Rev. Jay Abernathy

You Are Not Alone

Drawing on the work of the transcendentalists and, more recently, Ursula Goodenough, this sermon will address issues of angst, anxiety, loneliness and hopelessness by focusing on the spiritual sense of being part of something larger than ourselves. What do natural theology and nontheist faith have to offer in response to these issues?

The Blessings of Imperfection

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to recognize that we give thanks–not always for exactly what we want, but rather for what we have received. The two are seldom the same. Imperfections in DNA are largely responsible for evolution, or so wrote Dr. Ursala Goodenough–yes, that’s her name–in one of the best books for understanding how … Continued

Faith and Generosity

On a holiday of generosity, we will explore an ancient term that sounds seriously clumsy today. Faith is a very useful term sketching out the form of religion in modern society. This sermon will draw out a sense of faith in modern terms.  Another old concept, grace, shows up in the transition from Thanksgiving to … Continued

Walking Together: Connecting Past, Present, and Future

We UUs do not have a creed; rather, we agree to “walk together,” a phrase as old as the oldest New England churches. The metaphor emphasizes our freedom but also delivers a much more subtle message about discipline and self-restraint. Let us walk together this Sunday after Thanksgiving. I suspect we all need the exercise.

Thanks, But No Thanks: Freedom and Discipline

This service will explore how freedom is not as much a right as it is a goal and a challenge. During this Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps it is appropriate not to be grateful for freedom but to be thankful for the opportunity to strive for freedom. As William Ellery Channing, one or our UU “saints,” put … Continued

The Other Side of Thanksgiving: Humility

One of Sunnyhill’s many gifts to Eileen and me was the joy of giving thanks during worship, social activities, and personal connections.  We found Sunnyhill to be a positive, affirming, and supportive group—on the whole.  Before you pat yourselves on the back so hard you strain something, the other side of thanksgiving deserves mention.  We … Continued