Monday, March 14, 2022

Just Jane's Sermons

The Reverend Dr. Jane A. Page
Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro and the Unitarian Universalists of Coastal Georgia
Please note:  These sermons were scripted similar to the sermons that were delivered.  My delivery style is somewhat "folksy" and informal.  Therefore, you may see incomplete sentences, prepositions at the ends of sentences, regional (South Georgia) phrases, etc.  Many of these have been videoed and include a script as well.  Some were done without a script.  Please feel free to "borrow" any stories or examples from these sermons and to share the videos with your congregations.  I only request that you let me know how you used them.  I would also appreciate any feedback.  Just email me !
 
Celebrating Unitarian Universalism with Song!  April 24, 2022 - video   
 
 
Celebrating Gender Inclusion - March 13, 2020 (video)
 
Family - It's Complicated! - February  20, 2022 (video)
 
Celebrating Our Bodies!  January  30, 2022 (video)
 
Celebrating Equity:  A Sermon in honor of MLK Day and the 8th Principle of UU. Jan 22
 
 Celebrating Transitions - A sermon for the  New Year.  January 2022 (video)

Red - the video!  Dec. 5, 2021

               Sermon Script (text)

Return of the Living Dead - online - 10-31-21 (about our attraction to horror stories and films)



            Responsibilities and Rewards:  (Sermon Text) - Statesboro - 9-26-21
           
Rosh Hashanah and the High Holy Days - online video 9-19-2021

Renewal and Rebirth - online video 9-5-21

The 8th Principle - online video - 8 -1 -21
              8th Principle - Sermon Script

            Sermon Text

We Are... (sermon text)  4-25-21

Resurrecting Joy - (sermon text) - 4-4-21 (Easter)

The Fire of Commitment - online video 3-28-21

Building a New Way - online video 3-7-21
         

When our Heart is in a Holy Place (message on our common humanity) - online video 2-7-21


There's a River Flowing in my Soul (message on self-worth) - online video 1-31-21

       Script

The Ancestors' Breaths - online video - 1-10-21

What Time is it?  online video - 1-3-21

Living in the Twilight Zone - 2020 - online video - 12-27-20

Good Ally - Religious Differences (focus on celebrations of light - online video - 12-13-20

Being a Good Ally - Economic Differences - online video - 11-22-2020

Jane's Election Reflection - online video - 11-8-2020

Being a Good Ally - Differing Abilities - online video - 10-25-2020


Committing to Tomorrow! - online video - 9-27-20

Being a Good Ally - Race &Ethnicity - online video - 9-13-20

Being a Good Ally - online video - 8-23-20

Sea Change Soliloquy - online video - 8-16-20
 
The Trade-Ins (Twilight Zone Series) - online video -  8-9-20

In the Time of Pandemic - The Interdependent Web - online vide0 - 3-17-20

"Ask Mama Jane" - Question Box Sermon online video - 5 10- 20

Imagine - Peace, Liberty, and Justice for All - online sermon - video - 5-3-20

 Crisis in Democracy - online sermon on 5th Principle - video 4-26-20

Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning - online sermon - video - 4-19-20 

Can I Get a Witness - my Easter 2020 online sermon - video - 4-12-20

The Monsters are Due on Maple Street - video March 8, 2020

The Obsolete Man - video 2-23-2020

The Eye of the Beholder - video - 2-9-2020

Rod Serling:  His Life and Lessons -video- 1-12-20

A Eulogy for my son, Fred Page, III  - delivered January 2, 2020

Rohatsu:  A Celebration of Enlightenment - Video - 12-8-2019

A Place to Grow Gratitude - Video - 11-24-2019
    The text for this message can be found HERE

A Place to Share Love - Video - 11-10-2019
       The text for this message can be found HERE

A Place to Honor Life and Death - Video - 10-27-2019
      The text for this message can be found HERE
       
Gender and Sexuality: Understanding and Celebrating Who We Are - Video - 10-13-19

