We capture digital audio of sermons at our Sunday worship services, and make them available (as MP3 files) here. Be patient after you click the link (and perhaps accept the download with a dialog box): depending on the speed of your connection, it may take some minutes to download. Or, use the link to the podcast feed in the "Related links" box.
BUUF Sermon Audio
November 3, 2013
We will celebrate the Mexican holy day Día de los Muertos and consider what death has to teach us about living. We will also share a Ritual of Remembrance honoring those who have passed from our lives.
October 27, 2013
The stories we tell end up defining who we are. What are the stories of this congregation? How do they define you? Are they a complete view? Which stories will carry you into the future and which do you want to move beyond?
October 20, 2013
Though we are often encouraged to live in the present, be mindful in the moment, in truth the past and the future are present in every breath. Everything that has gone before has brought us to this particular moment, and the future is forming even as we breathe.
October 13, 2013
Our Junior High youth once again journeyed to Boston this past summer on their bi-annual pilgrimage. Come hear from this crop of Boston Bounders about their adventures in Beantown and beyond.
October 6, 2013
The great insights of the Buddha include the realization that everything is always changing – arising and passing away. Human suffering arises when we resist this deep truth, when we wish to hold onto the way things have been or wish to avoid some future change. The path to liberation lies in holding everything more lightly.
September 29, 2013
Ours is a faith with a wide theological embrace. Francis David said we need not think alike to love alike. Keeping our embrace wide and open is one of our highest values and one of our greatest challenges.
September 22, 2013
Practice makes perfect, the saying goes. Yet perfection is a daunting standard. How does that change if we shift perspective and seek and affirm progress over perfection?
September 15, 2013
During the Jewish High Holy Days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur the Book of Life is (metaphorically) open and we have a chance to make amends, to turn a new page, to renew our Yes! To life. We will enter the spirit of the High Holy Days and begin together in love.
September 8, 2013
Water Communion All Generation Service. Let us dive in to this year of changes, challenges and opportunity together. We'll hear the poetry of Shel Silverstein and music from the choir and we'll engage in covenant with our Interim Minister, Rev. Dana Worsnop.
September 1, 2013
You may remember reading The Book of Job back in Sunday School and thinking it was a huge bummer. It kind of was. But could our man Job have lessons for the 21st century reader? This and other burning questions will be pondered as David attempts to humorously reinterpret the Old Testament story for a more modern UU congregation.
August 25, 2013
A moving story of a world turned upside down by a moment that forever changed a life.
August 18, 2013
100 years of psychological and religious study have led many researchers to the conclusion that the human search for meaning (spirituality?) is expressed in four major ways, based on four major personality temperaments.
UUA President Peter Morales has called us to create an expansive and inclusive faith, a "big tent with no borders." We usually think of inclusion and diversity in terms of race, gender identity, religious belief, or sexual orientation. What if our inherent personalities and spiritualities separate us more than race, sexual orientation, or belief? What if the real challenge facing us is to overcome our personality and spirituality differences? Perhaps embracing the four spiritualities will enable us to create the "big tent" that includes everyone, even those of us who might not fit into someone else's definition of "spiritual."
August 11, 2013
Boise-based journalist Nathaniel Hoffman will present a brief history of migration and marriage from the earliest human wanderings to the era of the "Deporter in Chief," based on his new book, Amor and Exile: True Stories of Love Across America's Borders, co-written with Nicole Salgado, an American writer in exile in Mexico. Salgado's husband faces a permanent ban from the United States for immigration violations despite his marriage to an American citizen. The book chronicles the social, political and historical context of citizenship for mixed immigration status couples—both gay and straight. Books will be available for a signing following the service. More information is available at amorandexile.com.
August 4, 2013
We speak of Unitarian Universalism as a "faith tradition." But what is faith? We will reflect on this question, and on what faith might be especially for UUs, as well as what it is not or should not be.
July 28, 2013
Mary knew the baby Jesus was her son. But what if the kid wasn't yours? Not just in a village 2000+ years ago, but today. Your sister's kid. The local schoolchildren. Our congregation's youth. When a child acts out, is it someone else's problem? Or do you look beyond yourself at a larger outcome? Thoughts, musings and possible first steps in creating empowered, just and ethical adults out of today's children.
July 21, 2013
Thought about how the moon has inspired us, motivated us and been an ever present part of all our lives?
July 14, 2013
Do Unitarian Universalists pray? I believe they do if they are alive and serious about life. So, I'd like to spend a few minutes thinking about how we can do it -- and still be Unitarian Universalists. I will suggest some possible implications of daily prayer opportunities; and no one has to close his or her eyes, or kneel down, or say a word.
July 7, 2013
Caught between anxieties about tomorrow and fretting about yesterday with thoughts streaming through your mind, it can be very difficult to be in the present moment. Rick will be talking about learning to live in the present through mindfulness. Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice, but he follows a secularized version restated in modern terms.
June 30, 2013
Wanda, Bryan and Elton will share their experiences at this year's GA in Louisville, KY. Much is changing this year with the shrinkage of the UUA Board, moving of UUA headquarters, and general reorganization. Learn what all this means for BUUF and the future of the UU movement.
June 23, 2013
What does it mean to be "the church"? What benefits are to be gained by being part of an organization that still ties itself to terminology used for two thousand years by the Christian tradition and our own UU tradition that was born out of 18th century liberal understandings? And most importantly, "Why not just abandon all religious groups and stay home or go golfing?" (That last one is very tempting at times and I must admit to giving in on occasion!) I have a chaplain friend who says she worships at the "Church of Serta" every Sunday morning! This service will offer a few ideas for Atheists and non-Atheists to ponder.
June 16, 2013
Jeannette Maré, Ben's Bells founder and Executive Director, will lead an in-depth discussion of the challenges and opportunities we encounter in every interaction as we strive to create a kinder community. During this conversation, Jeannette will reflect on her own personal experiences with kindness in the face of devastating grief, as well as her work with Ben's Bells Project and the power of kindness to transform people and communities.
June 9, 2013
Whether being webmaster, trying to be committee chair (twice), teaching sexuality to our youth or serving espresso most Sundays, I've been looking for where I fit. Early on the way I was told to look for my ministry. That sounded like excellent advice. It turns out there are pitfalls on the road to finding your ministry – I've fallen in quite a few so far. I'll relate some of them, as well as a success or two. My search is ongoing... I share it in the hope that I can provide help for, or at least serve as a warning to others.
June 2, 2013
Carrie Bastian and musicians, Janine Larsen, Pacific Northwest District Executive, Linda Laskowski, Unitarian Universalist Board trustee from the Pacific Central District and Virginia Phillips, Elizabeth's sister join Elizabeth with Music! Poetry! Colorful stoles for everyone! A glorious farewell as Elizabeth and her guests cross our bridge, celebrating 25 years of a wonderful relationship, and looking forward in hope and jubilation. Here we embody the old hymn that says we celebrate our past and also trust the dawning future.
May 26, 2013
"Story Link, Linking parents in prison with their children, through stories," Eileen Dingledein and Wanda Jennings
Your heart will be moved by the stories told of keeping family connections alive as inmates record stories for their children.
May 19, 2013
This is the LAST official sermon Elizabeth will preach as our minister! In it, she would like to deliver Serious Advice Learned Over the Years—but it seems a little earnest for the occasion. Instead, she will share her favorite jokes, and reflect on what "lessons" emerge from our laughter.
May 12, 2013
Our Coming of Age youth will share their statements of faith that they have developed over the years and through the journey of discovery that has been our Coming of Age program for the last eight months. Join in on this celebration of youth and share in the journey with these incredible young people!
May 5, 2013
Recollecting a long-ago sermon she presented here (1988) on a much-loved song, the Grateful Dead's "Ripple," Elizabeth will share some of her truths that have remained pretty much intact through the years.
April 28, 2013
The book "Three Cups of Tea" inspired us with stories of building schools in their world. In spite of the recent controversy, what inspired us remains valid. Come hear what was different about this story, and how we can apply it to our lives.
April 21, 2013
Scientists teach us cause and effect and how to sustain (or not) systems. Poets teach us how to love. This morning, in honor of Earth Day, we'll look at a very mundane topic—dirt, through the eyes of a scientist and the heart of a poet. Perhaps we will be re-enchanted with the very ground we walk upon, that in the spring becomes "mud-lucious and puddle-wonderful." This is a "Sermon to Service Sunday," so be prepared to learn about ways you can do work in the world to show your love for the earth.
April 14, 2013
Susan and Carrie are our "Bridgers" this year, seniors in high school who are making that first step into what we traditionally call adulthood. Both young women will share some of their journey, their hopes and plans.
April 7, 2013
Follow the adventures of woodland creatures as they explore our fourth principle – a free and responsible search of truth and meaning. Please join us for this service involving all ages with stories, music, and merriment.
March 31, 2013
There's Demeter and her daughter Persephone. There's Jesus on the cross, brought to life two days later. There's Isis and Osiris. There's Elizabeth's little rhubarb plant, living miraculously through neglect and presumed death. Resurrection abounds!
