July 30, 2017

Gather The Spirit

This service deals with the word, “spirit”, and what that word might mean to a UU humanist. The word “spirit” is often bandied about in UU congregations, but it seem to mean different things to different people. In this service we visit the concept of spirit from a humanist perspective and discover that the word embodies a core concept that can be meaningful to the humanist. We’re pleased to welcome ERUUFians Eric Thomas and Helen Wolfson as this morning’s service leaders.

Eric Thomas has been playing guitar since 1965. He began by playing the Rock ’n Roll, Rhythm ’n Blues, and “Beach Music” tunes that were popular in the mid and late ’60’s. Over the years he has played a wide range of material in a number of different bands. He has played in venues ranging from coffeehouses to private parties and from Rock ’n Roll clubs to country clubs. These experiences have enabled him to incorporate the blues, traditional acoustic, and country tunes into his musical inventory. More recently, his collaboration with Helen has launched him into the world of Celtic music, lyrical waltzes, and other music that he never imagined he would play.

Helen Wolfson began playing the hammered dulcimer in 1993. Her initial, fairly traditional hammered dulcimer repertoire has been greatly enriched by her collaboration with Eric. Today, you are as likely to hear her backing up Eric on his original vocals or playing the blues as you are to hear her playing fiddle tunes, waltzes, and popular standards. As a soloist, Helen has played for numerous private parties, weddings, and other events. She is also certified by the Music for Healing and Transition Program(TM) as a Music Practitioner(R) and plays therapeutic music at bedside for people in physical or emotional pain.

July 23, 2017

Remembering to Breathe 
Rev. Mary Frances Comer, Guest Preacher

Thich Nhat Hanh notes that "breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness and body to thought." Today we consider how the simple act of mindful breathing allows us to gather our thoughts, focus our wills, and begin again with renewed courage.

Rev. Mary Frances Comer was our student minister from 2013-2014 and was ordained here at ERUUF in September of 2014. Since her ordination, she has been affiliated with Piedmont UU Church, a multi-site ministry in Charlotte and Salisbury, NC. Following two years of Community Ministry, Mary Frances joined the Piedmont staff as their Minister of Congregational Care.

July 16, 2017

Ancestral Pilgrimage
Jacqueline Brett, Director of Congregational Engagement, Worship Leader

We go on pilgrimage to make a special journey to a sacred place. What might we learn as we connect our hearts and spirits to the sacred sites of known ancestors or, unexpected ones, newly discovered?

July 9, 2017

The Wounded Optimist  
Rev. Jay Abernathy, Guest Preacher

One who pays attention to world events and to local tragedies must find it difficult to maintain a positive attitude and some enthusiasm for the future.  The recent election points us what happens when optimism is frustrated: cynicism results in support for aggressive behavior and irrational action.  To be "wounded" is to be aware of the problems of the world, to have one's optimism tempered by experienced and wisdom, rather than a naive and weak hope.

Jay is a retired UU minister, ordained in 1974 to serve as Campus Minister at the Ohio State University and Associate Minister at First Unitarian Church  in Columbus.  He has served continuously since that time, holding positions at the national level and with UU and local clergy groups.  Perhaps his unique contribution is financial and architectural (he does have a B. Arch): he has helped three congregations raise the funds for and build new buildings or substantial additions.

July 2, 2017

Caring and Being Cared For

This morning’s service will be an interactive exploration of what throws us off balance, and how we can find our way back to wholeness and wellness, whatever the state of our physical health might be. We’ll hear tonal chimes, flute, and a singing bowl, spoken word, dance and body prayers. Revs. Deborah and Stacy partner with Marie Garlock, a Ph.D candidate at UNC in health communication and long time dancer.

June 25, 2017

Weavers and Threads
Eric Bannan, Pulpit Guest

When we tell a story, we weave together the threads of our personal experience and beliefs; we express our values. The threads of our story can move and inspire others. This morning we’ll explore how our personal stories might connect us as families and as a community.

Our pulpit guest is Eric Bannan, a UU musician from Pittsboro who has completed a preaching practicum with his minister, the Rev. Thom Belote of Community Church of Chapel Hill (UU). Eric brings both music and sermon this morning.

June 18, 2017

Loving What Is
Rev. Deborah Cayer, Worship Leader

It’s possible, even in adversity, to find something positive. Do we have to let go of the truth of what’s awful in order to claim what’s positive, or is there a way to honor both?

June 11, 2017

The Best Medicine
Rev. Deborah Cayer, Worship Leader

Beloved Community Chorus provide the morning’s music.

Comedian John Cleese once met the Dalai Lama and asked the religious leader why, after so much persecution and sorrow, he still laughed so often. His Holiness gave a thoughtful answer about what laughter makes possible between people with political differences. What can laughter do for us?

June 4, 2017

True North
Rev. Deborah Cayer, Worship Leader

Eno River Singers bring the gift of music.

It’s been a year of big change at ERUUF, the UUA, and in the world. How might our loyalty and commitment help us find our way forward amid uncertainty?

There will be a bridging ceremony during the service for our High School Seniors.
It’s also a Generosity Sunday and the recipient will be the Triangle Nonprofit and Volunteer Leadership Center.

May 28, 2017

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Resistance takes love and conscious effort.  This morning’s service centers the lives and voices of Black and Brown people who share their stories. The Beloved Community Chorus brings the music.

May 21, 2017

Waking Up
Rev. Deborah Cayer, Worship Leader

.Eno River Singers provide the music.

Most of what holds racism in place lies below the horizon of our consciousness, and as with an iceberg that’s dangerous. White people have been taught things by our culture that we don’t consciously know, but that we know very well. Undoing this is spiritual work.

May 14, 2017

Jacqueline Brett, Student Minister, preaching.

Paul Baerman, oboe, guest musician.

Ministry comes from a word that means “to serve,” and the journey into ordained ministry is a process of becoming ever more capable of serving. Rev. Gordon McKeeman says that great congregations and great ministers form one another. In this, her last sermon as ERUUF's Student Minister, Jacqueline Brett will share thoughts about her ministerial formation.

Jacqueline will graduate from Meadville Lombard Theological School on May 21. After a month's vacation, she'll return to ERUUF to serve next year as our Director of Member Engagement while she prepares to meet the UU Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

WE BEGIN ONE SERVICE at 10:30 ON MAY 14. We resume two services on September 10, 2017.