Our Sunday Services are held at our beautiful UU Center, at the corner of Pomona Road and Liebig Street in Galloway, near the North entrance to Richard Stockton University.

Directions and a map.

Sunday Services start at 10:00 am and last until about 11:00 am.
Child care for infants and toddlers and programs for pre-K and school-aged children are provided.
A coffee hour for socializing follows the service, with coffee, bagels and other refreshments including peanut-free and gluten-free options.

This Month…

May 7

The Chosen Minister
Rev. John Marsh

We make a big deal about our congregations each choosing their own minister, and so we should. It is sometimes compared with the search for a spouse. One of the similarities is that while there is a big day of choosing, and a special ceremony that follows, the choosing still needs to be redone again and again.

May 14

Motherhood is Messy
Candidate for Ministry Rev. Dawn Fortune

Mother’s Day is a complex holiday. People have been parenting and mothering imperfectly for thousands of years. Let’s take a look at some of the ways motherhood is defined and celebrated, and examine some of the myths and expectations that make this one of the most poignant days on the calendar.

May 21

Are You Being Served?
Candidate for Ministry Rev. Dawn Fortune

With apologies to classic British sitcom creators, this service will examine some of the things we do and why we do them. How many of the things we do each day do we do out of habit? What things do we do out of obligation? What things do we do that no longer work but we keep doing them?

May 28

Flower Communion and Other International Blessings
Rev. John Marsh

Everyone is invited to bring a flower to the service. Together we will create a fantastic bouquet and then everyone will be invited to take a flower different than the one they brought. We will tell the story of the first Flower Communion and consider other stories of international blessings.


Previously…

April 2

Inspiration from General Assembly
Lay speakers Stephanie & Aaron Thomas and Melissa Hutchison

Every year representatives from Congregations all over the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) gather to learn, conduct business, sing, and be joyous together. It happens in June, and this year it will happen in New Orleans. Some of those who attended last year will speak of their experiences.

April 9

Palm Sunday
Rev. John Marsh

Palm Sunday remembers a day on which a population puts reason aside and goes crazy over a charismatic leader. Within a week the crowd will turn on the savior as the cause of all of their problems. For many Unitarian Universalists, it is an invitation to look within.

Friday, April 14
7 pm

Good Friday Service
Rev. John Marsh and others

Ours is an optimistic faith. This is a service that requires us to acknowledge some hard truths. Not all that wounds us makes us stronger. Sometimes there is nothing redemptive about suffering. We will remember stories of crucifixions both ancient and modern.

April 16

Easter Celebration
Rev. John Marsh

We will look at some parallels between the story of Harry Potter and the Christian Gospels, celebrate some good news, and sing songs of rejoicing. Wearing of Easter bonnets is encouraged — regardless of gender.

April 23

Earth Day
Rev. John Marsh and others

We will celebrate spring and the earth, talk about some of the threats to the Pinelands, and recommit ourselves to living gently as part of the natural world.

April 30

Inherent Worth and Sanity
Lay speaker Matt Honig

What is a mental disorder? What is the state of the mental health system? Why should we care? All of these are complicated questions, but the answers to some (and more) will be answered in a sermon getting us ready for May’s Mental Health Month. (Please note that this sermon will briefly discuss suicide.)


March 5

UUs Got Talent, or The Sermon on the Amount
Rev. John Marsh

This Sunday morning’s service will be the kick-off for the Congregation’s annual Stewardship Campaign. It will feature a story told by Jesus, another told by Shakespeare, and quotes from Benjamin Franklin. It will be all that, and either a cherry on top or a side of gravy (whichever you prefer). Don’t miss it.

March 12

U.N. Sunday
Guest speaker Bruce Knotts

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office’s director, Bruce Knotts, will make a case for balanced emphasis on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity (caring for others). He will delve into issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and international relations, income inequality, and the influences of money, power, privilege , and the military-industrial complex in our society. You will be heartened to learn of the work and influence of Unitarian Universalists on the world stage, especially at the United Nations.

March 19

A Fool for the Web
Rev. John Marsh

Our faith calls us to use reason, and it also calls us to sometimes do more than can be reasonably expected.

March 26

Welcome as a Spiritual Practice
Guest Speaker Zr. Alex Kapitan

Think you know what it means to be a Welcoming Congregation? Think again! Guest speaker Zr. Alex Kapitan, former manager of the Welcoming Congregation Program for the UUA, will deliver a sermon in honor of the National Weekend of Prayer for Transgender Justice that will push us to take our welcome to the next level. In today’s political climate, it is more vital than ever for us to work to create safety, inclusion, and justice for people of all genders and sexualities – both inside and outside our congregational walls.
A workshop on transgender identity, inclusion, and justice will follow the service.


February 5

Too High a Spirit
Rev. John Marsh

“Too High a Spirit to be Encumbered by Old Nonsense” — These words by Ralph Waldo Emerson describe his thoughts about his own past as well as external hindrances. We’ll consider his friendships, his thoughts on solitude, and his support for John Brown.

February 12

Love: In Anticipation of Valentine’s Day
Rev. John Marsh

Rev Marsh will talk about Love.

