Speaker: Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson is a UUCPA member and former Worship Associate who has delivered several sermons here and in his previous UU congregation.

Faith and the Placebo Effect

We are more powerful than we think we are. Steve Johnson takes us on a journey through the science and experience of the Placebo Effect to show us how.
Special Music: Mayo Tsuzuki and Richard Heydt duet accompanied by Veronika Agranov Dafoe, piano

Follow the Leader?

This service contemplates the notion of leadership. What makes a good leader? A good follower? How much does being a good leader resemble being a good parent? Hint: good leaders lead you towards things rather than away from things . . . Special Music: Karen Van Dyke, flute

What Limits You?

We all carry around a set of beliefs about ourselves, particularly things we “can’t do or be”; like paint, sing, dance, be smart, be beautiful, be athletic. Many of these beliefs are formed at one period of our life, often early child- hood, and may not apply to who we are now. We’ll explore our limits, and talk about how to test them and, perhaps, remove the ones that don’t fit any more. Be prepared for a pep talk! Music: Eric Leong, violin

Cause And Effect

Sometimes things happen to you, and other times you make things happen. It’s surprising how many ways this duality shows up in our work, relationships, and spiritual lives. We’ll explore.

Humor: If You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It!

Yogi Berra’s comment strikes us as funny. Something happens in your head when you hear it that derails your mind and you laugh. Today we will enjoy humor, both musical and spoken, and explore how this derailing of our mind can make us more creative (and be a lot of fun besides … ). Music: Veronika Agranov Dafoe, piano


We are invited to transform ourselves, each other, and the world. What does that really mean? How do we do that? Is transformation something that happens in its own time, like growing a tomato, or are there things we can do to hurry the process along? What should the church do to help us live up to the invitation to transform? Music: Pam Parke

Speaking The Truth

There are challenges and rewards for discovering truth in the world and in yourself. But that’s not the end of the story. Speaking truth is surprisingly complicated. In particular, emotions play a bigger role than we usually realize. We will explore the act of truth-telling, why it’s complicated, and how lies may make us aware of deeper truths that we were not aware of. Music: Four Shillings Short

What is Truth?

We are bombarded each day by false, or at least not true, statements – “your call is important to us”, “sale!”, “I’m fine.” – It’s an important part of mental hygiene to recognize and label these false statements — if you do, you may be surprised at how pervasive they are. And you will gain respect for your own truth, courage to speak it, and respect for the truth as a tool of transformation.
Worship Leader: Steve Johnson
Worship Associate: Rev. Mary McKinnon Ganz
Music: Ai Goldsmith, flute

Garbage, Goedel, and God

We are invited by the UU principles to use reason as a way of exploring the world. But does this necessarily mean that something that cannot be proved by reason is garbage? Kurt Goedel proved, using the tools of logic, that any system of reasoning will contain true statements that cannot be proved within the system. So there is garbage, but also truth, in the unproven. Is it possible, or even reasonable, that over tens of thousands of years of human evolution we may have developed some non-logical ways of recognizing truth? And does this open the door to God?

Worship Leader: Steve Johnson
Worship Associate: Brian Weller

The Trap And The Quest

In this big-picture reflection, we will journey through outer space and inner space, from teachings of the Buddha to twenty-first century neuroscience. Our speaker is Dr. Chris Schriner, Minister Emeritus of Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fremont. Chris is also a retired psychotherapist, and … read more.