Past services

Each week our Sunday services are recorded and made available for those who were unable to attend or who wish to listen again to a service they found particularly meaningful. You can listen to or download recordings of the sermon from August 2009 onward. For copies of the whole service, or for services older that August 2009, pease contact the office.

February 22: Poetry Service: Social Justice from the Heart
Frances Hillyard, Worship Leader
Holly Harwood, Worship Associate
We are part of a social justice community inspired in our work by the courage, wisdom, compassion and commitment of those we admire. Today you are invited to celebrate those who inspire you.

February 15: What's Love Got to Do With It?
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
On this Sunday closest to Valentine’s Day we will explore the different types and qualities of love. What does "Love your neighbor" really mean? Can we really love our enemies?

February 8: What is Time?
Matt Weinstein, Worship Leader
Matt Weinstein is a student at Starr King School for the Ministry preparing for Unitarian Universalist ministry. Matt is pursuing a call to interfaith university chaplaincy, and has a deep passion for contemporary philosophy and theology. In this Sunday’s service, Matt will share with us some basic philosophical and theological approaches to the seemingly simple concept of time. By the end of the hour, Matt hopes to seriously complicate your understanding of time. 

February 1: The Gender Games
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
Gender roles and rules permeate our culture. There can be a negative impact on all of us if we take those roles and rules too seriously. What does this mean for us who affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all? Why are people who do not fit the gender norms and stereotypes seen as such a threat? Why is there such violence perpetuated against them?  There is a theological explanation and a theological solution. 

January 25: People Get Ready: The Power of Music in the Civil Rights Movement; Then and Now!
Tom McAninley, Worship Leader

Tom McAninley will reflect on his awakening to that historic movement of the Sixties and how it has impacted his life since then. And the band Soul Rising will invite the congregation to sing powerful songs from that era to strengthen us for these current  struggles.

January 18: Still Dreaming
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

On this Martin Luther King Sunday, we will explore the power of having a vision of a better world.  Does the arc of the universe really bend toward justice?  What can we do to make it so?

January 11: A Family Church
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

People often say that BFUU is like a family to them. What does that mean? How is functioning "like a family" a good thing for a religious community and how can it sometimes hold us back from really fulfilling our mission in the wider world?

January 4: Letting God Off Leash
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
The images we have of God affect how we live in the world, how we think of ourselves, and how we treat other people.  This is true even for people who do not believe in God.  Atheists, theists, and everyone in between might be surprised at some different ways we can imagine God.

December 28:  New Year Wishes
Holly Harwood, Worship Associate

Wednesday December 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 5:00 PM
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
This will be an intergenerational, and fairly traditional, Christmas Eve service which will include a liberal interpretation of the Christmas story and lots of carols!

December 21: The Longest Night: a Solstice Ritual
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

This will be an intergenerational service as we ritually leave behind some of what now longer serves us. We will embrace the dark and its healing powers.

December 14: How the Unitarians Saved Christmas
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
There was an earlier war against Christmas, and the Unitarians won. This will be  a fun service and a fascinating history lesson.

December 7: Help for the Holidays
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
The winter holidays can be difficult for many of us. There is so much pressure to spend more money than we have.  There is so much pressure to be happy and to have fun. For those of us who are grieving the loss of loved ones, for those of us whose families are not as healthy or as warm and as accepting as we might hope, this time of year can be particularly challenging. It is important to remember that we are not alone in our complicated emotions. It is important to remember that we too can experience joy.

November 30: Gratitude Bundle for Mother Earth
Pennie Opal Plant, Guest Speaker
Wyndy Knox Carr, Worship Associate

November 23:  Saying Thanks in a Troubled World
Rocky Morrison, Worship Leader
Holly Harwood, Worship Associate
How can we give thanks with so much trouble in our world? Wars, diseases, political dysfunction, homelessness and hunger seem to plague our planet. How can we be thankful?

November 16:  Make Mine Music
Moses Channels, Worship Leader
Tom McAninley, Worship Associate
We will explore ways in which music can radically and permanently change our mood, our outlook and our life.

November 9: Charting a New Course: BFUU Board of Trustees

BFUU Board, Worship Leaders
Lincoln Statler, Worship Associate
Three members of BFUU's Board of Trustees will speak about the work of the board and about their hopes for the future of BFUU.
November 2:  Promises Promises

Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

Rocky Morrison, Worship Associate

What does it mean to be a covenantal rather than a credal faith? What do we promise each other? What happens when we fail to live up to what we have promised?

October 26:  Day of the Dead

Holly Harwood, Worship Leader
In this interactive service we will honor our loved ones who have died. If you wish, please bring a photo to place on our altar.

October 19: Blessing of the Animals

Seon O'Neill, Worship Leader

Although we act as if we are, man is not the only species inhabiting the planet. At this service, we will be honoring and remembering our animal companions. Please join us in the courtyard after the service for a Blessing of the Animals. Bring your animal friends (in a carrier or on a leash to keep them safe) or pictures or mementos of them. Please do not leave unattended animals in vehicles.

October 12: Fifth Principle

Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

Our fifth principle calls us to affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.  What does democracy mean in our covenantal faith? What does it call us to do in the wider world?

October 5: Days of Awe

Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

Jeff Palmer, Worship Associate
Peter Bonos, Guest Musician

In the Jewish tradition, the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Days of Awe.  We will look at this important holiday and see what it might teach us as Unitarian Universalist about the practice of repentance and forgiveness.

September 28: The Fountain of Age

Rev. Carrie Knowles, Worship Leader

Rev. Carrie confronts and corrects some of the unfounded assumptions and stereotypes of aging. She invites us all to see the cup half full, not half empty, and seize the day with curiousity, hope and love.

September 21: Check Your Sources Please

Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

In addition our seven principles, Unitarian Universalism also has six sources. Are they there for us to just pick and choose the ones we like and ignore the others? Is our faith a random potluck or a full course meal that will truly nourish our spirits?

September 14: Why Are We Here?

Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

Why do we come to church? Does it matter that BFUU exists? What are we doing here in Berkeley anyway?

September 7: Gathering of the Waters

Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

In this annual ritual of community we will reflect on what we each bring to this religious home of ours. Water will be available, but if you wish, you may bring some from home or from somewhere else to add to our common bowl. The children and youth will join the rest of the congregation for the entire service.

August 31: Annual Labor Day Service

A Joint Service of the Social Justice and Sunday Services Committees
Come join us for our annual Labor Day Service, as we celebrate those who have worked tirelessly for the cause of labor equity, union representation, and fair working conditions, and look ahead to needed changes in labor policy in the name of justice.

August 24: Say Hello

Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
This will be our new minister's first sermon with us.  The Rev. Theresa Novak will introduce herself and reflect on the meaning of "hello."

August 17: Are We Ready to Grow?

Rocky Morrison, Worship Leader

Changes are happening at BFUU. With a new minister, a new Board and energized committees, we are in a time of opportunities and challenges. Are we ready? Do we have to let go of anything to move forward in the life of this fellowship? What risks do we need to take?

August 10: Transformational Music: From Ogre to Saint

Moses Channels, Worship Leader

New science and new thinking on how to rewire the receptive mind to become one with love and joyfulness.

August 3: An All-Music Service

Lauren Renée Hotchkiss and Friends, Worship Leaders

This is our annual Summer Music Service, but with a new twist this year. Every bit of the service, from Prelude to Postlude will be sung. Come and see, hear, sing!

July 27: Faith, Hope and Poetry

Poets of BFUU, Worship Leaders

What sustains your spiritual life? What readings, experiences, people or practices have opened your spiritual being to discovery and growth? Our BFUU poets will express themselves on this subject in original works.

July 20: Bring Your Own God: The Spirituality of Woody Guthrie
Rev. Steve Edington, Worship Leader

Based on his book of the same name, UU minister and author Steve Edington will explore religious and spiritual currents that flow through the life and work of Woody Guthrie. Country Joe McDonald, who has done a one man show on Woody Guthrie, will be providing the music.

July 13: Deepening Service
Lauren Renée Hotchkiss, Worship Leader

Following on her earlier service Journey to Wholeness Through Service earlier in the year, and in light of her recent acceptance to the Masters of Divinity program at the Pacific School of Religion, Lauren will be speaking on her growing call of deepening service.

July 6: African Heritage
Doug Chambers, Worship Leader

Building on the taste of Ancestor Reverence that Doug Chambers gave us as Worship Associate for the Hallowe'en service he will be Reminding us of early and current African involvement in the UU movement.


June 29: Pride in the Fellowship
LGBT Fellowship Members, Worship Leaders


Come join us for our annual Pride service, and show support for the rich diversity that has always been a part of BFUU as members share their personal stories and their hopes for the future.

June 22: Joy's Moving Day
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader


This will be the last service presented by our interim minister. Join Joy as she “wraps up” two years of transitional work and “packs up” to move. We will look at what we’ve accomplished together during this interim phase in the life of the congregation, and do a little gazing into the crystal ball, contemplating what lies ahead for the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.

June 15: Fathers Day: Fathers, Families and Fellowships
Rocky Morrison, Worship Leader


Reflections on relationships that seem to be chosen for us and the ones we choose for ourselves. How are families defined today? Who gets to define them? Today's cultural and political struggles around marriage and families bring us an opportunity to look at our connections to others (and perhaps ourselves).


June 8: The End of Him and the Beginning of Us
Moses Channels, Worship Leader


If scientific knowledge is moving us away from a traditional God acceptance, where do we go from here? How do we now find personal meaning, self-worth and purpose of life outside of traditional religious thinking? I will explore a new way to address these questions.

June 1: Flower Communion Service: From You I Receive, To You I Give
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader


Join us for the beautiful annual flower communion service, a uniquely UU ritual in which we each bring a flower representing the many gifts we bring to the congregation, and each take a different one home, representing the gifts we receive from one another. In this service we will celebrate our volunteers and hear briefly about how our gifts of time, talent and treasure keep the Fellowship going now and in the future.

Following this service there will be a catered lunch, during which members and friends will enjoy food and fellowship, and be invited to make their annual pledge of financial support to the Fellowship.

April 27: Dreams as a Spiritual Practice
Katrina Martin, Worship Leader

In this service we will explore the connection between spirituality and dreams. Is it possible some of our dreams are messages from Spirit? Can dreams serve as a portal to explore the mysteries of life? Katrina will share some of her own spiritual dream experiences and provide examples of ways we can expand and deepen our spirituality through working with dreams.

April 20: Easter Sunday, Finding Easter
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader

What can “resurrection” possibly mean for Unitarian Universalists? Join us or a celebration of the season of Easter, renewal and hope.

April 13: What’s Needed?
Joshua Searle-White, Worship Leader

Often in life we need to think towards the future, make plans, and decide what to do. When we do that, it’s easy to get stuck in habitual ways of thinking and viewing things only through our own lens. But what if “what is needed here?” were our guiding question rather than “what do we want?” or “what is our vision?" What greater sources of wisdom might we be able to open up to?


April 6 Loving the Stranger: An Interactive Service on Hospitality
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader

How welcoming are we, as individuals, and as a religious community? The service will explore the spiritual discipline of hospitality, and how it may enhance the spirit of Fellowship and your own life.


March 30: Confessions of a Mystical, Humanistically-Inclined Agnostic Theist with Pagan Tendencies and a Love for Jesus
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader

The title of this sermon is inspired by the diversity of beliefs one finds within a UU congregation—and sometimes even within one individual Unitarian Universalist! Joy will explore her personal theology, and invites you to do the same

.March 23: Expressions in Spring

Sunday Services Committee Members and Others

To further open to the wonderful array of creative talent in our Fellowship, let us join together to explore how spring inspires our community in words, music, and art.

March 16: St. Patrick's Service: Celts, Snakes, Goddesses and St. Patrick
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader


The sermon will explore some of the legends and myths surrounding the saint known as Patrick (who was actually not Irish!), as well as some of the more ancient pagan practices that Patrick is said to have supplanted with Christianity.

March 9: Born Again, Deity-Free: In Search of the Transcendent Self
Moses Channels, Worship Leader

Can we become more Christ-like, without deifying Christ? Can we become more loving, caring, forgiving, tolerant and helpful with each other without deifying Jesus? Do we need to believe in any deific figure, or bearded sovereign in the heavens, in order to become more virtuous? If not, then what moral principles are we to follow: what makes right and wrong; and what then is our purpose in being here on earth? Do we have a destiny to fulfill? Using the writings of Emerson, Channing and others, I will explore the possibility of spiritual renewal, rebirth, or personal renaissance, without reliance on deity.

March 2: The Third Principle: Growing Souls

Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader


The Third Principle of our faith calls upon us to encourage one another to spiritual growth. What is “spiritual growth,” and how can we pursue it for ourselves and encourage it in our congregations?

February 23: The Gift of Anger
Pam Gehrke, Worship Leader

Reflecting on the good, bad and ugly of this most heated of emotions, we consider what makes anger a "gift." How can we best deal with its destructive potential in ourselves and others? 

February 16: I Love, Therefore I Am
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader

On this service celebrating Valentine’s Day, the sermon will explore the history of this lover’s holiday, and we will celebrate through poetry and song various facets and types of love in human experience.

February 9: Exploring Transylvania: The Seat of Unitarianism
Jo Green, Worship Leader

How much do we know about our Unitarian family in Transylvania? Are we different or the same? In her travels, Jo Green, a Starr King student on scholarship in Transylvania, explores the roots of our faith tradition, our similarities and differences in practices and conventions and the knowledge we can gain from our Unitarian family in the country of our beginnings. 

February 2: Evolution Sunday: All That Has Given Us Birth
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader


Amazingly, there are still those who question the scientific theory of evolution on religious grounds. But to many modern scientists and theologians alike, science and religion are not enemies. Many religious organizations set aside a Sunday in February annually to celebrate Evolution Sunday, as an answer to those who continue to denounce the theory of evolution. This service will celebrate the contributions of Charles Darwin, born 205 years ago on February 12, and explore the interface of the scientific and religious world-views. 

During this service, we will also welcome several new people into membership at BFUU.

January 26: On the Sacrament of Being

Wesley Morrison-Sloat, Worship Leader

Please bring your favorite books or your e-reader to decorate the altar as we explore the spiritual tradition of sacred texts and reading for education, enlightenment and joy.

January 19: Martin Luther King Day Service: Following a Dream
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader


This service in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King will focus on issues of racial justice and the phenomenon of white privilege, woven together with African American poetry and personal experience.

January 12: Journey to Wholeness Through Service

Lauren Renee Hotchkiss, Worship Leader

Using examples from her life experience, the BFUU Community and what she has learned along the way, Lauren will explore the idea of working with our challenges by being of service to others – and ultimately ourselves.

January 5: Your One Wild and Precious Life
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader 

It’s a New Year—a time for resolutions, perhaps, on how to live the rest of our lives most fruitfully. The service and sermon will explore the issue of time in our lives and how we might live more fully in this new year and beyond.  

December 29: Auld Lang Syne Poetry Service
Frances Hillyard, Worship Leader 
Featuring poetry from our community. Have you written a poem you'd like to share about beloved people and place or experiences of your past? If you'd like to present at this service, please contact Frances. There will be time for congregants to offer quotes of a few lines on this theme as well.

December 22: Intergenerational Winter Solistice Service
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader 

On this Sunday nearest the Winter Solstice, we will acknowledge various traditions that celebrate light in the darkest time—traditions as varied as Hanukkah and Christmas, Hopi and Chinese, Kwanzaa and Yule.

December 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (5 p.m.)
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader 


We will gather to celebrate Christmas with carols, readings, a homily and the warm glow of candlelight in this dark time of the year. 

December 15: Jesus the Sage
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader 

The sermon will explore some of the recent scholarship concerning Jesus, whose birth so many celebrate this month. Whoa was this remarkable figure, beneath the legends? How much of what is attributed to him did he really say?

December 8: What You've Told Me About Your Hopes and Concerns

Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader 

In October and November our interim minister conducted several small meetings to explore current issues at BFUU and to envision the future of the congregation. For this service, she will reflect back some of what you have told her in these meetings and in other venues, and offer commentary from an ”outsider’s” perspective.

December 1: A Right Jolly Old Elf

Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader 

He’s coming to town. Have you been good? Did St. Nicholas really exist? The sermon will explore various myths and stories surrounding this Christian saint, whose feast day is celebrated on December 6th in many parts of Europe.

November 24: Intergenerational Thanksgiving
Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader

Gratitude is a deep feeling that can help us get through even the toughest challenges of life. Join us for a celebration of the attitude of gratitude that the holiday of Thanksgiving helps us to cultivate. Children will be present for the entire service. 

November 17: The Religious Voice: Grounded in Principle, Lifted in Spirit
Julie Brock, Worship Leader

As a religious tradition of constant reformation, what do we ground ourselves in as we move? What about us remains sacred as our theology and practice grow ever distant from the form our ancestors practiced? How do we live out an ever-evolving mission? Come celebrate Sunday morning as we question together! Julie Brock is in her third year at Starr King School for the ministry and is interested in parish ministry.

November 10: Alas for the Daisies
Rev. Joy Atkinson, Worship Leader 

The autumn leaves are turning. Nothing lasts forever in this universe. Changes, little and big deaths and losses, are inevitable facts of life. And yet, as the poet Wallace Stevens wrote, “death is the mother of beauty.” What would we really bother to do if we had an infinite amount of time to do it in? How can we cope with, and even learn to treasure, the changes and losses in our lives, and the stark fact of our own mortality?

November 3: Connecting with the Spirit of Place
Katrina Martin, worship leader and Wesley Morrison-Sloat, worship associate

How do you connect with the unique spirit of the places in your life? How can places get you closer to Spirit? Ecopsychologist and BFUU Office Coordinator Katrina Martin will reflect on the spiritual relationship to place and how we can cultivate a deeper connection with places including physical structures, land, and water. The service will include songs and readings about the special connection we can create with place.

October 27: Intergenerational Service: Death, Remembrance and the Meeting of Two Worlds
El Dia de los Muertos/Halloween Service
Rev. Joy Atkinson, worship leader 

We will explore themes of the Day of the Dead and Halloween holidays. El Dia de los Muertos is a combination of the Christian All Souls Day and indigenous traditions, a holiday widely celebrated in Central and South America. For Halloween, children and adults may come in costume if they wish. Please bring a photo or photos of loved ones who have died, to add to our decorated el Dia de los Muertos offrenda (altar).

October 20: Let's Talk About Sex
Erica Ward, worship leader 

This service will explore the value of talking about sex and sexuality, particularly in the context of religious community. Erica Ward, a seminarian at Starr King School for the Ministry, will draw on her experience completing the Unitarian Universalist "About Your Sexuality" program as a teenager, implementing the Unitarian Universalist / United Church of Christ "Our Whole Lives" comprehensive sex education program for youth as a Director of Religious Education, and teaching sex education to African youth using the "Our Whole Lives" program as a resource as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi.

October 13: Association Sunday: Unitarian Universalists, the Good News and the "E" Word 
Rev. Joy Atkinson, worship leader and Frances Hillyard, worship associate

We will celebrate the larger Unitarian Universalist movement and explore how we can sustain and strengthen Unitarian Universalism. What is the “E” word, and why does it make some Unitarian Universalists so uncomfortable?

October 6: Annual Blessing of the Animals 
Lauren Renee Hotchkiss and Seon O'Neill, worship associates

Please come to this kid-friendly event in which will honor animals currently in our lives, and remember those who have crossed over the Rainbow bridge. Following the service there will be an animal blessing in the courtyard between the Hall and RE BuildingFor those not wishing to bring an animal, please do bring pictures or a memento for the altar, or share virtual pictures from your cell phones after the service.

September 29: Continuing the Ministry of Religious Exploration 
Michelle Mueller, worship leader

Our new DRE Michelle will share the vision she has for our Lifespan Learning program at BFUU. Michelle sees Lifespan Learning and children's RE as ministries of the Fellowship than can benefit us all....from Our Whole Livescomprehensive sexuality education to Tuesdays Together with Live Oak! Hear her introduce herself, her ministry and plans for RE and Lifespan Learning!

September 22: Just So Long and Long Enough
Rev. Joy Atkinson

Our new interim minister will introduce the concept of intentional interim ministry and speak about the developmental goals of the interim period. She will also explore the challenge of inevitable change, both in our personal lives and as participants in a religious community.

