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A voice of progressive religious tradition since 1843
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Sunday, May 29, 10:30 A.M.
Islamophobia and the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Senior High Youth Group
At our last youth con in St. Louis, the youth group learned about the crisis faced by refugees from Syria, prepared care packages for a group that had recently arrived in the area, and protested against fear. We would like to take this time to share what we learned with the broader congregation and to encourage action to meet this humanitarian crisis.

Sunday, May 22, 10:30 A.M.
How to Build a Genuine Community
Rev. Michael Brown
Today is New Member Sunday when we have the joy of welcoming new members into our community. How do we build genuine community? What is the formula? We will take a look a certain core elements that make for real community, something that is precious in our individualistic and materialistic world.

Sunday, May 8, 10:30 A.M.
Mothers and Babies: a Mothers' Day Celebration
Rev. Michael Brown
Today we honor the mothers of our lives and take the opportunity of this special day to dedicate new babies from several church families. What could be more important than a mother? And what could be more joyful than new life? Come and celebrate.

Sunday, May 1, 10:30 A.M.
Having a Mind of Our Own: Psychological Characteristics of Being Liberal or Conservative
Dr. Robert Fuller
In an election year when we are already very conscious of differences between red/blue and conservative/religious, what light can psychologists shed on what makes some of us religious seekers/liberals and others of us religious knowers/conservatives? Dr. Fuller is a professor of religion at Bradley and one of our favorite recurring guest preachers.

Sunday, April 17, 10:30 A.M.
The Theology of John Shelby Spong
Rev. Michael Brown
This past week we had the great pleasure to host a lecture with questions and answers by John Shelby Spong. Jack, as he likes to be called, is a retired Bishop in the Episcopal Church and author of 25 books on religion. He gave a powerful presentation which was attended by over 250 people. Today, both for those who attended and those who couldn't, I will highlight some of his vision of religion, which is a cutting edge worldview built on non-literalism and inclusion.

Sunday, April 10, 10:30 A.M.
Selling Elephant Parts: Is Everyone Equally Right?
Rev. Michael Brown
The old fable of the blind villagers and the elephant exists in many traditions and asks a basic question about human experience. Are we all equally right? Can we be tolerant and still have strong convictions? Our culture seems to really be struggling with this issue.

Sunday, March 27, 10:30 A.M.
The Earth Awakes Again
Rev. Michael Brown
As we enjoy the explosion of life that happens every spring, what is our human role in this great creative process? The Easter story says that rebirth is deeply imbedded in the nature of reality, so what are the chances for ecological and social rebirth for Earth's people?

Sunday, March 20, 10:30 A.M.
The Creative Search Church
Rev. Michael Brown
How do we define our community without a firm creed to answer all the big questions? How can a creative and essentially improvisational community sustain itself over years and decades? How can we be both institution and free, irreverent and spiritual? Welcome to our liberal faith.

Sunday, March 6, 10:30 A.M.
Are Muslims Our Neighbors?
Rev. Michael Brown
On March 7, the Islamic Foundation of Peoria has invited the Peoria community to an Open House at their mosque. They are extending the hand of friendship. Are we ready to see Muslims as our friends and neighbors? How can we process the various emotions that come up for us, sometimes even unconsciously, when we see certain styles of dress or speech? Sometimes friendship requires a conscious intention.

Sunday, February 28, 10:30 A.M.
Five Smooth Stones of Religious Liberalism
Rev. Michael Brown
What does it mean to be a religious liberal? Perhaps this is another way to ask what does it mean to be a UU. Unitarian theologian James Luther Adams proposed an answer based on the metaphor of five smooth stones. Come and find out what these five stones mean and the story behind them.

Sunday, February 21, 10:30 A.M.
Finding Happiness and Contentment
Bhanti Sujatha
"The pursuit of happiness" is a common bond that unites so many of us -- regardless of our economic or social position, regardless of what we've acquired along the way, nearly everyone on the planet is actively engaged in finding sustainable happiness. It's this mysterious wind that seems to come in, fill us with joy, then leave as unpredictably as it arrived. We search for ways to capture it -- to keep it around and within us long term, but inevitably it escapes and we find ourselves searching again. We can't buy it, we can't build it -- but we can cultivate a simple mindfulness practice that leads to sustainable happiness that will permeate every aspect of our lives. Mindfulness in everyday life is easy to learn, simple to practice and an essential element in creating a happy life.

Sunday, February 14, 10:30 A.M.
The Alchemy of Love
Rev. Michael Brown
One hundred years ago, psychoanalyst Carl Jung proposed a relationship between the symbolism of the ancient alchemists and the stages of romantic love. That may not seem immediately obvious but you may be surprised. This theory gives new meaning to the experience of "chemistry" between two people.

Sunday, February 7, 10:30 A.M.
Evolution and the Mystery of Life
Rev. Michael Brown
Today we celebrate Evolution Sunday, a widespread movement that seeks to emphasize the positive relationship possible between evolution and religion. As early as 1882 an article in our church newsletter speaks positively about evolution and Universalism. Let us support the movement to drop the harmful war between evolution and religion and instead move forward together to address the more serious challenges of our age.

Sunday, January 31, 10:30 A.M.
The Space Between Fundamentalist and No Religion
Rev. Michael Brown
Are fundamentalist and no religion the only two religious choices available to us? Although these two alternatives may suffice for some, it is worthwhile to be aware of the wide range of spiritual and religious paths in human culture. In our tradition we look freely at the many choices and then go where our conscience leads us.

Sunday, January 17, 10:30 A.M.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Elusive Quest for Justice
Rev. Michael Brown
Today we join with people all over the world in celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One can not help but wonder how King would respond to events today. Or perhaps a better questions is, how might we respond in light of King's vision?

Sunday, January 10, 10:30 A.M.
Do Religions Cause Wars?
Rev. Michael Brown
Just before the Parliament of the World's Religions in October, I began reading Karen Armstrong's new book, Fields of Blood. During the Parliament, I heard her speak twice and I just finished her brilliant book. The question is: "Do religions cause wars?" I will tell you what she says.

Sunday, January 3, 10:30 A.M.
Hopes for a New Year
Rev. Michael Brown
Can you believe it will be 2016 when this service happens? How can this be possible? This is the time for new possibilities, new ideas, new hopes. What do we hope for the new year? What can we do to make these things happen? Our choir will sing today to start the new year.

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