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

7.29.18, Hildegard von Bingen: Visionary Woman, Charles Gabriel

Hildegard von Bingen was a Benedictine nun and abbess who lived in the area of Bingen, Germany in the late 11th and early to mid-12th century. She experienced visions from early childhood throughout her life and from these visions she wrote several books on religious philosophy; composed many plainsong hymns including the first opera in Western civilization; painted many illustrations of her visions; wrote two books on holistic medicine and pharmacy; and was advisor and frequent moral scourge to bishops, popes and emperors. In short, she was the renaissance woman 200 years before there was a renaissance man. Her religious philosophy centered on love, justice and the interdependent web of creation and was entirely consistent with modern day Unitarian Universalist beliefs.

Charles Gabriel was raised in the Catholic Church, wandered aimlessly through a 35-year period of atheism and finally developed a spiritual center to his life through the gift of his step-son’s drug addiction and the 12-step program influence of Nar-Anon and Al-Anon.

Charles joined USG in October, 2004 and has held several volunteer positions including Budget & Finance Committee member, Buildings & Grounds committee co-chair, Strategic Planning Council chair and Board of Trustees member.

Currently Charles sings in the USG choir and is now retired from church leadership. Today is his eighth sermon at USG.

7.22.18, Poems: Science, Myth and Memory, Peter Walsh

Peter Newton Walsh read a number of his poems written over the past year.
Dr. Walsh has been a member of the Unitarian Society of Germantown since 1973, when he, his wife, Marny and their children, Steve, Kathy and Beth, moved to Philadelphia from England.  He has worked at Temple University School of Medicine as a physician and scientist.  For more than forty years he has been writing poetry, some of which he has shared with members of the Church in seventeen previous services.

7.15.18, The Four Agreements for a Better Life, Andrea Durham

he Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, was published in 1997, has sold more than 7.2 million copies in the U.S. and been translated into 40 languages. The Four Agreements are: Be impeccable with your word; Don’t take anything personally; Don’t make assumptions; and Always do your best. These are some lessons learned at a three day workshop to explore the book’s teachings with the author and his sons Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr. and Don Jose Ruiz.
Andrea Durham is an attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She has worked as an Attorney-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 Unitarian Society of Germantown in Philadelphia and serves as the chief organizer of the annual Diwali celebration.

7.8.18, Church & Faith: Where and How to be, Tom Ott

Church can be both a noun and a verb. When the former it is usually considered a specific place. I believe that is too limiting; and given that belief, perhaps the meaning of faith can be found, even when, for this UU anyway, there are many times both historically and today that faith in its religious sense seems all but impossible, except maybe when helping a little girl catch her first fish.

7.1.18, World Cup World, Rev. Kent Matthies

The World Cup of Soccer is being played in Russia.  This most important global sporting event contains many elements of the best and the worst of our current global, human society.  True stories of rags to riches, players speaking dozens of languages with a common purpose and people all around the globe watching with joy and pain.  At the same time bullying, corruption and violence leave a rancid feeling.  How can we learn from the world of Messi and Ronaldo, Salah and Modric?