March 24, 2013
As the Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Luke's Medical Center, Jackie works with chaplaincy students with diverse beliefs and ways of understanding spirituality. Her students, in turn, learn to minister to patients, family and staff with equally diverse beliefs. It's no wonder that sometimes people feel offended when confronted with deeply held convictions that are polar opposites of their own. So what happens when we choose not to be offended?
March 17, 2013
Nearing the Vernal Equinox, when day and night are equal, the star wheel is turning, moving us into spring. Join us for this mostly music Sunday, featuring our choir and additional guest musicians. There will even be a wee bit o' Celtic music for St. Pat's Day as we rejoice in the greening of the year! What can that mean in our lives?
March 10, 2013
The Fellowship has survived many transitions in the past and will continue to do so. Mary Schwartzman will describe the evolution of our beloved Fellowship from 1967, when she and Alan arrived as newlyweds, to Elizabeth's arrival in 1988. We each play a part in the ongoing evolution. Prepare to welcome some of the people who made the Fellowship what it is today. They are the shoulders upon which we stand. They dug the wells from which we drink. They planted the trees in whose shade we sit.
March 3, 2013
Elizabeth attends St. Michael's Episcopal Church when she is not at the Fellowship, and deems John Thornton, former Episcopal Bishop of Idaho to be one of the best preachers she has ever heard. John will speak to us about stewardship, what that means in the institutions we love most.
February 24, 2013
Is spiritual experience real? When we pray, what happens? Does consciousness depend entirely on your brain and the unique way it works? Can science explain God? Join us for an exploration of how faith and spirituality affect us physically, emotionally, and spiritually as set out by Barbara Bradley Hagerty in her book of the same title.
February 17, 2013
Elizabeth believes firmly that an attitude of reverence can be the concept that unites Unitarian Universalists of all beliefs and philosophies. It is deeply spiritual, and it cuts across the distractions of falsely-divisive belief systems.
February 10, 2013
Many of us probably think that Idaho has no African-American history. Cherie Buckner-Webb, a several-generation Idaho African-American, will let us know otherwise. And, she will sing, always a wonderful experience.
February 3, 2013
What does a person learn from 25 years of parish ministry, with the same congregation? Elizabeth will share a few of her learnings—some of which might surprise you.
January 27, 2013
As we continue our preparation for the interim period, accredited UU interim minister, Don Rollins, will lead us in a look at the good things that lie ahead. Don is the Interim Minister at the UU Church of Eugene, Oregon.
January 20, 2013
In May 1993, BUUF became one of a number of UU congregations to enter into a partnership with a Unitarian congregation in Transylvania. Our partnership with Mészkõ has been an incredible 20 years for both congregations. The sixth principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association is the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. On January 20, we will explore how the transformative, shared experiences of our global partnership have increased our awareness of the interdependency of all people and our common struggles for human rights, social justice, and well being.
January 13, 2013
For the Second Annual BUUF Pioneer Sunday, Elizabeth will reflect on the life and service of Jim Tompkins, who served our church deeply and widely, in earlier days. We will also ponder what it is to be a pioneer, how we all are—sometimes unknowingly—pioneers in our lives.
January 6, 2013
Our task as we enter this New Year is to renew ourselves in the love and labor of filling out our individual biography. We do that by taking hold of the threads in life that seem to assist in this enterprise, in our vocation, our relationships, in what we speak for, and in how we live. In these various ways, through these secondary threads, we stay connected to that changeless, invisible thread that loops through our selves and all being, linking all of them.
December 30, 2012
The early Quakers considered silence to be a direct path to God. This
was a radical idea in its time. Silence remains a radical idea today. In
our culture of iPhones, cell phones, the Internet, high-definition TV
and continual bombardment of advertising, cultivating silence—as
opposed to consuming products—is a radical idea. But it can
connect us to—and keep us on—the path we're supposed to be
(No audio recording.)
December 24, 2012
"Come Celebrate the Light!," Rev. Elizabeth Greene
Can you find the Christmas Eve star, one of the mainstays of Elizabeth's
childhood? Can we feel the joy of a light blazing in the winter sky,
announcing humanity's divine births? On Elizabeth's last Christmas Eve
with us, can we join in the love that has always brought us together?
(No audio recording.)
December 23, 2012
The question declares itself, bringing up questions like: what god does an atheist not believe in? what is the role of language in our lives, and is it static? are there words that fundamentally should be off-limits in a Unitarian Universalist congregation?
December 21, 2012
"Solstice," Rev. Elizabeth Greene and the Solstice Team
This annual favorite is a reflective service celebrating light's return
and pondering what we want to leave in the darkness and what to bring
into the light.
(No audio recording.)
December 16, 2012
We Unitarian Universalists often substitute "soul" for the original "wretch" in the beloved hymn "Amazing Grace." Elizabeth's position is that we're fooling ourselves when we do this, not to mention missing the possibility of real transformation, especially of suffering.
December 9, 2012
The gospels say there was "no room at the inn" for the birth of the infant king. Is there room in our hearts this holiday season to adore the holy and beloved, in all its many forms and traditions? Come explore this question through music and spoken word as the choir and BUUF musicians share our annual mostly-music Christmas and winter holiday service.
December 2, 2012
"Deck the Halls for the WinterGreene Holidays," Emmie Schlobohm and Congregational Youth
It's time again for our annual tradition of Deck the Halls Sunday! (Two recordings: 9:30 service and 11:15 service) On this year of celebrations for and with Elizabeth, this year's Deck the Halls is all about WinterGreene Holidays. Come explore worldwide and green traditions, the power of transitions and transformations, and much much more. Join us for singing, skits, cookies, and music with guest appearances from holiday celebrities.
November 25, 2012
Back in 2009 Loren read a book by Michael Dowd titled "Thank God for Evolution," which really changed his perspective on the relationship between science and spirituality. In the book, it says that evolution is the greatest religious story ever told. Loren's belief is that if we can truly internalize the story, it will accelerate both personal spiritual growth and the improvement of the communities to which we belong. There's lots of good work being done on how to do this in practical terms, and Loren will be sharing his latest efforts.
November 18, 2012
You do not have to be transgendered or have transgendered friends, to find this issue moving and relevant. Who are we, as humans? What is it to find yourself "other" in our society? What are the ties that bind?
November 11, 2012
Commemorating Veteran's Day, Elizabeth will reflect on patriotism and other commitments to causes larger than ourselves. What calls us to move "out of ourselves," to step from the ordinary into areas we might not have ever thought we would dwell in?
November 4, 2012
Elizabeth is retiring in June, after 25 years as our minister, and the most common question she hears these days is, "What are you going to do?" She will offer some sort of answers to that question.
October 28, 2012
I spent nearly three years living in Canada, and I loved it there. But it was not my country. My country was the United States, even when the changing times here was bad. When faced with change in the places we know, how do we adapt to the change and yet maintain connection to the groundedness on which we have relied? Where do we ultimately plant our stakes?
October 21, 2012
BUUF is a remarkable spiritual community. What makes it so? Elton will reflect on how congregations like BUUF are meaningful and essential to individual transformation and collective growth and why they are vital to our democratic culture.
October 14, 2012
How do we talk about hunger? What assumptions underlay the language we use in America when talking about hunger and poverty? "Public assistance," "entitlement," "welfare," "food insecurity," and "charity." Our word choice relates to a way of seeing the poor. It relates to a story, or a narrative—a way of telling about the facts. What ARE the facts about poverty and hunger? And what stories are being told to justify particular policies and actions, or lack of action? And what can you do about it? This is the first of what we are calling "Sermon to Service Sundays," a new initiative described in the October newsletter.
October 7, 2012
We are always creating, building, maintaining—and sometimes tearing down—community, each of us in different places all the time. How do we deal transformatively with this fact of existence? How do we cherish being together, respecting each other and the whole that is greater than the sum of our parts.
September 30, 2012
Our speakers are members of BUUF Medians, the church's young adult group (about 20-40 years old), rising up to let us "oldsters" know something about their lives and values.
September 23, 2012
Linda Laskowsky, Elizabeth's beloved roommate on the national Unitarian Universalist Board, is honoring us with a visit. She asks, "Why do we pay dues to our national and district organizations?" and comes up with surprising answers
September 16, 2012
What goes into creating one's personal theology/philosophy? Elizabeth will share experience, authors and people that have contributed to hers.
September 9, 2012
Once again—for the last time while Elizabeth is our minister (she's retiring in June)—we join for "homecoming," the first Sunday in the program year. Bring water from your summer travels, for Water Communion.
September 2, 2012
Life is often not easy. So how do we survive when life becomes very difficult? What is it that we can use to go another week, or day, or even hour? This is a story of the survival of one person who had their share of difficulties and survived.
