Best San Francisco Unitarian Universalist podcasts we could find (Updated March 2019)
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First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco Sunday worship service. Home of liberal spirituality for over 150 years, the Society welcomes people of all racial and religious backgrounds. Our Congregation includes gay, straight, transgendered, and questioning people. More information is available at www.uusf.org.
 
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Time of the Month (March 24, 2019) Women's History Month invites us to explore the ways extraordinary women and everyday communities have cast off the oppressive limitations placed on them by wider society based on their gender. This liberation work takes many forms today as we collectively pursue gender justice, and this week we explore how gr ...…
 
An Understanding Mind (March 17, 2019) In the famous wisdom tales of King Solomon, it’s said that God appeared to him in a dream saying, “Tell me what I should give you? Solomon asks for an understanding mind in order to serve his people. Some scholars interpret an understanding mind to mean a hearing heart. Wisdom – the gathering of knowledge, ...…
 
Boldness! (March 10, 2019) This Sunday our Annual Operating Fund Campaign begins! Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister Rev. Alyson Jacks, Associate Minister Shari Halliday-Quan, Ministerial Intern Kelli Murray and Laurence Pulgram, AOF 2019 Dr. Mark Sumner, Choir Director Reiko Oda Lane, organ and bell choir director Millie Phillips, sop ...…
 
Gift Culture: the Gift Experiment (March 3, 2019) What does it mean not to think of life as ownership? Other people have had this idea. How does it change us? We will kick off this experiment on Sunday. Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister Rev. Alyson Jacks, Associate Minister Dennis Adams, Worship Associate Dr. Mark Sumner, Choir Direct ...…
 
Seeing Whiteness? (February 24, 2019) Our Board said an overarching goal at this summer’s Board Retreat — to seek and serve “wholeness” among us. It is a particularly important goal to keep in mind as we look, in our just-beginning strategic planning process, at the future of who we wish to be and what it will mean to get there. Part of that wo ...…
 
Exploring Our Humanist Source: A Living Faith in Human Connection (February 17, 2019) Let's explore our fifth source: "Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit." What does it mean to live faithfully without reliance on the supernatural, t ...…
 
Come Home! (February 10, 2019) This month we begin our 31st year of providing home for 70 men in our city who otherwise would sleep on the streets. With others we will provide breakfast and dinners and shelter from the elements. We will also reflect on our connection to the planet we call home, all of which raises the notion of what is “home” a ...…
 
Unafraid of the Dark (February 3, 2019) Who’s afraid of the dark? English-speaking, American culture is riddled with links between darkness and fear, but what else is there to discover in the darkness. Rich, fertile possibilities await us when we stretch ourselves just a little bit and expand our metaphorical and moral imagination. Shari Hallid ...…
 
Wrestling with Time (January 27, 2019) One of our UU Saints, Charles Darwin, wrote: "A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” We are all destined to wrestle with time, it's passage, its limits, what it can be and what it can devolves into, and the refrain of the modernity since it began: how to be in a wo ...…
 
The Myth of Inevitability (January 20, 2019) Sometimes in the telling of history backwards, everything looks as if it was leading to the place we arrived at -- a kind of foreordained destiny. But it is rarely so in people's lived experience. On this MLK Sunday we will look back at some of the stories and chapters of the American Civil Right's s ...…
 
Healthy Lives, Healthy Institutions: Love and the Limits of Kindness (January 13, 2019) I have been reading and thinking a lot about “kindness” as a virtue — when it is the thing that knits the world back together and how it is a balm for all the storms of daily life, and where it’s benefits stop. Where love and health require a tougher way of ...…
 
In An Ideal World (January 6, 2019) Let's be real, living up to our ideals isn't easy, sometimes it's downright dangerous. When we think of the ideal, often, we picture perfection, the ultimate, the unattainable. Why bother? But in today's reality, particularly political reality, we harken for something better - something more ideal. Are there ...…
 
