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

12.29.19, From Awe to Integrity: Right Relations with our UU Heritage, Caroline Bright

As we transition from our December theme of “Awe” to our January theme of “Integrity”, we are still journeying through the Christmas season. Unitarians and Universalists have an important shared Biblical heritage and Christian foundations that we, as a people who seek awe and aspire to integrity, can’t ignore if we want to maintain right relations with our past. Come join us for a joyful and sincere spin through Unitarian Universalist history as we examine our past and see how it can inform our vision for the future.  

Caroline Bright is a Master of Divinity student at Meadville-Lombard Theological School, one of two Unitarian Universalist seminaries remaining in the United States. A Vermont native, she is proud to live in Philadelphia and to be a member of Unitarian Society of Germantown. More information can be found on Instagram @CarolineBright or on

12.15.19, Our Awesome World and Cosmos, Rev Kent Matthies

Science helps us understand the world, and also helps us understand how little we know. When we come to science revelations with an open, curious, spirituality, feelings of awe jump from our hearts. Come explore some of the most fascinating aspects of the scientific discoveries from the last hundred years. For people of every level of scientific knowledge, come ready to be blown away.

12.1.19, Waking Up to Awe, Rev. Kent Matthies

Awe is the spiritual theme of the month. We are heading into the holidays where we celebrate big stories of awe, stories about the miraculous birth of a savior and about the return of the sun to light our darkness. Today let us pause and pay attention to our daily experiences of feeling in the presence of something vast and beautiful. What are your everyday encounters which engender awe?

11.24.19, Bread Communion, Rev. Kent Matthies

For our worship service on our multi-generational Community Day, we celebrate with a participatory Thanksgiving bread communion. Everyone is invited to bring some bread from home!

We will commemorate the building of the elevator, celebrating the vision, hard work, dedication, and generosity of all who made a dream of installing an elevator into a reality that enables us to be a more welcoming and accessible place.

We will also have a baby dedication and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives, including the service, compassion & empowerment that so many folks bring to this community.

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?