February 19

After the Ball is Over
Rev. John Marsh

Some post-Valentine’s reflections.

February 26

I’ve Seen Fire & I’ve Seen Rain
Lay speaker Bud Smith

Mining the origins of the Pentecostal Revival for Purpose & Perspective.
Something happened in an old warehouse on Azusa Street in Los Angeles just after the turn of the 20th century. A religious meeting quickly became transformed into a movement, then into a worldwide phenomenon. Why did these people come? What did they want? And when they looked at their world, what did they see? All that memorializes this spot today is a small sidewalk plaque outside a Korean grocery store. But the questions remain and seem as pertinent as ever.


January 1, 2017

Let It Burn, Let It Go
Lay speaker Theresa McReynolds

"The purpose of a new year, is not that we should have a new year, but that we should have new eyes and new ears." – William Dean Howells
Theresa will invite us to share in a Burning Bowl Ceremony, a way to let go of the old year and invite in what you desire for the new year. It is a way to create space for new magic, new opportunities and new miracles.

January 8, 2017

Playing Well With Others
Rev. John Marsh

William J. Barber, in his book The Third Reconstruction talks about a fusion of political groups, religious groups, labor groups and others working together to support a common set of values and a common set of goals. This gives us the opportunity not only to be more effective, but also to expand our souls.

January 15, 2017

Martin Luther King Sunday
Rev. John Marsh
With special music by our Choir

King said he aspired to be a "drum major for justice." We might think of a drum major as a solitary figure. However, a drum major must be fused with the rest of the marching band. The reality is that the drum major is anything but a solitary figure. Let’s revisit some of the history and receive some of the inspiration.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer

OPEN HOUSE: People are invited into the sanctuary for silent meditation and quiet conversation between 11 am and 6 pm.
At 6 pm there will be a service.

January 22, 2017

Wisdom and Where To Find It
Lay speaker Richard Grzywinski

Where do you go to find guidance when confronting moral or ethical dilemmas, or for help in dealing with the everyday emotional and spiritual challenges of modern life? Does having all the right answers accurately describe wisdom? Have you tried fortune cookies, Dr Oz, astrology, religious texts, the Magic 8-Ball, Poor Richard’s Almanack, the writings on subway walls, your brother-in-law, or your Greek friend Sophia (I may need to explain that last one), all to no avail? Maybe there’s a better way. We’ve invited someone to our service today who can give you all the answers you need. Can you guess who?

January 29, 2017

What’s Said in Baltimore…
Rev. John Marsh

What’s said in Baltimore… gets talked about everywhere, at least, so it seemed after William Ellery Channing gave a sermon there in 1819. Some might say he went looking for trouble, and he found us.


December 4, 2016

The Battle for Christmas
Rev. John Marsh

Take Away Message: Traditions evolve over time. However, just as a small group of fashion designers decide what these year’s colors will be, there have always been some to set the tone. When I served as a minister in San Francisco I married many young couples. One my pre-marital counseling questions was: “How will you spend your first Christmas?” It was really a question about “How are you going to resolve arguments?”

December 11, 2016

Nostalgia
Rev. John Marsh

Nostalgia is a powerful force in all of our lives. It has been associated with suicidal depression, as well as providing wellsprings of deep joy. Some beings seem to get along fine without it (Socrates, Dr. Spock). If you are one of them, perhaps this sermon will help you understand the rest of us. If you are one of the rest of us, perhaps this will help you follow Socrates’ dictum, the unexamined life is not worth taking a champagne bath in.

December 18, 2016

Winter Solstice
Rev. John Marsh and others

A celebration of the Season with Music and Poetry.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 6:30 pm

Winter Solstice Singing Ritual

We will celebrate the return of the Light which occurs after the Winter Solstice with songs and stories. The singing will include music from calypso, Western choral singing, Native American texts, Greek mythology, feminist rounds, Pagan chants, and even an old American hymn.
The ritual runs about 75 minutes.

Saturday, December 24, 2016 6 pm

Christmas Eve
All Ages Welcome!

We will deck the halls, light the candles, tell the story, sing the carols, offer gifts from our wealth to help those in need, hear a message of glad tidings, and offer our silent prayers.

December 25, 2016

Christmas Day
No Service

We wish everyone comfort and joy!


November 6, 2016

Revealing the Sacred: The Enduring Bonds of Kin
Special Guest Speaker Rev. Rebekah Montgomery

As we reflect on community and how we come together, we often turn to how family of choice and family of blood relates to our spiritual lives. This sermon explores our chosen bonds as a source of personal theology and a way to live out our chosen faith.

November 13, 2016

What Have We Done?
Rev. John Marsh and everyone

On this Sunday after the election you are invited to reflect together on the significance of this moment. Rev. Marsh will offer a brief homily and there will be time for shared reflections

November 20, 2016

A Song of Thanksgiving
Rev. John Marsh

Thanksgiving is a civic holiday, a religious holiday, and an attitude of gratitude. For some that attitude comes naturally, for others it requires some training.