Saved from Perfection (December 30, 2018) You are enough. I am enough. I could do a little better. We can do a little better together. Our American Unitarian fore-bearers split from our Puritan roots over a number of theological differences, including the controversial idea that human beings have the power to both do good and do better. Along w ...…
 
Holy Families (December 23, 2018) We'll gather the day after this to tell the ancient story of love made real in a particular infant, and yet as Unitarian religious educator Sophia Lyon Fahs taught, "Each night a child is born is a holy night." We might even say that every child, every person, every family is a miracle. In this multi-generation ...…
 
Joy! (December 16, 2018) You know, of all the spiritual practices, there is fasting and study and prayer, why not joy? What does it look like to put joy at the center? Fun to try! Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister Lucy Smith, Worship Associate Reiko Oda Lane, organ Wm. García Ganz, guest conductor Asher Davidson, soloist Alan Alpert, ...…
 
The Gaudy Curtain (December 9, 2018) Just as we string lights against the darkness at Solstice time, we construct of our lives a "gaudy curtain" that covers over the Abyss, toward which we all inexorably travel. If we cultivate an honest awareness of our inevitable death, what gifts might we find for our living? Rev. Mary McKinnon Ganz, Assista ...…
 
The Season of Waiting? (December 2, 2018) Sunday, December 2nd begins what in the Christian tradition is known as the season of Advent. It is a season of waiting, watchfulness, preparation. The preparation period probably feels appropriate, but how distinct is the waiting and watchfulness -- the quiet, still, attentive quality -- from flurry of ...…
 
What is True? (November 25, 2018) How can we know what, and who, to believe? With so much fake news—not to mention lies— from public figures, including some politicians and religious leaders, many people have to ask themselves, “How can I know what to believe?” Our focus will be what is truth in the spiritual dimension. Scientists tell us that ...…
 
Jim Jones and the Nature of Cult (November 18, 2018) Forty years ago on November 18th, 1978, news spread around the world, but reverberated especially in the San Francisco Bay Area about the People's Temple, which had been located right in the heart of the Filmore, but relocated to Jonestown, Guyana, when over 900 residents took their lives. It ...…
 
The Soul of Genius (November 11, 2018) In remembrance of our recent musical programmes, evidenced by our Reformation concert last year and our observance on April 4th of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, these times have provided our chorus with plenty of inspiration to lift up and honor these occasions through music. ...…
 
Invitations Across the Veil (November 4, 2018) In pagan tradition around Samhain, Day of the Dead and All Souls' and All Saints' Days, this idea of a day when the veil is thin has persisted as an observance. A time to connect with ancestors, literally or in our hearts, a time to acknowledge loss and the what persists across loss. Rev. Vanessa R ...…
 
Foundations: Our Pagan Roots (October 28, 2018) As we approach October 31st it seems a great chance to turn to the Pagan wisdom and practices that both influenced the formation of the Christian tradition (and so Unitarian Universalism) and that deeply sustain some of our members still. What, for instance, does the Gaelic festival of Samhain say ...…
 
Living Hope. Living Justice (October 21, 2018) Since UUSC’s founding, Unitarian Universalists have been fundamental to UUSC’s work to advance human rights. With our shared values under threat, there is an even louder call to collaborate and even more we can accomplish together. The Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, UUSC’s President and CEO, will share ...…
 
Enshrined in Walls and Windows (October 14, 2018) This Saturday just prior to service will have been the 50th anniversary since our Center -- the Brutalist-style addition that partners with our sanctuary/church -- was built. What are the stories of how it started, and what is the life it has given shelter to, and what does it say about us. Rev. ...…
 
Beloved Community (October 7, 2018) Unitarian Universalists are being called in this moment to live more powerfully and boldly into a vision of Beloved Community. What does this look like and how do we answer “Yes” to this calling in our lives and in our congregations? Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, Unitarian Universalist President Rev. Vanessa Rus ...…
 
