June 14, 2024

Northliner June 14, 2024

June 12, 2024

We are seeking a nursery/childcare assistant to work two to three Sundays a month from 9:30 – 11:30 AM.

June 7, 2024

Northliner June 7, 2024

June 4, 2024

Special Event: We Exist Screening June 15, 2024 6pm Food, 6:30 Film and Panel Discussion

June 4, 2024

News that Matters from Social Justice

June 1, 2024

All Things RE! June 2024

May 31, 2024

Northliner May 31, 2024

May 29, 2024

Upcoming Services

May 24, 2024

Northliner May 24, 2024

May 17, 2024

Northliner May 17, 2024

May 15, 2024

Flower Communion

May 10, 2024

Northliner May 10, 2024

May 9, 2024

All Things RE! May 2024

May 9, 2024

Jessy Knox is our New Religious Education and Family Programming Coordinator

May 3, 2024

Northliner May 3, 2024

April 26, 2024

Upcoming Services

April 26, 2024

Northliner April 26, 2024

April 19, 2024

Northliner April 19, 2024

April 12, 2024

Special Event April 19, 2024

April 12, 2024

Northliner April 12, 2024

April 5, 2024

All Things RE! April 2024

April 5, 2024

Northliner April 5, 2024

March 29, 2024

Northliner March 29, 2024

March 22, 2024

Northliner March 22, 2024

March 20, 2024

Special Speaker March 24, 2024

March 15, 2024

Northliner March 15, 2024

March 14, 2024

All Things RE! March 2024

March 12, 2024

From Rev.Scott: Spirituality of our Building

March 8, 2024

Northliner March 8, 2024

March 7, 2024

From Rev.Scott

March 1, 2024

Northliner March 1, 2024

February 23, 2024

Northliner February 23, 2024

February 16, 2024

Northliner February 16, 2024

February 15, 2024

“Widening the Circle” UCN Pledge Drive

February 14, 2024

Religious Education and Family Programming Coordinator

February 9, 2024

Northliner February 9, 2024

February 2, 2024

Northliner February 2, 2024

February 1, 2024

All Things RE! February 2024

January 26, 2024

Northliner January 26, 2024

January 21, 2024

Can We Really Re-invent Ourselves?

January 19, 2024

Northliner January 19, 2024

January 18, 2024

January Services

January 17, 2024

A Reflection

January 14, 2024

Are we color blind?

January 12, 2024

Northliner January 12, 2024

January 10, 2024

Sunday Services: Inclement Weather

January 5, 2024

Northliner January 5, 2024

January 5, 2024

Share the Plate: January and February 2024

January 3, 2024

All Things RE! January 2024

December 29, 2023

Northliner December 29, 2023

December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve “The Snobbish Ox”

December 24, 2023

Christmas Eve “The Hostage”

December 22, 2023

Northliner December 22, 2023

December 21, 2023

January Services

December 15, 2023

Northliner December 15, 2023

December 12, 2023

A Winter Reflection

December 12, 2023

How the Unitarians Saved Christmas

December 8, 2023

Northliner December 8, 2023

December 1, 2023

Northliner December 1, 2023

November 22, 2023

All Things RE! December 2023

November 22, 2023

Northliner November 22, 2023

November 21, 2023

Thanksgiving Leftovers Party November 26, 2023

November 17, 2023

Northliner November 17, 2023

November 16, 2023

Position Opening

November 14, 2023

Conversation Invitation

November 3, 2023

Northliner November 3, 2023

November 1, 2023

All Things RE! November 1, 2023

November 1, 2023

Share the Plate: November and December 2023

October 27, 2023

Northliner October 27, 2023

October 25, 2023


October 20, 2023

Northliner October 20, 2023

October 13, 2023

Northliner October 13, 2023

October 6, 2023

Northliner October 6, 2023

October 6, 2023

Northliner September 29, 2023

September 22, 2023

Northliner September 22, 2023

September 15, 2023

Northliner September 15, 2023

September 8, 2023

Northliner September 8, 2023

September 2, 2023

Share the Plate: September and October 2023

September 1, 2023

Northliner September 1, 2023

August 25, 2023

Northliner August 25, 2023

August 18, 2023

Northliner August 18, 2023

August 11, 2023

Northliner August 11, 2023

August 4, 2023

Northliner August 4, 2023

July 28, 2023

Northliner July 28, 2023

July 26, 2023

Green Team Activity August 5, 2023

We’ll hike down the lake bluff to the lakeshore and do a beach walk north to Schlitz Audubon beach and back to Doctors Park.
July 21, 2023

