Overwhelmed?

November 12, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Christine Salontay

Worship Associate

Some seasons, the world throws more at us than we know how to handle. Join us for reflections on keeping on when the way is rough, and ways we help one another.

 

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Can We Talk about Class?

November 5, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Betsy Leondar - Wright and Rev. Lee Paczulla

Inclusivity Ministry Task Force Presenters

The Inclusivity Ministry Task Force responded to many calls to take on the challenging topic of class in America by hosting the ground-breaking Class Conversations workshop here at West Shore on Saturday, November 4. Sunday’s worship service will feature that program’s presenters, Betsy Leondar - Wright and Rev. Lee Paczulla, in dialogue with Rev. Hart. How does “class” fit into our commitment to become an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural congregation?

 

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It Takes A Village

June 4, 2017

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by Reverend Tricia Hart and

Barbara Walker

Worship Associate

We sometimes talk about congregations as “family;” but actually a church is more like a neighborhood.  Various kinds of people show up at different times, and end up “living” next to one another.  Each has an impact, often in no one could predict.  Come join in as we spend time reflecting on how this church is the product of many people’s love and attention. 
The Junior Choir will sing and the Free Spirit

 

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Of Acorns and Oak Trees

May 7, 2017

Of Acorns & Oak Trees

Rev. Patricia Hart, Worship Leader

Christine Salontay , Worship Associate

 Each of us is born into a particular family, community,
culture and time of history.  Each person is shaped by their context, as well as their biology. That’s when the story gets interesting. Life happens, and people change—sometimes a little, sometimes profoundly, and almost never without pain, and joy. Recognition of new West Shore UU Church members.  The Free Spirit Band will play. 

 

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Spending Time With the Truth

April 30, 2017
Rev. Patricia Hart, Worship Leader
Rev. Chris Long, Worship Leader
 
This is an unusual Sunday service, at an unusual and urgent time in our faith.  The Unitarian Universalist Association Board, the UU Ministers Association, and the Liberal Religious Educators Association among others are urging all UUA congregations to heed a call from Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) - to hold a "Teach-In" on the painful reality of racial inequity in our country, and in Unitarian Universalism. Many of us now understand American culture to be steeped in assumptions of "white supremacy."  Just what is the truth?  And how shall we respond?
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Kaleidoscope

April 23, 2017

Kevin Lowry, Worship Leader

Martha Boesel, Worship Associate

Imagine peering through a kaleidoscope and seeing a trans- formation of color, patterns, and shapes. Each piece in a constant motion to create a dance of color against a source of light. How can the kaleidoscope be our metaphor for a Unitarian Universalist theology that is always in a state of transformation, and discovery as people and elements flow in and out, revealing a new beauty to our every evolving search for truth and meaning. Let's explore this together!

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Practicing Resurrection

April 16, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Barbara Walker

Worship Associate

Easter and Passover show up as springtime celebrations, full of good food and family get-togethers. But the religious stories behind both of these holidays deal with profound change and dislocation, when all that is familiar gets over- turned and something truly new begins

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They’re Not There

April 9, 2017

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by Reverend Peter Newport

The story of Palm Sunday and Holy Week provides the capstone to the Christian narrative. Palm Sunday in particular shows up in both the Christian Gospels and has its roots in Hebrew scripture. But the story is not quite the same in both places. Why does that matter?

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Changing Lives

April 2, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

This year’s stewardship campaign is posing two questions: How has West Shore UU Church changed lives? and How could West Shore change even more lives, even more effectively, in the future? Answers offered so far have been fascinating, and broadly focused. Stewardship is all about connecting people’s dreams of a vital future with the resources needed to make it all happen. The Free Spirit Band will play!

 

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According to Our Better Angels

March 26, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Wisdom counsels us to be our “authentic selves.” But what kind and level of authenticity should we strive for—to be who and what we already are, or to reach for the better self we’ve always meant to achieve? Reflections on what it could mean to actually live out your highest values. This Service Auction sermon was won by Chris Baumhauer.

 

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Finding Balance

March 19, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

The Equinox is approaching—winter is waning, spring is upon us, as day and night move back into equilibrium. This is a good season to seek balance: in one’s personal life, and even in our communities. What would it look like, to be a community in balance? What might it take to get there?

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Overcoming Fear

March 12, 2017

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West Shore Junior Church, Worship Leaders If there is one thing that holds people back each day from achieving high levels of success, it is fear. When did you recently take a risk to overcome your fears and accomplish a goal? Join the Youth as they share their stories of overcoming fear. The Free Spirit Band will play; 6th Grade and older will attend the entire service.

