Sermon for Sunday, October 20, 10:30am: "The Spirituality of Time" by John Cote

When we think of time we usually think of it in rational/mathematical terms; seconds, minutes hours, days etc. We think of schedules. We can get stuck in a timeline from the past we can't change to the future somewhat defined but always subject to surprise. Adherence to this strict, rational/mathematical time can be soul destroying. Sometimes we need to slow down or stop time or even distort it a little bit to keep ourselves sane.


Sermon for Sunday, October 13, 10:30am: "Beyond Individualism - The Power of We" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Unitarian Universalism is a religious tradition deeply rooted in a philosophy of individualism. Early luminaries like Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about "self-reliance" while our founder William Ellery Channing grounded salvation itself in the cultivation of our individual character. The individual search for truth and the individual freedom of conscience are bedrock UU principles. And yet the 2019 General Assembly lifted up "The Power of We" as its theme, calling UUs to begin a "conversation for liberation." What are the limits of individualism, and why and how do we need to go beyond it if we wish to be a religion of liberation and transformation? Join us this Sunday for a challenging exploration of some developing currents of thought in our living tradition. Special music by Susan Burt and Linda Parr.

Sermon for Sunday, October 6, 10:30am: "Tardigrades on the Moon" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Owing to the recent crash of a lunar lander, life has now taken up permanent residence on the moon, and that life is not us. Could tardigrades, the tiny, impossibly durable "water bears" that live on every continent on Earth, one day become the sole cosmic ambassadors of our planet? Would anyone ever know how a species of relatively fragile but brainy primates got them there? Join us this Sunday for a meditation on human progress, human self-importance, and, as climate change accelerates, a re-evaluation of our place in the interdependent web of life.

Sermon for Sunday, September 29, 10:30am: "A Love Universal" by Reverend Forrest Gilmore

In challenging times, we can find ourselves doubting what the future holds. We can question the basic goodness of people. Yet our faith tradition offers us a response of hope to carry us though. Rev. Forrest Gilmore is a community minister and Executive Director of the Shalom Community Center in Bloomington, IN. Also this Sunday, don't miss the 2019 debut of the UUI Choir!

Sermon for Sunday, September 22: “The Red Line and the Other Red Line” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The Red Line, Indy’s rapid transit bus system, is finally up and running. Back in 2016 members of UUI advocated for the creation of the Red Line as a justice issue through our partnership with Faith in Indiana. This Sunday Jamie will share his experience riding the Red Line. We’ll talk about the history of the other Red line in Indianapolis, the one that laid the boundary for segregation and housing discrimination. How did the legacy of that other Red line shape the need for the new Red Line, and the Blue and Purple line that will follow? Come learn a little about Indy’s past and UUI’s place in building Indy’s future.

Sermon for Sunday, September 15: “Forty Years Ago…” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

In 1979 a gallon of gas cost 86 cents, interest rates were over 15%, the “Speak and Spell” was the hot new computerized toy, an incident at Three Mile Island topped the news, and for thirty minutes it snowed in the Sahara desert. 1979 was also the year UUI was founded! As we get closer to UUI’s 40th anniversary celebration, let’s take a look back at where we started. What were the issues the congregation grappled with then? As UUI prepares to face its next 40 years, how is the world different? And how have UUI’s values prepared us to respond, then and now? Let’s celebrate the past and look to the future. Special music by Kevy Bailey, clarinet.

Sermon for Sunday, September 8: Water Communion Service

Don't forget to bring your water! This Sunday is our annual Water Communion service to start off the new 2019-2020 church year!

You are invited to bring some water to the service which is meaningful to you or in some way represents your life over the summer. This could be water from a faucet, pool, garden, rain-barrel, creek, lake, or from wherever your summer took you.

We will pour our water into a common vessel to symbolize the different streams of our life experiences coming together for the new year.

Sermon for Sunday, September 1: "James Cone and the Work of Liberation" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

James Cone was a radical theologian who pioneered Black Liberation Theology in the 1960s and 1970s and trained and inspired generations of UU ministers as a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. What is Black Liberation Theology, what does Cone have to say about the work of religion, and how does it speak to Unitarian Universalism and the seven principles today? Come be challenged and inspired by Cone's vision of radical liberation.

Sermon for Sunday, August 25, 10:30am: "Turning Inward, Turning Outward" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We will discuss spiritual practices for these anxious times and how the path of turning inward through meditation, contemplation, prayer, and other practices can prepare us to turn outward and engage with the world.

Sermon for Sunday, August 18: "Let's Get Metaphysical: God, Soul, and So On" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

For our final service answering your January “Question Box” questions, we’ll take on the big, big, big questions. What is God? What is soul? What happens when we die? Is this universe of matter and energy all there is or is there something else? As UUs, we don’t affirm one “right” answer to any of this. But it sure is fun asking the questions! Let’s explore the unknown together. Special music by Onis Dean.

Sermon for Sunday, August 11: "Toxic Masculinity Revisited" by Jamie Hinson Rieger and Anita L. Saunders, PhD

In our May sermon "When Fanboys Attack" we explored the ideology of toxic masculinity and the internet cultures that promote and spread it. This Sunday we will return to the topic to examine its impact on all of us and to look at ways in which even those who oppose it might inadvertently act in ways that support it. Then, in this interactive "talk-back" style service, we will get your thoughts on what we can do about it. Come help us grapple with an issue that touches our lives from our everyday ordinary interactions at work and at home to recent tragic events in our public spaces.

Sermon for Sunday, August 4: "Islam, Sufism, Spirituality" by Elizabeth Valencia

Sunday, July 28: “Within Our Nature: Just Listen” by Sandra Gruber

Worship Associate Sandra Gruber will share a reflection drawing on a variety of sources on the importance of trusting our own inner voice in navigating the natural world and the modern world. Sandra will also be leading an interactive time for all ages. Special music by Sarah Grain.

Sunday, July 21: “How to Be a Good Person (Your Questions Answered, Part 3)” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

As we continue to answer your questions from the January “Question Box” service, this Sunday we will focus on your ethical questions. You had questions about guns, money, materialism, democracy, peace, and protecting the planet. You wanted to know how we can live ethical lives that go beyond just fulfilling our own wants and needs. This Sunday we will tackle some of those thorny issues and look at the general question of what it means to live an ethical life. Special music by Jill Stewart and Linda Parr.

Sunday, July 14: “Biodiversity Loss” by Joel Tishken

The environmental impact of biodiversity loss is equivalent to climate change and pollution. Together we'll explore biodiversity loss as a dimension of environmental justice, including what we can do to prevent further extinctions. Joel Tishken is a candidate for UU ministerial fellowship and recently served as sabbatical minister for the UU Church of Muncie. Special music from Godspell by Tim Grino.

Sunday, July 7: Previously Scheduled Semon postponed to Sunday, July 21 by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

An impromptu sermon inspired by the remarkable turnout at the recent Indy Rapid Responder Training hosted by Faith in Indiana and co-hosted by All Souls and UUI. We were incredibly moved to see the active participation of about 60 community members who came together to learn how to help immigrants in the face of proposed ICE raids in major cities including Indianapolis.

Sunday, June 30: "Was Jesus a Unitarian? (Sermon Title Auction Winner)" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This year's winner of the fall auction for sermon title of one's choice has chosen. Unitarian Universalism claims Christianity as one of the sources that inspires our living tradition. Larry Miller has asked, if Jesus were to return today, to what extent would he see his teachings, his message, or the example of his life reflected in UU religious principles and practices? Where would there be differences? Special music by Andrea Groner.

Sunday, June 23: "Facts Matter" by John Russell

Facts are the critical foundation of society, from science and news-gathering to education and government. They are the building blocks of knowledge and understanding, and a cornerstone of many great religions. But the pursuit of facts is under assault, whether it's the muzzling of scientists or political propaganda masquerading as truth. Join us this Sunday as journalist and worship associate John Russell takes a look at what's at stake, and what the Unitarian Universalist tradition has to say about it. Special music by Liz Efroymson.

Sunday, June 16: "Love Thy Enemies? Really? (Your Questions Answered, Part 2)"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This summer we are going back and answering some of the questions you posed during our January question box service. Many of your questions were on the challenges of living out our principles in a world filled with anger and violence. How do we love those who hate us? How do we see the inherent worth and dignity of those who do not see it in us? Do we tolerate intolerance? Are we supposed to accept the unacceptable? Join us this Sunday as we examine how we might respond as Unitarian Universalists to a world that is not all sweetness and light. Special music by Meg Benedict (flute.)

Sunday, June 9: ”U&U&I: Moving Beyond Acceptance” by Ryan Robinson

This Sunday for Pride Week we will celebrate the LGBTQ heroes, named and unnamed, who have risked and fought and dreamed for their own freedom and for our collective liberation. Worship Associate Ryan Robinson will reflect on one person's and one country's journey from ignorance to tolerance to acceptance to allyship, and on the distance we still have to travel. Special music by Kimberly Morgan, fresh off her turn as Susannah in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Sunday, June 2: "Your Questions Answered, Part 1" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Last fall in our Question Box sermon we collected questions from you for our Director of Ministry and for the congregation. We have been sharing your questions for one another throughout the year in the bulletin. This Sunday Jamie will answer some of the questions you posed specifically to him. You asked questions about Jamie's development as a minister, about the future of UUI, about the meaning and application of Unitarian Universalism, and about the meaning of life. Which questions will get answered? There is only one way to find out! Special music by Gary Connett.  

Sunday, May 26: "On Order Muppets and Chaos Muppets" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Lawyer and writer Dahlia Lithwick said that all muppets can be classified as either order muppets or chaos muppets. Think Bert and Ernie. Some of us thrive in orderly and predictable environments. Some of us like it when things get a little messy. As it happens, in life, we will have plenty of experience of both! This service asks the question, are you an order muppet or a chaos muppet, and how do we deal personally and philosophically with life's unpredictability? Are we left to our own devices? Or is there someone/something ultimately pulling the strings?

Sunday, May 12: "In Praise of the Good Enough Mother" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our culture puts enormous pressure on mothers to be perfect. In the 1950s psychologist Daniel Winnicott coined the phrase the “good enough mother” to express the idea that not only is there no such thing as the perfect mother, but our imperfections are actually good for our kids. This Mother’s Day let’s honor the people who have parented us imperfectly. Special music by Onis Dean and Pearl Scott!

Sunday, May 5: "When Fanboys Attack!" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The movie Captain Marvel is the first of the twenty-one Marvel superhero movies released since 2008 to be led by a female superhero. It has garnered positive reviews and earned $1.1 billion worldwide. Yet within hours of its release some 58,000 negative reviews were posted online by angry men as part of a coordinated effort to wreck its success. While online spats about comic book movies may seem trivial, the event points to a growing culture of aggrieved young men who are increasingly aggressive and radicalized. This Sunday we will discuss how such "toxic masculinity" is impacting our society and how we can respond.

Sunday, April 28: "Shameless (Brené Brown and Courage)" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Brené Brown is a researcher and hugely popular author who has spent two decades studying the connections between courage, vulnerability, and shame. This Sunday we will explore her insights into how we can live more authentic and daring lives by facing our imperfections with the knowledge that we are already enough.

Sunday, April 14: "Refreshed and Renewed" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our April worship theme is "Restoration." In this joyful service we will explore practices that restore us in mind, body, and spirit. Come prepared to be lifted up, refreshed, and renewed. Special music by Andrea Groner.

Sunday, April 7: "The Journey of a Moment: The Moment of a Journey" by Joel Tishken

Rabindranath Tagore said "The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." How does our relationship with time impact the quality of our lives? What wisdom might be gained in thinking of life as a countless number of moments?

Joel Tishken is a candidate for UU ministerial fellowship and currently serving as sabbatical minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Muncie.

Sunday, March 24, 10:30am:
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Following our curiosity has taken us back in time to the first second of the universe, unveiled the mysteries of the atom, and landed us on Mars. Curiosity can teach us to be better neighbors, citizens, and friends. It is a great foundation for hope and one of the most necessary traits for our times. Join us this Sunday for a celebration of our human need to know "what's up with that?"  Special music by the UUI Choir.

Sunday, March 17, 10:30am:
"Morning Poem: A Tribute to Mary Oliver"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

"When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms." On January 17, the poet Mary Oliver died. Her ability to find wonder, reverence and peace in the individual encounter with the natural world has made her one of the most beloved poets among Unitarian Universalists. We will celebrate her legacy by reading and reflecting on her poetry.