Northliner July 21, 2023

July 14, 2023

Green Team Activity July 15, 2023

July 14, 2023

Northliner July 14, 2023

July 7, 2023

Northliner July 7, 2023

June 30, 2023

“My Last Parson to Person” June 30, 2023

I want to thank you all for my "send off" on my last official Sunday with you (June 25th). The festivities that day were not just inspiring but so much...
June 30, 2023

Northliner June 30, 2023

June 23, 2023

Northliner June 23, 2023

June 16, 2023

Northliner June 16, 2023

June 9, 2023

Northliner June 9, 2023

June 2, 2023

Northliner June 2, 2023

June 1, 2023

All Things RE! June ’23

In this, the last issue of All Things RE before summer break, I would like to take just a moment to say thank you. Thank you to our team of teachers...
May 26, 2023

“Marvels, Wizards, and Wardrobes” May 26, 2023

On Sunday, June 4th, we will be honoring Gay Pride Month by celebrating "The Theology of The Wizard of Oz," and exploring some of its relevance to UU spiritual...
May 21, 2023

Herding Cats, and other UU Humor

Clergy through the centuries have often been called pastors ("pastor," after all, being the Latin word for "shepherd"). And a congregation has often been called a flock. (In fact, at the...
May 5, 2023

“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” May 5, 2023

A month from now (June 4th), UCN will be celebrating LGBTQ Month (June), with a service and sermon on "The Theology of The Wizard of Oz." (Yes, there is a theology there,...
May 1, 2023

All Things RE! May ’23

MAY 2023 On this fourth day of May, May the 4th be with you. Today is known as Star Wars Day. When you think about it, May is really all about flowers...
April 5, 2023

All Things RE! April ’23

Sunshine, 80 degrees and the threat of snow on the weekend. It must be spring in Wisconsin...
March 31, 2023

“A Little Humor for April Fool’s Day” March 31, 20

Today (March 31st) is my 74th birthday. As some of you know, I have always wished my birthday had been the day after, since April 1st seems to fit my...
March 30, 2023

UCN Presents: B~Free and Quinten Farr Duo

UCN proudly presents an intimate evening of live music, featuring multifaceted husband & wife duo, B~Free and Quinten Farr - an Ozaukee County 1st.
March 5, 2023

All Things RE! March ’23

Sunshine, 80 degrees and the threat of snow on the weekend. It must be spring in Wisconsin...
February 24, 2023

“Investment: A Spiritual Thing?” February 24, 2023

A few weeks ago UCN began our pledge drive, with a service on why we support Unitarian Universalism (and Unitarian Church North). One thing I didn't have time to mention...
February 21, 2023

“Feb 21st: Our 5th UU Principle In Action” February, 2023

A few weeks ago UCN began our pledge drive, with a service on why we support Unitarian Universalism (and Unitarian Church North). One thing I didn't have time to mention...
February 6, 2023

All Things RE! February ’23

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it gives us so much. Punxsutawney Phil makes his annual prediction on Groundhog Day, February 2nd (get ready for six more weeks of winter this year)...
January 29, 2023

Children and Church

Many of you have probably noticed that we have been getting more families with children here at UCN. (Which is exactly what we were hoping for when we revamped our Sunday School...
January 15, 2023

Prejudice and Privilege

“Prejudice and Privilege” Rev. Dr. Tony Larsen 1/15/23 During the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s, many of us thought that if we could just get rid of overt prejudice, […]
January 3, 2023

All Things RE! January ’23

And just like that...we have a new year. 2022 seemed to exit in a whirlwind, sprinkling blessings and challenges all along the way. As we enter this traditional time of...
January 2, 2023

Share the Plate: January and February 2023

December 30, 2022

Angel Hair on the Tree

One of my favorite singer/songwriters, Chris Williamson, grew up in Wisconsin (in a little place called Moonlight Ranch). This holiday season I've been thinking about a story she once...
December 1, 2022

All Things RE! December ’22

It’s hard to believe December is here. Shorter days, colder nights, the season for hot chocolate and lights. It has been my privilege to get to know you..
November 20, 2022

Tender Mercies

There once was a farmer who called a real-estate company to help her sell her farm. And so a real-estate broker came over and wrote an ad for...
November 17, 2022