September 15: The Miracle of Forgiveness: A High Holy Days Service
Rev. Joy Atkinson, preaching

The High Holy Days of Judaism ended on Saturday with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This time in the Jewish calendar calls upon observers to take stock of their lives over the past year and actively seek and offer forgiveness. How can the miracle of forgiveness offer a healing balm in our own lives?

September 8: It Begins With Water: BFUU Homecoming/Water Communion
Rev. Joy Atkinson, worship leader and Wesley Morrison-Sloat, worship associate

In this intergenerational service, the BFUU congregation will come together to launch a new “church year” with the traditional Water Communion service, celebrated in many UU congregations. Please bring some water from, or symbolic of, your summer journeys and activities to add to the communal bowl.

September 1: Labor, Women, and Race: The Struggle Continues
Gene Herman, Virginia Hollins-Davidson and Susan Singh, worship coordinators

This is a Social Justice Committee Labor Day service. The labor movement of the United States includes men and women of all races who have been involved in the development of just and equitable hours, wages and benefits. From the deliverance of the Negro freed from the bonds of slavery to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to the United Farm Workers…all of these workers have joined in union solidarity. This service focuses on a valiant few in the ongoing struggle and the working class in America.

August 25: Hellos and Goodbyes at BFUU
Rev. Joy Atkinson and Cecilia Owen, worship leaders; Fellowship Band, Deborah Hamouris, musician

In this service, we will look back, honor the year’s transitions, and say goodbye to our summer ministry team. We will also look ahead, saying hello to Rev. Joy Atkinson and welcoming her interim ministry at BFUU. Rev. Joy Atkinson, our new interim minister, will participate in this service.

August 18: Honoring Endings, Welcoming Beginnings
Cecilia Owen, preaching; Virginia Hollins-Davidson, worship associate; Richard Nelson Hall, pianist

What is there we need to honor, to release, and to let go of, in order to make space for the new? In this
service, we will say goodbye to our summer services together and make room for a new season in the life of our community this fall. "It’s celebration time, come on!"

August 11: The Maia Project: Bringing Clean Water to the Children of Palestine
Ziad Abbas, preaching

The Maia Project is one of many programs conducted by MECA, the Middle East Children’s Alliance. Ziad Abbas, program manager for cross-cultural programs at MECA, is a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank. He is the cofounder of the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh. Ziad is also a filmmaker, journalist, and educator who has worked with Palestinian and international media and helped create several documentary films.
August 4: Composers and Songwriters in Service
Lauren Renée Hotchkiss, worship leader

It is said that artistic expression reflects the need to make sense of our lives and the world around us. Come hear BFUU Community musicians and songwriters speak about what they are attempting to express in their music, how it relates to their spiritual beliefs, what they are trying to bring to the Fellowship, and what they receive. Songs and compositions will also be shared.
July 28: UU Credos in Poetry, Presented by BFUU Poets
Frances Hillyard, worship coordinator; Holly Harwood, worship associate; music by the Fellowship band

Poets of BFUU will be invited to read original works that deal with aspects of their personal beliefs as UUs. There will be a chance for everyone to exercise thoughtful creativity and self expression. To be one of our presenters, contact Frances Hillyard at 510-528-4996 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

July 21: Theology of the Next Generation
Wesley Morrison-Sloat, worship leader

Beyond PowerPoint and electric guitars, come hear what young adults actually think about religion, theology, and church. This will be an intergenerational service.
July 14: What We Hold Dear
Pam Norton and Cecilia Owen, worship leaders

This service is a celebration of our "credos," or what we hold dear. Please bring something to the service that represents an important value or belief to place on the altar. This service will incorporate song and dance, so be ready to boogie!

July 7: The Common Good: Common to Whom, Good for What?
Adam Dyer, preaching

Often we hear that things are done for the “common good,” but what does that really mean if we haven't explored what our commonalities are? How do liberal assumptions of commonality stifle broader perceptions of what may be common and what may be good?  In a world where the role of religion and faith are continuing to evolve, how can we look to our own faith to evolve with this changing world?

June 30: Pride
LGBT Fellowship Community Members

As an affirming congregation, BFUU has been a supporter of the queer community for many years. On this day of Pride, come join with those who are holding a spiritual center here at BFUU as others take to the streets in San Francisco. LGBT members of the congregation will speak on their experiences, and the Fellowship band and choir will offer music of support and celebration.

June 23: Summer Solstice
Lauren Renée Hotchkiss, worship leader; music by the choir, Fellowship musicians and friends

Members of the Fellowship presented a ritual in celebration of the Summer Solstice and our relationship with the sun, the season and the earth.

June 16: Stages of Recovery from Mental Health Difficulties
Rev. Barbara Meyers, preaching; Cecilia Owen, worship associate; Aline Prentice, musician

Recently the psychiatrist Mark Ragins has proposed that there are several identifiable stages in recovery of one’s mental health, similar in concept to the stages of death and dying identified by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. A reflection on these concepts and how they might be helpful in our congregation and in our lives.

June 9: “What I Know…”
Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching

Rev. Ben’s last Sunday in the pulpit as our Consulting Minister.

June 2: Appreciation Sunday and Flower Communion

There is much to be thankful for and many people to thank, acknowledge and show our appreciation for! Come join us for lots of “Thanks, Goodbyes, and Blessings."

May 26: Memorial Day: “When Death Comes Near”
Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching; Cecilia Owen, worship associate; Richard Nelson Hall, musician

A service about death and how we respond to it.


May 19: “The Stuff of Endings and New Beginnings”
Cecilia Owen, preaching; Rev. Ben Meyers, worship associate

Come, let us worship together, let us serve together! Let us gather as a community, and talk about both the grief and gratitude associated with endings, and the hope & joy of new beginnings. Together in community we are made whole; we discover ourselves as one.


May 12: Mother’s Day: “Love and Other Four-Letter Words: A Vocabulary Primer”
Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching; Wesley Morrison-Sloat, worship associate; Heartroot, musicians

Mother’s Day was originally founded as a day of peace, yet, so much of our world today focuses on conflict and strife, making the language of peace difficult to express or hand down to future generations. Today I will revel in short words with great meaning! May they bring you peace and joy.


May 5: Founder’s Sunday: “It Takes a Congregation…”
Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching; Cecilia Owen, worship associate; Aline Prentice, musician

We will celebrate this Beloved ‘Village’ by looking a bit at the past, but at the future more.


April 28:A Journey Inward
Rev. Adél Nagy, visiting Balázs Scholar, preaching; Tom McAninley, worship associate; Music by the Fellowship Band and Choir

“The only journey is a journey within.” -Rainer Maria Rilke
Most of us like to travel and experience new things -- we seek variety. There is also a kind of inward journey we can take, experiencing new parts of ourselves and our connection to Life. Whether we are humanist, atheist, spiritual or other, we experience an inner life that sometimes surprises us. Come hear about this journey from a Transylvanian Unitarian perspective.

Rev. Adél Nagy is this year’s Balázs Scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She presently serves as the minister in the village of Recsenyéd, Transylvania, Romania (population 130, of whom 98% are Unitarian).


April 21: Our Earth, Our Choices
An Intergenerational Earth Day Service

Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching; Cecilia Owen; Caitlin S. Cotter; Richard Nelson Hall, pianist

We are in a time of transition, as a congregation and as a planet. Join us for an Earth Day service touching on the topics of sustainability, choice, creativity, and community.


April 14:  “Learning to Ride a Bicycle”
Stewardship Sunday-Congregational Lunch and Stewardship Kick-Off!
Rev. Vail Weller, preaching; Aline Prentice, Musician

Do you remember when you first learned to ride? It was, at heart, an act of faith. This morning, I’ll share inspiring stories from around the globe and hope to open your hearts to express your love for this Fellowship and Unitarian Universalism.

Rev. Vail Weller is the Special Assistant to the President for Major Gifts at the Unitarian Universalist Association. She has served as a parish minister in West Virginia, Michigan, and most recently, San Mateo, CA.


April 7: “Spring: the Lion and the Lamb”
Cecilia Owen, preaching; Erica Ward, Worship Associate

Join us for a service celebrating both the arrival of soft, gentle spring, as well as the more tempestuous nature of change and rebirth. Through poetry, song and reflection, we'll re-energize together on this, the first Sunday after Easter.


March 31: Something Through the Ages Sings
Intergenerational Easter Service in Music and Movement
Rev. Ben Meyers, Caitlin S. Cotter, Cecilia Owen, Music by Aline Prentice, The Fellowship Band and Choir

Join us for stories and songs that speak to and embody the vibrancy of spring, regeneration, and renewal through music and the arts!


March 24: “Salvation by Temptation?”
Rev. Ben Meyers; music by composer and bassist, Clark Suprynowicz, and Marcos Sainz, pianist.

This may seem an unlikely sermon title to find in a Unitarian Universalist service. Raised a Baptist, I was indoctrinated to think some very specific things about these two religious constructs incompatible in the context I have suggested. Both words are seldom heard in a liberal religious setting. They are words that are “loaded” with negative meaning for many people. On this, the Sunday before Passover and one week before Easter, I wish to revisit and even reclaim these bothersome terms because they are words that hold spiritual significance for this Holiday period AND our lives. They are words, I believe, worth revisiting in a liberal light.

March 17: “TBD: The Nature of Change”
Rev. Ben Meyers; music by Aline Prentice


March 10: “Hope, Joy & Faith”
Rev. Earl Koteen, preaching; Cecilia Owen, Worship Leader; Richard Nelson Hall, pianist.

Rev. Earl, our Community/Environmental Justice minister, will lead this service about the journey of hope, joy, and faith that is environmental justice work.


March 3: “Marriage Rites, Equal Rights and the Religious Rights’ ‘Wrongs’”

Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching; music by Mindy Dillard and Eric McEuen of the duo, HeartRoot

Many of the arguments against marriage equality from the religious "right" claim to be Biblically-based. But, are these arguments religiously or even culturally sound? By what authority? This service will offer both a critical eye and a spiritual interpretation to help us in our respectful and rightful engagement to counter these arguments and to support the rights of all people to marry, "Wherever Love Is." All are worthy, all are welcome.


February 24: “Celebrating Our Elders”
Cecilia Owen, Mindy Mull and BFUU Elders; music by the Live Oak Choir and Aline Prentice

This service will be dedicated to honoring the elders of the BFUU community, by celebrating together in their stories, songs and talents.


February 17: “Unitarian Presidents (and Some ‘Also-Rans’)”
Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching; music by the Fellowship Band and the Choir

There have been either four or five Unitarian Presidents, depending on the status accorded Jefferson. (Like Lincoln, Jefferson never joined a church.) Our faith has produced its share of heroes and heroines, men and women whose names will be remembered as long as history is written and read and recounted by us. This is a sermon on ‘faith and freedom’ to celebrate Presidents’ Day.


February 10: Standing on the Side of Love—Intergenerational Service
Caitlin S. Cotter, Rev. Ben Meyers & Cecilia Owen

Join us as we re-frame Valentine's Day as Standing on the Side of Love Day, a day for justice and solidarity. The kids will stay with us for this service about love and equality.


February 3: “Spaces Between: A Theology of Rainbows”
Caitlin S. Cotter, preaching; Cecilia Owen, worship associate

This Sunday we take on the gender binary, and the question of who we are as men, as women, and as those somewhere in between. Who we love and who we are rarely fits into tidy boxes. What does this mean for us, as Unitarian Universalists standing on the side of love?


January 27: “Sowing Seeds of Justice and Growing Community”
Matthew McHale, preaching; Music by the Fellowship Band.

This Sunday we consider our relationship to one another and to the environment which sustains all life on this planet. In this age of climate change, ecological destruction, and economic disparity how can we create systems and communities that align with our liberal religious values—promoting justice and honoring the interconnected web of existence?

Matthew McHale is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry, an accomplished preacher, and an active supporter of anti-opression and environmental justice work. He is also BFUU's office administrator. This service will draw on his experience with Occupy the Farm.

January 20: “Toward a Just and Beloved Community”: MLK Sunday
Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching; Mr. Richard Nelson Hall, musician.

All of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work, from the very beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, was oriented toward the creation of a community characterized by love and justice, a society completely integrated among different races, a vision he called “the Beloved Community.” Today, in the year marking the forty-fifth anniversary of his assassination, society’s work toward full integration continues beyond race, and goes beyond gender, physical ability or sexual identification. We gather to remember King, his legacy, and his work which is now ours to continue as we “Stand on the Side of Love.”


January 13: “Belong”
Cecilica Owen, Intern Minister, preaching; Rev. Ben, Coordinator
Music by “Heartroot” a.k.a. Eric McEuen and Mindy Dillard

What does it mean to belong to a spiritual community in terms of our spiritual growth and well-being? This is an excellent service to bring a friend!
Ingathering of New Members during the service. If you are ready to join this beloved community, please contact Rev. Ben This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


January 6: “The Burning Bowl and Planting Pot: Two Rituals for the New Year”
Rev. Ben Meyers and Cecilia Owen - worship leaders

The ‘New Year’ is an artificial ‘beginning,’ but a useful way to reflect on the year past and an opportunity to release ourselves from things we said or did that we wish we hadn’t, or what we didn’t say and didn’t do and wish we had. The ritual of the Burning Bowl is a timeless invitation to “let go.” It is also a time to begin again. And so, we will also look ahead at what we wish to nurture within ourselves via the ritual of the Planting Pot. This will be a simple service of music, meditation and sharing. It is important to this ritual that all be present from the beginning.  Please strive to arrive by 10:30.  Thank you! 


December 30: Semi-Annual Poetry Service
Frances Hillyard, Gene Herman and others lead this beloved BFUU service


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Monday, December 24 at 5 pm: “Lessons and Carols” for all ages.
Rev. Ben Meyers & Cecilia Owen, worship leaders
Plan now to invite your friends and family to this lovely service of song and story, poetry and light.


December 23: “Speak, Sing, Make Your Peace”
Rev. Ben Meyers, worship leader; Music by the Fellowship Band

A service on peace and how we make it.


December 16: “The Lights of the Season” - Intergenerational Service
Rev. Ben Meyers, Caitlin S. Cotter & Cecilia Owen - worship leaders

“In a dark time the eye begins to see.” –Theodore Roethke
With the arrival of winter’s dark sky providing the backdrop, communities around the world look to the miracle of light as a sign of rebirth and a source of hope. At this service celebrating the holidays of winter, we celebrate the promise of new life through story and song and recommit ourselves to the protection of everyone’s right to his or her own radiant humanity by kindling the lights of the season.


December 9: “iChurch or Beloved Community?”
Rev. Ben Meyers

Our culture is steeped in individualism, but at what cost to the common good, the beloved community, and the future of Unitarian Universalism? Can we articulate a more universal message in service to something larger than the individual?

December 2: “What Are You Waiting For?”
Rev. Ben Meyers and Cecilia Owen, Ministerial Intern - preaching

“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the Christian tradition, this is the first Sunday in Advent, a period of waiting and preparation. In this season of hurry embellished in a culture of unbridled speed, it seems a good question to ask: “What are you waiting for?”


November 25: Our Caring Community
Cecilia Owen - preaching, Virginia Hollins-Davidson & Gene Herman - worship coordinators

In beloved community, there is only all of us, not them and us. We literally have the power to love one another into well-being. Come to this service to explore together the power in caring community.


November 18: Intergenerational Thanksgiving Service and Potluck
Caitlin S. Cotter - worship coordinator

Sunday November 18th is our annual Thanksgiving intergenerational service and potluck. Join us as we pause for a moment of gratitude, to renew again our commitment to compassion and service to each other and the world.


November 11: “E Pluribus Unum?”
Rev. Ben Meyers - preaching, Tom McAninley - worship coordinator

A post-election sermon and a recognition of Veteran’s Day.


November 4: “The Benefit of Doubt”
Rev. Ben Meyers - preaching, Lauren Renee Hotchkiss - worship coordinator

“Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth.” --Robert T. Weston
Some people never reach the stage of doubt in religious development, some seem to be born with it. The tendency to doubt religiously, despite its unconventional nature, is a legitimate and important stage of faith development. (The Buddha insisted that an attitude of doubt is necessary.) Today we will explore and honor doubt as “an attendant of truth” and the servant of discovery, maturation, and—faith.


October 28: All Hallows Eve and Day of the Dead - Intergenerational Service
Caitlin S. Cotter, worship coordinator
Join the Berkeley Fellowship in marking All Hallows Eve and Day of the Dead with an intergenerational service full of ritual, song, and story.

October 21: The Practices We Keep
Rev. Ben Meyers - preaching, Cecilia Owen - worship coordinator
Unitarian Universalism is a faith for our time, yet few can succinctly name its sources, principles, or practices. Today's "UUism" has been distilled through "time-tested" practices based on religious thought and spiritual actions that require a constancy of merger, fusion, adaptation and change to maintain its value and relevancy. How can such a paradox be maintained? What are some of the ways we embody these practices in our lives today? What practices will we need to adopt to move into the future? What practices sustain you?


October 14: Intergenerational Work and Regeneration: Reflections from the Field
Lena Richardson - preaching, Rev. Ben Meyers - coordinator
In this service, Lena Rebecca Richardson discusses her work in the field of intergenerational circles and relationship-building both at BFUU and beyond. She reflects on the practical and spiritual dimensions of this work, and what it has meant in her own life.

This service celebrates the publishing Stories Between Us: Oral Histories from a Countercultural Congregation, based on the BFUU Oral History Project conducted from 2009-2010.


October 7: The Hip Bone Is Connected to the Thigh Bone
Rev. Earl Koteen - preaching, Cecilia Owen - worship coordinator
We talk about the interconnected web of existence and interlocking oppressions, but once we look deeply and broadly into any injustice, we see how it is connected to others. Come join us to learn how we can address systemic injustices and give meaning to our lives and work.


Sept. 30: Sharing Stories: From Bee'more to Berkeley
Cecilia Owen, Ministerial Intern

Ministerial Intern Cecilia Owen introduces herself to the congregation on this Sunday by way of storytelling. She shares stories from her adventures away from Berkeley. Cecilia has been serving as a hospital chaplain for the last two years in the Baltimore/Washington DC area. We reflect together as a community on the stories that bring each of us to this new moment in BFUU history. What are YOUR stories and how do they bring you into the present moment?


Sept. 23: “Spiritual Center/Justice Circumference”
Rev. Ben Meyers
In these confusing and contradictory times in which we live, we are often easily discouraged or irascibly angry (or both). As Unitarian Universalists, a tiny slice of progressive religion, we wonder about our role in the great scheme of things. What is our response? Bill Moyers, Baptist minister, media guru and social prophet, once said the role of the media is to be a “public nuisance.” I believe one of our primary missions, and perhaps our unique mission as a religion, is to be a gadfly on the body politic and religious “right.” We need to have what poet Robert Frost called, a “lover’s quarrel” with our world.


September 16: Teshuvah: Turning, Returning, and Beginning Again in Love: A Service Commemorating the Jewish High Holy Days
Rev. Ben Meyers

The Jewish High Holy Days are traditionally a time for re-flecting on the year past and an opportunity to “set things right” for the coming year. The term teshuvah, or “turning,” provides us a context in which to do the difficult, but necessary, work of changing our patterns of behavior and letting go in order to move ahead.


September 9: Intergenerational Service: “Gathering of the Waters” Ritual and Celebration

Each Fall our Fellowship begins its new program year with the annual Water Communion Service. This service has become a rich tradition, signifying our connection to the sources of life which sustain and enrich us as a community. Bring with you a small container of water representative of this source. We combine these waters as we welcome each other back to our Fellowship.


September 2: Journey Towards Home
Caitlin S. Cotter

What Is Pilgrimage for Unitarian Universalists? Our Director of Religious Education, Caitlin S. Cotter, explores the concept of journeying in search of our sources and the physical sites of the sacred. We will consider the question of where our spiritual homes are and how we seek them.


August 26: Standing on the Side of Love in Phoenix, AZ
Rev. Ben Meyers, Caitlin S. Cotter, Matthew McHale, Kate Meyers & Pam Norton

This is a chance to hear from back from those who went to the UUA’s “Justice” General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ. It was powerful moment for the UU movement, as we bore witness to the devastation wrought by US immigration policy, including the dehumanizing conditions of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “Tent City.” Participants will bring back the stories heard and the lessons learned that can help us live out our vision of Justice in Beloved Community.