A Place to Respond to the Injustices of the World - Video 9-8-19
                               The text for this message can be found HERE

A Place for Community - Video 8-25-19

Moving to the Beloved Community - Audio 7-28-19

The Soul of Democracy - A Readers Theater Conversation - 7-7-19 

We Belong to the Earth - Video 4- 28-19

Amazing Grace - Video - 3-31-19

A New Manifestation -  Video - 3-10-19

This is my Song - Video 2-24-2019

A Firemist and a Planet (Evolutions Sunday) - Video - 2-10-19


African American Spiriuals as Sacred Text  - Video  1-27-1

A Litany on Atonement - Video - 1-13-19


Light  One Candle (a Hanukah Sermon ) - Video - 12-9-18

To Live Deliberately (based on Thoreau's life and writings) - Video - 11- 11-18
 

We Laugh, We Cry  - Video - 10-28-18

Once to Every Soul and Nation - Video - 10-14-18

The Idea of Democracy (based on words of Lincoln) - Video - 9-23-18

The Answer is YES! - Video - 9-8-18

To Worship:  An Exploration of the Reading by Jacob Trap.  Video - 8-26-18

Ysaye Barnwell:  Her Life and Her Music.  Video - 4-22-2018 

Rev. William F. Schulz and Human Rights - Video - 3-25-2016

Answering the Call:  James Reeb & Viola Liuzzo - Video - 2-25-2018

Mary White Ovington:  Co-Founder of NAACP - Video - 2 -11-2018

Whitney Young:  Bridgebuilder - Video - 1-28-18

Francys Ellen Watkins Harper:  Video - 1-14-18

Clara Barton:  Founder of the American Red Cross - Video - 11-19-17

Margaret Fuller:  The Girl in the Transcendentalist Boys Club - Video - 10-22-17

William Ellery Channing and the Emergence of Unitarianism in America - Video -  10-8-17

Wake Now Our Vision:  Supporting UUFS i 2018 and Beyond - Video - 9-14-17

Hosea Ballou and Universalism:  Loving the Hell Out of Folks!  - Video - 8-27-17

Oh, the Possibilities - Video -  April 23, 2017

Purposely Living and Loving - Video - March 26, 2017

Purple Rain and Other Purple Thangs!  Video -  February 26, 2017

Passion for Goodness Sake - Video - February 12, 2017

The Power of the Prophetic Message - Video - January 29, 2017

Promises to Make, Promises to Keep - Video - January 8, 2017

ThanksLiving - Video - November 27, 2016

What Democracy Looks Like?  A Reflection on the Election.  Video - November 13

(Cry Me A) River Musings - Video - 10-23-16; A Lamentations Message

Up UUrs!  A Canvass Sermon - Video - 10-9-16

Answering the Call:  Past, Present, Future - Video - 9-25-16, on the weekend celebrating 10 years of Ministry at UU Statesboro

Ministry on the Side of Love - Script of sermon shared 9-18-16 on the morning before my installation at the Unitarian Universalists of Coastal Georgia.

The Sexuality of Terrorism - Video - 9-11-16 

Our Sixth UU Source:  Earth-Centered Traditions - Video - 4-24-16

Our Fifth UU Source:  Humanist Teachings - Video - 4-10-16

An Easter Celebration of our 4th Source:  Jewish and Christian Teachings - Video -  3-27-16

Our Third UU Source:  Wisdom from World Religions - Video - 3-13-16

Our Second UU Source:  Words and Deeds of Prophetic Women and Men - Video - 2-28-16

Our First UU Source:  Direct Experience - Video - 2-14-16

The Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty and Justice for All -  6th Principle - Video - 1-10-16

A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning - 4th Principle - Video - 12-13-15



The Right of Conscience and the Use of the Democratic Process- 5th Principle - Video, 10-25-15

Justice, Equity, and Compassion in Human Relations -  2nd Principle - Video - 10-11-15

Inherent Worth and Dignity?  First Principle Sermon.  Video  September 27

Nurturing Our Congregation with Enthusiasm (a canvass sermon) video  Sept. 13, 2015