August 26, 2012
Members of the newly formed BUUF Quest Steering Committee, Jackie Groves, Elizabeth Greene, Mike Philley, Jay Wechselberger, Lynne Tolk, Bill Renwick and Mark Zimmerer share our hopes, dreams and concrete plans to offer this curriculum developed by First Unitarian Society in Madison WI, to the BUUF community in 2013. Quest is an 18 month multi-faceted personal spiritual development curriculum in which participants learn how to honor their spirituals selves, awaken their own inherent wisdom and knowledge, and create intentional spiritual community in part through retreats, integration groups, interacting with a spiritual companion, spiritual practice and personal work. This recognition and affirmation of each individual allows an intentional spiritual community to unfold.
August 19, 2012
How has your spirituality progressed? Other than your outright experiences, who or what has helped you along? Come listen to Gail share with us some of her spiritual gurus, sayings, and practices that help her with her along this trek we call human life.
August 12, 2012
A reviewer recently wrote "The old sage (Cohen) may not have any more answers than when he started, but he's still asking questions to the end, looking for the truth and the holiness." The metaphors and melodies of this venerable musician inspire our own look in this service for some truth and holiness. Thoughts from Patricia Heeb; images from Mark McGinnis; music from Leonard himself (alas, prerecorded).
August 5, 2012
This spring, 10 or so people read and discussed what many consider "the great American novel," F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." Some were impressed with a theme that resonates today: how the concentration of wealth leads to corruption. Others were taken by the author's exquisitely precise, and yet poetic language. Still others were impressed with the author's steely self evaluation. What is it like, in this day of superficial and slap-dash writing, to read attentively, something written with deliberate attention? Fast food and page-turners have their places, but how about a "slow read" movement to complement the slow food movement? Come and hear what 4 slow readers learned about this novel, and about themselves.
July 29, 2012
David Scott will take a light-hearted look at worry and attempt to answer the following questions: What is worry? What behaviors do we engage in that allows worry to flourish? When is worry useful and when does it become non-productive? Security blankets are optional.
July 22, 2012
"Grand Adventure: Rafting the Colorado through the Grand Canyon," Cathy Carmen, Linnea, Megan & Linden Boice
A recipe for fun = 6 kids + 10 adults for 16 days on 6 rafts through the most beautiful canyon in North America! So begins the Boice, Carmen's family adventure in June 2011! How they did it and why they'd do it again (in a heartbeat!) along with stories of side canyon hikes, floating through rapids in life jackets and how to catch lizards with a noose included. Come along for an action-packed ride!
July 15, 2012
Immigration was the Big Topic of the Justice Unitarian Universalist General Assembly! Wanda and Bryan Jennings and Elizabeth Greene went to the Unitarian Universalist Association Justice General Assembly in Phoenix in June where the theme was Social Justice with a strong emphasis on Immigration. Come hear about our experiences.
July 8, 2012
We are living in chaotic and challenging times. Why and how can we find the strength and courage to go forward? During her lifetime of non-profit work, Sue's thinking has evolved about self-improvement, work, and retirement. Joanna Macy (one of the wisdom voices of our time), a BUUF Dream group, a World Calling Women group, 4-H teens, and diverse community members starting a new non-profit are helping her to embrace the future.
July 1, 2012
Exploring the ways in which our body, mind and spirit influence each other. As Mary Oliver says:
The spirit likes to dress up like this:
shoulders, and all the rest
June 24, 2012
Zen is commonly thought to be some some blissful state where all is wonderful and serene. Zen Buddhism is not what you think. Rather, it is more about how you live. It is about paying attention. Join us, for a quick trip to another viewpoint.
June 17, 2012
Four years ago, Greg Duffy, went to the Midwest to take part in a writing workshop. His journey took him through a period in his family's life that was challenging to say the least. Greg tells his touching story, which explains his plan, which was to help someone, and how it played out in real life.
June 10, 2012
Midlife is traditionally a time of great transition. Many changes occur naturally at this time of life. Your children grow up and move away from home. Your aging parents may become more in need of care. Your relationship focus may change as you contemplate retirement or a change in location. Or your marital status may even change due to divorce or death, causing you to be alone at just the time when you were expecting to enjoy your lives together. Career changes may occur as you begin to realize that you have met your major career goals-or that you haven't really met them. Viewing these transitions from the spiritual perspective brings acceptance, strength and serenity to live our best lives now.
June 3, 2012
On this first-Sunday-of –summer-schedule, we have a briefer-than-usual service, starring Flower Communion: everyone brings a flower to put in the community vases, then, at a certain point in the service, we each take a flower back. If you forget your flower, Providence always steps in— in the form of other people!
May 27, 2012
We all have complaints in life. We don't like this about one person, or don't like that about another. Why do we complain? Does it cost us anything to complain? Does it accomplish anything? In this service we will examine ways we can approach life without complaints and yet still address our concerns.
May 20, 2012
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Pacific Northwest District of the Unitarian Universalist Association. As a UUA National Trustee, Elizabeth is performing her duties at the District Assembly in Anchorage this weekend. In her stead, Board President Debra Smith will engage us in thinking about the spiritual health of our Fellowship today, and about how we stand in preparation for our next fifty years.
May 13, 2012
"Our Unitarian Universalist Stories," Children and Youth of Religious Exploration (Two recordings: 9:30 service and 11:15 service)
Come celebrate our children on this second annual Religious Exploration Celebration Sunday! Find out what our children and youth have explored this year in their classes. Unitarian Universalist faith traditions, our BUUF religious community, and intangible gifts have been the over-arching themes this year, so join us for stories galore for all ages!
May 6, 2012
What is the song of your soul? What music, your own and others, inspires you to follow your passion? Elizabeth and church musicians explore music's power.
April 29, 2012
"Senior High Bridging," BUUF High School Seniors, Emmie Schlobohm, Director of Religious Exploration, and Rev. Elizabeth Greene
Do you need an infusion of hope for the future and to know that the world will be in good hands after we're gone? Our senior high youth who are taking that monumental next step forward into their future will share their journeys and visions. Come celebrate their bridging from youth to young adulthood during these vibrant alternative services!
April 22, 2012
Organic Growth - Change, Passion, Action. Some thoughts on becoming a thriving community.
April 15, 2012
In a revisiting of one of those "wounded words" we UUs can find problematical, Elizabeth reflects on the larger meaning of the word "prayer."
April 8, 2012
On Easter, diverse faith traditions celebrate the way that life arises from literal and metaphorical death. This Easter, we rejoice at how all creation can bloom, even in the face of despair.
April 1, 2012
The mytho-poetic implications of the Fool are legion, as are the philosophical and religious undercurrents of why we laugh. Or maybe Elizabeth just likes to tell jokes from the pulpit?
March 25, 2012
Pema Chodron is a well-known Buddhist nun. She writes with compassion about facing our fears, becoming greater-hearted people. Elizabeth will reflect on how we approach this.
March 18, 2012
Today, we bring our smiles, vision and commitment, as we are inspired by one of our favorite preachers. The lively Rev. Montagnes serves as associate minister to the Eastshore UU congregation, in Bellevue WA.
March 11, 2012
How often do we recognize the light in others? Does it reflect (or not reflect) what we are putting forth? What community results shine forth (or don't), when our lights mingle?
March 4, 2012
There is much work to do in this world. When we work together towards a common goal, the hard work becomes a thing of joy and a blessed act of community. Come explore the joy of heart work with Emmie Schlobohm, our Director of Religious Exploration.
February 26, 2012
A frog in a well does not know the great ocean and cannot imagine the vastness of the sky. (Japanese proverb) What keeps our vision small? What limits our aspirations? Should we seek to change the world? Should we seek to truly make a difference in our communities? What might happen if we let our vision of ourselves and our congregations grow?
February 19, 2012
Spiritual seekers leave the religions of their childhoods for complex reasons, but one reason some of us left the Christian tradition was the severe attitudes of St. Paul which seem focused on sin, are harsh in respect to women, and have no sense of joy. Scholars have shown that St. Paul did not write all the epistles assigned to him. When we look at his authentic writings, a radically different St. Paul emerges, one UUs can respect and perhaps even embrace.
February 12, 2012
The Christian tradition is full of references to love: for friends (philia), for God (caritas and agape), with not a lot about eros, or body-and-soul, lover-ly love. What does it all mean, anyhow?
February 5, 2012
Life is just one darned change after another, some more "successful" than others, each similar to others and also unique. How do we roll with the taps and punches of seemingly-continual transition?
January 29, 2012
This June, the Unitarian Universalist Association is holding a Justice General Assembly (GA) in Phoenix, Arizona, hotbed of immigration abuses. Elizabeth will reflect on "the immigration issue," and will have information available on this potentially life-changing GA.
January 22, 2012
Last summer Tom von Alten and Jeanette Ross participated in a choir that sang through Transylvania and Hungary. Peace pilgrim advised "A pilgrim is a wanderer with purpose." Jeanette and Tom will share stories and insights from their purposeful wanderings.