August 19: Freedom Rides, Revisited
Rabbi Philip Posner, Preaching — Rev. Ben Meyers, Worship Leader

50 years after his participation in the Freedom Rides, Rabbi Philip Posner brings alive what moved him to risk-taking action for social justice as a 21 year old university student, and how he and his fellow riders were inspired by the speeches and songs of the Civil Rights movement. His stories are a reminder of our call to be a prophetic voice for justice in our own time.

August 12: “In Musical Service”
Lauren Renée Hotchkiss, Worship Leader

Come hear some of the wonderful house and guest musicians that grace our services talk about their music and what they wish to bring to the Fellowship, and of course share some of their beautiful playing. There are some you might expect, but also be prepared for a few surprises. And there’s even a rumor that some musicians may play together for the first time ever.


July 29: “This I Believe”
Pam Norton, Worship Coordinator

Unitarian Universalism is a creedless religion - we follow no dogma. We may be Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist, Agnostic, or none of the above. Yet we share one faith, a faith in common values and principles, and in religious freedom. Our first principle says we affirm and promote “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” The Fourth Principle supports “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” which we do together. This Sunday new members Virginia Hollins-Davidson and Alex Tuggle share their spiritual paths and how their beliefs shape their lives today.


July 22: Poetry Service: Gratitude—Gladness for What Makes Life Good
Francis Hillyard, Worship Leader and a plethora of BFUU poets

Our poets explore through original works the impact on their lives of people, relationships, experiences and things that have lifted their spirits, and helped make living worthwhile.


July 15: “Seventh Principle Service: Blessing of the Animals”
Seon O’Neil and Lauren Hotchkiss, Worship Leaders

We humans often act as we are the only species on planet earth—which isn't the case. This Sunday we reflect on the 7th Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” by exploring how our animal companions and backyard wildlife connect us to nature.


July 8: “The Neurobiology of Enlightenment”
Jody Savage, Worship Leader — Carol Ann Amour, Worship Associate

Traveling from Carl Sagan to Joseph Campbell, from the reptile brain to the primate brain, we explore the quest for enlightenment.
Jody is member of the Live Oak UU Fellowship where she often lead worship services.


July 1: “This I Believe” Intergenerational Service
Pam Norton, Worship Leader


June 24: Summer Solstice (UU Style)
Lauren Renée Hotchkiss, Worship Leader

Members of the Fellowship present a ritual in celebration of the Summer Solstice and our relationship with the sun, the season, and the earth. We will also be honoring the connection between Paganism and Unitarian Universalism and celebrating the shared commitment in our traditions to the sacred circle of life, living in harmony with the rhythms of nature, and affirming our relationship and responsibilities within the interdependent web of life.
Music by the BFUU Choir and Fellowship Musicians and friends.


June 17: “What’s a Summer For?”
Rev. Ben Meyers

This will be Rev. Ben’s last Sermon until August 19th. A reflection on the year past, what’s ahead, and the need for rest and renewal.
We will also have a recognition of Fathers’ Day during the service.
Special Music by Alex Tuggle

June 10: “Between a Rock and a Soft Place”
Rev. Ben Meyers

A sermon about brokenness and hope in trying times.
Special music by Jonathan Mann, pianist.


June 3: Intergenerational Appreciation Sunday and Flower Communion!
Rev. Ben Meyers & Caitlin S. Cotter, Director of Religious Exploration

Join us as all ages gather for a day full of gratitude for every aspect of our community- especially those individuals who serve us in the Religious Exploration program, on Sunday mornings, and who work around the year to support this congregation. There will be music and storytelling and one of our best loved Unitarian Universalist yearly rituals.
Music by Aline Prentice and the BFUU Choir!

May 27: MEMORIAL DAY - “Some Myths of War”
Rev. Ben Meyers

We will explore some of the mythology that underlies the ancient human practices of warfare. Why is it that no generation, no matter how badly wounded by the ugly realities of war, is ever able to communicate its disillusioned suffering to its grandchildren? How comes it that human beings so readily, almost eagerly, construct Enemies? Is war an inevitable byproduct of human culture or, if we really wanted to bring this historical curse to an end, what might be the best ways of going about it? Come join us in worshipping, exploring, and remembering on this holiday of commemoration.


May 20: “Open Mind, Follow Through”
Andrew Scott, Ministerial Intern

How quickly time has passed, and your Ministerial Intern is flying off into the wild-blue-yonder. I have learned so much and have been so blessed to have this internship. I will talk about the lessons and wisdom I have gained, and how much the congregation has meant to me. The sermon will focus on dreams for the future, and how we can all more effectively accomplish our goals.


May 13: A Unitarian Universalist Catechism: Revisited”
Rev. Ben Meyers

What do Unitarian Universalists believe?  What is the essence of our liberal faith and spiritual grounding that compels us towards social justice and openness to the religious pluralism?  How do we articulate all this… succinctly? As suggested by it’s title, this service will attempt such.
During the service we will honor and observe all those who ‘Mother’ us.
Aline Prentice will provide music for the day!


May 6: “Bumper Sticker Theology”
Rev. Ben Meyers

A contemporary of Jesus, the Jewish mystic, Hillel, said the entire law of how to live rightly and justly should be kept simple enough to be recited while standing on one foot.  Not only rabbis, priests and prophets, but all believers have something to say about the spiritual path: Drivers of Prius’ and Hummers not excluded! The sermon is a light-hearted drive to the heart of the matter, religiously speaking. It is also a lesson for enlightened, post-modern people of all beliefs and a good introduction to Unitarian Universalism.

April 29: “What’s a Bodhisattva?”
Andrew Scott, Ministerial Intern

This service will be an introduction to, and an exploration of the Buddhist concept of the Bodhisattva. We will look at some of the different branches of Buddhism, and how the Bodhisattva ideal expresses itself in them, what this concept may have signified contextually when it appeared, and what it may mean for Buddhists and for ourselves today.


April 22: EARTH DAY: “Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Justice and Immigration”
Rev. Ben Meyers

Immigrants by and large contribute less to climate change than most Americans, but are among those most impacted by it. Today we explore the links between environmental justice and Immigration, aligning with the UUA’s focus on immigration at the upcoming General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ, this June entitled: “Immigration as a Moral Issue.” Come learn more by “connecting the dots.”


April 15: STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY: “Give Until It Feels Good”
Rev. Ben Meyers

A contemporary of Jesus, the Jewish mystic, Hillel, said the entire law of how to live rightly and justly should be kept simple enough to be recited while standing on one foot.  Not only rabbis, priests and prophets, but all believers have something to say about the spiritual path: Drivers of Prius’ and Hummers not excluded! The sermon is a light-hearted drive to the heart of the matter, religiously speaking. It is also a lesson for enlightened, post-modern people of all beliefs and a good introduction to Unitarian Universalism.


April 8: The Emergence of Spring: An Intergenerational Easter Celebration!
Rev. Ben Meyers and Caitlin S. Cotter

This service will be full of stories, songs, and sharing as we prepare ourselves for the renewal that is spring.  Rev. Ben, Caitlin Cotter and a cast of others (including YOU) will welcome Spring the Trickster, who fools winter into relinquishing his hold on the world, and herald the "return of the frogs". What is being resurrected and renewed in your world today?


April 1: “When the Fools Go Marching In”
Andrew Scott, Intern Minister

Come, and if you are willing, please wear your favorite “Fools” outfit for this April Fool’s Day celebration at BFUU! Andrew Scott will give a sermon about the significance of “the fool” in different spiritual, psychological, and religious contexts, and maybe get a few members of the congregation to join him for some clowning around.


March 25: “The Present Value of a Future Vision”
Rev. Ben Meyers

“Spend your life on something that outlasts it,” writes the great reformer, Dorothy Day. The hopes for the future of any congregation, the vibrancy of its mission and ministry, and the quality of its programs are either met by its present actions, or not. What part will you play in this little drama? How do you derive the present value of your future legacy as a member or friend of this church? Today, we “kick off”our annual Stewardship Drive and celebrate the possibilities that exist for us as a religious community.


March 18: “Hardwired for Altruism”
Rev. Lucas Hergert

Some say that human beings are basically selfish. Rev. Lucas Hergert, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Livermore, begs to differ. Following recent findings in sociology and anthropology, he argues that we are actually hardwired for altruism. We need to have opportunities to care for others and to be generous.

Today, our minister, Rev. Ben Meyers, and Rev. Hergert are exchanging pulpits.

March 11: “The Cure for ‘Humanity Fatigue?’”
Rev. Ben Meyers

Are you tired of the polarization of politics? Do you weary of the punitive path leading us to moral and social disaster? From our various political and economic perspectives, we can—indeed, must—disagree honorably about precisely how to build a just society and care for all our fellow citizens. But we must once again agree as a national people to care—consistently and compassionately—for all.

Special presentation by THEATREWORKS!


March 4: “Seven Generations vs. The Precarious Western Bird’s Nest: Putting an End to the End”
Andrew Scott, Intern Minister and Fred Wahpepah, Kickapoo Elder

A reflection on the difference between particular forms of indigenous spirituality and the dominant western paradigm of the impending end. Is there a connection between a religious belief system, that’s been telling us for centuries that judgment day is coming, and the particular global reality that we are now witnessing? Do we have the responsibility or the power to change it? Is there somewhere else to go; or is it possible for us to return to where we are? Do we inherit the earth from our ancestors, or do we borrow it from our descendants? We will discuss possibilities for creating a more beneficial reality for the sentient beings that will inhabit the earth in coming centuries.


February 26: “The Dream of the Diaspora”
Rev. Zoltán Kopándi-Benczédi and the Rev. Ben Meyers

“Diaspora” describes people of a common ethnicity who live away from their home community, among foreigners. In the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, the term Diaspora is used for ethnic Hungarians of the Unitarian faith, spread across a vast Romanian majority. To build community in a Diaspora, we must adopt the visionary attitude of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and have a large, but realistic dream, which speaks to the way the congregation imagines itself in the future. It is hard work, but it will be successful if done by people who believe their work is lead by God's Providence.

The Rev. Zoltán Kopándi-Benczédi is the 2011-2012 Balázs Scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry, and minister to three congregations in Transylvania. He hopes to return at the end of his scholarship year with new insights into the connection between church life and community development, particularly work done in multicultural environments.


February 19: “Not For Sale: Today’s Abolition Movement”
Rev. Ben Meyers

By conservative estimates, there are 27 million slaves in the world today. Human trafficking is, in fact, the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world, ranking close behind drug trafficking and the illegal arms trade. It is, in short, a huge and growing industry of organized crime. As people who affirm the value of freedom, justice, equity, compassion, interdependence, and the worth of every person, how are we to respond? The answer is unequivocal not only in our modern Unitarian Universalist principles, but also when we turn to our abolitionist heritage and our pride in that heritage.


Friday, February 17 at 7 PM: Soulful Sundown

BFUU’s Young Adult group is partnering with young adults from around the Bay Area to present a night of inspiration, connection, movement, song, and celebration. Come to sing, move, share, and be together in the presence in the numinous, celebrating the gift of life and of community. Sometimes called contemporary worship, this evening in the UU "circle worship" tradition is geared towards all who identify as young adults.


February 12: Intergenerational Service—“What’s Love Got to Do with It?”
Andrew Scott, Ministerial Intern and Caitlin S. Cotter, Director of Religious Exploration

What do we mean when we say we are acting out of love? How does love fit into our quest for social justice in the world? How can we be more gentle with ourselves, and kind to others? In this intergenerational service we will explore the relationship of love to community, in our daily lives and the world in which we live.

February 5: “Unitarian Universalism: Then, Now, and Tomorrow?”
Roger Husbands and the Rev. Ben Meyers

To know where you are going, you first have to know where you’ve been. This service will look at the legacy of the Fellowship movement, where we are as a movement now, and our hopes for the future of this congregation.


January 29: “The Age of Reason” in the Era of Globalization & Occupy Wall Street: A Celebration of Tom Paine’s Birthday
Jeffrey Melcher & BFUU's Social Justice Committee

On his 275th birthday, the Social Justice Committee leads a service on the revolutionary intellectual and pamphleteer, Thomas Paine. Drawing on writings including “Common Sense,” “The Crisis Papers,” “The Rights of Man,” “The Age of Reason,” and his letters, we examine how Paine's ideas remain relevant today, particularly to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.


January 22: Love and Justice in the Heart of Berkeley
Rev. Earl Koteen

Reverend Earl Koteen, our Community Minister for Climate Justice, reflects on the history, the present, and the future of the Fellowship.  As Dylan said, "the times they are a-changin," both within and outside the Fellowship, and these words are truer today than when he wrote them.  Let us all find love, joy, and justice in this community we cherish.

Andrew Scott, Service Coordinator. Aline Prentice, Musician.


January 15: Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Sunday: “When Systems Fail, Character Calls”
Rev. Ben Meyers

We celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. best when we remind ourselves of his clarion call to respond to ‘the fierce urgency of now.’  Our ‘now’ moment of economic collapse, societal change and global crisis calls us to remember and repeat the lessons in leadership which King taught.  We live in an urgent moment and must respond to the issues of social justice locally, nationally, and globally. Come and let’s inspire one another!


January 8: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been
Andrew Scott, Ministerial Intern

This is the story of how your Ministerial Intern ended up in Berkeley (of all places), and in Seminary (of all places)! It’s a story about how the class clown discerned a call to ministry. It is also a story about lunacy and perseverance, about a young man who found his mind in Thailand before losing it (again) in Colorado, and how he got to “be here, now.”

Coordinator: Rev. Ben. Time for All Ages: Caitlin Cotter.


January 1: The Burning Bowl: A Ritual for the New Year
Rev. Ben Meyers

The ‘New Year’ is an artificial ‘beginning,’ but a useful way to reflect on the year past and an opportunity to release ourselves from things we said or did that we wish we hadn’t, or what we didn’t say and didn’t do and wish we had. The ritual of the Burning Bowl is a timeless invitation to “begin again.” This will be a simple service of music, meditation and sharing.


Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service of “Lessons and Carols” for All Ages
Rev. Ben Meyers

A lovely service of song and story, poetry and light.


December 18: “Celebrating the Light and Dark of the Season” - Intergenerational Service
Rev. Ben Meyers

For everything there is a season—a time of light and a time of darkness. With the arrival of winter’s low dark sky, communities around the world look to the miracle of light as a sign of rebirth and a source of hope. At this service celebrating the holidays of winter, we celebrate the promise of new life in ourselves and the world through both new and familiar stories and songs and by kindling the lights of the season.

Musicians: Susan Mashiyama, harp and piano, Erik Newman, flute, the BFUU Choir and Children's Choir and many others.

Dec. 11: Living in the Present: From Genesis to Revelation to Nagarjuna
Andrew Scott, Ministerial Intern

A sermon about the shape of emptiness, and the shape of ideas.


December 4: “FAQs for UU’s: Answering While Standing on One Foot”
Rev. Ben Meyers

What do Unitarian Universalists believe?  What is the essence of our liberal faith and spiritual grounding that compels us towards social justice and openness to religious pluralism?  How do we articulate all this….succinctly? As suggested by it’s title, this sermon will attempt such. This is a very good service to invite your neighbors and friends to BFUU and introduce them to this UU community.


November 27: Sacred Stories, Sacred Community
Patrice K. Curtis

Touching on the experiences of refugees and displaced people in Africa and Europe, we will explore how we can create communities of love through the act of listening deeply to the stories of each other.

Patrice has an MA in International Affairs, and post-graduate studies in complex humanitarian emergencies. She’s lived and worked in Sudan, Kenya, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Patrice is currently a student at Starr King School for the Ministry.


November 20: “What Occupies You?” - A Sermon on Joy and Thanksgiving
Rev. Ben Meyers

Gratitude is often born of hardship as much as joy, for it is in hardship that we realize and appreciate what we have. Yet, what truly sustains us is dependent upon what we give our focus, time and attention: in short, it depends on what occupies us. What if we choose to focus on what is right, on what makes us happy, on what fulfills us, on what is working?

In this time in which many of us are occupying spaces in order to bring about change, let’s focus on the change we seek!


November 13: Promises Shape Our Lives and the World
Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams

As Unitarian Universalists we are bound together by covenant, not by dogma but by the promises and the stories that we share. Our promises not only bind us together in our communities but also bind us through time. Covenants act as both a container and a catalyst for living our shared values. Those values have the capacity to transform the world.


November 6: Manifesting Hope?
Andrew Scott, Ministerial Intern  

A sermon about a legacy of guilt, about the structure of much of western thought, and how it prevents us from imagining a new reality.  We will explore the ways in which we can begin to free ourselves from the bondage of outmoded thought, how we can conceive of new possibilities for peace, justice, and ecological harmony, when we are liberated from the prison of ideas upon which our modern reality has been constructed.  This sermon will explore the underlying notions that are to this day influencing human decisions on a fundamental, yet unconscious level.


October 30: “Day of the Dead” Intergenerational Service
Rev. Ben Meyers, Caitlin Cotter, Andrew Scott

In the spirit of Samhain, Halloween and Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) we invite you to gather and celebrate those who have passed before us.

Wear festive or celebratory garments and bring an item of remembrance for an altar honoring our departed loved ones.

Special Music for the occasion, and a time to remember Jerry Diamond, long-time member and leader of BFUU.


October 23: New Conversations About the Death Penalty
Pam Gherke, M.Div., Ph.D.

Speaker Pam Gherke, made up her mind that the risk of human error makes capital punishment untenable. But what about public safety? What about victims' families? What about justice? As the campaign gets under way for a 2012 ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty in California, we lift up stories and statistics to explore some of the issue's complexities.
Pam Gehrke is a UU ministerial candidate and a graduate of Starr King School of the Ministry.


October 16: “Where Do We Come From?”
Rev. Ben Meyers

A whirlwind tour of Unitarian Universalist history in under two thousand words!
Guest guitarist, Alex Jacobs, of the ‘Music for Healing Program’ and our choir, provide music.

October 9: Olympia Brown Speaks!
Carol Ann Amour

Olympia Brown (1835-1926) dedicated her life to opening doors for women. Ordained as a Universalist minister, she was the first woman to graduate from an established theological school and achieve full ministerial standing recognized by any denomination. As a young minister, she took an active role in the women's suffrage movement and lived to vote in the 1920 presidential election.
Carol Ann Amour, who became a UU in Racine, WI, where Olympia Brown was a minister, recreates the minister/activist and brings her life and work alive.

Oct 2: Teshuvah: A Service of Forgiveness
Rev. Ben Meyers

The Jewish High Holy Days are traditionally a time for reflecting on the year past and an opportunity to “set things right” for the coming year. The term teshuvah, or ‘turning’, provides us a context in which to do the difficult, but necessary, work of changing our patterns of behavior and letting go in order to move ahead.

A ritual recitation of the Al Chet will be a part of the service. Special Music for the occasion.


Sept 25: Association Sunday 2011: Excellence in Ministries
Rev. Ben Meyers, with Caitlin Cotter, Patrice Curtis, Hassaun Ali Jones-Bey, Carrie Knowles, Matthew McHale and Andrew Scott.

Unitarian Universalist congregations are self-governing entities whose connections to one another sometimes seem tenuous. We need Association Sundays to strengthen the bonds of common purpose. Even more importantly, we need to combine our resources in order to make Unitarian Universalism a stronger voice of liberal religious values in the world.

Special music by harpist and soprano, Susan Mashiyama.


Sept 18: “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow”
Dr. Carrie Knowles, Ministerial Intern

In Dr. Carrie Knowles' last sermon of her ministerial internship, she looks back over the months since January and counts her blessings.


Sept 11: Moving Planet: Air, Land & Water
Rev. Earl Koteen, Community Minister

On Saturday, September 24, thousands will gather in San Francisco to join with activists around the world in the demand that we move from fossil fuels to cleaner and healthier transportation and land use. Rev. Earl Koteen, our Community Minister, helps us explore the depths of this movement.


Sept 4: Intergenerational Service: Honoring the Waters Ceremony
Rev. Ben Meyers & Caitlin Cotter

This Sunday traditionally marks the beginning of a new program year for the Fellowship. It is a time to “re-gather” from our summer travels through the ritual of the “Gathering of the Waters.”
Our choir will sing, and a special story written by Hassaun Ali Jones-Bey and performed by TheaterWorks! will round out this service honoring this fundamental element of life.


