Upcoming Services

Our Traditional Service is held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. each Sunday. For your convenience, we've posted descriptions of this month's sermon topics and speakers.

July 31, 2016: "The Perils of Democracy: Can the Populace be Trusted With the Vote?"

Geri Randall, with Valerie Taylor, Worship Associate

As Unitarian Universalists, we have no mandated beliefs in God, no rigid religious doctrine.  What we do have are seven principles, inspired by humanistic teachings and the guidance of wisdom, reason and science.

Two of those principles are:

5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

It may come as a shock to you that anyone would  question the practice of democracy.  Indeed, UUs accept democracy as an article of faith.  We are likely to cite Churchill's famous dictum: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."  In her talk, Geri will suggest that, in light of current political events, we need to recognize the perils of democracy–perils that were identified as long ago as 400 BC by Socrates and Plato, and more recently by, among others, the founders of our nation and the drafters of our Constitution, including James Madison and John Adams. She will discuss the reasons people vote the way they do,  and she will raise the questions of whether democracy is always compatible with our goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, and whether there are any preventatives for the perils a democracy may present. 

Geri Randall is an attorney who for 40 years worked as an independent arbitrator and mediator, resolving thousands of labor and employment disputes. She was on the panel of arbitrators who addressed the issues which led to the crippling 1993 American Airlines strike, pursuant to a deal brokered by then-president Bill Clinton. She was appointed Special Master by a federal court to hear numerous claims of sex discrimination filed against State Farm Insurance Company. 

Geri has also been a successful real estate investor since she was 23 years old.  She paid for her law school expenses with profits from her first investment. Geri holds an AB in math from UC Berkeley, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.  She obtained her JD from UC Davis.  She is a life member of Mensa. Geri first began attending UUCM in 1977.  She left in 2001 to live in Hawaii, and returned to UUCM when she got "island fever" and moved back to the Bay Area.

August 7, 2016: "Participation Service"

Dick Park, with Michael Lessin, Worship Associate

The Participation Service has its roots in the Quaker Meeting. There is quiet music with introductory words in the beginning, and quiet music at the end, but in between, the silence is broken only by individuals sharing thoughts and feelings that are significant to them. When others are speaking, listen with love. If you respond to others, be sure to let them know that you have understood what they have said, whether or not you agree. It is preferable to speak out of your own feelings and experiences, therefore talking in terms of “what I feel” rather than “what people feel.” Silence is preferred to time-filling conversation.

Dick Park is a retired social worker and long time member of this congregation.

August 14, 2016: "Traveling the Great Ocean: from UU to Buddhism"

Myra Bicknellwith Suzi Musgrove, Worship Associate

I believe that humanity is basically one. I believe that it is possible for any human being to communicate with any other human being, to feel for any other human being, to be friends with any other human being." ~~Sangharakshita, Founder, Triratna Buddhist Community 

Myra Bicknell grew up at the Marin Fellowship of Unitarians (as it was then) and was active in the Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) for many years. She currently practices with the Triratna Buddhist Community, a worldwide group headquartered in the UK. Her talk will explore links between Unitarian/Universalism and Buddhism and will highlight some of the social justice work happening in India through the Buddhist Revival. Myra works in non-profit finance and operations and lives in Mountain View with her wife Elaine and their two cats, Jake and Zephyr. 

August 28, 2016: "Awakening to Our Societal Conditioning"

Lorena Boswellwith Suzi Musgrove, Worship Associate

Unless we have intentionally removed ourselves from  society, every day we are bombarded with messages of how to maintain the status quo, how to keep society functioning as is. Where we have privilege we are conditioned to be unaware of other’s lack of resources and suffering. Where we are inundated with atrocities in the news, we are conditioned to believe we have little or no ability to influence change. It is essential to become more aware of the nature of our conditioning so that, rather than acting from these unconscious beliefs, we can intentionally choose align our actions with our values and principles.

Lorena Boswell is about to begin a Residency program as a chaplain  at Alta Bates hospital in Berkeley after recently completing her studies at Starr King School for the Ministry. She grew up UU and is now a member of the Humboldt Friends Meeting (ie Quaker) and a sojourning member of Strawberry Creek Meeting in Berkeley. Her Master’s thesis in Education  entitled “The Structure Trap” analyses how she as an educator was unconsciously teaching values she grew up with rather than her the paradigm shifting ideals.