• 9:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary

    In a sermon at General Assembly, 2016, Rev Nancy McDonald Ladd lamented the "fake fights we waste our time on," like "what color to paint the church bathroom."  Elsewhere, there are people struggling against injustice.  We create our turf, plant our flag, insist that we do this thing according to these rules.  Others may have no turf, nor a flag to plant, nor even a single rule to protect them.

    The truth is we all struggle, some more than others, but when we bind each other's wounds, we grow stronger, and we heal.

    From the crush of wealth and power something broken in us all
    Waits the spirit's silent hour pleading with a poignant call,
    Bind all my wounds again.

    Even now our hearts are wary of the friend we need so much.
    When I see the pain you carry, shall I, with a gentle touch,
    bind all your wounds again?

    When our love for one another makes our burdens light to bear,
    find the sister and the brother, hungry for the feast we share;
    bind all their wounds again.

    Ev'ry time our spirits languish terrified to draw too near,
    May we know each other's anguish and, with love that casts out fear,
    Bind all our wounds again.

    Composer Peter Cutts, and lyricist Kendyl Gibbons are responsible for this illuminating piece which the choir will sing Sunday the 13th under the direction of Sadie Sonntag.

  • 9:15 AM onlySanctuary

    Sunday the 27th, the Choir will perform a piece composed by Mark A Miller to words from an anonymous Jewish poem.  We will also sing a short work by Doug Bowes.  In keeping with the Theme of Grace and the Topic of Everyone Belongs, the short piece is titled "Grace".

    Let all of us around the table remember those who have the least,
    And do whatever we are able, that everyone may join the feast.

    The longer piece is called "I Believe".  It is not the one made famous in 1953 by Frankie Laine.  This one has simpler words.

    I believe in the sun even when it's not shining.
    I believe in love even when I don't feel it.
    I believe in God even when God is silent.

    We all believe in things, even though the details of our beliefs differ.  The one unifying principle in Unitarian Universalism is that everyone belongs.  We all have a place at the table.  We all have a right and a purpose on this planet.  We all need grace.

  • Sun
    9:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary

    Sunday, February 10, the Choir will perform a piece requested by Worship Associate Sharon McCarty.  In her words:

    Recently Joe and I attended a John McCutcheon concert, where he featured his favorite Pete Seeger songs.  When he sang "Turn, Turn, Turn", I got teary.  Thematically this was the perfect song for the February 10th service, which I have been planning with our guest minister, and speaks to my life these days!  Plus it is based on a portion of the Bible's book of Ecclesiastes, which was one of the readings at our wedding all those years ago.  A fortuitous combination, so I had to ask if the choir might sing it.

    The Choir enthusiastically approved and we're ready to present the song this Sunday.

    To everything... turn, turn, turn...
    There is a season... turn, turn, turn...
    And a time for ev'ry purpose under heaven.

                                 --Ecclesiastes 3.1-8


  • 9:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary

    Sunday, February 24, the Choir will perform a piece by David Greenberg with words by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Greenberg is an American poet and songwriter.  Emerson was an American poet and essayist.  Put together they make beautiful music.  The piece is called simply "Music" and it is beautiful.

    Let me go where'er I will, I hear a skyborn music still:
    It sounds from all things, all things old,
    It sounds from all things, all things young,
    From all that's fair, from all that's foul,
    Peals out a cheerful, cheerful song.

    The theme of the service will be Surrender and Letting Go.  This poem/song explores the beauty in the mundane, the hope in the mean, the light in the dark.  Through it we learn to let go of the need for perfection, and accept that imperfection is okay.

  • Sun
    9:15 & 11 AMSanctuary

    15th century Indian poet and mystic, Kabir, wrote many poems.  In 1915, 100 of these poems were translated into English and published in a book titled Songs of Kabir.  A hundred years later, in 2014, Elizabeth Alexander took one of these poems and set it to music.  The choir will perform this challenging piece, with its close harmonies and mysterious progressions, on Sunday, March 10th.

    You are in us and we are in You.
    Each distinct, yet ever united.
    You are the tree, the seed, and the cell;
    You are the flower, the fruit, and the shade...
    You are the immanent Mind in us;
    You are the Soul Supreme within the Soul.
    You are in us and we are in You,
    Blessed are all who see You.

    The theme of the month is Truth.  Truth is sometimes elusive.  Truth sometimes stares you in the face.  Truth can be painful, liberating, enlightening, mysterious.  Truth is Life.  Truth is Death.  Truth presents Itself here as Supreme Being.  Blessed are those who see Truth.

  • 9:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary

    This song is in our hymnal under the title "My Life Flows On In Endless Song".  Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry wrote the original words, published in 1868 in The New York Observer.  The Choir will perform it on Sunday the 31st.  The first verse goes:

    My life flows on in endless song:
    Above earth's lamentation,
    I catch the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
    That hails a new creation.
    Through all the tumult and the strife
    I hear the music ringing;
    It sounds an echo in my soul.
    How can I keep from singing?

