At this time of year when the daytime and the night balance once more, we consider what an even, balanced playing field in our society and our culture would look like. We will explore together some of the voices calling out for this shift and what it might mean for us.
Ruptures in a community, painful words among family members, transgressions against our very world and universe all come to the fore at this time when we remember together once more the sacred and holy time of Yom Kippur.
Each of us perceives “home” differently. Some say home is where the heart is. Others say it’s anywhere you lay your hat. We will consider together what the nature around us and the nature within us say about what home really means to each one of us.
December 25 “Christmas Morning” with Rev. Mike Young Spend a quiet Christmas morning with First Unitarian Church of Honolulu as we contemplate the reason for the season.
December 24 Silent Night By Our Religious Education Families Spend Christmas Eve as we present a no rehearsal “pageant”. Using a costume bin the keiki of First Unitarian will pick a character and, while they are putting their costumes on, we tell the story of the Nativity, interspersed with songs of the season. The end is a charming and heartwarming tableau: Silent Night.
December 18 The Chanukah Myth with a Side of UU Yule.By Martina Queenth Learn the history behind the Maccabee’s and the miracle of the eight days and explore what Chanukah means in the new millennium. We also celebrate the light amid darkness as we explore the meaning of a UU Yule.
December 18 “The Chanukah Myth with a Side of UU Yule” by Martina Queenth
Learn the history behind the Maccabee’s and the miracle of the eight days and explore what Chanukah means in the new millennium. We also celebrate the light amid darkness as we explore the meaning of a UU Yule.
December 11 Celebrating Human Rights by Bill Scarvie
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. It is also the guiding document of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
This Sunday, the day after International Human Rights Day, we will declare aloud our support of Human Rights by reading the 30 articles of the Declaration in the sanctuary. Prepare to be surprised by the scope of the rights guaranteed to all of us by this astonishing document.
December 4 “Chalice Circle Sunday” by Chalice Circle Participants
Small groups are great places to get to know other people and to get to know yourself. Over time, deep connections are built with one another, with the congregation and with the sacred. There are opportunities to share perspectives, tell stories, and listen deeply. Join us as we tell our Chalice Circle stories.
November 27 “Preparing for New Beginnings” by Rev. Tom Lynch
The Advent season can be seen as a metaphor for where we are as a country for social justice after the election. Join as we explore these timely notions.”
November 20 “No Time Not To Love” by Rev. Amy Beltaine
There are those who would set fire to the world. There is only time to work slowly. There is no time not to love. It is tempting to shake our fists and decry the “evil” corporations. But how might we respond to sin with both compassion and strength? What might doing the work with love, with hospitality, look like in our daily lives? Universalist Clarence Skinner explored these ideas after World War II, as did Susan B Anthony during her fight for women’s and African Americans’ right to vote. We are called to find our own way during these years of transformation.
November 13 “Net Worth” by Rev. Amy Beltaine
Learning to see and starting to replace the idea of net worth equaling human worth. We can name the harm and undo the theology of “money equals value.” How do we change ourselves, our communities and the world?
November 6 Workshop: “Faithful Conversations” Craft love-based “crucial conversations” about worth, class, and issues of importance to you. In a safe space we will share skills to begin the conversation and carry it to a transformative conclusion.
November 6 “Optical Delusion of Separateness” by Rev. Amy Beltaine
What do the mystic physicists, Saint Paul, our seventh principle, and the Hindu concept of Atman have in common? They all break through the optical delusion of consciousness. As Einstein said: “this delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
October 30 “Is Housing a Human Right?” by Catherine Graham
Honolulu is facing a homelessness and housing crisis. What is our responsibility as a citizen of the USA and as a Unitarian Universalist to address this problem? Is it our responsibility? If not ours, whose? What is being done? Is there a solution? You know the UU motto – “to question is the answer” – is that good enough here?
October 23 “Remembering All Souls” by Bill Scarvie
Wear Costumes, Bring Pictures! Today we will celebrate all souls, Unitarian Universalist style. In this service we reaffirm death as a part of life and honor our beloved dead. Please bring pictures of your beloved dead to help create our altar. In the spirit of the season—albeit a little early—we urge you to come in costume. This will be an intergenerational service.
October 16 “A UU Yom Kippur” by Martina Queenth
At this most sacred time of the Jewish calendar we, as UU’s, explore the universal truths of forgiveness, personal responsibility and loss. If you wish, please bring a photo of a loved one who has passed on to put on a remembrance table during the Book of Life.
October 9 “Taking the High Road During Changing Times” by Rev. Annie Green
We get to choose every moment of every day to rise or fall in the face of change. Will we put up the good fight or put our heads in the sand hoping ‘this too will pass’? Let’s explore the options together and individually chose our road high or low.
October 2 “Why Be Protestant? Mini-Retreat for the New Year” by Katie Cove In her homily, Katie will reflect on why Unitarian Universalism persists with a 19th Century protestant template of preacher and pews. What might a 21st C. faith look like?
September 25 “The Four Commitments of Unitarian Universalism” by Katie Covey
Do we believe anything? The Principles could be from the U.N. or Girl Scouts. By sharing the “personality” of our faith, we are more able to help seekers find us. Katie will tease out commonalities that we DO believe in and that define us:
We value community,
We cherish each person’s potential for good,
We use our inner voice as a guide,
We view choosing as the ultimate religious act.
September 24 Workshop – “SBNR’s – Using Social Media” to attract those “SBNR’s” – Spiritual But Not Religious” folks who NEED to find us! Explore Facebook, Pinterest, Next Door and others as a tool for reaching out.
September 18 “Full Circle: Fifteen Ways to Grow Lifelong UU’s” by Katie Covey
Many UU congregations have asked about their members, “Why do they leave?” Katie Covey asks, “Why do they stay?” She explores the 15 common threads that lifelong UUs identified as critical in their commitment to their faith. Covey surveyed and interviewed 82 men and women from ages 25 to 87 who were raised as UUs. A lifelong UU herself, Covey values “lifers” as well as newcomers for the different perspectives all bring to our faith.
September 11 “In All Thy Getting, Get Understanding” – GA Sunday by Margaret Mann, Richard and Karen Valasek with Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd General Assembly (GA) is an exciting convention of UU’s from all over the country. First Unitarian’s three GA attendants tell us their impressions while attending GA in Columbus , Ohio and hear the Sunday service message from The Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd (who is the senior minister of River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland) to inspire and unite UU’s from around the country.
September 4 “Water Communion” by Karen Valasek
Today our beloved UU community will be coming together after the scattered rhythms of summer months. It is the tradition of many UU churches to have a water communion service to symbolize coming together for the church year. We are separate yet together, the way water scatters into rain and streams and clouds and springs and ponds and puddles but flow together yet again and again, into one planetary ocean.
The congregation will be invited to bring water from the places of their lives to pour into a communal bowl. You will be invited to share your hopes and dreams that the water represents. May our hopes and dreams together pilot our church community as we navigate the coming church year.
August 28 “Community Engagement as Spiritual Practice” by Gov. Neil Abercrombie Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie will join us this morning. In addition to Gov. Abercrombie’s decades of serving the people of Hawaii as State Legislator, Congressman in Washington and Governor of Hawaii, he is a deep thinker and philosopher. He has much to share with us as we consider how engaged we must be to make the world a place we want to raise our children.
August 21 “A DIALOGUE ON RACE AND ETHNICITY (A.D.O.R.E) by Jill Rabinov and Allison Jacobs
Join us to hear testimonies about A.D.O.R.E., our group that is committed to seeking and facing the truths about race and multicultural issues in our nation. Our passion and goal is to find ways to stand up for racial justice, which is so long overdue, as is evidenced daily in our news. Come and learn about how, together, we are taking this very important spiritual journey, a journey that is crucial in healing our nation and, ultimately, reclaiming our humanity.
August 14 “The Blessings of Imperfection” by Rev. Ben Meyers
The world is not a perfect place, and mistakes are inevitable. It was the great hockey player, Wayne Gretsky, who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” (What he didn’t mention is that even if you are very, very good, you still miss 70% of the shots you do take!) Some of the most important lessons in life are those that come through the grace of failure. This sermon is about learning to love these lessons in order to find the blessings of our imperfections.
