ways big and small, quiet and out loud, prolonged and steady. Join us as we explore the ways we build community in our hearts and lives every day, how we can nurture the community that we’ve co-created, and how ...…
 
In a famous story from the Christian scriptures, Jesus invites his friends to collect all the leftovers from the meal that fed 5000 people by asking them to “Gather up the fragments so that none may be lost.” How do we gather up the fragments of meaning and sustenance in our lives and what does this old story have to tell us today?…
 
Please join us as we return from the summer with our ingathering services and festivities.
 
Although Labor Day is a time to honor and celebrate the paid labor it takes to keep our communities going, we know there are many forms of unpaid labor in our midst. How can we honor the many ways each of us creates the world around us and the many ways we each labor to build and grow our Beloved Community – brick by brick.…
 
As summer passes toward fall, this week we’ll reflect on the beauty of impermanent things, the toasts we make in breakable glasses, and the wonder of what we cannot keep.
 
Every Summer, Rev. Nancy preaches one “big science sermon.” This year, we’ll look at both the theological and scientific basis for asserting (as our 7th principle does) that we are a part of an interdependent web of all existence.
 
Together, Rev. Nancy and Bishop Miles will reflect on the call of the church and its people five years after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and beyond. What is the call of the church in this age? How do people of faith rise to answer it?
 
We’ll give thanks and bless our companions in life—cats and dogs, birds and chickens, turtles and fish, and so much more! This ceremony also acknowledges that our lives are made fuller and richer by the creatures that inhabit the Earth with us, not just those that live with us.
 
Over the years many Unitarian Universalist communities have taken steps to become Welcoming Congregations. Along with Welcoming, many UU communities are engaged in Sanctuary movements across the country. At the heart of Sanctuary and Welcoming lies something deeper — caring. How we care for one another and the world around us matters. Join us a ...…
 
As people committed to justice, it’s easy to lose ourselves in the midst of a hectic world which seems to be brimming with chaos and uncertainty. But also in the midst of this chaos and uncertainty is a growing spirit of resistance. All around us people are coming together and learning how to face this world together. Join us as we explore the ...…
 
April 2020 will mark the 50th annual celebration of Earth Day in the United States. That means there are nearly two whole generations of earthlings incorporating this type of appreciation and learning into their lives. We have made great strides and also grave mistakes. How do we celebrate the Earth while facing the realities of its destruction ...…
 
Have you ever experienced a deep connection to a tree or forest? After learning about the complex life of trees and related themes in UU history, you will feel more connected to the interdependent web of all existence.
 
In the stories told of the Hebrew Exodus, teachers have long recounted the tale of Nahshon – the one who took the very first step into the Red Sea before it parted, without whose courage the freedom of the people could not be won. Who takes the first step toward freedom today?
 
We are a faith tradition that values questions – lots of questions. Have a question you’ve been pondering about spirituality, religion, our congregation’s life together, or your own journey? This Sunday Rev. Nancy will answer your questions, moderated by Lay Worship Leader Susan Messina.
 
This service looks not only at what makes us happy, but how we can turn the pursuit of happiness into a contest. What if we stop endlessly trying to attain happiness and just notice the feeling moments when it finds us?
 
We live in a world that suggests we should all be on a timeline – always headed for success, satisfaction, happiness, and completion. But what if there is no such thing as enough? What happens when we throw out the timeline and arrive fully as who we are right here, right now? As we head into the summer months, we reflect on who we are each bec ...…
 
Author and activist Adrienne Maree Brown reminds us that starlings move as a “murmuration” – a flocking behavior that naturally creates patterns of shared movement that look like art. How can groups of people move together in such beautiful ways? Where is the beauty in our togetherness?
 
Is there a difference between belief and experience? Which is a more important in our religious and spiritual lives, and what if what we believe and what we behold are different?
 
In this experiential service, we’ll work to create a space for both anonymity and authenticity. Stories of sexual abuse and harm are so frequent in our society and in our lives that silence in the face of such realities is a statement in and of itself. Together, with respect and emotional spaciousness, we’ll push back at that silence with words ...…
 
In this multigenerational service based on a script by Rev. Emily Wright-Magoon, we’ll look at the wholeness that emerges from broken things. The narrative of the Christian tradition has much to tell us in this season of renewal, and from some broken pieces, we’ll create something beautiful together.…
 
This month, as we explore our spiritual theme of “courage,” we know that one way we can reflect on courage is to model it. Join Amanda, Nancy, and Clif as we share worship with you in ways that require courage of us. Each of us will take a risk in the service this week, stretch ourselves a bit, and invite us all into deeper reflection on the ma ...…
 
With the unending barrage of news and scandal, chaos and outrage, it’s challenging to know where each of us fits into the complex puzzle — especially when it comes to our planet. What does it mean to live this close to the edge, to be on the tip of the tipping point? Join us as we explore how we can gear up, ground down, and find ourselves in t ...…
 
The annual youth-led worship service will explore stereotypes and labels. How are they damaging and what might we do about it? The rite of passage of Bridging for high school seniors will also be part of this service.
 