UCN Fund for Social Justice

The UCN Fund for Social Justice was established in 2000 following the state legislature's decision to send tax-rebate checks to taxpayers, rather than using...
November 17, 2022

Using UU Principles to Decide Your Vote

The Unitarian Universalist principles serve us in many ways, including helping guide us in our personal search for truth and meaning. They can also serve to help guide us in relation to our role in our community...
November 17, 2022

Ways You Can Support Democracy – Resources, Guides, and More

There are many ways to engage in the democratic process and support democracy in our society at large. Not everyone can do everything, but we hope you will take the time to vote...
November 2, 2022

All Things RE! November ’22

All Things RE! November 2022 Welcome Our New Director of Religious Education! LaToya Bates is proud to be a member of UCN and is excited...
November 1, 2022

Share the Plate: November & December 2022

September 30, 2022

All Things RE! October ’22

Religious education at Unitarian Church North is off and running! September 18th marked the beginning of the new RE year with three classes for our children...
September 28, 2022

All Things RE! September ’22

Welcome to the first issue of the monthly UCN Religious Education newsletter – All Things RE! that will be published the third Wednesday of each...
September 18, 2022

Losers One and All

There is an author and speaker I like named Doug Adams. (Not the Doug Adams who wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but a former Episcopalian...
September 6, 2022

Share the Plate: July & August 2022

In late June, the first bipartisan gun safety legislation in 26 years — the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” — was passed by the U.S. Senate and House and signed by […]
September 1, 2022

Share the Plate: September & October 2022

UCN’s Share the Plate for Sept. and Oct. is the Ozaukee County Jail’s Literacy Program, a non-profit that teaches literacy, GED preparation, and life skills...
August 14, 2022

Are you religious or are you spiritual?

I'd like to try a little experiment. If I were to ask you, "Do you consider yourself more religious or more spiritual?" how many of you would say...
July 29, 2022

A Sermon-Rating System?

I once read about a sermon-rating system that coincides somewhat with movie ratings. I thought you might find it interesting food for thought, so here it is...
July 6, 2022

UCN Hikes

For the Summer and Fall, there are two categories of hikes: 1. Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) sponsored hikes 2. UCN hikes organized by the Green Committee (Julie and John […]
July 6, 2022

“Carpets, Clothing, Little Drops of Water” June 24, 2022

As I watched UCN folks clear the sanctuary for the laying of the new carpet (thank you, thank you!), I thought about a few typos from church bulletins that I...
May 31, 2022

“Success vs. Significance–and Donkeys” Apr. 29, 2022

The African-American preacher and author, the Rev. William Sloan Coffin, once said: “We don’t have to be ‘successful,’ only valuable. We don’t have to make money, only a difference…” Yet […]
May 1, 2022

Share the Plate: May and June 2023

April 27, 2022

Share the Plate: May & June 2022

The Wisconsin Black Historical Society & Museum in Milwaukee is UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for May and June 2022. The Society’s founder, Clayborn Benson III, gave UCN’s Sunday sermon […]
March 30, 2022

“An April Fool’s Birthday” Mar. 25, 2022

March 8, 2022

“Humility and Ash Wednesday” Mar. 8, 2022

Just over a week ago was Ash Wednesday, a day I remember as a time to be humble. The priest would put ashes on people's...
March 2, 2022

Share the Plate: March & April 2022

Nominated by Social Justice Committee member Leigh Hoftiezer, our March and April Share the Plate recipient is WRTP/BIG STEP. These two acronyms stand for the two partners in this twenty-year-old […]
March 1, 2022

Share the Plate: March and April 2023

February 1, 2022

“Chicken or Lamb?” Jan. 29, 2022

Some of you may remember my sermon on "The God I Believe In" (delivered on December 12, 2021). In it I referred to a Jewish concept--"tikkun olam," which means "repair of the world."...
January 4, 2022

“Unintended Humor” Dec. 31, 2021

Every once in a while I have shared actual typos from church newsletters and bulletins in my Northliner column. Not all of them are technically typographical, of course--some are simply words...
January 3, 2022

Share the Plate: January & February 2022

Hanan RRG is not an official refugee resettlement agency receiving government support, but an entirely volunteer organization using 100% of donations for direct refugee services. Of the estimated 850 Afghans […]
December 3, 2021