November 27, 2016

YouTubePlayButton“What?!? Are You Crazy Or What?”
Lay speaker Richard Grzywinski

Aristotle reportedly observed that “no great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” Do our observations of the behavior of others as being “different” or “abnormal” too easily morph into judgments on their sanity, and perhaps further into hate or distrust? As Henry David Thoreau advised, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.” So let’s think about this and recall some of the great minds in the arts whose madness brought them notoriety and ask, should we culture a little bit of madness within ourselves?


October 2, 2016

Putting Our Best Foot Forward: Why We Take Positions on Matters of Social Import
Rev. John Marsh

Taking stands on social issues can divide us against ourselves, can seem to run against what we say about the importance of the individual conscience, can seem like people are playing at being holier than thou rather than promoting effective social change. Here’s why we need to do it anyway.

October 9, 2016

Days of Awe
Rev. John Marsh

Lessons for Unitarian Universalists from the celebration of the Jewish New Year.

October 16, 2016

Let’s Be Perfect! Utopian Visions, Part I
Rev. John Marsh

North America was and is awash with attempts to form the perfect society. Boston was to be “a city on a hill.” Philadelphia was William Penn’s “holy experiment.” The state of Georgia was started as an experiment to have a society free of slavery at a time when slavery was still allowed in the other 13 colonies. There were numerous 19th century experiments in communal living — several that were led by Unitarians and Universalists. What can we learn from their enthusiasm?

October 23, 2016

YouTubePlayButtonThe Long Loneliness and the Harsh and Dreadful Love
Lay speaker James Gentile

A celebration of the legacy of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement.
Dorothy Day was a journalist, social activist, and a convert to Catholicism. She taught the Berrigan brothers about non-violent resistance, and believed it was just as important to feed the poor as it was to get arrested for protesting nuclear weapons. Popes loved her. Bishops, not so much.

October 30, 2016

What Did We Learn? Utopian Visions, Part II
Rev. John Marsh

Some utopian experiments came to abrupt ends (remember the one with the Kool-Aid?). Some stories feature villains who betrayed the ideals of community for their own material gain. Other communities flourished for a time, diminished, and then reformed themselves, becoming more like a company town.


September 4, 2016

YouTubePlayButtonLabor and Justice
Lay speaker Kit Marlowe

Our work and employment determines much about our health and social happiness. UUs strive for fairness in spiritual, political, and economic relationships, and labor unions can give workers enough power to negotiate a fair deal. Here’s to a better understanding of economic justice.

September 11, 2016

Living Waters
Interim Minister Rev. John Marsh

Everyone is invited to bring some water from a source that gives meaning and hope. We will celebrate the beginning of a new Congregational Year, with a new minister, a new Board, and a renewed Search Committee. We will acknowledge the anniversary of a tragic event for our nation, and we will hear a story about living waters that gave hope to a woman in search of stability. Everyone is invited to stay for a picnic directly after the service.

September 18, 2016

The Pursuit of Happiness
Interim Minister Rev. John Marsh

Ours is one of the few governments that gives helping to make its citizens happy as a reason for its existence. How is that working out for you? How much can we reasonably expect from government in the happiness department? How much from our religious community? How much from ourselves?

September 25, 2016

Blind Spots and Brain Bugs: Roadblocks to Social Justice
Lay speaker Michael Cluff

Nobody ever said fighting for social justice was easy. Michael will explore the mindsets that block progress, both in our rivals and in ourselves.


August 7, 2016

Perspectives on Mindfulness Meditation
Lay speaker Bud Smith

A 2010 Harvard study found that people spend 47% of their days thinking about things other than what they’re actually doing. The busyness of life, anxiety about the future and regrets from the past are all currents that can move us from the present. As Sam Harris remarked, “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.” Mindfulness meditation can be described as an exercise that allows us stay in the present moment. This simple practice can reduce stress, promote social and emotional regulation, and allow us to live in the wonder of “now.”

August 14, 2016

What is This Thing Called Guilt
Lay speaker Stephanie Garrett

Thoughts on where it comes from, its purpose and how to move on. This is a personal reflection with input from friends across cultural/racial and religious lines. An assignment given to me three years ago by a UU minister to help me “get over it” has taken this long to put into words.

August 21, 2016

Books as a Path to the Sacred
Interim Minister Rev. John Marsh

Summer seems like a good time to consider the role that books play in our spiritual lives.

August 28, 2016

YouTubePlayButtonWomen: The Struggle Toward Rights Equality
Presented by the Women of the Margaret Fuller Circle

Sit with us as we hear the voices of 4 women in United States history sharing their stories about life, family, and their concerns regarding women’s rights.


July 3, 2016

YouTubePlayButtonA Community of Reverence
Lay speaker Richard Grzywinski

Our Unitarian Universalist faith is manifested in the satisfying sense of community and friendship it inspires. But does that relationship extend into “reverence?” And should it? As many of us left our previous faith did we leave a vexing hole where reverence once resided? Do we fear reverential behavior to each other, our UU home, our UU services and rituals, and, for that matter, to all existence as somehow signifying the abandonment of reason and critical thinking? Would we be treading perilously close to “religiosity” or godliness? How can we develop a more profound relationship to the “all,” encompassing wonder, devotion, charity, deep respect, and affection, i.e., reverence? Let’s explore these questions and more.
We’ll finish with one simple exercise – you may be surprised at the result… I was.

