Behind the Baked Loaf

A variety of bread rolls with sesame and poppy seed toppings

by Rev. Terry Davis   Delivered at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation on November 20, 2016   Dear friends, I have a confession to make: I’ve never baked a loaf of bread in my life. Yes, I’ve made my share of what are commonly referred to as “quick breads” – banana bread, zucchini bread, cranberry walnut bread, and corn bread, to name […]

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The Lost Art of Condolences

A black card with With Sympathy written on it and a photo of the deceased, Matiku Nyitambe

And, so if you are grieving today, let’s take the time to honor your pain. Let’s practice the art of condolences with one another by listening with an open heart and by refraining from offering advice or quick fixes. As Rev. Peter Morales said, let’s take a deep breath and give each other the space we need to heal.

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Picking Up the Pieces

A puzzle piece being held up against a bright window

We don’t have to try to forgive, accept, or love those on the other side of our issues – although it seems like, by striving to do so, we’d be throwing Miracle Grow on our spiritual growth. To be a good sport means we can be gracious losers . . . and dispense with the gloating if we’re winners. Because to really win in a world where we depend on one another for peace and prosperity, we really can’t afford to have anyone walk away a loser. We must find a way for all of us to have a place the table – Thanksgiving and otherwise.

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When We Disagreed

photo of a snapped branch

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] by Jay Kiskel, Worship Associate Delivered at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation on October 30, 2016 With whom do we covenant? To whom do we extend our promise to honor the strength found in our diversity, to embrace the full measure of our common humanity, to communicate in kindness? I would like us to ponder the […]

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You’ve Got a Friend

May today and every day be the day that we’re grateful for the good friends we have, and the friends we’ve known. And may we always anticipate the ones we’ve yet to meet. More than any prayer or song, may it be our friends that connect us to the deepest part of ourselves and to that mystery that we may know as the spirit of Life.

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A Promise to Be Kind

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted. Aesop

I have a strong feeling that Karen Armstrong is right – that kindness is the way to heal what divides us and build a global community in which all peoples can live together with mutual respect. As people of faith, my hope is that all of us here can be part of the solution . . . and that we will not fail what is perhaps the test of our time.

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We Who Defy Hate

Photo from

Not all of us can do what Waitstill and Martha Sharp did to help others in need, which included turning their lives upside down and creating a brand new set of life priorities based on their most cherished values. However, in thinking about their story and the current refugee crisis that has exploded across Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, I’m nevertheless faced with the question of “What can I do?” “What does my faith compel me to do?”

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Our UU Saints

From as far back as almost five hundred years ago to as recently as this century, our faith has had in its midst women and men whose very ways of being in the world have changed the world. These people – our UU saints – model our highest ideals such as compassion, courage, and perseverance. Their lives invite us to consider how we might also help make the world a better place.

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9/11 Stories and Lessons

photo from

As we go from here, may we recognize that this anniversary of 9/11 offers us the opportunity for more healing and for further assessment. May we remember and grieve the loss of our fellows. May we share our “I remember when” stories and reflect on how we and our world has changed these last 15 years. And, may we look for specific steps we can take to build partnerships and understanding, end bigotry and hate, and become the peacemakers we seek.

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You, Me and We

Mural in Memphis. "This is You," in curly script. "This is WE," below, much bolder and larger.

Seeking to understand the Other – capital “O” or lower-case “o” – without judging or attempts to persuade, is perhaps the most vital thing we can do when we seem to be stuck in a You and Me or You vs. Me place. It requires humility to enter into a conversation with no other objective than to understand another’s point of view. To do so suggests that we’ve made an important shift in priorities. It means we’ve put our connection to and relationship with another person ahead of winning an argument or getting someone else to see our side of things.

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