    We Unitarian Universalists changed the words a little in the second verse:

    What tho' the tempest 'round me roars,
    I know the truth, it liveth.
    What tho' the darkness 'round me close,
    Songs in the night it giveth.
    No storm can shake my inmost calm,
    While to that rock I'm clinging.
    Since love prevails in heaven and earth,
    How can I keep from singing?

    ... and a lot in the third:

    When tyrants tremble as they hear
    The bells of freedom ringing,
    When friends rejoice both far and near,
    How can I keep from singing!
    To prison cell and dungeon vile
    Our thoughts to them are winging;
    When friends by shame are undefiled,
    How can I keep from singing?

    If you hear someone singing the wrong words, it's prob'ly me, Randy Jones.  I was raised Baptist and learned the song long, long ago!

  • 9:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary

    "I Have a Voice" was written by Frank Wildhorn and Robin Lerner.  It is a song that inspires rising above bullying, a powerful anthem for any kid who has felt alone and unsafe at school.  The profits this song earns go to No Bully (www.nobully.org), a non-profit organization that trains schools to promote student compassion in order to stop bullying.

    Educators, psychologists and lawyers helped No Bully develop a non-punitive "No Bully System", committed to preventing students from experiencing and enduring all forms of bullying.  They have created bully-free campuses for over 100,000 students.

    I have a voice, simple and clear.
    It speaks the truth, for all to hear.
    It gives me hope, it gives me faith,
    It lifts me up, it keeps me safe.
    I have a voice, it's mine alone.
    It comforts me, it is my own.
    Although it's small, I'm not afraid,
    For I am strong in its embrace.
    No one can say what I have seen,
    Or understand where I have been,
    For what I found inside myself,
    Belongs to me and no one else.
    If I were blind and had no eyes to see,
    Still I would hear that voice inside of me.
    I wish that you,
    I wish that you
    Could hear it too

    The month of April has the theme of Salvation and Wholeness.  Sunday, April 14th's topic is The Rights of Children, and the Choir will perform this piece.  What is more important than the right to safety for a child? 

  • 9:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary

    A million dreams inspired Phineas T Barnum to create "The Greatest Show On Earth," filled with wonders like the Feejee Mermaid and General Tom Thumb. These, of course, were hoaxes, but Barnum believed in attracting and pleasing the public, not duping them.  He described himself as The Greatest Showman and he certainly attracted and pleased a great audience.

    The theme of Salvation and Wholeness continues this Easter Sunday, April 21, with our congregation's traditional Flower Communion, and an expectation of a million dreams come true!

    I close my eyes and I can see
    A world that's waiting up for me
    That I call my own.
    Through the dark, through the door,
    Through where no one's been before,
    But it feels like home.
    They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy.
    They can say, they can say I've lost my mind.
    I don't care, I don't care, so call me crazy.
    We can live in a world that we design.
    'Cause ev'ry night I lie in bed
    The brightest colors fill my head.
    A million dreams are keeping me awake.
    I think of what the world could be,
    A vision of the one I see.
    A million dreams is all it's gonna take.
    Oh, a million dreams for the world we're gonna make!

  • 10:30 - 11:00 AMCourtyard

    "Hooray, hooray, for the first of May! Outdoor loving starts today!"

    Children and adults are invited to join with CUUPS (Covenant of UU Pagans) in the courtyard as we celebrate Earth and dance the May Pole!

    For the 11:00 service, come a little early so you can enjoy this too!

  • 9:15 AM onlySanctuary

    "Transcendence" is June's theme, something beyond the normal, physical experience of being.  What can facilitate such transcendence?

    A rare gift of music!.  The choir will perform this soul-stirring piece from the pen of John Rutter.  Set in a gently lilting tempo, it will make your heart soar. 

    If you could have any gift, any treasure
    Taste any pleasure, then what would it be?
    Search the wide world high and low for an answer
    Over the mountains and down to the sea
    Would you wish for youth and beauty, or wealth to make a show?
    Or power and position and strength? Oh no...
    For you youth it will vanish, and beauty will fade
    And your wealth and position are all just a passing parade
    May your soul have the gift of music, may your heart be inspired with song
    May the echoes remain in your memory, like a friendship that last your whole life long
    When your joy is the joy of music, all the magical sounds you hear
    Everyday that you spend with music
    Is the best day, the best new day of the year

    The piece was written in 2007 and dedicated to Elizabeth Goodey for her 80th birthday.  Elizabeth was the wife of a special friend of Rutter, Frank Goodey, who walked on in 2005.  They were a musical couple who blessed the residents of County Cork, Ireland, with their talent for many years.

