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

11.17.19, Living a Life of Loving Yourself, Amy and Maggie Birge-Caracappa

Every day it seems we are told that there is something wrong with our bodies that needs fixing. We are told that there is one narrow definition of what is normal and ideal and that everything else is wrong. It’s something everyone struggles with. But for people living in a fat body, it is compounded by the pervasive belief that we are to blame for our bodies being outside the acceptable norm. This has lead to systemic fat phobia and discrimination that people of size face every day in big and small ways. We’re going to talk about our experiences with fat phobia and offer some simple things we can all do to uphold the inherent dignity and worth of people of size.

Amy Birge-Caracappa (she/her) and Maggie Birge-Caracappa (she/her) are lifelong activists for queer and fat people’s rights and their desire for equality and dignity. Amy regularly does anti-racism and diversity and inclusion work through the several committees she’s on at the Community College of Philadelphia, as well as working for the acceptance of fat people in her every day life. Maggie is a writer and fat activist, regularly publishing a blog about the challenges fat people face from all corners of life. In My Size can be found on Twitter @inmysizeblog or online at https://inmysiz

11.10.19, Paying Attention in a Distracted World, Rev. Kent Matthies

Rising numbers of people struggle with paying attention for sustained periods of time. Channel surfing, texting, and social media are just some of the dynamics which keep us distracted. Schools, religious organizations, families – all are impacted by less capacity to concentrate. We are paying a price, because as the Buddhist sutras say, when we do develop a capacity for concentration, we improve our chances for “wisdom, transformation, compassion and bliss.” How might we better pay attention?

10.20.19, The good, the bad, and the whole, Rev. Kent Matthies

How can you embrace yourself in your entirety? Many of us wrestle with this question our whole lives. As imperfect beings we go further down the road to finding peace with ourselves when we accept our imperfections. This can involve acknowledging selfishness, cowardice, going too slow and going too fast. When we acknowledge these sharp and tender parts of ourselves the fog can dissipate and we can find our hidden wholeness.

10.13.19, Our Moment is Now, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt

We Unitarian Universalists have always been a small religious group with outsized impact.  But with many denominations in decline, and corresponding growth among those who are “spiritual but not religious,” it may seem that our best days are behind us. But what if we’re misreading the signs? In this moment, let’s reflect on what our faith could be—and how we can get there from here.

10.6.19, Atonement over Contempt, Rev. Kent Matthies

The ark is opened and the Torah scrolls are taken out.  Reading the sacred text guides us to respond to our errors, correct and learn from our mistakes, and reveal more fully who we are and can become.  In the United States a toxic culture of contempt is corroding our souls. Political disagreements generate harsh polarization.  How can we come together as one people (at one ment, if you will) and be our best true selves?

9.15.19, Crossing the Jordan, Rev Kent Matthies

Moses had died. God placed Joshua in charge of the Israelites who, after 40 years of wandering, felt trapped in the wilderness. Joshua’s mission was to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land and to take with them the sacred Ark of the Covenant. The problem was they had to cross the powerful Jordan River without a vessel. What were their expectations as they walked towards the water?

9.8.19, USG’s Water Ceremony: Connecting with Miracles of Life —Rev. Kent Matthies, DSD Ryan Hurd, Music Director Mark Daugherty & the USG Choir

For our Ingathering Water Ceremony, we begin the church year anew by celebrating Beloved Community and spiritual practices.  Meditation, prayer, walking, knitting, connecting with our brother animals – all are some of the ways in which we might connect with the miracles of life. These spiritual practices both affirm and sustain our very lives.  

All are invited to bring water from special summer places – including from your homes.  We will pour water into the communal bowl.  This in gathering will lift our bodies, minds and spirits.  

9.1.19, Why Bother Meditating? Guest Speaker Deborah Cooper

In this brief presentation, Deborah will talk about the origin of mindfulness meditation and how and why to practice it. She will end with a short guided meditation.

Deborah is a mother and grandmother. She has been studying and practicing  meditation for most of her adult life. She is deeply committed to the Insite meditation path espoused by the Buddha and teaches it both to groups in the area and in her private therapy practice.