“Much Obliged, Lord” December 3, 2021

By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will have come and gone. But, since it’s important to give thanks on more than one day a year, I thought I’d include this anecdote...
December 2, 2021

Leadership Board Minutes

Leadership Board Meeting Minutes - 12/2/2021
November 23, 2021

“Holiday Graces” Nov. 19, 2021

Normally I write a Parson to Person column to be printed on the last Friday of one month, and the first Friday of the month following. But since the...
November 8, 2021

“A Cellphone, an Airport, a Good Deed, and Politics” Nov. 5, 2021

In last week's "Parson to Person" I wrote about my visit with my family in the Seattle area, and how we "overcame" political disputes with games and small talk. There...
November 2, 2021

Share the Plate: November & December 2021

UCN’s Share the Plate recipient for November and December 2021 is Braver Angels, a non-partisan grassroots organization formed in 2016 to help bridge the political and cultural divide between reds […]
November 2, 2021

“Getting Around the Politics” Oct. 29, 2021

Last week I came back from 4 days of vacation with my siblings at a family reunion in the Seattle area. This was our first reunion without my sister Alice...
September 28, 2021

“Living Our UU Principles” Sept. 24, 2021

Since we've been doing a series of Sunday services on our 8 UU principles, I thought I'd use this column to give a few examples of how they influence me...
September 1, 2021

“A Few More Thoughts on Our First UU Principle” Aug. 27, 2021

Starting in August, I began a series of sermons on our eight UU principles. Although I already gave my sermon on the first one ("[we covenant to affirm and support]...
August 3, 2021

“Less Than One Tenth of a Percent?” Jul. 30, 2021

Now that we are holding in-church services, and UCN is looking at new/old ways to reach out to the wider community, I thought I'd bring up an issue that...
July 16, 2021

“There’ll Be Some Changes Ahead!” Jul. 16, 2021

Those of you who regularly read this Parson to Person column (otherwise known as p2p) may have noticed that I haven’t written a column for a couple weeks. As you may remember...
June 29, 2021

“What Not to Say to Newcomers” Jun. 25, 2021

We will be meeting in church for Sunday services, starting July 4th.  (Yay!)  We may or may not have in-person visitors that Sunday, but I think we can assume that...
June 29, 2021

Share the Plate: July & August 2021

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and...
June 22, 2021

“Where were you? I missed you!” Jun. 18, 2021

Since we will start having Sunday services at church starting in July, and probably more and more of us will start seeing each other in person...
June 15, 2021

“Singing For Our Lives” June 11, 2021

Last Sunday, celebrating Gay Pride Day (and month), I quoted from Glen Thomas Rideout, a young gay African American who wrote about his experience of being hired by the UU church...
June 9, 2021

“House Calls” June 4, 2021

Doctors generally don’t make house calls anymore, but some ministers do. And actually, it’s a hallowed tradition going back 450 years to John Calvin. (Remember him? He’s the Protestant reformer […]
June 1, 2021

“A Pillar of Salt,” May 26, 2021

Last Sunday I delivered my sermon from Sanibel Island (off the Florida coast) while on vacation there. My sermon was on teardrops–and their place in many world religions–but it occurred […]
May 18, 2021

“Vacations,” May 14, 2021

I will be leaving for Sanibel Island (off the coast of Florida) this coming Wednesday (May 19th) for a week of vacation (though I will still be leading the May […]
May 12, 2021

“Living in the Animal House” May 7, 2021

This Sunday is Mother’s Day–a time that can be either heart-warming or heart-breaking (and sometimes both). That’s because some of us may feel gratitude for the parents we had; some […]
April 29, 2021

Share the Plate: May & June 2021

UNC acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity and compassion in human relationships” . Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from the offerings, […]
April 28, 2021

“Another Sestercentennial? Or Is It Semiquincentennial?” April 23, 2021

As you can see in the description of the upcoming Sunday service (“Getting the Hell Out of Religion: Part II”), we will be celebrating the 250th birthday of Hosea Ballou […]
April 12, 2021

“An Indonesian Tale for Buddha’s Birthday” April 9, 2021

Back in November and February I wrote a couple columns on some lessons I learned on a trip I took to Indonesia in 2013, thanks to a gift from a […]
April 5, 2021

“What Balloons Can Teach Us” April 2, 2021

As you read this, I will have celebrated my 72nd birthday on Wednesday, March 31st. (I always wished my birthday could have been on April Fools’ Day; it always seemed […]
March 31, 2021

