The sermon was delivered on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

”How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” —Rainer Maria Rilke

Ordinary problems are not necessarily trivial problems. Everyone of us has problems of our own; even if we like to pretend we have it all together and even though we tend to focus on others’ problems. Sometimes we focus so much on the big problems that we fail to find the beauty, teaching, and the grace within the ordinary problems of our lives. Sometimes our greatest teachers are the small obstacles and challenges we encounter every day. I delivered this message in the Traditional and The Point services last week. This week, in the Contemporary service, I will share it from a Christian and Universalist perspective.

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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Barbara Prose, Executive Director of Ministry.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Every parent of a two-year-old knows the power of “No.” But so did Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, and the writers of our country’s Declaration of Independence. No, I will not give up my seat. No, I will not follow a law that deprives the poorest of the poor of the most basic of human needs. No, I will not pay taxes to a foreign monarch. Beneath our most powerful Nos, often, an even more powerful YES, lies waiting to be fully expressed. Yes, I matter. Yes, the poor deserve dignity. Yes, independence is worth fighting for. When a woman says No to a pregnancy, she is often also saying Yes to something very important: her health, her independence, her marriage, and more. When has saying No changed the direction of your life? What was your underlying Yes?

Join me as we explore the power and potential of our personal and political NOs, in order to uncover our wholehearted YESSES, especially those that fire up, fuel and sustain social transformation.

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Direct download: 2015-02-22-BProse-The-Power-of-a-Positive-No.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, February 15, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Bishop Carlton D. Pearson, Guest Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Justice is not necessarily a reference to legal concepts of jurisprudence. In a more conscientious way, justice simply means: the quality of being fair and reasonable. We don’t need a court of law to realize this in spirit, rather we need a transformation of mind and heart. The law cannot infuse justice into the heart and soul of a people taping into our extrinsic goodness as not just human beings looking for a spiritual experience, but also as spirit. Having an earthly encounter will help us recover the often misplaced virtue, validity and valor of the soul and self of all. If we don’t go within, we will go without. We don’t just need another march, we need spiritual renewal as a nation and a people living in and as the beloved community.

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Direct download: 2015-02-15-CPearson-Justice-from-Within.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30 PM

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, February 15, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

”How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” —Rainer Maria Rilke

Ordinary problems are not necessarily trivial problems. Everyone of us has problems of our own; even if we like to pretend we have it all together and even though we tend to focus on others’ problems. Sometimes we focus so much on the big problems that we fail to find the beauty, teaching, and the grace within the ordinary problems of our lives. Sometimes our greatest teachers are the small obstacles and challenges we encounter every day.

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Direct download: 2015-02-15-MLavanhar-Ordinary-Problems.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM

The message was delivered on Sunday, February 1, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Nicole Ogundare, Jane Newman, Louie Rojas, Rev. Gerald Davis.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Certain moments in life feel so profound when they happen that they are sometimes described as sacred or holy. A series of moments like that occurred for 140 All Souls members, at the same time, on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. I’m pretty certain it caught all of us by surprise. This Sunday the other ministers and I will be joined by some of the 140 to share and dramatize what happened and the impact it’s having on us. With the children and youth choirs singing at the Traditional or Contemporary services respectively and our children in the first part of all three services, this will be a Sunday you will not want to miss.

Speaking of Sundays that no one should miss, on February 8 we will have two combined services for the whole church at 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. instead of our usual schedule. The services will be a version of our renowned “Soulful Journey: The Story of American History Through Black Music.” There will be many special guest artists and music, including Spirituals, Jazz, Blues, Ragtime, Gospel, Soul, Rock, Hip Hop, and more. The story of freedom is rarely told in such a stirring and toe-tapping way. Bring your friends.

