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May 19 – Wrestling with Conflict

Rev. Jason Lydon Conflict is an inevitable aspect of life. We have conflict within ourselves, with our loved ones, with strangers, with the person driving too slowly on Lake Shore Drive, and with so many others. Conflict does not inevitably create harm or despair, and yet it certainly can. If we are committing to be … Continued

May 12 – Mother’s Day: Let us be too tender with one another

Rev. Jason Lydon In her Mother’s Day Proclamation, Julia Ward Howe wrote, “We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” What might these words mean for us today? How might the message of these words interact with the vision … Continued

May 5 – Just As I Am: Why Universalists Don’t Do Altar Calls

Rev. Misha Sanders An invitation to get excited about our saving faith that calls our best selves into being while affirming that we were already whole when we got here. Rev. Misha Sanders is mostly a mom, but also a hospital chaplain in Barrington, and an affiliated community minister with the UU church in Rockford. She believes … Continued

April 14 – Expecting the Worst

Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk Advent is a season of expectation and hope. Lent is also a time of expectation – but the expectation is one for a troubling outcome. This Sunday we will contemplate those seasons in life when expect the worst. Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk is a historian of American religious history. She joined … Continued

April 7 – Hard to Say I’m Sorry

Rev. Jason Lydon Before we can even begin to talk about forgiveness it is important that we learn how to do the work of offering healthy and authentic apologies. We live in a culture where certain people are saying the words, “I’m sorry” constantly and others simply never utter the words. Neither of these extremes … Continued

April 21 – Easter: From Resurrection to Liberation

Rev. Jason Lydon As Unitarian Universalists we are not called upon to believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus. However, there is great strength in believing that a community can have the resilience to rise up even after an empire strikes its leader down. We will use this Easter celebration to resist theologies that celebrate … Continued

April 28 – Water: A True Elixir of Life

Rev. Jason Lydon It has been said that the next wars will be fought over water, but in truth there have been wars and battles over water for generations. The Earth’s natural flowing waters are in constant danger of pollution, contamination, damming, and drought. As residents of a city that sits on one of largest … Continued

2019-2020 Give Away the Basket Nomination Criteria

Recipient Organizations must generally meet the following criteria: 501(c)(3) status. Can demonstrate fiscal responsibility and accountability (could provide annual reports, audited financial statements, etc. if requested). Operates with annual budget of less than $500,000. Organizations whose work contributes in some way to a more just, equitable, and compassionate community, in alignment with our mission and … Continued

March 3 – Do You Trust Me?

Rev. Jason Lydon In Disney’s cartoon Aladdin, we see the young “street rat” turn to Princess Jasmine on two occasions throughout the movie, asking her, “Do you trust me?”  In both instances there is no reason for the princess to trust Aladdin, and yet she gives him her hand and goes with him each time.  … Continued

March 10 – Navigating Fear in Uncertain Times

Rev. Jason Lydon Self-help author, Susan Jeffers, popularized the slogan, “feel the fear and do it anyway.”  Rather than suggest that we should not be afraid, Jeffers was acknowledging that fear lives within each of us and we must reckon with it rather than suppress it.  Contrary to the Biblical call, “be not afraid,” Rev. … Continued