10:00 a.m. September 1 through June 30
9:00 a.m. July & August
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We are currently enjoying a variety of quality, stimulating ministers and lay speakers in our pulpit, as listed and described below.
A brief biography of those who are here on a regular or frequent basis (identified by * after their names) can be found to the right, below "Coffee Hour and First Sunday Lunch."
April 30: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.*
April 23: Suji Fox, M.Div.*
April 16: Len Hayward., M.Div.*
April 9: Michael Boblett, M.Div.*
April 2: Carol Hayward., M.Div.*
April first is generally celebrated as April Fool’s Day - a day for lighthearted pranks, silly announcements and other kinds of foolishness.
But what really IS a fool? How has that label been used in both positive and negative ways?
What are the benefits of being ‘foolish’?
Let’s take both a deeper look at the Fool, and how this works with our First Principle of the inherent worth and dignity of all beings.
MARCH 26: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.*
on the Light: Accepting & Encouraging Spiritual Growth.
Unitarian Universalist Third Principle is ACCEPTANCE OF ONE ANOTHER AND
ENCOURAGEMENT TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN OUR CONGREGATIONS. But what does that
mean? It’s hard to know what “Spiritual Growth” even looks like, so how can one
know if one is “accepting” and “encouraging” in another? This week we are going
to be talking about Spiritual Growth, and how to best live out our Third
MARCH 19: Rev. Suji Fox*
Sermon: Healing the Fear of Feminine
We all carry the Feminine and Masculine
however, the qualities of each have been compartmentalized into a division between
women and men, girls and boys.
This Sunday Rev. Suji Fox will share her
experiences as to why the Feminine in all beings and in Mother Earth Herself is so
feared, and how we can help heal that unease and distrust.
Through some of her own poetry written over
the past four decades, Suji will highlight the loneliness and anger faced by
girls and women — and how humans, both masculine and feminine, have struggled to
exert power while suppressing vulnerability.
Suji’s message does not attack the
masculine or the struggle. Rather, it emphasizes the need to face our fears and
embrace our similarities and differences, no matter in what body each of us
MARCH 12: The Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett*
Sermon: Welcome to Russia: How Putin Took Over the United States.
What troubles me about Donald Thump's ties to Russia? Actually, not so much the actions that might lead to impeachment. What scares me far more is the fact that Putin's methods provide so much of Trump's playbook. So far, we've seen nothing.
MARCH 5: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.*
Sermon: First Female Universalist Minister
Educational trailblazer, unconventional preacher, and First
Wave Feminist, Suffragette Olympia Brown was the first woman to become ordained
in the Universalist Church. This Sunday, in honor of Women’s History
Month, we will look at the surprising
life of Olympia
Brown, and, in particular,
embodied our Unitarian Universalist 3
of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations."
First Sunday Lunch provided by AOUON.
FEBRUARY 26: Rev. Suji Fox*
Sermon: Our Ongoing Fight for Freedom
There has always been a fight for freedom. We could summarize
that fight by studying the seven chakras (or energy centers of the body):
Chakra 1—Fight for immediate survival; Chakra 2—Fight for ongoing survival
through sexuality and creative exploration; Chakra 3: Fight for identity,
control and personal power; Chakra 4: Fight for universal love, equality and
justice; Chakra 5: Fight for communication and truth; Chakra 6: Fight for
insight and intuition; Chakra 7: Fight for understanding and enlightenment.
I observe that America’s struggle is now between the third and
fourth chakra energies. Millions of us are fighting for the freedom (the
right) of all people to enjoy justice and love—even as others are fighting for
the control/license to enjoy privileges believed to be their right (but not
others’). All the while, millions are still fighting to stay alive.
Please join us Sunday to explore various methods that countless
African Americans, women, the disabled, the impoverished, and people of various
ethnic, cultural, religious and gender groups have used—and continue to use—to
fight for and achieve true freedom.
FEBRUARY 19: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.*
Sermon: Justice, Equity &
Compassion: The Relationship between Three Presidents and African-Americans
African-Americans have been a part of American
history since before the United States was a country, yet, so far, in our 240
year history, we have only had one black president. However, Presidents’ Day falls
within Black History Month, so, this Sunday, we will look at three Presidents
through the eyes of African Americans who wrote about them. What did
have to say about the Justice,
Equity & Compassion shown expressed to them by their president. Why?
Because Black Lives… and Words… Matter.
FEBRUARY 12: The Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett*
Sermon: Muslim Registry? Sign Me Up!
How many Muslims ARE there in the USA? If our government tries to institute a Registry, they'll be surprised at all the people who rush to sign up. What percentage will actually be Muslim? Not high, I'd imagine. They can't arrest us all. Bullies are like unruly dogs: Look 'em in the eye and don't back down.
FEBRUARY 5: Len Hayward, M. Div.*
Sermon: A Flame of Hope and Renewal
We have been in a time of darkness; seasonal darkness for all of us, emotional darkness for many of us. But Spring is coming. As a candle's flame gives us the hope in darkness and Spring gives us hope and renewal as winter ends, let us explore how we can find and be such a flame for ourselves and our community.
JANUARY 29: Chris Arnold, lay leader at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, Pasadena, CA.
Concert Pianist: Anita Chang
Sermon: Do You Want the Good News . . . or the Bad News?