Parson to Person:  “Watching Eggs Hatch” March 26, 2021

A couple people asked whether my sermon on March 14th (“Here Comes the Sun”) would be available in print. It is, and you can get it at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vBmUNlYl-qeLlZZ8Yv7fEuRPap7xfslror8wYt0O8vc/edit But for those […]
March 24, 2021

Parson to Person: “Why Is Easter So Hard to Predict?” March 19, 2021

In my sermon this past Sunday I mentioned that I would tell you how (and why) Easter varies so much from year to year. Although my original intention was to […]
March 16, 2021

Parson to Person: “A Different Easter Story” March 12, 2021

This Sunday I will be speaking about some of the spring festivals around the world (ancient and modern). In preparing my message, however,  I realized I wouldn’t have time to mention […]
March 10, 2021

Parson to Person: “The Next Time You Fly Out of Chicago” March 5, 2021

Last Sunday my sermon was on “The Way for This Journey.” There is one story I didn’t have time to tell you in that sermon, so I thought I’d mention […]
March 2, 2021

Parson to Person: “Daunting Drivers, Indonesia” Feb. 26, 2021

This column has nothing specifically to do with current events, political or otherwise. But, for me, it feels like a parable of how I might look at the worlds of […]
February 25, 2021

Share the Plate: March & April 2021

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and […]
February 24, 2021

“O Lord, It’s Hard to Be Humble” Feb. 19, 2021

Two days ago it was Ash Wednesday, the day that begins Lent (the period of 40 days before Easter). When I was young, you were supposed to give something up […]
February 16, 2021

“Valentines, Samaritans, and More Random Acts” Feb. 12, 2021

(Note: Since I already took up a lot of space in my description of my “UU Catechism” above, I will write just a few notes for this column.) When I […]
February 10, 2021

“A Few Random Acts of Kindness” Feb. 5, 2021

I don’t drive very often to Illinois (especially since COVID hit), but if I’m going through the toll booths on I-94, I usually give the toll-booth operator two tolls–one for […]
February 3, 2021

“A ‘Yes, Maybe’ Kind of Person” Jan. 29, 2021

The late David Rankin (the former minister at the UU church in San Francisco) once gave a sermon on the poet Robert Frost. At the end of the service, as […]
January 28, 2021

“Martin’s Dream, Malcolm’s Nightmare,” Jan. 22, 2021

Last Sunday I preached my sermon on “Martin and Malcolm,” comparing the pacifist vision of Dr. King with the more militaristic view of Malcolm X concerning civil rights. I don’t […]
January 20, 2021

“Hard-Scrabble Hope,” Jan. 15, 2021

Since this week’s Northliner is a little longer than usual, I will keep my remarks here brief. We are all aware of the attack on democracy at the U.S. Capitol […]
January 12, 2021

“Lies My Mother Told Me” Jan. 8, 2021

When I was young, my mom would often send my sister Arlene and me out with our little red wagon to pick up loaves of day-old bread at the bakery […]
January 6, 2021

“Winter and Hope” Jan. 1, 2021

I never really knew winter until I moved to Wisconsin. The first year I was here I remember thinking, Gee, it sure gets cold here. Then someone told me gently […]
December 29, 2020

“6 Feet Long and 3 Feet Wide,” Dec. 23, 2020

When you receive this Northliner it will probably be Christmas. I’m not sure how many of you will be reading this today, but in case any of you are, I wrote […]
December 23, 2020

Share the Plate: January & February 2021

The Social Justice Committee is pleased to announce that the organization chosen for “share the plate” for January and February, 2021, is Family Promise, a local organization which arranges for […]
December 23, 2020

“Santa, Buddy Holly, and the Other Reindeer” Dec 18, 2020

For your holiday-reading pleasure, here are a few “Letters to Santa” that children have actually written–and which probably reveal more than the children intended:    Dear Santa, Please give me […]
December 15, 2020

“Between Halloween and New Year” Dec. 11, 2020

All right, I’ll say it: I love the time of the year between October 31 and January 1. There’s Halloween, with its costumes and let’s-pretend; Day of the Dead, with […]
December 9, 2020

“The Scam” Dec. 4, 2020

I’m told a number of you received an email purportedly from me, with the subject heading “Many Blessings.” (The email used my actual email address but with one letter changed.) […]
December 1, 2020

