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.

Announcements

Toledo Gay Parade Volunteer Sign-Up -- posted: - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

You are invited to sign up as a "Toledo Gay Parade Volunteer" -- Saturday, August 29.

 
Chalice Circle Registration -- posted: - Thursday, August 06, 2015
These small groups meet on a monthly basis (October through May) for support, encouragement, and a deeper spiritual understanding of ourselves and our world.  Trained facilitators lead the groups in sharing from their hearts and listening deeply to each other. Groups are open to adult members and friends of the church. A selection of five days/times/locations is available. 
Belonging to a Chalice Circle is a gift you give to yourself and to others.  To register, click here.
For additional information contact Marcia Klunk
 

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)

The Beauty of Low Tide

"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

- Anais Nin


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-8-2015)

Coming of Age Sunday

Led by DRE Heather Dinklage, and the Coming of Age Class 

This year, the 7th-9th graders have been pondering life's big questions: Where do good and evil come from? What happens when we die? What is the meaning of life? On this Sunday, our Coming of Age youth share with you their ideas on these topics and more.
Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-31-2015)

A Time to Stand Tall

A Time to Stand Tall

Guest Minister -- Reverend Tom Schade

Is this a new era for Unitarian Universalism?

The Rev. Tom Schade is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister. He served the First Unitarian Church in Worcester, MA from 1999 to 2012, when he retired to Ann Arbor where his spouse had taken a job. He is a graduate of the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University inDallas, Texas. He writes a blog "The Lively Tradition" at www.tomschade.com where he writes about the intersection of Unitarian Universalist theology and current events.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-24-2015)

Spiritual Growth in a Contingent World

Led by Bob Rudolph, Chaplain Emeritus

In his New York Times column entitled "The Power of Marriage," David Brooks uses the term "culture of contingency" to describe an aspect of contemporary culture-our tendency, as he sees it, to end a commitment when it no longer "meets our needs." This Sunday's sermon explores the implications of the "culture of contingency" not only for marriage but for spiritual growth.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-17-2015)

Teachings of the Insentient

Guest, Reverend Wayne Arnason
"The Earth is our Mother" is Native American wisdom, which permeates both popular culture and our activism for environmental justice. This Sunday, we will go deeper into this metaphor to appreciate its freshness and understand its limits. The sermon title comes from a Buddhist text that offers us a different take on what it means to fully engage with what the earth has to teach us.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-10-2015)

What Strength Does Unitarian Universalism want from you?


What Strength Does Unitarian Universalism want from you?"
  
The seven virtues of the liberal spirit. 
Guest minister, Reverend Tom Schade


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-3-2015)

The Future Awaits

Presented by Reverend Ken Phifer

One of the most popular songs we UU's sing is #145, "As Tranquil Streams". The words remind us to honor the past, to learn from and promote our heritage, but one of the key lines tells us that "the future waits thy liberating ministry." I want to share some thoughts about the present human condition and what our liberating ministry might look like in such a time.  

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-26-2015)

RE Sunday


Led by Heather Dinklage, DRE  

with the UU Kids as her worship associates.

Join us as children and youth lead the service in celebration of all we do in Religious Education.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-19-2015)

Mediating Faith

Led by Reverend Tim Barger

Rev. Tim will talk about mediating faith--as a reporter, a faith leader, and a religious individual--and look at how the spirituality of each of us, lived in relation to other people's different holiness, might affect our ways of being religious.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-12-2015)

Occupy Jerusalem, circa 33 AD

Led by Reverend Renee Ruchotzke & Heather Dinklage, DRE

In the first century, Roman political and economic oppression was met by the non-violent resistance of Jewish prophets. What lessons might we learn for today's oppressions?"

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-5-2015)

Be Still and Know

Led by our guest Sr. Terry Cortes-Vega  

What might we learn about ourselves and others, if instead of rushing around so much, we were able to slow down, quiet our minds and open our hearts? If we rested in that still space now and then, what would the Great Teachers want us to learn, to know? When would not knowing be helpful?  

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-29-2015)

Two Sons, One Wise Father

Guest minister, John Carrado

"my father was a true father -- he loved me.

and because he loved me, i loved him:

First, as a child, with the love that is worship;

then, as a youth, with the love that gives battle;

as man, with the love which understands."

~ e.e.cummings

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-22-2015)

The Radiant Future


Led by Reverend Larry Hutchison
What might we hope for this year? What feathers of hope perch in our souls? How will we occupy the future? The news we hear seems predominantly, purposeless excitement and needless worry. In the "radiant future," we will explore possibilities, hope, and dreams.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-15-2015)

Buried Treasures

Reverend Renee Ruchotzke  

How might our faith communities be places where the gifts of the people are multiplied?


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-8-2015)

Benedict's Way of Love


Led by our guest minister,  Rev Evin Carvill-Ziemer 

In the 6th century CE, St. Benedict wrote what has become known as "The Rule of St. Benedict", followed by Benedictine monasteries to this day. From St. Benedict's teachings arose a way of being some call radical hospitality: Radical hospitality not only in the monastery's hospitality of guests, but as a way of moving in the world for each one who follows these teachings, a way of love

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-1-2015)

Stealing Jesus

Unitarian Universalists have an ambiguous and complicated relationship with Jesus. We may be okay with "God," but when it comes to "Jesus," we may feel that his message has become so compromised as to render him irrelevant for the 21st Century. The Jesus we know has been stolen from that place, and from the place in history that he deserves. Who stole Jesus, and why? And, should we try to steal him back?"