Loved Into Being (September 30, 2018) Each of us is the unique interweaving of the stories of the people who came before us, and who we are as people is born, at least in part, out of the dance of others into and out of our lives. One new dance partner for the year in the UUSF community is the ministerial intern, Shari Halliday-Quan, whose mini ...…
 
Lost and Found in America (September 23, 2018) This month the Minister’s Book Group is discussing Jon Meacham’s “The Soul of America”. It is a timely dive into the challenging chapters in our history when we rose to reclaim our best self, and what those chapters have to say about hope and the sources of resilience that we can draw on in these d ...…
 
Lay the Burden Down (September 16, 2018) Yom Kippur is the day in the Jewish Liturgical Year that the book of life is closed for the year, our deeds written in permanent celestial ink, and so the ten days before, The Days of Awe, we make amends (if we are wise) for our wrongs. The metaphor of death and new life is part of that ritual time. Why? ...…
 
The Love Boat (September 9, 2018) It is a new year of church. Rosh Hashana is around the corner telling us also that the book of life is about to be opened on a new year of choices and actions. And we launch again, together. What metaphor shall we try on? I’ve got an idea…. Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister Rev. Alyson Jacks, Associat ...…
 
Rising Up (September 2, 2018) This Labor Day weekend, let's celebrate some good news about working people and its positive lessons for our faith. Millie Phillips, Guest Preacher Phil Marshall, Worship Associate The Labor Heritage/Rockin’ Solidarity Chorus Pat Wynne, music director Mark Sumner, piano Ariel Andrew, song leader Eric Shackleford, w ...…
 
Carried Through Time (August 26, 2018) Summer vacation took me to Blue Hill Maine to a cottage on the edge of Bagaduce River where we watched the tidal waters flow in and out to the Penobscot Bay. Tall stands of trees - Eastern Pine, Fir, Oak, and Birch – stood in quiet witness while birds fed on crustaceans buried deep in the pockets of the em ...…
 
Summer Stillness and Silence (August 19, 2018) Anne LeClaire hears the call to "Sit in Silence." What happens over the time she begins to do so is that the layers of life -- the ones noise and the necessity of speaking mask -- get peeled back. Let's talk about what she finds and the power and place of silence in our spiritual lives. Rev. Vaness ...…
 
Pilgrimage (August 12, 2018) There is a long History across cultures of people taking pilgrimages, often to places of religious or spiritual significance. What is at the heart of the pilgrimage, and how can it be part of our every day life? Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister Rochelle Fortier Nwadibia, Worship Associate Larry Chinn, jaz ...…
 
Awakenings (August 5, 2018) “...the great end is to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish the spiritual life.” So wrote the early nineteenth century Unitarian minister, William Ellery Channing, about the education of children, but I believe it holds true of many others of us too. In Small Group Ministry we try to make place and a process, for ...…
 
We Are So Much More Connected Than We Think (July 29, 2018) Eleanor Piez spent two weeks in June in San Ysidro CA and Tijuana, Mexico, studying the U.S.-Mexico border through the lens of theology. Eleanor will reflect on the struggles, suffering and possibilities occurring there, and how we can participate now in the sixth UU principle, the goa ...…
 
The Deep Song of Our Lives (July 22, 2018) What can we in our time and place learn from a mild-mannered poet who was the first martyr of the Spanish Civil War? Stories from the life and poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. Rev. Mary McKinnon Ganz, Assistant Minister Sam King, Worship Associate Mark Sumner, piano Asher Davison, song Leader Radim Zen ...…
 
The Warrior and the Wise Man (July 15, 2018) In the 12th century, young men across Europe enlisted en masse to leave their homes and families and travel east to fight in the Crusades, believing that waging war was the best way to serve God, the Prince of Peace. Here is a story of one such soldier of Christ, searching for purpose in his cause, a ...…
 