“A Little More Humor for Hard Times” Nov. 25, 2020

Given that this is the Thanksgiving weekend, I hope you’ll forgive me if I use this column to share a few more messages–with unintended typos and phraseology–that actually appeared in […]
November 24, 2020

“Indonesian Thoughts on Gratitude” Nov. 20, 2020

A couple years ago I had the chance to visit Indonesia with a UU family from my home church in Racine. I have always found that experiencing a different culture […]
November 17, 2020

“Unitarian Universalism: The Un-Un Religion” Nov. 13, 2020

On Wednesday night (Nov. 11th), after our second post-election discussion, I shared a benediction I had written that uses words that begin with “un” (in honor of our religion’s name). […]
November 15, 2020

Can’t Hide Beautiful

The Hindu festival we're celebrating today is called Diwali, which is short for Deepa-wali. Deepa, meaning lamp or light (like this one); and Wali, meaning row. So, a row of lights, or festival of...
November 15, 2020

“Unitarian Universalism: The Un-Un Religion” Nov. 13, 2020

On Wednesday night (Nov. 11th), after our second post-election discussion, I shared a benediction I had written that uses words that begin with “un” (in honor of our religion’s name). […]
November 10, 2020

“What I Meant to Say,” Nov. 6, 2020

Last Sunday, at our Day of the Dead service, I told a story that was missing a few details, so it might not have made complete sense. (The problem was […]
November 6, 2020

Share the Plate: November & December 2020

UCN acts directly to live our principle of “justice, equity, and compassion in human relationships.” Through the Share the Plate program UCN supports, with monthly donations from offerings, humanitarian and […]
November 6, 2020

“My New Word for the Month–Plus Diving Saviors” Oct. 30, 2020

Many of you know that I like learning new (and obscure) words–especially if they have an interesting pedigree. So you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you how much […]
November 1, 2020

A Feather to Place

The Day of the Dead is a time to remember loved ones who have died--not just because we may miss them, but because we may be grateful for things they...
October 28, 2020

“The Business of Church Or the Church of Business?” Oct. 23, 2020

Every once in a while someone will refer to the church as a business, as in “UCN has a product to sell” or “We can’t ignore our budget’s bottom line […]
October 21, 2020

“Humor for Hard Times,” Oct. 16, 2020

I don’t know about the rest of you, but as I watch the news on the spread of COVID and witness our country’s dysfunctional politics, I find I’m in more […]
October 13, 2020

“A Not-So-Mad Hatter’s Story” October 9, 2020

I read once that when Thomas Jefferson was writing the Declaration of Independence, he was not happy about the idea of a committee making revisions to it. (It’s hard to […]
October 6, 2020

“Send in the Clowns,” October 2, 2020

There’s a story I like about a presidential candidate who asked a bishop how to receive God’s revelation. The bishop told him, “Go out into the rain, and lift your […]
October 4, 2020

The Wisdom of Marx

The ancient Aztecs prayed this prayer: "Grant me, Lord, a little light--but no more than a glow-worm gives, which goes about by night, to guide me through this life...this dream which...
September 29, 2020

“Kinky Turtles,” Sept. 25, 2020

Back in April I wrote a couple Parson-to-Person columns on things children often mis-hear (like "Howard be thy name" for "Hallowed be thy name," "Deliver us from email"...
September 15, 2020

Parson to Person: “A Tiniest Bit of Hope,” September 11, 2020

Last week I explained why I sometimes wear a clerical (“Roman”) collar at public events, explaining that it’s one of the few universally recognized public symbols of religious leadership, and it’s […]
September 8, 2020

Parson to Person: “Faith, Justice, and Roman Collars,” September 3, 2020

This past Saturday I went to the “Justice for Jake” march in Kenosha, to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Before the march a number of UU’s from all over southeastern […]
August 26, 2020

Parson to Person: “Clever Clergy Cards,” August 21, 2020

Every once in a while someone sends me a card (as a number of you did when my sister Alice died). Sometimes I get a card that reminds me of […]
August 23, 2020

An Altar From The Fragments

The opening words are from Anne Scott, in her book Serving Fire: "I have always been fascinated by the compost pile just outside our garden...
August 18, 2020

Parson to Person: “It Is Not What Paris Gives You,” August 14, 2020

Gertrude Stein once made an interesting statement about the capital of France. “It is not what Paris gives you,” she wrote. “It is what she does not take away.” I […]
August 10, 2020