August 28: Serious Fun: Ingenious Improvisation, Money, Food, Waste, Water and Home
Carolyn North

Author, Healer, and Hunger and Sustainability Activist, Carolyn North shares a unique and thought provoking look at finding and maintaining balance in an unbalanced world.

August 21: The Blessings of Imperfection and Other Lessons for Living in the Real World
Rev. Ben Meyers

The world is not a perfect place, and mistakes are inevitable. It was the great hockey player, Wayne Gretsky, who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” (What he didn’t mention is that even if you are very, very good, you still miss 70% of the shots you do take!) I believe some of the most important lessons in life are those which come through the grace of failure.


August 14: “On Being Called”
Dr. Carrie Knowles

Dr. Carrie Knowles reflects on her call to ministry and her spiritual journey. As she approaches the close of her Ministerial Internship at BFUU, she considers surprises, fulfillments, and the road that lies head.

August 7: From Hiroshima to Disarming Collaboration
Rev. Dr. John L. Young

A sermon observing the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan.
Rev. Dr. Young is a retired UU minister. He is a member of the Board of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio in San Francisco and Chair of the Committee on Veterans Affairs.


July 31: Eve and the Serpent
Dr. Carrie Knowles, Ministerial Intern

"Eve and the Serpent," a verse play in two scenes, by Dr. Carrie Knowles, will be presented as a reading-in-the-round that reconsiders the myth of Adam's Fall and Eve's choice of wisdom over obedience.
The reading will be followed by a "Talk Back" on issues raised in the drama.

July 24: The Moral Injury of War
Dr. Carrie Knowles, Ministerial Intern

No man or woman returns from war without profound change both within the self and in relationship to society.  Modern warfare leaves spiritual wounds that affect the warrior and the peace-maker.  Dr. Carrie reflects on her experience of ministering to veterans and their caregivers.

July 17: Confessions of an Inactivist
Rev. Earl Koteen, Community Minister

Forty years have passed since the heyday of activism in the 1960s. While many, especially in Berkeley, continued their activism, others dropped out. Returning to activism, they found a different world. This service will explore reconciling with our past and acting in the present to prepare for our future.


July 10: This I Believe
Carol Ann Amour and Hassaun Ali Jones-Bey

Carol Ann and Hassaun tell of their core beliefs and share some of the stories of their spiritual journeys.


July 3: Patriots' Peace Potluck Picnic
Dr. Carrie Knowles, Ministerial Intern

Vic Sadot and other BFUU Social Justice Committee members and balladeers will be sharing songs and poetry for our second annual Patriots' Peace Potluck Picnic. Bring food music and poetry to share.


June 26, 2011: Semi-Annual Poetry Service: “Who I Am… Reflections on Identity”
Carol Ann Amour and Frances Hillyard, coordinating, with participation from the myriad bards of BFUU!

Participants will share poetry exploring experiences and values that make them who they are at this point in their spiritual journeys.


June 19, 2011: “My father walked through dooms of love”  -- E.E. Cummings
Rev. Ben Meyers, Kevan Jenson, Hassaun Ali Jones-Bey, and others from the BFUU community will participate.

This is a father’s day service on the foibles, fables and blessings of being (and having) fathers.
NOTE: This is Rev. Ben’s last service with us until August 21… He’d love to see everyone there!


June 12, 2011: Annual Flower Communion
Rev. Ben Meyers, Matthew McHale, and Carol Ann Amour, coordinating.

There will be special music for the occasion and participation by TheatreWorks! This will be a great service to bring visitors and friends. Children will be with us for the flower communion ceremony at the end of the service.


June 5, 2011: "Of Chickens, Choices and Change"
Rev. Ben Meyers

Change is the most consistent and persistent cause for stress and anxiety in our lives. Yet, Emerson said: “We wish to be settled in our lives…but it is only in our being unsettled that there is any hope for us.” The service will explore the questions: “How do we hold one another during times of anxiety and change without making each other wrong?” and, “Why DID the chicken cross the road, AGAIN?”


May 29, 2011: Memorial Sunday: “Standing On Their Shoulders”
Carol Ann Amour

We are not the product of our own efforts. There are many legends that speak of how we are shaped by those who came before us and showed us how to live out a better way. Today we take a moment to pause, reflect and remember.


May 22, 2011: BFUU, 54! UUA, 50!
Rev. Ben Meyers and Dr. Carrie Knowles

No, this is not the score of a recent sporting event…2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the merger between the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association. It also marks the 54th anniversary of the formation of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarians [sic]. Rev. Ben Meyers and Dr. Carrie Knowles share the pulpit and provide reflections of the 'transient and permanent' nature of our approach to spiritual growth and social action.


May 15, 2011: In the Beginning...
Carolyn North

Carolyn North, author of In the Beginning: Creation Myths from Around the World, will present readings of re-told myths to improvised music from several cultures, including Japan, in honor of the people and the land.


May 8, 2011: Letting the Prodigal Go
Rev. Ben Meyers

The story of the Prodigal is found in many cultures and has survived over centuries because it plays out a perennial psycho-drama that all of us know something about—and that many of us have lived, intimately. How well we understand the lessons of the story and the limits of the characters, determine whether we face our friends, family and even ourselves, with “clenched teeth, or open arms.”


May 1, 2011: The Work of Our Times
Octavio Pascal Carrasco

May 1st is the international workers day. Work is not something we do only with our bodies, but with our spirits. In this time of change, we must remember what we are working towards and how we are enacting that work. Even a prayer is a working action. Let us put our spirits into our work as we attempt to move something.


In this season of rejuvenation and renewal, we gather together to celebrate the miracles of springtime and the tim eless stories that remind us of rebirth in our own lives.  Today we explore the origins of this holiday that celebrate joy and hope and mystery and symbolism.  Do you know  the origins of the Easter Egg, or why we have baskets and bunnies and flowers everywhere this time of year?  Did you know that "Hot Cross buns" were originally "Gifts to the Queen of Heaven?" Rev. Ben Meyers with Caitlin Cotter and Dr. Carrie Knowles and of course our children will lead us as we look to the roots and make new meaning of this holiday called Easter.  Special music by Aline Prentice, pianist.


Each year we focus on the efficacy of our Fellowship in our lives and in this community and assess how we will support its continuance and vitality as a place for "Spiritual Growth and Social Action".  Today we "kick-off" our process of discernment by focusing on how these two elements of our mission make a difference in our lives.  One place to begin is by asking: "What would I be/do without this community?"  Special music for the occasion and stewardship materials distributed after the service.  Please plan now to play a role in the future health and wholeness of BFUU.   the Rev. Ben Meyers preaching


April 10, 2011 Musical Missions of Peace and Rev. Ben Meyers.

Rev. Ben Meyers has invited the talented and inspiring duo of Cameron Powers and Kristina Sophia to present with him a musical service on peace.

Peter and Kristina travel the Middle East and the Americas as the "Musical Missions of Peace". They are world musicians bringing music from Egypt, Greece, Peru, Iraq, Mexico, Syria and more.They are frequent guests in UU churches around the world.

April 3rd We Are Good Enough For God!

Guest Minister: The Rev. Erika Demeter,

Hungarian Unitarian Minister and Scholar

Sunday Coordinator: Rev. Ben Meyers

In Acts, 10:1-2, 9-15, 34 of the Bible, Peter has a vision where he refuses to eat the food offered to him by God, believing it to be unclean. This symbolizes Peter's prejudice against human beings different from himself. This morning we will reflect on the concept of prejudice, a human attitude that still exists in so many of our communities.  Like Peter’s vision, the message of today’s sermon is that only God has the right to judge us, and He/She always says, “We Are Good Enough for God!”.  Our plate this Sunday will be used to support the continued exchange of scholars from Hungary.

Bio:  The Rev. Erika Demeter is minister to congregations in Erdőszentgyörgy, Gyulakuta and Havadtő, Transylvania. While spending the 2010-2011 academic year in Berkeley, where her husband Rev. Levente Lázár is the Balázs Scholar at Starr King School, she is studying pastoral counseling at the Graduate Theological Union. She hopes to continue her counseling studies upon returning to Transylvania.


March 27th Ordinary Miracles the Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching. Music by the Wind Trio, Coriolis and a scene from Twelfth Night by Subterranean Shakespeare. Carol Ann Amour is the coordinator for this magical service.

Things we come across in our everyday lives give meaning and beauty to our existence (if we notice.) They lie all about us and they come to us from the forces that are beyond you and I. This sermon is a less-than-subtle reminder of the incredible gifts all around us which inspire joy, awe, and wonder. Come be inspired by your presence with others!  Special Music by the Wind Trio, "Coriolis," consisting of oboe, clarinet and bassoon. And a special scene from Twelfth Night presented by Subterranean Shakespeare.

We may have an Ingathering ceremony for those wishing to join BFUU.  Out time for all ages will be a story: "That's Amazing", as told by Caitliin Cotter, Lifespan Learning Coordinator.

March 20th How To Be Invisible

Dr. Carrie Knowles' sermon considers the ways we screen out of our awareness people who are differently abled, or other perceptions that challenge us. Special Music by jazz vocalist, Christine Noble, and pianist, Peter Vasilev.  Dr. Carrie Knowles, M. Div., our ministerial intern at BFUU, graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry this year.  Her advanced degrees are also in psychology and law. Her work for many years as a psychotherapist and teacher led her to reflect often on our consciousness of injury--of the body, mind and spirit--in ourselves and others.

Dr. Carrie Knowles, preaching

March 13th A Theology of Doubt

“Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth.”--Robert T. Weston.  Some people never reach the stage of doubt in religious development, some seem to be born with it. Religious doubt, despite its unconventional nature, is a legitimate and important stage of spiritual development.  It comes when the mind is well-enough developed to ask questions, to live with those questions, and to grow into their answers.  Today we will explore and honor Doubt as “an attendant of truth” and the servant of self-discovery and spiritual maturation.  BRING A FRIEND SUNDAY!!!  This is an EXCELLENT service to bring your friends and family! Service coordinator: Dr. Carrie Knowles, Ministerial Intern.

the Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching.

March 6th Eat Pray Love

Rev. Larry Jay is bringing the message. Shirley Adams is the worship coordinator. Caitlin Cotter shares a special story for all ages about choices. We will celebrate the pleasures of food and the joys of sharing meals. We will also focus on how our personal food choices impact people around the world, our social justice values and our own quality of life here in Berkeley. This topic is a UUA congregational study initiative. for the years 2008 -2012.  Special Collection To Assist Berkeley Food Pantry. Reverend Larry Jay, preaching


February 27th The Chalice and The Flame BRING A FRIEND SUNDAY!

A symbol is a visible sign of something invisible.  It is often an object or image that creates cultural significance and the capacity to unite, excite, or inspire.  The Flaming Chalice, within two concentric circles, has emerged as the symbol of American Unitarian Universalism in this century.  The origins of this image which are manifold, historical and, perhaps apocryphal, tell the story of our religious journey as a denomination and can be used to represent our current goals, hopes, and aspirations.

Special Music by Yonatan Landau, a jazz pianist, saxophonist and singer, and recent graduate from the UC Berkeley Music Department, he currently organizes for the non-profit startup Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (  Religious Exploration Class: "A very short rule" -because all people should be treated fairly and kindly. Story for All Ages by Caitlin Cotter, Lifespan Learning Director. Tom McAninley, Coordinator.

the Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching

February 20th Heroes: The Qualities That Living People Bring

What are the qualities that acknowledge someone as a hero?  Several voices will outline their personal take on what makes a hero.

Dr. Carrie Knowles, preaching


February 13th Love Works …...

"Hatreds do not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth…” --Dhammapada 1.5

Standing on the Side of Love (SOSL) is our Unitarian Universalist Association's public advocacy campaign. Its' purpose is to actively promote respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. As it says on the official website, “We believe no one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence because of their identities." Period. SOSL is about lifting strong religious voices proclaiming love in the face of fear and hate.  Come join your voice and stand with us in promoting marriage equality amd immigrant rights with peace, justice and equity for all.  Vocalists Dan Cunningham, Carol Ann Amour, Jennifer Whitten and Ben Meyers will provide love songs for Valentine's Day. We will unveil a SOSL banner on the Bonita St. side of the Hall after the service.

the Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching

February 6th Landslides and Detours: On Changing Careers

Carrie describes ways that we can cope when the road ahead appears blocked.  She tells the story of the career changes of her own life and significant events that required change.  Shirley Adams, Coordinator, Brett Torres, pianist.

Dr. Carrie Knowles, preaching



January 30th "Being Loyal to the Sky": A Service On Social Activism

Marisa Handler—writer, activist, singer-songwriter, and speaker—is the author of "Loyal to the Sky: Notes from an Activist," which Booklist called a “must read,” and which won a 2008 Nautilus Gold Award for world-changing books. Marisa speaks and sings about visionary social change all over the country. It is our pleasure to welcome her to our pulpit this morning.  Service Co-ordinator, Rev. Ben Meyers.  Aline Prentice, pianist.

January 23th "Abortion: Questions of Life and Liberty" the Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching. Every argument has its own rules but one universal rule is that each side's greatest strength is the other's most obvious weakness. Abortion is an issue which, given our current, polarized political and religious climate, commands our earnest engagement and steadfast attention.  On this Sunday prior to the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, I wish to (re)examine some challenges inherent in the Abortion issue.  Jo Green, Service Coordinator.  Guest Musician: TBA.

January 16th Annual MLK Sunday Service

On this Sunday which honors the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and promotes civic service, we welcome Ms. Allison Cook, Special Project Coordinator of the Story of Stuff Project., launched in 2007 by Annie Leonard. As Special Projects Coordinator, Allison develops organizing campaigns and leads collaborative projects with faith-based and educational communities.  The Story of Stuff Project amplifies public discourse on a series of environmental, social and economic concerns and facilitates community involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world.

Service Coordinator: Rev. Ben.  Musician: Brett Torres.

Following the service we will perform some service projects at The New School of Berkeley. Please plan now to help clean, paint, etc. by signing up or calling the office at 841.4824. Thanks.

January 9th Special Service to Induct Carrie Knowles as our Ministerial Intern! We are so happy and fortunate to formally welcome Ms. Carrie Knowles as our Intern here at BFUU.  Today, Carrie will ‘officially’ begin her 9 month internship and will share the pulpit with Rev. Ben with homilies entitled “Of Interns and Infants” and “Teaching and Learning”, respectively.  The Rev. John Young, minister emeritus from the UU Society of Sacramento, as well as members of Carrie’s Intern committee will be on hand.  A special celebratory lunch will follow. Music by the jazz pianist, Mr. Richard Hall.


Sunday, January 2, 2011: “By Another Way,” a sermon about new beginnings for a New Year by the Rev. Ben Meyers.

January is named for the god, Janus -- the two-faced god who looks both forward and back. Janus is the symbol for what we tend to do at the turning of the year: Look back on the year and the years of our life that have now passed, And look ahead to the unknown future that lies before us.


 Dec. 26, 10:30am "The Healing Power of Laughter." In this time of long nights and overcast skies, humor lifts the spirits-- and supports the immune system.  Dr. Caroline  (Carrie) Knowles is in our pulpit today. Music TBA.

Dr.Knowles graduates from Starr King in December, 2010. She is a clinical psychologist and has a law degree along with her masters in divinity. She will be joining the BFUU staff for 9 months as a ministerial intern. Welcome Carrie!

Surprise: We are giving the Lunch servers a well-deserved holiday on Dec. 26! Make some plans with other members to spend time together after the service. And express your appreciation to each of those members who have fed you week after week.



Christmas Eve, December 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5pm: Lessons and Carols” for all ages. Plan now to invite your friends and family to this lovely service of song and story, poetry and light.  Please bring cookies to share with all following the service. Aline Prentice at the piano.


December 19, 2010: “The Law of Volcanoes”, the Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching.

Midway through the twenty-one poem cycle of love poems by Adrienne Rich comes this line:  “Every peak is a crater.  This is the law of volcanoes.”  As we stand poised before the mountain of expectation called Christmas, I propose we pause to consider what is at the core of our celebrations and ask ourselves, “From whence comes our power to transcend darkness into light?”  The Children will linger for a while longer than usual as hymns, carols, and all things Christmas will be sung and shared before the sermon.


December 12, 2010: “The Lights of the Season: An Intergenerational Service”

For everything there is a season—a time to die and a time to be born. With the arrival of winter’s low dark sky, communities around the world look to the miracle of light as a sign of rebirth and a source of hope. At this service celebrating the holidays of winter, we celebrate the promise of new life through story and song and recommit ourselves to the protection of everyone’s right to his or her own radiant humanity by kindling the lights of the season. Service Leaders: Rev. Ben, Caitlin Cotter, Dolores Helman and others.  Musician: Aline Prentice


Dec. 5, 2010, 10:30am. “Becoming ‘Expeditors’: Alternative Faith-Based Voices” The Rev. Ben Meyers is preaching.  Mr. Richard Thomas will be our pianist.   The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” This is the great hope of liberal religion; that in the long run, goodness will prevail here on earth. It is our work as humans, especially of liberal religionists, to expedite that day.

During lunch, following the service, we will "Deck the Halls" with greenery and sing songs and carols for the season, led by our own Dan Cunningham. Bring the whole family...and a friend!  May the lights in our hearts dispell the darkness of the long wintry evenings.

The BFUU adult choir will rehearse Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 before service at 9:30am.


November 2010

November 28, 2010 10:30am. Geri Kennedy,"Are You What You Eat?"

We will all be thinking about food this weekend. Join us for a meditation of Ethical Eating in all of its ramifications, presented by Geri Kennedy, member of Redwood City UU. Shirley Adams is the Worship Coordinator. Brett Torres offers us music on the Steinway. Our "World Peace Diet" Book Club will help with readings and the lunch.

Our denomination has asked us to look at the question of Ethical Eating.  What better day than the Sunday after Thanksgiving to explore the complex world of where our food comes from, how it gets here, who benefits, who is harmed and whether what you eat is  feeding your soul along with your body. Read about the four year UUA study initiative on Ethical Eating on the UUA site. This service will certainly give you something to chew on.

November 21, 2010, 10:30am. “Songs of Gratitude; Notes of Thanks,” a sermon by the Rev. Ben Meyers.

Harvest Communion during the service…Come celebrate with us! Special Music this morning by Betsy Rose, Aline Prentice and other friends. We will have a different kind of lunch this week. Bring a potluck dish to share and we will have a special

November 14, 2010: “Baseball Theology: Some Lessons From Both Sides of the Foul Lines,”
a service by the Rev. Ben Meyers and Mr. Tom McAninley.

Herbert Hoover once said: “After religion, that which has furnished the greatest impact on American life than any other institution is baseball.” The Frenchman, Jacques Barzun, offered this insight into people’s passion for the game: “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.”
Now, if you are NOT a fan of baseball, this may sound like hyperbole. However, with the conclusion of the World Series upon us, we invite both skeptic and true believer, alike, to join us in this light-hearted service that looks at the deep and abiding lessons to be gleaned from the great American past time.

November 7, 2010 10:30am. November 7, 2010: “It Takes a Congregation…” by the Rev. Ben Meyers.
My sermon title is a take off on the often-quoted expression, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ No place is that more true in our modern society than our religious institutions. It takes many people and lots of volunteer hours to put together a strong and vital religious community. Our sense of village provides a warm and nurturing environment for people of all ages to grow, to build character, to find access to an inner life, and to put their faith in actions that make a difference in the world.  We have visiting artists Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halprinproviding music for this service.Listen to their music on their website.
October 31, 2010 10:30am. "Facing Our Fears Together: An Intergenerational Halloween Service" 

"What scares you and where have you needed to be brave in your life?  Where do you need to be brave now?" Rev. Ben and several people will offer short messages on the topics of fear and courage and stories and songs will be used to help us all "face our fears" together.  Nancy Palmer offers a reflection on fear, Frances Hillyard shares a poem, Wattie Taylor, Shirley Adams join Rev. Ben and Caitlin cotter in a skit.  Music for the occasion, including the newly-forming BFUU Singers, and recording artist, guitarist Ronnda Cadle. Ronnda is a a solo guitar instrumentalist, visitng the Bay Area from her home on Camano Island, WA.