August 7 “Bumper Sticker Theology” by Rev. Ben Meyers
The Jewish mystic, Hillel, a contemporary of Jesus, said the entire law of how to live rightly and justly should be kept simple enough to recite while standing on one foot. Not only rabbis, priests and prophets, but all believers have something to say about the spiritual path. The sermon is a light-hearted drive to the heart of the matter, religiously speaking.
August 6 Workshop- “Songs, Rounds and Chants of Power, Peace and Promise for All Ages” by Rev. Ben Meyers “Those who sing, pray twice.”—St. Francis of Assisi
You are invited to a fun evening with Ben Meyers as he shares songs that will delight and inspire and help you know the power of making simple, beautiful music with other singers. We will sing and learn a variety of songs from many cultures, genres and for use in most any occasion, as well as the stories, history and context behind them that bring personal meaning and deeper understanding to the art and magic of the human voice in song. Rev. Ben Meyers has a passion for music rooted in a musical family, fostered with formal training, and seasoned by a lifetime of getting people to sing together. All are welcome to join in this evening of uplift, healing and empowerment.
July 31 “What (Else) Are We Missing?” by Rev. Ben Meyers
The organizational guru, Jerold Panas writes: “Before you leave this life, you want to be able to say: ‘I was given a certain talent—and I used it all.’ What passion, talent, or desire are you not using, have you let lapse, or you haven’t developed? What is calling you? What is holding you back? How would life be different if you pulled out all the stops? What else are you missing?
July 24 “Love and Reproduction in the Time of Zika” by Elaine Rossi
Globally, the stakes of gender and reproductive rights conflicts are rising. While more money is available for family planning in the poorest countries, progress remains slow especially for the poor, for young women, and for rural populations. At the same time, reproductive rights in Latin America are limited, and they are eroding in the United States. In the face of potentially significant impacts of Zika on thousands of babies in the Americas, lack of access to family planning and abortion services is leading to potentially long-term consequences that will be devastating for families and health budgets throughout the region. Come and hear about the latest challenges to reproductive rights.
July 17 “Adventures in the Hyperbody” by Richard Valasek
Thoughts and feelings are attention paid to the body in action. The individual body is an illusion: you are a conglomerate. We will talk science and how the common version of the body is a barrier to us fully experiencing ourselves as a spiritual community. We need to find a better story of what the body is. Be prepared to experience your body in its full roundness.
July 10 “Why Church Matters”by Katie Ackerman and the RE Youth
Join Katie Ackerman, DLRE, and Religious Education youth for a multi-generational service about what it means to build community. Why does church matter and what brings us back? Listen, learn, and explore your own feelings as Katie offers a sermon on her second-to-last Sunday with First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.
July 3 “A UU Fourth of July” by Martina Queenth
We celebrate the national holiday with music and what it means to be a UU in this great and complicated country of ours.
June 26 “Kanaka Maoli–The Host (?) Culture” by Gene Parola
Gene Parola offers a brief, gentle exploration of elements of Kanaka life–perhaps the most advanced stone aged culture revealed in the nineteenth century.
June 19 “Pilgrimage as Practice” by Bill Scarvie
The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage to the cathedral of the Spanish city Santiago de Compostela. Legend has it that the remains of James, the apostle, are entombed there. Every year more than 100,000 pilgrims traverse several routes to the cathedral. In 2014 Bill Scarvie walked the 790-kilometer French Route across the north of Spain from the Pyrenees to Santiago. Along the way, one question commanded his attention: “Can a faithful Unitarian Universalist find religious meaning on a pilgrimage created, more than 1200 years ago, as an act of penance and purification for Roman Catholics and steeped in the history, imagery and architecture of the Catholic Church?” Bill will respond to this question through stories from his experience along The Way.
June 12 “Making a Choice: In between Mormonism and Unitarian Universalism” by Natasha Smith
In 2014, Natasha made a decision that led to the Mormon Church issuing her an ultimatum. Come hear about her experience and what she has learned since her spiritual transition.
June 5 “Deepening Connections in the 21st Century” by Rev. Deborah Bond-Upson
How can we deepen our connections to self and others in this digital age? How is learning transforming? What are the worrisome dangers and the exciting new gains? How will the digital natives experience spiritual and relational life given the digital immersion of many? What can each side of the digital divide share with the other? What can non-natives gain from this transformation?
May 29 “Great Teachers” by Rev. Deborah Bond-Upson
Recall a breakthrough learning moment when something suddenly made sense and we felt lighter or tighter or righter. Our souls were fed, not just our minds. Great teachers bring us close to truth, give us delightful entrée to knowledge, and show us ourselves. Evoking, exploring, honoring great teachers, let us multiply these moments of illuminating soulful learning for ourselves and others.
May 22 “Joy: What’s the secret? How Do We Grow It?” by Jeff Gillis-Davis
Boldly growing Compassion, Justice, and Joy. A great vision statement right? But how do we at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu grow Joy within ourselves, how do we spread it among ourselves, and how can we seed it across the island? Ultimately, however, Joy does not only benefit one’s community, or family, it benefits one’s self.
May 15 “Interfaith Spirituality” by Tom Lynch
There is a rich spiritual wisdom literature in almost every religious tradition and they are remarkably parallel in substance. The sermon will point out the knowing and living that wisdom is the means by which we grow our spirituality. A church can and should help us do that. This church can be the start of a movement that can change the world.
May 8 “Lessons and Carols for Mother’s Day” by Eleanor Kleiber
Join us to celebrate motherhood from point of view of those of us knee-deep in small children.
May 1 “Reconciliation: Healing the Broken Heart” by Rev. Karen Harris, M.Div.
The Buddha taught that suffering is inevitable. But our hearts also carry the capacity for healing. What is the alchemical power that transforms our brokenness into wholeness? Drawing on lessons learned from her own greatest adversary, Karen will lead us in a fearless encounter with our own life stories.
April 24 “Dancing On The Enemy’s Grave: Lessons From An Enemy Encounter”
by Rev. Karen Harris, M.Div.
Next week marks the 5th anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, a time when many Americans danced in the streets. What happens when we celebrate our anger? How can each of
us more skillfully negotiate our most challenging relationships?
April 17 “Love And The Limbic Brain” by Karen Harris, M.Div.
We usually associate love with the heart, but modern research suggests that human relationship
is rooted in the limbic brain. This sermon celebrates the mysterious polarities of love and reason, science and religion, head and heart.
April 10 “The Power In You” by Wally Amos
Perhaps best known as the founder of “Famous Amos Cookies,” Wally Amos has experienced both life’s highs and lows. From them he has discovered one of life’s greatest truths: it’s not your circumstances that determine your happiness, but how you view those circumstances. Mr. Amos gives us his personal recipe for how to live an inspiring life, by unleashing “The Power In You”, which always begins with ten essential ingredients for inner strength. Mr. Amos will have copies
of his book and, of course, cookies.
April 3 “Let Service Be Our Prayer” by Religious Education Youth
Join the Religious Education youth as they lead the congregation in an exploration of a recent service activity. What does it mean to serve? How does the act of service become a spiritual moment, and how does a simple act of service grow to become a driver of social change?
March 27 “Building a Rainbow World” by Rev. Dr. Dorothy Emerson
What does it mean to live at this time in the history of the world? What role might Unitarian Universalists play in creating a hopeful future?
March 20 “What’s Class Got To Do With It?” by Rev. Dr. Dorothy Emerson
Class is one of the last taboo subjects, yet it affects us every day in both overt and subtle ways—and it stands in our way as we seek to live our UU principles and create Beloved Community.
March 13 “Holy Women Icons: Giving Iconography a Folk Feminist Twist” by Rev. Angela Yarber
Focusing on the specific art form of visual art, we are introduced to Rev. Yarber’s Holy Women Icons Project—a folk feminist twist on traditional iconography—and learn how a sacred, gendered approach to visual art can be a tool for empowerment
March 6 “Embodying the Divine: Dance as Sacred Revolution” by Rev. Angela Yarber
Focusing on the specific art form of dance, we explore how dance is used in the worship of every major faith tradition as a way of affirming the body.