January 15, 2012
On this Martin Luther King Sunday, we welcome Emerson Hunger Fellows. John Pevy will be talking about giving individuals power and control over their lives and livelihood and Aleta Sprague will talk about how public discourse about recipients of government assistance tends to focus on drawing a line between those who are "deserving" and "undeserving," instead of being guided by love and forgiveness. Gary Wyke and Rick Groff will talk about hunger related social justice work our congregation is doing. We will welcome social justice community partners during and after the second service.
January 8, 2012
What does it mean to be a pioneer? Do we appreciate those "whose shoulders we stand on"? In what ways are we pioneers: historically, spiritually, socially?
January 1, 2012
Many Christians eagerly await the second coming of Christ. A much more interesting (and more probable) event is the impending arrival of God. In the relatively near future we will create an intelligence that has the capability of recursive self-enhancement. This event is called the Singularity. Its ability to understand and control events in the universe will be unlimited. The time has come to anticipate this event and to explore and understand our role with our new God.
(no audio for Christmas day service)
December 24, 2011
What gifts do we bring to the Divine Child, inside us and in others? How hard a journey are we willing to undertake to see that our gifts are given well?
(no audio for Solstice service)
December 18, 2011
Three of our very long time church members (Bob and Alan date back to the '70s, Emmie since the early '90s) are Jews, and will share their memories of family Channukah celebrations.
December 11, 2011
Bells are a prominent Christmas symbol: silver bells, sleigh bells, steeple bells. They call out, but to what are they calling us? Come explore this question on this mostly music Sunday while the choir and BUUF musicians share the joy and music of Christmas.
December 4, 2011
It's time again for our annual tradition of Deck the Halls Sunday! Our children and youth share stories of the season from their unique perspectives. Join us for a celebration of exploration and discovery of the season! Skits, singing, music, music and more music, along with treats and cookies.
November 27, 2011
For many of us Chaucer's account of a group pilgrimage to Canterbury was our first knowledge of this practice. Most of us have never been on a physical pilgrimage, but while the custom has waned in the Western world, some Eastern religions still maintain the practice. And then there are spiritual pilgrimages which are universal and usually private, and while not physically arduous, they are nonetheless demanding. Today several members of the congregation will speak of their spiritual journeys to Unitarian-Universalism.
November 20, 2011
This day is dedicated nationwide to memorializing the transgendered person who have died because of their gender. Emilie is a local trans* person and friend of BUUF. She and Elizabeth will reflect in an appropriately memorial way, and Emilie will share hopeful parts of her life.
November 13, 2011
We Unitarian Universalists pride ourselves on our diversity. Is this entirely justified? Are there any "categories" that we do not feel compelled to embrace? How do we deal respectfully with genuine difference?
November 6, 2011
The fathers of our Board vice president Judy Holcombe and our minister Elizabeth Greene were career US Navy men, and close friends. Their daughters will reflect on their lives, in honor of Veterans' Day.
October 30, 2011
The lively and colorful Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, fascinates us Norteamericanos, who tend to be pretty "Protestant" in our attitude toward death. Come join in a more unfettered celebration of our beloved dead than we are accustomed to.
October 23, 2011
"Privilege, Dignity & Joy," Richard Adams
Twenty back-and-forth trips to Zimbabwe over the past two decades have
led Richard to reflect about his place, and that of other privileged
people, in the larger world. He'll use an example from his experience
with Zimbabwe Artists Project to help ground some of the conclusions he
(No audio recording.)
October 16, 2011
Our Junior High youth once again journeyed to Boston this past summer on their bi-annual pilgrimage. Come hear from this crop of Boston Bounders about their adventures in Beantown and beyond. Child Dedication.
October 9, 2011
"U + U = U2," Rev. Elizabeth Greene, Judy Austin, Linden Boice, Mary Daley, Toshi Dondup, Ellie McKinnon, Jeanette Ross, Gayle Speizer
In this incarnation (official incorporation in 1961), the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has been in our Valley for 50 years! Join Elizabeth and several of her inter-faith colleagues, as she shares our history, and they share blessings.
October 2, 2011
How many of us actually pay attention to the act of listening? Do we listen to nature? Each other? Ourselves? There will be good listening, as Elizabeth and the choir explore the subject.
September 25, 2011
Walt Whitman is called "The Bard of Democracy," for giving voice to the (once upon a time?) egalitarian aspirations of our country. He came from a family of progressives and embraced the causes of social justice, and yet in his poetry he often takes a stance of classic Buddhist "detachment," as described by and exemplified by Rabindranath Tagore. Did Whitman ever reconcile detachment and his yearning for social justice? Can we?
September 18, 2011
Elizabeth will preach her annual "humor sermon," in which she delves profoundly into the religio-intellectual-social implications of humor. Or—well—maybe it's her excuse for telling jokes from the pulpit?
September 11, 2011
On this Homecoming Sunday, celebrating the beginning of our "regular" program year, we rejoice in community, even as we pause to remember 9/11/2001. Don't forget to bring water from your summer places.
September 4, 2011
A look at the other side of Christianity. The First 400 years the religion of Christianity was not what we know today. A look at how Christianity got to where it is today.
August 28, 2011
Most people will talk about almost anything before they talk about money. Sharon gets down and gets comfortable speaking about one of our culture's well know conversational taboos.
August 21, 2011
Who knew? At least 6 elementary schools in Boise are named after famous UUs. What were they all about? What were some of the virtues that our children might learn from them? Who wants to bet no one knew they were UU's when they named the schools? Jim Lyons and Roger Sherman will explore those questions and more in this service for the curious.
August 14, 2011
Dan Hotchkiss, in his book, Governance and Ministry states, "Religion transforms people; no one touches holy ground and stays the same." Bill and Gwyn will use this statement to launch an exploration of the tension between the need for stability in a religious organization's governance and community, and the instability that religious transformation brings.
August 7, 2011
The heart is a muscular pump little larger than a fist that moves one million barrels of blood in the average lifetime—enough to fill three oil supertankers. All that and it has its own brain. What does it mean to live with a whole heart?
July 31, 2011
Our values guide our beliefs, actions, and behaviors. They are the lenses through which we see the world and measure our understanding. Beauty is a value that is more than just "skin deep". Join me in celebration of beauty.
July 24, 2011
Lance will explore Pioneer Day celebrating the perseverance and dedication of the early settlers. On July 24th many in the west celebrate and honor our pioneer heritage, those who crossed the plains and created many of the cities and towns where we live today.
July 17, 2011
Service and Advocacy are the two feet of social Justice. When we fill backpacks for the Idaho Foodbank or help people at the Capital City Market use their food stamps at the market, we are doing service. Advocacy allows us to address the root causes of hunger by addressing policies that lead to food insecurity. Roger Sherman and ICAN Policy Director Leo Morales will present their thoughts about advocacy, social justice, and our role in the politics of food.
July 10, 2011
Memories can accumulate importance over the years. Members of the 2010/2011 BUUF memoir group will share stories from their childhoods and youth. Music will range through camp and scout songs to rousing renditions of Sunday School favorites in order to share the joy and further spark congregational reverie. Bob Wallace will provide campfire guitar accompaniment.
July 3, 2011
We live in troubled times. Things are grave, indeed, but lest we start to take ourselves too seriously—as individuals, as a community, as a religion—I think I'll try defying gravity!
June 26, 2011
So a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian, and a UU walk into a bar. Well we have the chance to hear what they have to say this Sunday on tolerance. The panel of speakers will be Gene Badesheim, Said Ahmed-Zaid, and Gwyn Reid.
June 19, 2011
Do you proudly count yourself among those who are productive and get things done—those who are so conscientious, busy and driven to do good work that you put off allowing yourself to slow down, and disengage? Do you ponder the irony that you don't have enough time to open up to and explore a more spiritually rewarding and less stressful life? If so, have you considered that you–the busy one—may be procrastinating? Yes, drawing on the wisdom of sages like Ellen Degeneres, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chrodron, Woody Allen and Mark Twain, Bill will turn procrastination upside down and explore how "busy people" can become more comfortable and less anxious about slowing down.
June 12, 2011
Kirtan is the ancient Hindu practice of call and response chanting. While I will talk briefly, the service will be more concerned with being surrounded by the voices of the people around us, and then experiencing the silence that follows.
June 5, 2011
On this first-Sunday-of-summer-schedule, we have a briefer-than-usual service, starring Flower Communion: everyone brings a flower to put in the community vases, then, at a certain point in the service, we each take a flower back. If you forget your flower, well, Providence always steps in, in the form of other people.
May 29, 2011
Aging is really a new experience and something of a surprise for anyone who reaches retirement age so it's is no wonder that so much foolishness is written about its "prevention." There are physical and mental manifestations we could all do without, but a sense of humor helps tremendously, and there are preparations one can set in motion earlier in adulthood. The saddest of both young and senior citizens are those who have no sense of wonder or enthusiasm.
May 22, 2011
Come celebrate our children on this first annual Religious Exploration Celebration ! Find out what our children & youth have explored this year in their classes. Love, home, and family have been the over-arching themes this year, so join us for discoveries galore for all ages!
May 15, 2011
Each year, on the of the Annual Meeting, Elizabeth muses on the "state of the Fellowship." How have we been with each other? Have we nurtured souls? Helped heal the world? Practiced generosity?