Sunday, March 10, 10:30am:
"Liberal Theology vs. Liberation Theology"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

UU is historically associated with the liberal religious movement. Some UUs would like to see us become more of a liberation movement. What is the difference and what would that mean? This Sunday we will look at how liberation theologians like James Cone and Miguel de la Torre are shaping, challenging, and inspiring the future of UU.

Sunday, March 3, 10:30am:
"Can I Get a Good Word?"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for March is "Hope and Despair." We will look at the question, what is the good word of Unitarian Universalism? What message of hope do we bring to individuals and what do we bring to the world?

Sunday, February 24, 10:30am:
"Gargoyles and Metal Detectors:  Feeling Safe in a Threatening World"
by Lynn Jettpace

What do we do to help us feel safe in these uncertain times?  What role does fear play in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning? And is it always necessary to live fearlessly? 

Lynn Jettpace is a long-time member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Hendricks County in Danville and a frequent lay-speaker in their pulpit. She teaches Writing and Literature at IUPUI.

Sunday, February 17, 10:30am:
"Wakanda Forever: Black Panther, Afrofuturism, & UU"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

In 2018 the film Black Panther was released. The epic tale of an African superhero, featuring an almost all black cast and with a black director, smashed box office records to become the third highest grossing American film of all time. Its vision of a technologically advanced African kingdom untouched by any history of colonization struck a chord with many people, and the phrase “Wakanda Forever!” along with characteristic crossed arms salute quickly became a cultural touchstone. In this month devoted to the theme of “Truth and Lies” we will ask, what is the power of afrofuturism, what is the great lie it seeks to undo, and what message does it have for the future of Unitarian Universalism?

Sunday, February 10, 10:30am:
"Golden Calf or Golden Calipers?"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for February is "Truth and Lies." One of the sources of our living tradition is "humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against the idolatries of the mind and spirit." We turn to reason and science for truth. But what happens when we make an idol of science itself? What lies may we then fall prey to? This Sunday we will examine an uncomfortable story in our UU history, which is the embrace by some UUs in the early 20th century of eugenics. What harm did we do in the name of science and progress? What lessons can we learn for today?  

Sunday, February 3, 10:30am:
"The Gift of Contemplation in Revealing our True Nature"
by Manon Voice

Contemplative practices such as meditation, journaling, labyrinth walking and yoga - though varied in form and tradition - offer us a unique opportunity to delve beneath the superficial decibel of noise and ego and discover deep within ourselves our truest nature. Manon Voice, poet, hip-hop emcee, activist and practicing contemplative will recite original works of poetry, ground us in inspirational texts and stories and offer reflections from her spiritual pilgrimage to Avila, Spain in 2018 where she examined contemplation through the lens of Saint and Mystic Teresa de Avila. 

Sunday, January 27, 10:30am:
"The Radical Love of Dr. King"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

(Note: our MLK Day service was snowed out, so we have rescheduled it to this Sunday.) The image of Dr. King that is often celebrated on MLK Day is one of a universally beloved figure who preached unity and love and non-violence. Ironically, King’s words are often used against people pushing for racial justice today as a form of “respectability politics.” We forget that the real King was a radical figure whose indictment of American society went deep and who expressed some of his greatest frustration with moderates who valued peace and civility over justice. This Sunday we will revisit the radical King and look at how his vision of love called us to fundamentally re-imagine our social order.

Sunday, January 20, 10:30am:
No service - snowed out

Sunday, January 13, 10:30am:
"Gifts in Abundance"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for January is "hunger." This Sunday we will look at the book "Having Nothing, Possessing Everything" by Reverend Michael Mather of Broadway United Methodist. In the book Mather shares his experience running a church food pantry, and a remarkable insight a congregant of his had that changed his entire approach to neighborhood ministry. What lessons can we learn from their story, and what can happen when we begin to view people in terms of their gifts rather than their needs?

Sunday, January 6, 10:30am:
"Some Questions for a New Year"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The poet Wislawa Szymborska says that we are filled with soul "when we’re sure of nothing and curious about everything." In that spirit, let's kick off a soulful New Year by asking some curious questions together. These could be open questions in Unitarian Universalism, active questions facing our society, or questions that reflect our wondering about life, the universe, and everything. I will ask some questions and the congregation will have the opportunity to ask some questions too.

Sunday, December 30, 10:30am:
"Burning Bowl Service"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger and Sandra Gruber

Our end of the year service will include final reflections by Sandra and Jamie on our theme of humility. In preparation for the new year, we will acknowledge where we have been with gratitude and look towards what lies ahead with hope and curiosity. Then in our “burning bowl” ritual, everyone will have a chance to write something they are ready to let go of on special paper and burn it up in our chalice with a flash of light and fire. Don’t miss this fun and dramatic service! Special music by Hot Flash. 

Monday, December 24, 7:00pm:
"Christmas Eve Service"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The whole family is invited to a Christmas Eve service that includes a traditional “stories and carols” retelling of the Christmas story and a UU exploration of its meaning(s). We will close by singing Silent Night by candlelight.      

Sunday, December 23, 10:30am:
"Against Perfectionism"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The Italian Christmas story “La Befana” tells of a woman so intent on perfectly sweeping her floors that she misses her chance to see the baby Jesus. This Sunday we will explore perfectionism, our desire to have everything just so. What drives the need in us to be perfect? What are we hoping to gain or avoid? How is perfectionism different than high standards? And what is the cost? This Sunday we will round out the exploration of our monthly worship theme by looking at how a little humility can liberate us from the need to be perfect.    

Sunday, December 16, 10:30am:
"Who Among Us Is Greatest?"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The Gospels in the New Testament contain many different and differing accounts of the life of Jesus, but the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all contain a remarkably similar story about his disciples. Having witnessed their teacher’s miraculous deeds and holy works, they fall to arguing about the very important question of “which disciple is the best?” The answer Jesus gives envisions a world very different from the one in which we live today. Continuing with our theme of humility, this Sunday we will explore the paradoxical “upside-down Kingdom” of Jesus, in which the least are the greatest and the greatest the least. Special music by the UUI Choir.      

Sunday, December 9, 10:30am:
"Kairos and the Bodhi Tree"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

December 8 is “Bodhi Day,” a Buddhist holiday commemorating the day when Siddhartha Gautama sat down to meditate under the Bodhi tree, achieved enlightenment overnight, and became the Buddha. The Buddha’s path to enlightenment was long, tortuous, and unsuccessful, until suddenly it wasn’t. How often in our own life are we left waiting for those mysterious breakthrough moments? Continuing with our worship theme of humility, this Sunday we will reflect on the Buddha’s story, our own need to plan, and the Greek concept of Kairos, or “the fullness of time.”

Sunday, December 2, 10:30am:
"Humility and Holy Disruption”
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our December worship theme is Humility. December is also a month at UUI when we explore different world religions as we move through the holiday season. In honor of Hanukkah, which is December 2, we will examine two figures from the Jewish tradition: Esther and Moses. When called to risk boldly for their people, both hid inside humility, claiming to be too small for the task. In this service we will examine how true humility can look like saying yes to a moment greater than ourselves. Special music by Onis Dean.          

Sunday, November 25, 10:30am:
"First Nations Last
by Joel Tishken

The state of peoples of First Nations, particularly those living on reservations, is tragic. By every social and economic measure, First Nations are last in our country. Our UU values call us to act. Together we'll explore some ways that we can be allies to First Nations. Special music by Gary Connett, solo horn.

 Joel Tishken is a recent graduate of the Earlham School of Religion, a candidate for ministry in Unitarian Universalism, and a former history professor. He and his wife, Lee Ann, live in Richmond with six rescue critters of three species.

Sunday, November 18, 10:30am:
"Near and Far"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

To live a life of purpose and commitment, we need to develop the habits and the heart to keep moving forward even when the journey is not easy. Of course, it helps to also have some idea of where we're going! This Sunday we will talk about what it means to be a people of vision as a UU community. What is our near-term vision for UUI? What do we aim for on the distant horizon? Come dream with us this Sunday. Special music by the UUI Choir.

Sunday, November 11, 10:30am:
"On Persistence"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our November worship theme is "Persistence." For this post-election service we will talk about the importance of being in it for the long-haul. Whatever the circumstances we face, our covenant and our principles challenge us to keep doing the slow, steady work of building up a better world. Regardless of the results of the election, and whether we personally are feeling happy, sad, or a little of both, one thing that is 100% guaranteed is that there will be more to be done. Come let’s inspire one another to keep on keeping on. Special music by Megan Benedict, solo flute.

Sunday, November 4, 10:30am:
"Living with Ghosts"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Finishing our monthly worship theme of "Ancestors," we will look at how our ancestors are still present in our lives today. What are the gifts and challenges we have inherited from them? What family patterns do we see playing out in our own personal stories? Then widening the lens, we will look at how the past has shaped the landscape of this country, often quite literally. For what are we grateful? For what do we seek healing? Join us this Sunday as we examine the tricky business of living with ghosts. Special music by Sarah Grain. 

Sunday, October 21, 10:30am:
"Newborn Bards"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Continuing with the theme of ancestors, we will look at the legacy of the Transcendentalists--thinkers like Emerson, Thoreau, Theodore Parker, and Margaret Fuller, who encouraged a young Unitarian movement to break with convention and radically re-imagine what religion could be. In some ways we have been living out their radical project of a religion shaped bv the individual experience of the sacred ever since. Some UU theologians think it is time to reconsider whether their legacy has been entirely for the good. Come decide what you think! Special music by the UUI Choir.

Sunday, October 14, 10:30am:
"To Those Who Set Us Free"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for the month of October is Ancestors. This Sunday we will celebrate the 450th Anniversary of the Edict of Torda, the first proclamation of religious freedom in Europe under a Unitarian king. We will also have a special prayer for National Coming Out Day, which was Thursday, October 11. Come celebrate our ancestors who have made us more free. We are also excited to welcome back musical theater singer Onis Dean for special music.

Sunday, September 30, 10:30am:
"What Are We? UU Faith Formation Going Forward"
by Nancy Combs-Morgan

The hymn, “Where Do We Come From” also asks the question “what are we” in the context of understanding our identity as a faith community. You may recall that the same hymn asks us “where are we going?” To understand our UU faith identity we must ask all of these questions, for it is in the process of asking these questions that the future of UU faith formation will be determined.

Nancy Combs-Morgan, CRE-ML, is Faith Development Director for the MidAmerica Region of the UUA.

Sunday, September 23, 10:30am:
"Love in an Elevator"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Unitarian Universalism is not the easiest religion to explain in a few words. Even the name is long and difficult! This Sunday we will work on our UU "elevator speech." An elevator speech imagines you get on an elevator and someone asks you, "What is Unitarian Universalism?" Can you explain it before they get to the top floor? What is the essence of UU, and how many words does it take to share it?

Sunday, September 16, 10:30am:
"UU and You"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for the month of September is Identity. There are many components that go into making up our personal identity -- for example, our age, our gender, our race, our occupation, and many more things. Some we choose and some are a function of birth or social location. Some might fit us well and some less so. In this service we will identify some of the components that loom large in our own personal identity, and ask how our UU values and commitments are reflected in that part of ourselves. For this service we will also have our annual backpack blessing, and special music by the UUI Choir making its 2018-2019 debut!

Sunday, September 9, 10:30am:
"Many Rivers, One Ocean - Water Communion Sunday"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The worship theme for September is Identity. Jamie will preach on the various intellectual and spiritual streams that flow into the ocean of Unitarian Universalism to make it what it is.

This Sunday is also our annual Water Communion to mark the official start of the new church year. In this distinctively UU celebration of community, everyone is invited to bring water that literally or symbolically represents something meaningful about their summer, whether it be from a pond, garden, lake, ocean, bird bath, or kitchen tap. The water will be poured into a common vessel during the service and used for rituals throughout the church year.    

Sunday, September 2, 10:30am:
"Our Common Humanity"
by Rev. Forrest Gilmore

Our guest speaker, Rev. Forrest Gilmore, lived on the streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco for seven days as part of a "street retreat." The retreat gave him an up close encounter with people experiencing homelessness and a first hand experience of what it's like to live 24/7 on the streets. He'll share the lessons learned and the connections made in this retelling of those seven days.