All around us we see life longing and yearning for expression. We see our stories reflected on the big and small screen, on the radio, and online — but do we recognize ourselves in one another? How can we create spaces where we can be brave enough to boldly share our fullness with one another? Spaces where we can set aside shame and embarrassme ...…
 
There is an ancient story of the Israelites carrying the bones of their ancestors through the desert when they were freed from captivity. What do you carry with you? What is the gift and burden of your ancestors that you do not, or could not, put down?
 
Continuing with our theme of legacy, this service will work with Atul Gawande’s groundbreaking book, “Being Mortal,” as we look at the beauty found in the midst of brevity.
 
As we approach the 60th anniversary of the founding of our congregation, this service will lift up the proud legacy of those who built us, and reflect on the legacy we will leave for the generations to come.
 
Come join us for Rev. Kären’s last worship service as we explore the topic of when ordinary people do extraordinary things.
 
Members of the congregation speak on the transformative process of creating new families, and how we can challenge and transform traditional norms of family roles and boundaries.
 
Using the core story from our religious education program this month, “The Fig Seed” from Buddhist scripture, we’ll look at human nature itself. What are true things we can say about what makes us uniquely human? How does our humanity, biologically and spiritually expressed, compel us to live?
 
Even in the midst of uncertainty, the energy of the New Year is upon us. Somehow the switch from one month to the next inspires a cultural sense of hope, change, and possibility. And yet, we’re still the same people we were a couple of weeks ago, facing the same challenges and conflicts from before! Is the “New Year, New Me” philosophy yet anot ...…
 
Rev. Ladd and Rev. Weatherspoon look at the prophetic & pressing themes in Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” How can we take the person, & the text, & the implications for the present day seriously enough to make new ways of being possible?
 
This month, the story our children and youth will grapple with is all about transforming evil – not ignoring it, not looking away, but actively changing it into something else. Maybe this is why “movements” are called that. Perhaps being in the midst of the transformation, personally or socially, is the most honest way to serve.…
 
Enjoy a traditional retelling of the Christmas story with music and carols.
 
The River Road Choir sings Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols."
 
How can we welcome the in-between spaces of our lives? The in-between identities we hold? The middle spots between supposed opposites? The world stretches out between the dichotomies, and maybe peace is found in between.
 
As we near the middle of the path of Great Turning, we reflect while facing forward. While we move into a place of “Peace” in December, how can we move away from Peace as a notion of zero conflict and maximum happiness to an understanding of Peace as Clarity and Knowing? In This Great Turning we learn to lean on the Knowing and Clarity of the c ...…
 
Spiritual teachers often speak about the cultivation of a “devotional” life. What are you truly devoted to? What does it feel like to live a life of devotion?
 
We’re going to ponder a little bit about what it is to be human, and how the world around us seeks to define our humanity. Pulling pretty loosely from economic theory and a dodgy understanding of John Stuart Mill, Rev. Nancy will see just where this thought train leads.
 
It’s no big deal to be grateful when everything is easy. How can we dig deep to our spiritual resources and be grateful in the complexity of our lives, no matter what?
 
Part three of the Great Turning sermon series brings us to the challenging yet joyful space of ‘faith”. Faith is often thought of as one dimensional or naive, especially in our tradition which values and emphasizes reason and rationality. But we also know that Unitarian Universalism has a rich tradition of placing faith in the unknown – whether ...…
 
This is a multigenerational service about moving in the world with fierce authenticity and the courage to bring everything we are (and everything we’ve got) to the work of loving ourselves and serving the world. We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Director of Worship & Music, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbo ...…
 
Join Rev. Nancy and Rev. Amanda Poppei as we weave together stories of humanist ancestors (from the broadest possible sense of inclusion) and humanist descendants. If we had a family reunion of the past, present, and future of humanism, how could we include everybody at the picnic table?
 
The Coming of Age class has spent a year discovering who they are, what they believe, and how it all relates to Unitarian Universalism. This worship service is a rite of passage that ends the year with class members sharing their personal belief statements.
 
What happens when what we have believed shifts dramatically? When the objects of our reverence are absent or newly different? When you look up to the heavens in search of God, what if you see something entirely unexpected?
 
In a world full of uncertainty, what we know for sure is that there’s no going back. During This Great Turning we cannot go back to the way things were – whether it be a time of innocence, a time of ignorance, or a time of complacency. As people of faith, we are called to service of the wider community and world, but how can we serve a hurting ...…
 
Vision leans forward, memory leans back. Held in this tension of where we’re headed and where we’ve been, there is plenty of meaning and purpose for today. This Sunday, we’ll join our Romanian partner church in celebrating their 450th anniversary and the many years that lie ahead for us all.
 
This is Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon's Reflection from our Ingathering Water Communion Service where Revs. Nancy and Amanda, our new Minister for Justice & Community Building, and RRUUC children told the story, "A Little Stream Called to the Sea". You’re invited to be with us in community as we begin the new congregational year.…
 
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