The Interdependent Web of Life - 7th Principle   - text of homily for Ingathering - Aug. 23, 2015

Palm Wavers or Naysayers  (text - including Children's Story)  March 29

Crossing Bridges (video)  February 22 

Building the World We Dream About  (video)  January 11, 2014

Just Simply Living  (video)    November 23, 2014

In Democracy We Trust?   (video)   November 9, 2014

Listening to the Dead  (Video)  October 12, 2014  

New Beginnings  (A video)   August 24, 2014

It’s Human Nature      February 23, 2014

Have You Been to the Mountaintop?      Feb 9, 2014

Just Jane:  A Spiritual Odyssey         January 26, 2014

Building Your Own Theology         January 12, 2014

Celebrating Rohatsu:  The Enlightenment of the Buddha             December 8, 2013

Tearing Down Walls    October 13, 2013

Let Go and Grow    (Ingathering) August 11, 2013

A Visit from John Dewey       June 7, 2013

Spiritual but not Religious?   April 14, 2013

I Know This Rose Will Open    March 31, 2013 – An Easter Sermon (audio link included as well as text)

The Evolution of Love!  Feb. 10, 2013.  A sermon honoring both Darwin and Valentine.

Building the Beloved Community in Statesboro – Jan. 20, 2013 (sermon delivered at the Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church at a joint MLK Sunday worship service with their congregation). This link contains an audio and a text version.  (I recommend the audio – about 15 minutes.)

The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness – Jan. 13, 2012 (sermon based on Michelle Alexander’s book of the same name)
            Blue Christmas, White Christmas….. – Text – Dec. 23, 2012

Farewell for Now – June 24, 2012

Faith Wars – March 28, 2012

Four Agreements and More – February 26, 2012

Why Marriage Matters – February, 19 2012

Moving to the Beloved Community – January 22, 2012

Wait Wait….Don’t Tell Me!  (An Advent Sermon) – December 11, 2011

Simply Living and Giving – September 25, 2011

To Be of Use – July 17, 2011

Round and Round We Go Again – May 29, 2011

Celebrating Resurrection – April 24, 2011

Let Your Body Learn to Bend – April 10, 2011

Let the Sun Shine, Let It Rain – March 27, 2011

Play the Music – March 20, 2011

Share the Laughter, Bare the Pain – January 16, 2011

Everybody Turn and Spin - November 14, 2010

Take It As It Passes By – Oct 24, 2010

An Old, Old Story of a Man Called Job – Oct 24, 2010 (story for all ages)

What Time Is It? – October 10, 2010

To Reap the Harvest, Plant the Seed – September 26, 2010

Learn to Follow, Learn to Lead – September 12, 2010

May I Have This Dance – August 22, 2010

This I Believe – June 20, 2010

The Blooming of UUFS – April 4, 2010

Palm Sunday – March 28, 2010

Jane and Julia – February 28, 2010

Facing Your Demons – January 24, 2010

Oh My Soul! – January 10, 2010 

A “Mary” Christmas – December 13, 2009

Come, Come, Whoever You Are… -- A sermon exploring our theological diversity.

God, Sex, andPolitics – October 18, 2009 (Reflecting on my participation in the March for Equality in Washington, October 10-11)

The Power of Three Cups of Tea – September 13, 2009

Can You Say COVENANT? – August 23, 2009

Mama’s Mottos – (A Mother’s Day Sermon) – May 10, 2009

Can You SayHALLELUJAH? – (An Easter Sermon) – April 12, 2009

Spring Forward – (A Canvass Sermon)  February 29, 2009

The Dance of the SevenVeils – February 22, 2009

Can You Say HOPE? – January 25, 2009

Wrestling withGod – January 11, 2009

Shall We PRAY? – November 23, 2008

Human Rights:  Dignityand Justice for All – October 26, 2008 (United Nations Sunday)

Love and Death  -- September 28, 2008

In Praise of Evolution – February 24, 2008.  A sermon shared as part of a celebration of Charles Darwin and the wonder of evolution.