Sunday, August 26, 10:30am: "I Hear You, But I Am Not Listening: Better Conversations, Part 2"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Do we ever feel heard, but not understood? Do we sometimes struggle to be better listeners our own self? Drawing on mediation principles and the book "Listening and Caring Skills" by John Savage, we will discuss techniques for becoming better listeners. Learn how this can lead to better conversations, more productive dialogue, and even more fruitful disagreements, and how listening is aligned with our UU principles.

Sunday, August 19, 10:30am: "The Last Straw: Better Conversations, Part 1"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

How did a recent proposal to remove plastic straws from Starbucks spark an unlikely conflict between environmentalists and disability activists? Are there lessons we could learn about how we can better talk to one another? We will also discuss two important initiatives at UUI for the coming year.

Sunday, August 12, 10:30am: "Putting Families First" with Rosie Bryant of Faith in Indiana

Faith in Indiana is an Indiana-wide coalition of congregations advocating for public policy that puts families first through alternatives to incarceration, sensible immigration policy, and expanded economic opportunity for all. UUI has been a member of Faith in Indiana since 2014. This Sunday, Faith in Indiana community organizer, Rosie Bryant, will share with us about the voter engagement work Faith in Indiana will be doing and how UUI can get involved.

After the service there will be a follow-up Q&A with the UUI Faith in Indiana team to learn more about UUI's participation. Snacks will be provided.

Sunday, August 5, 10:30am: "The Most Boring Virtue"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The most boring virtue is also one of the most essential for congregational health and the future of our faith. The good news is anyone can practice it. Come learn the what, why, and how this Sunday. Special music by Don Somers. 

Sunday, July 29, 10:30am: "Embracing Paradox"
by Joel Tishken

What might happen if we embraced paradoxes? Are there times when it would be of benefit to us to abandon thinking in binaries and instead sit in paradoxes?

Joel is a former history professor in pursuit of a new career as a UU parish ministry. He completed his M.Div. degree from Earlham School of Religion in May 2018 and a ten-month internship with the UU Church of Muncie in June 2018. He and his wife Lee Ann live in Richmond with three cats, a guinea pig, and two rabbits, all adopted, and all with mythological names.

Sunday, July 22, 10:30am: "How Do We Belong?"
by Colleen Russell

What does it mean to belong? Or to not belong? What are the ways we include or exclude ourselves -- and others -- from groups? What does this mean for UUs as we work to be welcoming and inclusive?

Sunday, July 15, 10:30am: "Reflections on General Assembly"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger,
Mark Walsh, and David Jackoway

This June was the 2018 General Assembly of the UUA. 3,000 Unitarian Universalists got together in Kansas City, Missouri for four days of worship, workshops, business meetings (woo!), and general merriment. From Brittaney Packnett's powerful keynote Ware Lecture, to the Westboro Baptist Church's surprise appearance on our doorstep, to an impromptu conga-line in worship to the chorus of Love Train, this GA had some memorable moments. UUI Delegates David Jackoway, Mark Walsh, and Jamie Hinson-Rieger will reflect on their experiences and share their takeaways. 

Sunday, July 8, 10:30am: "Look to the Helpers"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The world's many religious traditions speak variously of angels, saints, ancestor spirits, and Boddhisatva--embodiments of kindness and compassion who provide aid to struggling humanity in times of need. The great Fred Rogers said that when he was a child and feeling scared or overwhelmed by bad things in the world, his mom told him to "look to the helpers" who invariably appear on the scene in times of trouble. We all have been in the position of both needing and giving help. Who has been a help to us? Who have we helped? Join us for a meditation on compassion and the many ways love comes into the world. Special music by Onis Dean. 

Sunday, July 1, 10:30am: "All Are Called"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Fresh back from the UUA 2018 General Assembly, Jamie will share the highlights of UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray's stirring Sunday morning sermon "No Time for a Casual Faith," in which she described her experience with other faith leaders in the streets of Charlottesville confronting white nationalist violence. Echoing the theme of 2018 GA, "All Are Called," Rev. Frederick-Gray challenged us to respond to the troubling events of the times by going deeper into our religion's commitment to love and justice. 

Religion, Spirituality, & the Arts = Two Special Sunday Services at UUI in June!

Religion, Spirituality & the Arts - directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso, is a new initiative bringing people together from diverse artistic disciplines, practices and religious/spiritual perspectives for a sustained study and reflection on a Biblical text. Selected participants engage the sacred text theologically and it's history in literature, art, and music, as they seek inspiration to create new work.

UUI is thrilled to host the artwork created out of this workshop. In addition, the participants will be bringing us two special Sunday services.

Sunday, June 10, 10:30am: Wrestling With The Infinite: Midrash

Genesis starts with a bang - Creation and the first people. But the stories quickly get pretty rough with murder, human sacrifice, and betrayal. How do the beginning biblical stories relate to us now?

Rabbi Sandy Sasso, RSA program director; and David Landis, artist will discuss Midrash: commentaries & explorations of biblical texts. Poetry by RSA writer artists, including Indiana's 2017 Poet Laureate Shari Wagner, will be woven into the service.

Sunday, June 24, 10:30am: Wrestling with the Infinite: Genesis re-Imagined

Dan Cooper, visual artist, and Mark Kesling, artist and founder & CEO of The DaVinci Pursuit, will lead a discussion about re-imagining Genesis for today's world.

Following the service, several participating artists will provide a tour of their exhibit to add their thoughts & inspirations about the Genesis stories they studied and answer your questions.

Sunday, June 3, 10:30am: "Oh, The Places You'll Go! Unitarians, Wales and More!" by Elizabeth Valencia

Sunday, May 27, 10:30am: "Remembering Lives of Service"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

For this Memorial Day service, we will remember the lives that have been lost in service and turn our minds and hearts to the cause of peace. Memorial Day was originally established to commemorate those soldiers who died during the Civil War. During that time of great national crisis, many Unitarians and Universalists served in heroic ways: to end the crime of slavery, to preserve the union, and to ameliorate the suffering of the war. We will look at some of these lives, particularly the life of Julia Ward Howe, who famously wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic during the war, and then founded Mother's Day after the war as a fervent call for peace.

Sunday, May 20, 10:30am: "Coming of Age Service"

This year our youth grades 7-10 have been going through UUI's coming of age program. This is a year long program of guided discernment, in which the youth explore life's big questions with the help of teachers, an adult mentor, and a special UU curriculum. The purpose is to help the youth better understand who they are, what they value, and what they themselves believe. During this special service, the youth will present their faith statements to the congregation. Please come hear what our amazing youth have to share, and support them in this stage of their spiritual journey.

Sunday, May 13, 10:30am: "Celebrating Your Best Life Now!"
by Richard Brendan

Rev. Richard Brendan will share Ten Keys for creating your best life.

Sunday, May 6, 10:30am: "Music Celebration Sunday"
by the UUI Choir and Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for May is "celebration". We will be kicking off the month with a special service of music featuring the UUI Choir, a bevy of guest musicians, and a reflection on "Singing our Theology" by Jamie. Don't miss this fun and powerful service.

Sunday, April 29, 10:30am: "Until it is Faced, Part 2"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

James Baldwin said "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." Our April worship theme is healing. Events of the last month, nationally and here in Indiana, have reminded us of the terrible sickness of racism that still pervades our country. What would it require to heal us of this longstanding ill? What is our part as a religious community and as individual UUs? And what is being done now

Sunday, April 22, 10:30am: "Heal Our Earth"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our April worship theme is healing. For this Earth Day service we will look at how ecological thinking is deeply embedded within Unitarian Universalist history and how it speaks to us today. How are we called to heal our Earth? What can we do as individuals, and what is UUI doing as a church? What changes, ethical/spiritual and practical might we need to make collectively? Join us for a service of celebration, challenge, and inspiration around one of the most important issues facing us today.

Sunday, April 15, 10:30am: "On Grief"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for April is healing. This Sunday we will tell  the story of the Buddha and the mustard seed and talk about grief, healing, and community.  Special music by Graham Brinklow.   

Sunday, April 8, 10:30am: "One God: New Perspectives on an Old Question"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This delayed-by-ice service closes out our March worship theme of "Many Gods, One God, or No God." We'll discuss some less familiar perspectives on what "God" might be, including ideas from process theology and pantheism. Some of these perspectives might surprise you.

Sunday, April 1, 10:30am: "Go Back to the Fire"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for April is healing. This weekend is a convergence of multiple religious and secular observances: Passover begins on Friday, Saturday is Transgender Day of Visibility, and Sunday is Easter. Each speaks in different ways about the need for liberation and healing, and imagines how healing works differently. We will reflect on these observances and on what it means to heal and be healed, for ourselves and for the world. Special music by the UUI Choir.

Sunday, March 25, 10:30am: "One God: New Perspectives on an Old Question"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme in March has been "Many Gods, One God, or No God." In past weeks we've discussed the contributions of atheist and polytheist viewpoints to UU. This week we will discuss the "one God" thread of our tradition, which began in Christianity but today draws from many traditions. We'll discuss some newer perspectives on what "God" might mean, including ideas from process theology and pantheism. Some of these perspectives might surprise you. Special music by the UUI Choir!

Sunday, March 18, 10:30am: "Many Gods and the Path of Devotion"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for March is "One God, Many Gods, or No God." We will be exploring the diversity of UU beliefs around God. This week we will look at traditions that honor many gods, and in particular how this relates to the practice of devotional worship. Regardless of our theology, what can we learn from this way of looking at the divine?

Sunday, March 11, 10:30am: "The Rule of Life"
by David Jackoway

This is our "Evolution Sunday" service, rescheduled from February. Board President David Jackoway will discuss the role of variation and chance in evolution and in life. Our words for all ages will include "glitter communion" to celebrate how everyone is made of star stuff. After the service during Second Sunday we will celebrate Darwin's birthday (and many others) with cake. Come for a celebration of reason, science, sparkly-things, and frosting. Special music by Indy Folk Series guest artist Ben Bedford!

Ben Bedford, an acclaimed singer-songwriter from in Springfield IL, is known for songs that focus on social justice issues, historical events, and the human condition. This Sunday’s special music is courtesy of the Indy Folk Series, where Ben performed on Saturday.

Sunday, February 25, 10:30am: "A Practical Guide to Disruption"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Continuing with our February theme of "Change and Transformation" what are some practical ways we can disrupt old patterns of thought or action and help create the possibility of newness in our lives or the world?

Sunday, February 18, 10:30am: "Evolution or Revolution"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for February is "Change and Transformation. "Sometimes change happens in small, incremental steps and sometimes there is a sudden rush of change. Sometimes change is change within a system and sometimes it is changing the system itself. We experience these kinds of change, evolution or revolution, very differently. This Sunday we will talk about both kinds of change that are happening around us, and spiritual practices for navigating them. Special music by the UUI choir.

Sunday, February 11, 10:30am: "The Rule of Life"
by David Jackoway

While a lot of attention is often paid to the role of adaptation and "survival of the fittest" in Darwin's theory of natural selection there is much less discussion about the other half of Darwin's "dangerous idea." On this Evolution Weekend we will discuss the role of variation and chance in his theory and its implications for our understanding of our world.

Also this Sunday: Our words for all ages will see the return of the popular "glitter communion" from last year to celebrate how everyone is made of star stuff. After the service during Second Sunday we will celebrate Darwin's birthday (and many other birthdays) with cake. Come for a celebration of reason, science, sparkly-things, and frosting. You don't want to miss it!

Sunday, February 4, 10:30am: "An Ethic of Evolution"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for February is change and transformation.  Unitarian Universalism emphasizes life as a process of growth and development.  The goal of religion or spirituality is not to achieve some final state where we are "done" or "saved" or "right" (indeed, we will never achieve such a state) but rather to offer us guidance on our path of evolution.  This way of religion holds out hope that inside every person there is always the possibility for something new.  We might feel trapped in patterns or circumstances, but we, and everyone around us are larger than we know.  What does this mean for how we treat one another and how we treat ourselves?

Sunday, January 28, 10:30am: "Fighting to Defeat Poverty and Crime by Cultivating Young Entrepreneurs"
by Melita Carter

Melita Carter, a guest speaker from the Peace Learning Center, will tell us about the economic challenges our youth are facing and an innovative program she has built to provide entrepreneurial skills and opportunities to Indianapolis youth.

