2011 Services


December 4~ “The Toa of Truth” [Listen Now!]

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro
Do you know what a Toa is? It’s a kind of toy that kids have enjoyed playing with for the past ten years. What else are they playing with besides the toys—what ideas, great or small? I’ll share some very great ideas from a very small person this morning.
Worship Associate: Alex Emig
Musician: Ellen Fillion

December 11~ “509Art”

Speaker: Jenny Rieke
There is no discipline that nurtures and sparks the cognitive ability to imagine, and unleashes creativity and innovation, more than arts and culture. There is no approach that breaks barriers, connects across cultural differences, and engages our shared values more than arts and culture. There is no investment that connects us to each other, moves us to action, and strengthens our ability to make collective choices more than arts and culture. Today we’ll consider how Unitarian Universalism informs and motivates this arts advocate.
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: The Truexperience (Mike & Sean Truex)

December 18~ “The Power of Belief” [Listen Now!]

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro
Now there’s the sort of sermon title you’d expect to see on a church’s highway sign! But the power of belief works in many ways, not all of them positive or life-giving. Our Universalist ancestors had many observations on this complex power that we would be wise to remember.
Worship Associate: Diane Reed
Musician: Ellen Fillion & CUUC Choir

December 24~ “Christmas Eve Service”

Saturday evening service starts at 4:00 p.m. – Please bring cookies to share.
Speaker: Meryl Birn
Join us for an evening of carols, story, and cookies!
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: Ellen Fillion

December 25 – There will be no service on Christmas day.


November 6~ “Not What You Once Were” [Listen Now!]

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro
It’s late in the year and the days are growing short. Fall is a good time to think about changes in our lives. Are we less than we were before, or more—or both? Let’s spend some time with king Solomon in youth and old age as we ponder questions like these.
Worship Associate: Alex Emig
Musician: Ellen Fillion

November 13~ “Another Sermon on Original Sin”

Speaker: from founding CUUC member Roger Gillette, presented by Mike Truex
Roger Gillette offers us some interesting thoughts on original sin. He can’t travel to be with us today, but his words made the journey and carry an interesting message.
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Fran Handy

November 20~ “One Thing and Ten Thousand” [Listen Now!]

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro & Gail Taff
“The Way covers and bears up the ten thousand things - vast, vast is its greatness!” Taoism upholds the ideal of the sage--a gentle man or woman who seeks to live in wisdom, who follows the Tao or the Way. But does this mean becoming a person who “has all the answers”? How can we appreciate the dark side of the moon, or the dark side of the mind? This morning we will also launch our annual Guest At Your Table activities, when our children bring those little boxes home for Thanksgiving. See below for more!
Worship Associate: Diane Reed
Musician: Ellen Fillion

November 27~ “Guest at Your Table”

Speaker: Meryl Birn
The annual tradition of Guest at Your Table helps nurture a spirit of gratitude and "justice, equity, and compassion in human relations." Guest at Your Table fosters understanding and awareness of Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s human-rights work. Join us for a celebration of our shared commitment to make the world a better place.
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: Ellen Fillion


October 2~ “Abimelech”

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro
Abimelech was a judge over Israel in its very early days, and he died with only one regret! But how do we judge his character, and what do the things that we regret tell us about who we are? These days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have traditionally been a time of reflection and atonement, and Abimelech’s story provides a perfect entry to the spirit of this season.
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Ellen Fillion

October 9~ “The Practice of Mindfulness”

Speaker: Chris Murray
Join us today to meditate. Our guest speaker, Chris Murray, leads meditations with the local Buddhist group.
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: Fran Handy

October 16~ “Reading Signs” [Listen Now!]

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro
There is almost nothing in the human or natural world that people have not tried to “read” for hidden meanings, “signs” and “omens” Alomancy uses salt--interpreting patterns that form when it is dropped or thrown. Tasseomancy involves reading the patterns left by the dregs of tea in the bottom of a cup. Do chance arrangements of objects speak to us about a moment in our lives, and what is it that they say? We’ll look at China’s I Ching along with other examples while exploring this question today.
Worship Associate: Diane Reed
Musician: Ellen Fillion & CUUC Choir

October 23~ “When Politics and Religion Collide”

Speaker: Wilbur Reese
This is a time when political debates are heating up and religion seems very much at the forefront. Should religion have anything to do with politics? If so, what? If not, why not?
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Mike & Shannon Truex

October 30~ “Association Sunday”

Speaker: Diane Reed
The leap of faith we celebrate this Association Sunday has nothing to do with doctrine or dogma. It’s a challenge to recognize that we are connected to one another and to all living things. This is what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist.
Worship Associate: Diane Reed
Musician: Ellen Fillion


September 4~ “Bloody Hands” [Listen Now!]