Parson to Person: “Good Trouble from the Boy from Troy,” August 7, 2020

Like many of you, I have been moved by the tributes to the life of Congressman John Lewis, who represented Georgia’s 5th district (including most of Atlanta) from 1987 until […]
August 9, 2020

Our 4th UU Source: Jewish and Christian Teachings Which Call Us to Respond To God’s Love by Loving Our Neighbors As Ourselves

August 5, 2020

Parson to Person: “Trailblazers,”  July 31, 2020

We have had another death in our UCN family. Gwen Plunkett, who with her husband Jim joined Unitarian Church North in 1967, died at home on July 22nd, surrounded by […]
July 29, 2020

Parson to Person: “On Holy Cussing” 7-24-2020

I once heard a piece of advice that has kept me thinking–and chuckling: “When you’re in a traffic jam, or a careless driver has just cut you off–or something else […]
July 26, 2020

Wisdom from the World’s Religions (Source 3)

f you look carefully, I think you'll find the wording here rather interesting. Take the word "inspires." If it had been written without the "s," the...
July 21, 2020

Parson to Person: False Equivalency/Alice’s Prayer July 17, 2020

Last Sunday, when I gave my sermon on “Black Lives, White Lies”–there was something I didn’t end up saying–but that I think bears consideration. And that’s a thing called “false equivalency.” […]
July 19, 2020

Words and Deeds of Prophetic People

Today's sermon is the second in my series on the six sources of our UU tradition: Words and deeds of prophetic people, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love...
July 13, 2020

Parson to Person: “About Our Animal Friends,” July 10, 2020

During this time of sheltering in place, sometimes our pets become even more important than usual–especially for those of us who live alone. (In fact, I have read that pet […]
July 12, 2020

Black Lives, White Lies

Consider a few statistics with me. Black folks make up about 13% of the U.S. population. But they account for about 25% of COVID-19 cases and 25% of COVID-19 deaths. For a number of reasons: One being that many service jobs that entail a lot of interaction...
July 7, 2020

Parson to Person:  “A Flying Nun in Wonderland” July 3, 2020

I recently got back from California after visiting my big sister Alice. Originally we had planned for Alice to come out to Wisconsin this spring, but then COVID hit and […]
June 30, 2020

Parson to Person: “Sign of the Times” June 26, 2020

In the fall of 2017, Unitarian Church North installed a “Black Lives Matter” sign in front of the church. So did many other UU congregations (including my home church in […]
June 24, 2020

Parson to Person: “The Difference Between a Tomb and a Womb,” June 19, 2020

As we look at the controversy around COVID restrictions (when to open up businesses, when to wear a mask, etc.) and around the news stories about police brutality against people […]
June 16, 2020

Parson to Person: “Legacy: Ed’s, Yours, and Mine,” June 12, 2020

At a time like this, when we think about recent deaths of UCN members (Darlene Lochbihler on May 26th and Ed Friedrichs on May 29th)–I find myself thinking about legacy. […]
June 12, 2020

Parson to Person: “A President, a King, and a Minister,” Jan. 31, 2020

Since we celebrated M L King Sunday on January 19th, and we are on the cusp of February (Black History Month), I thought I’d mention a few interesting connections between […]
June 12, 2020

Parson to Person: “Peace and Unrest,” Oct. 4, 2019

You may have noticed that I have begun ending the services I lead at UCN with the words “peace and unrest.” If you were at the Sept. 22nd service you […]
June 5, 2020

Parson to Person:  “Hope: The Thing with Feathers” June 5, 2020

There is so much happening in our country right now that it’s hard to absorb it all. For one thing, we are dealing with COVID-19–which is something we all share […]
June 3, 2020

Parson to Person: “Darlene,” May 29, 2020 

Many of us, I'm sure, are thinking about the recent death of Darlene Lochbihler. I didn't know her for as long as many of you, but even in the time...
May 24, 2020

Flower Service

May 22, 2020

Parson to Person: “A 12th-Century Ladder of Love,” May 22, 2020

The Jewish philosopher Maimonides (1136-1204) once wrote a Guide for the Perplexed, in which he created a “ladder of charity” with 8 rungs on it: The lowest rung is to […]
May 15, 2020