Sunday, January 21, 10:30am: "Take Down These Walls"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We will conclude our monthly worship theme of Struggle and Freedom by looking at the barriers around our hearts and the barriers in our lives.  How can we take down the walls that separate and surround us?  Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing, with Jamie on guitar and guest musician Jamie Fenner on bass.

Sunday, January 14, 10:30am: "Ripple Effects"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for January is "struggle and freedom."  This Sunday we will tell the story of Stone Soup during Words for All Ages, a classic folk tale celebrating how new possibilities arise when we work together in community.  For the sermon we will dig deeper and discuss the importance of both leaders and "first followers" in working together to create change and positive outcomes.  Special music by Dan and Beth Henkel.

Sunday, January 7, 10:30am: "Building the Beloved Community"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

January's worship theme is "Struggle and Freedom."  For this service we will return to a discussion of the proposed 8th principle of Unitarian Universalism which challenges us to be intentional about creating a multicultural, anti-racist and anti-oppressive community.  (The text is in your bulletin.)  How does the 8th principle relate to our association's past and our hoped-for future?  What might it look like for us to live out this principle?

Sunday, December 31, 10:30am: "Why Awareness of Death is the Secret of Life"
by Richard Brendan

Popular radio host and lecturer Richard Brendan returns to UUI to close out the year with a meditation on life and death, endings and beginnings.

Sunday, December 24, 5:00pm: "Christmas Eve Service"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

A UUI tradition, we'll sing traditional carols, enjoy beautiful music, hear a UU take on the meaning of Christmas, and close with Silent Night sung by candlelight.  Note: there will only be the evening service on Sunday, December 24.  We will not have the 10:30am service.  If you need assistance with transportation to this service, please email jamie (at)

Sunday, December 17, 10:30am: "Our Heart's Longing"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Special music by the UUI Choir.  This service will also feature the children's holiday pageant during the Words for All Ages.

Sunday, December 10, 10:30am: "On Hope"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We are very excited to welcome back Yadin Kol and Allison Victoria for special music.  This service will also debut the new UUI Children's Choir.

Sunday, December 3, 10:30am: "While We Are Waiting"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The worship theme for December is "Waiting, Hoping, Longing."  Our religious tradition is a hopeful tradition that believes a better world is possible and is committed to help bring it about.  But progress is slow, and in the meantime, we are all living in the world as it is.  What do we do while we're waiting?  For this service our text will be the Naomi Shihab Nye poem "Gate A-2."  Special music by the UUI Women's Ensemble, Linda Parr directing.

Sunday, November 26, 10:30am: "Question Box Sermon"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This is a service where you, the congregation, get to pose the questions and I will do my best to answer them.  These can be questions about UUI, about Unitarian Universalism, or about life's big questions in general.  Questions should be emailed by Friday, November 24 to jamie(at)  I will pick a few myself to answer, and we will also pick some at random from a hat.

Sunday, November 19, 10:30am: "UUI Stories Past and Present"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Completing our monthly exploration of roots and connections, we will share diverse stories of Unitarian Universalists from our past and present.  How have those who came before us shaped our understanding of our religion?  What is the meaning of our religion in people's lives today?  For contemporary stories we will be drawing on the recently released books Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism and Unitarian Universalists of Color: Stories of Struggle, Courage, Love, and Faith.  Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

Sunday, November 12, 10:30am: "The Ancestor's Song"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Continuing our November worship theme of "Roots and Branches" this Sunday we will honor our ancestors, familial and spiritual, and the impact they have had on our life and on our religious tradition.  Special Guest Artist Manon Voice will sing and perform original spoken word pieces.

Sunday, November 2, 10:30am: "Roots and Branches"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Sunday, October 29, 10:30am: "The Welcoming of Metaphor"
by David Jackoway

Join us this Sunday, October 29 for a service by guest speaker and UUI Board President, David Jackoway.  Service begins at 10:30a and is followed by coffee and fellowship hour.  We hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 22: "Dog Poop and Other Realities"
by Rev. Julia Corbett-Hemeyer

The sometimes-startling juxtaposition of sacred and profane, what we label as meaningful and not-meaningful, the everyday and the extraordinary, leads to a reflection on body and spirit, and how these two are so interwoven that they’re finally inseparable.  What does this mean for how we approach our lives as a wondrous blending of body and spirit?  Reverend Julia Corbett-Hemeyer is the Community Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Muncie, Indiana.

Sunday, October 15: "Three Big Questions and Zero Answers"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

UUI is a community that likes to question, so this week we'll ponder together three big thought provoking questions related to our October worship theme of Body and Spirit. Absolutely zero answers guaranteed! This will be a light-hearted service to get us wondering about our amazing universe and our place in it. Also, there will be bubbles. Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

Sunday, October 8: "Healing"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for October is "body and spirit."  How do we heal in body and spirit when we are subject to the real hurts of the world?  In light of yet another terrible shooting, let's come together as a community to sing, hold space together, and both learn about and practice healing.  For special music this Sunday we are very excited to be joined again by Sister Stella Sabina, who will be singing and drumming.

Sunday, October 1: "On Joy"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for October is Body and Spirit.  This Sunday we are going to be talking about joy, an elation of the spirit that goes deep down into the body.  What brings us joy?  How do our attitudes or beliefs about body and spirit impact our experience of joy?  What happens when joy comes into our life?

This Sunday we are super excited to welcome two special guests, singer Jonathan Studdard and spoken word artist Mariah Ivey.  This is a Sunday you don't want to miss!

Sunday, September 24: "'You're So Polite!' On the Invisibility of Mexican-Americans"
by Elizabeth Valencia

Sunday, September 17: "On Forgiveness"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our September worship theme is Covenant and Commitment.  As UUs we agree (covenant) to be together in a certain way and live out certain values.  In all aspects of our lives we make various important commitments and promises.  Because we are imperfect, these are always lived out imperfectly.  How do we respond when we fall short of our commitments, or suffer because others have done the same?  Forgiveness is a path to restoring relationship, but that is often easier said than done!  Join us for an exploration of this important spiritual practice that makes healing and community possible.  We will look at how various religious traditions think about forgiveness (Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, etc.) and how we can practice forgiveness in our own lives.

Note: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins Wednesday, September 20.  This opens the "10 Days of Repentance" that fall between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  In the Jewish tradition this is a time for charity, prayer, and especially seeking forgiveness.

Sunday, September 10: "For Such a Time as This"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our society is currently experiencing a time of tremendous tension and division.  As difficult as this is, this may be an opportunity to make real progress on some very old issues.  How we understand our own covenant may help us understand how we are called to respond.  Was UU made for such a time as this?

Sunday, September 3: "Wholehearted"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our September worship theme is "Covenant and Commitment."  UU is a covenantal as opposed to creedal religion.  Our religion is based on freely given commitment.  Of course, our lives are full of commitments that can pull us in many different directions.  But does it have to be this way, or can our religious commitments help us live more fully into our other commitments, and vice versa?  Join us for a service about living more wholeheartedly.  Special music by Andrea Groner.

Sunday, August 27: "Gentrification: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Wrapping up our month-long theme of "Home and Belonging" special guests Alvin  Sangsuwangul and Imhotep Adisa from the Kheprw Institute will talk to us about the important and difficult topic of gentrification, drawing on their 2017 Spirit and Place Festival program.  Join us for a fascinating look at what gentrification is, how it touches on issues of who belongs, and how it is impacting Indianapolis neighborhoods.

The Kheprw Institute (KI) is a community organization run by a diverse staff of young adults and seniors who are innovative, passionate and dedicated to creating a more just, equitable, human-centered, environmentally sustainable world.  Learn more at

Sunday, August 20: "Radical Welcoming"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our monthly worship theme for August is "Home and Belonging."  We want people to feel that they can make a home in this church community, if they so desire.  What does it mean to belong?  What are the ways, subtly or not so subtly, that we indicate to people that they do or don't belong?  This Sunday we will talk about the practical arts of being radically welcoming.  Special musical guests Yadin Kol and Allison Victoria.

Sunday, August 13: "The Journey Home - The 8th Principle"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our worship theme for the Month of August is "Home and Belonging."  This Sunday we will start a conversation about a proposed 8th principle of UU which would call us to intentionally build an anti-racist, multicultural beloved community.  How do we better create a church community where everyone can feel at home?

August 13 is also our annual Water Communion homecoming service.  Please bring water that represents or symbolizes your life over the summer to pour into a common vessel with everyone else's.  The water will be used for ceremonies and to mark special occasions throughout the church year.  Note, unlike past Water Communion Sundays, this is NOT a multigenerational service.  Children will go to their regular RE classes and Jamie will preach a sermon.

Sunday,August 6: "A Piece of Summer"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This is our last summer service before the start of the new church year.  For many the summertime is an opportunity to get some extra sun, fresh air and exercise, to throw backyard parties with family and friends, to camp or garden or walk in the woods, and to kick back our heels just a little bit more.  Come celebrate the spirit of openness, exploration, and play that marks the summer months.  These are not bad spiritual qualities to celebrate either!

Sunday, July 30: "The Sacred Circle"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We close our summer exploration of the six sources of our living tradition with our sixth source: "Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature."

Sunday, July 23: "Reason and Reverence"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We will discuss the 5th source of our living tradition, "Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit."

Sunday, July 16: "No One Is Outside the Circle"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We continue our discussion of the six sources of our living tradition.  Our fourth source is "Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves."  Among the many elements of Jesus's teaching that resonate with UUs, the strongest may be his message of an inclusive love that brings all people into the circle of care and concern.  As people of diverse religious/spiritual backgrounds, how do we understand that teaching and how are we living it out today?

Sunday, July 9: "The Cathedral of the World"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We return to our exploration of the six sources from which the living tradition of Unitarian Universalism draws inspiration.  Our third source is "wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life."  The Reverend Forrest Church described the world's religious traditions as being like one light (Truth) shining through many different windows (religions) in a great cathedral.  Curiosity about and appreciation for other religions has been a part of UU since at least the Transcendentalists in the 1830s.  Many modern UUs have such strong affiliation with other religions that they use hyphenated identities, such as UU-Buddhist, UU-Pagan, UU-Christian, UU-Humanist, and so on.  Given this, how do we understand our place in the cathedral of the world today?

Sunday, July 2: "A Change is Gonna Come"
by David Jackoway

The winds of change are blowing in Unitarian Universalism.  David Jackoway will discuss several of the changes that were apparent at the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly which just completed last week in New Orleans.  Special music by Andrea Groner.

Sunday, June 25: "Environmental Spirituality, Environmental Activism"
by Andrew Frantz

Can we find spiritual meaning in the natural world?  For the religious naturalist, nature and the divine are one and the same.  How are we called to protect our environment?  For the ethical citizen, political action to resist anti-environment policies is imperative.  Join us for this service of celebrating our connection to nature and engaging with our duty to protect it.

Andrew Frantz is a student at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary and serves as Intern Minister at the UU Fellowship of Wayne County in Wooster, Ohio.  He is a lifetime environmentalist and claims religious naturalism as his theology.

Sunday, June 18: "Crossing Borders and Crossing Back"
by Elizabeth Valencia

We speak of stepping outside of our comfort zones and going beyond ourselves. How does crossing borders alter life, though? And what can crossing back into spaces we thought we left for good do for us as individuals and for our community that includes people of color and religious diversity? Join us for a story-telling service that looks at the discomfort and hope found in crossing borders and in the also difficult task of crossing back.

Sunday, June 11: "Unbreakable Pride"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This Sunday we continue our summer review of the six sources of our living tradition.  Our second source is "Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love."  In celebration of Pride Week we will hold up the prophetic impact of the movement for GLBT equality on our history and our present day dreams.  Come and be inspired by a vision of unbreakable pride.  Special music by Susan Burt.

Sunday, June 4: "Beloved Presence"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This summer we are exploring the six sources of Unitarian Universalism.  The first source is "Direct experience of...transcending mystery and wonder."  Since at least the transcendentalists, UU has placed the individual encounter with the sacred at the center of religion.  This Sunday we will explore the many different ways we may frame this encounter, whether we identify as humanists, theists, Christians, Buddhists, Pagans, etc.  Life has mystery and wonder for all of us.  Come learn about the many ways UUs experience the transcendent and reconnect to that which is transcendent to you.  Special music by Graham Brinklow.

