Summer Worship Calendar – June 28 – September 6, 2015

This year your Worship Associates have organized a series of summer worship services designed to explore diverse sources, traditions, and experiences that influence our UU beliefs. How do Hinduism, Earth Based Spirituality, the New Age Movement, Buddhism, Humanism, and belly dancing (yes—belly dancing!!) connect to our UU principles and theologies? While travel and vacations may keep us separate during these summer months, we can stay connected as we open our hearts and minds to these thought-provoking and appealing services.

Summer services begin at 10:00 and run from Sunday, June 28, through Sunday, September 6.

Non-perishable foods will be collected for the Connecticut Food Bank each Sunday in the foyer.

Childcare is Available at All Services.


June 28—Are you a Hindu UU?
Ravi and Sudha Sankar

 CLICK HERE to listen to this sermon.

Worship Associate: Sudha Sankar

We will explore why all UUs are really Hindus and discuss our personal journey growing up Hindu and why it has brought us to Unitarian Universalism.The service will include live vocal and instrumental Carnatic music of South India and a traditional Hindu prayer ritual.

Following the service, there will be a Q&A session at 11:30 am.

Ravi and Sudha are longtime members of TUCW.


July 5–The Day After
Lynda Bluestein

 CLICK HERE to listen to this sermon.

Worship Associate: Cheryl Dixon

This 5th of July service is about “Damascus Road” experiences – the day after some event where everything changes in a blinding flash bringing inspiration, motivation, courage, conviction, clarity and conversion. Scripture, movies, infomercials and testimonials are filled with them. Is transformation all it’s cracked up to be?

Lynda and Paul have been members of this church for 24 years and have collaborated on many summer services. Lynda does the preaching and Paul does the music with a lot of help from his friends.


July 12–Selma: A personal journey of remembrance, re-connection and re-commitment
Randy Burnham

 CLICK HERE to listen to this sermon.

*Share The Plate Sunday

Worship Associate: Martha Constable

I went to the Selma Living Legacy Conference in homage to my college roommate, who died last year, only to discover new friends, old connections, and a re-dedication to being an ally in the work of racial and social equality.

Randy Burnham has been a member of TUCW for 19 years and served in many capacities, from usher to Board Chair to choir member. He has also served the UUA in a number of roles.


July 19—Earth Based Spirituality (Our Sixth Source)
Cal Wacker

Worship Associate: Maria Mendoza Smith

Cal Wacker, our Youth Program Director and a ministerial student at Meadville Lombard Theological School, was inspired to finish the sermon series Rev. Roberta started last year on the Six Sources of Our Faith. He will address the Sixth Source: Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. Be ready for an interactive service that will ask if you are ready to walk the wheel and pass through the four shields.


July 26–Becoming Love on Legs
Gayatri Kamadhenu

Worship Associate: Cheryl Dixon Paul

Experience Satsang: a multifaith mixture of guided meditation, music and discourse. Release that which holds you back from blazing joy and authenticity, connect heart, mind and soul, and burst with love for self & others.

Gayatri Kamadhenu,is a talented singer-songwriter and a master healer and spiritual teacher with Shanti Mission, a modern day ‘School for the Soul’. Using music, discourse and meditative practice, Gayatri coaxes our minds to release their limitations so we can soar into the truth of our soul’s grace and be the peace we want to see in the world.


August 2– Be The Change—An Activist Dinner Party
Rev. Steven Wilson

Worship Associate: Ellie Grosso

This Sunday, via a theatrical experience constructed by and for UU’s, we will address one of the greatest threats to peace and justice; the paralyzing attitude that what we do does not matter. The play, written by a UU minister and brought to life by our own congregants as well as guests, brings alive the words and wisdom of famous poets, activists and sages such as Martin Luther King Jr., Marge Piercy and Thich Nhat Hanh. Join us for another unusual and uplifting service!

A question and answer period with Steve Wilson–the writer and director—and the cast will follow the service.

* Assisted Listening Devices can be used for a portion of this service but not the play itself. However, copies of the script will be available for use to follow along.


August 9—Sharing and Caring in Community
Catherine Onyemelukwe

 CLICK HERE to listen to this sermon.

*Share The Plate Sunday

Worship Associate: Anita Pfluger

In her twenty four years in Nigeria, Catherine learned to appreciate the strong sense of community that pervades the society. She has brought that consciousness of community to her life in The Unitarian Church in Westport. It helps propel her commitment to social and racial justice and to our second principle – “justice, equity, and compassion in human relations,” and the sixth – “The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.” She will describe how the sense of community and caring is developed in Nigerian society. Then she will explore whether this same sentiment toward community could help the U.S. confront its persistent racism.

Catherine joined the Peace Corps in 1962 when it was a new organization. She went to Nigeria to teach German, expecting to return to the US in two years. Instead, she fell in love, married, and stayed 24. She was there during the Biafran War, Nigeria’s civil war, raised three children, started a business, and founded an organization for foreign wives of Nigerians. She returned to the US in 1986.


August 16 – The Ministry of Presence
Pastoral Care Associates

 CLICK HERE to listen to this sermon.

Worship Associate: Lucia Scott

Pastoral Care Associates Tom Hearne, Lynn Medoff, Luke Garvey, and Pat Francek will invite us into a greater understanding of our UU Pastoral Care Ministry. We will hear what this ministry is about, how our Pastoral Care Associates serve our community, and the deep impact this ministry has had on several of the Pastoral Care Associates.


August 23–Whole Person Humanism
John Hooper

 CLICK HERE to listen to this sermon.

Worship Associate: Linda Hudson

Recognizing that science is not enough, and that people are hard-wired for empathy and connection, the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association (UUHA) describes Whole Person Humanism as ‘..integrating first person experience, second person empathy, and third person rationality into a life stance that fully appreciates the wonders and celebrates the awe of being alive.’

Dr. John Hooper, a member of our congregation who recently moved to Pittsburgh, is President of the UUHA.


August 30—Dancing for Connection and Community
Maria Mendoza-Smith
featuring the Tribalieve Belly Dance Troupe

Worship Associates: Linda Hudson

“Soul has to do with the way a human being belongs to their world, their work, or their human community. Where there is little sense of belonging there is little sense of the soul.”

How do you belong to the world and your human community? Come experience our joyful dance and one way — our way — of connecting with ourselves and one another and of creating community. In this service wewill discuss and demonstrate a tribal type of belly dance that features shared leadership, improvisation, and soulful connection.


September 6–“Good Work”
Rev. Dr. John Morehouse

Worship Associate: Lucia Scott

What is the work we are called to do? How do we see that work in service to the world? In honor of Labor Day, Rev. John, our newly called Senior Minister, will explore the essential nature of work and how we can be changed by that work.