Bio: “Although it seems to me like
just yesterday, I first joined Neighborhood Unitarian Church in Pasadena
fourteen years ago. Prior to that I had spent several decades after college
searching for meaning, intellectual stimulation, and maybe just a good
conversation in an environment that wasn’t trying to sell me something at the
"I was born and raised in Vermont
across the street from the St. Thomas Episcopal Church where my grandfather was
once the minister and my grandmother always played the organ. As a boy I
carried the cross and sung in the choir. My mother and father were both
atheists. They found my religious devotion cute and amusing. My father would
not set foot in his own father’s church. My mother came to church regularly on
Easter Sunday to hear her favorite hymns, ‘The Strife is O’er’ and ‘Jesus
Christ is Risen Today.’ Sometimes she would go on Christmas if they were going
to sing ‘Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem.’
"I have been a filmmaker all of my
professional life. My most recent documentary film, TRANS, is a feature
documentary about the Transgender Community that has been shown in over 52 film
festivals world wide and has won more than a dozen Best Documentary and Special
Media awards. It can now be seen on Amazon Prime and iTunes. For the past few
years I have travelled to cities throughout the west, showing the film and
leading Q&A and panel discussions to create deeper awareness and
understanding around these important issues."
As we begin this New Year with the inauguration of a new president, throughout the country, and perhaps especially here in California, there is both fear and trepidation about what may lie ahead. But in spite of all the divisiveness and the anger of the past election cycle, for a surprising number of us going forward, there is hope. You see, believe it or not, most of us are optimists. It’s a provable scientific fact, and one of the main reasons why we, as a species, have come this far.
JANUARY 22: Carol Hayward, M. Div.*
Sermon: Tree Wisdom
Trees have been an image of wisdom in many traditions, and we will look at some of them together.
You may have heard the term ‘bend like a tree in the wind.’ With all the winds of change we have been facing lately, learning to sink our roots deep for stability is an important thing. We will also look at how to ‘see the forest for the trees’ - t
o discern an overall pattern from a mass of detail; to see the big picture
, or the broader, more general situations we are facing.
JANUARY 15: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.*
Sermon Title: "Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness:" Empowering Ourselves and Others with Our First Principle
There is no way to avoid it... America has a racism problem, and it's much worse than we thought. It's easy to feel defeated and hopeless when voices of hatred are yelling so loud. This Sunday, we are going to remember the hopeful message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, as we celebrate his birthday and his life in UU
worship and song. Please join us!
JANUARY 8: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.*
Title: "Global Warming: The Next Four Years."
Donald Trump rejects global warming in emphatic terms. Why? And what can we do? The "why" gives us a clue: Trump and his followers reject environmental responsibility due to a combination of willful ignorance and sheer greed. Ignorance is best countered with facts - even in an age of fake news. But greed, especially among poor people, is best addressed with a message of hope and progress - not a message of self-denial and self-flagellation. Let us begin!
January 1: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Title: "A New Hope." What Modern Story Telling Reveals About Our First Principle. Or, “I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing.”
For many of us, 2016 has been a difficult year. In a
recently published opinion piece, author Charles Nevin wrote: “2016: Worst. Year.
Ever?” However, as hopeless as the times may feel to a member of a Liberal
Religion, there is cause for hope. All one has to do is to look to the stories
being told in movies and television. Our Unitarian Universalist First Principle
is alive and well. It is in the stories that we tell one another, and the
stories that we tell our children. Please join us on Sunday, January 1, 2017 as
we explore how we challenge ourselves and each other towards Love by the
stories that we share.
December 25: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.*
Title: Making Christmas
Joan will explore the Humanist source of Christmas, and celebrate how the Human Spirit has
the experience of the Winter Holidays.
December 24, 5 P.M.: Rev. Suji Fox.*
Title: Christmas Eve: Candlelight, Communion, & Carols
This special night is a time to acknowledge the Child within and realize how perfectly lovable
and loving our
Child is. With song and quiet reflection we birth, once again, the innocence and wonder that transcend the world.
December 18: Carol Hayward, M. Div.*
Title: Black and Blue.
Feeling a bit bruised this time of year? Nights are long and dark and days are full of too many commitments. Many of us can struggle with the over-commercialization of the season, or with depression when everyone around us is way too jolly. Let us look at how we can see the dark as a time of nurturing rest, and how we can find blue as a color of hope.
December 11: The Rev. Michael Boblett.* Title: Shamanism: Only For Native Americans?
As a practitioner of shamanism, I have some tales to tell. It's not all boasting: Some of my stories are about fierce ethical struggles. In America, we often confuse the various techniques of shamanism with Native American religions. As a result, there's a widespread belief that non-Natives should avoid shamanism. Certainly there are ethical dilemmas we must face here. But the rewards are great.
December 4: Len Hayward, M. Div.* Title: A Revitalizing Rest
The days have been getting colder, and it's been getting darker earlier. This feels out of sync with all of the celebrations and cheery decorations. Yet there is something there. A sense Nature is gathering strength as it rests. A longing for rebirth, but waiting for the right moment. Let's explore our connection to this time of rest and how it can revitalize our lives.
November 27: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: Let's Give Thanks
This is the season of Autumn-turning-Winter. Daily, we move more deeply into darker days, colder nights and, prayerfully, some rain-soaked piles of formerly crisp leaves as we bundle ourselves against the coming frost. It's a kind of closing down, but we don't have to close down our loving minds and grateful hearts.
This time of year invites us in—
we come in—to a warmth inside ourselves, to a place of reflection, to a perspective of gratitude.
Indeed, it can be quite easy to be thankful for what and whom we like or love in our life and for every momentary enjoyment. How, in addition, can we use the giving of thanks to see past what appear to be obstacles and to perceive with all our essence that those obstacles are gifts?
Please join us on this Sunday, November 27. For those who wish to participate, we'll also have a special time to bring to the lighted chalice our silent gratitude.