Sunday, May 28: "On Kindness"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

"What is required of you?" asks the Hebrew Prophet Micah. "Only to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your god." "Your acts of kindness" says the Sufi sage, Rumi, "are iridescent wings which continue to uplift others long after your sharing." What does it mean to be kind? Why do the world's religions make it so central to our spiritual life? How can we bring more kindness into our lives and the world? Join us for an uplifting meditation on the virtue and practice of kindness.

Sunday, May 21: "Spiritual Journeys"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Unitarian Universalism draws on a variety of sources for its wisdom and inspiration, and unsurprisingly, the people at UUI also reflect a fascinating mix of religious/spiritual backgrounds and beliefs.  In this fun and engaging service we will spend some time getting to know one another better and learn about our different individual journeys, so we can better understand this community we are building together.

Sunday, May 14: "Three Women to Know in UU History"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This Sunday we'll look at three women who blazed trails at different times in UU history: Reverend Lilia Cuervo,  Margaret Mosely, and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody. Join us and be inspired by the stories of these remarkable thinkers and doers, who each in their own way exemplified the spirit of Unitarian Universalism.
This Sunday we'll look at three women who blazed trails at different times in UU history: Reverend Lilia Cuervo,  Margaret Mosely, and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody. Join us and be inspired by the stories of these remarkable thinkers and doers, who each in their own way exemplified the spirit of Unitarian Universalism.

Sunday, May 7: "Bridging Service"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger and Susanne Hinson-Rieger, DLRE

The Bridging service is a special service in May where we "bridge" our senior youth out of the religious education program for children and youth, and into adult participation in the church.  It is a graduation, a coming of age, a welcome, and a celebration.  Bring tissues!

Sunday, April 30: "Poetry Service"
by Janet Cohen, John Cote, and Jay Harvey

It's our annual poetry service!  Come celebrate the power of the written word to move us into new places of insight and new depths of emotion with selections (and some original compositions!) by Janet, John, and Jay.  This year the theme is “I Like Poetry.”  Who can argue with that?

Sunday, April 23: "Until It Is Faced"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

James Baldwin said, "Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced."  The last few weeks have seen tremendous upheaval within the Unitarian Universalist Association, as a controversy over racist hiring practices has led to the resignation of the UUA president and two senior staff.  This has sparked a denomination-wide conversation over how white supremacy has functioned in our religion's history and still functions in our present day.  Over the next few weeks more than 500 UU churches all around the country are having a service on this topic.  Come and learn what the controversy is about, what is meant by white supremacy, and what our movement is doing to better realize our vision of the beloved community for the future.  After the service there will be the opportunity for further discussion.

Below are some resources on these subjects:

A compendium of UU World Articles on the hiring controversy:

The Story of Whiteness:

The Invisibility of Whiteness:

Letter from a Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King, Jr:

Sunday, April 16: Easter Sunday Flower Celebration
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The Flower Celebration is a Unitarian tradition which originated in Prague almost a century ago and has been observed by UUs in America since the 1940s.  People bring a flower to church to place up front at the beginning of the service.  At the end everyone leaves with a flower different than the one they brought.  On this Flower Celebration Sunday, which is also Easter Sunday, we will celebrate beauty springing up season after season and the hope that we find in the way the story of life is continually renewing itself and renewing us.  Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

Sunday, April 9: "Prophets of Liberation"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, and then Monday evening after marks the beginning of Passover.  We will honor the Christian and Jewish roots of our living tradition by examining the stories of two remarkable prophets of liberation, Moses and Jesus.  What was similar and different about their visions of liberation, and how do those visions look to us today?  Special music by Dan and Beth Henkel.

Sunday, April 2: "Religion, Uniting and Dividing"
by Colleen Russell and Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Religion can be a powerful force for separating people into "us" and "them" and sowing the seeds of division.  But it can also bring people together around a shared vision of the good.  UU strives to be a very inclusive faith, and yet we also have an identity that sets us apart.  How does this tension impact our own lives?  And what can we learn about our own identity from the interfaith work we do?

Sunday, March 26: "The Growing Light"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger with guest presentation by Megan Howey Hughes of the School for Community Learning

"The great end in religious instruction" wrote the great Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing, "is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own."  Unitarian Universalism prizes the questioning mind and the independent spirit.  How do those values inform our approach to religious education?  And how do we continue to grow the light of understanding in our own life, at whatever age we are?

For this service we will also have a special guest presentation by Megan Howey Hughes, Director of the School for Community Learning, who rent our space for their school.  Come learn about their approach to education and how our values and purposes align with theirs.

After the service we will be having a pitch-in lunch with families from the School for Community Learning.  Everyone is invited to bring something to share.  Then after lunch we will be engaging in some joint projects with SCL to clean, beautify, and organize our campus.  It will be a great opportunity for us to get to know one another better.  We hope you will join us.

Sunday, March 19: "An Ancient Beauty"
Spring Equinox Service
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger and Victoria Laughlin-Casares

In honor of the Spring Equinox, join us for a service celebrating the beauty of Spring and the promise of this season of renewal.  Special music by the UUI Choir, including the debut of an original composition by our own Liz Efryomson.

Sunday, March 12: "I Am a Work in Progress"
by Cara Moczygemba

Our 3rd UU principle is "acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth."  Growth is a process that includes stretching our comfort level and making mistakes.  This Sunday Jamie will give a reflection on how we are called to grow as UUs, and Cara will give a sermon on some of the challenges of growth especially as it relates to social progress and issues of racism and sexism, and on the need for forgiveness and grace.  Special music by Rose Scott, who will be singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Sunday, March 5: "Sanctuary"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

As national rhetoric around deporting immigrants continues to grow harsher, and new executive orders are creating real fear among many in our communities, let us step back and ask how did we get to here?  And how do we respond?  Many churches, including UU churches and congregations, are considering offering, or are already offering sanctuary to those facing deportation.  In this service we will learn more about this new sanctuary movement and consider what role we have to play in this present moment.  Special music by the Indianapolis Women's Chorus, Meagan Johnson directing.

Sunday, February 26: "Self-Reflection and the Road to Racial Healing"
by Dr. Hildi Hendrickson

Dr. Hildi Hendrickson will discuss her biography of African-American minister Dr. Paul Smith, whose long career of civil rights activism and intercultural ministries stretches from meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. while at college in 1957, to Buffalo, NY, Selma, Alabama in 1965, and LaClede Town in St. Louis.  Having served as lead minister at First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY for 20 years, Rev. Smith’s worldview has been influenced by Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman and statesman Andrew Young.  Dr. Hendrickson will share how she came to be involved in this project, what it taught her and how it changed her thinking on race in America. 

Hildi Hendrickson has been a professor of anthropology at Long Island University, Brooklyn, since 1993.  Her research specialty is colonialism and cultural resilience in southern Africa.  She is a practicing Tibetan Buddhist and a member of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in Woodstock, NY.  She has been a visitor to UUI and looks forward to having a chance to speak to the congregation on Sunday.

Sunday, February 19: "Reflections on the Hero's Journey"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

What makes a hero?  Drawing on Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" we will look at different examples of the hero's journey in myth, scripture, and history.  What lessons can we apply to our own journey?  Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

Sunday, February 12: "Stardust" (Evolution Sunday Service)
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This Sunday is the 208th birthday of Charles Darwin.  It was Darwin's genius to unlock the mechanism by which all life on earth has unfolded in one continuous process.  Or as Tagore said, "The same stream of life that runs through my veins... runs through the world."  It is an annual tradition at UUI to honor Darwin's birthday with an Evolution Sunday service.  Join us once again for a celebration of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Sunday, February 5:  "Reality is not Post-Truth"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

There is a lot of talk these days about this being a "post-truth" world where "alternative facts" and "fake news" rule the day.  Unitarian Universalism believes that each person has the right to follow their own truth.  Does that mean the truth doesn't matter?  Or that capital-T Truth doesn't exist?  Join us for a sermon about what it means to be humble truth-seekers, and why it matters.

Sunday, January 29:  "Self Empowerment: Rising Strong"
by Richard Brendan

Many see a political storm unfolding in our country. We may not get to choose what is happening around us, but we always get to choose how we respond. Now, more than ever, we must arise from consciousness that demonstrates the desired outcome we seek. We must be it in order to see it!

Sunday, January 22:  "The 7 Minute Spiritual Workout"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

In this service we will examine wonder, gratitude, and compassion as key concepts that ground us as ethical/spiritual beings, help us live our UU values, and encourage a daily life that is happy, resilient, and responsive to the needs and opportunities around us. Then we will explore a simple spiritual practice to bring more of each into our life.

Sunday, January 15:  "Say Her Name"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

On this MLK Day weekend, join us for a service celebrating African-American women who have been on the cutting edge of the fight for freedom and justice throughout American history, including those who are still fighting today.  For this service we are thrilled to welcome local poet Mariah Ivey to perform two spoken word pieces.  Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

Sunday, January 8:  "Shelter One Another"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The Unitarian Universalist approach to religion emphasizes the need to make our love active in the world.  We say "deeds not creeds."  This Sunday we will discuss Unitarian Universalism's history of service, with particular attention to issues around homelessness.  What are misconceptions around homelessness and what is the reality, in the United States and here in Indianapolis?  What can we do to make a difference?

Sunday, January 1: "New Year's Day Service"
by Elizabeth Valencia

The New Year brings the opportunity to renew our commitment and goals.  Join Elizabeth as she welcomes 2017 with reflections on motivation, ideas on human nature and interdependence, and the role of love and fear.  How can we develop our why-power to ignite our curiosity and commitment long-term?  How can we nourish and sustain our involvement in social justice efforts in 2017?

Sunday, December 25: Christmas Day Service
Service, Refreshments and Fellowship 12:30 - 1:30pm

Join us for a simple Christmas Day service followed by cookies, coffee/tea, and fellowship. Please note the time change for this service. There will be no Religious Education classes or nursery/childcare.

Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve Service
6:00 - 7:00pm

A UUI tradition, this is a traditional "stories and carols" service but with a UU take on the meaning of Christmas. Come prepared to sing all your favorites. We will end with singing Silent Night by candlelight.

Sunday, December 18: "How the Unitarians Invented Christmas"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

At this time of year we often hear about a so-called "war on Christmas" and the need to get back to the true spirit of Christmas. But did you know Christmas was once a fairly disreputable holiday, involving public drunkenness and pranks? And that the celebration of Christmas was often discouraged or even banned in early American history? Christmas as we know it is an invention of the 19th and 20th century, and Unitarians have their fingerprints all over it. Come learn how our religious ancestors helped transform a bawdy public carnival into our modern celebration of family, peace, and yes, shopping.

Special music by the UUI Choir.

Sunday, December 11: "Sweet Darkness"
by Victoria Laughlin-Casares

As we approach the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice, we will look at how different pagan traditions celebrate the mystery of darkness and the return of the light.

December 4: "A Light in the Window (On Hanukkah)"
by Jamie Hinson Rieger

Most people know the story of the Hanukkah miracle, the vial of oil that burned for eight days when there was only enough oil for one day.  Less well-known is the story leading up to that -- the culture clash between native Jews and Greek occupiers that turned into open war.  The Hanukkah story is actually a very complicated story about cultural diversity and counter-cultural resistance, about tradition and change and identity.  What message does it have for us today in our increasingly pluralistic, multi-cultural world?  What does it have to tell us about the culture clash going on in our own country?

November 27: "Two or More People in Conversation = Intercultural Dialogue"
by Jenny Peak

Even in our closest relationships, we may experience moments of utter surprise when we find ourselves in different places, be it highly charged topics of religion or politics, or everyday seemingly benign conversations. With gentle humor and lots of humility, we can celebrate our differences from a foundation of common ground.

Jenny Peek is a Candidate for Ministry with the UUA, holds her Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School and is pursuing her Master of Arts in Leadership Studies. Jenny has traveled to The Philippines where she preached and toured the congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines. Her emerging ministry focuses on exploring the relationship of self and community.

November 20, 2016 "Now What?"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The 2016 election violated long-standing norms of American democracy, both in the language used and the policies proposed. With the crashing and burning of both the Republican and the Democratic establishment, it seems there has been a sea change in what is possible in American politics. We now face an unknown future. In this service we will discuss how our UU principles call us to respond.  Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

November 13, 2016: Thanksgiving Service and Meal

A UUI tradition, please join us for a service commemorating the history of our denomination which stretches all the way back to the Puritans.

