Archive of Sunday Sermons
This sermon archive was started in 1999, and includes sermons of our minister, Rev. Diane Teichert who was welcomed here in August 2009, previous ministers, guests at the pulpit, and PPBUUC laity. Please give attribution of name and church if you quote from a sermon in the archive; please contact the office if you wish to use a sermon in its entirety.
During the year we were in search for a new settled minister, our interim co-ministers were Phyllis Hubbell and John Manwell, a husband-wife ministry team. Their ministry concluded in June 2009.
From September 1999 through June 2008, our co-ministers were Jaco B. and Barbara Wells ten Hove, also a husband-wife ministry team. You may note a change in the attribution of authorship of Barbara's sermons: although they married in 1990, Barbara decided to take "ten Hove" as her last name in 2003, moving "Wells" to the middle.
In addition to sermons by settled and interim ministers, the archive includes guest and lay-led services. In particular, it is our tradition that most summer services are organized by the Worship Associates with lay speakers, some of which are represented in the archive.
|Dec 1||What Are You Waiting For? by Guest preacher Seth Fisher, Intern Minister at the UU Church of Annapolis, with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate|
In the midst of Hanukkah celebrations, this year December 1 is the beginning of Advent in the Christian calendar. It is a time of waiting at the coldest and darkest part of the year for Christmas and the winter solstice, with its slow turn back toward longer, warmer days and the coming spring. What exactly is it that we're waiting for? And, how will what we expect influence what we find?
|Nov 24||Lay Down Your Burdens by Rev. Diane Teichert with Bettie Young, Worship Associate, Solo dance by Sharon Werth, Director of the Chalice Dancers|
As we move from autumn to winter and from our “identity” theme to exploring “compassion and justice” as our dual responses to the gift of being alive, we invoke compassion for ourselves, our secrets, fears and fallibilities, even as we strive to do the same for others. Newcomers are invited for informal conversation with the Minister in her office from 11:30 to 12:30.
|Nov 17||Gratitude and Giving: An All-Ages Thanksgiving Celebration by Rev. Diane Teichert, Director of Religious Exploration Dayna Edwards, and Mary Wester, Worship Associate, with the Youth Group, the Choir and the Children’s Choir|
Celebrating the harvest with shared cornbread and cider, and our gratitude with serving and giving, we will also meet the “guests” whose work we support with our Special Collection contributions to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Please bring non-perishables for a nearby food pantry. If you love to bake cornbread, please tell Diane or Dayna!
|Nov 10||Families, Finances, and Faith by Rev. Diane Teichert and Carol Boston, Worship Associate|
From finances to faith formation, American family life has been shifting. Join us to explore what's emerging as religious communities address these new identities. Our veterans of war and of peace will be honored in the service.
|Nov 3||Abriendo Nuestros Puertas, Mentes, y Corazones by Rev. Diane Teichert with Noel Monardes, Worship Associate and the Choir|
We will honor Dia de los Muertos as the service begins, so please (children and adults) bring a photo or memento of a deceased loved one (person or pet) for the ofrenda (altar). The sermon will explore how the culture of our congregation may change as we "open our doors, minds and hearts" to become increasingly engaged with and representative of the nearby communities.
|Oct 27||Archival Reflections: How Moving Images Move Us by Rev. Diane Teichert with Criss Kovac and Polly Pettit, Worship Associate Carol Boston, and Special Music by Keith Miller.|
We will honor Samhain as the service begins, and for the sermon join a film preservationist and a film researcher, both PBUUC members, in an exploration of the ways that moving images shape our experience of history, our identity and our legacy. It is also Signing Sunday – for those who are ready to sign the PBUUC Membership Book, meet the Minister and Board member at the chalice after the service. Starting during Coffee Hour, a Fall Fest, hosted by the Religious Exploration Committee, for one and all!
|Oct 20||A Journey of a Thousand Miles by Guest Preacher Doyle Niemann with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate, and the Choir|
Long-time activist and public servant Doyle Niemann, PBUUC member, will reflect on making Unitarian Universalist principles and values relevant in the real world. The Special Collection will be taken for the PBUUC Tutoring Program.
|Oct 13||Finding Identities in our Founding by Rev. Diane Teichert with Bettie Young, Worship Associate|
Looking back, what can we see in the founding, at this time of year in 1954, of our congregation on the campus of the University of Maryland-College Park as an outgrowth of All Souls, Unitarian in DC and what would we hope to see by our 60th Anniversary? Newcomers are invited for informal conversation with the Minister in her office from 11:30 to 12:30. Deck Party to celebrate the completion of the Deck during Coffee Hour!