February 28 “The Artist as Revolutionary: Beauty as a Conduit for Justice” by Angela Yarber
All of the arts intersect with spirituality and worship. We are introduced to this general theme that will guide us for the next three weeks, while also discussing how “sacred arts” lead us to justice.
February 21 “Sea Change: Reflections on the 1960s” by Dorothy Emerson
The 1960s set in motion culture change that continues today. What can we learn by reflecting on this turbulent and path-breaking era, as we continue to struggle with issues of freedom, equality, peace and love?
February 14 “Don’t Be Nice, Be Kind” by Dorothy Emerson
Sometimes being nice can mask real feelings and separate us from others, while being kind releases positive energy that can ripple out and make a difference in the world. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, this service focuses on the spirit of love and goodness in each of us and explores how that spirit can serve as a springboard for action.
February 7 “Radical Hospitality” by Rev. Dorothy Emerson
What does it mean to be welcoming? What is “at the root” of the practice of hospitalit
January 31 “Climate Change: Can’t Stand the Heat? Get INTO the Kitchen!” by Steve Lohse
Why discuss Climate Change separately from issues of class, race, peace, and the economic inequities that underlie all? Informed by good science, we already connect the carbon in the
air with the economic system that put it there. Inspired by good Principles, let us now transform our economic system from failing to affirming Economic and Climate Justice. The service will be followed by a screening of “This Changes Everything,” the movie based on Naomi Klein’s book.
January 24 “The Mother of All (American) Religion” by Jaco ten Hove
Our Unitarian roots go way back to the Puritans, but their version of “religious freedom” needed some improvement, so that’s what we did, and continue to do. Our spiritual heritage in this
country is also a key to the American story that has led us all into a flourishing, if demanding diversity.
January 17 “The UU Journey to…and from Selma” by Barbara ten Hove
In honor of the recent 50th anniversary of the March on Selma, Alabama, this service will explore the circumstances that led many Unitarian Universalists there in 1965 and that still echo among
January 10 “Being Embodied” by Adam Dyer
In this final message, Adam Dyer will share practical ways to incorporate the consciousness of “Embodiment” in a spiritual life. You will be invited to participate in exercises of ritual and celebration that connect the physical, mental and spiritual self to a more thoroughly conscious way of being.
January 3 “Race, Class, Culture and Bodies” by Adam Dyer
In this second message, Adam Dyer will spend time exploring how our physical presentation in the world compels us to find spiritual grounding as a justice loving community. Drawing on his work with the Equity Ministry, he invites us to challenge how we see ourselves and others in terms of race, class and culture.
2015 Sunday Services
December 27 “An Introduction to Embodiment” by Adam Dyer
Over the course of three weeks, Adam Dyer will share concepts of embodiment with the community. In this first message, he will speak of how true “Embodiment” is not just about the physical body, but it is about spiritual motivation, personal agency, and how we see the world through our personal and collective lenses.
December 24 “Lessons & Carols, Music & Light” Featuring Dennis Graue and The Spirits
Join the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu’s wonderful musicians who will be playing the beautiful Holiday music this year on Christmas Eve with new and old arrangements of timeless music in a presentation called ‘Lessons and Carols.’
December 20 “A Unitarian Holiday Pageant” by the Youth of FUCH’s Religious Education Program
Join us Sunday to celebrate the holiday season in full, joyous, and fantastical splendor. A cast of tens will engage you in a thoughtful and fun celebration of the many perspectives, beliefs, backgrounds and cultures we share. Come prepared to sing a little, laugh a little, and support the RE Youth as they delight you with this holiday pageant.
December 13 “The Nature of the Call” by Rev. Nayer Taheri
Rev. Taheri’s main interest in ministry is to understand the many ways we try to make meaning of life’s suffering. In this last in the series of five sermons that she shares with First Unitarian, Nayer will focus on the nature of the Call as an ignition and inspiration for an inward journey.
December 6 “Forgiveness” by Rev. Nayer Taheri
Forgiving self and forgiving others is one of the most painful spiritual processes that bring essential challenges in one’s life. In this sermon, Nayer will talk about the act of forgiveness as an act of deep desire for relationship with what we have left unresolved.
November 29 “The Freedom to Live Our Values” by Ka‘imi Nicholson
Do you know anyone who doesn’t want Compassion, Justice, and Joy? Then why don’t we have them, yet? Ka‘imi will explore what has been keeping our shared values from creating positive change in the world and how this is now changing. Please also join us for heavy pupus and conversation after the service and for a Fifth Sunday Skype Event with “Sacred Economics” author Charles Eisenstein at 12:00 noon!
November 22 “Hawaii at the Crossroads of Justice and Aloha” by Kat Brady
Kat Brady is a lifelong community justice advocate whose deeply-held values of aloha and mālama ‘āina drive her passion for positive social change. As Coordinator of the Community Alliance on Prisons, Assistant Executive Director of Life of the Land, Vice President of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, and a Board member of the Ka Lei Maile Ali‘i Hawaiian Civic Club , she advocates for environmental, cultural, and social justice policy changes that truly serve the needs of our diverse communities.
November 15 “Building the Beloved Community
Racial Justice: Our Unfinished Business” by Paula Cole Jones
The Beloved Community is the living result of the work we do to ensure multicultural integrity, racial justice, and inclusion. At this time of many challenges and opportunities, how are Unitarian Universalists called today to build and engage in The Beloved Community?
November 8 “Spirituality of Giving” by Rev. Nayer Taheri
In this sermon, Nayer will talk about the spirituality of voluntary giving and will bring stories of this practice from Jewish and Islamic traditions. She will examine this spiritual practice in our UU history.
November 1, “May I Ask, Whose Calling:” by Rabbi Peter Schaktman
The functional distinctions between today’s congregational rabbi and settled minister are few. But it wasn’t always that way. These leadership roles — the rabbi and the priest or minister — arose for very different reasons and have developed in very different ways. Rabbi Peter Schaktman, Rabbi of the Oahu Jewish ‘Ohana, will explore some of these differences and how they inform questions regarding what leads someone to the ministry, what kind of person is so called, and how the nature of that call impacts upon the clergy-congregation relationship..
October 25 “Fear: Finding Our Creative Response” by Rev. Nayer Taheri
Rev. Taheri’s main focus in ministry is understanding the many ways we try to make meaning of life’s suffering. In the second of the five sermons that she will share with First Unitarian from now through December, Nayer offers her thoughts and experience of fear and examines the ways in which fear could become a nourishing food for soul.
October 18 “No Organized Religion in 2100?!?!” by Charlotte Morgan
Are we hearing the death knell of organized religion? Has organized religion lost its impact and appeal? Do we have any models of a future society without organized religion? Join Charlotte Morgan as she examines these questions and speculates about the future. Be prepared for irreverence, humor and provocative views. There will be a Talk Back period.
October 11 “Falling Leaves” by Rev. Nayer Taheri
Rev. Taheri will share a series of five sermons from now through December during her remaining short stay in Hawaii. In the first of her five sermons, Nayer will examine how the hard work of justice and equality may bear fruit more passionately and sustainably through a conscious awareness of our own approaching and inevitable death.
October 4 “Who Does It Serve?” by Rev. Deborah Bond-Upson
Raised in a Unitarian family, nurtured by Unitarian Churches, trained in a Unitarian seminary, interned at two of our churches, and 30 years later I was ordained by this Church. What
happened in the gap between internship and ordination and since? What are the shapes of ministry in this age? How do we each minister to each other? What do we need in ministry to sustain and grow this beloved community?
September 27 “Lay Minister Ordination & Personal Stories” by New Lay Ministers
Have you ever wondered what calls our Lay Ministers to serve our Congregation? Come and find out on September 27! Please join us for a very special Sunday morning as we ordain the new Lay Ministers that we elected at the Annual Meeting. Following a brief and moving ceremony presided over by our “elder” Lay Ministers, our new Lay Ministers will share their personal stories with the Congregation. You don’t want to miss this one!
September 20 “A UU Yom Kippur” by Martina Queenth
In Judaism, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are sacred, intentional times for reflection – the High Holy Days. Join us for this Unitarian Universalist service as we think about the concepts of charity, remembrance, and forgiveness.