November 20: Carol Hayward, M. Div.*
Sermon Title: Broken Promises
With all the recent focus on the election, other issues have drawn considerably less attention.
The Standing Rock situation, for example, and the resultant groundswell of support from worldwide indigenous peoples. This brings to mind the fallout of broken promises and broken treaties.
How can we best address the results of broken promises, and walk in integrity and justice?
November 13: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.*
Sermon: Trump: Practical Steps for Moving Forward.
This talk will list practical, step-by-step suggestions for
dealing with this election. It's based on counseling I've been giving various
friends. I'm writing these words the morning after Election Day, stopping
frequently to trade texts with people who are terrified, depressed, paralyzed, even
planning to flee. I'm also in open-hearted dialogue with close friends who
voted FOR Trump. My inspiration for all my responses is the wise and resilient
George Takei, who has his own list of ideas for addressing after-election
feelings. Me? Well, I'm not leaving for Canada! My forebears starved in
Jamestown, defied theocrats in Plymouth, hid slaves before the Civil War, told
truth to power under McCarthy. We didn't all do these things. But enough of us
did. Time to roll up our sleeves!
November 6: Vonya Quarles, J.D., Criminal Law Attorney; Executive Director - Starting Over; Chair - Riverside All of Us or None.
Sermon Title: The Challenging I's
Indifference, Indecision, In Denial. How these barriers can delay a beloved world and how we overcome them.
October 2: Len Hayward, M.Div. Title: “A Balanced Harvest."
Len Hayward was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Mass., and is now pursuing ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. He is an initiated Druid in the Bardic grade of the “Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids,” and one of the founding members of the Inland Empire Druid seed group, “The Fellowship of Birch, Yew and Oak.” Len has a passion for teaching and loves to open minds and hearts to the natural world and to the delight of connecting with people from different spiritual paths.
The Autumnal Equinox is the traditional time for harvest. It is also when day and night are of equal length; they are balanced. We'll explore what harvest and balance mean for us in our modern society.
October 9: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.* Title: Rewilding the Human Animal.
Human beings fascinate me. Anthropology, physical and cultural, has been my obsession since I was a child. I am especially interested in the impact of civilization on an essentially wild creature. Are we trying to domesticate an animal that is designed to be free? What are free humans like? The answers are startling.
Steve Stapenhorst. Title: Bucky, Werner, Ayn . . . and Mom
Steve Stapenhorst has
spent his life as a singer, musician, and actor. Long after leaving his Catholic upbringing, Steve found his church home at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in NYC. When he moved to Pasadena in 1992, he joined the Neighborhood UU Church. Steve is
married with two teenage daughters.
As UU's, we don't have a "good book," we have many. Instead of the 10 commandments, it is sometimes said that we have the 10 questions... and some answers from unexpected places.
October 23: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: The Spaces Between.
Have you ever noticed what your "default thoughts" are between your conscious thoughts, words and actions? Rev. Suji will explore with us
some important psychological facts about our thinking processes
as well as ways to identify your own chief default thought and the countless offshoots of that personal belief. Please join us!
October 30: Carol Hayward, M. Div.*
Sermon and Dia de los Muertos Ritual: Remember Me
At this time of year we celebrate Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, a tradition from Mexico where we take time to gather to remember and celebrate those who have gone before us. Many other cultures and traditions honor our ancestors at this time when the harvest is done, and we look to the coming winter - a time, it is said, when the veil between worlds is thin. Join us as we remember - and celebrate - our beloved dead.
September 4: Rebecca Kitchings. Title: “Deeds Not Creeds:” The Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s and My Employer, UU Pastor Dr. Edwin King.
Rebecca “Reb” Kitchings came to the Inland Empire from New Orleans and Mississippi over 25 years ago. She studied Sociology at Millsaps College, then entered the food industry and has been the president of Meridian Food Services for the last 20+ years, serving restaurant chains and manufacturers around the US with eggs and cheese. Passionate about creating community and being part of one, she joined the Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics and found a new home. Finding Humanism and becoming a Humanist Celebrant seemed a natural progression as a means to provide a larger part of the full circle to our community. Grateful to be part of the Inland Empire Humanist Community, Reb officiates at weddings, funerals and baby naming ceremonies as well as discussion salons and distinguished speakers series here in the Inland Empire.
Living in Mississippi during the 60's was fine if you happened to be a white man. If you were anything other than that, it was downright dangerous. In college in the 70's, I worked as a nanny for Ed King, a furiously dedicated civil rights activist who was famously and infamously known throughout the state as an "agitator" when detractors were being bland. Remember "Freedom Summer?" That was Ed and his friends. We'll get to know the man a little better and see how well he lived the idea "Deeds Not Creeds."
September 11: Rev. Michael Boblett.* Title: "The 9/11 Bombings: Where Are We Now?"
Fifteen years ago, our world changed. As with the bombing of Pearl Harbor
President Kennedy's assassination,
everyone who was alive and sufficiently conscious remembers where they were on 9/11/01. But like many other events, the Al-Quaeda bombings are often evoked, rarely understood. In these days of anti-Muslim rhetoric, partisan finger-pointing, and general ignorance about the outside world, how well do we understand 9/11? There are no easy answers, but let's try.
September 18: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: All Politics is Moral: Therefore, Reframe!
In today’s intense political climate, we need to realize that all politics is moral.
is offered to most of us, we see and hear, first and foremost, through our set of morals—our values—rather than through our knowledge of facts.
Based on the findings of UC Berkeley Linguistics Professor and author George Lakoff, today’s speaker Suji Fox talks about how we can communicate our values and listen to others with whose values we disagree, by
our language and conversing from our hearts. Only then can we find any common ground, and without common ground, there is no justice and no peace.