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (2-22-2015)

Person of (Com)Passion : First UUSJ Angels


The annual Social Justice sermon examines how to be Persons of Passion about Compassion. UUSJ Angels comment on several real-life vignettes.


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

Shame on You

"Shame is a failure of being; guilt a failure of doing."

~ Ronald Potter-Efron

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (2-1-2015)

Make It So

It is we who must be keepers of the flame.

It is we who must carry the imperishable fire.

It is our watch now!

-- Tom Owen-Towle

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-25-2015)

This Journey Not of My Choosing

"In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost."

-- Dante Alighieri


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-18-2015)

A Year After the Deluge

There is often in people to whom "the worst" has happened an almost transcendent freedom, for they have faced "the worst" and have survived it.

-- Carol Peterson, The Hero Within


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-11-2015)

Brimming with Possibilities


On this first Sunday of the new year, our worship will explore what  being a person of possibility might look like.  How do we embody the principles that guide us, what choices do we make, what do we include and 
what do we exclude?  


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-4-2015)

Newer Than News

"The duty of a newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" -- Finley Peter Dunne

"The Church is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable" -- Reinhold Niebuhr

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-28-2014)

Christmas Eve Service

"Christmas is not so much about opening presents as it is about opening your hearts"

 -- Janice Maeditere

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-24-2014)

Winter Solstice Service

Diane Lee Moomey writes: "Again did the earth shift. Again did the nights grow short, and the days long. And the people of the earth were glad, and celebrated each in their own ways." Within our wonderfully diverse congregation, we celebrate the full spectrum of winter holidays. On this, the shortest day of the year, we celebrate the Winter Solstice and honor our connection to the change of seasons.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-21-2014)

Christmas Music Sunday

Christmas_StarOverManger

"Oh Bethlehem, Blessed is the hour, the Saviour comes to you."

-- Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest, Conrad Susa


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-14-2014)

The Goddess Within


One of the benefits of the rise in spirituality in the recent past, has been a re-exploration of the goddess and what role she can play in the lives of people today.  You might be surprised to discover how connected we are to these ancient stories, in ways we never imagined. Who is the goddess within you? 



Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-7-2014)

Advent Sunday

Advent is a season that is celebrated by some of our congregations, but not by others. This Sunday we will lift up both a more traditional interpretation of Advent alongside a more modern interpretation. While there are differences in language, you may be surprised at how much the two have in common.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-30-2014)

We Remember, We Honor

Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun and left the vivid air signed with their honor.

-- Stephen Spender


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-02-2014)

Getting to Know You

Part of our commitment to this spiritual community is getting to know one another through sharing our own stories. As many of our brief interactions do not lend themselves to deep or meaningful conversations, this morning's service offers the opportunity to get to know several familiar faces a little better. Participating are members and friends who contribute in ways that make the congregation both more interesting and run far more smoothly. Consistent with the month's theme for worship, being a Person of Yes includes getting to better know some of the people in our lives.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-26-2014)

Saying Yes to Something Beyond Ourselves


Every week in the context of our congregational covenant we recite the words, "and service is our prayer". While our intentions are good, few truly take those words to heart, devoting their lives and risking all that is sacred in order to serve something greater than themselves. When service becomes a calling, as it does for all connected with military service, how does that impact not only their lives, but the lives of their families and communities? What might we do as a religious community to be of support? 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-19-2014)

Safe Harbor


On this holiday weekend when the ethics of immigration are on many of our minds, we will explore what it means for us as a religious community to be a true sanctuary, a safe harbor. We do so many things well, might there be ways we can draw on our strengths as a Welcoming Congregation to broaden our commitment to opening our doors more widely to all people. 


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-12-2014)

Who Sweeps the Stable?


"Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor."

-- Mark 10:21

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-05-2014)

On Being an Ecumenical Atheist

Being described as an ecumenical atheist by an Anglican cleric gave this Unitarian Universalist pause for reflection. What is an ecumenical atheist? Is this stance congruent with the Principles and Purposes of our faith tradition? How can an adherent to secular humanism and/or atheism think about other religious beliefs? It will be an interesting journey.  
Click the Services link for the text of the sermon (9-28-2014).

A Challenge to Forgive

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each person's life, sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in a new book authored with his daughter Mpho Tutu, writes: I would like to share with you two simple truths: there is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one undeserving of forgiveness....In our own ways, we are all broken. Out of that brokenness, we hurt others. Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again." (from The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World).

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-21-2014)

Sacredness of Water

In light of the recent water crisis in the Toledo area, we will focus our attention on the sacredness of all water,and its importance in our lives.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-14-2014)

Blessings of the Animals



 The animals in our lives share more than our homes. They share our hearts as well. This morning we invite you to bring a token representing the animals that share your life -- a photograph, a leash, a favorite toy.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-7-2014)

Behind the Kitchen Door

In his now famous "Letter from the Birmingham Jail, l962", Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, wrote: "We are bound by an inescapable garment of mutuality, whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." In food establishments across the country, men and women are working diligently in positions that do not offer the most basic level of sustenance. Many of us have worked in such positions, some among us currently work in such positions to support themselves and their families. Come hear stories, thoughts and reactions from those who have read "Behind the Kitchen Door." Perhaps we can take one step toward making the invisible seen, appreciated and properly compensated.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-31-2014)

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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