September 13 “Your Voice Matters: But Sometimes You Should Shut Up Please” by Russell Castagnaro
Join us as congregation member and longtime Worship Associate, Russell Castagnaro, presents a home grown sermon on how your voice matters.
September 6 “Ministry – Why Me?” by Rev. Kyle Lovett
Rev. Kyle Lovett talks about her perspective on ministry – why she became a minister and what keeps her and supports her in her calling. Please join us as we listen to her experiences and see how we can apply what she has learned as we seek our own way in finding a minister.
August 30 “Inner Peace and Maturity” by Masago Asai (Social Justice Fifth Sunday)
August 2015 is the 70th Anniversary of the August 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Global peace relies on building our inner peace and maturity, so that nothing like this ever happens again. Second generation Nagasaki survivor Masago Asai’s presentation will include an original short DVD, “Nuclear Destruction: The Human Folly,” a 15 minute sermon, and a hula dedicated to peace, “Pua Lililehua.”
August 23 “Food, Glorious Food” by the RE Program
This is the return of the wonderful tradition of a “Food Service.” All attendees are asked to bring a potluck dish to share, and to have it be a dish that has significance to them, whether it is from cultural background, or a special, specific moment in time–a comfort food for the soul, if you will. Join us for a Sunday morning celebration of Food, Glorious Food. If Comfort Foods are not a spiritual experience, then we don’t know what is!
August 16 “Hawaiian Medicine and Spirituality” by Dr. John Hall
Dr. John Hall, retired UH professor and author of “A Hiker’s Guide to Trailside Plants in Hawaii,” presents Hawaiian conceptions of the cause and treatment of disease, the supernatural, and the use of herbal concoctions, based on “Hawaiian Herbal Medicine: Kahuna La’au Lapa’au” by June Gutmanis.
August 9 “Fish as Food” by Dr. John Kaneko
What are sound health recommendations for how much seafood and omega 3 fatty acids to eat
for heart and brain health? Dr. John Kaneko channels his inner UU to link ethical eating with omega 3 fatty acids. The type of seafood you eat matters, and the conclusions may startle you!
August 2 “When You Get to the End of Your Rope, Tie a Knot and Hang On” by Lisa Gillis-Davis
Four years ago Lisa and Jeff and 2 year-old Owen welcomed triplet infant boys to make their
family complete. There are universal lessons to be learned from the stress and sweat of
day-to-day child rearing. What insight emerges when you find yourself hip-deep in diapers, feedings, time outs, sibling squabbles, your marriage, and your professional life?
In July, we take a look at existential questions. Where do we come from and where are we going? What are some ways to have joy and meaning?
July 26 “You Can Age BUT Don’t Get Old” by Charlotte Morgan
The trick is growing up without growing old (Casey Stengel). Join Charlotte as she explores the territory we all will visit. Now that the boomers are collecting Social Security there is an increased attention being paid to the joys and consequences of aging. Be prepared for some irreverence
and some radical insights.
July 19 “It’s An Engagement So Where’s the Ring?!?!” by the Engagement Team (ET)
Several Members of the Engagement Team, (formerly the Membership Team) will share personal views about being part of our beloved Faith Community. Hear Carla Allison, Meghan Bundtzen
and Charlotte Morgan present heartfelt and sometimes humorous accounts of their spiritual journeys.
July 12 “Learning About Sex in Hawaii” by Sonia Blackistone
Ms. Blackstone is the Director of Education for Planned Parenthood. She will talk about recent decision by the Board of Education about to sex education and how that relates to the work of
the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.
July 5 “Digging Deep into Joy” by Rev. Dr. Catherine Ishida
Compassion, justice, and joy are beautiful banners to lead us through life. Sometimes we want to hold these flags high and wave them with vigor. Sometimes we need to dig deep, plant our flag poles, and let the wind wave for us. What does it mean to live by our values, and how is that different, or not, from ministry? Let’s reflect on ministry together.
In June, we take a look at causing trouble. Are Unitarian Universalists naturally trouble-makers
and rabble-rousers religiously speaking?
June 28 “Reclaiming Prophetic Witness” by Liz Flannery and Steve Lohse
Is conservative Christianity the only valid religious voice in our national policy, or do religious liberals have a place in the public square? In fact, religious liberals are more numerous than many realize! Join Liz and the participants of our April Book Study, “Reclaiming Prophetic Witness,” as we explore how to lift our spirits, inspire our voices, and reclaim our liberal religious language to bring our Principles to bear on the issues of our time.
June 21 “Words to Action” by Rev. Jonipher (last Sunday)
With what words can I impart to a congregation I’ve served for the past four years? Perhaps a legacy is best carried out in action rather than words. After all, it was once said that our rituals are works of love.
June 14 “Give Light & People Will Find a Way” by Rev. Jonipher
When engaging in social justice work, we often think the solution lies in whatever clever strategy we have up our sleeves–the latest in community organizing methodologies or sociological trends and facts. But what if our only job is to shed light on the issue and give away our light?
June 7 “Causing Trouble” by Rev. Jonipher
At the General Assembly in Providence last year, Sister Simone Campbell said that part of the religious experience is to “cause trouble.” Are we to stir up the pot just to stir it up or is there a rhyme or reason and a strategy for doing so? Can trouble lead to justice?
In May, we hear stories of conversion. What does it mean to not just change one’s mind, but heart and soul as well?
May 31 “Converting to Compassionate Action” Social Justice Sunday by Ka’imi Nicholson
Ka’imi will tell the story of her conversion from being a compassionate person to becoming a “passionate compassionate activist,” and will conclude with exploring the importance of applying compassion as an activist, with great potential for lasting impact. Perhaps we can agree that principles of fairness and democracy unite almost all people and that we all have a role to play in creating practical changes that will bring our society closer to these ideals. May Ka’imi’s story inspire us all.
May 24 “Converting from Students to Teachers” by the Religious Education Youth
(Multi-generational Service) Our kids in the pulpit! Please join us for an exciting multi-generational Service as the youngest among us (supported by the Religious Education Team) lead us in worship.
May 17 “What is a Religious Experience?” by Rev. Jonipher
Is there a difference between spiritual and religious? What sets an experience apart from the mundane? Come hear bits and pieces of Rev. Jonipher’s own religious conversion and see if you can resonate.
May 10 “The Conversion of Julia Ward Howe” by Rev. Jonipher
One of the leading figures during the time of the Civil War, Unitarian activist Julia Ward Howe was a feminist before that word was even invented. She was also the originator of a day now known as “Mother’s Day.” What was her conversion story like?
May 3 “Spiritual Freedom” by Rev. Jonipher The founding of both great religions, Unitarianism and Universalism, was based on spiritual freedom. Our conscience, not an outside hierarchy, guides our beliefs and principles. What does spiritual freedom mean today? And how can we continue to reform our thinking?
In April, we tackle the realm of metaphysics and consciousness. Is there a role for science in religion and vice versa?
April 26 “Who Was Darwin?” by Rev. Jonipher
One of the most misunderstood characters of the 19th Century was a Unitarian named Charles Darwin. While he never claimed to be an atheist, he did help us redefine our notion of that which we consider divine and certainly, the way we view the cosmos and its constant state of evolution. Come explore the myth of this scientist who also happens to be a spiritual person.
April 19 “Science and Religion” by Jeff Gillis-Davis
Two varieties of spiritual experience. Religion and science both seek to explain nature and in doing so both can be spiritual. Religion places one or more gods as controller of nature. Science, however, is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not. Which of these ways fulfill your spiritual needs?
April 12 “Mind/Body Connection” by Rev. Jonipher
Is consciousness merely about the few inches between our ears or is it more than the neurons firing off, shaping our perceptions of the world? How can we construct a relational the@logy that
is holistic and makes sense for us today?
April 5 “Redemptive Relationships” by Rev. Jonipher (Multigenerational Service) This Easter, explore what redemption means these days as we go back to the basics in life. What if the fundamental foundation of being supposes it’s all about relationships? Is there a way we can “redeem” broken relationships? Is resurrection still possible for our world?
In March, we explore the realm of pastoral care and counseling. Is this a function that only Lay Ministers need to worry about or how can we as a Church be our “sibling’s keeper?”
