12/08/2019 The Empire Strikes First

Rev. David Schwartz The essence of the advent story — a waiting for a rebirth of hope — doesn’t happen in the abstract: it unfolds in an occupied country within an empire of political and economic control. What does it mean to be a people neither pessimistic or optimistic, but hopeful and hope-filled in a … Continued

12/01/2019 Simple Gifts

Monica Kling-Garcia Schug Ministerial Intern The holiday season is coming, that time of year when our society bombards us with a sensory overload of what to buy, listen to, and enjoy. By contrast, winter brings a quiet peace to nature, with animals resting and snow covering the ground. In such a busy and sometimes overwhelming … Continued

11/17/2019 Lessons Learned from the Loser’s Club

Rev. Kevin DeBeck While in his home state of Maine recently, the Rev. Kevin DeBeck saw It: Chapter 2. In the story, a group of adults, who call themselves “the Loser’s Club,” go back to the fictitious town of Derry, Maine, to fight their childhood nemesis, Pennywise the Clown. Rev. Kev will discuss how their … Continued

11/03/2019 All Souls Sunday

Rev. Teresa and David Schwartz In this annual service, we will honor and commemorate those in our lives and church family who have died. We will join together in bittersweet memory and love as we reflect on the fleeting and precious gift of life. Please bring a photo or memento of a loved one who … Continued

10/27/2019 The Grammar of Inclusion

Rev. Teresa Schwartz We live in a culture that tends to recognize just two genders, male and female. The idea that there are only two genders is sometimes called a “gender binary.” Yet, non-binary identities have been recognized for millennia by cultures and societies around the world. While our culture is starting to deconstruct the … Continued

10/13/2019 Belonging to the World

Rev. Teresa Schwartz The Chicago Children’s Choir was founded as a ministry of First U in 1963. In 1986, the Choir separated from the church to become an organization in its own right. The choir belonged to the church for 30 years, but in letting go, the church gave the choir to the city—and the … Continued

10/06/2019 Out of Many, Many

Rev. David Schwartz You have as many non-human cells in you as you do human cells: about 30 trillion human and 30 trillion not. We’re each our own ecosystem: a balance of more than 10,000 different species living together in constant growth and death and change. As a religious community, we embrace an intentional diversity … Continued

09/29/2019 Schug Memorial Intern Commissioning and Welcome

Monica Kling-Garcia First U is proud to be a teaching congregation. Through our Schug Memorial Internship program, we help shape the next generation of Unitarian Universalist Members — and, in turn, we are shaped by them. On this Sunday, we formally welcome and commission our intern, Monica Kling-Garcia, who will serve our congregation for the … Continued

09/22/2019 One Foot In, One Foot Out

Rev. David Schwartz In the moment between past journey and future potential, a threshold is a sacred place. Those “in-between” moments are also scary, exciting, hopeful, uncertain, anxiety-laden, and filled with possibility. What it means to be a people who take those thresholds seriously in the life of our congregation, our nation, our planet, and … Continued

09/15/2019 A Climate of Change

Rev. Teresa Schwartz Climate change is the moral crisis of our time and we’re all feeling its effects. This summer record flooding submerged large portions of the Midwest and the U.K. had its hottest day on record. On Friday, September 20th, youth will lead people from around the globe to strike. The hope is that … Continued