May 8, 2011
"Coming of Age" (9:30 service and 11:15 service), BUUF Junior High Youth and Mentors
Our Coming of Age youth will share their statements of faith that they have developed over the years and through the journey of discovery that has been our Coming of Age program for the last nine months. Join in on this celebration of youth and share in the journey with these incredible young people! (Both services recorded)
May 8, 2011
Our Coming of Age youth will share their statements of faith that they have developed over the years and through the journey of discovery that has been our Coming of Age program for the last nine months. Join in on this celebration of youth and share in the journey with these incredible young people! (9:30 service)
May 1, 2011
Do you need an infusion of hope for the future and to know that the world will be in good hands after we're gone? Our graduating seniors will share their journeys and visions for their futures and ours. Come celebrate their bridging from youth to young adulthood!
April 24, 2011
It's Easter, when our hearts stray toward the miracles of new life, rebirth—even resurrection! This year, e.e. cummings provides our text.
April 17, 2011
The worship service will feature readings and personal reflections by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and musical accompaniment by the Common Ground Community Chorus.
April 10, 2011
Rev. Keith Kron is the UUA's Transitions Director. Keith was Director of the UUA's Office for Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns for over 14 years, and is a valued friend of our minister. We are delighted to welcome him this morning, as he speaks to us about the importance to each of us of telling our story.
April 3, 2011
Several members of Jeanette Ross' BUUF Memoir class will share selections from writings out of their own lives.
March 27, 2011
Treasures hiding in plain sight are easy to miss. The profound dynamic threaded through our seven UU principles is one of them. It's a truth too rarely perceived, though it's vital to life itself.
March 20, 2011
What does it mean to be loyal? Is there truth in that old statement "loyal to a fault"? This is an old-fashioned virtue—do we value it?
March 13, 2011
Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, and it embraces many paths to the holy from polytheism to monotheism to atheism. This presentation will explore various aspects of the religion that make this diversity possible. UUs will detect strong resonances with some of our seven principles.
March 6, 2011
If we are socially aware, wishing to respect other cultures and worldviews, is there ever a time when our respect runs into conflict with our sense of justice? If that happens, what do we do?
February 27, 2011
Today, we kick off our Annual Stewardship Drive, focusing for a bit on the material that underlies our vision of love and justice. What song echoes in our hearts, uniting us in joy and connection?
February 20, 2011
As a UU minister, Jackie Kelly serves as the Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor at St. Luke's. Join Jackie as she reflects on how talking with hospital patients, family, staff and CPE students about their relationships with God has influenced her thinking about how Unitarian Universalists might also need a personal relationship with God.
February 13, 2011
What sorts of secrets do we keep? What effect do secrets have on our lives and relationships? There is still time to type your secret, seal it and get it to Elizabeth!
February 6, 2011
With Valentine's Day coming, remember what Clint Black said, "Love isn't something that you feel, it's something that you do."
January 30, 2011
Creativity consists of looking at the familiar with new eyes. This sermon reflects on what might happen if we were to look at our principles in a new way and read them starting with the seventh and ending with the first. Rev. Marriner graduated from Harvard Divinity School where she won the Billings Prize for preaching in 1995. She has served congregations in Massachusetts and Texas and is currently the consulting minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, Minnesota.
January 23, 2011
Each time BUUF members visit with our partners in Mészkõ, our relationship is discovered in a new way. Alan and Mary Schwartzman, and Ed and Irene Rush traveled to Mészkõ last summer. For Mary, it was her fourth trip. Alan, Irene, and Ed were there for their first visit. Come learn how the visit affected each traveler.
January 16, 2011
Janine Larsen, our Pacific Northwest District Executive, will speak with us about our vision, as we move into the final years of Elizabeth's ministry.
January 9, 2011
Margaret Fuller was an amazing 19th-century woman, whose life and thought can inspire us. Elizabeth & Elton will present her words & some reflection.
January 2, 2011
Nancy will explore why we believe whatever it is we believe. And what does it mean to be Unitarian. She will talk about the metamorphosis of her own beliefs.
(No audio for Solstice, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day services.)
December 19, 2010
The ancient chant O magnum mysterium ("Oh great mystery") invites us to contemplate Divine mystery in the birth of a child. Join with the choir and BUUF musicians as we sing and celebrate the mysteries of the holiday season.
December 12, 2010
This is a dark, reflective time of the year, with the shortest day approaching very soon. What does it mean to be in the wintry darkness, and what does the light bring?
December 5, 2010
It's time again for our annual tradition of Deck the Halls Sunday! Our children and youth will share their discoveries of the wonders of our "Blue Boat Home." Join us for a celebration of traditions from around the world and right under our feet. Plays, singing, parades, and cookies abound!
November 28, 2010
Now that Thanksgiving is over, how can we remember to live in a state of gratefulness and learn to remain grateful not only for what we perceive as the blessings in our lives, but also for the difficult times?
November 21, 2010
A special Sunday, featuring woodblock slides and words from a wonderful book about our ancestors, the Puritans. Elizabeth will reflect on this heritage, and we will all enjoy the book (with permission from Annie Bissett, author and artist).
November 14, 2010
Stories have been central to humanity for as long as people have been speaking to each other. How else do we really learn what other people's lives are like, feel what they feel, and belong together in community?
November 7, 2010
Elizabeth and Mark are self-confessed "mystic" and "naturalist," respectively. They both practice devotional disciplines. Are they more alike or different?
October 31, 2010
On this day, when the veil between this world and the next is said to be thinnest, Elizabeth will reflect on witch hunts and generosity of spirit.
October 24, 2010
Our Seventh Principle states that we affirm & support the interdependent web of all existence. Is that mysticism, science, or something else?
October 17, 2010
Despite the best efforts of many dedicated people, humanity continues to damage the planet and use up non-renewable resources at an ever accelerating rate. What are the chances of creating enough political will to turn things around? If the chances aren't good, what does that mean for us personally and for our families? What specifically should we do at this point in time? I'll give my answers to these questions which will hopefully generate a productive discussion, followed by useful action.
October 10, 2010
The Congregational Care Committee brings love & care to the congregation. Our denomination is also involved in Standing on the Side of Love. How do they mesh?
October 3, 2010
UUs have a long history of promoting free, non-sectarian public schools. In the 19th century, one of our country's most eloquent advocates was the Unitarian, Horace Mann. Today, public schools are buffeted by reform advocates of all kinds. It seems that everyone who has ever attended a school offers a solution for how to improve School. Underlying these reform efforts are two very different visions of what it means to be an educated person. Might it be time for the UUA to weigh in on this discussion?
September 26, 2010
If you look deep inside, looking at your heart honestly, what do you find motivates you? Elizabeth will reflect (honestly!) on this big question.
September 19, 2010
Our Fellowship is dynamic, changing-but-solid. In the best of all possible worlds, what do we long to create?
September 12, 2010
Official start of the program year! Bring water from your summer travels, come check in with everyone.
September 5, 2010
What does it mean to be Pagan and how is it different or the same as other belief systems. Let's explore these questions. Let's see if we can find how Pagans are alike and how they are different. You may find Unitarian Universalists have a lot in common with Pagans.
August 29, 2010
"Everyday Spirituality and Meaningful Rituals," Everyday Spirituality and Meaningful Rituals Chalice Circle (aka "The Cool Group")
The Chalice Circle by the same name will present an experience which shows what makes the "Cool Group" Concept so cool. Special music with flutes, drumming, and didgeridoos!
August 22, 2010
"Through This We Live," Dr. Mike Cutler, a Native American professor in the BSU Counseling Department
Dr. Cutler will share Lakota/Dakota traditional culture, its values, beliefs, and rituals as he learned and experienced them. Specifically, he will provide a brief overview of the Inipi ceremony including some specifics on materials, meanings of the fire/altar/lodge, how an individual comes to be qualified to pour water. He will also share some Taku Wakan (things that are holy) and some Inipi Olowan (sweat songs) with Fellowship members and friends. Liz Mummey (Assiniboine), a member of the Native American Coalition of Boise, will share one of her oral tradition stories with the children entitled Why the Bear Has a Short Tail. After the candle is extinguished at the end of the service, we will invite everyone (adults and children) to take part in a friendship round dance.
August 15, 2010
Though I have attended church forever, it has been in my work life that I have found meaningful experience of the "religious" concepts I heard while sitting in the pew. I'll be sharing that journey with you. Brace yourself: I may mention the word "sin."
August 8, 2010
"Found in Translation: A Rough Guide to Self Discovery through Travel," Carrie Bastian and David Scott
BUUF's music director and her husband will discuss ways in which travel can be a soul expanding experience. They will share some of their travel experiences, both humorous and meaningful, and talk about ways to access the benefits of travel, even when you think you can't leave town.
August 1, 2010
Sooner or later everyone rides THE BUS. Hello, is anyone really in charge here?