July 10, 2016

Poetry Party
Coordinator Theresa McReynolds

“Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry.”
— Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)
Join us for one of our community’s favorite services — sharing, feeling, contemplating the spoken word.

July 17, 2016

Everyday Spirituality
Coordinator Erica Onofrio

How can one incorporate a spiritual practice into your everyday life?
Erica and others from the Everyday Spiritual Practice study group, including Marsha Hannah, Helene Gentile, Kathryn Kelley, and Karen York, will have suggestions and share their experiences

July 24, 2016

YouTubePlayButtonThe DUUdes Abide
Presented by the UUCSJS Men’s Group

The UUCSJS Men’s Group (aka “dUUdes”) have met for years, leaving a (litter-free) trail of beer, wings, and veggie meatballs from here to Murray Grove. In the midst of such debauchery, they have created an accepting environment bypassing the restrictive cultural expectations of masculinity. We will investigate how these dUUdes abide.

July 31, 2016

Family Promise
Guest speaker Barb Sabath

Barbara Sabath, the leader of Family Promise of Atlantic County, will give a background on the current state of homelessness in our part of the state.


June 5, 2016

PRIDE Sunday
Rev. Cynthia Cain and Guest Speaker Travis Love

Rev. Cain & Mr. Love, an Atlantic City poet, dancer, and activist, will discuss LGBTQ issues, with a focus upon youth/young adults, current backlash, and issues of intersectionality. Don’t miss!

June 12, 2016

Optimism, and Its Discontents
Lay speaker Jon Luoma

One hundred years ago, some of our Unitarian ancestors saw a future of only “progress… onward and upward forever.” A century — and world wars and inhumanity and environmental degradation — later, have we become too pessimistic? Today, a message of hope, with evidence!, and a few words from Monty Python.

June 19, 2016

There’s No Place Like Home
Heidi Jannsch, Melissa Hutchison, Debbi Dagavarian and the Teen Class

Join us for this intergenerational, family-friendly service as we bid a fond farewell to Reverend Cynthia. We will celebrate Reverend Cain’s two years with us with music, reflections, and Wizard of Oz themed surprises.

June 26, 2016

Commies in the Catskills: The Story of Camp Woodland
Guest speaker Pat Lamanna

Camp Woodland was a left-wing summer camp in Phoenicia, NY which flourished from 1939-1962. In addition to being known for collecting the folk songs of the Catskill region (and the place where Pete Seeger learned “Guantanamera”), it taught the children who attended (Pat included) a set of values and ideals which are nicely summed up in our own Seven Principles.


May 1, 2016

Justice and Income Inequality
Lay speaker Kit Marlowe

Our second principle calls for “justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.” Inequality in both wealth and income moves the USA further from this goal every year. Between 1979 and 2012, the richest 0.01% saw their incomes increase 467%. The poorest fifth saw a decrease in real income of 12.1%. Member Kit Marlowe will describe how federal and state policies “rig the game” so that the rich get richer. He will discuss ways that UUs can advocate for an economy that affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

May 8, 2016

Taking a Different Road
Guest speaker Mike Holliday

Mike Holliday is a Singer-Songwriter from Pottstown PA. He has taken his music and message from Pennsylvania to Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and points in between. He will share how “Taking a Different Road” has given him a voice.

May 15, 2016

Time of Your Life
Rev. Cynthia Cain

“Time is everything. So what does it mean if you have none?” More than anything, the bane of UU institutional existence is the lack of time people seem to have for both the tasks and the community building parts of shared ministry. I worry about that. Do you?

May 22, 2016

Come to the Table
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We’ll be using the metaphor of food (as well as actual food) to talk about key concepts of how community works (and does not work). How will you go forward? What is your mission? How do you honor each new person, their talents and skills and passion, while keeping the ship on course.

May 29, 2016

WICKED!
Rev. Cynthia Cain

A take on the Wizard of Oz classic, which, it turns out, lends itself beautifully to UU interpretation and metaphors about community.


April 3, 2016

A Spiritual “OPEN MIC”

What piece of music, literary quote, or poetry has moved, inspired, or sustained you? What keeps you focused, centered, keeps you coming back to the world as a liberal person, ready to take on another day? All are invited to share, your own or another’s creation, but you must sign up, and there will be time limits!

April 10, 2016

YOUR SHARED MINISTRY, PART I: Freedom of the Pulpit/Freedom of the Pew
Rev. Cynthia Cain

As you move toward what we all hope will be a called minister, I will be talking with you about your part in the ministry of the congregation. Today we explore these two doctrines, foundational to our faith, but often misunderstood. Come, and be enlightened!

April 17, 2016

Transformative Poetry
Lay speaker Jack Miller

Poet Adrienne Rich called poetry “the moment of change.” Jack Miller will reflect on how poetry can capture an insight, and how that insight can lead to change.

April 24, 2016

YOUR SHARED MINISTRY, PART II: Cultural Creatives
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Are you a “cultural creative?” Learn how this new way of looking at life and the world can help you redesign the way you interact with your own destiny, and most important, the way you as a congregation have a great deal more freedom about your own future than you may believe.