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro
We are hardly aware of blood most of the time—our own blood or that of others. But when it’s spilled we can hardly take our eyes off of it, or think of anything else. Religions make a great deal of the significance of blood, especially when it is spilled by human hands. What should we do about it today, tomorrow, ten years from today? What do we do now, ten years since the events of September 11, 2001?
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: Ellen Fillion

September 11~ “Since September 11, 2001”

Speaker: CUUC Members
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed America and the world. Since then, we have fought two wars at an untold cost of lives. We have enhanced security at airports and there have been encroachment of civil liberties on many fronts. There is an increased sense of patriotism in America. The Charter for Compassion was born out of the recognition that we must honor all faiths and all people. On the 10th anniversary, we will share how our lives and our thoughts have been shaped by these events. In the words of Alan Jackson “Where were you when the worlds stopped turnin’ that September day?”
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Fran Handy

September 18~ “Hebrew Lessons” [Listen Now!]

Speaker: Rev. Craig Moro
Years after attending seminary, I finally took the time to study Biblical Hebrew. This morning I’ll share some ideas that can easily be lost in translation, whether it’s a problem of vocabulary or grammar. Thanks to Cass Excell, who started this ball rolling over the summer!
Worship Associate: Diane Reed
Musician: Ellen Fillion

September 25~ “The Cost of Peace”

Speaker: Jim Stoffels
The seeds of peace are not sown by armies with weapons. They are sown by harmonious relationships with other nations based on policies that show concern for the welfare of their people. That requires a transformation of our country that begins with a personal transformation of ourselves.
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Mike & Shannon Truex


August 7~ “Making a Sacred Space”

Speaker: Meryl Birn
During this service, we will explore creating a sacred space through singing and chanting. We will be experimenting with Kirtin, a form a chant from the Hindu devotional tradition. We will also explore Bluegrass, drumming, and songs from our own UU tradition. This will be a very active and joyful service, and youth of all ages are encouraged to participate.
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: Scott Wilson

August 14~ “How do UU principles, our conscience and our faith's help us look at the world?”

Speaker: Scott Wilson
ESRA H. RES 156, on the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the Constitution, was proposed on March 9, 2011. It's goals are 1) Protecting the Planet, 2) Increasing citizen's democratic control, 3)Promoting the well-being of citizens. But how? Politics, the planet, citizens, corporations, children and spirit?
Worship Associate: Scott Wilson
Musician: Ellen Fillion

August 21~ “Becoming an Ally”

Speaker: Alex Emig & Jenny Rieke
An ally works to be an agent of social change rather than an agent of oppression. Along the continuum from supporting oppression to confronting oppression, our choices matter. This morning we will focus on how to equip and behave as genuine allies, guided by our UU principles and the Groundworks team of the UUA
.Worship Associate: Alex Emig & Jenny Rieke
Musician: Ellen Fillion

August 28~ “Mingling of Waters”

Speaker: CUUC Members & Friends
The Mingling of Waters is CUUC’s traditional ritual of gathering at the end of summer to mark the beginning of a new church year.
Everyone is invited to bring water that was collected from summer journeys and experiences (symbolic water welcome) and combine it the water from others. We’ll have a chance to share the essence of our stories from this summer, the part that has meaning to us, and reaffirm our bonds of community.
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: Mike & Shannon Truex


July 3~ "Peeple of Zee Wurl, Relax”

Speaker: Mike Truex
“People of the world, relax” is the mantra of a parrot in the novel that we’ll explore today. While the parrot doesn’t play a central role in the story, its mantra turns out to be good advice.
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Mike & Shannon Truex

July 10~ “The Other Half of Wholeness”

Speaker: Rev Susan Maginn
We all know the stories of heroes who have overcome great obstacles to manifest a dream, but what about the other side to this story? Today we will take a look at the mysterious and subtle side of spiritual life that doesn't usually make the headlines.
Rev. Susan Maginn is a Unitarian Unviersalist minister who has stepped away from congregational ministry so that she tend to her family and her own spiritual development.
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Ellen Fillion

July 17~ “Lost in Translation”

Speaker: Cass Excell
From Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English to as many other languages as possible, reading the bible today is like reading the end result of a game of telephone. Taken with the surrounding context, what concepts have now been lost or altered in translation?
Worship Associate: Alex Emig
Musician: Ellen Fillion

July 24~ “Are We the Center of the Universe?”

