First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

Upcoming Services

UPCOMING SERVICES

August 25. Blessing of the Animals (Rev. Abbey Tennis)
Bring your (well-behaved and/or crated) pets to receive a blessing in this intergenerational service celebrating our relationships to the non-human community of life. Pictures of shy or departed pets, stuffed animals, or other symbolic animals are invited to receive a blessing too!

September 1. Improv as Spiritual Practice: Making It up as We Go (David O'Connor)
The rules that govern good improv play are worth exploring as a way to live in community with others. Let's play together and see what sticks!

The final summer service is September 1. Services will once again be at 11:00 AM in the Sanctuary beginning September 8.

September 8. Water Communion: Groundwater of Being (Rev. Abbey Tennis)

September 15. Off the Pedestal: Reconciling Relationships in Beloved Community (Hannah Capaldi)

September 22. Loved into Loving (Rev. Abbey Tennis)

September 29. Alone in the Crowd (Rev. Abbey Tennis)

PAST SERVICES

August 18. Are People Good? (Phaedra Tinder)
How do we square a desire to see the best in others with the harms we know people are capable of? What does "being a good person" even mean? This week we consider this tension and try to imagine what living with it might look like in practice.

Sunday, August 11, 2019: "Questions of Faith," with Rev. Abbey Tennis
Rev. Abbey returns from her summer away for a spontaneous, unscripted service to answer your questions on matters of faith, spirituality, and social justice. If you’d like to submit a question, please send it by Wednesday, August 7th, to communications@philauu.org with “Questions of Faith” in the subject line. There will be a chance to ask questions during the service as well!

Sunday, August 4, 2019: "Cultivating Curiosity," with Deborah Hartranft
In what areas of your life are your “certain" or "convicted”? Sometimes, our certainties give us strength, but they can also hold us back. Are there ways to use curiosity to challenge, or open up, those certainties? What gifts come with curiousity? What challenges arise when our convictions are opened up?

Sunday, July 28, 2019: "The Power of Sharing YOUR Story," with Rev. Zemoria Brandon
We all have a story to tell. Each story is a unique representation of our personal growth through life’s challenges and lessons learned. What we may not realize is how the power of sharing our stories can reveal, heal, and transform us, as well as others. Join us for a time of story-telling through uplifting music, sacred dance, spoken word and poetry.


Sunday, July 21, 2019: "A Growth Mindset: How We Can Learn to Our Full Potential," with Rev. Stephen Oliver, Ed.D.
In this service, we will use the tools of self-awareness to see how changes we can make in our lives can help us substantially grow as a person. Join us as we explore moving from a "fixed mindset" (where we are concerned with how we will be judged), to a "growth mindset" (where we are concerned with improving personal qualities to be open to change). Together we will move towards fulfilling our potential!

Sunday, July 14, 2019: "Seeing Through Words and Sounds," with Crystal Mann
Join us for a morning of poetry and song about all things human and beyond.
Crystal is seminary graduate & DMV native that loves to cook vegan food while her toddler, Josiah, dances to the beat of every song.

Sunday, July 7, 2019: "Religious Resistance in the Spirit of 1776," with Phyllis Belk and Eric Orts
Our Declaration of Independence proclaims that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of [our inalienable rights including Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit or Happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles.” In this patriotic spirit, how are we called by our religious principles to resist ongoing violations of basic rights by the government and other powers in our country?

Sunday, June 30, 2019: "The Furness Family Out of the Box," with Dane Wells & Richard Frey
Join us for an exploration of the spiritual and architectural works of the Furness family, beginning with the Rev. Dr. William Henry Furness, this congregation's abolitionist first minister, and continuing on to explore the lasting impact of his wife, Annis P. Jenks, and their four children, including Frank Furness, the architect of our church buildings. Stay after the service for a tour of our building's unique Furness design!

Sunday, June 23, 2019: "Cultivating Curiosity," with Deborah Hartranft
In what areas of your life are you “certain" or "convicted”? Sometimes, our certainties give us strength, but they can also hold us back. Are there ways to use curiosity to challenge those certainties? What gifts come with curiosity? What challenges arise when our convictions are opened up?

Sunday, June 16, 2019: "As Beautiful as It Is True," with Rev. Abbey Tennis
Join us for our annual flower communion service, as we explore the importance of cultivating beauty in order to live an ethical life. In this intergenerational service, we will also celebrate Father’s Day and the end of our formal church year before shifting to our Summer schedule on June 23. All are invited to bring a flower to participate in the communion service, and we’ll have extras on hand!

Sunday, June 9, 2019: "Love Thy Nature," with Rev. Alison Cornish

There’s little doubt that our beloved Earth is in peril, most directly by global climate disruption. Action, on an unprecedented scale, is urgently needed. But Stephen Jay Gould reminds us “We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love.” How is love of the interdependent web of all existence – of which we are a part – a prerequisite to being effective activists on behalf of our planet’s health?


Sunday, June 2, 2019: "Overflowing," with Rev. Abbey Tennis
The writer of Psalm 23 from the Hebrew Scriptures famously says “my cup runneth over” in describing their gratitude for the Holy. Everyone from religious leaders to brain scientists tell us that filling our days with gratitude will make life richer. In good times, and especially hard times, how can we live lives of overflowing gratitude?

Sunday, May 26, 2019: "Grounding Yourself in Bravery," with Crystal Mann
How often do you find yourself trying to get away? How about trying to escape reality? For the last Sunday of exploring the theme of “courage”, we will explore different techniques to stay grounded in the present.

Sunday, May 19, 2019: "Sturdy, Not Strong," with Rev. Abbey Tennis
When we think of “courage” we often think about the boldness of a hero fearlessly charging into the fray. What if courage is not the 'glorious moments of bravery' but is instead the daily plodding work of learning when to speak up and when to let go, when to stand one’s ground and when to pass the torch to another? What if our courage is more about sturdiness than strength?

Sunday, May 12, 2019: "Original Blessing," with Rev. Abbey Tennis
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe not in “original sin,” but in “original blessing” - the belief that each person is born with a spark of the divine. What does this mean for our lives? What does it mean for how we treat each other? As we gather this Mother’s Day and dedicate two children into our community this morning, how do we ground ourselves in our faith while celebrating our spiritual diversity?


Sunday, May 5, 2019: "Music Sunday: Terraforming for Liberation," with Nate Bergey and Rev. Abbey Tennis

Some of us are at a low point in life and are searching for reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Some of us are at a high point in life and are searching to make our joy more meaningful. Whether high, low, or somewhere in between, how can we draw nearer to our sense of purpose?


Sunday, April 28, 2019: "You are Your Reason for Living," with Rev. Abbey Tennis
Some of us are at a low point in life and are searching for reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Some of us are at a high point in life and are searching to make our joy more meaningful. Whether high, low, or somewhere in between, how can we draw nearer to our sense of purpose?


Sunday, April 21, 2019: "Remember Me," with Rev. Abbey Tennis
On this Easter Sunday, we gather to celebrate the ancient Christian holiday of Easter – a holiday that calls to us of renewal of the earth, renewal of hope, renewal of faith, and renewal of spirit. How can we usher renewal into our lives and our hurting world?

Sunday, April 14, 2019: "Earth Teach Me," with Rev. Addae Ama Kraba
There is a great imbalance on planet earth. To resolve the contradictions that exist between self and other, body and spirit, mind and nature, requires listening to the needs of the earth as it cries out to us. There are many lessons to learn from the earth.

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