Rev. Jim Magaw

Flower Celebration

Everyone, please bring a cut flower or flowers with you this morning to share with others. We will celebrate this ritual, which was initiated 100 years ago by Norbert Capek, the founder of the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia, and honors the beauty and individuality of each individual and the bouquet we create by joining together with … Continued


In recent decades, we have seen the rise of a new “religious” nationalism that presents itself in the guise of particular brand of “patriotism.” As members of a religious community, we are guided by values that transcend national interests, so it is important to examine the difference between true patriotism (a noble virtue) and nationalism … Continued


This is the time of year when graduations, commencements, and other transitions are celebrated. What does it mean to bridge from what has been to what shall be? Why is it important to commemorate such occasions? And what can be learned from occupying these liminal “in between” spaces? This service will include a bridging ceremony … Continued

Memorializing and Moralizing

National holidays in America have largely become occasions for shopping mall sales, sporting events and backyard barbecues. Many of these holidays have also become celebrations of materialism and militarism–and a good bit of narrow moralizing around these themes. How might we honor these holidays while resisting their less savory aspects?

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Most of us have experienced moments in our lives when we are caught off-guard by something big for which we were not prepared. In fact, over the past few years, some of us have experienced many such moments. This sermon will offer some suggestions about what to do when you don’t know what to do.

Improvisational Parenting

In recent decades, there have been numerous theories and methods of parenting put forth by experts and others–many of which may be helpful, but none of which answers every conceivable challenge or circumstance. In the end, much of parenting involves making it up as one goes along. What are the important aspects of improvisational parenting … Continued

Resistance and Revolution Revisited

As a number of writers have recently noted, resistance in and of itself may not be enough. Our own Declaration of Independence notes that “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”  When and … Continued

Life and Music of Nina Simone

Singer, songwriter, pianist and civil rights activist Nina Simone (1933-2003) was one of the most influential performers of her time. Known for her unique musical style and her outspoken social commentary, Simone was one of the most provocative figures of the 1960s. What can we learn from her life and music that is relevant to … Continued

A Theology of Trees

Poet Wendell Berry suggests that we should “stand like slow growing trees / on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it.” How can we live more like trees, and what kind of theology is suggested by the life of trees. We’ll explore these questions and others in this service.

The Good Samaritan and Collective Liberation

While we often focus on some of the more obvious lessons of the Good Samaritan, what does the story tell us about systems of oppression? How might we view this tale as a case study in intersectionality and the struggle for collective liberation?