The New Atheists – January 27, 2008.  An exploration of the writings of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett.

Living with Privilege – December 9, 2007. 

Elizabeth Cady StantonSpeaks on Religion and Women – November 11, 2007.  This “sermon” is taken from various writings of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  On November 11, Stanton was portrayed by Jane Page at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro.

Jesus, UU, and You – October 28, 2007

The Theology ofHospitality – October 14, 2007. 

CanYou Say ATONEMENT? – September 23, 2007.  Part of the “Can You Say” series addressing traditional religious language.

The Freedom to Marry – September 9 2007.  A sermon promoting marriage as a civil right for all loving couples – with a surprise ending!

Lest We Forget – April 15, 2007.  A Yom Hoshoah homily remembering the Holocaust

Hallelujah Sunday – Easter 2007!

Tending the Flame      March 18, 2007.  My first canvass sermon (sometimes humorously called, “The Sermon on the Amount”)  The accompanying Story for All Ages entitled, “The Little Red Hen and Her Friends” is also included.

Wake, Now, My Senses:  The Embodiment of Spirituality   March 4, 2007.  A sermon encouraging openness to the unity of body and soul.

If I Had a Hammer    February 4, 2007.  A sermon inspired by Pete Seeger and Millard Fuller.

A Greener Faith   January 28, 2007.  A sermon on religious environmentalism with a proposal for our congregation.

Just Living Simply  December 3, 2006.  A sermon on living justly and simply with compassion with "Plain Jane" suggestions.

Can You Say GRACE?  November 5, 2006.  Part of the "Can You Say" series addressing traditional religious language.

Can You Say AMEN?  October 15, 2006.  One of my "Can You Say" sermons addressing religious language.  This particular sermon also challenges UU's to be more comfortable with participatory worship styles.

Becoming the Beloved Community.  October 1, 2006.  (This was the first sermon delivered by me after my ordination by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro.)

The Sacred Depths of Nature.  September 17, 2006.  (This sermon is an exploration of Religious
Naturalism and an examination of my own theology.)

Unveiling Jezebel: The Queen Defends Herself - March 12, 2006 (This is the powerpoint presentation that “Jezebel” – portrayed by Rev. Jane – used to defend herself)

Can You Say Resurrection? - March 27, 2005 (A sermon delivered as part of our UU Resurrection Celebration on Easter Sunday.  The Flower Communion service is also included.)

In Times Like These:  A Theological Spin - November 7, 2004  (A sermon delivered the Sunday after the election)

In Democracy We Trust? - October 3, 2004

Religious Naturalism:  Is it for Me - September 5, 2004   (Note:  The "sermon" that was delivered on this date was a "Readers Theater" production based on the paper that I have posted.)

Can You Say GOD? - February 9, 2003

Can You Say UU Evangelism? - December 1, 2002

Marry, Marry, Quite Contrary - October 6, 2002

The UU Church as Mother - May 12, 2002

Who is Santa - December 23, 2001

ThanksLiving - November 17, 2001

Same-Sex Unions :  A Journey from Our Early Christian Roots to Sarah's and Suzie's Wedding at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro  -  June 3, 2001

Monday, January 10, 2022

Celebrating Transitions

 

As I began the first draft of my sermon on Celebrating Transitions on Tuesday afternoon, I was also anticipating with some degree of anxiety our called zoom meeting of the board that evening to determine whether we need to transition back to zoom only services.  How dare I write a sermon on Celebrating Transitions when it seems that all we do is transition.  Well, if that’s what life is like – we sure need to learn to celebrate it.  And indeed, I DO celebrate that we have gotten pretty good at our options for worshiping so that we CAN make these decisions and still do church!  I celebrate that we have the proper equipment, the upcoming increased WiFi support, and the technological expertise to do these things, maybe not perfectly – but pretty good for a church our size.  And that ability for us to make these transitions is why we are surviving.  We just need to honor and respond to these challenges in a way that we can survive, thrive, and celebrate!  So yes, I’m going to share a sermon on Celebrating Transitions!!