September 25: Bill Casey. Title: Staying, Leaving, or Merging: Welcome to the Interfaith Highway.
Bio: Bill has been a member of UUCR since Brandy Lovely was a minister here in 1999. Bill has been a long time choir member, part of our pagan community, & has been fascinated with religious and mythological symbolism for most of his life.
We are all spiritual
. The many directions that we travel in interfaith studies help define the road.
August 7: Michael & Linda Dunn, Quakers (Inland Valley Friends Meeting). Title: Quakers: The World We Seek.
Michael and Linda have been members of Inland Valley Friends Meeting (Quaker) for over 40 years. Michael is an emeritus faculty member of Biochemistry at UCR. His research and teaching focus on protein structure and function. Linda majored in mathematics with minors in education and chemistry. She taught math in the early 1970’s, then went on to chair the North American Council on Adoptable Children. In 1984, Linda earned a Masters degree from the UCR Graduate School of Management, and became Director of Inland Agency, which provided peace, social justice, and empowerment programs throughout 4 counties. She retired in 2004. Linda and Michael are founding members of RCPA (Riverside Coalition for Police Accountability). They have 5 grown children and 3 grandchildren.
Although small in number, Quakers work for progressive
change at local, national and world levels. Linda will provide highlights of
the “100 Years of Waging Peace” document published by the American Friends Service
Committee. Michael will focus on how the relatively recent Unity With Nature
movement affects our daily lives. Both will reference the
basics of Quaker faith and practice, along with highlights of their personal
journeys as activists.
August 14: Ms. Virgie Thibault, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Title: The African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church.
Born in Redlands to a military father, I traveled to Germany, Panama,
Turkey, and Oklahoma before returning to California. The Allen Chapel A.M.E. is
my church home, although I have attended many churches around the world
throughout my life.
I hold a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from UCR, and I am in
the process of writing my first novel (with the help of my two dogs Starfire
and Raven). In the mean time, I am a substitute teacher for the Moreno Valley
Unified School District and intend to get a teaching credential.
This is a
story of slavery, freedom, and Christian
August 21: Parvinder Singh Shahi. Title: Sikhism: Its Origins and Contributions to World Peace and Service to Humanity.
Bio: Parvinder (nickname "Pindey") moved from India approximately 30 years ago, and have lived in Corona with his wife and 2 daughters. He has practiced Massage Therapy for over 26 years and considers touch-based healing to be his "calling." He & his wife own multiple Juice It Up juice bars in the Inland Empire.
Who and What is a Sikh? Provender will speak about the origins of Sikhism, its basic tenants, and the contributions of Sikhism toward equality, justice, and service to humanity with humility. The word "Sikh" in the Punjabi language means "disciple;" Sikhs are the disciples of God.
August 28: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: Would You Rather Be Right... or Happy?
Rev. Suji will share many of her experiences with
A Course in Miracles.
The lessons in the books lead one from a worldly view to the inner realization that all Life is One.
Along the way, there are such topics to absorb as "Is There an Order of Difficulties?", "The Authority Problem,"
"The Only Purpose of the World." All those of us seeking peace, come and imbibe in the basics of the
July 3: Linda Van Voorhis. Title: Course in Miracles: Finding Peace.
Linda has been a member of UUCR since 1995, and a student of Course in Miracles for many years.
The Course in Miracles is one of many paths of Spirituality. For me it has offered a way to find more peace and a more positive outlook on life. While it tends to have a Christian vocabulary, I find that it truly supports many perspectives of religion. I find that all faiths tend to have certain basic truths that weave a pattern through them all.
July 10: Dr. Salahuddin Ahmed. Title: What is Islam? Ask a Muslim.Bio: "My name is Salahuddin Ahmed, a retired Civil Engineer with a PhD in Engineering. I am a volunteer for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a grass-roots organization founded in 1968 to provide relief, education and outreach to the general population. For the last several years my focus has been to reach out to anyone who would listen, and to provide honest information about Islam."
Ever wonder what Islam is really all about? Have
questions you've been too embarrassed to ask or just never had the opportunity? Following a brief introduction about Islam, Dr. Ahmed will entertain questions from those in attendance.
July 17: Len Hayward, M.Div. Title: More Alike Than Different
Len Hayward, M.Div., was born and raised in the
San Francisco Bay Area. He has a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton
Theological School in Mass., and is now pursuing ordination as a Unitarian
Universalist minister. He is an initiated Druid in the Bardic grade of the “Order
of Bards, Ovates and Druids,” and one of the founding members of the Inland
Empire Druid seed group, “The Fellowship of Birch, Yew and Oak.” Len has a
passion for teaching and loves to open minds and hearts to the natural world
and to the delight of connecting with people from different spiritual paths.
Do you know what makes a Baptist a Baptist? The
media loves to show the Bible thumping, hatred spewing, condemning bigots who
are Baptists in name only. Actually, Baptists are more like UUs than they are
different; some are very progressive. Let's compare reality with “what we know.”
July 24: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: Tree Wisdom.
What do you think of when you hear the term “druid?” A bunch of bearded old men in white robes at Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice? What about "bard?" Shakespeare is often referred to as “The Bard,” so how is that different (or is it?) than bards in Druidry? Druidry in its many forms goes back many centuries before Christianity, but there are almost no written records left of this predominantly oral tradition. We will take a look at modern neo-pagan Druidry and how it is lived out today in modern society.
July 31: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: The Home of Truth
Rev. Suji Fox was minister of the Home of Truth for four years and will be sharing with us the history and messages of the church:
How it came into being at the turn of the 19
Its spread throughout California and parts of other western states;
The metaphysical messages of its founders, (sisters) Annie and Harriet Rix;
Its worldwide appeal to other spiritual leaders;
Its participation in the peace movement during wartime; and
Its place in the community of Alameda, CA today.
