About Us

The faith we live by in this church searches for truth in our own individual hearts, in our own life experiences, in the many faith traditions and philosophies that nurture us, in the explorations of science. Ours is not a blind faith: It is based neither on creeds, the scriptures of any particular religion, the pronouncements of a church hierarchy, nor the words of any single person. Rather, we submit our beliefs to the test of knowledge, reason, and compassion. Our faith aims to treat all humans irrespective of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious belief with caring and respect. Ours is a faith of deeds and commitment to building humane character and love for the natural world. It is a faith of the free mind and the loving heart.

Restart Sessions

 Audio and Slides from the Restart Sessions 
Click the Restart tab to view the slide shows that Rev Renee Ruchotzke used in her Restart sessions on 9/25/15 through 9/27/15. You can listen to the audio of the sessions at the same time.

Announcements

Prayers, Statues, and Candles

Saroya King

The meaning of devotion varies to many and those who seek it are looking in the material, and temporal means to invigorate their personal spiritual walk. Does it take prayer, statues, or candles to re-enliven our presence to This Which Connects Us? For some, it just might....
Click the Services link for the audio of the service (2-7-2016)

Racism

Reverend Tim Barger 

A frank look at conditions today.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-31-2016)

Do You See What I See?


Reverend Jim Wicker, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

It is beneficial for us to keep our eyes and ears focused on God. We never know by what means or through whom God will deliver a word for us.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-24-2016)

Social Justice Sunday

Led by Judy Trautman

UU Voice in 
Compassionate Community:  

The annual social justice service explores our UU voice for social justice and compassion in our community.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-17-2016)

Heroic Peace

Heroic Peace 
Reverend Tim Barger

So many images of heroes are of strength and victors, hardened by war and other conflict. Can we live peaceful lives of heroism?


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-10-2016)

Look! Up in the Sky!

Led by Reverend Tim Barger

 Living a life of heroism doesn't call for Superman. Our own ways of being faster, more powerful, and able make the difference.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-3-2016)

This Has Been a Blessed Year


Led by Rev. Tim Barger

"For the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph, officially called the 'Face with Tears of Joy' emoji."

-- OxfordWords blog

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-27-2015)

Sunday before Christmas

Sunday Before Christmas

Led by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Congregational Life Staff 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-20-2015)


Christmas Musical Sunday


"We need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles at the window, carols at the spinet."

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-13-2015)

Living A Life of Blessing

Led by Saroya King

The secret of living with blessings is to expect them. We expect them in everything we do, say, and are. The pleasant surprise is that we receive more than we could possibly ever give.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-06-2015)

Advent & Anticipation

"I Wait, I Watch, I Hope."

Sunday is the beginning of the pre-Christmas season, and the story of a coming savior has particular relevance as this congregation enters a between-ministers time. Rev. Tim will speak about self-reliance and the hope for change to happen from beyond.
Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-29-2015)

A Blessing to Be Together

This is Reverend Beth's last Sunday leading worship at First Unitarian. The service will celebrate the gratitude that is tucked within each and every situation. We will share stories of gratitude, share bread, and remember the blessings in our lives on this Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-22-2015)

Hidden, in Plain Sight

About a decade ago a book suggested there were women who made "map quilts" which served  as guides to slaves escaping to the safety of the north. These "map quilts" were draped  over porch railings and hung on clotheslines as a means of offering non-verbal instructions that could not incriminate their abolitionist designers. After all, they're just quilts airing on the porch or clothesline, right?  Historians have questioned the story's historical accuracy.  Questions have been raised asking if this was one merely one family's story, and even challenging the factual basis of it.  What caught my attention was not whether or not the story was based in "fact" if it was "true," but rather what function such stories serve, and what meaning may be found whether or not the story is "true"?

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-15-2015)

Change the Story, Change the Future

Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth, writes this: "For most groups of people, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value. The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival needs of a present situation." As individuals and social groups, we tell stories that help us make sense of our lives. What might happen if the stories we have been telling ourselves shift, not into untruths, but into other possibilities?

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-8-2015)

One Voice, One Vote

It is only in the last one hundred years that both women and men of all races have had been able to cast their votes in the United States.  On this Sunday before the elections, we will look at some of the stories that led to women being able to cast their own votes, remember the hard-won fight, and why those stories might have meaning for us now.  
Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-1-2015)

Somewhere, Daffodils Are Waking

This Sunday's worship service celebrates our annual Celebration of Life Service, honoring all those among us whom we have lost, celebrating their lives and legacies, and remembering what their lives meant to us. We will light candles in their memory, and take home daffodil bulbs to plant as a nod to beauty and life yet to come.
Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-25-2015)

Breathe. Listen. Repeat

Residing within each of us is a still small voice of wisdom and kindness. It has the potential to help shape and guide our lives, if we but give it the quiet, the time and the space it requires. Breathe. Listen. Repeat.