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Direct download: 2015-02-01-MLavanharFriends-Hands-Up.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, January 25, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by David Ruffin, Resident Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

There is very little hardship in the recipe of our lived experience, which cannot be transformed with the ingredient of love. As water is to the flourishing of biological life, so is love to the flourishing of our relationship with life and with one another. Yet often we may celebrate love without trusting that love is really for us – really capable of changing our lives. But how can we trust what we don’t allow ourselves to experience? That’s why our foundational faith work is actually to give ourselves the opportunity to experience and feel the love that we would see our lives and world transformed by. Are you making way for love’s power in your life? ‚Äč

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Direct download: 2015-01-25-DRuffin-Just-Add-Love-and-Stir.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30 PM

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, January 25, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

"Religious proselytizers who rant against sex, and the sexual libertarians who claim the right to do anything at all to their own bodies, and sometimes to other people’s as well, make strange bedfellows. But both groups demonstrate in their different ways, that they believe sexuality exists as something separate from the rest of life: as a ‘thing’ to be elevated or despised. Both are reluctant to see human beings as a unity. Separating any aspect of the human being from all other aspects, aggrandizing the physical and sexual either through fear or avidity, throws a person severely out of balance.” *

As I conclude the series on Love and Sex, I will look at the unity of body, mind and spirit and how love and sex can help balance these or destroy this balance.

*Stephanie Dowrick from her book 'Forgiveness & Other Acts of Love'

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Direct download: 2015-01-25-MLavanhar-Love-and-Sex-IV-Balance.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, January 18, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Bishop Carlton D. Pearson, Guest Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

There is a marked difference between having sex and making love. Eros and romantic Love has a sacred connection to sex and sensuality, that is stronger than lust and physical desire however, sex itself can be experienced and enjoyed without love and/or emotion. Sex happens thru the animal sentient of human instinct and can occur without emotion or devotion. Sex happens between the legs and often purely organic. Making love or “Love making” happens more between the ears and involves the head along with heart and is sacred and powerful in, as and to the soul. Sex is a human medium that occurs in and thru nature and doesn’t necessarily demand nurture. Love and/or making love involves the spiritual and mystical self, expressing itself in both nature and nurture and is connected inseparably to the divine and infinite aspect of human nature.

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Direct download: 2015-01-18-CPearson-Whats-Love-Got-to-Do-with-It.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30 PM

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, January 18, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Barbara Prose, Executive Director of Ministry.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

As stories and scenes of violence flood the media and our minds:

• cartoonists of political satire are shot and killed at work,

• unarmed black men are shot and strangled on our streets by white police officers,

• journalists are beheaded and video recordings of their murders are broadcast on the internet,

• a 10 year old girl with a bomb strapped to her body, blows herself up, killing 20 other people in a crowded marketplace

we turn our attention to the teaching and legacy of a man who said,

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

This Sunday, we will struggle with the power, promise and potential of words - and drawings, to heal and to harm, to liberate and to oppress. We will remember the power, promise and potential of non-violence to transform not only the world, but even our own lives, as we dream again with Dr. King, who said, "May it not be that the new man the world needs is the nonviolent man?"

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Direct download: 2015-01-18-BProse-Love-or-Perish.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM

The sermon was delivered on Sunday, January 11, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Before getting married, a couple is wise to make sure they are in agreement about whether their marriage is founded on love or Love. Love with a capital “L” denotes a relationship that is a part of a spiritual path that is connected to one’s highest ideals. By some accounts, the very things that make a marriage strong are things that make sex less exciting. Marriage is strengthened by familiarity, trust and safety. Sexual excitement is said to be heightened by a sense of exoticness, newness and adventurousness. Keeping the sexual excitement alive in a marriage over time can be challenging and important. However, having a spiritual foundation for a relationship is something that offers a level of connection that can help a couple truly stay together through sickness and health, better or worse, rich or poor. Sunday in the Traditional and Contemporary services I will look at the roles of sex, love and spirituality in making committed relationships successful.

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Direct download: 2015-01-11-MLavanhar-Love-Sex-and-Marriage.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30 PM



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