Please join us!
June 5: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: Choices.
The upcoming presidential primary gives us the opportunity, and the privilege, of making choices about people we want in government. We make many other choices in our lives, both big and small. Whether it is the choice of what to wear, what choice of career or even what we choose to believe, the act of making a choice - and the ability to make choices - can be important to who we are.
June 12: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.* Title: Polarized Politics: Where's the Common Ground?
How polarized ARE American politics? Silly question, right? Surely our present levels of mutual distrust and name-calling are unprecedented in American history. But they're not. We've seen worse - much worse. Despite our popular myths, no single narrative defines "America." Drawing on historians from David Hackett Fischer to Colin Woodard, I'll describe a nation cobbled together from a variety of local cultures with local agendas, local loyalties, local needs. Our internal struggles have varied from polite to genocidal. In 2016, our task as people of faith is not just to speak truth to power, but to hear the voices of those who feel powerless. There is too much at stake to do otherwise.
June 19: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: Thank You, Dad, For Being You.
On this Father’s Day, Suji will talk about
fathers—personally--and about fathering in general.
Whether our experiences are with a birth father, a lifelong
paternal supporter, or a totally absent dad, we all have thoughts and feelings
about those relationships.
invited to come and consider your own judgments
appreciations for that
person (or those persons) in your life.
June 26: Avery Sheldon Burrows. Title: Healing Church.
Avery has been a member of UUCR since 2008. He has been leading metaphysical healings for 25 years using stones & stone designs. He is a Level 1 practitioner of Reiki healing, and he practices guided meditation. Avery was married for 25 years, and raised two children.
Using stones and pendulums, Avery will conduct a healing service for our church.
May 29: Dr. Jane Guttman. Title: Kids in Jail: a Portrait of Life Without Mercy.
Dr. Jane Guttman is a correctional educator championing children in custody with a bold, compassionate spirit. Her work with jailed children has blazed a trail for best practices in education and social justice. Her belief in the merit and promise of all children is inspiring. Jane’s recently released book, Kids in Jail: A Portrait of Life Without Mercy, unveils the shattering narrative of youth incarceration, as well as the extraordinary hope that prevails, despite the despair of custody. An educator, poet, retired health professional, mother, and grandmother, Jane lives in the San Bernardino Mountains with her partner and cherished pets.
Jane will look at the complexity of jail for kids, the tragic aftermath, and how hastening reform can redirect our lost children and nurture our communities. She embraces the humanity within each child, engaging our hearts, minds, and spirits in hope of bringing them back to us. She will explore the concepts of
children are not adults
one is much more than the worst action experienced.
Welcoming rehabilitation as sacred steps, she advocates for discarding concepts of retribution, and working towards options that are safe, just, and merciful for all youth, even those who have committed serious crimes.
May 22: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: Forgiving the Story of Adam and Eve: The Male and Female in Each of Us.
It’s probable that primitive men and women delineated their roles for the preservation of the species. Religious and cultural history, however, has been defining woman and man in ways that can—and do—limit, stereotype and penalize each.
Suji will talk about some of these interpretations of gender psyches and roles and how understanding the metaphysical essence of each can bring balance to every individual human being’s life.
May 15: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: "Between" - Waiting and Wondering, or Connecting?
The simple word "between" can hold so many meanings for us. We can be between jobs, or in a time between spring and summer, or it can refer to relationships such as the phrase "between friends." Places that are between, times of transition, can be sacred, liminal spaces, often to be marked with ceremonies or special rituals.
What do you do when you are in a between place?
May 8: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.* Title: Mother's Day: Lessons of Our Ancient Roots.
As an anthropologist, I am fascinated by the role of women in prehistory. The Ascent of Woman holds implications for what makes us human - and for our future. In the case of this congregation, how can we apply these lessons for the future?
May 1: Steve Fuji & Multigenerational Service. Title: A Beltane/May Day Celebration.
Also known as May Day, Beltane is traditionally celebrated on May 1. It is the celebration of Spring and the flowering of life. The Goddess manifests as the May Queen and Flora, and the God appears as the May King and Jack in the Green. The Maypole dance represents their unity: the pole itself is the symbol of the God, and the ribbons that encompass it symbolize the Goddess. The ribbons tied to the pole represent the seven colors of the rainbow. Beltane is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight.
Our Sunday service on May 1 will include a Beltane ritual and Maypole dance.
April 24: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: Children of Earth
This past week we celebrated Earth Day, and soon we will be celebrating Mother’s Day. What is it about our relationship with the Earth that brings such strong feelings of connection and "family?" How does our image of "family" affect our relationships with the Earth and each other?
April 17: E. G. Acosta. Title: Independent Search for Truth.
Bio: Author and speaker Elizabeth G. Acosta is a life-long student of world religions. Her long and ardent search for greater wisdom and higher truths led her on a journey to far-away lands and to fascinating encounters with spiritual leaders from many backgrounds. Her book, titled Ancient Wisdom Common Ground: An Interfaith View of the Spiritual Journey We Call Life, is one of the fruits of her long, spiritual search.
Most people inherit their religious, political, and other similar beliefs from their families and the cultures in which they are raised. Most Christians are Christians because they were raised Christian, most Buddhists are Buddhists because they were raised Buddhist, and so on. Author Elizabeth Acosta followed the beat of a different drum. She began questioning things from a very young age, and continued asking questions throughout her life. This led her on a fascinating, enlightening, and at times humorous journey, leading her to believe that God is one, we are one, and truth is one, and the ultimate lesson is love.