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Parallel Histories

February 19, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Americans have spent time celebrating “Black History” in February for almost a century, since Dr. Carter G. Woodson initiated Negro History Week in 1926. Those celebrations have focused on some of the ways that African Americans and White Americans have lived separate histories in our country. Can we find a way to see the whole story, more fully?

 

Photo is of  Louis Latimer.  He  received a patent in January 1881 for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of carbon filaments used in lightbulbs

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Love and Money

February 12, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

As Stewardship season begins at West Shore, we will look at how two very powerful forces in life—love and money—can pull us in opposite directions. How can we allow ourselves (and teach our children) to bring our love and our money back in line?

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Just the Way You Are

February 5, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

We are all the same… and we are all different, too. Join us for this All Ages service as we explore questions of identity and community through a delightful story, “The Checker Players” by Alan Venable. Can we truly honor one another as individuals and still find a way to common ground and shared commitment? The Free Spirit Band will play, and children first grade and older will stay for the entire service.

 

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The State of the Church

January 29, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

As we approach the halfway mark of this first interim year, it makes sense to mark where we are: to celebrate accomplishments, notice challenges, and look ahead to see what might be coming next. Rev. Hart will talk a bit about lessons from the Timeline, begun in November by the Board, Emeritus Council and Transition Team. The timeline will be posted in Baker Hall on Sundays in early January—there is still time to add your own comments.

 

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It’s Something, Anyway

January 22, 2017

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by Reverend Peter Newport

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek writes that “Hope is only where despair is." Truly new things happen only when we can find no way out of "existing coordinates" and must invent something new in order to survive. "The magic is to turn a desperate situation into a new beginning.” How might we do that? Children and youth will join us in the Sanctuary for the beginning of the service.

 

 

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Martin Luther King & the Question of Class

January 15, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

There are reasons why America celebrates the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King as a crusader for racial justice, and fails to mention the part of his legacy that focuses squarely the injustices of poverty and class in America. We will look back at King’s prophetic vision, and look forward to what is needed today.

 

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On Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, and Intersectionality

January 8, 2017

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Unitarian Universalists and other progressives have struggled to “make the world a better place” for a very long time. For most of that time, we have worked on one issue at a time. Now, we are challenged to see how injustice toward one group is connected to injustice elsewhere. Some thoughts about why UUs went to Standing Rock, and other stories. The Free Spirit Band will play, and the children will join us in the Sanctuary for the beginning of the service.

 

 

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Celebrating, Honoring and Planning for ACTION, as Unitarian Universalists

January 1, 2017

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by Reverend Christopher Long

Join us as we celebrate the end of both Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, honor the prophetic legacy of two extraordinary Unitarian Universalist Women, and work towards building our own “personal prophecy” as we step with courage and Unitarian Universalist Faith into 2017, together! Racial and social justice demand that we continue to stay awake!

 

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A Child’s Christmas in Wales

December 25, 2016

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by Reverend Peter Newport

Rev. Peter Newport & Worship Associates A very special worship service, for all ages. Join us for a retelling A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, the lovely story of a Christmas past told from the recollection of a child.

 

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Annual Holiday Choral Service

December 18, 2016

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Featuring The West Shore Choir with

David Blazier

Director of Music and

Reverend Patricia Hart

One of the highlights each year is our annual holiday choral concert as part of the B. Neil Davis Artist Series. This year West Shore Choir will perform the “Gloria” by John Rutter. This work was commissioned by the Voices of Mel Olson and first performed on May 5, 1974 in Omaha, Nebraska under the direction of the composer.

 

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The Battle for Christmas

December 11, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart 

Given current controversies over language and “the holidays,” you might not know that Christmas has not always been accepted as a legitimate religious holiday in America. Come hear some of the stories of how Christmas became a beloved and sacred holiday in our country, and how Unitarians and Universalists led the way!

 

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The Welcome Table: Building An Inclusive World View

December 4, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Chaplain Kevin Lowry

Director of Covenant Student Ministries

During the holiday season, we may find ourselves at many different tables. How do we as Unitarian Universalists create an inclusive worldview that widens the Beloved Community and welcomes all to the table? The Free Spirit Band will play, and a special Youth Choir will sing. Kevin Lowry is the Chaplain and Director of Covenant Student Ministries, an ecumenical Campus Ministry in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood, and a seminarian with the UU House of Study at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Kevin lives in Wooster with his wife Alex, Daughter Estella and the soon to arrive Baby Boy.

