Sunday, March 4: “Being Good and Doing Good” – The Rev. Brian Mason
Unitarian Universalism’s Principles, held “as strong values and moral guides,” are regarded as cornerstones of our Faith in this modern era. Chief among them is the First, which states: “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.” But just because we believe each of us are worthy, good, and honorable doesn’t mean we’re exempted from actually doing good (q.v. the 6th). The 1st Principle is an affirmative statement, a guide. Think of it like a road trip: it’s the place we’re headed, not where we’re at. As Unitarian Universalists, we’re not called simply to be good, but to do good. This morning’s sermon will consider all that we’re called to do as people of Principles.
Music: Margaret Jerz and the First UU Church of Wausau Choir
Sunday, March 11: “Toward an Inclusive Community” – Eric Giordano
The talk will address issues of bias, including some of the barriers that prevent us from recognizing our own biases. I’ll present some of the results from the Toward One Wausau project and suggest some broader lessons learned about creating an inclusive community.
Eric Giordano serves as Associate Professor of Political Science for the UW Colleges and is the founding director the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS). Eric works with government, business and non-profit partners to identify and address key policy issues using community-based solutions. He also specializes in survey and focus group research and analysis; and strategic and action planning, coalition building, dialogue and deliberation training and facilitation. Eric co-led a national project on the future of small towns and rural communities with the Kettering Foundation and other national partners, and recently helped design and implement the Toward One Wausau project. Eric received his Ph.D. in 2004 from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Music: Parker Quinn
Sunday, March 18: “Kicking It Old School” – The Rev. Brian Mason
Historically, the church was a centerpiece of American culture. Just take a moment and think where churches are usually located: the centers of town. One of the most important aspects of the church is to serve as a community center, a place where people gather to envision ways to achieve goodness for all townspeople. In a sense, the role of the church is, borrowing a phrase from recent trends in food, to be hyperlocal. I firmly believe that if churches are to remain a vital part of American culture we must consider how we, collectively, impact the towns and peoples we live amongst. I think it’s time we do something, how shall I say, Old School? It is my prayer that the church considers more ways we might partner with people, organizations, and others within our city to more deeply live our principles, as Unitarian Universalists, in our great city, amongst its fine people.
Music: Karen Zuidema
Sunday, March 25: “Out of One, Many” – The Rev. Brian Mason
On Palm Sunday, held on this day, one week before Easter, Christians invite all who are willing to meditate on Jesus Christ’s life and work. In the scriptures, we read that as Jesus made his way into Jerusalem, people throughout the city gathered to lay their cloaks upon the ground to show respect for the rabbi. They marveled because rumor had it this man performed miracles. But also, they marveled because here, embodied in this poor refugee from a hillbilly city, was someone who challenged the oppressive Roman Empire. This Sunday we will meditate on Jesus’ life and work, but also on humankind’s duty to serve others; and the big things that become possible when the small things start to add up.