April 10: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.* Title: When Karma Runs Over Dogma: Science & Mysticism as Subversive Activities
If we compare the scientific method (hypothesis, testing, theory) with mysticism (experience of altered consciousness) we will certainly find contrasts, but we will also find similarities. Indeed, there are historical parallels in how our society has treated these kinds of exploration. Your karma doesn't need to run over your dogma, but don't leave your dogma in your karma with the windows closed.
April 3: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: My Time In India
This service could also be entitled
My Timelessness in India,
as life in an ashram for 5 weeks was so vastly different from life just outside the ashram gates. I will describe those differences and tell why my experiences in India are a highlight of my life.
March 27: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: New Life Arising.
Now that spring has officially arrived we see many images of new life - from Easter eggs, to an empty tomb, to a recognition of a renewal of nature like the recent flower bloom in Death Valley. What does new life mean to you?
March 20: The Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.* Title: Outside the Box: How Paradigms Break and Reform.
Anybody remember the old TV series "The Twilight Zone?" Some unsuspecting person would be living her/his routine life. Then fate would hand out a short detour...into the Twilight Zone. Well, the Zone is always right around the corner. It can be a scary place. It can also be very beautiful. Let's explore!
March 13: Tom Neilson. Title: Sensibility.
Bio: Tom Neilson, Ed.D., is a folk musician, draft dodger, storyteller, activist, educator, humorist, Humanist, and basketball coach. His award-winning songs of humor, compassion, and social commentary have been performed in 21 countries on 5 continents. Tom has been at the forefront helping communities organize against water privatization, mountain top removal, nuclear energy, and more. He uses music to address gender, race, class, sexuality, addiction, and current events.
Tom lives in Greenfield, MA with Partner, Tour Manager, Business Manager, Show Stealer, Driver and Technical consultant... Lynn.
Tom will consider the distinction between "sensibility" and "being sensible," and explore the concept of "sensibility," as it relates to choices, particularly its relationship to social change and other transitions in our lives.
March 6: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: What is a Church?
A look at devotion, community and service as a path to self-realization and happiness. Suji's years in various communities – as a practitioner and teacher of yoga, breath-work, and meditation; a public school educator; a full-time minister; a musician; and a political activist – have given her insight into major elements of "church," be it a temple, mosque, tent, choir, classroom or shared living space.
, M. Div.* Title: Herstory.
February 28: Carol Hayward
In 1977, the Women and Religion Resolution was passed unanimously at the UUA's General Assembly. The dual focus of the resolution was to urge the UUA to look at the religious roots of sexism, and to encourage all Unitarian Universalists to examine the extent to which religious beliefs influence sex-role stereotypes in interpersonal behavior within families and friendships and in the workplace.
March is Women's History Month, and many of the women active in the suffragist movement were Unitarian Universalists. Let's take a look together at women's 'herstory' through the ages.
February 21: Dr. Justin Scott-Coe. Title: Riverside's Green Movement: An Update
Justin Scott-Coe, Public Affairs Director for the Monte Vista Water District, has over 11 years of experience in water resource management and public affairs program development. In 2009 he was appointed to the Riv. Board of Public Utilities and served as Board Chair in 2013-14. He also serves on the Riv. Green Accountability Performance Committee and the Wood Streets Green Team Board of Directors, and is past member and chair of the Riv. Neighborhood Partnership Board. Dr. Scott-Coe has a Ph.D. in English from Claremont Graduate University, and a Grade 3 Water Use Efficiency Practitioner Certificate from the American Water Works Association, California-Nevada Section.
The Unitarian Universalist's
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." As an expert in Riverside's water resource management, Justin will address current environmental initiatives and local events such as the upcoming GrowRIVERSIDE conference at UC Riverside on March 21st, and the Riverside Green Festival and Summit at Riverside City College on April 23rd.
February 14: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.* Title: Love is Work: Valentine's Day and the True Meaning of Commitment
The word "love" has many meanings. Today's media emphasize romantic love - and even then it is usually a shallow, even adolescent view of romance. But if we watch successful, mature couples, their love looks more and more like the other forms of love: friendship, family, community, even the universal love of all persons or all living things. The common theme is a practical understanding that love is hard work. Unlike infatuation, real love is an ongoing lesson in patience, loyalty, and humility. Beyond the hearts and flowers, that's the real meaning of Valentine's Day.
February 7: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: A New Hope.
Second in a two-part series, loosely inspired by the new Star Wars movie (spoiler-free, however), and a look back at the original "Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope."
From the depth of winter's quiet and meditative silence, the promise of new life awakens. With that new life and growth, comes a new sense of hope for our future.
January 31: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: Awakening.
First in a two-part series, loosely inspired by the new Star Wars movie (spoiler-free, however).
We are at the time, half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, when we celebrate Imboc, Candlemas, St. Brigid's day and even Groundhog Day as the beginning of Spring. What do we look forward to awakening in our lives?
January 24: Niala Terrell-Mason. Title: Making a Space for Ourselves in Religion.
Niala Terrell-Mason, a graduate of Scripps College in Claremont with a degree in sociology (emphasis in women's studies), is currently a student at the Claremont School of Theology working on a Masters of Divinity in Interfaith Chaplaincy. She is a Christian-leaning agnostic UU who is very interested in interfaith/interreligious, womanist/feminist, anti-racist, and queer inclusive faith that seeks to reclaim religion from highjackers who use it to hurt, dehumanize, and exclude people.