 

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Just Waiting

November 27, 2016

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by Reverend Peter Newport

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, a four-week period of patient (or impatient) anticipation leading up to Christmas. Many families use Advent calendars to count-down to the festivities, but mostly we wait—either to get it over with or in eager delight. Might there be a spiritual dis-cipline to waiting? Are there insights we might gain from such a discipline that may sharpen our appreciation of Christmas? Enquiring minds and hearts want to know. Rev. Newport is the husband and partner in ministry of West Shore’s Interim Minister, Rev. Patricia Hart. They served together in two congregations in Pennsylvania and have been married for almost twenty years. Peter served congregations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Pennsyl-vania, and has been both a hospital and a hospice chaplain.

 

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Getting the Story Straight

November 20, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Thanksgiving is a cherished American holiday, celebrating gratitude and community, and commemorating the hospi-tality of the “first Thanksgiving” between the Pilgrims and the Indians in the early days of the Plymouth Colony. But what really happened almost 400 years ago is much more interesting than the stories we learned in elementary school.

 

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Discovering the Stories of West Shore

November 13, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

How would you complete this sentence: “West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church is a congregation that ____________?” There are facts that belong in such a de-scription, of course; but the ways people feel about and remember their church’s “story” have enormous power in representing both its present challenges and future possibilities. What story will you tell about West Shore?

 

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What Shall We Say?

November 6, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

The election is (finally) upon us, and it would seem that our country is coming apart. Divisions are deep, the American Dream is coming under fire, and the search for common ground can feel like a pointless exercise. What are we called to do, as “faithful” people? How do our religious values and principles inform our actions and our words, even now? Especially now!

 

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Rememberance

October 30, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Kathy Strawser

In this darkening time of the year, it is fitting to remember beloved friends, family, and even pets that have passed away. For our ritual of remembrance, all are invited to bring a picture or memento of a deceased loved one or pet. What is the power of remembrance?

 

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Unitarian Universalism: Saving Lives!

October 23, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Reverend Christopher Long

Worship Leaders As Unitarian Universalists and friends of the great, living tradition, we put great trust in the ability of science and medicine to heal our physical bodies in some instances, and rightly so. Let’s explore together what, if any, role our UU Principles and Sources, and UU theologies, play in healing in our lives. Rev. Christopher Long returns to the Cleveland area after eleven years of being away. He graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry (May 2009), was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist Minister by the First Unitarian Church of Oakland (June 2009), and spent the last seven years in Madison, WI, where he worked at the University of Wisconsin as an Assistant Associate Program Specialist.

 

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Collaborative Ministry? Really?

October 16, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Times are changing, and so is the church. The roles of Minister, Board, staff and volunteers look quite different than they did even a few decades ago—not to mention the fact that social media has brought what happens at West Shore to many who may never come to church. How shall we, together, create something that fits our time?

 

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“Metaphoraging” in the Hoh Rainforest

October 9, 2016

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by Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

One of the most healing activities I know is communing with nature and specifically trees. On the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, one such healing place exists—a rainforest of the temperate type called the Hoh Rainforest. During a solo visit there, I experienced deep peace and gathered a wonderful series of metaphors. Are you a part of an old growth forest or maybe a nurse log, a sapling or perhaps a variety of symbiotic moss dripping from the branches of a grand tree? The rainforest is a system much like a church system in many ways. Let's go “metaphoraging” together in reflection and image, meditation and song.

 

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Going With Empty Hands

October 2, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

The Jewish traditions of Rosh Hashanah teach the importance of restoring balance to life by asking for and granting forgiveness. Is it always right to ask forgiveness from those we have harmed, or to offer it to those who have harmed us? What does it mean to forgive?


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Defying Hate

September 25, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

In 1939, two Unitarians—Rev. Wait still Sharp and his wife, Martha Sharp—traveled to Europe on behalf of the whole denomination to try and help Jews, dissidents and immigrants escape from the growing Nazi threat. Because of the new Ken Burns documentary about the Sharps (to be televised on September 20), UU principles and American values are getting some attention this fall. What can we learn from hearing this story? And what comment does it make in the fierce debates swirling in our time?

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What We’re Here To Do

September 18, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Ours is a “covenant” faith: what matters most in our congregations is not the word of some divine authority or even pronouncements from UUA “headquarters,” but the gathered wisdom of the people. Each of us feels called to do the right thing… so how does a congregation of individuals become a covenanted group and what does that mean in practice?

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In-gathering!

September 11, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart and

Layne Richard-Hammock

Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Come one, come all, to a joyful celebration of the West Shore community, and the “kick-off” Sunday for what promises to be a busy and important church year. This All Ages service will feature “Singing Down the Rain,” a story about water, joy, learning, and how communities grow stronger.Don’t forget to bring water from a place that is important to you and your family. In the annual Water Communion,we will pour our offerings of water together, symbolizing the gifts everyone brings to create the community that is West Shore

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Work and Justice

September 4, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

On this Labor Day weekend, we will look back at some of the triumphs and losses of our country’s labor movement, and reflect on how cultural attitudes about work shape the structures of our society. Plus, a brief visit from the original “Mother Jones,” an Irish immigrant to America who became an important labor and community organizer.