Speaker: Diane Reed
The seventh UU principle is "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." But that doesn't mean we're the most important part of that web. How can we learn to be comfortable in a non-dominating role?
Worship Associate: Diane Reed
Musician: Fran Handy

July 31~ “Something Interesting”

Speaker: Dave Anderson
It’s a day to explore.
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: Ellen Fillion


June 5~ “The Grammar of Faith” [Listen Now!]

Speaker:  Rev. Craig Moro
One of the things we know least about the Qur’an is how much we know
already!  It's such a familiar cast of characters and issues. Jesus, Mary,
Moses, and Abraham; faith, compassion; the struggle for peace and justice:
these live in the Qur'an just as they do in the Bible.  However, they are
presented less in narrative fashion than as a voice speaking directly to you—
the listener or reader—right here, right now.  Add to this the unfamiliar
language and script of the original, and we may need some extra help in
approaching it.  Today we’ll explore two famous passages of Islam's sacred
text and try to unpack their meaning in a close study of language and
imagery.  Can grammar be exciting?  Come and find out!
Worship Associate:  Mike Truex
Musician: Ellen Fillion

June 12~  “Be the Bridge”

Speaker:  YUUth (High School Youth Group)
One of the most important things we can do for our youth is to support them
into adulthood, to keep them connected to Unitarian Universalism, and
continue to minister to them as they become adults. Please join us today as
our youth lead the worship service in every detail, inviting the entire
congregation to be the bridge over which our graduating seniors cross into
young adulthood.
Worship Associate:  YUUth Advisors
Musician:  YUUth and Families

June 19~  “Naked Noah” [Listen Now!]

Speaker:  Rev. Craig Moro
What happened to Noah and his family after the “floody-floody” which
many of us remember from Sunday school and Bible camp?  It’s a somewhat
embarrassing story, with the accent on the “bare” part!  Come see this
religious patriarch in a new light for Father’s Day. 
Worship Associate:  Meryl Birn
Musician:  CUUC Choir

June 26~  “Reflections on Haiti”

Speaker:  Heather Hill
In January 2010, Haiti was devastated in a massive earthquake.  Local
resident Heather Hill has visited the island nation twice on medical and
humanitarian missions since the quake.  Come hear her reflections.
Worship Associate:  Alex Emig
Musician:  Fran Handy


May 1~ “The Martian Comicals” [Listen Now!]

Speaker:  Rev. Craig Moro
Oklahoma voters recently passed a measure forbidding state courts from considering
international law, the legal precepts of other nations and cultures, or the legal ideas
of one particular religion.  Guess which one.  Could it be the religion of Mars,
Worship Associate:  Diane Reed
Musician: Ellen Fillion

May 8~ “Stories of Mother”

Speaker:  Henry Kidwell, Kay Scheidegger, and CUUC Members
Being a mother, or having a mother, is very different, and a lot more interesting, than
a scene from a Hallmark card.  And roles often change through life.  Two members
of our congregation will be sharing their stories.  What stories do you want to share
on this Mother‟s Day?
Worship Associate:  Meryl Birn
Musician:  Fran Handy

May 15~ “Write Your Own Fatwas!” [Listen Now!]

Speaker:  Rev. Craig Moro
What is a “fatwa”?  What is “Sharia” law?  And why have such words become
associated exclusively with fear and cruelty? Let‟s explore these questions this
morning and hopefully dispel at least some of the anxiety they provoke!  Through
good humor and solid information I hope that we can clarify and demystify a topic
that has been much in the news but little understood.
Worship Associate:  Mike Truex
Musician:  CUUC Choir

May 22~ “Reclaiming the Common Good”

Speaker:  Rev. Carol McKinley
The common good is the moral center on which this country was founded, and has
been considered of paramount importance.  Yet it seems as if there is a decreasing
sense that we are all in this together.  This social compact, or covenant, has broken
down in the United States as rampant greed for wealth and power has spread.   It is
time to reclaim our understanding of the common good, reminding ourselves that
each of us exists in relationship to others.