  • 9:15 and 11:00 AMSanctuary

    Two major things are slated to happen next Sunday, September 15: 1) we return to the two-services schedule at 9:15 and 11:00 am, and 2) the choir returns to our 2-Sundays-a-month schedule.  Next Sunday is "Ingathering", a word that itself has two meanings: 1) a gathering of persons, an assembly, and 2) a gathering of farm products, a harvest.  Both are appropriate for mid-September.

    The Choir has been rehearsing "Love Is The Water" by Pat Wictor, a singer-songwriter born in Venezuela of American parents in 1966.  Introduced to history, poetry and the arts by his mother, Pat spent his early years in countries all over the globe due to his father's career in private industry.  He first came to America as a teenager and settled in California.  He wrote this song in 2011, and performed it with the trio Brother Sun for the album Waiting for the Water.

    The river washes over every woman and man
    Feet in the gravel, and mud in your hands
    Nothing can stand against love's command
    Every boulder turns into a grain of sand
    Love is the water that wears down the rock
    Love is the water that wears down the rock
    Love is the power that won't be stopped
    Love is the water that wears down the rock

    The repetitive chorus usually encourages people to sing along.  Please feel free to do so if the Spirit moves.

  • Sat
    Five Saturdays 2-4 PMFounders Room 545

    $25 for the series

    Download (PDF, 1.04MB)

  • 9:15 and 11 AMSanctuary

    In keeping with the September Soul Matters theme of "Expectation", some young singers from Choir Director Sadie Sonntag's school will be singing this Sunday.  The song is "Freedom" by Pharell Williams.  This is a rousing, dancing, hand-clapping celebration. 

    Hold on to me
    Don't let me go
    Who cares what they see?
    Who cares what they know?
    Your first name is Free
    Last name is Dom
    We choose to believe
    In where we're from

     The Choir's contribution will be "If You're Out There" by John Legend.  This song was inspired by Barack Obama's presidential campaign and was later posted as a free download on Obama's website.  The song also alludes to Gandhi's quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

    We've been looking for a song to sing. We searched for a melody
    Searched for someone to lead.  We've been looking for the world to change.
    If you feel the same, Then go on and say
    If you're out there, Sing along with me
    If you're out there, I'm dying to believe
    That you're out there, Stand up and say it loud
    If you're out there, Tomorrow's starting now
    Now, now
    No more broken promises, No more call to war
    Unless it's love and peace That we're really fighting for
    We can destroy hunger.  We can conquer hate
    Put down the arms and raise your voice, We're joining hands today.
    Oh I was looking for a song to sing, I searched for a leader
    But the leader was me.  We were looking for the world to change.
    We can be heroes, Just go on and say
    If you're out there, Sing along with me
    If you're out there, I'm dying to believe
    That you're out there, Stand up and say it loud
    If you're out there....
    Oh, oh, oh, if out there, Are you ready now?
    Say it loud, scream it out.
    If you're out there, Sing along with me
    If you're out there, I'm dying to believe,
    That you're out there.  Stand up and say it loud,
    If you're out there.  Tomorrow's starting now.
    If you're out there
    If you're out there
    If you're out there
    If you're out there
    If you're out there

  • 9:15 and 11:00 AMSanctuary

    About two years ago, a devastating wildfire swept through our community.  We came together, supported each other, helped each other.  We belong to a  community that dreamed a new dream.  Today some of those dreams have come true.  As long as we can dream, we can hope.  And as long as we can hope, we can thrive.

    Jan Garrett and her husband JD Martin live and write songs together near Aspen Colorado, a place that has also seen its share of wildfires.  She wrote this song when the smoke of wildfires filled the air around their mountain home.

    "I Dreamed Of Rain" 

    I dreamed of rain and the rains came,
    soft and easy, sweet and clear.
    I dreamed of rain and the rains came,
    and peace spread over the land.
    I dreamed of summer and the winds changed,
    and the green was easy and the rivers ran clear.
    I dreamed of summer and the winds changed,
    and peace spread over the land.
    And the flowers bloomed in the desert
    and the air was fresh and clear.
    I dreamed of rain and the rains came,
    and peace spread over the land.
    I dreamed of freedom and the moon rose,
    and the way was easy and the path was clear.
    I dreamed of freedom and the moon rose,
    and peace spread over the land.
    And the guardian stars are shining,
    and the night is bright and clear.
    I dreamed of freedom and the moon rose,
    and peace spread over the land.
    I dreamed of heaven and the earth sang,
    and the sound was easy, and the song was clear.
    I dreamed of heaven and the earth sang,
    and peace spread over the land.
    And the ancient pain is forgotten,
    and the fathers' debts are clear.
    I dreamed of heaven and the earth sang,
    and peace spread over the land.