Now there are some transitions that many of us have no problem celebrating.  These are usually the transitions that we set as goals for ourselves and work to achieve that possibility.  Graduations, Promotions, New Jobs, Weddings, and more.  It’s easy to put on that party hat and blow your horn when you’ve made some achievement.  Of course, some of us may have celebrated on New Year’s Day – because we had simply achieved making it through another year!  In all of these situations, we are proud of ourselves or our loved ones.  And we look FORWARD to what awaits us or them in that transition and beyond. 

Sometimes our various cultures create celebrations around transitions that could be very difficult and through which we all must pass.  I’ll give you just one example – PUBERTY.  Some religions have special celebrations when children “come of age.”  The bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah that our Jewish friends celebrate is an example.  Our congregation isn’t large enough to gather a group of young folks together for the UU “coming of age” classes and the celebration that follows, but perhaps that’s something we can now do with other churches in our cluster via Zoom? 

The most difficult of transitions to celebrate are those that are unexpected or unwanted – or are a result of Not achieving some goal.  Losing a job, the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one, the loss of some ability – for example, being able to drive, and more.  And certainly, we should all allow space for the grief experienced with these.  But we also need to be ready to see opportunities for celebrating our ability to move through this and find new challenges and opportunities in the future. 

I asked my Facebook friends what kinds of transitions they were undergoing. 

Several shared job-related transitions – getting a new job or transitioning what they do at their current job – or the most popular, transitioning to retirement.

Several others listed transitions related to family – losing a loved one, moving from marriage to divorce, and four grown folks said they recently became orphans. 

Some shared changes in their family roles – especially finding themselves in the role of caregiver for another.

Some had changes in living situations, moving to a new home or a new community, or living alone for the first time – empty nesters, and others with family members moving in.

A couple of folks were making intentional transitions in how they lived their lives, for example, eating differently, and another said she was “increasing my ‘noticing’ (awareness) of my reactions to specific situations.  Trying to sit in that awareness and pay more attention to my thought/ emotions. “And still another trying to find her voice – transitioning to a place of speaking her truth and reality in hopes of finding better care for herself and others.

Some folks were transitioning from being fully abled to having more challenges physical limitations.

And one long-time friend said she was just trying to avoid “the great transition” until she could see her grandchildren again and check off a few more things on her bucket list. 

All of these present emotions of excitement and anxiety.  Because transitioning means changing.  And change is often hard. 

Those of us who appreciate the insight that Darwin and others have provided us regarding evolution know – that it isn’t necessary the biggest or strongest or even the smartest that survive – it’s the ones who can adapt, who can transition to living in a different environment or with different challenges. 

Adaptation to something new is difficult for most of us.  We get comfortable with things as they are.  And many folks spend a great deal of time and energy trying hard to avoid change.  Unitarian Universalists seem – as a whole – to be better than most and shifting and adapting – at least we proclaim to be.  But sometimes we really struggle as well. 

Psychologists have spent a lot of time studying folks who adapt well, and they describe them as being resilient.  What does it mean to be resilient?  And is it something you are born with or something you develop?  Like most characteristics – it’s some of both.  Let’s be honest, some folks are just born seeming to have the capabilities of being more resilient.  And it’s not that they necessarily try harder than their neighbors.  They just got lucky, just as some are born with rhythm and musical abilities and others must work for many years to be able to do some simple dance steps.  So, we shouldn’t be so quick to pat ourselves on the back if we can adapt and our neighbor has more difficulty.  And likewise, we need to be understanding if we are the one in that role of having the difficulty with transitions.  We are different, with different capabilities.  Fortunately, it’s not a characteristic like eye color – resiliency IS something that we can develop and strengthen in ourselves.  Yes, we can LEARN to cope with life Transitions.