July 25, 2010
Social Justice and Religious Freedom thrive only in the crucible of a society of involved people who are effectively engaged in the direction and actions of the institutions of government. An infectious greed now grips much of our business community. America is beset by the depredations of six mega-banks (shortly ago thirteen) whose influence over the operations of both Congress and the Executive is destructive of democracy. This, because the merger of excessive corporate wealth and power with political power constitutes a "Ruling Oligaechy", serving not the interests of the people, but only the accumulation of power and wealth in the hands of the few.
July 18, 2010
July 11, 2010
"Our Second Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; A cross generational dialogue on social change," Roger Sherman and Anthony
Our UU principles and especially our second principle, lead us to work for justice. But what is the path to justice, equity and compassion? Anthony and Roger, both raised UU in different times, will talk about the paths they've traveled as they have worked for greater justice, equity and compassion. While their views have been shaped by different forces, many underlying principles remain the same but they have also reached some significantly different conclusions.
July 4, 2010
Airman 1st Class Bonnie Harper Bonnie Harper, daughter of our music director Carrie Bastian, will speak on her recent experience in basic military training and on the core values of the United States Air Force: integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.
June 27, 2010
Problem drinking has plagued mankind from the beginning of recorded history. It has affected peasant to king, followers to great leaders. From the "Pledge" to Prohibition, no program or movement made any inroads toward recovery until the founding of AA in 1935 and its 12 step program. Its success has spawned 12 step programs for many if not most identified addictions including Narcotics, Over Eaters and Gamblers. The lives of millions have been changed through 12 step recovery.
June 20, 2010
The Summer Solstice is Jun 21, 2010 at 5:28am MDT. Come take a tour of earthworks, ancient and contemporary, that help us to understand, appreciate, and marvel at our position in relationship to the rest of our solar system.
June 13, 2010
A large part of what makes BUUF "BUUF" are the Grounds, the Grove, Jeremiah's Adventure Garden and A Walk Through Time. Learn how this magical place came to be from Barb Alexander. Jolene Schow will share how JAG was created and John Jacobsen will tell of his spiritual journey as a Master Gardener. Alan Schwartzman will wrap it up with a special surprise.
June 6, 2010
"Flower Communion," Rev. Elizabeth Greene
This is the first Sunday of summer schedule, and our chance to say
farewell to this program year. Bring a flower for the communion, and a
dish for the potluck. After the service, we will process to Little
Bridge to celebrate (with plum brandy and sparkling cider) our
relationship with our Partner Church.
(No audio recording.)
May 30, 2010
When we reflect upon the people and events that have shaped our lives, we invest them with meaning and value. We name them good and bad, blessings and disasters. Are these value judgments useful products of our imaginations? As I approach my 60th birthday, I find myself wondering "why, why, why," like one of Kurt Vonnegut's characters. Join me as I explore disasters and blessings in my life.
May 23, 2010
On a Sunday packed with many things (new member joining, celebration of our stewardship campaign, the second annual Rock Communion), Elizabeth will reflect on an agreement that makes sense.
May 16, 2010
It's often too easy to give a glib reply to the tossed off statement "how are you doing?" Let's hear a thoughtful, nuanced answer (what else?) to the question of how we've done, spiritually speaking, in 2009-2010
May 9, 2010
Enlightenment seems a noble and high-falutin' concept. But there's a school of thought that says it's not much use if the laundry doesn't get done, too.
May 2, 2010
We hear words of wisdom from our high school seniors, about to "go out into the big world." Experience our next crop of community leaders. Come help our graduating youth bridge to young adulthood and celebrate!
April 25, 2010
Our church is a Unitarian-Universalist-Association-recognized Green Sanctuary, a designation of which we may be proud. What does it mean? How do we continue, as a congregation, to make our step light on the earth?
April 18, 2010
Somewhere at the interface of religion, psychology, philosophy and self help is the Medicine Wheel of the American Indians. It is a guide to self actualization and the understanding of self and others. It requires no shaman, priest, feathers or drums. It is a guide to change within oneself. Besse will share some of her struggles with the wheel and its possible uses in psychological therapy.
April 11, 2010
Truth is a pretty tricky concept, often put forth as the result solely of scientific observation, or at least processes to which we all apply our brains. What, though, of our "night selves," the parts of us that learn truths through myth, intuition, dream and story?
April 4, 2010
It's Easter! Many religious stories tell of the deaths that lead to new life, to redemption and resurrection. Today, we celebrate life and light's emergence from sorrow and dark.
March 28, 2010
In this Passover season, Elizabeth will retell the central Jewish story related to this holiday, and will lift up the gratitude that characterizes this celebration.
March 21, 2010
Elizabeth reminds us that UUs have historically been a lot more comfortable with thought than passion, which sounds like we live from our heads rather than our hearts. Can we live more from our hearts, or is there at least a middle ground? As Joseph Campbell said, follow your bliss and as UUs everywhere might add—but think!
March 14, 2010
Rev. Forrest Church died on September 24, 2009, at the age of 62, leaving what may be the late 20th century's most significant Unitarian Universalist theological and human legacy. Elizabeth will share some of his life and thoughts.
March 7, 2010
Unitarian Universalists do not spend undue time, as a rule, reflecting on their theological foundations. But, can we really act responsibly in the world if we do not know what our assumptions are, behind our work to bring justice and charity in the world? Louise and Elizabeth will share their personal takes on this fundamental question.
February 28, 2010
Know those "Student Driver" signs on cars? Would we treat each other differently if we all wore "Student Human" signs? Elizabeth and our fabulous house band will explore this question.
February 21, 2010
Most of this country has accepted, as de facto social law, the notion that life itself is essential precious, and more important than pain and suffering. But the times might be changing, toward acceptance of the right to die with dignity, on one's own terms.
February 14, 2010
Elizabeth reflects on the impossible subject of love, that consumerist-mangled, advertising-perverted human feeling, springing from the depths of our souls.
February 7, 2010
David presents a sermon written by the President of the First UU Church of Wichita, Anne Welsbacher, concerning our lives in the Age of Gadgetry.
January 31, 2010
Last spring, about 120 of us participated in a survey conducted by the respected Lilly Foundation, and they have sent us our results. How do we compare with others? With our own aspirations?
January 24, 2010
Loren shares how 2009 was a year of spiritual insight for him, gleaned from Michael Dowd's book, Thank God For Evolution, among other sources. TGFE offers a powerful way to reconcile science with the best of religion, in a way that has the potential to accelerate our spiritual growth and the life improvements that go with it.
January 17, 2010
Our faith has blazed a trail to a more caring, more just society, in part living up to Dr. King's "Dream." We will look at the contributions and life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and what we can do to fulfill his prophetic words. From Martin Luther King, Jr: "Any religion which professes to be concerned about the souls of men and women, and is not concerned about the social and economic conditions that can scar the soul, is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried."
January 10, 2010
In the practice of yoga, doing poses is only the beginning of the work. More importantly, yoga focuses on the breath and its effect on our bodies, minds and spirits. Mark Zimmerer will discuss the act of breathing with stories from Thich Nhat Hanh, BKS Iyengar, Al Gore and his own experience that help us to understand its importance to a balanced life in the world.
January 3, 2010
Once a year or so, Elizabeth does a "humor sermon," delving deeply into the profound theological significance of laughing. Or, well, does she actually mostly enjoy an opportunity to tell jokes from the pulpit?
December 24, 2009
What must Mary have been going through, as she "pondered all these things in her heart?" Here she is, a teenager, holding the light-filled blessing of new life—which seems to have invited a whole array of amazing visitors. She had been warned beforehand, of course, but must she not have felt that age-old human question: is this mostly a blessing, or will it be mostly a burden?
December 20, 2009
It is almost Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year, turning then toward more and more light. To reach the lightest day of the year, turning then toward more and more dark. How does this echo our lives?
December 13, 2009
Amidst dark Winter nights, we find the lights of the December holidays, bringing us healing, wholeness and peace. This mostly music service will feature the choir, Natalie Whiting (alto), Mark Zimmerer (baritone), Michael Stevenson (violinist) & Janelle Brown (cellist)
December 6, 2009
May the merry mayhem continue! Join the fun while our children and youth of all ages present plays, songs, poems and more exploring the power of community for the conclusion of our annual Deck the Halls celebration weekend.
November 29, 2009
On May 7, 1824, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony received its premier in Vienna, Austria. During its 185-year history the "Ode to Joy" Symphony has provided audiences throughout the world spiritual inspiration and jubilation. In Japan massed choral groups and orchestras come together in December of each year to give performances of Daiku —"The Big Nine". We will explore elements in the finale of this monumental work that may account for its universal appeal and immortality. Rev.
November 22, 2009
Our congregation has been a part of the Treasure Valley community for many decades. Elizabeth will speak about some of the high (and low!) spots.
November 15, 2009
All our life, we are in change & transition. A change may happen quickly—but how do we handle the longer process of transition? Elizabeth has an important announcement.