March 29 “Pastoral Care as Justice” by Rev. Jonipher
Oftentimes, people come into our church wounded from the injustices they experience in their daily lives. But instead of diving into the social justice work immediately, how can we provide a place of restoration for the peaceful warrior? How can we see providing pastoral care as integral
to our justice work?
March 22 “Transitions” by Rev. Jonipher (Multigenerational Service)
Every time change occurs, we have to realign every cell of our being, yet we know that change happens all the time. How can we provide a safe haven and a container for care in a rapidly changing world while adapting at the same time?
March 15 “I Saw Something Nasty in the Woodshed: Glamorizing Brokenness” by Richard Valasek
Some few (and all of us to some extent) respond to trauma by locking down, holding on, rigid in responses. We will explore some of the ways to let the world back in, to fall in love (again?) with this wild and mysterious business of living; to swing and swim, move and flow with life. The disruptive social, environmental and cultural changes we face confront us with challenges of a new order of magnitude. As a church, what is our responsibility to promote resilience in our community, to be responsive to these future challenges?
March 8 “Healing from Spiritual Violence” by Rev. Jonipher
Some of us who have found Unitarian Universalism after growing up in a more rigid upbringing find it refreshing because of the freedom from dogma and creed. How can we heal from the violence brought about by fundamentalism while engaging in the task of spiritual formation at
the same time?
March 1 “Caring & Compassionate Community – Women Make it Happen” by the HUUWF (Honolululu Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation) This special Service will be our kick-off to Women’s History Month along with a fond review of the caring community within our Church.
In February, we’ll explore human relationships and sexuality.
February 22 “Senior Sex” by Rev. Jonipher One of the last frontiers of human sexuality seldom talked about is what happens when one gets older. Is sex reserved only for those who are young and virile? What intimacy issues do senior citizens deal with? Come join us for what should be a scintillating discussion.
February 15 “Love and Marriage” by Rev. Jonipher This institution has changed tremendously since the “free love” movement during the 1970s. What does the “Modern Family” look like? Is it as seen on TV? What are some myths and facts about being married and having a family and what’s Unitarian Universalism got to do with it?
February 8 “Musical Celebration of Love” featuring Tracy Spring Join us for a musical celebration of love.
February 1 “Are Our Lives Whole?” by Rev. Jonipher At the turn of the millennium, our denomination partnered with the United Church of Christ to create a curriculum called “Our Whole Lives.” What is the wholeness we seek and how can we
find it through awareness of our own bodies and our relationships to other bodies around us?
In January, we begin the new year with prophecies and people who bring them to us–“prophetic women and men,” according to our sources. What may they be?
January 25 “Whither the Civil Rights Movement?” by Rev. Jonipher Since the founding of the great democratic experiment in the Western Hemisphere known as America, this country has been tainted with the sin of racism. Some have tried to correct this with the abolition of slavery and through the civil rights movement, but today, racism still exists, though in more subtle, yet equally sinister ways. How can we continue where Dr. King left off?
January 18 “The Challenge Of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” By Richard Valasek You, My Brothers And Sisters, Were Called To Be Free. But Do Not Use Your Freedom To Indulge In Sinful Nature; Rather, Serve One Another In Love. (Galatians 5:13) Celebrating The Work Of Rev. King In Song And Words And Renewing The Vision Of Justice.
January 11 “Prophecy 101” with Dr. Josh Searle-White When someone says the word “prophet,” the next words that often follow are “of doom.” But does speaking with a prophetic voice really mean talking about how things are falling apart? What about talking about the best in us about how we might move to the next levels of aliveness, health, and maturity? Let’s talk about who prophets are, what they might say, and – most important – whether they are, in fact, us.
January 4 “Prophecy for 2015” by Rev. Jonipher If we had a crystal ball, what would it tell us the new year would bring? What is the greatest challenge our world is facing and what can we do as Unitarian Universalists to bear witness and shed a light on the injustices we face? How can we ourselves become “prophets” crying out in the wilderness? Come hear some of Rev. Jonipher’s “prophecies.”
2014 Sunday Services
In December, we begin exploring the concept of ultimate freedom. A famous Christmas hymn, “O Holy Night” contains the words “Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother and in his name all oppression shall cease.” What does that mean in a Unitarian Universalist context?
December 28 “Science and Humanism: Roadblocks to God?” by Charlotte Morgan Can we believe in science and humanism and still find the Divine? Long time member of FUCH, Charlotte Morgan will provide an entertaining and stimulating exploration of this subject.
December 24 @ 7 pm “Christmas Lessons & Carols”
December 24 @ 5 pm “Would You Like to Hold the Baby” Christmas Pageant
December 21 @ 9:15 am “From Bondage to Liberation” by Rev. Jonipher
What’s holding us back spiritually and how can we release the ties that bind so we begin the New Year with a greater degree of freedom?
December 21 @ 11 am “Would You Like to Hold the Baby” Christmas Pageant
December 15 “Freedom from Resentment” by Rev. Jonipher Oftentimes, our spiritual maturity is stymied by our unwillingness to let go of the past–be it a hurt caused by someone else or a resentment we’ve been carrying around for years. How can we foster an attitude that will liberate our thinking and free our emotions to begin again in love?
December 7 “Financial Freedom for the Holidays” by Rev. Jonipher It seems like everyone wants your cash this time of year. What would the Gospel According to Suzy Orman say? Better yet, how do UUs spend their money in accordance with their values? Come liberate your pocket books
In November, we focus on ethical eating. What we consume has an impact not just on our bodies, but the Earth and our spiritual well-being as well.
November 30 “Sustaining Haiti After the Quake” by Rev. Jonipher (Social Justice Sunday) Rev. Jonipher joined a group of UUs from the mainland for the UU College of Social Justice’s journey to help build a sustainable community in Haiti. Come find out what the lessons were from this trip, how it relates to social justice, and sustainable eating.
November 23 “Soul Food: Small Group Servings” by Rev. Jonipher What would it take for us to get our spiritual nourishment on a daily basis? Are we satisfied just by being Sunday UUs or is there more to being intellectually and spiritually fed? Come find out what Chalice Circles can do to boost your spiritual life.
November 16 “We Are What We Eat” by Rev. Jonipher (New Members Sunday) From organic to localvore, non-GMO to gluten-free, we are becoming more conscious that what we eat affects our physical and emotional well-being. But is there an ethical dimension to eating as well? When we eat out, for example, do we know what goes on behind the kitchen door? What we eat can have an impact on what our world becomes.
November 9 “Water = Life: A UU Communion” by the Worship Team Combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources. We consider the importance of this ubiquitous element and how its necessity unifies all people.
November 2 “`Ono Pono” by Rev. Kyle Lovett We have the pleasure of welcoming Rev. Kyle Lovett who will be sharing her take on ethical eating – ‘Ono Pono!
In October, we take a look at a part of human relationship that exists since the dawn of humanity…conflict. How do we “deal with it” as people of faith in a transformative way?
October 26 “Conflict Transformation Tips Part 2” by Rev. Jonipher
From nonviolent communication, paraphrasing, to active listening, what are some ways to diffuse and tame the beast that is conflict? Come hear this two-part series.
October 19 “Conflict Transformation Tips Part 1” by Rev. Jonipher
October 12 “Don’t Avoid, Create, or Perpetuate” by Rev. Jonipher We often associate conflict with negative feelings and would rather not deal with it by sweeping it under the rug. Rarely does this solve anything, however, so how can we face conflict instead of avoiding it while not intentionally creating it or perpetuating it once it takes place?
October 5 “A UU Yom Kippur” by Martina Queenth As UU’s we can approach Yom Kippur as a process of introspection leading to change. We turn towards the spirit, towards other people in our lives, and turn towards our true selves as we focus on our personal behavior and on our lives in our community.
September 28, 2014 – “WE>i” by Rev. Jonipher Counter-cultural to society’s image of the rugged individual, a communal ethic takes into consideration the self’s impact on the wider world. We are each important and we help contribute to the common good.
September 21, 2014 – “We’re Free to Learn Together” by Rev. Jonipher, Katie Ackerman & Our Keiki Join us for a multigenerational service exploring the multiple ways we learn from one another. It’s a lifelong process! We also take this opportunity to install our new Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Katie Ackerman.