Oct. 24, 2010, 10:30am. Belonging and the Art of Living Well Sermon by Rev. Ben Meyers Coordinator: Shirley Adams Musician:Dan Cunningham. Reading by Kathryn Thompson. Time For All Ages: Caitlin Cotter.
Usher: Jim Beatty.  Greeter: Frances Hillyard. Hospitality: Ben Burch, laurens imanyuel, Carole Holtz, Chris Planellas.
We will enjoy some familiar music on the joy of friendship.
According to Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, “Friendship has a bigger impact on our psychological well-being than family relationships.”

Oct. 24, 2010, 12:30pm: Our semi-annual congregational meeting takes place in the hall after lunch. Plan to stay and talk to committee chairs about how we are doing this year, what our goals are and help us choose a nominating committee.

Oct. 17, 2010, 10:30am. Association Sunday - "Celebrating 50 Years and the Future of Our Faith"
Hear from Tom McAninley, Rev. Ben Meyers, Carrie Knowles, Jo Green and Caitlin Cotter about their connections to UUA and SKSM and why they have made them so prominent in their own lives.
Music TBA.

Oct. 10, 2010 10:30am. "Reweaving the Interconnected Web."

By now you have heard of 10-10-10. So you can guess that our service this morning will be focused on climate change and that we will be participating in several 'work parties' on behalf of the environment during the afternoon. Rev. Earl Koteen, our community minister and a staff member with UULMCA, will deliver a sermon on the subject and after lunch we hope that most of our members will engage in some effort that speaks to their love for the earth. We need help staffing a "NO on 23" table at MLK Park this afternoon. And we will have a work group st the fellowship doing much needed landscape and garden maintenance.

Oct. 3, 2010 10:30am "Do you Hear What I Hear?", a sermon by Dr. Carrie Knowles on listening.  Music by David Udolf. Carrie will present her reflections on the voices within, inner visions, how they change lives, and what she has learned as a Chaplain in a year of profound sharing with hospital patients.

Carrie Knowles is a 4th year M. Div. student at the Starr King School for the Ministry.  Carrie’s career includes her Ph.D. in Psychology, the J.D., teaching, and practice as a clinical psychologist for many years.  Her past year was spent as a Chaplain intern at UCSF Medical Center.

September 26, 2010 10:30am. Sex, Religion & Politics: The Role of the Unconscious & Dreams in Liberal Religious Thought, by the Rev. Jeremy Taylor with Sylvia Scherzer coordinating the service.  Marty Rosman is on the Steinway this Sunday.  Dr. Taylor writes "Any plan of salvation (personal or collective, religious or political) that ignores the unconscious is doomed to failure. I’ll talk about the ways to acknowledge our unconscious self in our waking life action."

Jeremy Taylor, D.Min. was ordained by The Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian-Universalists congregation in 1980 - - a treasured moment in his life. He is one of four founders of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and past president. Author of 4 books on dreams and the unconscious, Jeremy has taught all around the world for more than 40 years.

September 19, 2010. "Are we a People of Faith?"
Rev. Ben Meyers
Richard Thomas will be on piano.


September 12, 2010. Teshuvah Service. UU interpreted celebration of the Jewish holy days of the season.
Gene Herman coordinates with Rev. Ben in the pulpit.

 September 5, 2010 10:30am. Annual Water Ceremony

Bring in water from your travels to honor our sources of life-giving water and our renewing of community after a summer of travels and adventures. Aline Prentice brings us her piano music with Debussy's Reflets dans l'Eau. Winston Montgomery comes over from San Francisco to offer us an original song on water politics. This Sunday traditionally marks the last Sunday of summer and the beginning of a new program year for the Fellowship. It is a traditional time to “re-gather” from our summer travels through the ritual of the “Gathering of the Waters” Ceremony.

August 29, 2010, 10:30am. " The Lady or the Wall" Sermon by Rev. Ben Meyers
Rev. Meyers and Stan Boghosian, guest musician

Story for all ages: Statue of Liberty...Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus".
When we think of symbols and icons of the U.S., many images may come to mind. When addressing the issue of immigration rights and issues, two stand out: the Statue of Liberty and the U.S.-Mexican border wall. This sermon will be one in a series addressing the Unitarian Universalist call to “Stand on the Side of Love.”

August 22, 2010, 10:30am. "The Glory of Uselessness" sermon by Rev. Ben Meyers, returning from a summer break. A contemplation of summer, and consideration of E.B. White's dilemma of savouring the world or saving it.  Music by David Udolf. Some summer favorite songs: Summertime and Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

August 15, 2010, 10:30am “Faith, Flow, and the God Machine”. Clovice and Carol Lewis from Lake County providing words and music. Carrie Knowles is our coordinator. This description is from Clovice: The experience of “flow” that artists and other creative people report is the basis for my discussion. The difference between faith and flow is explored, especially as this relates to our expectations that God should provide services to us if we appease God. My sermon, thus, explores the question of whether a person can maintain a continuously high state of happiness by applying the principles of flow in all aspects of life. Mr. Clovice Lewis, cellist, composer, computer engineer, entrepreneur and theologian is a Unitarian Universalist lay-leader from the UU Congregation of Lake County and a friend of BFUU. We welcome him back to our pulpit, along with his wife and partner, Carol Cole-Lewis, a pianist. Both will also provide music for the service along with Sophie Mengele, our musical gift from Germany this summer..

August 8, 2010, 10:30am This I Believe. Participants are Sumi Hosiko and Addie Bianchi. Gene Herman will coordinate. Brett Torres plays special music for us.
August 1, 2010 Change: Between Trapezes Linda Laskowski, UUA Board of Trustees rep from the PCD Tom McAninley, Coordinator Sophie Megele, guest musician.

July 25, 2010, 10:30am.  This I Believe.  Participants are Tom McAninley and Cecilia Owen. Sophie Mengele on piano.

July 18, 2010, "How Inherent Is Worth?"  Chris Celata from LiveOak UU will be in the pulpit.  Members of the Live Oak choir are participating in the service along with accompanist, Debra Temple. Sumi Hosiko coordinates. Chris Celata and Bonnie Richmond of Live Oak have led this service for their own congregation and some members enjoyed it so much they are coming to experience it a second time. Below is an introduction from Chris about the service:

According to the first UU principle we affirm the inherent dignity and worth of every person. Does that mean that everyone, including barbaric torturing murderers has inherent worth? Then maybe I shouldn't feel so good about having it myself? Surely babies have worth, but can you forfeit what you have due to bad behavior? And how much worth do you have to have to deserve healthcare? a comfortable jail cell? What is "inherent worth" anyway? And what is it that are we all worthy of? Christine Celata, physicist, mother, and presently a member of the Live Oak Fellowship in Alameda, and Neighborhood UU Church in Pasadena, will give her thoughts on these questions

July 11, 2010, 10:30am "This I Believe" Participants include Nancy Palmer offering her 'Credo' and Bill Balderson sharing his passion for working for justice in all that you do. The coordinator for the service is Cecilia Owen. Sophie Mengele will join us at the piano. Wattie Taylor offers us a life story about becoming "No Longer an Island".

July 4, 2010, 10:30am "A tribute to Tom Paine organized by cynthia Johnson and Vic Sadot. Reading by Addie Bianchi and poem by Marianne Robinson.

June 27, 2010 Oral History Reflections Led by the Oral History Young Adult Interns. Coordinators: Cecilia Owen & Lena Richardson. 

Members of the interviewers/young adult team include Lauren Aczon, Katie Coffey, Moriah Cohen, Mary-Angela Fatta, Olivia Levins Holden, Maria Michaelson, Kathlyn York.

In this service, the BFUU oral history project interns will speak about this year of oral history gathering, what they have gleaned and why listening to stories matters to them. They will also speak about their own life journeys thus far and the key events that led them to seek out the realm of story and intergenerational community. We will take some time to honor the interns' contribution and recognize their ongoing connection to the Fellowship community as bearers of history.

June 20, 2010 This I Believe with Kevan Jenson & Brett Torres. Shirley Adams coordinates this service and Julia Haverstock reads the Story for all Ages. Kevan's homily is entitled "Uncomfortable" and promises to be an engrossing exploration of the challenges of living well. And Brett plays the music and delivers a homily entitled "A Wretch Like Me" about his religious path to Unitarian Universalism.

June 13, 2010 Celebrating Community:An Intergenerational Service Led by Rev. Ben Meyers & Beth Dana, DRE and Others. Children are invited to join with the entire congregation this Sunday to celebrate the Unitarian Universalist Flower Communion. The Flower Communion is a tradition in many UU congregations. It is a celebration of the way we come together to build world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. We will also honor our Religious Exploration teachers and children.

June 6, 2010 Spiritual, But Not Religious?” Rev. Ben Meyers. Sylvia Scherzer, Coordinator

More and more people in this country identify themselves as “SBNR”(Do you?) Our UU faith tradition embraces the notion that there are truths to be discovered and respected in each of the world’s religions as well as in the tenets of science and through self-discovery. We don’t usually use textbook definitions to define our terms. This is especially true concerning the two terms in the topic, above. How do you define them? The Rev. Ben Meyers, preaching. Music by Sophie Mengele, a classical pianist, from Munich, Germany. and Chris Diggins, who is also an accomplished clarinetist.


May 30, 2010, Semi-Annual Poetry Service Semi-Annual Poetry Service. Theme: “War and Remembrance.” Shirley Adams and Frances Hillyard, Coordinators. Special music by Nicole Milner, pianist. and Max Ventura on vocals and guitar. Poets include: Frances Hillyard, Jean Hohl, Carrie Knowles, Clive Matson, Sue Pector, Tom Ross, Gene Sharee.

April 25, 2010 Intergenerational Earth Day Celebration

April 18, 2010 We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For” Guest Preacher: Bill Scarvie.  Worship Coordinator: the Rev. Ben Meyers

“The organizing principles of Earth Community are so closely aligned with the principles of my faith that I cannot affirm and promote one without affirming and promoting the other.” In this service we will explore the moral imperative of the Earth Community described in David Korten’s book, “The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.”

Bill Scarvie was called to bring the good news of Earth Community to Unitarian Universalists after reading David Korten’s book. Bill serves as Coordinator of Outreach for the Earth Community Initiative of David Korten's People Centered Development Forum. Bill lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with his wife, Karen. They are members of the Cedars UU Church of Bainbridge Island.

April 11, 2010 “The Fate of Prophets” by the Rev. Robert Ballint, Hungarian Unitarian minister and Balazs Scholar at the Starr King School for the Ministry.  Coordinator: the Rev. Ben Meyers
‘Prophethood’ is not something that you choose. It is something that arouses with elemental power and compels you to walk a path, an adventurous path that is sometimes joyful, sometimes painful, and often both.  But it is YOUR WAY, and you can't do otherwise. It gives you strength, for it is coming from the SOURCE OF LIFE.

The sermon invites you to get closer to the memory of Balázs Ferenc (1901-1937), Unitarian minister of Mészkő, Transylvania (Alabaster Village). He was a man with vision, a writer, a poet, a community builder, a parent and husband, and the misunderstood prophet of the Valley of God (Aranyos Valley).

The Rev. Róbert Bálint is the 2009-2010 Balázs Scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry. Róbert is the minister to congregations in Mészkő, the Alabaster Village and Csegez.  In addition to his theological studies, he has completed a degree in sociology at Kolozsvár Babes Bolyai University. He has been involved in the Unitarian youth movement, and worked with local social and charity organizations. With others, he has started the Francis Balázs Historical Preservation Project, designed to preserve and promote Balázs' spiritual and material heritage. He hopes to return at the end of his scholarship year having learned more about church organizational life and practices, new springs in Unitarian Universalist theological thinking, and ways of handling social issues.

April 4, 2010 (Easter Sunday) What Springs Forth: A Sermon On Renewing Our Community,” by the Rev. Ben Meyers,  Tom McAninley, co-ordinator.

Easter and Passover can be a tricky holidays for Unitarian Universalists: our faith is deeply rooted in Christian and Jewish teachings and traditions, but many of our members do not feel a close affinity with the particulars of the resurrection and liberation stories as they are told in the Bible. Many carry wounds from encounters within traditional forms of orthodoxy and the emphasis that is placed on the violence, or the mythology, or the irrelevance of the stories to our times.
However, we are called as Unitarian Universalists to “look beneath” all religious teachings and stories for “the kernel of gold, the core truth, still there underneath the layers of dogma.” That kernel, our faith maintains, can be found within our own hearts.
We invite you to come prepared to examine where we have come and where we are going in the next phase of this radical leap of faith called the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.  Special music for the occasion. Kickoff for our Annual Stewardship renewal and drive.





March 28, 2010: Lessons from the Jewish genocide by Annette Herskovits

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live under military occupation, every aspect of their lives ruled by the Israeli army. Their land has been stolen to build homes for hostile and armed Jewish settlers. As a holocaust survivor and daughter of holocaust victims, Israel's destructive (and eventually self-destructive) path is a matter of constant interrogation and concern. I will share reflections about the need to understand how the past shapes the present, while, in the present, we make every effort to bring freedom and justice to Palestinians, and peace to both people. Service coordinated by Cynthia Johnson. guest musician is Max Ventura.

March 21, 2010: "Belonging" by Rev. Ben Meyers. 

What does it mean to ‘belong?'  Webster's third definition gives a clue, "to be properly or appropriately placed."  Where do you belong? Where do you need to be in the world to "properly placed?" Tom McAninley, coordinator.

Sunday, March 14, 2010: "Roots and Wings: Planting Seeds and Preening Feathers" by Rev. Ben Meyers & Beth Dana, DRE

The pioneering religious educator, Sophia Lyons Fahs, tells us "it matters what we believe."  Some beliefs foster growth, self-worth, respect and gratitude, and other beliefs foster just the opposite. But, what happens when we stop fostering ANY beliefs? This service is about renewing our commitment to ‘teach our children well.'


Sunday, March 7, 2010: "The Heart of the Matter" Sermon by Jef Melcher and Service coordinated by Rev. Ben Meyers

Why we do what we do: A heart journey of social justice advocacy, self discovery, and my place in the world. What drives a social justice passion? What does the work teach us about ourselves? How can a spiritual practice empower our social justice? Jeffrey Melcher speaks to his journey as UULM organizer and lessons he has learned. Jef Melcher is an Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry Organizer and past-president of the BFUU.


February 2010

Sunday, Feb. 7 2010   “What (Else) Are You Missing?”, a sermon by the Rev. Ben Meyers

The organizational guru, Jerold Panas writes: “Before you leave this life, you want to be able to say: ‘I was given a certain talent—and I used it all.’ What passion, talent, or desire are you longing to use this new year? What is holding you back? How would life be different if you pulled out all the stops? The sermon is a personal reflection and an inspiring tale. A great service to bring a friend or family member. Open Circle following service: 12:30 to 2pm with Rev. Ben

Sunday, February 14, 2010: Intergenerational Service On LOVE, Coordinator: Beth Dana, Director of Religious Exploration and others

Valentine’s Day is about more than romance, greeting cards, and chocolates. This Sunday, we will celebrate love’s power to transform people and communities. What do you love? How do you show love for the world? This intergenerational service will celebrate the many different ways we love. Margaret Hamilton is sharing a Story for all Ages. Tom McAninley tells about someone he has loved.

Sunday, February 28, 2010: “Making Time: A Sermon for the Hurried, the Harried, and the Hapless” by the Rev. Ben Meyers

Ghandi is attributed with saying: “There is more to life than increasing it’s speed.” RevBenKocs-Meyers3

As a world citizen in the 21st century, I often find that the “time saving solutions” presented me also exact a cost to my sense of balance. I’m perpetually accosted with a false sense of urgency. And yet, it’s so tempting to think that a “two-minute bedtime story” might actually work! Spending time in virtual reality may be productive, but real connections take patience, presence and practice. Let’s practiceOpen Circle/Together in Exploration following service: 12:30 to 2pm with Rev. Ben and Kate Meyers.

January, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

By Another Way?
Rev. Ben Meyers

Come start the New Year off in a good way with us at BFUU. Special music and a ritual for the occasion will be offered. Our children will focus on the UU Fourth Principle by exploring the idea of searching for truth by asking questions.
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson.

January 10, 2010
True Religion?
Rev. Ben Meyers

Reflections from one who had it, lost it, and later     re-discovered it to be both essential and beyond  belief! An excellent service to introduce UU to your friends or family members!
Coordinator: Syl Scherzer.  Musician: David Udolf
Come meet our new Director of Religious Exploration, Beth Dana!
Also, please stay for a workshop:               

January 17, 2010
Tribute to Martin Luther King    by Rev. Ben Meyers

Ingathering Ceremony during service for new members
Join in making the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday a meaningful experience.
Coordinator: Tom McAninley  Special music for the Holiday by David Udolf

January 24, 2010
From Harvard, to Jerusalem, and back again led by Cecilia Owen

What do Harvard Divinity School and Jerusalem have in common? They both have become an integral part of my divinity school experience. From riding Palestinian bus lines in Jerusalem to studying Arabic everyday at Harvard, I found myself stretching into whole new areas of knowledge and experience. How could I make sense of these new challenges within my spiritual life? How do we all embrace the multi-faceted dimensions of spiritual and multi-cultural life without becoming overwhelmed and perhaps even become the better for them? Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

January 31, 2010
Where Love Is: A Biblical Case for Same-Sex Marriage," by the Rev. Ben Meyers.

Many of the arguments from the religious "right" claim to be Biblically-based.  But, are these arguments either religiously or culturally sound?  The sermon will offer both a critical eye and a spiritual interpretation to help us in our respectful and rightful engagement to counter these arguments and to support the rights of all people to marry, "Wherever Love Is."  All are worthy, all are welcome. Musician: Carl Saffira Andrews.  Worship coordinator: Shirley Adams



December 6, 2009

Gratitude: Carrying the Light, Entering the Darkness

Edie Hartshorne

Award-winning writer, peace activist and musician Edie Hartshorne invites us to inquire:  How we hold a sense of hope and our own light during this season? As the world grows darker and the Holiday Season often presents challenges, how can we use our personal experience to support our intentions and commitment as activists? How can we respond to community and global challenges in a manner that sustains, rather than drains us? Edie will use music, poetry and readings from her book "Light in Blue Shadows" to share her insights. The Audible Light Trio with Edie (Japanese Koto) and BFUU members Nicole Milner (piano) and PhoeBe Anne (soprano) will offer related music.
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

December 13, 2009, ‘Bring a Friend Sunday’
While Standing On One Foot: A Unitarian Universalist Catechism
Rev. Ben Meyers

What do Unitarian Universalists believe? What is the essence of our liberal faith and spiritual grounding that compels us towards social justice and openness to religious pluralism? How do we articulate all this….succinctly? As suggested by its title, this sermon will attempt to do so. This is a very good service to invite your neighbors and friends to BFUU and introduce them to this UU community. Jazz pianist David Udolf will provide special music. Coordinator: Tom McAninley. A special story and children’s religious exploration program will focus on Hanukkah. A ‘UU 101’ orientation session will be offered by Rev. Ben and our Welcoming team after service.
December 20, 2009

A Reason for the Season?
Rev. Ben Meyers

As we stand poised before the mountain of expectation of this winter holiday season, I propose we pause to consider what is at the core of our celebrations and ask ourselves, “From whence comes our power to transcend darkness into light?” As this is the Sunday before Christmas and the day before the Winter Solstice, we will sing and share special hymns, carols, and stories. Bring your family and friends!

Thursday, Dec. 24, 5 pm: Candlelight Service led by Rev. Meyers. All are invited for a service of lessons and carols as we celebrate the season together. Appropriate for all ages. Sunday. December 27, 2009
BFUU Poetry on Commitment
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

What kindles (or rekindles) the flame of your commitment? What is your experience of being committed to causes or relationships? What do you do that engages your whole being? Such questions as these will be explored in poetry by members and
friends of the congregation. In order to take part in the Poetry presentation, please turn in copies of the poem(s) you plan to read by December 20, either to the office or to Frances. Each reader gets three minutes.
November 29, 2009
Human Rights, Human Power, and Abortion: A UU Legacy
Darcy Baxter

UU congregations are some of, if not the, most pro-choice religious communities in the USA.  Roe v. Wade was born in the basement of a UU congregation. What spiritual wisdom does our tradition provide in the face of the current shortage of abortion providers and the increasing restrictions and obstacles to reproductive healthcare?  What does abortion teach us about the limitations of human power? 
Darcy Baxter is a 3rd generation UU and 4th year seminarian at Starr King School for the Ministry. Darcy could not have done her work as an abortion counselor, a sexuality educator, or as a chaplain on a neo-natal intensive care unit without the solid moral and spiritual grounding of Unitarian Universalism.
Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Sunday and Bring a Friend Sunday. “A Grateful Heart”

Rev. Ben Meyers.