November 8, 2009
The Minister of our partner church in Mészkõ brings blessings and greetings from Transylvania to Boise, connecting the struggle for religious freedom in central Europe with the principles and purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Our shared inspiration is the love in our hearts, expressed in the respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every human being.
November 1, 2009
If Unitarian Universalism is to be a genuine religious community, UUs need to have regular centering & transcending practices. Elizabeth will offer examples & ideas.
October 25, 2009
Our Junior High youth once again journeyed to Boston this past summer on their semi-annual pilgrimage. Come hear from this crop of Boston Bounders about their adventures in Beantown and beyond.
October 18, 2009
BUUF Music Director Carrie Bastian will relate her musical and spiritual journey, explore our human impulse to make music, examine music as spiritual practice and discuss how we can create a stronger religious community through musical experience.
October 11, 2009
Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, in which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are encouraged to express their true selves. What can allies do to "come out" in support?
October 4, 2009
Elizabeth and Lisa will reflect on how we can get our own needs met by paying better attention to the communities we care about. The Committee on Ministry will be part of this, and Congregational Care Team will be encouraging you to join them in their community-building activities.
September 27, 2009
Our young people's Religious Exploration program is an extraordinary place where you can find your inner whimsy, wonder and awe! People of all ages grow and learn in our RE wings during any given Sunday. Your Director of Religious Exploration, Emmie Schlobohm, invites you on a journey of discovery where play is transformative.
September 20, 2009
Elizabeth will reflect on spirituality "from Emerson to Oprah," to quote from the book Restless Souls. Starting Oct. 7, she and Elton Hall will teach a class on this book. (See Adult Education offerings for this fall.)
September 13, 2009
We are 55 to 60% water; our blood is 95% water. We depend on water for our very existence. Connie Barlow will explain how much deeper our water connection is—all the way back to the stars!
September 6, 2009
Here we are on Labor Day Weekend Sunday, the official end of summer before the start of our program year. All summer long did you realize you've been preaching to the world around us? We said it with our t-shirts, our actions and our lives. Now at Labor Day we rest, and think about how we spent our summer, our yesterdays, our present, and a glimpse into tomorrow. Summer has ended, everything has its season; there is a time for every purpose under heaven. Wear your favorite t-shirt.
August 30, 2009
Come hear six different impressions of the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) General Assembly (GA) held in June in Salt Lake City where we stood on the side of love on several issues. We elected a new UUA president, Peter Morales; and BUUF was recognized for having earned our Green Sanctuary Certification.
August 23, 2009
Noted pastor Rick Warren writes extensively about the importance of giving your time and energy to your loved ones. He states that the way you spell love is "T-I-M-E." David agrees wholeheartedly, and is asking you to spend some time with him this Sunday to help spread the love.
August 16, 2009
The confidence that we humans can, and must, take responsibility for ourselves and each other, is one shared by humanists both theistic and non-theistic. What sets us apart from UUs, if anything? Several members of BUUF's humanist group will speak to our philosophy, our ethics, our strength in times of crisis.
August 9, 2009
Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS) students explore the question, "Where does our food come from?" and reconnect to nature in a hands-on learning environment. Come join BUGS students and Becky Morgan, BUGS executive director, as they share their adventures in dirt, water, weeds, and wonder!
August 2, 2009
Examining the overarching theme of Battlestar Galactica, Dale Winke looks at the connections, meanings, and melodies from one individual UU's viewpoint.
July 26, 2009
"The Calming Breath of Meditation Quenches the Fire of Suffering," Tony DeAngelis
(No audio recording.)
July 19, 2009
BUUF is hosting the Buddhist Relic Tour, though UU's are not known for their appreciation of relics. Why do some people find relics meaningful, while others are indifferent and some even repulsed by them? Can relics cause epiphanies? We will explore these questions as well as the closely related phenomenon of idolatry, looking at the idolatries every human being confronts.
July 12, 2009
What is this thing called love? Maybe it's something more than in the music. Maybe it's something more than we've ever been aware.
July 5, 2009
Graduate of University of Oregon in folklore, Dan Peterson speaks on noting three historical stages of food ways. Join Dan on his international travels his stories relate. His concept of "excess" has nothing to do with calories. Like James Beard, Dan feels a day is incomplete without learning something new about food.
June 28, 2009
In the practice of yoga, doing poses is only the beginning of the work. More importantly, yoga focuses on the breath and its effect on our bodies, minds and spirits. Mark Zimmerer will discuss the act of breathing with stories from Thich Nhat Hanh, BKS Iyengar, Al Gore and his own experience that help us to understand its importance to a balanced life in the world.
June 21, 2009
David spent the majority of his life conveniently ignoring the big questions. Is there a God? What happens when we die? Why are we here? It wasn't like he was afraid to face them or anything. Certainly not! Leave it to his 4-year-old son, Michael, to bring these issues front and center in the most interesting of ways. Ah, the joys of fatherhood.
June 14, 2009
Compiled by John Harms to explore what Universalism is. Come hear this presentation, back by popular request.
June 7, 2009
No audio recording.
May 31, 2009
Celebrating the successful end of the Annual Stewardship Drive, Elizabeth reflects on the many gifts that we are given and that we give, creating dynamic, challenging community.
May 24, 2009
This Memorial Day Sunday explore the resiliency of people during conflict. Daniel Wright has been in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Central America and Africa with the Army and as a contractor rebuilding the countries' infrastructure.
May 17, 2009
Each year, our minister Elizabeth Greene delivers a "state-of-the-church" sermon on Annual Meeting day, sharing her take on the significance of the almost-finished program year.
May 10, 2009
This Sunday is an every-other-year favorite. Our Coming of Age youth, after spending fun-filled and action-packed months with their mentors, Cathy Carmen and Elizabeth, will share their credos with us.
May 3, 2009
A Sunday always awaited eagerly by our congregation, this is the Sunday we hear words of wisdom from our high school seniors, about to "go out into the big world."
April 26, 2009
As the "church year" is moving toward its busy close (in June, but it happens fast!), Elizabeth will reflect one final time on her sabbatical experiences last week.
April 19, 2009
Earth Day is about two environments, yes it is about raising awareness on environmental issues and promoting environmental action; but it is also about the human environment, the inner life that directs us. It is what we think about the Earth as well as our actions and behavior toward the Earth that is at the heart of religion. UUs believe our faith tradition makes a difference and that distinction is what we pass on to our children.
April 12, 2009
It's Easter, the day we celebrate emerging from the nurturing and mysterious dark. Wear your Easter bonnet, your John Harms tie, and celebrate in community.
April 5, 2009
Elizabeth holds the position that laughing is a religious activity. Or maybe she just likes to tell jokes. Come find out!
March 29, 2009
Most of us are haunted by the "ghosts" from our past. Times in our lives wrought with embarrassment or regret. David recently returned to Pocatello for a little "ghost-busting" from his college days. Armed with the healing power of love, David sought to silence his ghosts once and for all. Come to BUUF, and together we'll embark on a thorough ghost-busting of the soul.
March 22, 2009
On this new-member-joining Sunday, Elizabeth will explore what it means to commit one's self: to another person, an organization, a particular course of events.
March 15, 2009
So many of us are "news junkies," a habit that can be detrimental to our health. How do we stay aware of our world, and also maintain our sense of hope, let alone optimism?
March 8, 2009
What do you suppose the world would be like if everyone spoke honestly but non-judgmentally, without "whining." Elizabeth will share her odyssey of trying to achieve this, with the help of a book.
March 1, 2009
After spending exciting time together on Friday and Saturday, we will have the chance to hear our presenters share worship with us, reflecting on the spiritual path of justice and service.
February 22, 2009
Come join Dale as he explores how the themes of science fiction can plumb the depths of humanity's spiritual and transcended yearnings.
February 15, 2009
How might things have been different if I hadn't felt the need to deny my own uniqueness and imitate the other "normal" kids around me as I grew up? Following his musical revue, Just Married, the Musical! on Valentine's Day at BUUF, James Mack will be the speaker at our Sunday Service. He will tell his personal journey as a gay man in America today.
February 8, 2009
Norbert Capek, best known as the creator of the Flower Communion, had a fascinating history, moving from a conservative religion into Unitarianism. He was a man of inspiration and integrity, and paid for his principles.
February 1, 2009
Are there any patterns in your life you don't want and don't seem to be able to rise above? After a Saturday-night viewing of the movie "Groundhog Day," Elizabeth will talk about how we do and don't change.
January 25, 2009
Sharing more of her six-month sabbatical, Elizabeth will focus on the 30 days she spent on retreat at St. Gertrude's Monastery in Cottonwood, Idaho. Things arise, when you live with just yourself for that long.
January 18, 2009
Martin Luther King, Jr., transcended his own religious tradition, learned from Mahatma Gandhi, and set a course that led to the election of Barack Obama as president. We will explore what he knew and how it applies to our nation, our expectations and ourselves.
January 11, 2009
On the weekend of January 23rd and 24th, we will all join in asking questions like Who are we? What makes us unique? What is our purpose? Elizabeth reflects a bit, in a preliminary way.