|Oct 6||Our Multiple Identities by Rev. Diane Teichert with Ken Redd and Carol Boston, Worship Associates, Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration, the Chalice Dancers and the Choir|
The life and times of Reverend Dr. Anna Pauline "Pauli" Murray, J.S.D. will serve as a guide as we look at the ways in which we all have multiple identities, to at least be acknowledged if not celebrated. This is the 2012 Auction Sermon, won by Carol Carter Walker. A “Reverberations on Race” will take place during Enrichment Hour in the Religious Exploration building.
|Sep 29||A Wider Welcome: Walking the Path of a Trans* Ally by Guest preacher Rev. David Carl Olson, with Worship Associate Ken Redd|
Unitarian Universalist faith creates a community of acceptance where we encourage each other to spiritual growth. This encouragement has individual and social dimensions. The UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland works for legal protections for Trans* (that is, transgender and gender non-conforming) people in the areas of housing, employment, credit and public accommodation. In our congregations, a wider welcome of Trans* individuals may also be about our own transformation.
|Sep 22||So Many Causes by Rev. Diane Teichert with Worship Associates Jonathan Mawdsley and Noel Monardes, and the Choir|
In our faith tradition, the motto "deeds not creeds" is a call to action. Today we'll explore and celebrate how we find grounding and energy for the work of love and justice in our world. Parents of children in Pre-K through 5, please attend the Orientation to Spirit Play during Enrichment Hour – childcare provided.
|Sep 15||So Many Windows by Rev. Diane Teichert with Worship Associates Bettie Young and Mary Wester And Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration|
In our faith tradition, the cathedral image – "many windows, one light" – represents the diversity of the world’s religions. Today we’ll explore and celebrate how we at PBUUC draw from varied sources and differ in our theologies. Plan to stay for the Involvements Fair during Coffee Hour to explore the many ways to participate in PBUUC life!
|Sep 8||The Playful Spirit Of Unitarian Universalism: Ingathering Service for All Ages with Water Communion by Rev. Diane Teichert and Dayna Edwards, Director of Religious Exploration All Worship Associates, the Chalice Dancers, and the Choir|
We rejoice to come together after summer's diversions! Join us to experience a taste of Spirit Play as we unpack Unitarian Universalism before your eyes and ears. Please bring a small amount of water representing your summer's meaningful story (for newcomers or those who forget, pitchers of water will be available). Stay for the Welcome Party for Dayna Edwards after the service!
|Sep 1||Leading From the Heart: A New Vision for Leadership at PBUUC by Michel Léger, Worship Leader, with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate|
Join former Board of Trustees Chair Michel Léger for an inquiry into the heart of leadership. How does leadership change when it proceeds from the heart of who we are and from the heart of the work our church does? When the heart of the individual leader is aligned with the heart of the leadership task, the chances are good that leadership will nurture rather than exhaust the leader and inspire collaboration rather than isolation. In this service, we'll kick off the Church year's Curriculum in Leadership and invite Paint Branchers to come and see what lies at the heart of their own leadership gifts. Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Aug 25||Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain by Quest Discussion Group, Worship Leaders, with John Sebastian, Worship Associate|
The Quest Discussion Group will showcase its reading of "Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain" by David Eagleman. The book describes the extraordinarily rich and varied inner life of subconscious brain processes along with possible implications for topics such as reality vs. perception, the self, free will, and personal responsibility. Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Aug 18||So, How Are You? by Reverend Diane Teichert, Minister, with John Sebastian, Worship Associate|
The query “How are you?” can be mindlessly tossed, wanting no answer but “Fine.” Or it can be tossed like a lifesaver, as in “saying metta” in the Buddhist tradition. Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song. Today is Signing Sunday – those who are ready to join the church are invited to meet the Minister and Board member at the chalice after the postlude.
|Aug 11||Now Let Us Sing—A Hymn Service by Carol Carter Walker, Worship Leader, with Bettie Young, Worship Associate|
We may connect now as Unitarian Universalists, but when we hear certain music—hymns from our childhood-- we start to hum, tap our feet and even sing along. Today, we will enjoy some of your favorites hymns sung, played and performed. Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Aug 4||Fresh from the Garden (of Eden) by Leo Jones, Worship Leader, with Ken Redd, Worship Associate|
The myth of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden has been told for millennia. Yet many important details have been overlooked. How can we make sense of the “real” story, and what does it tell us about human nature? Were Adam and Eve expelled from paradise, or were they set free into a world of wonder and beauty? Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song .