Did you know there is a UU church whose doors are still open today that was originally founded in 1620 by people who came over on the Mayflower? During this special service we will acknowledge the joys and sorrows of that history and look at how our dreams and their dreams are alike and different.

During this service, which will be held at tables in the Sanctuary, we will also share a pitch-in Thanksgiving Meal. UUI will provide turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Last name ending in A-K please bring a vegetable, L-Z please bring a dessert.

Special music by the Indianapolis Women's Chorus.

After the service join us for Second Sunday which will include leaf-raking and a variety of fun indoor and outdoor activities. Please bring a rake and outdoor clothes.

November 6:  For the Beauty of the Earth
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Children's author E. B. White said, "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day."  As UUs we want to improve the world, but we also need to take time to celebrate its beauty.  This Sunday we will explore the different ways that beauty feeds our spirit.

Also this Sunday during the Service we will celebrate our 1st - 3rd graders' continuing intellectual and ethical development with an Age of Reason ceremony, and UUI will be presented with an award for our environmental work.  Special music by Graham Brinklow.

October 30:  Ancestors Service
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

William Faulkner famously said "The past isn't dead.  It's not even past."  For this service we will honor our ancestors, known and unknown, and reflect on the impact on our life of all those who came before us.  We are the beneficiaries of their hard work and the bearers of their hopes, dreams, and also fears.  What are the ways in which we live out the patterns of the past?  What are our responsibilities as a bridge from the past to the future?  Everyone is invited to bring photos or mementos of their "ancestors", however you choose to interpret that, to be displayed during the service.  You can also email images to to be projected during the service.

October 23:  "Bullying"
by Elizabeth Valencia

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time when many schools and organizations across the country are active in bringing awareness to school bullying.  How is bullying defined?  How does it look outside in our communities?  During this heavy political time, how can we re-sensitize ourselves to pay more attention to our words and actions?  Join Elizabeth as she shares her personal story with bullying and tools that various faith traditions offer for addressing and coping with bullying on a broader community level.

October 16:  "Doing the Work, Finding Your Passion"
by Andrew Frantz

What does it mean to find your own way in life, rather than following the crowd?  How do you know that you're fulfilling your highest purpose?  Guest service leader Andrew Frantz will explore these questions through songs, stories, and readings.  He will share his own story of being called to be a Unitarian Universalist minister.  Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

Andrew Frantz is beginning the journey to being a UU minister, in his first year as a student at the Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary.  His home church is the UU Fellowship of Oberlin, Ohio.  Andrew served a long career in education before being called to the ministry.  He is a singer who performs regularly with fellow UU musician Hal Walker.  He is the father of two boys who are both in college.

October 9:  "On Forgiveness"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

October 2 through October 12 are the Days of Awe beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and ending with Yom Kippur.  At this time, our Jewish neighbors celebrate the creation of the world and the possibility for new life in a new year.  Yom Kippur is also a time of atonement and forgiveness, a time to make amends for wrongs done against God, our neighbors, and creation.  How is new life and new possibility tied to our ability to forgive ourselves and others?  And what about justice?  Can we be too quick to forgive?  Join us for a service exploring the connection between atonement, forgiveness, and creation, and ultimately asking, "How do we get to a place of forgiveness in our lives?"

October 2: "Separate and Not Equal" 
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger and Anita Saunders

Brown v. Board of Education ended official segregation in schools in 1954. In 2016 we continue to deal with segregation in our public school system. How do our schools look different for different children? How do our UU values call us to respond?

September 25: "Turning and Returning"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Oftentimes we think of the journey of our lives in terms of straight lines -- a straight line path from youth to old age, or a straight line of progress from goal to goal, or a straight line climb "up the corporate ladder," or even a straight line ascent to enlightenment.  You get the idea.  Pagan and earth-centered traditions emphasize the wheel and the spiral -- the rhythmic cycle of turning and returning and the organic unfolding of possibility.  September 22 is the Autumn Equinox, a day that marks the official beginning of Fall.  Join us for a service celebrating the rhythm of the seasons and the rhythms of our lives.  Special music by Kevy Bailey.

September 18: "Who's Driving This Thing, Anyway?" 
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

One of the six sources we say make up the Unitarian Universalist tradition is "humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science."  This Sunday we will examine the role of reason in human psychology.  Plato saw the human soul as like a chariot yoked to two powerful horses, one representing the impulse to the beautiful and one representing the base appetites.  Reason is the charioteer in the driver seat desperately trying to keep the two horses in line.  This Sunday we ask, “Who's driving this thing, anyway?”  Special music by the UUI choir.

September 11: On Making Peace
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our 6th Unitarian Universalist principal challenges us to adopt an active philosophy of peace-making as a response to the reality of violence and war. What does that mean for us 15 years after the attacks of September 11, with our country mired in a "war on terrorism" with no end seemingly in sight? How can we bring more peace into a world so torn by violence and hate? Guest musician Sister Stella Sabina will add uplifting and energetic singing and drumming to our meditation on peace.

September 4:  TC, Trigger Warnings, and Safe Spaces, Oh My!"  by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This school year incoming freshmen at the University of Chicago received an unusual welcome letter from the Dean of Students warning them that there would be no "trigger warnings" or "safe spaces" on their campus, as a part of the school's commitment to "freedom of inquiry and expression." The letter has served to super-charge an already heated debate about political correctness and norms of expression on campus. What are trigger warnings and safe spaces, and are they really a threat to intellectual freedom? What is political correctness and why do some people hate it so much, it is supposedly responsible for the rise of Donald Trump? As UUs we traditionally cherish freedom of speech. Are there other UU values at stake and (potentially) in conflict? Let's respectfully examine these very controversial issues together. Special music: Mary Kay Bonner will play the harp.

August 21:  "School Is In Session"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

As we celebrate the start of the school year for our children and youth with a "blessing of the backpacks" ritual, we will reflect on the ideal of life-long learning in our tradition.  In contrast to religions that view "salvation" as a state of being, as something you either have or don't have, Unitarianism emphasizes the continuous development of our mind and our ethical instincts throughout the course of our life.  We are all a work in progress.  The great Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing called this progress "salvation by character."  What wisdom does our tradition have to offer us lifelong students, and what is asked of us in return?  The school of life is in session.

August 14:  "Welcome Home"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Join us this Sunday for a service about welcoming as an ethical/spiritual practice, what it means to be a welcoming community, and the value of home.  This Sunday is also our Water Communion ceremony, welcoming people back from the summer and starting off the new church year.  People are invited to bring water that is in some way meaningful or symbolic of their summer, whether it is water from a trip, rainwater from the backyard, or tap water from a kitchen.  We'll pour the waters into a common vessel symbolizing our coming together as a community.

Please Note: Unlike past years, the Water Communion ceremony is NOT a multi-generational service.  Children will still go to their RE classes and there will be a sermon.

August 7:  "Dreams and Connections"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Langston Hughes wrote: "Hold fast to dreams / For when dreams go / Life is a barren field / Frozen with snow."  How can we better connect to our capacity for dreaming?  And what are the connections we need in the real world to help make our dreams a reality?  Join us for a meditation on the power of dreams and the necessity of connection.

July 31:  "Freedom of Speech"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This summer we continue to explore the theme of freedom in Unitarian Universalism.  Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are values that UUs have actively worked to promote within American history, most famously when our Beacon Press published the Pentagon Papers.  The media landscape has changed dramatically since the 1970s and today the challenges to free speech look very different.  Drawing on Timothy Garton Ash's "Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World" we will look at the state of this fundamental freedom in the world today and how it can be promoted and protected.

July 24:  "Do We Need to Change?"
by David Jackoway

Many people envision a future for Unitarian Universalism where we are both larger in numbers and more diverse.  But how do we get there?  Do we need to change?  What do we change?  David Jackoway suggests that it starts by changing how we think of ourselves as a faith and how we do church.

July 17:  "The Wonder of It All"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Freedom summer continues as we talk about a freedom Unitarian Universalists hold especially dear: the freedom to question. We reserve our right to subject all ideas to the light of reason and experience. We encourage our children to question everything. It's another critical tool in our UU toolkit (If you were here for the July 3 service, you'll know what that means.) In this service we'll share some tips for effective questioning. But questioning is related to more than our pursuit of truth. It feeds our sense of beauty and wonder.  Come wonder with us this Sunday! Special music by Lucy Newton.

July 3:  "Build It Beautiful"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our religious tradition calls us to work together to build a better world, but how does it equip us to do that?  Taking a note from Jaimie Dingus's sermon at the young adult led Synergy Bridging worship service at General Assembly, we are going to ask, what tools have we been given to work with in our UU toolkit?  Special music by Carol Kirk.

June 26, 2016:  "Bringing Love to Life: One World, All Sacred"
by Richard Brendan

We are in the midst of great change and it is an auspicious time to be alive.  As we rediscover the size and strength of our hearts, our steadiness of purpose, we choose to love and honor the dignity and inherent worth of every human being.  UUI is pleased to again welcome inspirational radio host Richard Brendan to give a talk on bringing love to life.

June 19, 2016:  "Fearless"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Continuing our summer theme of freedom, we will talk about the connection between freedom and fear. We all have things we are afraid of, both rationally and irrationally. Fear is part of being human. But fear can severely limit our freedom to live the life we want to live, or live our life to its full potential. How do we deal with fear in our lives? Given that our fears might be very different, depending on our race, or gender, or class, or sexual orientation, or zip code, fear is also a justice issue. How do we respond as a religious people when different communities or identities are targeted with fear? Finally, in the light of the shooting in Orlando, politicians are using fear to spread further hatred and division. How do we respond as UUs? Join us this Sunday as we explore promoting a culture of freedom in a climate of fear. May we also find healing and strength for our own fears in our shared community of hope. Special music Dan and Beth Henkel.

June 12, 2016:  "Free Spirits"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

This summer we're going to be exploring the concept of freedom and how it relates to different aspects of Unitarian Universalism.  Since it's Pride week, we'll kick it off by talking about the freedom to live authentically -- to be fully who we are without shame or apology (which includes the right to love whomever we love).  Our desire to live as free spirits is not only something we want for ourselves, but is also connected to our larger vision of human flourishing.  Come celebrate freedom and Pride, with a special shout-out to the LGBTQ heroes who have moved the ball forward for all of us.

June 5, 2016: "Breathing Space"
by Rev. Shari Woodbury

What's the common thread in Digital Detox Camp, mathematician J. H. Poincare's inspiration, conscious parenting, and Thoreau's experiments at Walden Pond? Join us in a meditative start-of-summer service on "Breathing Space" to find out. Rev. Shari Woodbury from our sister congregation in Bloomington will be back as the guest in our pulpit, just as her time in Indiana wraps up.

May 22, 2016: "Michael Servetus and the
Light of Reason"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

During the period in history known as the Reformation, while Protestants and Catholics were denouncing each other with ever-increasing violence and venom over the religious questions of the day, one man put forth a theology so heretical he found himself denounced by both Catholics AND Protestants. This man was Michael Servetus, a brilliant doctor, mapmaker, astronomer, mathematician, poet, translator, biblical scholar, and firebrand popular author. It was the last two that got him in trouble. Using a newfangled technology called a printing press, Servetus published a bestseller arguing persuasively for a shocking doctrine called Unitarianism. In the end, his devotion to his radical ideas cost him his life. In this service we'll learn what the ideas of Michael Servetus were, what impact they had on the world, and what his legacy means to us today.

May 8, 2016: "Chop Wood, Carry Water"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

There is a Zen saying about life changes that goes "Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water." How do we deal with moments of change and transition in our lives? Most of us, perhaps, are not currently undergoing the radical transition to total enlightenment (but kudos to you if you are!) but we age, our parents age, our children grow up and go out, we move, we marry or unmarry, jobs come and go, relationships come and go, seasons come and go. How do we stay grounded during these transitions? Should we always stay grounded? Join us for a meditation on life changes and the wisdom of keeping it together and/or judiciously falling apart.   

Special Music by Elise Massicotte

April 10, 2016: "Whose Are We"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Questions of identity and belonging are central to religious exploration. "Who am I?" is a question we all must grapple with throughout our lives.Quaker theologian and activist, Douglas Steere says this question is best answered with another question, "Whose am I?" To whom do we belong? In this service we will discuss the relationship between these twin questions in the light of Unitarian Universalism.  Special music by Kyle Brennan.