There is so much to be grateful for; and this is the time of year when the abundance of our lives is noted and celebrated and shared.  For we know that gratitude alone is not enough.  We know that true appreciation requires giving back in some way. In order to keep our gifts pure we must develop a sense of generosity, which comes from participation in serving a cause that is greater than ourselves.  This is a significant part of my understanding of why it is we gather in religious community... to make real and to live out our interconnections with life. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we pause to take stock.  This Sunday is also an excellent opportunity to introduce your neighbors and friends to BFUU. Special music for the occasion and the children will prepare a Harvest Communion of pumpkin bread and cider in celebration and gratitude for our religious community.

November 15, 2009
“A Question of Religion: Have You Ever Thought You Might Be Wrong?”
Rev. Ben Meyers

More often than not, societal conventions convey religion as a set of beliefs which either confine, berate or even condemn human experience. Religion is usually relegated to strict doctrines that must be followed to the letter lest eternal damnation ensue.  Religion could lead us to questions that aid in discerning life’s meaning but, too often, religious education is just a code word for indoctrination, unthinking and unquestioned.  Unitarian Universalism offers a different approach to religion.  It is an approach that sees religion as a "cradle-to-grave" experience, deepened by our doubts.  This service will present some questions that religion must ask if it is to be an aid in living a full life.

Sunday, November 8, 2009: "Justice, Equity, and Compassion in Human Relations"

Clovice A. Lewis, Jr., guest preacher

Drawing upon the lessons and insights his parents gave him about how to live a spiritual life while coping with racism during his childhood, Clovice Lewis will talk about the progress we have made as a society emerging from the era of segregation in the United States. He also discusses the importance of the sixth UU principle on a global level. Lewis writes: “The spiritual and social yardstick regarding valuing others as yourself is, indeed, very high. Unitarian Universalists have been called to a very high standard. It is not necessarily the mandate to love others as you do yourself. Love is not a simple passive act. We have a much broader, more powerful requirement. We are asked to go beyond love towards activism.”

Clovice A. Lewis, Jr. is a member and past President of the Unitarian Universalist Community in Lake County. He is a professional composer and cellist, a former professor of computer music at UCSB, and a private pilot. He describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” and is the CEO of a newly formed corporation called Advanced Housing Technology, LLC, which will manufacture small green emergency housing for disaster relief. He is also the owner of two multimedia companies: Technology Media Enterprises and Jazzical Music. Carol Cole-Lewis, an accomplished pianist and vocalist, will join Clovice in providing music for the morning.

Sunday, November 1, 2009
All Soul’s Sunday Service: “Myths, Legends, and the Stories That Shape Us”
Rev. Ben Meyers

Halloween—All Hallowed’s Eve—is the night preceding the feast of all the venerated dead.  These are the “saints” of All Saints Day, and the Celtic Samhain, and the Mexican Dia de los Muertos: It is a time to recall and honor those who came before us. In the words of “Breaths,” a popular song, “the dead have a pact with the living.” In this service of remembrance we will explore and celebrate our connections to our dead and their impact upon us. All are invited to bring a photograph or other appropriate item to place upon an “Altar of Remembrance.” Please plan to arrive a few moments before the service for this.


October 25, 2009
UN Sunday: A Safe and Dignified Life for All
Rev. Ben Meyers

Following World War II, the United Nations (UN) was founded on 24 October 1945, in San Francisco. With aims to protect human rights and achieve world peace, it is a center for governments to communicate and develop strategies to reach these ends. Since its founding, October 24 has been called United Nations Day. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending that the day be observed as a public holiday by Member States. In celebration of this   annual event, BFUU will join the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) who invites  congregations and individual UUs to deepen their understanding of the United Nations by devoting one service in October to reaffirming the connections between UU principles and vital issues dealt with at the UN. A sermon by the Rev. Ben Meyers on this year's theme, "A Safe and Dignified Life for All" with an emphasis on human rights, will be given. Special music and Children’s Religious Education program provided.
Sylvia Scherzer, Coordinator

October 4, 2009
Until You Come Home: Making Music for Healing Our Veterans

George Mann
Labor Activist and musician George Mann has crossed the nation lifting up the elderly and the poor.  Today, his focus is on veterans and families as a way to say "Welcome Home".  He will explore with us how these individuals and families deal with loss and the impact of the horrors of war as well as how we as citizens can support the women and men who serve our country. Children’s Religious Exploration program offered for all ages.
Cynthia Johnson, Coordinator

October 11, 2009
Association Sunday: We Are Better Together!  
Rev. Ben Meyers

On this Sunday, we join with UU congregations throughout the continent for the Third Annual “Association Sunday.” This years’ campaign is to build enthusiasm for the goals of growing our faith in numbers, spirit, diversity, leadership and social witness. A special collection will be taken to support the UUA’s Growth in Diversity initiatives. Rev. Ben Meyers will deliver the sermon and there will be  special music for the occasion. Children’s Religious Exploration program offered for all ages.
Tom McAninley, Coordinator

October 18, 2009
Heritage & Change
Rev. Julia Kocs-Meyers

Heritage and change are the twin aspects of the phenomenon we call the history of our denomination. This Sunday we will explore this phenomenon through the connection of our historical roots in Transylvania, described by a Unitarian Universalist minister as ”the land of the Unitarian faith that has not changed in over 400 years.” Children’s Religious Exploration program offered for all ages.
The Rev. Julia Kocs-Meyers is a Hungarian Unitarian minister from Transylvania, Romania, a social worker and a business and executive coach. Prior to starting her consulting practice, she directed Connecting Point, the crisis center for homeless families in San Francisco city and county. She currently lectures on change management at the Functional Restoration Program in Emeryville and serves as the VP of Operations & Strategy for a small firm in Berkeley, CA.
Tom McAninley, Coordinator

September 20, 2009
Answering the Call
Rev. Earl W. Koteen
Cynthia Johnson, Coordinator

Who or what is calling you? What role, what ministry do you perform at the Berkeley Fellowship? in the community outside the Fellowship? How do you see the future and your future in this beloved community? Rev. Earl reflects upon these questions and and invites you to do the same as the Fellowship moves forward in its plans for the revitalization of its ministry to the greater Berkeley community.

Rev. Earl, the first minister we have ordained in many years, was our intern minister during the 06-07 congregational year and has been our organizational development consultant since Aug. 2007.

September 27, 2009
Teshuvah: A Service of Forgiveness and Atonement
Rev. Ben Meyers; Sylvia Scherzer, Coordinator

The Jewish High Holy Days are traditionally a time of reflection of the year past and an opportunity to “set things right” for the coming year. The term teshuvah, or ‘turning’, provides us a context in which to do the difficult, but necessary, work of changing our patterns of behavior and letting go in order to move ahead. A ritual recitation of the Al Chet will be a part of the service.

September 6, 2009
Labors of Love: The Work That Makes Us Come Alive
Rev. Ben Meyers
Tom McAninley, President of BFUU, Coordinator

This will be my first ‘official’ sermon with you as your new full-time minister.  I’ll share a little history based on the many one-on-one conversations I’ve had with many of you during the month of August…and a little prophesy, sharing my hopes and dreams for the
future of this religious community.

NOTE: Please plan on joining us after the service this morning for the All-Congregation portion of the planning session for the coming year with the Pacific Central District Executive, Cilla Raughley, from 1 to 3pm.

September 13, 2009
HOMECOMING Sunday: Gathering of the Waters Ceremony
Rev. Ben Meyers
Frances Hillyard, Coordinator

From one of my favorite Robert Frost poems comes this line: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”  On this
Sunday which traditionally marks the beginning of a new program year for the Fellowship, the service will be a recognition of the role the religious community plays as ‘home’ in our lives and the part we play in making a spiritual home for all those who, when they need it, may find it here. We send a special invitation to all those who may have been absent for the
Summer (or longer!)  All are welcome.

WATER CEREMONY: Please bring a small amount of water collected from the places you have traveled this summer (or from your own tap) to BRIEFLY share its source as part of a ritual ‘Gathering of the Waters’ Ceremony.

September 20, 2009
Answering the Call
Rev. Earl W. Koteen
Cynthia Johnson, Coordinator

Who or what is calling you?  What role, what ministry do you perform at the Berkeley Fellowship? in the community outside the Fellowship?  How do you see the future and your future in this beloved community?  Rev. Earl reflects upon these questions and and invites you to do the same as the Fellowship moves forward in its plans for the revitalization of its ministry to the greater Berkeley community.

Rev. Earl, the first minister we have ordained in many years, was our intern minister during the 06-07 congregational year and has been our organizational development consultant since Aug. 2007.

Sunday, September 27, 2009
Teshuvah: A Service of
Forgiveness and Atonement
Rev. Ben Meyers
Sylvia Scherzer, Coordinator

The Jewish High Holy Days are traditionally a time of reflection of the year past and an opportunity to “set things right” for the coming year.  The term
teshuvah, or ‘turning’, provides us a context in which to do the difficult, but necessary, work of changing our patterns of behavior and letting go in order to move ahead. A ritual recitation of the Al Chet will be a part of the service.

September 6, 2009

Labors of Love: The Work That Makes Us Come Alive

Rev. Ben Meyers

Tom McAninley, President of BFUU, Coordinator


This will be my first ‘official’ sermon with you as your new full-time minister. I’ll share a little history based on the many one-on-one conversations I’ve had with many of you during the month of August…and a little prophesy, sharing my hopes and dreams for the

future of this religious community.


NOTE: Please plan on joining us after the service this morning for the All-Congregation portion of the planning session for the coming year with the Pacific Central District Executive, Cilla Raughley, from 1 to 3pm.



September 13, 2009

HOMECOMING Sunday: Gathering of the Waters Ceremony

Rev. Ben Meyers

Frances Hillyard, Coordinator


From one of my favorite Robert Frost poems comes this line: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” On this

Sunday which traditionally marks the beginning of a new program year for the Fellowship, the service will be a recognition of the role the religious community plays as ‘home’ in our lives and the part we play in making a spiritual home for all those who, when they need it, may find it here. We send a special invitation to all those who may have been absent for the

Summer (or longer!) All are welcome.


WATER CEREMONY: Please bring a small amount of water collected from the places you have traveled this summer (or from your own tap) to BRIEFLY share its source as part of a ritual ‘Gathering of the Waters’ Ceremony.



September 20, 2009

Answering the Call

Rev. Earl W. Koteen

Cynthia Johnson, Coordinator


Who or what is calling you? What role, what ministry do you perform at the Berkeley Fellowship? in the community outside the Fellowship? How do you see the future and your future in this beloved community? Rev. Earl reflects upon these questions and and invites you to do the same as the Fellowship moves forward in its plans for the revitalization of its ministry to the greater Berkeley community.


Rev. Earl, the first minister we have ordained in many years, was our intern minister during the 06-07 congregational year and has been our organizational development consultant since Aug. 2007.



Sunday, September 27, 2009

Teshuvah: A Service of

Forgiveness and Atonement

Rev. Ben Meyers

Sylvia Scherzer, Coordinator


The Jewish High Holy Days are traditionally a time of reflection of the year past and an opportunity to “set things right” for the coming year. The term

teshuvah, or ‘turning’, provides us a context in which to do the difficult, but necessary, work of changing our patterns of behavior and letting go in order to move ahead. A ritual recitation of the Al Chet will be a part of the service.

September 6, 2009

Labors of Love: The Work That Makes Us Come Alive

Rev. Ben Meyers

Tom McAninley, President of BFUU, Coordinator


This will be my first ‘official’ sermon with you as your new full-time minister. I’ll share a little history based on the many one-on-one conversations I’ve had with many of you during the month of August…and a little prophesy, sharing my hopes and dreams for the

future of this religious community.


NOTE: Please plan on joining us after the service this morning for the All-Congregation portion of the planning session for the coming year with the Pacific Central District Executive, Cilla Raughley, from 1 to 3pm.



September 13, 2009

HOMECOMING Sunday: Gathering of the Waters Ceremony

Rev. Ben Meyers

Frances Hillyard, Coordinator


From one of my favorite Robert Frost poems comes this line: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” On this

Sunday which traditionally marks the beginning of a new program year for the Fellowship, the service will be a recognition of the role the religious community plays as ‘home’ in our lives and the part we play in making a spiritual home for all those who, when they need it, may find it here. We send a special invitation to all those who may have been absent for the

Summer (or longer!) All are welcome.


WATER CEREMONY: Please bring a small amount of water collected from the places you have traveled this summer (or from your own tap) to BRIEFLY share its source as part of a ritual ‘Gathering of the Waters’ Ceremony.



September 20, 2009

Answering the Call

Rev. Earl W. Koteen

Cynthia Johnson, Coordinator


Who or what is calling you? What role, what ministry do you perform at the Berkeley Fellowship? in the community outside the Fellowship? How do you see the future and your future in this beloved community? Rev. Earl reflects upon these questions and and invites you to do the same as the Fellowship moves forward in its plans for the revitalization of its ministry to the greater Berkeley community.


Rev. Earl, the first minister we have ordained in many years, was our intern minister during the 06-07 congregational year and has been our organizational development consultant since Aug. 2007.



Sunday, September 27, 2009

Teshuvah: A Service of

Forgiveness and Atonement

Rev. Ben Meyers

Sylvia Scherzer, Coordinator


The Jewish High Holy Days are traditionally a time of reflection of the year past and an opportunity to “set things right” for the coming year. The term

teshuvah, or ‘turning’, provides us a context in which to do the difficult, but necessary, work of changing our patterns of behavior and letting go in order to move ahead. A ritual recitation of the Al Chet will be a part of the service.


August 2
Illness, Injustice and Hope: Health Care as a Human Right
Megan Dowdell
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

As UUs who believe in justice, equity and compassion for all people and the interdependent web of all existence, health and health care justice connects us all. Join Megan Dowdell, organizer for UU Legislative Ministry of California and GTU doctoral student, in exploring health care as a fundamental human right. Hear her story of family illness, injustice and hope, then learn how, together, we can promote federal health care reform here, now, and into the future. For more information check out UU Voices in Health Care, a program of UULMCA.

July 12
Inspiration and Ideas from General Assembly
Tom McAninley
Coordinator: Christy Baker

Our Board president was our delegate to General Assembly in Salt Lake City from June 24 through June 28. Today he will report back on some of the significant ideas and speeches he heard.

July 5
Adversity, Affirmation and Activism
Kriss Worthington
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

Kriss is the go-to guy when you want your justice vision to become a reality. He will reflect on being a citizen and his ongoing spiritual search. His pilgrimage goes from whipped and beaten foster child to homeless teen to international traveler to dedicated public servant. South Berkeley around the UC Campus is Kriss’s City Council district, but you’ll see him on his bike all over town, and he represents us all.

June 21 Solstice service
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch
Coordinator TBA

Summer Solstice, known in pagan and religious traditions by many different names, occurs in the middle of June. A celebration of the longest day of the year, it is the beginning of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It has been a grand tribal gathering time since ancient times. The Goddess manifests as Mother Earth and the God as the Sun King. Colors are Yellow, Green, and Blue. It is a festival of community sharing and planetary service.
Today we will celebrate a Summer Solstice participatory ritual with music, poetry, singing, storytelling. Bring an item for a magical gift exchange. Bring a drum or a shaker if you have. Joining her will be members of the Spiral Dance Chorus and Band and the Taliesinatore (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids).
Evelie Delfino Såles Posch is an enChantress, ritualist, Pranic and sonic healer, women’s spirituality teacher, music educator and consultant. She is a sacred songwriter and recording heartist and plays many diverse instruments. She sings with 11 ensembles and directs four. Her music ministry is dedicated to her mother, Divinia, her first music teacher.

June 14 Time To Say Goodbye
Rev. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

We have experienced four years of mutual ministry, tendering to each other support, care, respect, and essential co-ministry, a set of experiences that has forever changed the Fellowship in rich and profound ways. Come share in the joy and the sadness as Rev. Kuhwald says his last goodbyes to the Fellowship.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

June 7
Poetry: Respecting the Web of All Life
Fellowship Poets
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

How do you embrace your part in the web of all life? Poets Adam David Miller, Frances Hillyard, Tom Ross, Marianne Robinson, Gene Sharee, Ardys DeLu, and Bob Randoph will share works exploring their relationship with the wider community of nature and all beings.
Max Ventura will share her musical talents.
May 31
Choosing Choice
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

One of the greatest functions of consciousness is making choices. Is it possible to choose Life, as the First Testament prophet said? What choices must be made to insure a future of relevance, love, and justice for the life of the Fellowship? What choices have you made that changed your life? What choices are still to be made that are pressing for resolution in your life? Join us as we honor the great human power of choice- making (and get a clue or two about good strategies for choosing).  The Annual Congregational Meeting follows the Service today.

May 24
Spirit, Work and Money: A Partnership for Transforming Challenges into Opportunities
Pat Sullivan
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

How can current challenges around work and money be a catalyst for personal or group spiritual growth? How can new attitudes towards work and money help rebuild our economy on a more solid, more ethical and more just foundation? Spirit and work expert Pat McHenry Sullivan offers tips, resources and wisdom from all faiths, from all types of work and financial challenges. Handouts include a selection of her "Vision and Values" columns on spirit and work from the San Francisco Chronicle.

May 17
The Age of Flowers: A UU Communion for Justice and Celebration
Rev. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

The Unitarian, Czechoslovakian minister Rev. Norbert Capek created a ritual of flowers that UU congregations across the continent celebrate in spring and early summer. Join with us as we, too, celebrate life and justice through the delicate and tenacious beauty of flowers . . . and the graceful ritual of communal exchange. Bring flowers to be shared for the ceremony.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide the music.
May 10
Honoring Our Mothers of Blood and Spirit
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

To commemorate Mother's Day, and in honor of her mother, Divinia, truly a divine mother on earth, Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will co-create the celebration with music, song, storytelling and ritual. Joining her will be members of the Spiral Dance Chorus and the Taliesin Druid Group.

May 3
A Matter of Principle[s]
Jamie McReynolds
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

What is at the core of our UU faith? Answers to this question have changed over the last two centuries. Are our UU principles, which we are considering revising next month at our annual General Assembly, a transient or a permanent aspect of our faith? Come join us as we explore these questions.
Jamie McReynolds is a seminarian at Starr King School for the Ministry who will be graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree in May 2009. He plans to serve as a chaplain in a hospital or hospice. Jamie is a member and a chaplain of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland.

April 26
Ministry & The Deep River-Runner Path
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

This religious/ethical community, the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, has followed a deepening path in the last four years. Choosing to collaborate with a professional minister, Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald, has reconfirmed what he calls “The Deep River-Runner Path” as central to the congregation’s life. Join us as we journey that path as a gathered community, exploring the many ways we gift each others’ hearts and spirits.

April 19
There's A New World Coming: Songs in a Season of Hope
Betsy Rose
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Do you feel a new energy, a fresh wind at your back, despite these disastrous economic times? The Obama victory can be seen as a culmination of many years of Progressive organizing and activism in the U.S., and as a beginning of a new era in our country and our world. This service will include historic activist songs and songs envisioning a more just, sacred, and sustainable way of life, one that feels more possible now.

Betsy Rose is a singer, songwriter, and recording artist who has performed at festivals, ecological conferences, and spiritual gatherings. Spiritual leaders Thich Nhat Hanh, Matthew Fox, Joanna Macy, and others have included her music in their work. After 9/11 and during the Iraq invasion she gathered large groups of people to sing peace songs at BART stations. She co-leads the Family Practice Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and participates in their Path of Engagement program.
April 12
Accountable: Making Good on Our Promises
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Aline Prentice

The new political era, ushered in on the democratic tsunami of Barack Hussein Obama’s entry into the White House, calls us to both accountability and holding him, others—and ourselves—accountable for the promises we have made. Join us as we use the work of Tavis Smiley, black progressive political commentator, to dance between the political dynamics of this national moment and the drama of our own inner journey’s elegance and struggle.