January 4, 2009
Of course, life is always beginning anew every day. But humans take certain times to reflect on what has gone before, and what we hope will happen.
December 28, 2008
We will explore the spiritual, skeptic and child that exists in each of us; manifesting in one form or another depending on a particular moment in time in our lives.
The December 21, 2008 Solstice service, and December 24, Christmas Eve service were not recorded.
December 21, 2008
"The Blessed Sound of Silence," Rev. Elizabeth Greene
Continuing the tradition of a Quaker-style meeting on the
Sunday before Christmas. After a reading, chalice lighting, simple song
and brief explanation, we sit in silence for about 45 minutes, emulating
the excellent practice of our sisters and brothers in the Friends
(No audio recording. :-)
December 14, 2008
"Where Are You Christmas? Finding Meaning in the Holiday Season—A Mostly Music Sunday," Rev. Elizabeth Greene and BUUF Choir
Celebrating the colorful tapestry of nature, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas—Elizabeth, the choir and soloists will illuminate the common threads that let meaning shine through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
December 7, 2008
"Deck the Halls"
Come one, come all to BUUF's Deck the Halls celebration! This is our own
intergenerational welcome to the winter holidays. Our wonderful RE
children and youth will share with us "A Thousand and One Ways to Love
and to Care."
(No audio recording.)
November 30, 2008
This Thanksgiving holiday, Sarah explores a thankful presence in prayers, everyday life, and social interactions.
November 23, 2008
This is a very big-deal Sunday. The witty, articulate, and grounded Gini Courter, moderator of our entire Association, will preach to us as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this congregation's ordination of Elizabeth Greene—as we celebrate 20 years of partnership in ministry.
November 16, 2008
It's "Miracle Sunday"! Today, we wrap up our fall stewardship drive and begin celebrating 20 years of ministry partnership. If you haven't pledged yet, bring your pledge form. Help us celebrate a no-deficit year and the new ways of doing business that allow us to focus on nurturing our souls and helping heal the world.
November 9, 2008
Four members of our church traveled as pilgrims to Mészkõ, Transylvania, to visit fellow Unitarians, with whom we have been partners for going on 20 years. They will share highlights from their deeply-affecting and fun stay in "our" village.
November 2, 2008
At this "All Souls" time of year, we honor the Mexican custom of Day of the Dead, light-hearted and reverent.
October 26, 2008
We UUs have fewer symbols that most religions. But we do cherish the flaming chalice, a beacon to us for many years. Elizabeth will tell the story of this symbol, and we will all reflect on the nature of symbols. Carol and Jay Wechselberger, service coordinators; Carrie Bastian, music.
October 19, 2008
As children we often pitched pebbles into a pond. Maybe we still do as adults. I know I do. What lesson is there in this innocent action? David Ward, service coordinator; Mike Lemieux, music.
October 12, 2008
This is National Children's Day, and we will consider that "childlike" attitude seen in advanced teachers like the Dalai Lama. It is also Association Sunday, celebrating this denomination of ours, which helps us teach our children to be confident, competent and compassionate. Tony DeAngelis, service coordinator; BUUF choir with Sue Langley, music.
October 5, 2008
What did the Buddha mean by "boundless good will"? On this Congregational Care Team-sponsored Sunday, Elizabeth will reflect on the nature of good will—usually bounded— in community. Nancy Harms, service coordinator; Coston Frederick, music.
September 28, 2008
We Unitarian Universalists hold diversity as a high value. Today, Elizabeth will look at some ways about we may embody this value, and some ways where we may opt for denial or benign neglect. Mark Zimmerer, service coordinator. Charlotte Tompkins, music.
September 21, 2008
Over this program year, Elizabeth will be sharing various aspects of her recent sabbatical. On this Sunday, she will reflect on the many and varied experiences she had of reverence and awe—sometimes known as the holy. Carol and Jay Wechselberger, service coordinators. Carrie Bastian, music.
September 14, 2008
On this weekend when we will have been stimulated and inspired by a visit from UUA consultant Larry Wheeler Elizabeth will discuss the spiritual, emotional and practical implications of transition—which is always happening. Service coordinator, Allie Gooding. Mike Lemieux, music.
September 7, 2008
"Re-Connecting in Love," Rev. Elizabeth Greene
(Sorry, this sermon was not recorded.)
August 31, 2008
David desperately wants to break free from his comfort zone. Throw caution to the wind and take complete advantage of this incredible gift we call life. Unfortunately, David's subconscious is dominated by a snobby British butler named "Mr. Negativepants," who constantly tells him he's not good enough, smart enough, and, doggonit, people don't like him. If you square off against your own version of Mr. Negativepants from time to time, head to BUUF this fine August morning and perhaps together we can silence him for good.
August 24, 2008
Reflections on the spiritual aspects of the Martial Arts.
August 17, 2008
We are physical, material, biological beings who not only need the light and warmth of the sun to live, but also respond emotionally and spiritually to the sun. Debbie shares a personal story of a long, cold, dark night, and what she learned from the experience.
August 10, 2008
Jill will explore changes currently afoot within the religious right as we approach the 2008 presidential election, and place these changes into some recent historical context.
August 3, 2008
Let us see where that takes us.
July 27, 2008
"The Grand Metaphor - Life on (and off) a raft in the Grand Canyon." Linden Boice and Gordon Hamilton
BUUF members Linden Boice and Gordon Hamilton will recount highlights of their three week rafting trip through the Grand Canyon this spring, and, perhaps, impart a few lessons for living during their multi-media presentation.
July 20, 2008
The Velveteen Minister, Sharon Barlow Palm
Exploring the role of the minister in all of us.
July 13, 2008
Honoring the Spirited Child - Within and Without, Sarah Bratley
With some group participation, Sarah Bratley shares lessons learned about recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every person - even in those times when you are challenged to find it. She also explores the need for respecting your own spirit while honoring and nurturing the spirit of those around us.
July 6, 2008
The History Project, Sheryl Dowlin, Alan and Mary Schwartzman, and Coston and Judy Frederick
America is a youth-worshipping culture, and that is appropriate for such a young country, celebrating, as it is, its birthday on this weekend. But any organization needs its elders. BUUF is in the process of video-recording the insights and wisdom of some of its "elders." This Sunday, come and hear from two long-term couples committed to each other and to our fellowship, and find out the secret to a lasting relationship.
June 29, 2008
How many cars would you have to take away from California's crowded roadway to rid them of gridlock? A computer simulation supplied the answer: four percent, or four out of a hundred. The study provided inspiration for actor Tom Hanks in a remarkable speech at Vassar College's graduation ceremony on May 22, 2005.
June 22, 2008
Sometimes what looks like a short cut, isn't. The easy way out is not the path preferred. Rabbi Fink, rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel in Boise, will present "The Shorter Longer Way," a sermon based on a Talmudic story.
June 15, 2008
Several years ago, Greg Duffy, then a chimney-sweep, suffered a fall from a roof. He nearly died. Since that time his brain sometimes struggles to find words to express his thoughts. On this Father's Day, Greg will reflect on what it means to give fatherly advice when words fail, literally.
June 8, 2008
Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise, and live to be two hundred years old, or you an spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old. (Text by Michael McGee, originally given March 2, 2008 at the UU Church of Arlington, VA)
May 25, 2008
While current conventional wisdom would suggest that our culture's experimentation with Eastern religions and unorthodox Christianity is new, a closer familiarity with American Unitarian and Universalist histories counters that understanding. A panel of speakers, made up of recent attendees in an Adult R.E. class on the history of American spirituality, reflects on insights gained about their own, and America's, spiritual journey.
May 18, 2008
Our personal lives, congregational life, and the health and well-being of all life on Earth are intertwined. This sermon invites us to imagine our congregation as a healthy "Earth Community," where moral strength and spiritual sustenance can be found to support our quest for justice on an imperiled planet.
May 11, 2008
Margaret will wrap Gaia, Mothers Day, and a magnificent ethic for living into a message about "size" on the last of her scheduled sabbatical-anchor Sundays with us.
May 4, 2008
Our planned guest speaker, Rabbi Daniel Fink, of Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel in Boise, had a family emergency. David Ward stepped in with a special delivery.
April 27, 2008
"Each night a child is born is a holy night..." Sophia Lyon Fahs
Rev. Margaret Keip, our high school seniors, and Religious Education
Co-Directors Cathy Carmen and Karen Raese
Come join us in celebrating passages of our children and youth during this service when we have Children's Dedication and Sr. High Bridging. It is sure to be a day to remember.
April 20, 2008
"Are You Interconnected?" Wanda and Bryan Jennings
We talk a lot about being part of the interconnected web of all things. Do we ever check to see if we are really connected? Would the world be a better place if you were truly connected?
April 13, 2008
"The Conversation" Rev. Thomas Anastasi
No matter how much disagreement and conflict there in any aspect of our lives—in our families, in the government, in our congregation—the answer is always to be found, I believe, "in the conversation". We need to talk to one another on all these levels.
(April 13, 2008 was our first digital recording.)