This Sunday’s service: “God? No and Yes”

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 7.18.30 PMCarl Stecher, Professor Emeritus of Literature at Salem State University, will speak this Sunday, November 30, on the topic of “God? No and Yes.” Professor Stecher is a prominent atheist thinker and the co-author of God Questions, a dialogue with the English philosopher Peter S. Williams. Here Professor Stecher describes his philosophy:

Many years ago, although I had completed the mild indoctrination of a Congregational church and had been confirmed a 15-year-old Christian, I unexpectedly discovered myself to be an unbeliever. Despite years of searching since then, studying and teaching the Bible and other sacred texts and exploring devotional, philosophical, theological, and historical approaches to the God question, I have concluded that God does not exist as an independent, objective fact. However, God, actually many different Gods, do exist as ideas, ideas which are real and very powerful and shape the world we live in. The crucial challenge is to sort out bad ideas of God from good ideas, and live only by those ideas which are life-affirming and genuinely humane.

The service leader will be Peter VanDeBogert.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by Homecoming events starting at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s service: Thanksgiving and Homecoming

Karen Nastuk

Copyright © 2008 by Karen R.H. Nastuk

The Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church will hold a multi-generational Thanksgiving service this Sunday, November 23.

Traditionally we set aside one Sunday in the yearly cycle to acknowledge and give thanks for blessings received from a bountiful universe. At this time we remember the experiences and the people who have helped and sustained us, both as individuals and as a congregation. We reflect with gratitude on what has kept us going through the rough patches of our lives and helped us to celebrate the bright ones.

In this multi-generational service we will rejoice in being together and give thanks through inspired music, readings, poetry, shared stories, and a feast of cider and cornbread.

The service will be followed by a Homecoming, with a lunch of hearty soups and breads followed by a property walk. We are preparing an upcoming Jubilee that will include a historical archival project, a retrospective of Unitarian Universalism in the Danvers area, and culminating with the 50th anniversary of services at Locust Street in 2017.

The service coordinators this week will be Director of Religious Exploration Meryl Baier and church member Lisa Judd.

Please join us this Thanksgiving. Reacquaint with old friends, and find those you haven’t yet met. We welcome your fellowship and warmth.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by Homecoming events starting at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s Service: “With Liberty and Justice for All”

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The Rally and Concert to End the War on Drugs, held in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles, on November 3, 2011.

This Sunday, November 16, we will consider the issue of mass incarceration of people of color in our criminal-justice system. Many in our denomination advocate for a justice system that includes fair trial proceedings, fair sentencing, the merciful restoration of those who have broken the law, and humane treatment of those in our prisons.

Our guest will be the Reverend Dr. William Gardiner, who will speak on the topic of “Liberty and Justice for All.” Bill Gardiner is an anti-racism organizer and trainer with many years working as a consultant for the Unitarian Universalist Association. He develops resources for white UUs to address issues of racism and white power and privilege. He also works with anti-racism transformation teams in UU congregations and districts.

The collection will be donated to Ex-Prisoners Organized for Community Advancement (EPOCA). The organization’s mission statement reads: “We are ex-prisoners and current prisoners, along with allies, friends and family, working together to create resources and opportunities for those who have paid their debt to society.” EPOCA was suggested for Share-the-Plate by Reverend Gardiner

Prior to the 10:30 a.m. service, there will be a 9:30 showing of a TED talk by Michelle Alexander titled “The Future of Race in America.” In this presentation Dr. Alexander will describe our current system of mass incarceration, which is rife with inequitable sentencing, racial and ethnic disparities, and deplorable prison conditions. She is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Following the service, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Reverend Gardiner and Susan Tordella will lead a discussion group on how to be more engaged on issues of incarceration. A light lunch will be served.

The service leader is Helen Brandt.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

Photo (cc) by Neon Tommy and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

This Sunday’s service: “Is Forgiveness Possible, Always?”

Please join us this Sunday, November 9, for a service titled “Is Forgiveness Possible, Always?”, to be presented by the Reverend Anna Smulowitz. Reverend Smulowitz is one of the founders of a German-Jewish reconciliation group, descendants of Holocaust survivors and Nazi perpetrators. She will share her 21 years with the group, which meets annually in Germany or Boston.

The service leader is Jennifer Revill.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

This Sunday’s service: “Optimism”

In this 2008 photo, John Archer poses for Cathryn O'Hare, the then-editor of the Danvers Herald.

In this 2008 photo, John Archer poses for Cathryn O’Hare, the then-editor of the Danvers Herald

Our guest speaker this Sunday, November 2, will be John Archer, whose talk is titled “Optimism.” John has been involved in many nonprofits, in many capacities, for many years. He will talk about various projects and his approach to creating and maintaining them.

His interests run the gamut from the arts to homelessness. He believes the best painting is yet to be painted, the best music yet to be composed and the best play yet to be penned. His optimistic approach to life is contagious.

The service leader is Sharon Clark.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

Photo (cc) by Dan Kennedy and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

This Sunday’s service: “Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat”

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Our minister emeritus, the Reverend Edwin C. Lynn, will be lead the service this Sunday, October 26. His sermon topic will be “Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat.”

“Well-known author Studs Terkel said that one of the lessons he learned in life is that curiosity did not kill the cat,” explains Reverend Lynn. “Curiosity usually begins with a question. I’ll be talking about the questions we ask, especially as we begin this church year.”

Ed served the Northshore UU Church as our minister for 33 years.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.

Photo (cc) by Mats Lindh and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

This Sunday’s service: “What’s New in News?”

Please join us for our service this Sunday, October 19. Our guest speaker will be longtime church member Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern University, who will talk about his book The Wired City.

Technological and cultural upheaval has upended the business of news, resulting in skimpy coverage of communities and hastening the decline of civic engagement. The Wired City tracks the rise of the nonprofit online-only New Haven Independent and other innovative news projects that have sprung up to fill the gap created by the decline of traditional media. After the service Dan will be signing copies.

The slideshow above is based on a talk Dan gave at a TEDx event last spring at the invitation of another church member, UMass Lowell student Nathaniel Swanson.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Religious education classes are offered, and visitors are always welcome.