April 5
From Hope into Emergence
Joel Gilbertson-White
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson
When we hope, we envision that which is possible and desired. What happens as the processes of hope progress, and how do we know when our hopes are budding into satisfaction? And when we renegotiate our visions and desires, how can we draw more deeply from the well of our imagination? Joel Gilbertson-White is a fourth-year student in the M.Div program at Starr King, a member and youth adviser at First Unitarian Church of Oakland. He is looking forward to being a ministerial intern at First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco in the coming year.

March 29
Voices from Women’s UU History: Herstorical Perspectives

Dara Kaufman-LeDonne
Coordinator: Aline Prentice

For Women’s History Month, we unearth and lift up voices from UU women’s history—or “her-story!” How do UU women’s her-storical voices challenge and inspire our movement today? Where do voices from the past resonate with those in the present? How are present dreams informed by past visionaries? Join us in celebrating, questioning, and contemplating together the legacies and promises of our movement this Sunday. Irina Rivkin will provide music.

March 22
Lilith Meets the Green Man

Elizabeth Fisher
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

These two ancient religious figures, Lilith and the Green Man, are often wrongly demonized or simply ignored in traditional theological conversation. What would they say to one another if they met? Would global women’s human rights be a focus? How would the battle of the sexes get resolved? Come join in a celebration of partnership, mutual aid, and intrinsic plenty at this pivotal time in the seasonal wheel of the year, Spring Equinox, when light and dark are even.
Elizabeth Fisher is a writer who explores issues of gender, earth-honoring spirituality and global human rights for women. She is author of Rise Up & Call Her Name and Gender Justice: Women’s Rights are Human Rights, and a Unitarian Universalist for 27 years.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

March 15
Celebration of Belonging: Crossing A New Threshold
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Our service will be dedicated to exploring the meaning and experiencing the joy of crossing the threshold into religious/ethical community. We will honor new members in a special ritual of welcome and recognition. Our affirmation of life as participants and members of a liberal religion committed to celebration, caring, challenge, centering and change will offer both the festive and the serious. Join us as we celebrate the important act of choosing to belong.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

March 8
Can We Save Unitarian Universalism?
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

This religious community, the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, has joined in a deep dialogue with its two sister churches in the North East Bay (Kensington & Oakland) and with the Starr King Seminary. The future of this liberal religious/ethical faith is at stake. What are the values we must carry forward? What legacies from the past will embolden and support us? What role are we called to play out of the values we hold to help heal and transform a world alive with both pain and beauty?
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

March 1
“This I Believe”
Judith Granada-Dewey and Richard Dewey
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

One of the ways to shift power from hierarchy to a “level playing field” is listening to each other’s life stories so that we can be seen and heard, thus appreciating the choices we’ve made and who we have become through the process. In our “This I Believe” series, initiated in the 1990s, two new Fellowship members will share their spiritual journeys.
Judith Granada-Dewey and Richard Dewey have been faithfully driving from Benicia for our Sunday morning services since early 2008. Max Ventura will provide music.

February 22
"Hope On A Tightrope"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

Dr. Cornell West, inspirational, prophetic, Socratic visionary, has called us all to explore the way of hope in his recent book, Hope on a Tightrope. He asks, "What must happen for us to stay awake permanently and commit to critically engaging the public interest or expanding the common good?" Join us as we explore these and other questions of this good and dangerous man.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

February 15
Everyday Spiritual Practice
Aline Prentice
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Aline will explore how we can bring spiritual practice into our everyday lives. How can we connect with the Source of Love as fuel for our way of being and our actions in the world? What is the quality of deep listening that brings us closer to this Source? What is the Presence that carries us through the difficulties-and the paradoxical
grace or kindness we can find even in the darkest of moments? How can we bring sacredness into the everyday-particularly in our closerelationships, communities, organizations, and social justice work?
Aline works on socially engaged spiritually programs with Donald Rothberg, author of The Engaged Spiritual Life. She is Member/Guest Relations Coordinator at BFUU, where she also conducts young adult programs with Lena Richardson. Max Ventura will provide music.

February 8
Where Is the Stranger?
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Aline Prentice

The practice of hospitality is a grace to which all cultures devote abundant energy. What deep spiritual and ethical truths within the human lead us to such a practice? Is anyone a stranger? What are the key elements of authentic hospitality? Join our Sunday Service and add your heart to the mix.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

February 1
African American Participation in Ending World War II
Burl Smith, Robert Edwards, and Lillian Edwards
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

Burl Smith thought it would be fun to fly a plane, so when his buddy was selected to train as a pilot for the Tuskegee Airmen, he decided to apply. He was surprised to be selected for what he considered to be a rather prestigious group even though they were not recognized by their white peers.

Robert Edwards was a navy yeoman in 1944 when the service was segregated. He wants to explain the facts of what happened when some of the African-American men stationed at Port Chicago in Concord refused to load munitions onto the ship. Lillian Edwards, Bob's wife, has been a community activist since moving here from Chicago in 1992 where she had been active. She has been a member of Stagebridge and chair of Healthy Living Committee at North Oakland Senior Center. BFUU member Dolores Helman will engage the presenters in conversation about their experiences.
Music by Marianne Robinson and Marty Rosman

January 25
Joys & Sorrows of Living in the Modern Age
Wes "Scoop" Nisker
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

Wes Nisker explores the foolish human condition and the joys and sorrows of living in the modern age. He places today's headlines in the context of biological evolution and all of human history, and thereby offers us the relief and laughter that only vast perspectives can bring.

Wes is a well-known author, radio commentator, and Buddhist meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre. His books include The Big Bang, The Buddha, The Baby Boom, and his national bestseller, Essential Crazy Wisdom. Editor and cofounder of the international Buddhist journal Inquiring Mind, his latest book is The Best of
Inquiring Mind. He will provide music as well.

January 18
By Our Blood & Tears
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

On the weekend that celebrates one of America's most courageous prophets, Martin Luther King, Jr., we will explore the meaning of being white in the 21st Century United States. The costs of racism for Whites and for People of Color is beyond reckoning, but with the swearing in of the first President of color for this country, there
may be new fruit on the tree of our national collective. Join us as we step onto an old yet new path of reconciliation and rebirth.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

January 11
Storytelling and Democracy
Lena Richardson
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Creating spaces for storytelling about our own lives and the lives of our elders and ancestors can deepen and enrich our personal lives as well as the social fabric of our communities. Storytelling and art-making processes also have the potential to build more democratic organizations and institutions that ultimately impact our political
future. In this service, R. Lena Richardson will draw on her work with StoryCorps, the national oral history project; the Kitchen Conversations Dialogue Program with the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; and her work as a researcher with the Arts and Democracy Project documenting arts-based dialogue civic engagement work around the country.
Lena has a Master's in Adult Education. She is co-leading the dynamic spirituality classes with Aline Prentice, and plans to offer a four-part workshop related to today's presentation.

January 4
Entering the Century: Paying Our Hopes Forward
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald

Almost a full decade into the 21st Century, it has already taken more than one wild turn. What are its true claims upon us and how can we lay down a course that celebrates spirited renewal? The shape of Unitarian Universalism in the East Bay is deeply affected by and interwoven into this new time.
Rev. Kuhwald will share some of the work of the dialogue that is now taking place between leaders from the Fellowship, Starr King School for the Ministry (in Berkeley) and the UU Church of Berkeley (in Kensington).
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

December 28
“The University, the Patriarchy, 9/11 and How I Recovered”
Batya Weinbaum, PhD
Coordinator: TBA

Batya Weinbaum is a Feminist who taught multicultural literature at Cleveland State University from 1998-2003. Today she will speak of how being a published feminist made her professorial career at Cleveland State more difficult, and how she took her difficulty and created literature about it. Ms. Weinbaum edits FemSpec, a journal discussing and publishing feminist speculative fiction, and teaches at Eastern Carolina University. After earning an MA from SUNY Buffalo, she received her PhD from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is also a visual artist. Yet another aspect of her creativity is her
daughter Ola.

December 21
Winter Solstice, Sweet Solstice
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

Join us as we return to the source of winter celebration in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter Solstice, Sweet Solstice . . . the time of turning, turning from the nurturing and protective times of dark to the reemergence of light-lit days and the rekindling of steady summer warmth. Let us lift up the ancient and the present as we celebrate
Earth's journey.

December 14

"St.George and the Dragon", a mummers' play
Presenters: Entanglement Sword and Amy Baldwin
Coordinator: Ardys DeLu
Mummers' plays have been performed in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland for hundreds of years. Amy Baldwin and Entanglement Sword will perform a version of "St.George and the Dragon"a mummers'play, which will include music and dance. Amy Baldwin will also give a brief history of mumming.

December 7
Endless War No More
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley
On this anniversary of one of modern history's most infamous military attacks, and at this time of hope for a new possibility in dismantling the excesses of militarism, we will explore the meaning of peace and war within the gentle and sacred crucible of our Sunday morning service.

November 30
Towards Freedon--Connecting the Dots
Elanne Kresser
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

How do we organize ourselves to meet a challenging world with fluidity and grace? What internal resources must we develop to experience an inner sense of stability amid the instability of our times? Feldenkrais, developed by the late Moshe Feldenkrais, is an approach to human development and learning through movement. Widely known for its ability to help people recover from pain and improve movement, its essence is a practical philosophy of freedom. Elanne Kresser is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and student of Zen Buddhism.

November 23
Association Sunday
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

This Sunday, in the midst of the weekend dedicated to thanksgiving, we will celebrate the Fellowship's vital relationship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. All across North America, congregations have been dedicating one Sunday during this fall period to remembering the ties we hold to the Association, a relationship that gives us strength and a wider, richer connection to UUs across the continent. Let us celebrate the UU web of interconnection.

November 16
A New World
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Ardys DeLu

After the election . . . we will celebrate our commitment to transformation, no matter who wins or loses, no matter what we gained or lost. Sunday is the time to ritualize our deep connection with the world, each other and our sense of personal journey--that spacious, precious journey that continues no matter what windstorms, what
earthquakes rock our world. Join us as we celebrate and mourn. Guaranteed: here will be material enough for all.

November 9
Elders Community and Wisdom
Barry Barkan
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

Barry Barkan, leader of the Elders' Guild, will speak about the Guild and its work to energize those on the path to becoming elders to build community, cultivate wisdom, and blend spirituality and activism as we champion future generations. Particularly now, in these challenging times, society needs its elders to stand up and become a force for healing and renewal as we redeem our legacy to the grandchildren. It's not too late to complete the work begun in the 1960s.

November 2
Election Un-spun
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Two days before the most important election of our lifetimes, perhaps of the entire history of this country, we gather, as we always do on Sundays: To lift up our spirits, to reconnect with those we care deeply about, to ride the wild hour of "worship" deep into the interiors of our hearts-which is right where the political is most vitally alive. Join us for a pre-election pump-up.

October 26
All Souls Celebration and Renewal
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

Egyptians, pre-Spanish Mexicans and Celts of the ancient British Isles celebrated summer's end (Samhain) as a moment in the great cyclical round of life. In the Celtic worldview, Samhain is the time when the natural order of the universe dissolves back into primordial chaos, preparatory to reestablishing itself in a new order. During that time the veil between the visible and invisible worlds is thinned, and passage between them, as well as sight-lines into the future, are most possible. Join us as we celebrate those who have passed and as we divine our future pathways.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch and Marty Rosman will provide music.

October 19
Learn to Live Together or Perish as Fools?
Max Elbaum
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Humanity today is even more inter-connected—and more in danger—than it was 40-plus years ago when Dr. Martin Luther King spoke those words. Finding ways to resolve conflict through dialogue instead of war is not only a moral and ethical imperative, but a more urgent political one than ever before. So is the challenge of cooperating with people across the planet to tackle global warming, water and food shortages, rising inequality, and other humanity-threatening crises. The moment holds great perils, but also new possibilities for peace and human betterment. Join in this dialogue about danger, change, and hope.
Max Elbaum, an activist in peace and anti-racist movements since the 1960s, is an editor of War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, an antiwar education project at

October 12
Indigenous People's Day: Heart Drum, World Drum
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

October 13 is Indigenous People's Day. Calling it so affirms the insight that, as Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Democracy Now!, “I'm convinced that indigenous peoples are the moral reserve of humanity.”
Join us as we recommit ourselves to honoring the First Peoples of this land, seeking to ground our work for justice, and for a deepening path of wisdom, in the pathways extending from the depths of ancient times.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch and Marty Rosman will provide music.

October 5
Proposition 8 – Anti-Marriage Initiative: Why Same-Sex Marriage Should NOT Be Abolished
Kristen & Emily Montan
Coordinator: Ardys DeLu

Today Kristen and Emily Montan will speak about Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would change the California constitution so that same-sex couples would no longer be allowed to marry. They will discuss the advantages of their marriage, and why all couples deserve such an advantage.
Kristen and Emily Montan became domestic partners in 2003. They had a big church wedding in July 2008 at the First UU Church of Oakland. They are a couple wrestling with all the plans and legal ramifications of getting older.

September 28
Autumnal Balance, Autumnal Edge
Rev.Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

How can this season, when the sun reaches its mid-way point between summer and winter, strengthen our resolve to live compassionately, yet with courage? What teaching does this season offer to our hearts and minds with the shortening of days? What joy can there be in knowing that the dark (death?) is nearing? Join us as we engage questions at the quick of our fragile lives.

September 21
Jeremiah:Then and Now
Coordinator and Presenter: Dolores Helman and Gene B. Herman

The Prophet Jeremiah admonishes the people of Judea: "They refuse justice to orphans and the rights of the poor...stop your wicked thoughts and deeds, be fair to others, stop exploiting orphans,widows, and foreigners. And stop your murdering."
"God damn America," railed Reverend Jeremiah Wright at his congregation..."governments failed, the United States of America failed at treating its Native American citizens, failed at treating fairly its citizens of Japanese descent, failed its African American citizens..."
How do these two Jeremiahs, one an Old Testament prophet, the other a 21st century preacher, relate to us today in Berkeley and to Jews and Palestinians in Israel-Palestine? Is there hope for peace and justice for our congregation and our Jewish, Muslim, and Christian brothers and sisters?

September 14
The Haitian People's Stand for Democracy & Justice
Pierre LaBossiere
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

Two of our UU principles are about the dignity and worth of every human being and belief in the democratic process. We will explore with Haitian-American Pierre LaBossiere the spirit of the Haitian people in
their long, unrelenting embrace of freedom and dignity despite the
ruinous policies of the "neighbor to the North." We will examine the
inclusivity and strength of the spiritual tradition that sustains the
"poor" in Haiti.
Pierre is a dedicated justice and labor activist, a backbone of Haiti
solidarity across the country. With his wife Maria and children who
share his unique moral intensity, he has transformed the suffering of
many in his work with the Haiti Action Committee and the East Bay
Sanctuary Covenant.

September 7
"Liquid Like Life"
BFUU Annual Water Ritual of Welcome
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Joining waters from our summer sojourns is an old Fellowship and
Unitarian Universalist tradition. Bring some water from wherever you
traveled(around your neighborhood, across the planet) and we will
greet one another in this official ritual beginning of the new UU
year. Let the wonder of water reawaken visions of fluidity, clarity,
depth and life-giving mystery.

August 31
Labor Day
"Labor Activists Among Us"
Bill Balderston & Marianne Robinson
Coordinator: Marianne Robinson

We will honor departed Fellowship members Harold Rossman and Martha Roberts, who were lifelong activists in the Labor Movement. We will recall their lives as dedicated leaders in our congregation and in the significant workers’ struggles of the 20th century, and make links with today’s labor movement. Bill and Marianne will also touch on their participation in the labor movement.
Activist and musician Eliot Kenin will join us in singing well-known anthems of the Labor Movement.

August 24
“Qualities of the Contented Heart”
Eve Decker
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

The Buddha taught ten qualities that when engaged in as practices can lead to profound peace and transformation in individuals and communities. Buddhist practitioner and musician Eve Decker will invite us through word, poetry, and song to consider how we can deepen these qualities in our own lives.
Eve has practiced Buddhism in the Vipassana style since 1992. She is a member of the Berkeley radical folk trio Rebecca Riots, performs original “Dharma Music” for spiritual communities around the bay. She taught elementary school music and theater in the East Bay for more than 20 years.

August 17
"Information Warrior: Taking a Stand in an 'Anti-terrorist' Climate"
Josh Wolf
Coordinator: Ardys DeLu

Josh Wolf is an independent journalist and video blogger. He refused to comply with a federal grand jury subpoena demanding both his testimony and the footage he shot of an anarchist protest in July 2005. Josh was represented by lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild and the First Amendment Project. He was released in April 2007 after spending 226 days in a federal detention center—more time in jail for protecting source material in U.S. history than any other person. Today he will speak about taking a stand in our new “anti-terrorist” climate.

August 10th, 2008
"Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Nuclear Age"
Cynthia Johnson, Gene Herman, and Congregation
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

Today we will have a circle discussion on the effects of living in the
Nuclear Age. Do you remember seeing pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
and the destruction left after the bombings? The air raid drills here
at home? What can we do to help heal the wounds caused by such massive
violence and our society's acceptance of it?

August 3
"Strength for the Struggle"
Carole Holtz with Congregation
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

Today we will have a circle discussion on how we power up spiritually for activism. What practices have individuals in our community developed to stay centered and work from a place of joy and love as well as commitment?

July 27
"Sharing Our Words"
Fellowship Poets
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

Today some of the precious spirits of our community will share, through their poetry, life experiences that influenced their spiritual journeys.

July 20
"Winter Soldier"
Rev. Meg Whittaker-Greene
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

This past spring Iraq Veterans Against the War held profoundly significant hearings in Washington DC on their experiences of the Iraq war and occupation. They hoped that our elected officials would pay attention to their experiences, the reality on the ground, and the dehumanizing and brutalizing impact of war. Their transforming courage to speak reality rather than spin remind us that the strongest warriors are those who speak the truth.

Rev. Whittaker-Greene is associated with the Faith Fools Street Ministry, Interfaith Peace Witness and CodePINK, and a member of Veterans for Peace.

July 13
"The Sacred in Siberia"
Presenter: Aline Prentice
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

Aline Prentice will discuss how the sacred weaves into daily life in Siberia between Buddhist, shaman, and Eastern Orthodox traditions that have peacefully coexisted for over 300 years. Her reflections will tie together reverence for sacred sites, traditions of offering blessings, and lessons from living in the taiga forest: interdependence and connection with the earth, simplicity, acceptance, and a sense of wonder at the majestically vast expanses.

Aline spent the past four years living in the Lake Baikal region, working on environmental, youth, and non-profit development projects and going for several months on spiritual retreat in a remote Buddhist community.

June 29
"Pride! Pride! Pride!"
Speaker from the Pacific Center for Human Growth
Coordinator: TBA

Join us as we celebrate the pride in family. On this, the weekend of Gay Pride, we raise our banners high to affirm our commitment and our love for the Gay community. Our speaker comes from the Pacific Center for Human Growth, whose work has made an important difference in supporting all who “Stand on the Side of Love.”

June 22
"Navigating Towards Global Beloved Community—Reflections on True Development from Africa to America"
Sara Wolcott
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

How might we best navigate towards Global Beloved Community? How do we realize wholeness and justice as the dominant global paradigms? What is true human development? Quaker writer and speaker Sara Wolcott connects the dots from her journey of following these questions from East Africa to Memphis, Tennessee to Oakland, California, and offers her experience, strength, and hope in this growing global movement.

June 15
"Honoring the Legacy, Engaging the Present, Welcoming the Future"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

As Rev. Kuhwald leaves the Congregation for the summer (returning in September), the title of the sermon will guide our service: Honor what this mighty congregation has accomplished and survived. Engage our global/local/congregational moment with courage and zest. Offer a wide and wonderful Welcome to the future.

June 8
"Survival Through Community"
The Congregation
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

Today is the Flower Communion, when we each bring a flower that represents something about our self to add to a bouquet representing our Fellowship community. Then we each receive someone else’s flower in the spirit of unconditional acceptance. Thus we celebrate our unity in diversity, as necessary a lifeline today as it was to its creator, the Czech Unitarian minister Norbert F. Capek, when he led members of his congregation in standing up against the Nazis.
Music will be provided by our friend and folk-style singer, Max Ventura.