|Jul 28||Beliefs by Lynn Johnson, Worship Leader, with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate|
Mahatma Gandhi said, "Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny." Yet where do our beliefs come from and what is the relationship between our feelings and our beliefs? Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Jul 21||A Celebration Of The Arts by Ken Redd, Worship Leader, with John Sebastian, Worship Associate|
Music, dance, poetry, and other art forms are an important and growing part of worship at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church. Join us as members and friends share their artistic gifts through a variety of poetry, music, dance, and other forms of artistic expression that PBUUC has to offer. Summer Fun for children after the Singaway Song.
|Jul 14||Man-ifestations: The Work Men Do To Inhabit Their Lives In Western Culture by Michel Léger, Worship Leader, with Celinda Marsh, Worship Associate|
Join a veteran of many battles from the margins of "masculinity," as we invite men to speak of their experiences as men, in a culture which defines and rewards us according to what we do and how we wield power, and by how well we bury the rest of who we are. Discovering, honoring, and inhabiting that "rest" is the work men do to become whole. Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Jul 7||Freedom of Choice: Are You Awake by Mary Tyrtle Rooker, Worship Leader, with Ken Redd, Worship Associate|
We think we eat as we do because we choose to do so; but do we? Some experts say that every meal is the result of an invisible belief system that has shaped our thoughts, preferences, feelings, and behaviors. Is such a “food matrix” real? There will be an opportunity to share food and reverberations during Enrichment Hour in the Kelley Room. Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Jun 30||The Race Card Project by Janet Overton, Worship Leader, with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate|
This service is based on The Race Card Project — a National Public Radio-endorsed collection of thousands of individuals’ thoughts on race. The Diversity/Anti-Racism Transformation Team has invited several members and friends to develop cards of their own and share their words, and, what inspired them. See this month's BRANCHES for more information about how you can participate. Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Jun 23||Years in Our Lives, Life in Our Years by Deb Rubenstein, Worship Leader, with Bettie Young, Worship Associate|
Growing older brings opportunities for wisdom and growth, as well as the vulnerability that comes with aging bodies, minds and spirits. Let’s explore the meaning of growing older for ourselves, our community, and our congregation. This is the first Summer Service of the year, with Summer Fun for children, with youth assisting, after the Singaway Song.
|Jun 16||A Day in the Life: the Annual Youth-led Service by The PBUUC Youth Group, with Montana Monardes, Worship Associate|
A day in the life of a PBUUC teenager…in their own words, music, dance, and drama. This is also Signing Sunday, a monthly opportunity to sign the Membership Book for those who have made PBUUC their spiritual home. Children’s Worship with Erica after the Singaway Song for the younger children.
|Jun 9||Exploring: The Year in our Religious Exploration Program by Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, and Rev. Diane Teichert Rev. Diane Teichert, with John Sebastian, Worship Associate, and musical children!|
From cultural traditions and high holidays to the six sources of our UU faith, our children and youth will share "mementos" of the wisdom they have gained with you! We will celebrate our volunteers and experience an exciting preview of the year to come. The Special Collection will be for the Friends of Northwestern High School Choirs. The Annual Congregational Meeting will begin after the service, with refreshments and children’s activities – all are invited!
|Jun 2||Our Six Sources, Musically: The Annual Choir Service by The PBUUC Choir with The Great Noise Ensemble, and Michael Holmes, Guest Conductor David Chapman, Music Director and pianist with Rev. Diane Teichert and Celinda Marsh, Worship Associate|
Our choir with orchestra will perform “Sources: A Unitarian Universalist Cantata,” music by Jason Shelton, words by Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons. It features varied musical genres with story, spoken word and congregational singing. Newcomers are invited to meet for informal Q&A about PBUUC and UUism with the minister after the service, from 11:30-12:30 in her office in the RE Building, child care provided.
|May 26||Freedmen, Transcendentalists, and Decoration Day by Rev. Diane Teichert and Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration with Bettie Young, Worship Associate|
On this Memorial Day Weekend, we will go back in time to its origins. Its intertwining stories reveal the love of country and freedom that may be said to be “true patriotism.” There will be a ceremony of child dedication (for more info see http://www.pbuuc.org/branches/archive/Branches1305.pdf ). After the service, there will be an opportunity to sign the Membership Book for those who have found Paint Branch UU Church to be their spiritual home.