September 14, 2014 – “The World Owes It To Me” by Rev. Jonipher We sometimes feel entitled to certain things–getting a driver’s license, owning a gun. But are we also held mutually accountable for our actions or inactions? What does the world owe us, really?
September 7, 2014 – “It Takes a Village to Talk About Sex” by Nan Kleiber There are things I cannot accomplish by myself that we can accomplish together. Excellence in sexuality education for families with children of all ages in one of these. With you, I am WE.
August 31, 2014 – “Climate Change: the Challenge of Our Times” by Dr. Mike Mottl & “A Hawaiian Kinship with the Aina” by Dr. Chuck Burrows, Renee Miller and Theresa Moorleghen Think Globally, Act Locally for the Aina. It is an old cliche but still relevant.
August 24, 2014 – “Joyful Noise” by the Worship Team & Church Band ~ Spirits Ever since Miriam took the drum from Moses and started dancing in the desert, music has been a powerful ministry. Come prepared to sing, to clap and make a joyful noise!
August 17 “The Center of Power” by Rev. Jonipher Historically, rulers of nation-states wield considerable influence and “power.” These days, corporations rule a global-ized world. How has this shift impacted our planet? What are the ramifications and what can we do about it?
August 10 “Rooting for the Underdog” by Rev. Jonipher Whether it’s an election or a boxing match, there’s something seductive and intriguing about “placing your bets” on the one most unlikely to win. Who in our society is left out and how can we as people of faith pay attention to those neglected by the rest of society?
August 3, 2014 – “The@logy of the Margins” by Rev. Jonipher Years ago, Jung Young Lee talked about marginality as the key to multicultural theology. Can we say the same today about Unitarian Universalism’s inclusion of those who have been historically marginalized?
July 27, 2014 – “Beyond a Welcoming Congregation” by Rev. Jonipher In 2005, the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu officially became a welcoming congregation, meaning we proclaimed loud and clear that we welcome LGBTIQ folks in our congregation. Are there historically marginalized communities that we need to extend our welcome to? How wide open are our doors, really?
July 20, 2014 – “Global Renaissance Voice” by Marie Anne Dr. Maya Angelou’s words and actions continue to stir our souls, energize our bodies, liberate our minds, and heal our hearts. July 13, 2014 – “What is the Real Sin of Sodom?” by Rev. Jonipher Genesis 19 talks about a town that was destroyed with fire and brimstone for their sin. What is the real sin of Sodom and how can we avoid a similar fate?
July 6, 2014 – “Being Served or Serving Others?” by Rev. Jonipher What exactly do we come to church for? Is it to get our needs met or to meet the needs of others, or both? June 29, 2014 – “Sacred Economics” by Renee Miller and the Social Justice Council What is “Sacred Economics” and how can we make it real in our world today? What is the Oahu Time Bank, what is sacred about it, how can you sign up? Join the inspirational and eye-opening fun and get your questions answered.
June 22, 2014 – “Summer Solstice” by Liz Flannery and the Worship Team As Unitarian Universalists who have a deep respect for the interdependent web of all existence, nature is held sacred to many of us. Join us as we celebrate the summer solstice and explore the impact and significance our natural world brings to us each day.
June 15, 2014 – “An Eye to Eye Partnership” by Rev. Jonipher
How can we view justice not just from a paternalistic “I’m helping you” perspective, but from an eye-to-eye level where there is mutual transformation taking place? Discover a new paradigm that doesn’t just look at symptoms, but dives deep into the core of why we as Unitarian Universalists engage in the global movement for justice.
June 8, 2014 – “Justice in Caican” by Rev. Jonipher First Unitarian Church of Honolulu has established a partnership with a church in the Philippines for a number of years, helping the community have access to water and protect them from natural disasters such as typhoons. Where are we on this relationship?
June 1, 2014 – “Establishing a Baseline” by Rev. Jonipher In order to survive in the world we need to establish a baseline. What is an absolute must in order for us to have our basic needs met? Justice begins from the bottom up.
May 25, 2014 – “Between Pacifists and War Mongers” by Rev. Jonipher Are any of us truly pacifists or do our leanings lie closer to the middle of these two extremes? This Memorial Day, come find where you are on the spectrum.
May 18, 2014 – “With Friends, Who Needs Enemies?” by Rev. Jonipher How do we make a distinction between a friend and an enemy? At what point do they cross the line and when they do, can we love them anyway? Is there a difference between tolerance and acceptance?
May 11, 2014 – “Good Samaritan Retold” by Rev. Jonipher The parable from long ago tells of a victim of robbery left to die in the middle of the road. The hero turns out to be quite unexpected. Who is this victim in society today? Are we the ‘Good Samaritan’ in the story or do we play another role?
May 4, 2014 – “Love Thy Enemies” by Bishop Randolph Skyes (President, The Interfaith Alliance Hawaii) The words, “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you,” and variations thereof are taught by great spiritual leaders. How can we apply this teaching to our lives?
April 27, 2014 “Giving In, Giving Back or Giving Up?” by Rabbi Schaktman “The earth is the ETERNAL’S, and all it contains; the world, and those who dwell in it.” And yet, my stuff is still MY stuff. Isn’t it? Finding a just balance between charity and righteousness.
April 20, 2014 – “Give Unto Caesar, A Liberal View on Taxes” by Rev. Jonipher Sure, we all have mixed feelings when it comes to paying taxes, but in a world where we rely on social services, how does a religious liberal respond to how our money is used? How can we truly put our tax dollars at work so they promote our values in society at large?
April 13, 2014 – “Treasure Hunt” by Rev. Jonipher This Multi-generational worship experience digs into the riches we can find in our lives and how we can share this with others so everyone has enough. You don’t have to be a pirate to find your treasure!
April 6, 2014 – “Where Your Heart Is” by Rev. Jonipher How we spend our money is our way of “voting” for our values. Are we in alignment with our principles every time we swipe our credit card or do we need some fine-tuning?
March 30, 2014 – “Effective Faithy Action: Interfaith Energy and Climate Solutions” by Travis Idol and the Social Justice Council What can “faithy” people do about climate change? Our special guest this Fifth Sunday will be Travis Idol of Hawaii Interfaith Power & Light (HIPL), who will inspire us toward faith-based energy and climate solutions. Fifth Sunday Services will be followed by a “Speaking Out” Forum with communication guru Scott Foster of Hawaii Advocates for Consumer Rights, who will share effective communication techniques for Church, Program, and community Social Justice leaders. Fairmarket Coffee and Healthy Snacking will be hosted by the Council.
March 23, 2014 – “Springing Forward” by Rev. Jonipher and Genevieve Coursey As we celebrate Spring Equinox, we turn the page of time and mark a season of renewal and change.
March 16, 2014 – “A The@logy of Google” by Rev. Jonipher There has been much debate about the use of technology. Is there a spirituality of social media and if so, how can we Unitarian Universalist use it to promote the common good and get our word out?
March 9, 2014 – “A Rapidly Changing Techy World” by Rev. Jonipher The rate of technical change over the years has been exponential. How do we reach a generation who as babies held a keyboard instead of a pacifier?
March 2, 2014 “Women’s Journeys” A Honolulu Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation Service to Celebrate International Women’s’ Day Stories are our way to illuminate our life paths and to find common ground. Helen Slaughter, Marilyn Bornhorst, Lisa-Gillis Davis, and Laura Helliwell are women who are creatively aspiring to reach a sense of fulfillment. Listen to their stories…Celebrate their diverse paths.
February 23, 2014 – “Songs of Humanity: Setting Off the Spark in One Another” with Tracy Springs/Rev. Jonipher We welcome back UU traveling musician Tracy Springs as she inspires us to sing the song of humanity.
February 16, 2014 – “The Beatles: A Generation & Beyond” by Nancy Schildt An intergenerational service with lots of Beatles music. A quick journey through the lives and music of the Beatles and their influence. How and why did the “Fab Four” become “more famous than Jesus”. Be prepared to rock ‘n’ roll.
