Mormonism? - Rev. Marlin Lavanhar

Sermon delivered on Sunday, October 28, 2012, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Since Mitt Romney became the Republican nominee for president, many people have wondered, “What exactly is Mormonism?” “Is it Christianity? ”Do they really believe Jesus will return to earth in Missouri?"

There are many questions and much interest, and there is even an award-winning Broadway musical called The Book of Mormon. Rick Fortner and a host of friends have worked up a special song from the musical to accompany our service exploring the foundations of Mormonism and whether any of this should matter when we step into the voting booth in the coming election.

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Direct download: 2012-10-28_MLavanhar_Mormonism.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT
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No Offense - Rev. Tamara Lebak

Sermon delivered on Sunday, October 21, 2012, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Tamara Lebak, Associate Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

There is a wonderful scene in Alice in Wonderland where Alice is swimming in a pool of her own tears, and she encounters a mouse swimming along near her. Alice innocently tries to connect with the mouse around stories of her cat Dinah. Alice realizes that she is not connecting, yet continues to insert her foot in her mouth several times.

“Oh dear!” cried Alice in a sorrowful tone, “I’m afraid I’ve offended it again!” For the Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it could go, and making quite a commotion in the pool as it went.

So she called softly after it, “Mouse Dear! Do come back again, and we won’t talk about cats or dogs either, if you don’t like them!” When the Mouse heard this, it turned around and swam slowly back to her. Its face was quite pale, and it said in a low trembling voice, “Let us get to the shore, and I’ll tell you my history, and you’ll understand why I hate cats and dogs.”

In order to expand our own understanding in the world, we must be in relationship with difference, and stay in relationship when in conflict. When we find ourselves offended by another’s behaviors or actions, it is often the differences between us that make a difference to us. What do we do when we have offended another unintentionally? How do we handle being offended?

In the Christian scriptures, offending another person parallels the concept of putting a stumbling block before them. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. (Rom. 14:13; cf. Rom. 14:20) Is it a sin both to offend and to take offense when none is intended? Come and explore with me the idea of causing and taking offense.

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Direct download: 2012-10-21_TLebak_NoOffense.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT
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Back to the Future - Rev. Marlin Lavanhar

Sermon delivered on Sunday, October 14, 2012, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Last Sunday, I changed my sermon topic to respond to a tragedy in our community. I want to thank everyone in the family of All Souls for rising to the situation and pulling together to respond with love and compas- sion. This coming Sunday, I will return to my original message from last week under a new title – a sermon inspired by my recent trip to our Partner Church in Romania.

It was like walking back through 450 years of Unitarian history. I saw the rock upon which Francis David stood as he proclaimed his progressive faith in the midst of the Protestant Reformation and converted King John Sigismund to the religion that became known as Unitarianism. I also visited the place where the king and Francis David proclaimed Europe’s first declaration of Religious Freedom in 1568. It was a time of religious wars and conflict across the continent, and these men spread a vision of tolerance. What is interesting is how similar those times are to our times now and how their actions can inspire our own.

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Direct download: 2012-10-14_MLavanhar_BackToTheFuture.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT
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When Everything Seems Wrong - Rev. Marlin Lavanhar

Sermon delivered on Sunday, October 7, 2012, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

How can life be all right, when everything seems all wrong? When facing difficult, life-altering circumstances in our lives, when dealing with bitter consequences of choices that we or other people have made, and when wondering what to do and struggling to make sense of it all, sometimes we need to remind ourselves of grace. Grace gives us a perspective that makes forgiveness and healing possible. As we give grace to others, we should also accept it from others and extend it to ourselves.

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Direct download: 2012-10-07_MLavanhar_WhenEverythingSeemsWrong.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT
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