Six Words for Love

The ancient Greeks used six different words for love, while contemporary English has only one. What are the differences among these various conceptions of love, and why is it important for us to understand and practice them today?

Words and Music of Labor

On this Labor Day weekend, we will reflect on the history and the current state of labor in the United States. How did we get to our current situation, and what, if anything, can be done to revive the labor movement.

The Worship Team will assist with this service.

In the Beginnings

Using the two creations stories from Genesis, this service will focus on how most beginnings are ambiguous. Where did this new thing come from? What, if anything, is its purpose? What do our own institutional creation myths say about us?(After today’s service, we will have an Involvement Fair, featuring the many ways people can become more involved in Sunnyhill’s various activities and groups.)

Start Where You Are

Each day or even each moment can represent a new beginning if we think of it that way. But, no matter what undertaking we start, we must begin where we are. It doesn’t mean that we’re happy about where we are, but it does imply some measure of acceptance and readiness to begin again.

First Ask Why

Any time we start a new undertaking–or even a new cycle or phase of our life–it is good to start by considering why. Why are we doing this? What larger purpose, if any, do our actions serve? Is there an underlying reason what we are doing or are we just going through motions?

Setting the Table

“For the eight days and seven nights of Sukkot, Jews traditionally eat and sleep in a sukkah, a temporary dwelling with a thatched roof, from which the holiday gets its name. Two other components of the holiday are inviting guests, or ushpizin, and waving the four species, known as the lulav and etrog.” What does this holiday have to tell us about welcoming others?

Love the Stranger

What does it mean to “love the stranger”–a concept that is present in a number of different religious traditions? Do we really have to love people we don’t even know or with whom we might not have anything in common? How do set about such a task?

Welcoming Congregation Celebration

Last year our congregation renewed our status as a “Welcoming Congregation” with the Unitarian Universalist Association. We are grateful for the work of many in our congregation who engaged in this process. How do we continue to live into our status as a welcoming congregation?

Interweave will assist with this service.


Consecration Service

As part of our building dedication weekend, we will consecrate our new sanctuary and consider: What does it mean to make a space sacred? How will we choose to bless this place? And how will we bless the world through this space?

Rev. Barker has served as president and professor of ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School since 2003.  Prior to his appointment he served 25 years in the Unitarian Universalist parish ministry. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Meadville Lombard, President Barker has led the School though its creation of an innovative, contextual program of ministerial formation that infuses practical experience in parish and community settings with academic coursework.  Along with his wife Kris, a landscape architect, and their daughter Ava, an eighth grader, he makes his home in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.

“I believe Unitarian Universalism offers a route to true transformation both for individuals and the larger world, that our religious perspective has the possibility of bringing all life closer to wholeness. The degree to which we are successful in this venture is directly related to the quality of our ministry. And a ministry of excellence is shaped by a sound education. The mission of Meadville Lombard is sweeping, it is to knit together every part of the fragmented world.”


All Souls Day

In the Christian tradition, All Souls Day has been a time to remember everyone who has died, everyone who has been part of the gathered community. The phrase “All Souls” has a particularly Unitarian connotation because of something that one of our own “saints,” William Ellery Channing, “I am a living member of the great Family of All Souls; and I cannot improve or suffer myself without diffusing good or evil around me through an ever-enlarging sphere. What does it mean for us to be a community of All Souls in the 21st century?

During construction, there is one service only at 10 a.m. in the Mt. Lebanon Rec Center.