March 6, 2016

Water, Justice, and Black Lives
Guest speaker Lena Smith

Ms. Smith, the Regional Organizer for Food & Water Watch, will talk about how Water and Environmental Justice affects Black Lives… even right now, as Atlantic City could potentially become another Flint, Michigan. Does our dedication to environmental justice extend to those outside our own walls?

March 13, 2016

Spirals
Rev. Cynthia Cain

This archetypal symbol can tell us a great deal about our own inner landscapes, our desires, and even our fears. “We live in a spiral-shaped galaxy,” writes Margaret Wheatley, in reference to Chaos Theory. Spirals: they apply to congregations as well as to individuals.

March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday & Choosing Life: A Look at Plath & Sarton
Rev. Cynthia Cain

May Sarton and Sylvia Plath, two poets who were also UUs, had very different lives. Through their poetry and the theology of sacrifice that often accompanies the Easter story, we will consider life & death.

March 27, 2016

EASTER SUNDAY – A Celebration of Renewal
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We celebrate renewal in Words, in Music, and in Community.


February 7, 2016

Congregational Challenges of Calling a Minister
Lay speakers Jim Gentile, Marsha Hannah, Paul Utts
from the Ministerial Search Committee

The worship theme this year is “Change.” As our Congregation anticipates calling a Minister later this year, the Ministerial Search Committee presents a service to contemplate the congregational, relational, and stewardship challenges now placed before the Congregation.

February 14, 2016

Changing the Way We Look at Love
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Our language is the only one that has but a single word for “love.” There are so many other ways to think about love, and to broaden our conversation about who we are as people of faith, especially when we, as Unitarian Universalists talk so much about Standing on the Side of Love. What do we mean, exactly? Can “love” be every bit as fuzzy a word as God?

February 21, 2016

A Blues Praxis
Rev. Cynthia Cain

What can we learn from the blues about living, loving, and about the life of a community of faith? Quite a bit, I will argue. From Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters, the lessons abound.

February 28, 2016

Beloved Conversations Revisited
Rev. Cynthia Cain, Barbara Miller, Heidi Jannsch

Over thirty members of our congregation have engaged in meaningful conversations about racism, white privilege, and the issues surrounding the African American community today.
In this service, we’ll be hearing from some of these folks. Come and be enlightened!


January 3, 2016

Peaceful Dissent As a Spiritual Path
Lay speaker Deb Dagavarian

What are the ways in which marches and rallies for social justice offer spiritual gratification?

January 10, 2016

Beyond Categorical Thinking
Guest speaker Carol Carter Walker and the Ministerial Search Committee

Try this: close your eyes and imagine a minister. Was it a person of a particular gender, race, or age?
Without becoming aware of our preconceptions and biases, we could potentially
overlook the person who would be the best match for us.
Beyond Categorical Thinking is a program designed to promote inclusive thinking
and help prevent unfair discrimination in the search process for a new minister.

January 17, 2016

New Year REVOLUTIONS
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Let’s forget the old tired resolutions we never keep.
What do we need to stand up FOR and stand AGAINST, starting today, and HOW do we do it?

January 24, 2016

The Geese Are Flying Low
Rev. Cynthia Cain

A look at mental illness and how we as UUs can normalize our conversations around it.

January 31, 2016

Let Us Pray (Please?)
Rev. Cynthia Cain

I think we all know by now that prayer is good for your health.
So… how can UUs, with our theologies, and lack thereof, all over the map, agree on a way to pray?
A good conversation for a congregation in search!

 

2015

December 6, 2015

When Holiday “Cheer” Isn’t: A Look at Addictions Today
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Addiction is actually something that affects every one of us. In Buddhism, tanha — or “grasping,” “thirst,” “desire” — is that which brings suffering. We talk about alcoholism and drug addiction, even food or gambling as if they are “diseases” and these people are separate from the rest of us, yet in reality, we all suffer from desire, and it is somewhere along the continuum that addiction begins to destroy lives. As we head into the winter months, and the holiday seasons, a sober and spiritual look at this universal problem.

December 13, 2015

Beloved Conversations
Rev. Cain, Heidi Jannsch, Barbara Miller

Since we have posted our Black Lives Matter sign, we’ve done a great deal of outreach in the community. “Beloved Conversations” is inreach — talking with one another about the challenges and rewards of recognizing and overcoming White Privilege. Please attend on this day, and become part of a project that will last until Valentines Day!

December 20, 2015

Science of Christmas
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Today will be a fun and lighthearted look at holiday traditions and how they began, and a celebration of how science, math, and even physics play a part in the ways we celebrate this festive time of year. Come, enjoy, and be merry!

December 24, 2015 – 5:30 pm

Traditional Christmas Eve for All Ages
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Carols, readings, and the traditional stories of Christmas. Bring the relatives! The service will be one hour or less… no sermon! A beautiful way to pause and honor the season of Peace and Joy.

December 27, 2015

Book of Questions
Lay leaders Helene Gentile and Margaret Rea

Come join us for an informal service where we ponder the answers to questions both lighthearted and profound.