February 9, 2014 – “Each a Love Song to be Sung” by Rev. Jonipher Each of us is born into this world as a wonderful gift and each a love song to be sung. Yet, often times, we fail to recognize what we have to offer the world and sound more like a song of lamentation. Come rediscover the love song that is you!
February 2, 2014 – “How Amy Grant Changed My Life” by Rev. Jonipher Growing up, I listened to Contemporary Christian musician Amy Grant, even after her crossover into the “Pop” world. Come hear an autobiographical account of why I found her music so inspirational (and still do!)
January 26, 2014 – “From Addiction to Recovery” by Rev. Jonipher At one point or another, addiction has probably impacted us or someone we know or love. How can we adapt the 12 Steps to Unitarian Universalism? For example, how do we define “Higher Power?” Come explore some possible responses to addiction and roads to recovery.
January 19, 2014 – “A Spiritual Detoxification Program” by Rev. Jonipher Every moment of our lives, we have the ability to choose the kinds of programming we watch on television and the friends we hang out with. Sometimes, these are detrimental to our psyche and well-being. How can we get rid of toxic elements and nurture our way back to health and wholeness?
January 12, 2014 – “Balm for the Spiritually Restless” by Bill Scarvie For many years, Bill Scarvie felt spiritually secure, his inner life rich. Now he is feeling a certain restlessness—an urge to go deeper, to get more grounded in Spirit. Where might the spiritually restless find balm for their tattered soul?
January 5, 2014 – “The Art of Self-Care” by Rev. Jonipher Oftentimes, we rush to take care of others while running on empty ourselves. Yet, what can we provide those we love if we do not have the fuel ourselves? Is there a difference between being selfish and practicing self-care?
2013 Sunday Services
December 29, 2013 – “From Social Justice to Social Security” by Nancy Aleck (Executive Director of the Hawai’i People’s Fund) Ten years ago, she moved from the role of an activist to her current position, leading a foundation that supports activism. As she enters the senior citizen chapter of her life, it’s a good time to codify and share some of her lessons learned.
December 22, 2013 – “Silent Night” by Rev. Jonipher Amidst the hurly-burly, hectic pace of the holidays, is there a way to set aside time to be still? Find respite for your soul this season at one of our services.
December 15, 2013 – “Breaking the Silence” by Rev. Jonipher What is worth breaking the silence? What words or sounds must we use that would give life and bring forth healing rather than destroy and diminish? December 8, 2013 – “Silenced by Dementia-A Mother’s Lessons” by Martina Queenth Being the caretaker of a parent with dementia is difficult but there are lessons to be learned. Can there be hope of a spiritual life for persons with dementia?
December 1, 2013 – “Echoing the Sound of Silence” by Rev. Jonipher Silence has the ability to fine tune our ability to be mindful. In an age of multi-tasking, fast-tracking, and overall distraction, is there a value to silence?
November 24, 2013 – “Gratitudists” by Rev. Jonipher If we were to begin a new religion based solely on gratitude, what would the tenets or principles of this religion be? Is Unitarian Universalism compatible with such a religion? Let’s be thankful that we have the freedom to explore this subject the Sunday right after Thanksgiving.
November 17, 2013 – “Growing UU’s” by the Religious Education Team Children are an integral part of our church family, and in a multigenerational service we will celebrate the wonder of their youth and the importance of instilling in them our Unitarian Universalist principles. It takes a village, and we must be that village
November 10, 2013 – “True Universalists” by Rev. Jonipher The other “U” often gets overlooked because notions of universal salvation seem rather antiquated, but is there any value left to saving the planet? What does it need saving from? What would a new the@logy of universalism mean in our day and age?
November 3, 2013 – “In Body and Spirit: Margaret Fuller’s Legacy for Us” by Rev. Dorothy Emerson Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was a leading Transcendentalist along with Emerson and Thoreau. She wrote the groundbreaking book Woman in the 19th Century and was the first woman social and literary critic and foreign correspondent for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. She called on Americans to question the second-class status of women, African- and Native Americans and to establish true democracy at home. This service focuses on her spiritual development, how she found the strength within herself to break free from the restrictions of her time and create an amazing body of work that still has relevance for us today.
October 27, 2013 – “Wisdom of Our Ancestors” by Rev. Jonipher In many Asian cultures and indigenous religious traditions, there is what has been called “ancestor veneration.” What do our forebears have to share with us that will guide and inform our present-day reality? How can we heed the advice of those who have come before us to create a future and a legacy worthy of future generations?
October 20, 2013 – “Wisdom of Prophets” by Rev. Jonipher Let’s face it, we have a love-hate relationships with prophets. They challenge us and tell us things we would rather not hear. Yet, Unitarian Universalism claims not only the “priesthood of all believers” but the “prophethood of all believers” as well. What does it mean to be a prophet these days and what knowledge do they impart to us?
October 13, 2013 – “Wisdom of the Earth” by Rev. Jonipher Our sixth and latest source talks about drawing from the Earth and its rhythms. What can our planet teach us and how can we draw from Gaia’s strength and resiliency to inform our actions and how we treat each other? Come and listen to the rhythm.
October 6, 2013 – “A Covenant of Right Relations: Sharing Our Collective Wisdom” by the Mission Ministry Team What is a Covenant of Right Relations and why do we need one anyway? Join the Mission Ministry Team for this sermon on how the Collective Wisdom of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu has been distilled into a Covenant of Right Relations. Learn how a Covenant of Right Relations can help establish an emotionally safe environment, which is so important for our members to Boldly Grow Compassion, Justice and Joy!
September 29, 2013 – “Got Truth?” by the Social Justice Council Does intelligence leak the wrong way – out of government, when it should be leaking in? Is the truth making you free? Who said, “We hold that free access to information and knowledge is vital to responsible world citizenship?” What are democratic process or worth and dignity without truth? What effective actions should people of faith be taking right now? Please join the Social Justice Council for this chilling and thrilling Political Justice Fifth Sunday.
September 22, 2013 – “Autumnal Equinox: A Season of Truth” by Rev. Jonipher As we celebrate Mabon, a time of year when the length of the day and night are equal, we reflect on the notion of equilibrium. How can we balance truth in our lives?
September 15, 2013 – “Let Those Who Have Ears, Listen” by Rev. Jonipher (NO VIDEO) Ever wonder why the great teacher Jesus prefaced his stories with “Let those who have ears, listen?” Could it be that truth can only be received not just when we have our ears opened, but it requires an open heart and open mind as well? Or perhaps we simply cannot handle the truth even if it stared us in the face?
September 8, 2013 – “Building your own The@logy: the Ticket to Finding Truth” by the Building Your Own Theology Class (NO VIDEO) Based on the assumption that everyone is their own theologian, this classic UU adult education program invites participants to develop their own personal credos. Four members of the recent Building Your Own Theology class will share their “the@logies” with us. We’ll hear from Kelli and Jon Larsen, Charlotte Huszcza, and Catherine Graham. You’ll want to be there!
September 1, 2013 – “A UU Yom Kippur” by Martina Queenth (NO VIDEO) As UU’s we can approach Yom Kippur as a process of introspection leading to change. We turn towards the spirit, towards other people in our lives, and turn towards our true selves as we focus on our personal behavior and on our lives in our community.
August 25, 2013 – “Fear of the Unknown” by Rev. Jonipher (NO VIDEO) Oftentimes, we fear something because we do not yet have the necessary information or we have had a previous bad experience. How can we conquer these fears and live within the tension of the unknown versus the known? How can we set our intentions so we can embrace the possibilities of what’s yet to be?
August 18, 2013 – “Healthy Agnosticism” by Rev. Jonipher (NO VIDEO) Certainty is so overrated. When it comes to matters of faith, how can we have a questioning posture that leaves room for exploration and mystery?
August 11, 2013 – “Faith and Doubt” by Rev. Jonipher
Faith and doubt are often presented as an either/or proposition, especially when discussing religion. When viewed outside of a religious context, we find that faith and doubt aren’t so diametrically opposed. Members of the Young Family ‘Ohana Covenant Group will explore the relationship between faith and doubt in daily life.
August 4, 2013 – “Fear of Death” by Rev. Jonipher
Each of us, faced with our mortality, eventually are faced with the question of how we die. Why do human beings fear death and how can this fear interfere with life in the here and now?