Many of us found Unitarian Universalism because we left other religions and/or denominations that left us out, didn't speak to or for us, or actively excluded us. UUism is often a refuge and a safe haven for those who have not given up on faith entirely. But what if we demanded our inclusion? Our right to be part of the narrative? The story that would seek to erase you *needs* your presence, for it's own sake--and yours.
January 17: Lee Greer* & Aric Isom.* Title: Martin Luther King's Birthday: A Day of Remembrance and Service.
Martin Luther King's birthday is a day to remember the long struggle to rise above slavery and racial oppression, through Jim Crow laws, to the Civil Rights movements. Dr. King's legacy of service points to the struggles for today: racial/ gender justice, the "Black Lives Matter" movement, reformation of the justice system, environmental justice, peace, economic security, and service to our own congregation
January 10: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Title: Our Church School: Priority for 2016!
Our church school – why is it such a priority for 2016? We have practical as well as spiritual reasons. Church growth is a major factor. Study after study shows that young families are looking for an alternative. Children are asking questions. Children are hearing strange and often scary things. The choice is not between religious education and no religious education. It’s like sex ed: the choice is between good religious education and what they’ll hear on the playground. I want to see the church I remember as a kid: big, strong, active, a force to be reckoned with. Let’s make it happen. By the way, I also have a few ideas about ADULT classes as well!
January 3: Steve Fuji presents a Multigenerational Service. Title: Stone Soup
In this inspiring
adaptation of Jon Muth’s
three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village and learn
about the strength people possess when they work together. Embittered and
suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows
until a clever stranger suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued, everyone
brings what they have until-- together, they have made a feast fit for a king!
2015 For additional information on services below, click Here
DECEMBER 2015December 6: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: What Are We Waiting For?
December 13: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Title: Shall We Blame the Muslims? Or Look at Real Issues?
December 20: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: Darkness and Light
December 24: Rev. Suji Fox.* Christmas Eve Candlelight Service & Christmas Carols.
December 27: Ellen Stapenhorst. Title: Out of Darkness.
November 1: Samantha Lynne Gupta, M.Div. Title: A Letter to My Ancestors: Stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
November 8: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: There Must Be More to Life Than Having Everything.
November 15: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Title: Jesus Christ: Taking a New Look.
November 22: Steve Fuji presents a Multigenerational Service. Title: Charlie Brown and the First Thanksgiving.
November 29: Carol Hayward, M. Div.* Title: Attitude OR Gratitude?
October 4: Carol Hayward,* M.A., M.Div. Title: Seeking Balance.
October 11: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Title: LGBT Rights: What's the Future?
October 18: Dr. Lee Greer & Steve Lawless.* Lee is a scientist, professor, practicer of meditation, and lay leader from UUCR. Steve is a pianist, singer, & composer extraordinaire. Title: Eco-Zen meditations: A Scientific and Buddhist Perspective on Earth's Life in Planetary Ecological Crisis.
October 25: Ruth Barrett. Title: Preparing For the Sacred Dark Season.
September 6: Marilyn Gottschall, PhD. Title: Choosing Hope in Uncertain Times.
September 13: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Title: Shamanism - Just for Native Americans?
September 20: Karolyn Verville-Johnson, PhD., Sunshine Haven Rescue. Title: Helping Your Local Wildlife Rehabber.
September 27: Bridget Doerr, Yevin Cho, and Eslam Tarboush, members of the group "Liberty in North Korea." Title: Life Inside of North Korea.
August 2: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon Title: The Wonder of Science.
August 9: Carol Hayward, M.Div.* Title: What is Your Harvest?
August 16: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Title: The Zen of Hoping: Realism and Optimism in Balance.
August 23: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: The Heart of God.
August 30: Steve Fuji, UUCR's Director of Religions Education. Title: The Choice to Save the World.
July 5: Carol Hayward, M.Div.* Title: Independence, Interdependence, Freedom, and Peace.
July 12: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Sermon Title: Same Sex Marriage: How Progress Happens! July 19: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon Title: We Are All Masters in the Making.
July 26: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon Title: Zen and the Art of Practical Compassion.
June 7: Lee Greer.* Title: What Can "God" Mean Today for Unitarian Universalists?
June 14: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Title: Game of Thrones: What to do When Winter is Coming.
June 21: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon: Beyond "God the Father."
June 28: Rev. Suji Fox.* Title: What Does it Mean to be Free?
May 3: Bonnie McFarland (Lay UUCR Worship Leader): Title: The Merry Month of May: From Sacred to Profane.
May 10: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Mother's Day: Women as Symbols, Women as People.
May 17: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon: Everybody Is A Star!
May 24: Lifespan Learning (Steve Fuji, Director of Religions Education, & children): A Warm Fuzzy Flower Communion.
May 31: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon: The Ever-Blossoming Now.
April 5: Lee Greer, Scientist, professor, practicer of meditation, lay leader from UUCR. Title: Post-Easter - Giving Jesus an Honorable Burial, at Last, With the Rest of the Human Family.
April 12: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Sermon: The Deep Roots of Easter: What Can We Apply to Our Lives?
April 19: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon: Heal the Earth, Heal Yourself.
April 26: Penny Newman. Topic: The Environment - A Matter of Social Justice.
MARCH 2015March 1: Bonnie McFarland (lay UUCR worship leader). Title: ... And So Life Unfolds.
March 8: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Sermon: Homo Sapiens: A Tough Past, a Bright Future?
March 15: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon: Ain't I a Woman?
March 22: Aric J. Isom, Sr., lay leader from UUCR. This Sunday Aric will share a story that he wrote for his eight grandchildren. Title: The Giant Crack in the World.
March 29: Bonnie McFarland (lay UUCR worship leader). Title: Palm Sunday - Is it Relevant for UUs?