April 3, 2016: "Lessons from Broadway"
by the UUI Music Committee

Join us for a totally fun, totally unique service by the Music Committee showcasing important life lessons as revealed in the Broadway classics. Special guest singers Graham Brinklow and Sarah Marone, as well as members of the UUI Choir. Hands down the singing-est service of 2016, this is one not to be missed!

March 27: "Love Endures" 
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

When Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his followers were expecting the imminent arrival of their political freedom and a transformed world. In the aftermath of Easter Sunday they woke to a world dominated more than ever by the wealthy and powerful and with their teacher gone. Yet out of this loss and disappointment, they created a new kind of religious community. For this Easter Sunday sermon we will reflect on spiritual resilience. What creates it in individuals and in communities? Facing a world no less troubled, in what do we place our faith? What is our own vision of the future and how do we best carry on until then? Join us for a sermon on the hope and strength we find within our own tradition. Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

March 13: "A Child Is Born" 
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Join us for a meditation inspired by our third and sixth principles on new life, human potential, and the delights and challenges of growing up in a beautiful but troubled world. What role does our religious community play in sheltering, supporting, and encouraging our youth? What is the world we seek for all children? Special music by Ken Scott, guitar and Debbie Wolfe, voice.

February 28, 2016: Stone Soup Multigenerational Service

An annual UUI tradition! Join us for a service celebrating the value of community. We will tell the story of Stone Soup and then break into a variety of hands-on "stations" with different activities to stimulate conversation and reflection. After the service please join us for a soup lunch. A free-will offering will be taken to raise funds for Boulevard Place Food Pantry.

After lunch, from 12:30 to 2pm, we are delighted to welcome youth from the AlHuda Islamic Center in Fishers to give a presentation on Islam followed by Q&A. This is a great opportunity to learn about Islam and get a young person's perspective on the challenges and opportunities of living out their faith in Indiana.

February 21, 2016: "Beautiful Child"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

"There were no mirrors in my Nana's house" goes the song by Sweet Honey in the Rock. "So I never knew that my skin was too black and I never knew that my nose was too flat." How do the images of American media reinforce the notion that some are beautiful and some are not, how are these messages internalized or resisted, and what can be done about it? Join us for a service celebrating the beauty of everyone. Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

February 14, 2016: "Reclaim MLK"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

For this service closing out the 30 Days of Love between MLK Day and Valentine's Day we will talk about how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's message has been softened and sanitized to remove the truly radical elements of his vision. Today a national movement seeks to reclaim the true legacy of MLK: love working for justice. Special music by Graham Brinklow.

February 7, 2016: "Evolution Sunday"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Evolution Sunday is an annual tradition at UUI. On this near anniversary of Charles Darwin's Birthday we celebrate the wonder of nature, the beauty of science, and the creative power of evolution. We'll reflect on how the fact of evolution informs our religious perspective as UUs. And we'll say Happy Birthday to Charles Darwin. There will be cake!

January 31, 2016: "Why Sustainability Matters to Indy"

Environmental sustainability is about more than just recycling and light bulbs. It impacts the entire life of our city, including how we create jobs, attract talent, reduce crime, and prepare for an uncertain future. In this service, Jesse Kharbanda of the Hoosier Environmental Council will be giving a talk on the areas of promise and challenge for Indianapolis in creating a more sustainable Indianapolis.

January 24: "Jackpot! (On Happiness)"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

All the recent furor over PowerBall and the mega-mega-jackpot calls to mind a famous study that claimed that lottery winners revert to their previous level of happiness (or unhappiness) within a year of winning. Your level of happiness, it is said, is remarkably persistent over time, for good or for bad. So is happiness genetic? A product of our upbringing? Of our mindset? Can we get more happiness for ourselves? Should we be trying? Join us for a service on a question that naturally interests all of us. If we stumble on the secret to happiness between now and Sunday we promise we'll share.

January 17, 2015 "Love is the Spirit of This Church" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

At the heart of Unitarian Universalism is the idea of being a covenanted religious community--a group of people who have made promises to each other. As members of UUI we say our own church's covenant every Sunday. UUI itself is also part of the larger covenant of Unitarian Universalism, expressed in our seven principles. Curiously, although we say "love is the spirit of this church" in our own covenant, the word "love" appears nowhere in the 7 principles. Where did those principles come from, and how do we understand this larger covenant of which we are a part? Join us this Sunday as we ask, where's the love in our 7 principles? 

January 10, 2016: "First Things First"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The year 2015 drew to a close with strong notes of fear and dehumanization of outsiders in our political and social discourse, targeting everyone from muslims to refugees to immigrants to transgender people to Black Lives Matter protesters. As a sort of spiritual re-centering for the start of the new year, we'll explore how our first principle,  honoring "the inherent worth and dignity of each person", lies at the heart of the religious vision of Unitarian Universalism, and how that vision is needed today.

January 3, 2016: "Begin Again, Again"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The start of the new year can be a great time to pause, take stock, reset our focus and renew our energies. It's also a time that culturally invites a lot of self-criticism and short-lived resolutions. Can we find a healthy balance between honoring where we're at and setting our sights on something new? Join us fora reflection on new beginnings. We will also have a ceremony to let go of 2015 with the help of our chalice flame and some magician's flash paper. Note, this is not a multi-generational service, so children will go to their religious education classes.

December 27, 2015: "Behold the Radiant Token": An Agnostic Perspective on Incarnation and Revelation by Jay Harvey

With another Christmas celebration still fresh in our minds, many UUs are probably working to make the holiday spiritually meaningful despite theological differences with Christian teaching. One perspective is to see how the message of incarnation, and the related truth claims of Judaeo-Christian divine revelation, might work to affirm the possibility of a transcendent reality without requiring commitment to a particular way of knowing God. Worship Associate Jay Harvey will explore some of the problems and rewards of that attempt.

December 20, 2015: "The Jesus Monologues"
by Anita Saunders, Ph.D.

Christians and Unitarians were asked to complete this statement, "Jesus is/was __________." The diversity of responses provide us with personal insights about the man, the prophet, and/or the deity whose birth is celebrated this holiday season and whose existence continues to affect us all directly and indirectly.

December 13, 2015: "Buddha and Bodhisattva"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Continuing our December theme of the wisdom of world religions, we will look at another of the great religions of the Axial Age: Buddhism.

Buddhism is a religious tradition that has become increasingly influential within Unitarian Universalism from the late 20th century on. Who was Siddhartha Gautama and how did he become the Buddha? What are the points of similarity and difference between Buddhism and Unitarian Universalism? And what do our two traditions have to teach each other?

December 6, 2015: "The Axial Age"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Throughout December, in place of our traditional holiday pageant, the children will help tell us the birth stories of three of the world's great religious figures, Confucius, Buddha, and Jesus, in a fun interactive way (with puppets!) and we will learn more about these traditions. This Sunday we will also talk about the so-called Axial Age in ancient history, when in the space of a few centuries, and all across the world, great teachers began to appear and independently lay the foundation of many of the world's great religious traditions. As UUs, one of the 6 sources of our living tradition is "wisdom from the world's religions." What forms of wisdom began to emerge during this historic world transformation and how do they speak to us today? 

November 29, 2015: "12 Days to Save the World"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

With 2015 on pace to be the hottest year on record, the Paris climate summit begins with real urgency. From November 30 to December 11, the world's nations will come together to create, for the first time in 20 years, a binding and universal agreement on climate change. They have 12 days to save the world. Yet here at home many powerful people still deny climate change is even a reality. In this service we'll talk about what we can do as individuals, what UUI has been doing as a church, what Unitarian Universalism calls us to do as a religion, and why there is room for hope.

November 22, 2015: "Flower and Candles"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our religion calls us to meet violence, hate, and fear with courage, compassion, and love. Join us for a service of reflection and healing in response to the recent terrible events in Paris and around the globe. 

November 15, 2015: "The Lamp Bearers"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We say our chalice flame symbolizes, among other things, "the light of understanding." Our religious tradition celebrates education, both to transmit the learning of the past and to ignite the spark of curiosity and imagination in the mind that brings new knowledge into the world. But no one comes into the life of the mind all on their own. This Sunday we pay tribute to the people who illuminated our way: parents, teachers, mentors, and all those who challenged us to learn and grow and ultimately think for ourselves.

November 1, 2015: Social Justice Service
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger and Stacy Robinson

This month's Fifth Sunday Social Justice Service has been moved to the first Sunday! Each Fifth Sunday Social Justice Service provides an opportunity for all ages to engage on a social justice topic and service project together.

Our first principle stresses the inherent worth and dignity of all people, which includes the incarcerated and their families. Last Sunday our guest speaker said "hurt people hurt people." This Sunday we will look at the issue of mass incarceration from the perspective of the people inside the system and the families and communities who deal with the impact of incarceration on the fabric of their lives. Where does healing begin? How do our UU principles speak to complicated issues of justice and rehabilitation?

October 25, 2018: "Hope for Healing"
by Shari Woodbury

It’s a pastoral platitude that “hurt people hurt people.” But how does this play out at different levels of human community?  And what abouthealing and love – are these socially infectious too?  Shari Woodbury, a UU seminary graduate who spoke at UUI in September, will join us again to explore how hurt cycles through generations and communities – and what we can do to help the healing of humankind.

Sunday, October 18 "Enough and Never Enough"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Among the sources we say we draw from in creating our living tradition are "words and deeds of prophetic men and women." In this service we will consider the words of the prophet Micah, who said "This is what is required of you: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your god." What does that mean in the context of Unitarian Universalism, where we have many different beliefs about god, from paganism to theism to atheism? And how do we live out our "prophetic" tradition today?  

October 11: "Starlings, Jellyfish, and Jingles"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Inspired by the invasive species tour happening on the UUI campus after the service, we'll reflect on all manner of physical and non-physical creeping things--critters, cultural messages, and unintended consequences. What are the things that invade our physical, mental, and spiritual space? Stretching the metaphor dangerously further, what are some ways we can cultivate a healthier, invasion resistant garden?       

October 4: "The Art of Living, In the Light of Death" by Richard Brendan

Every moment in this life is precious. In this moving presentation, Brendan will take you with him on a journey of bringing love to life, where we can learn from those facing death how to live far better than we do. Insights and stories will inspire you to celebrate your own life and love more fully and live more meaningfully.

Richard Brendan brings love to live through his teaching, counseling and media projects. He is Founder and President of JourneysFire International, and served as a hospice chaplain for 12 years.

September 27, 2015: “American Prison” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The United States has the largest prison population in the world, with almost 7 million people under some form of correctional control (in prison or on probation.) That is 1 in 35 Americans!

We all know these numbers are vastly different depending on whether you are white or non-white, rich or poor, cisgender or transgender, or suffer from mental health issues. Researchers can now identify children likely to be incarcerated by as early as the third grade.

How did we get here? What is life like for people caught up in our American experiment in mass incarceration? And most importantly, what can we do about it? And what will we do about it?

Come be a part of this service about taking action on an issue that deeply impacts our community.

September 20 Service: "Desire and Destiny"
by Shari Woodbury

The Upanishads tell us, “You are what your deep, driving desire is.” Desire commands tremendous power in our lives.  But is desire good, bad, or neutral?  Do we have any control over our longings and aspirations?  How does yearning figure into our individual spiritual journeys?  Into our mission as a religious community?

Shari Woodbury, a recent seminary graduate and Candidate for the UU ministry, will be our guest in the pulpit as we explore what we want and why it matters.

September 13: Water Communion

September 6 Service: "Go Play"
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We encounter the holy or sublime in many different spaces in the world--in nature, in the arts, in our encounters with other people, through our personal spiritual practices, and more.

Ever since the Transcendentalists, UUs have come to hold these direct experiences of mystery and wonder as central to the religious experience. How can we open up more room in our lives for these encounters?

On this Labor Day weekend, as the summer draws to a close, our sermon celebrates play and keeping the spirit of summer alive in the year to come.

August 30 Service, WUUDSTOCK by our UUI Youth, the Fifth Sunday Service Team and Worship Leader, Jamie Hinson-Rieger

WUUDSTOCK is a celebration of the power of music, songs and art to make change happen. 