July 28, 2013 – “How Then Do UUs Pray?” by Rev. Jonipher
Is there a way to reclaim the spiritual practice of prayer in a Unitarian Universalist context? What are some methodologies and sample prayers we can use that would make sense for us still?
July 21, 2013 – “Intercessory Prayer” by Rev. Jonipher
Can we intercede on behalf of another? Do our prayers make a difference in another’s life? Or is this nothing more than superstitious nonsense? Come find out what intercessory prayer may mean.
July 14, 2013 – “How to Live at End of Life” by Ken Zeri
The story of an individual’s life eventually ends. How does one plan for the last months of life? And more importantly, how does one choose to live the last days? Ken Zeri, president of Hospice Hawaii will share insights with us.
July 7, 2013 – “The Erotic Power of Prayer” by Rev. Jonipher What if eros is the power toward justice-love as theologian Carter Heyward suggested? Can we somehow harness this erotic power every time we pray? Come explore this scintillating conversation at Church!
June 30, 2013 – “E Nunulu i ka Lani (Let Your Work Resonate through the Heavens!)” by Kumu Glen Kila and Rev. Jonipher Sharing the pulpit for the first time, Kumu Glen Kila of Kanenuiakea and Rev. Jonipher of First Unitarian celebrate the possibilities for spiritual growth when two kindred Principle-based religious traditions share an Interfaith ‘Ohana. You do not want to miss this Fifth Sunday service hosted by the Social Justice Council!
June 23, 2013 – “Midsummer Celebration” by Genna Coursey (NO VIDEO) As the wheel of the year continues to turn, we take a moment to celebrate Midsummer, the Summer Solstice. While the sun is at its most powerful position, we celebrate fire and passion. It is a time for us to renew the passion within ourselves and our relationships, and to reflect on how we can bring light and hope to our world.
June 16, 2013 – “Growing our Faith in the Philippines” by Rev. Rebecca Quimada Sienes Current President of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines and daughter of the slain founder of Universalism in the Philippines, special guest Rev. Rebecca Quimada Sienes speaks of her passion and dream for building sustainable UU congregations. Hear what exciting projects are boldly growing!
June 9, 2013 – “From Spiritual Apathy to Activity: Tips for the Journey” by Rev. Jonipher Spiritual practices take time to develop and sometimes we can fall out of habit and slip into a period of inactivity and complacency. What are some ways we can reinvigorate our spiritual practices so we can once again have a thriving spiritual life?
June 2, 2013 – “What Goes Down Must Come Up” by Rev. Jonipher Sometimes, it takes things falling apart in order for us to realize we need to engage in a spiritual practice that will lift us back up again. What are some tools we can use to pick ourselves back up?
May 26, 2013 – “Love the One You’re With” by Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo Reverend von Zirpolo serves as parish minister for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, MA. She is a mom of four amazing young adults and a swim coach for Special Olympics. Her blogspot titled “Living Values ~ Valuing Lives,” encourages those called by faith to listen carefully.
May 19, 2013 – “Transitions” by Gini Courtier Ms. Courtier serves as Chief Governance Officer for the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is a founding partner of TRIAD Consulting, specializing in software training and collaborative solutions for businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.
May 12, 2013 – “Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright” by Rev. Jonipher As we grow, we will inevitably encounter changes. Rather than be devastated by change, how can we engage in a “no worries” attitude that somehow, all will be well? Join us for a multigenerational perspective on what happens when we encounter transitions in our lives.
May 5, 2013 – “Navigating Our Life’s Journey: Where’s the App?” by Rabbi Peter Schaktman The ancient Israelites had no real idea where they were headed, but they knew they couldn’t remain where they were. They wandered through the wilderness on a convoluted and often surprising trek that eventually led them to the Land of Promise — and then discovered that their journey had, in a very real sense, only just begun. Our lives are full of transitions, some of which we anticipate and even seek, and others that we don’t even recognize until after they occur. All offer opportunities for learning but we are wise to recall that while “change is inevitable, growth is optional.”
April 28, 2013 – “Abundant Life” by the Worship Team As we grow from childhood to other life stages, our meaning of abundance evolves. Together we will explore what it means to have an abundant life. How do our values and perspectives influence our sense of fulfillment? Amidst obstacles and challenges, how do we live a life that feels full? April 21, 2013 – “Abundant Earth” by Rev. Jonipher Our planet is teeming with life. Our home, Hawai’i Nei, has particularly been blessed with all creatures great and small on land and water. How can we appreciate this abundance more so we can become better partners in the co-creation of the beauty of life? How can we be better stewards of the resources given to us by an abundant earth?
April 14, 2013 – “Abundant Wisdom” by Rev. Jonipher In Hawaiian, the word “mana’o” is used to describe the insight we receive that contributes to the edification and expansion of our knowledge base. What never ceases to amaze me is the richness life offers when it comes to opportunities for learning from my experiences as I move from moment to moment. As we install our new Director of Lifespan Religious Education, come explore the transformative power of wisdom.
April 7, 2013 – “Abundant Wealth” by Rev. Jonipher There are resources that are limited such as non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuel, and there are infinitely abundant ones such as creativity and new ideas. Which category does money belong to and how can our spiritual reality align with an abundant view of wealth? There is no money-back guarantee, but come hear some thoughts on this topic anyway.
March 31, 2013 – “Renewing our Faith” by Rev. Jonipher (NO VIDEO) Francis David, a Transylvanian Unitarian minister in the 16th Century, was accused of “innovation in worship.” Indeed, our religious movement finds itself in a constant state of evolution and re-invention as we face new cultural and religious challenges. Find out how we can continue to provide a spiritual home for seekers during this “Age of the Spirit,” as Harvey Cox puts it. Come find a faith that will enliven and renew your spirit.
March 24, 2013 – “The Spring Equinox: Fertile Hearts and Minds” by Rev. Jonipher and Genna Coursey We will be celebrating the Spring Equinox, the first day of Spring. This is the time of the year known for fertility, renewal and rebirth. With readings, meditations and songs, we will fertilize our hearts and minds to grow peace and loving kindness within ourselves and our community.
March 17, 2013 – “Responding to Climate Change as People of Faith” by Travis Idol, with special music guest Tracy Spring Climate change is not just one of the most challenging environmental issues of the 21st century; it is also one of the most important moral and spiritual issues facing humanity. People of faith are increasingly applying the principles and practices of their religious traditions to respond to this environmental and human crisis. Interfaith Power and Light is a national network of faith communities united in their belief that a faithful response to climate change is not only necessary but also can be an effective means of raising awareness and motivating people to action based on deeply held values and beliefs. Hawaii Interfaith Power and Light works with local faith communities to achieve these goals and invites the Unitarian Universalist communities of Hawaii to join us in our efforts.
March 10, 2013 – “Thoughtful Choices” by Rev. Jonipher Every moment of our lives, we make choices. The tough part is deciding what possibilities contribute to health and wholeness and what leads to destruction and brokenness. The discernment process is never easy, but how can we use our spiritual values to make informed decisions, especially for an issue like reproductive justice?
March 3, 2013 – “Reproductive Justice” by HUUWF Every year in honor of International Women’s Day and National Women’s History Month, the Honolulu UU Women’s Federation coordinates a service. This year we are exploring Reproductive Justice, the issue of conscience decide on at last year’s UU General Assembly. Come find out what this topic is all about and why this is a moral issue particularly well suited for UUs to grapple with.
February 24, 2013 – “Growth as Spiritual & Religious Practice” by Rev. Tandi Rogers Tandi Rogers is the Growth Strategist for the Unitarian Universalist Association, where she strategically mobilizes resources, purpose, and partnerships to grow current and future Unitarian Universalist congregations. She is passionate about growth, but not for numbers’ sake. And she loves numbers, but not for the reasons you might think. She is invested in our congregation, because should we take up the challenge, she suspects we’re on to something that just might be key in keeping our faith tradition alive.
February 17, 2013 – “Theism and Atheism Debate” by Rev. Jonipher Within Unitarian Universalism, we welcome seekers of truth from all persuasions and both ends of the spectrum—from theists to atheists. Is there a debate or can both exist under one roof? You may be surprised at what we all may share in common.