|May 19||Reclaiming Wonder by Rev. Gabriele Parks and Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, With Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate|
As children, we look at the world out of big eyes, surprised and awed by the many wondrous things around us. As adults, we seem to have misplaced this ability; most of us can barely keep up with the daily rat race and the many worries and problems in our lives. How can we reclaim our sense of wonder? For more info see http://www.pbuuc.org/branches/archive/Branches1305.pdf
|May 12||Our Sixth Source: Mother Earth Wisdom by Rev. Diane Teichert, with Ken Redd, Worship Associate|
Reflections on the “spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions and the rhythms of nature” from a Down Under perspective, based on the minister’s travels last summer to Australia where the constellation “Orion” was upside down and the birds were very strange. The Special Collection will be for CROP Hunger Walk (see page Y). Newcomers are invited to meet for informal Q&A about PBUUC and UUism with the minister from 11:30-12:30 in her office in the RE Building.
|May 5||Our Fifth Source: Science and Humanism by Rev. Diane Teichert and Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, With Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate, and the Choir|
We will explore the ways humanism “counsels us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warns us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.” The choir will sing “No Other World” from Jason Shelton’s “Sources: A Unitarian Universalist Cantata.” Our newest Members will be welcomed in a brief ceremony.
|Apr 28||The Annual Dance Service: And So We Dance / Connecting with Our Sources by The Paint Branch Chalice Dancers, Sharon Werth, Director, With the Erika Thimey Dance Company. Rev. Diane Teichert, with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate|
Our Unitarian Universalist tradition draws from many sources which ennoble and enrich our faith. We invite you to join us as we give expression through dance to these diverse sources which unite us as we continue our spiritual journey together. In the words of Maya Angelou, "Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances." We join the Chalice Dancers in celebrating their Twentieth Anniversary this year!
|Apr 21||Who Speaks for Wolf? Annual Earth Day Celebration: All Ages Service by Rev. Diane Teichert and Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, With Montana Monardes, Worship Associate, and the Choir|
Nursery care is provided for the very youngest while children and youth remain in the Meeting House. A tale from the Oneida people teaches us to listen to all voices, including that of nature itself. We will take a Special Collection for EarthJustice. The choir will sing “The Sacred Circle” from Jason Shelton’s “Sources: A Unitarian Universalist Cantata.” Newcomers are invited to meet for informal Q&A about PBUUC and UUism with the minister from 11:30-12:30 in her office in the RE Building.
|Apr 14||World on the Edge Revisited: the Hopeful Picture by Members of the World on the Edge Discussion Group, with John Sebastian, Worship Associate, and guest pianist Audrey Andrist|
In this follow-up to last year's "World on the Edge" service on climate change, we'll celebrate progress, share the hopeful picture, and offer ideas for next steps. During the social hour after the service, there will be a number of tables where people can take action, and a "Reverberations" discussion of the service will take place during Enrichment Hour.
|Apr 7||Church in the Social Media Age by Rev. Diane Teichert and Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, with Celinda Marsh, Worship Associate|
Even the Pope tweets! Join us for fun, as well as serious, explorations of the opportunities and limits of being a Beloved Community in the internet era. Today is Signing Sunday – those who are ready to join the church are invited to meet the Minister and Board member at the chalice after the postlude.
|Mar 31||Small Pass-Overs, Little Resurrections by Rev. Diane Teichert with Ken Redd, Worship Associate, and the Choir|
In the week of Passover, comes Easter. While these observances tell tales of mythic proportions, the lives we actually live contain fragments worth praising. The choir will perform "On Wings of Praise," the fourth movement of Jason Sheltonï's Sources: A Unitarian Universalist Cantata. After the service, the annual Easter Egg Hunt! All middle and high school youth are invited to help set it up. All children are invited to participate and all adults are invited to watch!
|Mar 24||Life isn't ... Life Is by The Worship Associate Team presents its 2013 Auction Service won by Paul Young, With Music by Montana Monardes, Youth Worship Associate|
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." Through sharing and silent meditation, we will explore how this quotation from George Bernard Shaw applies to our lives. The monthly Special Collection will be taken today for scholarships for the UU Middle Atlantic Conference.
|Mar 17||The History of the Universe from the Beginning to the End by Dr. John C. Mather, Senior Project Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, With Rev. Diane Teichert and John Sebastian, Worship Associate, and the Choir|
Our guest speaker received the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics with George Smoot for their work that confirmed the Big Bang theory about the beginning of the universe, but what do they know about its end? An opportunity for discussion with Dr. Mather will take place during Enrichment Hour in the Kelley Room. This is Signing Sunday – those who are ready to sign the PBUUC Membership Book, please meet the Minister and Trustee at the Chalice after the service.