Doing Small Things with Great Love (July 8, 2018) Person by person, relationship by relationship, sometimes casserole by casserole, with conversations and occasional rides to church, we are building a congregation that is a caring community. How does it all come together, and what is each one's role in creating it, in the midst of already overf ...…
 
Loving America (July 1, 2018) How do we hold onto what is good about our country, given its past wrongs and present struggles? What is real about what we love, and what is fantasy? What would it take to build an America we might love unreservedly, as a collective act of imagination? Rev. Mary McKinnon Ganz, Assistant Minister Lucy Smith, Worshi ...…
 
Breaking the Silence Barrier: Lessons of Love and Liberation (June 24, 2018) Join us this Pride Sunday as we celebrate and mark the 49th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which gave voice to the queer liberation movement. In light of today’s political perils and in the particulars of this Pride Sunday, listen to words of poet and writer Audre ...…
 
What We Tell Our Men (June 17, 2018) There is a lot of talk about what we tell our girls and our women -- messages that are not helpful or supportive of their fullest being and fruition, but this Father's Day, what about some reflections on what we tell our men and our boys about what that reality they are born into "should" mean or might! Rev. ...…
 
State of the Garden: A Reflection on Us and Here (June 10, 2018) People asked me when I came what was my vision for UUSF. That seemed so silly. Vision doesn't come with you like a stencil you apply to any wall, it grows out of a place like the things of a garden that thrive in that soil, with that level of rainfall. So, 9 months in, as we wrap ...…
 
The Outermost House and The Sacrality of Place (June 3, 2018) A bit less than 100 years ago, Henry Beston wrote "The Outermost House" after a year he spent in Cape Cod. The book didn't sell much at first but it has become one of the most famous literary touchstones for naturalists and conservationists in America. Beston argues with observation ...…
 
Contemplative Practices And Connection In Digital Times (May 27, 2018) How can contemplative practices renew hearts and spirits in digital times? In what ways does technology help or harm our human abilities to engage our ethics in a beautiful and heart-breaking world? All are welcome for this service of inquiry and hope. Rev. Dara Olandt, Gues ...…
 
Sports and Spirit: What being a jock can teach us about life. (May 20, 2018) This week is our Bay to Breaker’s Sunday so…. take public transportation and leave early for church! And we will take the excuse of the big race as a chance (in this month when our theme is “Body”) to look at sports and what it teaches us about our relationship to the ...…
 
Embodied Faith (May 13, 2018) Having a child changed my relationship to my body, or more importantly my awareness of where body and sacredness intersect. It has for other folks too, I know, and theologian, Stephanie Paulsell too. Come here how this Mother’s Day Sunday. Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister Rochelle Fortier Nwadibia, Worsh ...…
 
A Child’s Place in Church This Sunday is our Religions Education Sunday, the end of the year’s program, the celebration of teachers, and a chance to reflect on what the place of children in our congregations should be — something a Hassidic colleague told me, a person about the Mennonite church she grew up in. It is the time to talk about some ...…
 
Coming of Age Service This Sunday we celebrate our Coming of Age youth with a special worship service. The worship service is the culmination of a year-long faith exploration program for our 8th and 9th graders. Over the past seven months, they have examined their religious identity, gaining self-awareness and deepening their connection to our ...…
 
What Still Connects Us Twenty years ago, a small group set out walking from this church, down the hill and into the Tenderloin. From that founding act of the Faithful Fools Street Ministry, thousands have come to reflect on the disparities of wealth and power that become visible at street level.The Faithful Fools share some of what can be learn ...…
 
Fifty Years Later It is a privilege to present the rarely performed, Pulitzer Prize nominated oratorio Scenes from the Life of a Martyr composed by the esteemed African American female composer and educator Undine Smith Moore. Last performed by the Oakland Symphony and Chorus in 1986 with the composer in attendance, the work reflects on the lif ...…
 
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