November 1, 2015

Tending Your Soul
Rev. Cynthia Cain

In times of turmoil, we may forget to nurture our own spirit. Then, we lose heart, become discouraged, and are really no good for helping other or healing the whole. Today is All Souls Day, so let’s talk about how we tend our souls.

November 8, 2015

YouTubePlayButtonLiving With Death
Lay speaker Jack Miller

When was the last time you sat down and had a nice chat about death?

November 15, 2015

Hike Your Own Hike
Lay speaker Colin Hutchison

Walking a footpath from Georgia to Maine is a great way to see the country and remove the boundaries that separate yourself from the forces of nature and other people. These tales from the trail are unique moments in my life that changed my perception of the world.

November 22, 2015

How Gratitude Changes Everything
Rev. Cynthia Cain

When we learn to modify our expectations of the world and to live with wonder, appreciation, and curiosity, immense change can occur. This is true not only of us as individuals, but of systems, organizations, and entire societies. Worth a try?

November 29, 2015

Songs for the Journey
Music Director Barbara Miller

Some of your favorite (and some new) UUCSJS musicians will share songs that
have played a role in their lives and tell the stories behind the music.
Asked to choose a soundtrack for the movie of your life, what would you choose?


October 4, 2015

The Changing of Hearts and Minds: How Columbus Day Became Indigenous People’s Day, and Other Signs That Life is Evolving
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Where and when did this notion arise? Clearly, it was a strategy that was employed by those who have used non-violent resistance. As we look at the gradual evolution of the understanding of “Columbus Day,” let us wonder together about whose hearts and minds can be changed, and whether or not we ought to try.

October 11, 2015

Coming Out Sunday
Rev. Cynthia Cain

This is a time to talk about how our work for LGBT justice and inclusion has changed, what is happening now, and to celebrate the lives, loves and mourn the losses of Queer folk everywhere. With ritual, story, and song, we come together, and come out, as allies and as community.

October 18, 2015

You Can Make A Difference
Guest speaker Guy Forcone

You can make a difference in an abused or neglected child’s life. But if that is not your calling, you can make a difference in some way in your own corner of the world.

October 25, 2015

Compassion: Can We Care Too Much?
Rev. Cynthia Cain

In our global society (a mixture of those who HAVE, and those who HAVE NOT, compounded by an instantaneous media machine), we are saturated daily with the pain and angst of others. According to the American Institute of Stress, while “…we have not been directly exposed to these traumas… we hear the story told with such intensity, or we hear similar stories so often … [that] …we suffer.” Unfortunately, that which makes us human -– compassion — can also hurt us. Let’s talk about caring for others, while practicing self-care.


September 6, 2015

Singing Our Sources
Lay speaker Barbara Miller, UUCSJS Music Director

Most Unitarian Universalists are aware of our Seven Principles. For many of us, the Principles are what first drew us to this faith. On the first Sunday in September we will explore the lesser known Six Sources of our living tradition through songs in Singing the Journey, affectionately known as the “teal hymnal.”

September 13, 2015

Water Gathering
Rev. Cynthia Cain

The annual water “communion” is a ritual held each fall, in which UUCSJS members bring a small vial of water, collected during summer outings or travels, to pour into a shared container. Always a joyful, musical, and delightful time of re-connecting.

September 20, 2015

The Search
Rev. Cynthia Cain and the Ministerial Search Committee

Rev. Cain and the “MSC” (Ministerial Search Committee) will present a service that helps you understand the nature of ministry, the different kinds of ministers, and the process of selecting one, so that as you travel through this year of change, you can be an informed and engaged participant.

September 27, 2015

The Turning
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Rosh Hashanah will have just passed, but at this time of year, in the Jewish calendar, these are the High Holy Days. The time of turning, the act of forgiveness, and the renewal of vows are some of the most valuable, and most difficult practices we undertake in life. And yet, if we are to go forward, we are obligated to do them.


August 2, 2015

Race, Religion, Sex, Politics… Deeds, Not Creeds, is Our Challenge
Lay speaker Stephanie Garrett

A brief historical overview of this society, where we are today, and what role we as UUs should play for positive change.

August 9, 2015

The Gospel of Thomas (Merton)
Rev. Cynthia Cain

This summer I have delved further into Merton’s late writing on race and war. Some feel he was assassinated for these radical thoughts. I had a chance to take part in discussions of his writings on violence and faith, and to compare his prescient thoughts with our most talked about black intellectuals today. I will try to cohere some of this into useful form for day-to-day UU life and being.

August 16, 2015

Journey Toward Wholeness
Lay speaker Karen York

Karen shares her experience with a Courage & Renewal® retreat series based on the work of Quaker author and educator, Parker Palmer. The retreat series explored the issues of life purpose, vocation, transition, and how to live with integrity and authenticity in alignment with our deepest values.

August 23, 2015

CHANGE: Can We Take It?
Rev. Cynthia Cain

This year’s theme. Actually CHANGE is the theme of every year, whether we like it or not. What is ours to control is how we respond to it, and that alone is a spiritual task.

August 30, 2015

Swimming Lessons
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Probably the most important quality for spiritual transformation (change) is TRUST. Is trust something we can learn? Using swimming lessons as a metaphor, we will go into the places we sometimes avoid… the parts of us that resist change and growth, because we fear and feel resistance, because we lack the ability to TRUST. Come, listen & learn.