February 1: Waudier E. Rucker-Hughes. Presentation Title: Police Abuse of Force, National and Local - Seeking Justice.
February 8: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, M. Div., D.Min.* Sermon: Gay Rights: A Spiritual Perspective.
February 15: Joan DeArtemis, M. Div.* Sermon: Black History Month: Why It Matters to Everyone.
February 22: Matt Vasko. Sermon: Celebrating the Search for Truth and Meaning.
January 4, 2015: Worship Committee: "What is Your Resolution"
January 11: Dr. Michael Boblett, M.Div, D.Min.* Sermon: The
Ghosts of History: How to Break Free.
January 18: Joan DeArtemis, M.Div.* Sermon: From Selma to Montgomery to Birmingham.
January 25: Linda Van Voorhis [lay UUCR worship leader]: Course in Miracles.
For additional information on services below, click Here
August 24, 2014: Jennifer Waters. Sermon: May the Odds be Always in Your Favor.
August 31: Joan DeArtemis, M.Div.* Sermon: Relax, Nothing is Under Control.
September 7: Joan DeArtemis, M.Div.* Sermon: Courage to Change.
September 14: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, MA, M.Div, D.Min.* Sermon: The Way of the Ancesters.
September 21: Pat Cawunder & Lee Greer, lay leaders from our congregation. Both are experienced in meditation. Pat has taught meditation and Tai Chi for years. Sermon: Meditation.
September 28: Denise Beauchamp is a lay leader at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church of Pasadena. Sermon: Becoming a New Mom at age 50
October 19: Chris Arnold, lay leader at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church of Pasadena. Sermon: Where is Now and How do I Get There?
Quarles, J.D., Criminal Law Attorney; Executive Director of Starting Over; Chair, Riverside All of Us or None. Sermon: And
How Are the Children?
November 2: Dia de los Muertos service.
November 9: Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett.* Sermon: Roots and Reasons: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the True Meaning of Autumn.
November 16: Joan DeArtemis, M.Div.* Sermon: Blessed Be Our Harvest.
November 23: Dave Mowry, Curt Keedy, & Linda VanVoorhis, with the musical assistance of Steve Lawless and Don Cruz.
Coffee Hour and First Sunday Lunch
Join us after the service for conversation, coffee, tea, and snacks in the parish hall adjacent to the sanctuary.
We hope you can stay for our First Sunday Lunch following Worship on the first Sunday of most months. Each lunch is hosted by one of our church committees. A small suggested donation is requested.
*The Rev. Dr. Michael Boblett, M.A., M.Div., D.Min. Now retired but ever dynamic, Michael is a UU Minister who attended this church in his youth and later returned to serve as our Interim Minister in 1985-86. In addition to his years of ministry: in the 1970's he lived in Israel; in the 1980s he returned there and worked with Israeli novelist Yechiel DeNur and his wife, the poetess Eliyah DeNur, and translated for the Palestinians in negotiations with Israel; in the 1990's he served on the United Nations Commission for Resolutions, and on the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) Commission on General Resolutions. In 1992 Michael studied with Michael Harner, author of "The Way of the Shaman." Now retired from ministry, Michael practices as a certified Advanced Rolfer® in San Diego.
*Joan DeArtemis, M.Div., received a BA in Religion & Society, and in 2014 she completed a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) at Claremont School of Theology, with an internship at the Monte Vista UU Congregation in Claremont. As she works toward becoming an ordained UU minister, she provides technical consultancy for various religious organizations and has been a regular speaker at UUCR. This past year she served as a Chaplin at a hospital in Arizona.
*Rev. Suji Fox (Lois "Suji" Hochenauer-Fox). Suji Fox is
an ordained minister of the Home of Truth, a 125-year-old church in Alameda, CA, founded by the Rix sisters, Annie and Harriet. Pastor for four years, Suji learned and shared much about metaphysically interpreting spiritual text and applying it in our
Also a long-time student of "A Course in Miracles," Suji combined ACIM teachings with Conscious Breathing at her (San Francisco) Bay Area Breathwork Center, where she facilitated this healing process for hundreds of people and trained "breath workers" to carry on the process. More recently, Suji, a retired public school educator, campaigns for the rights of all young people to a quality education and a secure, healthy home life. Her lifelong vision is to be an "ambassador for good."
*Dr. Lee Greer. Lee is a scientist, professor, practicer of meditation, and lay leader from UUCR.
*Carol Hayward, M.Div., M.A., was born and raised in Northern California. She has a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts, and in May 2015, she received her second Master's degree in Inter-Religious Studies from Claremont School of Theology. Carol is pursuing ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. She is an initiated Druid in the Ovate grade of the "Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids” and one of the founding members of the Inland Empire druid seed group “The Fellowship of Birch, Yew and Oak.” Carol is a born storyteller and loves to preach, tell stories, and connect with people and the natural world.
*Len Hayward, M.Div. Len Hayward was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Mass., and is now pursuing ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. He is an initiated Druid in the Bardic grade of the “Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids,” and one of the founding members of the Inland Empire Druid seed group, “The Fellowship of Birch, Yew and Oak.” Len has a passion for teaching and loves to open minds and hearts to the natural world and to the delight of connecting with people from different spiritual paths.
*Aric Isom. A member of UUCR for over ten years, Aric is the Founder and President of a non-profit, peace and community building organization known as Friends Across The Line, or “Fat L.” Aric holds a degree in Business Communications, and currently acts as a local Area Governor for Toastmasters International.
*Steve Lawless. Steve Lawless is a pianist, singer, & composer extraordinaire, and member of UUCR.