June 1
"The Serenity Prayer"
Presenters from 12-Step Programs
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

The Serenity prayer—"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference"—has been mostly associated with the 12-Step recovery programs. However, this timeless prayer not only has been a life-saver for survival; it is also a spiritual touchstone and anchor as many strive to deepen the spirituality of their entire lives and their communities.
Members from 12-Step groups will speak about how this prayer has affected their whole lives. Respecting their anonymity, we are not publishing their names.

May 25
"Blessed Unrest"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

There is a powerful movement, underneath the radar of the major media and the national governmental bureaucracy, a movement for sanity, environmental integrity, and human equity that Paul Hawken (entrepreneur, international speaker and writer) reveals in his latest book. Blessed Unrest holds out powerful reasons for hope in our times that will be the basis for Rev. Kuhwald’s sermon.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will perform.

May 18
"Reflections on the ‘Stuff’ in Our Lives"
Ann Leonard

Today we will explore the fascinating hidden environmental and social impacts of the ways we make, use, and throw away all the stuff of daily life. Over the past 20 years, Ann Leonard has traveled to 40 countries investigating the factories where our stuff is made and the dumps where it is dumped, talking with communities and activists along the way. She will reflect on her own spiritual journey, which resulted in “The Story of Stuff,” the film that is becoming an internet phenomenon, generating over two million viewers in its four months.
Ann Leonard grew up in a UU household in Seattle and now lives in Berkeley with her daughter.
Cantor and Peace Troubadour Daniel Zwickel will provide music.

May 11
"In Such a Time as This"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

How are you being called to be present at this time on the Earth? How may we, in the words of the great minister/theologian/activist Howard Thurman, keep fresh before us the moments of our high resolve? In honor of his mother, and mothers everywhere, Rev. Kuhwald will deliver this sermon he offered to the students and faculty at the Starr King Chapel this year.

May 4
"May Day/Beltane"
Greg Harder
Coordinator: Nancy Feinberg

May Day/Beltane was an important holiday to many of our ancestors, and it is still important. Our speaker Greg Harder, with his wife Rachael, will give us some background about the holiday’s history and relevance today.
Greg Harder is a pagan priest.

April 27
"Walking Together"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

Join us for a celebration of long-time and elder members, as well as those who have recently thrown in their lot with this band of creative, non-conforming, loving, and intelligent folk of the Berkeley Fellowship. What does it mean to "walk together" in this time of planetary peril and possibility? Share this Sunday with us as we walk together in celebration and inquiry.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

April 20
"Gratitude for Father Earth and Mother Sky"
Earl W. Koteen, Intern Minister
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

In Egyptian mythology, Earth is the god Geb, black as the mud of the Nile and green as the plants that grow from him. He is the brother and husband of Nut, the goddess of the sky, whose blue skin is covered with stars.
In this his last sermon as Intern Minister, Earl will express his gratitude for mother and father earth, father and mother sky, and for the hospitality of Fellowship.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

April 13
"I'll Pass"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Nancy Louise Feinberg

As we enter the great Jewish Passover season, what depths of tradition can Unitarian Universalists plumb? And what might it mean to put our faith in a sense of natural blessedness and integrity? How are our lives woven with both the present and the past so that we face the future with vitality, courage, and care?

April 6
"Jesus: Friends and Enemies"
Rev. Lee Williamson
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

If one cares about the way of Jesus, how will that shape engagement with both friends and enemies? If Jesus really is about love what should his enemies expect from/of him? What about his friends?

We will explore some of the ways Christians have, and have not, gotten it right. We will ask, in the context of war and terror, how we might respond to enemies in ways that are consistent with the gospel.

Rev. Lee Williamson is a United Methodist pastor (retired) and a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion. He has lived and worked in the SF Bay Area for more than 30 years as a pastor and a peace activist. In retirement he strives to "seek justice, love, and kindness, and to walk humbly with God." (Micah 6:8)

Maxina Ventura will provide music.

March 30
"Headache Spells and High Resolve"
Pamela Gehrke
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

Many people in our American culture would say that belief in reward and punishment after death is necessary in maintaining morality. In contrast, Howard Thurman's heart whispers, "Keep fresh before me the moments of my high resolve." Beginning with a story of a Chinese folk hero, the Monkey King, we will consider how religious tradition can guide us in making moral choices.

Pamela Gehrke is a third-year student at Starr King School for the Ministry, formerly a teacher of freshman English, literature, and mythology at UC Berkeley and SF State. She is a member of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo and lives in Burlingame.

March 23
"Arcing Sunwise"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer
Gliding 'cross the intersection of up and down (the Vernal Equinox), we will begin the first of a series on spiritual/ethical practice. What does it take to live our life intentionally, arcing toward light, toward goodness, toward compassion and love? Join us as we delve into the meaning of Personal Practice.
Gael Alcock and the Cello Posse will perform.

March 16
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Poor People's Campaign
Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini
Coordinator: Tom McAninley
40 years ago the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. announced the Poor People's Campaign--a movement of poor Blacks, Whites, Native Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and others who came together to end poverty and to secure economic justice and human rights in the United States. After MLK's assassination, 7,000 protesters went to reflect on the present conditions of the poor in the US and globally.
Gabriella Lettini is Director of Studies in Public Ministries and Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Starr King School for the Ministry--GTU. She is organizing a Bay Area Poverty Truth Commission at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, April 10, 2008.

March 9
"Spells and Resolve on the Yogic Path"
Alexandra McGee
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson
Today we will reflect on surrender and knowledge on the Yogic Path and living in our bodies. Alexandra McGee will offer insight on embodiment, spiritual practice, and origins of deep yogic philosophy. Ms. McGee is a third-year student at Starr King School for the Ministry, soon to complete her Master of Divinity with a focus on Sanskrit, chaplaincy, and Hindu theology.
Alex has practiced Yoga since 1989 and taught yoga in prison, corporations, churches, schools, and eco-villages since 1994.

March 2
"You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard
What is grief? What is mourning? What does the death of a loved one mean for the living? How can we, how shall we grieve? Let us explore the experience of loss and the human ways of responding when "Now there is a hole in the universe."
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will perform.

February 24
"Dear Madame/Mr. President"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

After the major primaries for President this month, Rev. Kuhwald will offer words to the candidates. Seeking a vision to guide us in the post-Bush era, Rev. Kurt will directly address the powers that might be through a personal appeal, in letter form: Whither democracy? What will sustain us? Who is in control? What leadership is needed?

Join us as we search for truth amidst the detritus of a dying patriarchy.
Hali Hammer will provide music.

February 17

"Remembering Japanese Americans during the Internment"
Shizue Seigel
Coordinator: Nancy Feinberg

After Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States of America was gripped by fear, anger and racial prejudice. In the name of national security, 120,000 Japanese Americans--innocent men, women and children, citizens and non-citizens alike--were incarcerated in American concentration camps. Not a single one was ever found guilty of espionage or sabotage.

Author Shizue Seigel sketches vivid portraits of two dozen teachers, ministers, and just plain folks who advocated for the Japanese Americans in the media, worked in internment camps, safeguarded their property, or helped them start new lives afterwards.

February 10
"Being, Consciousness, Bliss, & Death"
Earl Koteen
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer
Asian Indian philosophy states that the nature of the Absolute is "being, consciousness, bliss" and that the personal Self and the Absolute are one. This philosophy powerfully helped to guide Emerson, Thoreau, and other Unitarian fore-bearers to develop Transcendentalism. Earl, our intern minister and a chaplain resident, will speak about how knowledge of our true Self prepares us to be present both in life and to death.
Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will provide music.

February 3
"Cultivating the Eye, the Ear, and the Heart"
Karina Epperlein
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

Filmmaker and teacher Karina Epperlein will speak about her lifelong personal and artistic journey to explore that which is invisible or shrouded in darkness, labeled as "other," or excluded by mainstream society. With the eyes and ears of a poet, her work is always finding light and beauty, addressing the themes of transformation and healing. She will share her insights about witnessing and curiosity as a way of being.

A native of Germany, Karina Epperlein has worked in Europe and the U.S. for the past 30 years as a filmmaker, theater artist and teacher. She lives in Berkeley and has a Tai Chi studio in Oakland. Karina has made documentaries on women in prison and their children; survivors of genocide; Anna Halperin's expressive Art Therapy; young people's growth; and the award-winning "Phoenix Dance" on an imperfect body doing graceful movement.

January 27
"Teach the Children"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer

At this critical moment in the life of the Earth what is it that we should teach the children? What will cultivate a sense of purpose, love for life, and a consciousness attuned to the deepest sources of creativity? What transformation must we undertake to live the maturity we seek to encourage in our children? What does the child that still lives within us need to feel safe, loved, and challenged?
Rev. Kuhwald will attempt to walk through some possible answers.
Maxina Ventura will offer her music.

January 20
"The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & The Longest Walk 1978 - 2008"
Wounded Knee De Ocampo
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson

As we remember the profound legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., we are called to remember the indigenous holocaust, which, together with the slave trade, formed the basis of the 13 Colonies economy. Today we will be led by Miwok elder Wounded Knee De Ocampo, who works in the spirit of MLK Jr., Gandhi, and other great nonviolent leaders. Come hear Wounded Knee’s spiritual, nonviolent understanding of Protecting the Earth, including the whole human family and all our relations.
Wounded’s nonviolent practice includes spiritual peace walks: the Longest Walk in 1978 and the Sacred Sites Shell Mound Peace walks, praying at Bay Area burial sites of the Ohlone and Miwok peoples with Vallejo Intertribal Council and Indian People Organizing for Change. Wounded’s other practice with these groups is to preserve the ancient (1500 BCE) Miwok burial ground at Glen Cove Sogoratea in Vallejo against the powers that be.

January 13
"Holding On, and Letting Go"
Peter Olandt
Coordinator: Tom McAninley

By looking to the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, Peter Olandt explores how we might weather the storms in our lives.
Peter Olandt is a third-year seminarian at the Starr King School for the Ministry and is preparing for a career in parish ministry. He has a background in molecular biology and organic farming that he is combining with a commitment to UU principles and sources to build a dynamic ministry.

January 6
"Great 2008 New Year's Ritual"
Led by Evelie Delfino Sales Posch
Coordinator: Nancy Louise Feinberg

Join us for a celebration of the New Year, letting go of the Old, bringing in Freshness, Healing, Good Will, and Peace through music and ritual.

December 30
"New Beginnings"
Poets of the Fellowship
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard

What changes are needed in these times of terror and hope? What is changing in our personal lives, and how can we make changes involve growth? Today some of the poets among us will share poems exploring these questions and celebrating new beginnings in their lives.

December 23
"Solstice: Holy Turning"
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer
Join us as we celebrate the turning of the Sun from its lowest point in the northern sky, toward its apogee in summer. Here at the beginning of Northern California’s winter, we honor and welcome light, love, hope and life itself. Evelie Delfino Sales Posch will grace us with her angelic voice and music.

December 16
Daniel Ellsberg
"Secrecy, Freedom, and the Spiritual Life"
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson


One of the most significant whistleblowers of the 20th Century joined us and reflected on his spiritual life and the role of conscience. Daniel Ellsberg changed the course of history by releasing the Pentagon Papers. He shed light on his personal transformation since committing his life to exposing the deceptions of U.S. leaders.

Dr. Ellsberg grew up in Detroit with dedicated Christian Scientist parents. After Harvard, he became a U.S. Marine Commander, a Rand Analyst, and a high-level civilian in the Pentagon. While writing critically acclaimed books Risk, Ambiguity and Decision and Secrets, he remains a tireless international and local activist. He lives in the East Bay with his wife, Patricia Marx Ellsberg, an engaged Buddhist.

PhoeBe ANNE sorgen sang "Qui Respexit" from Vivaldi's Magnificat, accompanied by Andy Jamieson.

December 9
The Grand Design
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley
Taken from the title track of a CD by singer songwriter Greg Tamblyn, our service will focus on the new sciences’ (and old wisdom’s) expansive vision of the universe. The new/old deeper vision affirms that all things are in some fundamental way alive. Join us as we get cosmic! Gael Alcock and the Cello Posse will perform.

December 2
Chanukah and Christmas
Rabbi David J. Cooper
Coordinator: Helene Goodwin
Chanukah, Christmas, and Winter Solstice share similar traditions. Each holiday reflects an ancient response to the time of darkness, winter.

Rabbi David J. Cooper offers the Jewish teachings of history and thought in a non-authoritarian way. As the Rabbi for Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont, he is part of a community that calls upon us to act tikkum olam, the healing and repair of our planet and our lives. He works to bring compassion, peace, and healing to our community and world.

November 25
Practicing Gratitude: Where Healing the Earth Begins
Esteban Myers with the Congregation
Coordinators: Frances Hillyard & Cynthia Johnson
Every great religion and spiritual tradition has the value of gratitude as a basic foundation on how to live. Our UU principles and practices direct us to the “paradise of this world,” as Rev. Rebecca Parker has eloquently stated. On Thanksgiving weekend we are called to reflect on the priceless gift of life we have all received. Joanna Macy says, “To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe—to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive, lungs that breathe, organs that draw nourishment from LIFE—is a wonder.”

Two members, Cynthia and Esteban, will reflect briefly on their feelings of gratitude of being alive at this moment on Planet Earth. Frances will then guide us in the small group experience to share our appreciation that “even in a dark time the eye can begin to see.”

November 18
Membership and Association Sunday
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Nancy Louise Feinberg
Join us as we celebrate belonging to this wonderful Fellowship and to the larger world of Unitarian Universalism, the Faith that aspires to put the power of the human heart, grounded in the Sacredness of the Earth, into a living, vital ethical/spiritual/activist practice. We will honor our new members, along with the Sages and Crones among us.

November 11
War, Veterans, and the Rule of Law
Paul Rockwell
Coordinator: Tom McAninley
More and more soldiers of conscience, like Lt. Ehren Watada, are refusing to obey orders to fight in Iraq. The growing GI resistance raises profound moral issues regarding the social contract which binds us together as a nation. Is it true that “in war the laws are silent”? National columnist Paul Rockwell will speak about war, veterans, and the rule of law.

November 4
Vote Your Way Out of Hell
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer
Rev. Kuhwald will provide some guidance from the pulpit on how to apply the power of our preciousness to the dirty ways of the world. It will be good to get in touch, once again, with the heart of democracy. We deserve it.

October 28
Dia De Los Muertos
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Helene Goodwin
Deep homage to those who have passed from our lives! It is good, it is necessary, it is one sweet way to strengthen our connection with the great flow of life. Join us as we build an altar of personal mementos and share the images and stories that touch the further reaches of authentic human relationship: how those who have died continue to live in the marrow of our bones, in the core of our hearts, in the ongoing pulse of our daily lives.

October 21
The 11th Hour: Practicing Sustainability
Babak Tondre
Coordinator: Cynthia Johnson
Today we will explore how we live greener lifestyles and create vibrant, urban sustainable communities. Can we be part of the shift from a globalized fossil fuel-based economy that enriches a few, to a localized green economy that strengthens all our communities?

Babak Tondre, a permaculture teacher at DIG cooperative and a curator of the exciting Green City Gallery at 1950 Shattuck @ Hearst, will guide us in making conservation, recycling and ecological design part of our lives.

October 14

Social Justice and the 7th Principle

Séon O’Neill and Lauren Renée Hotchkiss
Coordinator: Lauren Renée Hotchkiss
The 7th Principle is an affirmation of our UU respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. To truly achieve social justice, perhaps we need to look not only at how we treat each other, but also at the way we treat the other species with whom we share the planet.

Séon O’Neill and Lauren Renée Hotchkiss are Cochairs of BFUU’s chapter of UFETA (Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Please join Lauren and Séon in the Courtyard after lunch for a Blessing of the Animals service at 1:30 pm. Bring your animal friends (in a carrier or on a leash to keep them safe) or pictures or mementos of them.

October 7
Deep Democracy and The Path to Earth Community
Reverend Kurt Kuhwald
Coordinator: Sylvia Scherzer
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald will lead us in an exploration of the meaning and practice of Deep Democracy and how it is the underpinning of building Another World, a world many name as Earth Community. The first eight words of BFUU's Vision Statement create a focus for our Sunday Celebration: "Living in a time of great planetary challenge. . . ." Join us as we share another joyous step toward claiming our true spiritual-activist home in the heart of Democracy.

September 30
Out of the Belly of the Beast
Earl Koteen,
BFUU Ministerial Intern 2007-2008
Coordinator: Rev. Kurt Kuhwald
Our new intern minister, Earl Koteen, will introduce himself to us in this sermon. A lifelong UU, a retired Federal Government employee and a recent graduate of the Starr King School for the Ministry, Earl will describe some of the beasts in which he's ridden and the implications of beast riding for our futures.

September 23
For the Earth Forever Turning
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
The words of a favorite UU hymn joyously turn our hearts to the great solar event of the season: the Autumnal Equinox. What "wisdom" can we draw from the Earth's relationship with the sun, wisdom that calls us into a fuller love for life and a stronger rebellion against the forces that exploit and degrade it?

September 16
From Fundamentalism to Freedom
Marc Adams
Coordinator: Lauren Renée Hotchkiss
Marc Adams describes his journey, from being raised as a fundamentalist Baptist preacher's son to his time as a student and employee of Jerry Falwell's university. In his presentation he will share his story of coming out, emerging from fundamentalism, and becoming a Unitarian Universalist. All of Marc's books and resources will be available at the service.

Marc Adams is from Seattle and is an award-winning author of nine books. His autobiography, The Preacher's Son, garnered him much critical acclaim.

September 9
Return Again: Annual Water Service
Rev. Kurt Kuhwald
Coordinator: Tom McAninley
BFUU lives by many calendars--board, fiscal, seasonal. One of the most visible is the "beginning" of the Sunday Service/Liturgical year. One Sunday after the Labor Day weekend, we Return Again. We celebrate this returning by holding a special Unitarian Universalist service in which we add water gathered from our summer journeys (whether far away, or to our kitchen sink!) into a common vessel. It is a joyous service celebrating one of the primary elements of life, giving us rich symbols of our common life.

September 2
Sweatshops on Wheels: Chaos at the Port of Oakland
Speaker: Zachary Goldman
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard
The East Bay Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice is taking on the chaos at the Port of Oakland with a powerful coalition of unions, non-profits, clergy, and citizens. Zachary a researcher at the ICWJ. The Port of Oakland creates $300 million in annual revenue, but the port trucking system is filled with inequities: Most truckers are immigrants who are forced to work as contractors. They are barely paid minimum wages, have no benefits, must provide their own trucks, carry their own insurance, and are lucky if they net $30K a year. The surrounding community is polluted by diesel, and the driver turnover is 130% each year! We celebrate Labor Day by re-visioning what it means to honor labor and human dignity.

August 26
Another World IS Possible!!!
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Coordinator: Frances Hillyard
In August, Rev. Kuhwald attended the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. This regional version of the World Social Forum is a grassroots gathering that began with the “Battle for Seattle” back in 1999. Join us as we explore the great movements for global change that are sweeping humankind into wonderful new creations of social transformation . . . all largely below the corporate media radar.

August 19
Songs Without Words
BFUU Composers
Coordinator: Lauren Renée Hotchkiss
We are all familiar with the feelings that can be communicated through song lyrics, but what of instrumental music where there are no words to convey emotions and tell a story? Lauren Renée Hotchkiss, Nicole Milner and Marty Rosman speak about communicating through music, and what they themselves receive. Lauren Renée Hotchkiss is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and composer. Nicole Milner is composer/pianist. Marty Rosman has been playing his beautiful piano music at the Fellowship for over 30 years.

August 12
The State of Democracy
Suzanne Marsh
Coordinator: Tom McAninley
Many of us are concerned about the state of democracy in our country. We have heard quite a bit in the last few years about the idea that we must “Reclaim Democracy.” In this service we will explore what that might really mean and consider what effective actions we might be able to take to move us towards that goal. Suzanne helped us look at other periods in history where similar concepts have been discussed, and how to draw on the work of historical and contemporary thinkers such as Theodore Parker, Abraham Lincoln, Cornell West, Thomas Jefferson and Robert Bellah. Suzanne Marsh, a Candidate for the Ministry and the Intern Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, is working with Bay Area congregations on Social Justice issues.