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Growing Your Truth

August 28, 2016

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by Warren & Kathleen Campbell-Gaston

Facts are data that can be proven correct. But truth is alive, embodied in human beings and expressed through our behavior. Therefore, our truth grows and changes as we mature. We will look at UU sources and the way we refine and expand our truth as we learn from life’s experiences.


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Where Are We Now?

August 21, 2016

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by Reverend Patricia Hart

Interim Senior Minister

At this, the beginning of our two-year shared "interim," Rev. Hart will talk about what she’s learned about transitional ministry, where Unitarian Universalism seems to be heading in this tumultuous time, and some of the work we might do together here at West Shore.


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Living in a UU Bubble

August 14, 2016

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by Barbara Walker

Worship Associate

Whether we are born into this faith or come to it later in life, we can sometimes find ourselves complacent in finally finding like minds around us. This sermon will encourage us to break out of our comfort zone, examine what drew us here in the first place and act upon our principle of inherent worth and dignity of ALL people.

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To Thine Own Self Be True

August 7, 2016

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by Dave Clements

Worship Associate

The more we live on the surface of our identity, the less we are in touch with our deeper self. How can we know who we truly are when we spend our time and attention trying to be something other than what we find ourselves to be? No amount of changing ourselves for the purpose of being perceived as cool or fashionable or getting the approval of others is going to bring us any closer to really knowing our-selves.

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Love of Fear

July 31, 2016

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by Christine Salontay

Worship Associate

Love always wins. How can we continue to proclaim this when evil is constantly claiming innocent lives? It kills others, our own souls and our future generations. We will explore how an intense feeling, such as fear can hide truths from us and how we can lean on hope to take action.

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Our Song to Sing

July 24, 2016

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by Matt Meyer

Worship Associate

We can imagine a world with more equity and compassion,but the journey to get there is long. How we do celebrate ups and downs on the road while we travel? Where do we find joy in the community that assembles along the way?Join us for a service of rhythm and song as we celebrate this beautiful and complicated faith journey together.

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My Sacred Place

July 17, 2016

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Tom Williams

Worship Associate

What is a sacred place? Why is it sacred? Could a baboon sitting still just to watch the sun rise be sacred? What and/or where is your  sacred place? I would like to share where my sacred placeis and some of the experiences that make it sacred for me.

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Spiritual and Religious

July 10, 2016

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by Edison Ellenberger

Worship Associate in the 1990s

The term "spiritual but not religious" was used with some frequency and has become a subject of greater attention in the past few years. It characterizes people who value individual spirituality and spiritual practice but generally attend religious institutions little or not at all. What arethe characteristics of the spiritual but not religious (SBNR)?Are spirituality and religion really distinct categories? Might Unitarian Universalist churches offer a "spiritual and religious"alternative conducive to the SBNR's needs?

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Removing Our Masks

June 26, 2016

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by Reverend David T. Durkit

of First United Church of Christ, Eastlake, OH

On Pride Sunday, we'll look at the many masks each of us wears. We need help in removing them. This can be, for most of us, a very difficult task. Our guest minister will take us through a step by step journey of removing our own mask to God, to ourselves, and to others. He will intertwine this with his own personal journey from being dismissed as a priest from the Orthodox Church to his becoming a minis-ter in the United Church of Christ, and of course there's a West Shore connection!

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What Remains?

June 19, 2016

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by Reverend Kathleen Rolenz and

Reverend Wayne Arnason with

After the reception on Friday, June 17, how much more will there be to say? This has been a long goodbye, but there needs to a formal ending within the context of what we do best together, and that is celebrate as a worshiping community.Wayne and Kathleen will be looking back at things they are proud to have been associated with at West Shore, and  they will look ahead, at what not only remains, but what has always been a part of West Shore and which will continue to sustain and strengthen the congregation in the years ahead. The service will end with a ceremony of release.Both the West Shore Choir and the Free Spirit Band will share their music. Children will be invited to be present for the beginning of the service and come back for the end. At the ministers’ request, a special offering will be received to support “Black Lives UU” (BLUU), a new support network for African American Unitarian Universalists.

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The Beginning of Tomorrow

June 12, 2016

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by Holly Mueller

Intern Minister

Shiny, new beginnings can be invigorating, and yet what can be more intimidating than a blank page, than the unfamiliar? How do we prepare ourselves for the unknown and become excited for the future even if we long for the past? As we look to the future of West Shore and the future of Unitarian Universalism, it is a powerful moment to be open to the unknown while cultivating a vision of what could be.


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