We will be joined this Sunday by AC community organizer Mr. Kaleem Shabazz and others from the African American and interfaith communities, who stand with us in solidarity. Please come and welcome our new friends!


July 5, 2015

Wherever You Go, There You Are
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We will pause today, and consider the notion of “vacation” and vocation. In many ways, I know I am blessed. I chose (was “called”) a vocation that seamlessly fills my life, so I actually never think of it as “going to work.” Most people have a more well-defined demarcation between work and play. But when we take time “off,” as most of us do in summer, just what are we vacating? And what is it we are meant to do with our time, while away, and when we “return?” We will consider these as theological queries.

July 12, 2015

The Golden Rule as Personal Foreign Policy: Reclaiming the Story of Watkuweis
Lay speaker Bud Smith

With laws on the books such as Stand Your Ground, we’ve entered a period where we “do unto others before they have a chance to do unto us.” Is the Golden Rule too outdated, too passive, or inherently too dangerous? Let us consider a forgotten story of a chance encounter between cultures in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho during the fall of 1805. It may inform and remind us of the inherent worth of each person.

July 19, 2015

Be Transported and Disoriented
Various congregational members

“Poetry is my cheap means of transportation. By the end of the poem the reader should be in a different place from where he started. I would like him to be slightly disoriented at the end, like I drove him outside of town at night and dropped him off in a cornfield.” — Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Join us in our semi-regular poetry service where members of the congregation share some poetry that may take you for a ride into a cornfield.

July 26, 2015

Persecution of the Disabled during the Holocaust
Guest speaker Lillian Hussong

Jews, gypsies, and gays were not the only groups that suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Ms. Hussong will cover the perceptions of the disabled in the Third Reich, the laws the Nazis enacted to discriminate against them, and the state-sponsored extermination of the disabled which was known as Aktion T-4, when the gas chamber was first used.


June 7, 2015

Religious Education (RE) Sunday
Led by Melissa Hutchison and the Our Whole Lives 7-9 Grade Class

Our annual intergenerational RE Sunday service concludes the religious education school year. This year our service will highlight our UUCSJS children’s religious education program, recognize our dedicated teachers, and celebrate our first ever 7-9 grade O.W.L. graduates through their personal reflections and musical selections.

June 14, 2015

SUNDOWN TOWNS: A Window on White Privilege
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Some years ago, prompted by an African-American member of my church in Kentucky, I began a study of what are called “Sundown Towns,” places where, historically, Blacks were explicitly or implicitly warned to be OUT by sundown. These places are everywhere, including South Jersey. As the new Civil Rights movement begins, what are white allies called to do?  One thing is to learn the history. Thereby, we begin to learn and teach others about White privilege. It’s painful and hard. But becoming whole can be that way. It is necessary.

June 21, 2015

We All Need Someone Who …
Guest speaker David Chapman

Dave discusses basic human needs we all have as individuals and as part of our communities. What do we need from our relationships with other people and groups of people? What do we have to offer our friends and families and communities and how does it benefit us when we share ourselves with others?

June 28, 2015

Bumper Sticker Wisdom
Lay speaker Lauren Porr

Bumper Stickers. Tweets, Advertisements. Sound bites. We are exposed to them all the time, but are we really paying attention to what they are telling us, or what we are telling ourselves about them? Lauren Porr, engineer and over-analyzer, attempts to dissect the kind of short and sweet (and sometimes not-so-sweet) messages that we’re constantly bombarded with and how “wise” they really are.


May 3, 2015

DANCING into TRUST
Rev. Cynthia Cain

…how can you dance if your heart is broken? How can you trust if your faith is shattered? How can you live if you have no trust in life? Come, think on these things. It’s Beltaine and our theme for May is TRUST.
Trust me, if you can.

May 10, 2015

Everything Matters
Rev. Cynthia Cain

MOTHER’S DAY & FLOWER COMMUNION
Bring a blossom, or two, or several, to add to the community bouquet for this annual ritual. Cynthia’s message will take a fresh and deeper look at the idea of “mother.” All are welcome!

May 17, 2015

Getting from Grievance to Gift
Lay speaker Darah Walther

Along with the joys and happy times in our lives, we have all experienced challenges, sadness, pain and loss. This is part of our human experience. Our choice becomes how we perceive our journey. Will we just groan – or grow? Can we heal our grievances and receive the gifts?

May 24, 2015

In Whom Do You Put Your Trust?
Lay speaker Doug Dickinson

Trust your instincts, and trust one another by behaving with integrity in all our relationships. In whom do you put your trust?

May 31, 2015

Sacred Activism
Lay speaker Theresa McReynolds

Sacred Activism is a transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world. The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants. When the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic, and social institutions, a holy force – the power of wisdom and love in action – is born.


April 5, 2015

A TRANSYLVANIAN EASTER: An International Responsibility
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Since Rev. Cain’s former congregation had a ten-year partnership with a small village church in Romania, she visited there four times, and helped lead services. Two years ago, she stayed for Easter. It’s one of the 4 times a year when a (very) Unitarian “Communion” is held, so we will do the same. We’ll celebrate in word and song. If anyone knows a Hungarian speaker who’d like to join us for the morning, that would be a huge asset!