The Reverend Carol McKinley serves as coordinator of Washington Unitarian
Universalist Voices for Justice, our statewide legislative advocacy network that
addresses social, economic, and environmental justice issues that come before the
Washington legislature.  She is an affiliated community minister with the Olympia
UU Congregation
Worship Associate:  Alex Emig
Musician:  Mike &Shannon Truex

May 29~ “Atheists and UUs in the Foxholes”

Speaker: Bruce Henrickson and Diane Reed
For many in the military, being an atheist or a Unitarian Universalist can be a
challenge. There are some UU chaplains, but the majority of spiritual support comes
from Christian chaplains. How do our UU brothers and sisters cope in the military?
Worship Associate:  Diane Reed
Musician:  Ellen Fillion

April 3~ “Springing into Spring After Falling in the Fall”
[Listen Now!]

Speaker:  Rev. Craig Moro
I was seriously injured in November while going up to work on my
roof.  Today I will reflect on that experience and on the varieties of
pain that we all experience.  I will also take the opportunity to thank
you for your kindness and support, and to encourage support for this
caring institution during our annual stewardship campaign!
Worship Associate:  Mike Truex
Musician: Ellen Fillion

April 10~  “Hearing Hidden Voices”

Speaker:  Mark Lee
Mark Lee, the executive director of the Vista Youth Center, will share
about at-risk youth in the Tri-Cities.  He will touch on the services at
Vista Youth Center and the services coming from My Friend's Place.
Worship Associate:  Alex Emig
Musician:  Fran Handy

April 17~  “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” [Listen Now!]

Speaker:  Rev. Craig Moro
In January we witnessed yet another mass shooting, this time in
Arizona.  Almost as soon as news of it began to reach us, we also
began to hear reflections on its meaning and possible causes.  
And then came the calls to silence all such conjecture or limit
discussion to the criminal acts of a single individual.  What guiding
principles from our religious tradition can we turn to when deciding
how to respond to events like these? And what can Superman add to
the discussion?
Worship Associate:  Meryl Birn
Musician:  CUUC Choir

April 24~  “A Sense of Renewal”

Speaker:  Irene Hays & Mike Truex
More sun, warmth, and some nourishing rain.  New inspiration. 
Lifting a burden. Spiritual awakening.  A new chance.  
What gives us a sense of renewal?
Worship Associate:  Mike Truex
Musician:  Mike &Shannon Truex

March 6 “A People of Faith”

Speaker:  Chrissie Noonan, Alice Strumski & Pete Rieke
You hear it every week at the start of our service.  ―We are a people of faith
with open minds, loving hearts, and helping hands.  … We do not ask you to
believe or accept a specific creed …‖  So what do we believe?  What
principles help motivate our actions?  Several members of our congregation
will answer that question and help to highlight the diversity that is Unitarian
Worship Associate:  Meryl Birn
Musician: Fran Handy

March 13 “A Year in Chile”
Speaker:  Donald Dowie

Donald Dowie, a Washington State native, after more than 15 years working
as an attorney in Washington, D.C., decided to do something different with
his life.  After much searching, he found a job as a volunteer teacher in rural
Chile, where he spent a year teaching English to children in grades 1-8. 
Come and listen to his stories about life in another culture, the challenge of
teaching children in a poor community in another country, and the
devastating earthquake of February 2010.
Worship Associate:  Mike Truex
Musician:  Ellen Fillion

March 20 “Breadcrumbs and Sawdust” [Listen Now!]

Speaker:  Rev. Craig Moro
Yesterday (March 19) Catholics worldwide celebrated St. Joseph's Day, in
honor of the foster father of Jesus, but nowhere is he celebrated 
more vigorously than in southern Italy. Joseph is also the patron saint of both
church and the family homes; of working people; and of social justice.  He is
the patron of foundlings, orphans, and of all members of the human family
who are called "illegitimate". Naturally, he's also the patron saint of
carpenters! What can we learn from him today, and from traditional
celebrations in his honor?  I look forward to sharing this with you today, on
my first Sunday back at CUUC since  my fall while working on my own
house in November!
Worship Associate:  Alex Emig
Musician:  CUUC Choir

March 27 “Inch By Inch, Row By Row”

Speaker:  Green Sanctuary Team
We can affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all
existence by embracing the call to action for a more sustainable and resilient
community.  Help make the garden grow at church and at home, sharing the
harvest with each other and with those in need.
Worship Associate:  Shannon Hays~Truex
Musician:  Shannon Hays~Truex