|Mar 10||A Crazy Quilt Religion by Guest Ministers Revs. Barbara and Jaco ten Hove, Rev. Diane Teichert with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate, And Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration, and the Chalice Dancers|
Unitarian Universalism may be compared to a crazy quilt, embodied by the one Paint Branchers made for the ten Hoves as a parting gift at the end of their nine-year co-ministry here in 2008. Our former ministers will share their understanding of UU theology by exploring this creative image. The Board of Trustees will host a reception in their honor after the service.
|Mar 3||Abriendo Puertas Nuevas - Opening New Doors by Rev. Diane Teichert with Bettie Young, Worship Associate, Sherry Mitchell, 2013 Stewardship Chair, the Choir and the Chalice Dancers|
In the current American religious landscape, Unitarian Universalism is emerging as the likeliest faith-place for the many who answer “none” when asked their religion. Are we ready? Today newcomers are invited for informal conversation with the Minister in her office, 11:30 to 12:30.
|Feb 24||The Greatest Moral Issue of Our Time by Guest Preacher Rev. Dr. Terry Ellen with Celinda Marsh, Worship Associate; Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration; Four Flutists with Deni Foster on the Piano|
How do the effects of the climate crisis - those already upon us and those more dire ones coming the more we delay - make an imperative moral claim upon us all? The monthly Special Collection will be taken today for Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice. (see biography in the February issue of BRANCHES)
|Feb 17||Our Third Source: the World’s Religions by Rev. Diane Teichert and Ken Redd, Worship Associate, and the Choir|
How do we Unitarian Universalists authentically draw meaning from the world’s religions to inspire us ethically and spiritually? This is one of a series of sermons exploring the Six Sources of UUism. Following the service, please stay for the Congregational Meeting featuring the latest on our Site Improvement plans, and more!
|Feb 10||Heart, Mind, Soul by Rev. Diane Teichert with Jonathan Mawdsley, Worship Associate, And Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration|
One of the most hidden of the many kinds of diversities among us as a congregation and society is in the arena of “mental health.” What does our PBUUC hospitality in this regard mean for us as individuals and as a “Community” wanting to be “Beloved”? This is Signing Sunday – those who are ready to sign the PBUUC Membership Book, please meet the Minister and Board member at the chalice after the service.
|Feb 3||When Living "Right," Isn’t by Guest Preacher Rev. Aaron McEmrys with Carol Carter Walker, Worship Associate And the Choir singing an Auction Song won by Carol Carter Walker|
"Effective. Efficient. Accomplished." If you wake up at 3am, and realize these words are no longer enough for you, then it’s time to practice living whole-heartedly. Come find out how.
|Jan 27||I Dream a World by Guest Preacher Rev. John Crestwell with John Sebastian, Worship Associate and Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration|
This poem by the late poet Langston Hughes describes a world "where greed no longer saps the soul...where love will bless the earth and peace its path adorn..." Such beautiful words, but how do we get to this beloved community he describes? asks Rev. Crestwell. The monthly Special Collection will be taken today for Housing Initiative Partnership.
|Jan 20||Names So American: Guns and Race by Rev. Diane Teichert and Ken Redd, Worship Associate, and the Choir|
Today we honor the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was killed by a gunman. About a month has passed since the mass murders by gunshot in a Connecticut elementary school, causing a collective wail among us and raising the question of gun control yet again. Today newcomers are invited for informal conversation with the Minister in her office from 11:30 to 12:30.
|Jan 13||Palace in Time by Rev. Diane Teichert with Montana Monardes, Worship Associate, And Erica Shadowsong, Director of Religious Exploration|
The great 20th century Rabbi Abraham Heschel described the Sabbath as a "palace in time." How would it change our lives to reside in that palace for a day each week, as the Ten Commandments instruct? An extraordinary Special Collection will be taken for those still without homes due to Hurricane Sandy. This is also Signing Sunday – those who are ready to sign the PBUUC Membership Book, please meet the Minister and Board member at the chalice after the service.
|Jan 6||Love and Loyalty: A Wedding Celebration! by Rev. Diane Teichert with Bettie Young, Worship Associate|
On the Sunday following 1/1/2013, the first day on which it is legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed, we will celebrate, reflect on the nature of enduring intimate relationships, and honor the life-time commitments of all couples - gay and straight, newly-wed or long-time, even those who by death have been parted. Following the service, there will be a "wedding reception" complete with wedding cake! Feel free to dress up!