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.

Please visit Rev. Theresa Novak's blog for texts of her recent services:

April 26: Music That Moves You
Nanci Armstrong-Temple, Worship Leader

How does music move you? Is music a means to a spiritual experience, or the experience itself? Worship leader Nanci Armstrong-Temple, Worship associate Jeff Palmer, and Music leader Dominic Jeffries, along with special guest performers, will take you on a musical journey with music that moves them, religious, secular and transcendent. Please join us, and bring your rhythm and voice, as all are welcome to participate in many aspects of the service.

April 19: For the Beauty of the Earth
Rocky Morrison, Worship Leader

A celebration of Earth Day 2015. Are we living responsibly and respectfully in our interdependent web of all existence?

April 12 - Tending Our Garden - Flower Communion

We will celebrate the annual flower communion during this intergenerational service.  Please bring flowers to share. The annual meeting will follow the service.

April 5 - Rolling Away the Stone
Reverend Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

How can the traditional Easter story speak to us as Unitarian Universalists?  Most of us simply do not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth or that he died for our sins.  What, then, can Easter mean?  Is it more than Spring?  Can we roll away the stones that are in the way of our own resurrections?

March 29:  It's All About Us

We humans are born with all the neurological tools needed to build a loving community. So why don’t we? What stops us from loving and caring for each other? Why do we often feel competitive, jealous, and judgmental towards each other? New and exciting research provides greater insight into the biological foundations of love and hate in our relationships with one another, and how we may “pilot” our feelings towards building better relationships within a loving community.

March 22: Nature is My Church - Love is My Religion
Rocky Morrison, Worship Leader

A random encounter with a bumper sticker provides some provocation for reflecting on the meaning of church and religion. What does it all mean? What is important?

March 15: The Gospel Truth
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

Did St. Patrick really drive the snakes from Ireland?  Did David write the Psalms?  What kind of conversations might we have with friends and relatives who may be Biblical literalists? A little knowledge of modern Biblical scholarship can be helpful to all of us as we try to navigate a world where too many people think they have the one and only truth.

March 8: Not Dogmatic, but not Wishy-Washy
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader
Many people today say that they are spiritual but not religious. What does that mean for the future of Unitarian Universalism?  We are a big tent faith, but does that mean all of us just believe whatever we want?  What holds us together?   

March 1: Using Our Anger
Rev. Theresa Novak, Worship Leader

Too often, our anger gets us into trouble. Expressions of anger can shatter relationships and can make us feel bad about ourselves and others. Can we learn to better understand our anger and learn how to use it in ways that help bring about the community and the world we would like to create? I think we can. During this service, we will explore some of the tools for using our anger in more effective ways.

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.