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Posts from the ‘Sermons & Conversations’ Category

God Calls Us To Be Justice Advocates—Together!

October 6, 2019

Guest speaker: Paull Benz, Executive Director of Faith Action Network

No sermon text available this week.



October 6, 2019
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken

Sermon text: Attention


Note: text and audio versions may vary slightly.

Contemplation and Action

I founded the Center for Action and Contemplation, hoping to meet a need I witnessed while working with activists. Too many people I knew were burning out and becoming disillusioned, or their activism was motivated by a sense of superiority and self-righteousness. The little word “and” is the most important part of our name. Both contemplative practice and compassionate action are essential. Without action, our spirituality is lifeless and bears no authentic fruit. Without contemplation, all our doing comes from ego—even if it looks selfless—and can cause more harm than good. External behavior must be connected to and supported by inner guidance.

 —Richard Rohr

September 29, 2019
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken

Sermon text: Contemplation and Action


Note: Sermon text and audio may vary slightly.

Learning to See

Teach people to see. 

-William Ellery Channing

September 22, 2019
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken

Sermon text: Learning to See


Note: Sermon text and audio may vary slightly

The Myth of Scarcity

Forget Perfection.  Asset-Based Thinking liberates you from the pointless need to strive for “perfection.”  You realize that pursuit of perfection is not an asset, it’s a liability.  For a change in the way you feel about yourself, see yourself as a work in progress… just like everyone else.  Each day, say to yourself that for today you are perfect the way you are.  Always competent, yet always learning, always growing.  WARNING:  A preoccupation with eliminating flaws invites self-absorption, where recognition and reconciliation with shortcomings promotes a healthy and powerful humility that liberates you to move forward.

—from Change the Way You Think About Everything,
Katheryn Cramer and Hank Wasiak

September 15, 2019
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken

Sermon text: The Myth of Scarcity

Audio version:


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Legacies We Leave and Receive

You have made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when you plant shade trees under which you know full well you will never sit.

—Elton Trueblood

September 8, 2019
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken

Text: Legacies We Receive and Leave


Note: Text and audio versions may vary slightly.

Labor and Justice

The 21st General Synod reaffirms the heritage of the United Church of Christ as an advocate for democratic, participatory, and inclusive economic policies in both public and private sectors including…the responsibility of workers to organize unions for collective bargaining with employers regarding wages, benefits, and working conditions; and to participate in efforts further to democratize, reform and expand the labor movement domestically and abroad. 

—Resolution Affirming Democratic Principles in an Emerging Global Economy, 1997

We can have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few or we can have democracy.  But we cannot have both.

—Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis

Rev. Steve Van Kuiken
September 1, 2019

Text version: Labor and Justice


Note: Text and audio may vary slightly.

Equal Rites: Celebrating Gay Marriage

I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply on the inside.  I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person I know myself inwardly to be.

—Rosa Parks

August 25, 2019
Rev. Steve Van Kuiken

Sermon text: Equal Rites–Celebrating Gay Marriage


Note: The text and audio version may vary slightly.

Being Found

When Daisetz T. Suzuki was once asked, “What is Zen?” his answer was: “Zen is that which makes you ask the question, for the answer comes from where the question arises…”

Rev. Steve Van Kuiken
August 4, 2019

Text version: Being Found
Audio of sermon: Not available this week.

Bon Voyage!

In sacred deed, we echo God’s suppressed chant; in loving, we intone God’s unfinished song. 

—Abraham Heschel

Rev. Steve Van Kuiken
July 28, 2019

Text version: Bon Voyage

Audio of sermon: Not available this week.