During this Fifth Sunday Social Justice Service, our UUI youth will share music of the past and today that have, or have the possibility to, change the way America thinks.

Join us to learn what issues matter to our youth and hear the words that move their hearts. Then, be inspired to share your own voice to become part of the change that's a comin'!

August 23 :  "Sacred Journeys"
by Dr. Ian S. McIntosh

In what ways can the sacred journey lend itself to envisioning and realizing a better world, and help facilitate communication across lines of division?

Join us for a service about pilgrimage and peace-building on the world stage.

August 16:  "How to Be Wrong" (Reason and Science, Part 3), 
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The last sermon in our three-part series on the place of reason and science in our "free and responsible search for truth and meaning" will be a fun exploration of the many ways cognitive biases and logical errors send our thinking astray, despite our best efforts.

What is the fallacy of the excluded middle and how did it get me in an argument with my wife? What does a random pattern really look like, and why does it matter? What is confirmation bias, or, is the number 11:11 trying to tell you something? And what surprisingly simple bias has been systematically distorting public policy research for years?

Join us for an examination of our very human intellectual foibles, and maybe we'll come out better thinkers at the end. 

August 9:  "Soaring and Sinking" (Reason and Science, Part 2)
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We say there are six sources that Unitarian Universalism is rooted in, and one of them is "the guidance of reason and the results of science." In a three part series in August, we will talk more about what that means and how it relates to our Principles.

On July 14 of this year, the New Horizons spacecraft began its historic flyby of Pluto, beaming back images to earth of amazing clarity and beauty. Like many kids, Pluto was always my favorite planet growing up. But I never for a moment thought I would live to actually see it! Our religious tradition has always been deeply appreciative of science (did you know it was a Unitarian who discovered Pluto?) but we also understand that its gifts come with consequences. The same scientific and technological revolution that has allowed us to explore other worlds is transforming our own planet in unprecedented and dangerous ways. In this service we will celebrate the glories of science, while examining its limitations and the new challenges it has brought us.       

August 2:  "The Gadfly of Athens" (Reason and Science, Part 1)  
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We say there are six sources that Unitarian Universalism is rooted in, and one of them is "the guidance of reason and the results of science." In a three part series in August, we will talk more about what that means and how it relates to our principles.

We kick it off this Sunday with an examination of the life of a man who embodied our fourth principle of "a free and responsible search for truth and meaning" as well as anyone in history. And he paid the ultimate price for it. Who was Socrates, how did he live and die, and what does he have to teach us?  Join us Sunday for service at 10:30am, followed by coffee and fellowship hour.  We hope to see you there!

July 26:  "Altars and Sacred Spaces"
by Victoria Laughlin-Casares

Many cultures and religious/spiritual traditions have the practice of creating or recognizing a sacred space--a place outside of time where we turn our attention away from our daily cares and concerns and connect to that which is enduring or eternal. In this sermon we'll look at the concept of sacred space, including the connection between altars and sacred spaces, and also learn about the practice of creating a personal altar.

July 19: " Open Source Church"
by David Jackoway

July 5:  "Unforgiven" (Forgiveness & Grace Part 1)

July 12:  "Love Beyond Belief" (Forgiveness & Grace Part 2)
by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

In the last month our country has been visited heavily by the demons of its past and the angels of its future. In this two part series we will explore the tragedy of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church and the triumph of the legalization of gay marriage (henceforth to be known simply as “marriage.”) We will in particular look at the remarkable act of forgiveness visited upon the Charleston killer by some of the families of the victims. In theology, undeserved forgiveness is often called grace—a love that transcends human failings. In confronting the evils of racism and intolerance, how can we seek forgiveness as a nation? Where can we find grace?

June 28:  "The Warp and Weft of Life"
by Cindy Wilson

While weaving a life is an often-used metaphor, what the process of weaving teaches one about the world and life is another lesson. Life with all its color, diversity, struggles, pains and successes is mimicked in a craft that has infinite possibilities.

June 21:  "Unitarianism and Jewish Humor"
by Dick Wolfsie

Radio and TV personality and humorist Dick Wolfsie will be our guest speaker with a presentation on the similarities and connections between Unitarianism and Jewish humor. 

Mr. Wolfsie is an award-winning feature reporter with WISH TV, and an author whose 12 books include Indiana Curiosities, a collection of the 300 most off-the-wall people and places in Indiana. Mr. Wolfsie's weekly newspaper humor column is now also a weekly feature on WFYI radio. 

June 14:  "Re-Enchantment"
by Addie Hirschten

Where, oh where are Shangri-la, Brigadoon, and the Fountain of Youth?  In this service we will examine these idealistic Utopias and discover how we can use them to become re-enchanted with reality.

June 7, Who Do Men Say I Am?: A Humanist Looks at the Humanity of Jesus by Jay Harvey

The Bible is foundational in Unitarianism, in part because the failure to find the Trinity in Scripture generated the Unitarian movement. But more than a different theology is available to UUs who look in particular at the Gospels for insight about Jesus as a powerful religious leader and moral exemplar. Today's service offers a perspective on Jesus' complex identity as a man, setting aside two important lines of inquiry: what's historically true about him and what to believe about his divinity. We will instead consider Jesus as a literary character fleshed out by four authors with extra-literary agendas.

May 3, The Generosity Path by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Most of us would agree "'tis better to give than receive." We aspire to be generous people. Are we effective with our generosity, or is our giving random, haphazard, or spur of the moment? Are we as generous as we would like to be, or does life sometimes get in the way? Drawing from the book "The Generosity Path" by Mark Ewert, we will talk about generosity as a life-affirming value and look at practical steps we can take on the path to becoming "intentional, lifelong philanthropists."

April 26, “Goodbye to Tolerance” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Tolerance has always been a central value to liberal-minded people. UUs like to go a step further and say we do not just “tolerate” others--we welcome and celebrate diversity. But not all thoughts and actions and social systems are tolerable. Martin Luther King Jr. said there are some things to which we should be maladjusted. For example, do we tolerate intolerance? How do our UU values guide us? This sermon could be timely for the state of Indiana right now.     

Special Music by Ruben Benzel, clarinet

April 19, "The Last Tree on Easter Island" by Cara Moczygemba

Special Music by Dan and Beth Henkel

April 12, “The Care and Feeding of the Soul” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our theme for April is art and education. Stretching all the way back to our Puritan ancestors, Unitarian Universalism has always strongly valued the cultivation of the mind and personality through education. We’ve always been a bookish people! We’re also a people who believe that beauty is good for the soul—in art, in music, in poetry, and wherever else we encounter it. This is a service to remind us to attend to the care and feeding of our souls.  

April 5, “Season of Hope” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

At this time of year, many of the faith traditions we draw from share stories of new life and new hope. As we move from winter into spring we’ll celebrate the rebirth of life and the energy and uplift that comes with it. 

Special music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.


March 29, 2015

For our Fifth Sunday Social Justice Service this Sunday, Kristina Hulvershorn from the Peace Learning Center will join us to discuss the center's new "Be the Change" interactive exhibit, which promotes awareness of climate change and teaches people how, through small actions, we can all make a difference in the world. We will be helping construct educational materials for the exhibit. Fifth Sunday Social Justice services provide a family-friendly opportunity for all ages to work on a social justice project.

March 22, 2015

"Shades of Truth/Separate Truths" by John Cote

The stories we tell to explain or to justify become our truths, but your truth may be different from mine.

March 15, 2015 

“Stand by Me” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Sometimes there are moments of high drama and decision in our lives which demand of us strength or courage or independence. Our UU heroes tend to be role models of these more exciting virtues, while fighting the good fight and standing up for justice. But over the long haul, our lives are shaped by humbler qualities like patience and loyalty and kindness, and by the small choices through which we wed ourselves to one another, come what may. This is a sermon in praise of the boring virtues.

Special Music by the UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.

March 8, 2015

“Better Together” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

A follow-up to our Stone Soup service on community. UU is built around individuality in community. We believe we are at our best when inspiring, challenging, and supporting one another. But the value of community isn’t a religious abstraction—our social groups keep us healthy, find us jobs, and much more. In this service we will examine the many benefits, spiritual and practical, that we receive from being together.    

Special Music: John Hague and the North United Methodist Brass Choir

February 22, 2015

Stone Soup 

Multigenerational Service by Natalie Spriggs-Trobridge, Stacy Robinson and the RE Council

On February 22, UUI will once again hear a story of the making of stone soup. This is a multigenerational service and children and youth are invited to stay and participate in the service. Following the service everyone is invited to enjoy soup, salad, and dessert. You can participate in the lunch by bringing a dessert if your last name begins with A-L, or by bringing a salad or fruit if you name begins with M-Z. And, cleanup is easier with many helpers, so if you can assist afterward, please contact Betsy Voigt at

Special music provided by our UUI Choir, Linda Parr directing.


February 15, 2015

Evolution Sunday Service

by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

It's Evolution Sunday, the annual service where we say "Happy Birthday!" to Mr. Charles Darwin (February 12) and reflect on the awesome story of the unfolding of life on earth. What does evolution tell us about our place in the interdependent web of life? What life lessons can we draw from it? And, why is a tardigrade the most impressive animal you probably never heard of?

February 8, 2015

“The Woman in the Attic” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our February social justice theme is women's rights. UU has always been on the cutting edge of women advocating for change, and it still is. Feminism is as UU as chalices and vegan potlucks. But feminism is for everybody! In this service we'll celebrate our feminist history and how it's part and parcel of our vision of human empowerment. Spoiler alert: we are totally going to give away Jane Eyre, so read it now if you've been putting it off.

February 1, 2015

“Identity in Poetry” by Jay Harvey, John Cote, and Addie Hirschten

Poetry helps us find and come to terms with who we are, and examines our attempts to understand and appreciate the identity and worth of others as well.  In selecting poems for this service we've found poems about self identity, about group identity, and about place identity.  We've also found that some identity poems might be dangerous.  This service should be a lot of fun and have something for everyone.

January 25, 2015

“The Prophet Motive" by Jamie Hinson-Rieger


January 18, 2015

“Reimagining America” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

For this MLK Day service we will ask some hard questions about America’s history when it comes to the question of race. The liberal reformist critique says the history of America is fundamentally about liberty and equality, and race is a sad exception that we are slowly correcting over time. The radical critique says white supremacy is and remains central to American history. Are you a liberal or a radical? Does America need to be reformed or reimagined? This is part 2 of a 2-part series on racism in America.

“Does Racism Require Racists?” by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

Our social justice theme in January is institutional racism. When Americans are polled about race, the majority will say that they don’t see color, that racism is wrong, and that they support MLK’s vision of a country where people are “judged by the content of their character.” But the data shows that racism is alive and well as a negative factor in the lives of people of color. How can that be? In this service we’ll look at how “color-blind” people can perpetuate a racist system and talk about the implications for anti-racism work. This is part 1 of a 2-part series on racism in America.

"On Ferguson", by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

The shooting death of Michael Brown and the protests in Ferguson have raised many complex issues that people, including UUs, have conflicting opinions about. In this service we’ll discuss the shooting, the grand jury investigation, and what has happened on the ground since, and then examine the larger context of violence against black people in America and how we as UUs are called to respond.

"Graphene, deGrasse, and Global Warming", by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

How two recent interviews with rock-star scientists got me thinking about the nexus between America's newest problem and America's oldest problem. There are many obstacles to dealing effectively with climate change, but the costliest one may turn out to be different than we think.

"I Don't Believe in Bakersfield", by Cara Moczygemba

In its Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court just ruled that scientific evidence is irrelevant if someone "sincerely believes," for example, that certain forms of birth control cause abortions. What happens to social issues when the only thing that matters about a belief is that we believe it?

"Home Truths", a play by Jay Harvey

Scene: From total darkness, a blinding flash of light (with thunderclap) reveals upstage center a man. Clutching a sheaf of papers, he’s dressed casually but conservatively in today’s garb, standing astonished in the middle of a cozy living room in 1950s American style, blandly and comfortably appointed. 

"Of Monkeys and Mortgages", by Jamie Hinson-Rieger

We continue to explore our second principle of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. These three concepts are sometimes in tension with one another. Justice and equity can be interpreted to demand that each person be given their "just desserts," regardless of the consequences for their individual lives. On the other hand, one person's compassion is another person's favoritism. Can we reconcile these tensions? And what do monkeys and mortgages have to do with any of this?