April 12, 2015

Significant Choices
Guest minister Rev. Don Garrett

The search for a new minister involves some of the most important choices a congregation can face. We’ll explore strategies designed to make the process a success.
NOTE: Followed by a congregational presentation on the search process with plenty of time for questions & answers.
Rev. Don Garrett is minister at the Lehigh Valley (PA) UU Congregation and the Ministerial Settlement Representative for our Joseph Priestley District.

April 19, 2015

LET’S GET SMALL: Responding to Climate Change as People of Faith
Rev. Cynthia Cain

What is our responsibility at this moment in time? And how can we, as individuals as well as people acting together in congregations, move forward to have an impact?

April 26, 2015

Responsibility: The Ability to Respond
Lay speaker Penny Harter

Penny Harter believes that the root of “responsibility” is having the ability to respond. But before we can respond, we have to perceive: first, perception, then response-ability. Penny will share and talk about her poems that: respond to the natural world; to others—the human condition; and to events, from the everyday to the significant in her own life, with the hope that hearing them will help others cherish the planet, celebrate the everyday and/or deal with life’s challenges.


March 1, 2015

Suffering, Compassion, and Support
Lay speaker Jack Miller

As we come to understand our own suffering, we come to understand the suffering of others.
To understand the suffering of others is to be filled with loving kindness.

March 8, 2015

Selma Sunday: Unitarians at Pettus Bridge
Lay speaker Bill Felix

Selma was a watershed event in our nation’s history. Violence and bloodshed horrified the country.
At long last however, through the efforts of some courageous and unselfish people, justice won out over oppression. Unitarians played a key role in this event.

March 15, 2015

ISIS, Selma, and the Person Next Door (or in the next Pew): A Consideration of Evil
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Yes, I am going to go there. Reinhold Niebuhr wrote one of the most compelling books on the theology of evil in which he asserts that liberal people are good, but not wise, because over and over again they fail to recognize evil even when it is in their midst. What do we do with the problem of evil and the affirmation of inherent worth and dignity? How do we recognize and deal with our own shadow, and set boundaries in our communities of faith?

March 22, 2015

What Would Lady Grantham Pledge?
Rev. Cynthia Cain and Paul Utts

Rev. Cain & Paul Utts are going to do/say something that will be creative, new and altogether interesting,
and we PROMISE not to make you feel guilty, badger you, or lock the doors until you make a pledge.
However, we might talk about everyone who doesn’t show up. Just sayin’.
Seriously: this is the annual Canvass Sunday. We do it in a lovely and loving way.

March 29, 2015

FAMILY SYSTEMS: PART TWO
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We will look at Family Systems by looking at the family of one famous person who was also Unitarian: Frank Lloyd Wright. This will provide a lens to understand such concepts as triangulation, cutoff, sibling position, and generation transference…  and how these dynamics may play out in congregational and other institutional settings.


February 1, 2015

Utilitarianism and Unitarian/Universalist Ethics
Guest speaker Ron Hutchison

Utilitarian thought helped to shape some of our most deeply cherished American values. This sermon will explore the history of utilitarianism, and, explain how this ethical framework, when combined with our UU principles, can provide a strong foundation for environmental justice.

February 8, 2015

FAMILY SYSTEMS in & out of congregations: PART ONE… Being A Self
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We hear a lot in Buddhism about no-self (anatta) and losing the sense of a separate self. Family Systems, as espoused by Murray Bowen and Edwin Friedman, is a school of thought which has become widespread in congregational as well as family therapy. It suggests that until one can be self-differentiated, a system cannot attain health. Come, find out more.

February 15, 2015

Death With Dignity in New Jersey
Guest speaker Ethan Andersen

Only three states have a “right to die” law. Although Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to veto it, the NJ Death with Dignity Act is currently moving through the State legislature, and would allow mentally competent, terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to self-administer medication to end their lives. Our guest speaker has worked with NJ’s advocacy group, Compassion & Choices, to get this law passed in New Jersey.

February 22, 2015

CELEBRATION SUNDAY ~ INTERGENERATIONAL
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Celebration of 15 years since Charter Sunday with drama, words, music and afterwards, FOOD!


January 4, 2015

Forgiveness, Part 1: Lost & Found
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We will explore the many challenges and opportunities encompassed by the notion of FORGIVENESS. Perhaps this is the most important spiritual teaching of all. Admittedly, we fail, and yet seeking to be forgiven and to forgive are worth the effort, both individually and collectively.

January 11, 2015

Forgiveness, Part 2: Moving Toward Community
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Cynthia continues her musings on forgiveness. How can it help build community?

January 18, 2015

Unitarian Universalism in One Word
Guest speaker Raj Nigam

If we are to describe our faith in one word, which word would that be?

January 25, 2015

Growing Together
Guest minister Rev. David Pyle

The Rev. David Pyle is the new District Executive for the Joseph Priestly District. He visits us today to become acquainted and to help you ask/answer the questions that are most important for UUCSJS this year. His message will examine the ways our congregations can be more interconnected.