February 6~ “Honoring the Journey”

Speaker: Shannon Hays~Truex
What if every step of our journey, we walk on holy ground? What if each step
is reverent, each moment is relational, and each experience is one of wonder,
communion, reciprocity, and thanksgiving? Honoring the journey allows stories
to unfold and gifts to emerge.
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Mike & Shannon Truex

February 13~ “The Voice Behind the Backstop”

Speaker: Rev. Bill Graves
We all need the support of that voice, that wing extended as a bridge inviting us
to join in realizing our potential, in blessing the world. I first encountered that
voice growing up in Walla Walla. This is a meditation on our Third Principle
that calls us all to be ministers encouraging each other's spiritual growth, not
merely consumers of spiritual offerings.
Bill Graves lives on Whidbey Island with his wife, Frances, but is currently setting up an
apartment in Tacoma as he started the first of this year as full time consulting minister of
the Tahoma UU Congregation. He was ordained jointly by the UU Congregation of
Whidbey Island and the Skagit UU Fellowship on Jan. 22, 2011.
Worship Associate: Alex Emig
Musician: Ellen Fillion

February 20~ “Compassion as an Action Verb”

Speaker: CUUC Members & Friends
To practice compassion, it is not enough to think kind thoughts about other
people. Let‟s explore together what it means be compassionate and how to put
compassion into action in our everyday lives. Bring your thoughts and ideas to
Worship Associate: Meryl Birn
Musician: CUUC Choir

February 27~ “Beware of God”

Speaker: Rev. Richard Davis
Neuroscientists are now able to scan the brain and observe the effects various
thoughts and feelings actually have upon us, for good or ill. Ideas of God (there
are many!) is one of the most powerful ideas in human history and now we can
see this in new ways.
The Reverend Richard “Rick” Davis accepted the call to be the minister of the UU
Congregation of Salem, Oregon in July of 1992 and began his ministry there in January
of 1993 after completing a six year ministry at Emerson Unitarian Church in Canoga
Park, CA. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Emory University‟s Candler
School of Theology in 1986 and was ordained in 1987. Prior to this he practiced with
Zen Buddhist groups in San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Worship Associate: Mike Truex
Musician: Fran Handy

January 2~ “Ring in the New Year”

Speaker:  CUUC Members & Friends
At the turning of the year, let us consider the hope and possibility in each new day.
Worship Associate:  Mike & Shannon Truex
Musician: Mike & Shannon Truex

January 9~  “Living in the Face of Death”

Speaker:  Jim Dyson
Death is a part of life. Its reality has to be faced if we are to live fully, creatively and
freely right here and now.  We will explore some of the understandings and attitudes
necessary for living in the face of  our own mortality and the mortality of friends and
loved ones.
Worship Associate:  Alex Emig
Musician:  Ellen Fillion

January 16~  “Now is Enough”

Speaker:  Marcia Schekel
A new year brings possibilities—and hopefulness.  And still we carry the unfinished
business of our lives, our times.  How do we live in the tension of what is and what
could be?  Can we ever say ‗this life is enough?‘ 
Rev. Marcia Schekel is a board certified chaplain, with experience in hospice.  She is
an ordained community minister, affiliated with First Unitarian Church in Portland.
Worship Associate:  Meryl Birn
Musician:  CUUC Choir

January 23~  “Speaking for Justice”

Speaker:  Mike Truex
Our words and actions are important reflections of our values.  Today we‘ll explore
Martin Luther King‘s words and actions in his leadership of a non-violent campaign
for civil rights. 
Worship Associate:  Mike Truex
Musician:  Ellen Fillion

January 30~ “The Crying Tree”
Speaker: Naseem Rakha
What is the road to forgiveness, and why have people taken it? This is the question
award winning author and former NPR journalist, Naseem Rakha asked after meeting
a woman who had forgiven the man who brutally murdered her daughter. How, Rakha
wondered, do people forgive the unforgivable, and what happens to them once they
do? Her novel, The Crying Tree, winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award,
and listed by Indie Next as one of the ten best book group reads of 2010, examines this
issues through the eyes of a family torn apart by the murder of their son. Rakha
explores death, loss, the death penalty and forgiveness, and how ordinary humans can
do extraordinary things to find healing and justice in their life.
Worship Associate:  Mike Truex
Musician:  Fran Handy