The sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Bishop Carlton D. Pearson, Affiliate Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Romans 3:3)

The America faith is traditionally as much in its majority Judeo/Christian God as it is in its constitution, bylaws, American culture, and democracy. However, in today’s America there is nearly equal doubt in all of the above. It seems there never has been more distrust in normally presumed trustworthy people and professions including politics, lawmakers, law enforcement and lawyers over all, not to mention preachers, priests, teachers, and corporate structure. The gift of doubt can also be a curse, or at least a cause, that can awaken or necessitate an overall renovation and renewal of the moral infrastructure of the human and American culture and societal model.

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Direct download: 2017-06-25-CPearson-The-Gift-Of-Doubt-In-The-American-Faith.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00am CDT
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 18, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Bishop Carlton D. Pearson, Affiliate Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Newton's third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Faith is a reaction or response to doubt. Faith is also one of the nine spiritual gifts recorded in the scriptures of the New Testament. Faith is impossible - and unnecessary - without doubt. Doubt supports, sponsors, and summons faith and therefore can be considered a gift. Doubt is more than a curse or liability, something I was always taught it was. Scripture says without faith it is impossible to please God and I say, that without doubt, faith is impossible and uncalled for. Mutual respect for both honors them equally and validates their cooperative virtues!

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Direct download: 2017-06-18-CPearson-Faith-And-Doubt-Fraternal-Twins.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30am CDT
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 18, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Barbara Prose, Executive Director of Ministry.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Last week, in honor of Rev. Dr. John Wolf, we talked about how doubt is essential to deepening our liberal religious faith. My father’s faith was planted firmly in the American democratic process. One could say he practiced an American Civil Religion, rooted in a trinity of three persons named Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. The evolution of our free faith is interwoven with the evolution of our American democracy. Join me to explore the faithful legacy of our founding fathers and what it means for us today.

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Direct download: 2017-06-18-BProse-Doubt-And-Democracy.mp3
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Barbara Prose, Executive Director of Ministry.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Doubt was a central theme in the ministry of the Rev. Dr. John B. Wolf, our minister emeritus. He wrote extensively about this theme in his book, The Gift of Doubt. Doubtless, many of us are struggling today - with doubts about the future - whether our worries are personal, political, or planetary. In our world today, the topic of doubt is a fitting theme to kick off our Summer Sermon Series: This American Faith.

I’ve been reading and relishing Rev. Wolf’s work and look forward to sharing my thoughts on what it means to be bearers of The Gift of Doubt in 2017.

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Direct download: 2017-06-11-BProse-The-Gift-Of-Doubt.mp3
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Gerald L. Davis, Affiliate Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

As I reflect on the nexus of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, the not guilty verdict of Officer Betty Shelby and Memorial Day, I question how anger fuels a painful heart. I intend to explore the consequences of unexamined pain. Our participation in this long journey toward justice depends on our willingness to examine our painful parts.

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Direct download: 2017-06-04-GDavis-Why-So-Angry.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30am CDT
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Monuments and historical celebrations create a sense of public memory, and what we remember matters. The celebrations we offer and statues we erect help shape a shared narrative of our history and our public identity. These communal acts express and advocate public values, however, the meanings we make of events are not neutral. There are economic and political consequences of how we tell our story. Artists who design memorials are challenged with how to confront and memorialize the uncomfortable truths in our past. We launch our Summer Sermon Series: This American Faith with “The Gift of Doubt.” It was a favorite theme of our Minister Emeritus, Dr. John B. Wolf, during his nearly four decades as the Senior Minister of All Souls. Doubt causes us to question what we are told and is an important tool in seeking the truth. How can our efforts to honestly recall and evaluate the past provide the conditions for a brighter future?

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Direct download: 2017-06-04-MLavanhar-American-Myths-and-Monuments.mp3
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This Meadville Lombard Theological School 2017 Commencement Address was delivered seven weeks after the unprecedented resignation of the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), Peter Morales. His resignation was a direct result of a public conversation and controversy regarding ongoing influences and impacts of racism on the hiring practices and culture of the UUA.  Other senior UUA staff also resigned in the wake of the controversy.

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Direct download: 2017-05-21-MLavanhar-Love-Where-We-Are--2017-Commencement-Address.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am CDT
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, May 28, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Bishop Carlton D. Pearson, Affiliate Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Mercy is not just allowing escape from hell. Authentic mercy would be completely extricating the concept of eternal damnation from our belief system and articles of faith. The English word hell doesn't appear anywhere in the original biblical narrative and Jesus never used the term. He used the Hebrew word Gehenna (Valley of Hinnom), which was mistranslated as Hell in the King James version. Is a Hell-less Christianity possible? Can you be Christ-conscious beyond the obscenity of a customized torture chamber from which escape is an infinite impossibility?

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Direct download: 2017-05-28-CPearson-Get-The-Hell-Out-Of-My-Bible.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30am CDT
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, May 28, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Joseph Boyd, Intern Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

Sometimes we struggle to make sense of what is worth fighting for, even worth giving our life for, and what is worth surrendering. This memorial weekend we will explore patriotism as an everyday practice, practicing our American values of freedom, opportunity, and justice in small but impactful acts of kindness. In light of Officer Shelby's verdict, and the anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre on May 31, we see that Tulsa is at a threshold. How do we cross the threshold of our lives while respecting the power of the past?

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Direct download: 2017-05-28-JBoyd-Crossing-the-Threshold.mp3
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The sermon was delivered on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Bishop Carlton D. Pearson, Affiliate Minister.

SERMON DESCRIPTION

The opposite of cruelty is mercy. Otherwise, there’d be no such thing as cruelty. Cruelty is defined as callous indifference to or pleasure in causing pain and suffering. The most poignant example of that is the concept of eternal damnation. Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. It seems strange that both cruelty and mercy are attributes associated with the God of the Abrahamic faiths, the one considered by billions to be the “Holy” God of the Judeo/Christian bible and belief. Doesn’t one cancel out the other? That same bible says that Mercy prevails by enduring forever. (Psalm 23) It pre-supposes all other ultimate possibilities and presents a kinder, gentler image of the Divine, absent of cruelty that if fully accepted would give life an entirely different moral completion and make world peace a contagion and more likely reality!

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Direct download: 2017-05-21-CPearson-Can-Mercy-Endure-Forever.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30am CDT
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