 

The audio of the service is not available.

Chasing after God and Chasing God Away

Bob Rudolph, Chaplain Emeritus
 
In this sermon, I want to explore some reasons why gods have been invented, the benefits supposedly derived, and some of the understandings of the nature of the universe derived from modern cosmology. My point is that, while cosmology puts the lie to some god concepts, gods still thrive. As it is the procedure of cosmological science to theorize mathematically and test out the results of very abstract math, why is it not also legitimate for people to theorize on the basis of lived experience and decide that their god or gods exist? If it is legitimate for people to trust the veracity of cosmologists whose reasoning is too arcane to test for oneself, why is it not legitimate for people to trust ancient religious words or modern religious affirmations whose veracity is tested by lived experience?
Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-11-2015)

The Freedom to Fly

Julie Andrews once said "Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it's a kind of order that sets me free to fly."  Despite its often negative connotations, discipline need not be something from which we shy away; it can become the grounding of that which makes us whole.  

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-4-2015)

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

Led by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Congregational Life Staff 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-27-2015)

Awakening in Times of Challenge

In honor and respect for our Jewish friends, neighbors and family members, this service will touch on High Holy Days themes, asking questions about what it might be like to awaken in times of challenge and transformation in such a way that we might say "Write my name again in the Book of Life." 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-20-2015)

Ingathering/Water Sunday

"In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence."

-- Khalil Gibran

On this Ingathering Sunday, we will explore what it means to awaken our hearts in community and relationship. Might we see the face of the holy in each other? 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-13-2015)

What Is Our Work?

Led by Rev. Beth Marshall
On this Labor Day Weekend, we will focus our time during worship on that which gives our lives meaning and worth asking what would it mean if our work was to open our hearts to grace, to humor, to the blessing that fill our lives?

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-6-2015)

Blessings of the Animals

"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big."

-- Erica Jong

 We celebrate the blessings that the animals in our lives bestow upon us.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-30-2015)

Why Should I Have Less?

Led by  Mr.Thomas Beck

The first concept in our Seven Principles is: the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Our nation is facing a serious challenge as social and economic inequality increases. During this message we'll examine the meaning of the phrase "inherent worth and dignity of every person."

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-23-2015)

Voices of Wisdom: The parallel sayings of Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and Lao Tzu

In our churches, it is common to hear that we draw from many sacred traditions, many sources of wisdom. Drawing upon Richard Hooper's book, "Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings," this morning's service will explore in more detail just how similar some of the common wisdom really is.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-16-2015)

Singing the Living Tradition

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl in the space between the notes and curl my back to the loneliness."

-- Maya Angelou

The service audio is abbreviated because most of the service was dedicated to hymn singing.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-9-2015)

In a Nest of Cassia Twigs and Frankincense

By Rev. Beth Marshall

This Sunday's worship service will look the idea of rebirth across traditions. According to Egyptian and Greek legends, there has only ever been one phoenix. When its time came to die, it built a nest of cassia twigs and burst into flames. It was from the heart of this fire that the phoenix was reborn. Do myths and legends like this have usefulness for modern Unitarian Universalists? 

 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-2-2015)

The Great Mystery


by Reverend Tim Barger

In our faith of seekers, what might we be looking for? Something in common? An individual fulfillment? A oneness with all, or one becoming whole? Are there ends to religious exploration? Or, as in the Iris DeMent song, do we just "let the mystery be"? 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-26-2015)

Love Stories

This Sunday's service celebrates the many ways which love manifests itself.  Led by Rev. Beth Marshall.  


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-19-2015)

Building a New Way: Reflections on General Assembly

When thousands of Unitarian Universalists gather for General Assembly, a vast range of ideas are  exchanged, enthusiasm raised, and our faith made public. This morning's service will touch on a few moments and learnings from this year's General Assembly in Portland, OR.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-12-2015)

Let Him Who is Without Sin

Led by Bob Rudolph, Chaplain Emeritus 

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

 -- John 8:7

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-5-2015)

Compassion for the Planet: Earth Day Every Day


Judy Trautman and the Green Sanctuary Committee

"Compassion is planting a seedling under whose shade we may never sit." - Ancient Proverb

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-28-2015)

A People of Faith


"A People of Faith"
  ~ Reverend Beth Marshall


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-21-2015)

Walking in Their Footsteps

"If we do not know our own history, we are doomed to live it as though it were our private fate."

-- Hanna Arendt

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-14-2015)

Service Info

Our worship services are held each Sunday at 11:00 a.m., followed by a vibrant coffee hour in our Fellowship Hall. We have Lifespan Faith Development programs for children and adults September through May.  We will be glad to see you here!

Location

First Unitarian Church of Toledo
3205 Glendale Avenue
Toledo, OH 43614-2423
419-381-6999


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Pinterest

Here's a link to our Pinterest page. Ideas that stir our imagination and move our spirit.