  • 9:15 onlySanctuary

    The end of October brings Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, All Soul's Day.  Different forms of spirituality refer to this time in different ways, but all honor our ancestors.  Next Sunday the Choir will express deep reverence for those who came before us, and have since walked on, with a beautiful adagio called "In Paradisum". 

    The concept of "Paradise" has been around a long time.  As a place of peace and happiness, it is imagined as the abode of the virtuous dead in Egyptian, Greek, Muslim, Celtic, Hindu, Hebrew, Christian, and many other traditions.  The Latin words in this piece translate:

    May angels lead you into paradise
    May the martyrs receive you at your arrival
    And lead you to the holy city Jerusalem.
    May the choirs of angels receive you
    And with Lazarus, once a man,
    May you have eternal rest.

    Composer Damien Kehoe credits the inspiration for his choral compositions to the influence of Whitacre, Palestrina, Bach, and Wagner.  Like them, he sees himself experimenting with different harmonies and sounds for choral voices.  Wait till you hear the Choir seek Paradise on Earth as they perform these experiments!

  • 9:15 and 11:00 AMSanctuary

    This Sunday, in a special reflection for Veterans Day, the choir will sing "In Flanders Fields".  The lyrics were written as a poem by Dr. John McCrae during World War I.  The Western Front ran through an area between France and Belgium called Flanders.  The area was marked by trenches and no man's land, and... thousands of poppies.

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    between the crosses, row on row,
    that mark our place; and in the sky
    the larks, still bravely singing, fly
    scarce heard amid the guns below.
    We are the Dead.  Short days ago
    we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields, in Flanders fields.
    Take up your quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    the torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die.
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields, in Flanders fields.

    Veterans Day began as Armistice Day after the cessation of fighting in WW I.  After WW II the international holiday's name was changed to Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in the UK.  Veterans Day honors all who have served in the US military.  Remembrance Day honors those who died in service of their country.  The choir will wear poppies in honor of both the living and the dead.

  • 9:15 and 11:00 AMSanctuary

    This Sunday, your choir will perform an aria from the opera Alcina by George Frideric Handel.  The song is "Verdant Meadows" and in the opera is sung by Ruggiero, a knight, when he realizes the island he's on is really a desert inhabited by monsters.  Even though he knows the island is an illusion, its beauty will haunt him for the rest of his life.

    Verdant meadows, woodland pleasant,
    To my heart thy beauty sings,
    Flowers fair, swift flowing rivers,
    All thy fragrance, all thy flowing,
    Lends my brooding spirit wings.
    Verdant meadows, woodlands pleasant,
    Changeless may thy beauty be.
    In the flow of time unceasing,
    And my heart that shared thy gladness
    Feel as now my joy in thee.
    Verdant meadows, woodland pleasant,
    To my heart thy beauty sings;
    To my heart thy beauty sings.

    To sing Handel, singers must get a full, rich, broad tone and smooth phrasing.  Handel combined Italian vocal style with German grandeur and power.  Well, we're amateurs, but we have a professional director.  See how well we meet this test next Sunday!

  • 9:15 and 11:00 AMSanctuary

    This is a little late because of a time out of town celebrating Thanksgiving with family.  Nevertheless, better late than never!

    The choir's number this Sunday is "I Dream a World" by André J Thomas and Langston Hughes.

    I dream a world where man no other man will scorn,
    Where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorn.
    I dream a world where all will know sweet freedom's way,
    Where greed no longer saps the soul nor avarice blights our day.

    A World I dream where black or white, whatever race you be,
    Will share the bounties of the earth and every man is free.
    Of such I dream, of such I dream...
    Where wretchedness will hang its head and joy,
    Like a pearl attends the needs of all mankind.
    Of such I dream, of such I dream.
    I dream a world!


    All great things, all beautiful things, begin with a dream.

  • 9:15 and 11:00 AMSanctuary

    UUCSR celebrates the Winter Solstice on Friday, December 20.  Saturday, the 21st is the shortest day of the year and that evening is the longest night of the year.  Bright and shining Sunday morning our Choir will perform "Sure on This Shining Night" by James Agee (words) and Samuel Barber (music), a tribute to Winter Solstice.

    Sure on this shining night of star-made shadows round,
    Kindness must watch me this side the ground.
    The late year lies down the north, all is healed, all is health.
    High summer holds the earth.  Hearts all whole.

    Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder
    Wand'ring far alone of shadows on the stars.
    On this shining night.


  • Tue
    4:30 and 7:00 PMSanctuary

    Then two days later, the Choir will be on stage again on Christmas Eve.  A small ensemble will sing at the early (4:30) service with the full choir singing "Ave Verum Corpus" by Mozart at the later service (7:00).  This piece is in Latin.  The translation is:

    Hail, true body born of the Virgin Mary,
    Who truly suffered, sacrificed on the Cross for man,
    Whose pierced side overflowed with water and blood,
    Be for us a foretaste in the test of death.