The sermons of the Unitarian Society of Germantown in Philadelphia, PA

8.14.16, Rediscovering Joy, Rev. Carolyn Stern

Cultivating joy in your life is like cultivating a lush, fruitful garden that you can go to again and again. This morning we will journey together a great distance to rediscover the abode of deep joy and emanate its radiance forth to light the world.

Rev Carolyn Stern lives in Abington with her family. In addition to being a licensed massage therapist, she is  an ordained interfaith minister and President of the Diabetes Education and Research Center, a non-profit organization that serves lower income folks in the Philadelphia area who are living with diabetes. She is a new member at USG and is passionate about what mystics from all religions have to teach us about the Divine.

8.7.16, Finding Joy, Dr. Jean Wilcox

There’s a famous quote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Whether Lincoln was really the source of this quote or not, I believe it. My life experiences have convinced me that joy is a matter of attitude. I believe joy happens because we welcome the small miracles in our lives. It happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things are despite appearances.

Dr. Jean Wilcox’s career has been “a bit of a random walk.” After getting a PhD in chemistry, she worked in technology in the corporate world until she discovered that marketing was much more fun.  At one point she worked for a Japanese company with offices in Silicon Valley and learned to speak Japanese.

After being down-sized from the corporate world, she did marketing consulting, adjunct teaching and ran a B&B.  She is now a Professor of International Marketing at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.  She still consults, travels to Japan whenever she can, loves watching her garden grow and laughing with friends.

7.31.16, The Creative In-Between, David Weaver

Life is filled with moments of change and seasons of transition. If we are awake and engaged, this is true of our spiritual lives as well. Have you gone through a season of spiritual transition in your life? Are you in the middle of one now? What are you learning?

David Weaver joined Unitarian Society of Germantown in the fall of 2015.  He returned to Philadelphia last summer after ten years in Phoenix, AZ. David is a lover of gardening; he sings in several choirs; he is the fifth of seven brothers (no sisters); he has a passion for building community; he currently works as a hospice social worker; and he is a pastor.

7.17.16, Float Like a Butterfly: Ode to Ali, Rev. Kent Matthies

This year we lost a great American Hero: Muhammad Ali.  Ali bravely served as a role model for Black America and anyone else with an open heart and mind.  In our current turbulent times we benefit from pausing to remember his poetry and sacrifice.  Muhammad Ali showed us how to live out our nation’s highest held values such as freedom of conscience and creating an environment where everyone can achieve their potential.

7.3.16, The Roots of Service: Where It Begins, David Wurtzel

The idea of service sits at the epicenter of the well being of ourselves and our communities. It is the very wellspring of our happiness as well as our purpose. David will talk about how the the idea of faith and its various parts creates the rich soil allowing the roots of service to grow and take hold, laying the strong foundation of a rich and fulfilling life.
David Wurtzel found his passion for life within the fire service in his twenties, and currently serves as a volunteer firefighter in Narberth, PA. In 2008 he discovered a series of devastating health issues that have plagued the fire service for decades. This compelled him to launch a non-profit called The First Twenty, whose mission is help this vastly underserved population address their unmet health needs. In 2012 they launched the nation’s first ever national fitness and wellness program for firefighter health, safety and performance. They currently serve thousands of firefighters coast to coast including the United States Air Force and are at the center of two clinical trials. David is a member of USG with his wife Muna and children Galena and Billy.

6.26.16, God and Guns, Rev. Katie Day

People of different faith traditions have vastly different practices and beliefs about guns.  How does one religious group come to arm themselves and another to disarm? How does your faith help you to understand this most critical social issue?


Katie Day is a long time resident of Mt. Airy and a faculty member at the Lutheran Theological Seminary.  As well as being ordained in the Presbyterian Church, she is also an urban sociologist.  Her last book represented seven years of research into all the communities of faith along Germantown Ave–Faith on the Avenue (Oxford University Press, 2014)

6.19.16, Call to Fathers: Reduce Gun Violence, Rev. Kent Matthies

In the wake of the Orlando mass murders and all the violence in the U.S.A., we feel that we must make this the topic of worship this Sunday. Let’s focus on Gun Violence reduction as a job for fathers and all.

6.12.16, Child Spiritual Development (CSD) Carnival

It’s the CSD Carnival to Celebrate a Great Year in Sunday School! Join us in the Grove Sunday, June 12, following the Worship Service.

And most of all, the chance to celebrate all our super kids and super teachers, our super CSD chair, Jessica, and our super-duper DSD, Rev. Daniel.
There will be a bounce house, a dunk tank and more!

7.10.16, The Cleopatra Connection, Andrea Durham

The Cleopatra Connection is a self empowerment tool that uses the life of the Pharaoh Cleopatra as a guide to overcoming challenges and creating personal success. Her imagination and resilience are key reasons we remember her today. This is an opportunity to be inspired and encouraged by the life of this incredible person.

Andrea Durham is an attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She has worked as an Attoney-Advisor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since 1994.  Ms. Durham graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Administration in 1987 and earned her Juris Doctorate from Temple University School of Law in 1990.  She is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania.  Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Durham loves travel, diverse cultures and community organization. Active with several community endeavors, she is a member of the USG and serves as the chief organizer of the annual Diwali celebration.

5.29.16, SUNDAY WORSHIP: Hope Springs Eternal, Jenn Leiby

The gray skies and bitter cold of winter seem like a memory now that the trees are alive with color and warm breezes. Our world is fresh and new again, the Spring season faithfully bringing promise of easier days. Just as promising, we can turn to our Unitarian Universalist faith to help us through our own personal winters to the hopeful warmth of better days.

Jenn Leiby has been a member of USG since January 2010 and is honored to be returning to the pulpit. She currently serves on the Ministry Executive Team and is involved in many other wonderful groups here. She lives in Plymouth Meeting with her husband Carl and daughter Zoe.