Speaker: Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern

At Home, Afar

The day of Epiphany is a day of paradoxes. It is a celebration of home and yet it is all about travel: the Magi’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem, and Jesus and his parents’ flight for their lives. Although it is (in the western Christian tradition) the twelfth day of Christmas, it is about gifts, not that we receive, but that we bear and bestow on others. Let’s begin the new year with a reflection on this ancient holiday and what it tells us about home and belonging. Special music: Mayan Dolev, classical guitar

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, Tuesday, December 24th, Main Hall, 6:30 & 8:00 pm. We welcome Christmas with stories, carols and special music, and candles. Come sing the familiar songs that are always powerful, and experience the magic of candlelight in the darkness. A small, sweet gift will be given to all of the children. Special music: Veronika Agranov-Dafoe, Liz Russ, Richard Heydt, Florence Haas, and others

No-Rehearsal Christmas Pageant

We rejoice in the everyday miracles of the season, marking the winter solstice, telling the story of Hanukah– which begins tonight–and inviting all who wish to play a part to help make the story of Jesus’s birth come to life. Special music: Larry Chinn, jazz piano

Hearts Outrank Clubs

In a sermon a year ago, Dan shared a poignant letter written to our first called minister, describing the church as a nice group of folks who weren’t quite sure if they were more than a social club. It is still a relevant question, although it’s clear that we have a sense of mission that goes beyond that of a club. What does that mission mean for us as a congregation? Music: The Choir.

But What If We Disagree? (Intergenerational Posadas Service)

A conflict avoider’s guide to one of the most challenging aspects of community. It turns out that dealing with conflict bravely is less scary than avoiding it. The Posadas, a story of this season, will help us. Music: Gwen Halterman, harp
This is an intergenerational service.
Today’s entire offering collection will be donated to Ada’s Cafe.

An Attitude of Ultimate Optimism

James Luther Adams asserted that while immediate optimism was unrealistic, “the resources (divine and human) that are available for the achievement of meaningful change justify an attitude of ultimate optimism.” We’ll take a close look at that claim in this final service on Adams’s tenets of religious liberalism. World AIDS Day is, strangely enough, an apt day for such an exploration. Music: Veronika Agranov Dafoe, piano

Life In An Institution (It’s Better Than It Sounds!)

James Luther Adams, whose “Five Smooth Stones” of liberal religion we’ve been exploring, was a great believer in institutions. This is perhaps the greatest challenge to people in our spiritual communities, especially since the iconoclasm of the 60s and the profound (and warranted) mistrust in civic and religious institutions that has marked our age. If Adams was right that we need institutions in order to enact goodness on a grand scale, then how are we to create institutions that we can trust? Music: Brocelïande

Grief and Gravity

When loss befalls us, we may wish to float above brutal reality. Our loving community helps us to endure coming back to earth. Today is our annual remembrance service–please bring photos and other mementos for our altar. Special Music: Veronika Agranov Dafoe, piano

Prophets of a New World

“A faith that is not the sister of justice is bound to bring us to grief,” James Luther Adams wrote. Religion isn’t primarily about what we believe, but about what we do: specifically, what we do to bring about the world we long for. Special Music: Season of Us
Appropriately, we will be giving the Peg Capron Social Justice Award to Jane Glauz this morning.

Roads Not Taken

Robert Frost’s famous poem is often interpreted as an exhortation to take “the road less travelled.” But a second look at the poem reveals a more complex lesson about how we deal with regret, how we tell our own stories, and what we might do the next time we face a fork in the road. It’s an appropriate guide for the time of self-examination marked by Judaism’s High Holidays. Special Music: Veronika Agranov Dafoe, piano
Today’s entire offering collection will be donated to South Bay Sanctuary Covenant.