Psychologist Anna Womack provides us with six Tips!

The first is to PREPARE (when you can).  You should have the batteries for the flashlights BEFORE the storms takes out the electricity.  There are SO many things in life that we CAN prepare for --- even if we don’t know exactly when these transitions will occur.  One transition that we all know is coming – for every single one of us – is that great transition that my long-time friend is trying to avoid for a while – and that is death.  And folks, we sure don’t know – for sure – when our time or the time of one of our loved ones will come.  So, if there are things, we need to do first – to make it easier for our loved ones, we need to do it.  This past Thursday, I had the honor of officiating at a graveside service in Statesboro.  This friend was prepared.  She had even written her own obituary.  And she had planned what kind of service she wanted and told them that only Jane Page could do it – and if they couldn’t get me, that she was fine just not to have any minister there.  Of course, I made sure that I could be there.  We’ve questioned ourselves and the experts on whether or not we were prepared for this pandemic.  Actually, they had been preparing for it for years.  And it’s a good thing.  Because even SO, - with that preparation, we’ve been unprepared for much of what has happened.  Do all the preparation you can for those transitions you know are coming.  Study for your exams, exercise your bodies, read for more information, - like a good scout – be prepared.

The second time is to SET REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS.  It’s good to be prepared and confident!  But if you go into a difficult transition imagining that it will “be a breeze,” you my find yourself with a lot of frustration and stress when you don’t meet those expectations.  Instead, go into it knowing that you will feel stressed and overwhelmed at times.  That’s normal.

The third tip is Establishing some routines during times of transitions.  Daily walks, going to bed and getting up at regular times (do people really do that?) and having regular times for intention settings can help.  During the pandemic and before, I’ve been trying my best to walk every day.  It’s become a life saver in many ways.  I think I need to add some other possibilities to this routine setting for myself.  Also, be aware that some routines may not be healthy.  Just because it’s a routine – doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. 

The fourth is “Check your self-talk.” – Oh, God.  Not only do I have to deal with my constant self-talk – now this psychologist said I should evaluate that.  Well, she did prescribe using some self-talk to share with myself how I had accomplished getting through previous transitions before.  I guess I can do that.

The fifth is to Set some SMALL GOALS.  I agree with that for when we are overwhelmed – I think it’s a reasonable tip.  But we need to keep our eyes on the big goals as well.  Don’t forget that we are trying to work toward that Beloved Community with peace, liberty and justice for all.

The sixth one is the one that I think can be the most important during challenging transitions.  And that is to STAY CONNECTED.  Even if we must use Zoom folks, find ways to stay connected to folks.  Most of us know how to use a telephone. Call somebody today you need to connect with.  Wish them a happy new year.

And the seventh is priceless! – Practice Self Compassion. Forgive yourself when you fall short.  Our loud if necessary. Say it. “I forgive me.” Give yourself some self-love and be proud that you are dealing with some tough shh—stuff.

Y’all it’s 2022 – and with all the mess many of us have had to deal with – we are still here!  We can still LOVE – even if we can’t HUG everybody.  Everyone of us is pretty dog-on resilient – and that’s worth celebrating.  We know how to adapt, and we are doing it.

Greg and I have been watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. We are up to the 11th Season now.  In one of the episode’s, we watched this week, there is a shot of Dr. Amelia Shepherd preparing for a difficult surgery.  Her resident, Dr. Stephanie Edwards comes in and sees her standing like this. 

“What are you doing?”  Stephanie asks.

“I’m standing in my superhero pose,” explains Amelia.  Research shows that if you stand in this pose before proceeding, you will be better prepared to meet the challenge.  Come join me.”  And Stephanie strikes the pose. 

So here I am!  Ready to survive, thrive, and celebrate.  Now whether you are sitting or standing – put your shoulders back as far as you can and hold your head and chest up!  

Let us CELEBRATE this new year and KNOW that we are HERE for one another as we Meet every new challenge! 

(Sing) Celebrate good times, come on!

Happy New Year!