Parson to Person: “New Words to an Old Battle Hymn” May 15, 2020

At last Sunday’s virtual Mothers’ Day service, I introduced a new verse to “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” (Julia Ward Howe, who introduced America’s first Mothers Day, wrote the original […]
May 8, 2020

Parson to Person: “On Niches, Sheep, and Little Princes,” May 8, 2020

If you ever visit First Unitarian Church in Chicago (near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in the Hyde Park area), you may notice a niche carved in the front wall […]
May 1, 2020

Parson to Person: “On Gifts” 5-1-20

As we are all sheltering in place during the pandemic, I have noticed some small things, small gifts, that have lifted my spirits a bit: someone making masks for others, […]
April 29, 2020

Share the Plate Recipients

  Share the Plate Recipient for September and October, 2020 In the months that UCN has been closed due to COVID-19, members and friends have been asked to mail in […]
April 23, 2020

Parson to Person:  More Things to Learn from Children 4-24-20

One of you responded to my last Parson-to-Person column on children’s mis-hearing of things adults say (“Howard be thy name,” for example, instead of “Hallowed be thy name”). She wrote: […]
April 21, 2020

Parson to Person: “Howard be thy Name” 4-17-20

I have always been intrigued by the ways children sometimes mis-hear the words to prayers, songs, and sayings (“Howard be thy name” being a misunderstanding of “Hallowed be thy name,” […]
April 14, 2020

Parson to Person: “Why Support a UU Church?”4-10-20

Since we are all still sheltering in place, and since UCN’s pledge drive is still happening, I thought I’d write something about why we give our time, talent, and treasure […]
April 14, 2020

Parson to Person: “Para What? A Gift for the New Year” 12-27-19

As you read this, you may be in a somewhat hectic state: Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, New Year – whatever it is you’re celebrating, and wherever you are in the process […]
April 14, 2020

Parson to Person: “On Broken Chandeliers” 11-29-19

I was thinking recently about Stephen Colbert (who used to host “The Colbert Report” and now hosts “The Late Show”). When he was young, he apparently got into a bit […]
April 14, 2020

Parson To Person:  About the “Spirit of Life” 10-25-19

When the Unitarian Universalist Association published our “Singing the Living Tradition” hymnal in 1993, one of the new hymns that became quite popular right away was “Spirit of Life” (conveniently […]
April 14, 2020

Parson to Person: “Peace and Unrest” 10-4-19

  You may have noticed that I have begun ending the services I lead at UCN with the words “peace and unrest.” If you were at the Sept. 22nd service […]
April 10, 2020

Parson to Person: “Crossword Spirituality?” 4-3-2020

Now that we are mostly “sheltering in place” due to the Corona Virus threat, I’ll bet a few more of us are working on crossword puzzles. (At least that’s what […]
March 25, 2020

Parson to Person:  “Believing in Fireflies” 3/25/20

Because we are “sheltering in place” here in Wisconsin (and thus not meeting in person at UCN), we are all probably reading more than usual. Maybe reflecting a little more […]
March 24, 2020

Parson to Person “A Different Way to Meet and Greet” 3/20/20

Sunday, March 15th, was UCN’s last “in person” service for a while–our last time to “meet and greet” (if only by touching our elbows!). We don’t know how long the […]
March 6, 2020

Parson to Person: “Who Should I Vote For?” 2-28-20

On February 18th, when it was time to vote for a candidate to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, I realized that I knew which of the 3 nominees I didn’t want to win--but I wasn't sure...
December 24, 2019

A Stable Boy’s Perspective

My name is Benjamin bar Jonah, and I was there at the birth of Yeshua bar Joseph, the one you call Jesus. It happened in my mother's stable at Bethlehem...
August 18, 2019

Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

Do events happen haphazardly in our lives, or are there things that "meant to be"? Do we each have some kind of destiny -- some thing or things we are expected...
August 8, 2019

“The Hell There Isn’t” or “Some Like It Hot”

The African-American theologian and former president of Union Theological Seminary, Henry Sloane Coffin, was at one time a hymnbook editor and actually taught a course in hymnology...
July 7, 2019

A Christian Nation? Yes and No

Was this country founded as a Christian nation? Religious conservatives often say yes; liberals usually say no. And both can marshal! quotes from the "founding fathers" to support their views...
July 24, 2018

UU Pride & Patriotism at Parade

Twenty-five UCN members and friends braved the sweltering heat to promote UCN in the Mequon-Thiensville Family Fun Before the 4th Parade on June 30...