Reverend Cynthia Snavely
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Audio Files of Sermons Given by Reverend Cynthia Snavely

19 May 2013- 15 June 2014

Audio files will be added as they are processed (usually within a few weeks of the service)

Audio files do not have have the music sung/played during the services due to copyright restrictions

19 May 2013 How This Generation Would Like to Change the World for the Next (Annual Flower Service) 


9 June 2013 Connection—My Holy Word  If I had to choose just one word to express my theology it would not be God or faith or hope but connection. It is the way we relate to one another that is at the heart of my faith.  20130609-Connection

7 July 2013 Patriotism Mark Twain wrote, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." 20130707-Patriotism

11 August 2013 The Role of the Minister  I have met leaders of congregations who act as the head of the congregation, assigning tasks to people, and expecting that their orders will be carried out. I have met leaders of other congregations who see their role as only to study and to teach and to then simply trust that the leaders of the congregation will make decisions based on what has been taught. I see my own role as somewhere in between. 20130811Role_of_the_Minister

25 August 2013 Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington  20130825-March_on_DC

15 September 2013 The Sound of Shofar. Yom Kippur begins at sundown Friday, September 13 and ends the season known in the Jewish calendar as the High Holy Days which began with Rosh Hashanah. The shofar, an instrument made  from a ram’s horn is sounded on Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. The various sounds of the instrument are said to speak to the heart. 20130915-Sound_of_the_Shofar

29 September 2013 Altars and Shrines   I have seen them in Catholic, Hindu and Pagan homes and Buddhist nail salons, the shrine with images of gods and/or goddesses, food offerings, candles or incense. I have seen the American roadside or sidewalk shrine to the dead with stuffed animals, flowers, notes and bottles of the deceased’s favorite drink. Visible symbols, ritual movements—how may these connect others and maybe some of us to the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part.  20130929-Altars_and_Shrines

October 6 2013 HungerToday will be the Bowie CROP Walk that supports the Bowie Food Pantry locally and wider programs to address hunger in the world. How we eat affects our own health, the health of the environment and the health of others. Ethical eating is a phrase I have only learned in the last few years. What it means is vast.  20131006-Hunger

October 20 2013 Finding a Life Purpose, Losing a Life Purpose, Finding Purpose Again  I heard an interview with Linda Ronstadt in which she spoke of losing her ability to sing. Recently she has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease so now she knows why she hasn’t been able to sing, but she also knows she will not be able to regain her voice. For someone who has identified herself from the age of 4 as a singer that can be hard, but it does not mean the end of life.  20131020Finding_Purpose

November 3 2013 The Blessing of the Dead
“For over the hills of the Earth blows the dust of the withered generations
And not a water-drop in the sea but was once a blood-drop or a tear……
Handful of dust, you stagger me…
I did not dream the world was so full of the dead;
And the air I breathe so rich with the bewildering past…..” James Oppenheim


November 10 2013 Love Songs and Break Up Songs   When asked for songs meaningful to her Erin Delaney said anything by Adele. I think I can speak for many when I say that often our ideas about relationships are formed by the songs we listen to as tweens and teens.  20131110-Love_Songs

November 17 2013 Prophets Declaring New Worlds   What has to change for us to have a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all? Who is giving answers? To whom will we listen?  20131117-Prophets

December 1 Dedication  Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the temple. What does it mean to be dedicated?


December 15 2013 Music Marks Our Seasons  In asking for music that is meaningful to you on which to base services throughout this year, Marcia Giger said, “Anything by Tchaikovsky. Can we celebrate Christmas without the Nutcracker or the fourth of July without the 1812 Overture? NOTE – part of the audio fle was corrupted, so there is one abrupt transition between the beginning and end of the missing section 20131215-Music_Marks_Our_Seasons

December 24 2013 Multigenerational Christmas Eve Service 20131224-Christmas_Eve_Service

January 12 2014 The Importance of Play Over the course of this year a number of services are based on music named as meaningful by various members and friends of the congregation. Young Katie Delaney named "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from “Mary Poppins.” The song and the show are a good reminder that even adults need to make time to play. 20140112-Importance_of_Play

February 9 2014 What Does Beloved Community Look Like?  Inclusive, non-violent, caring, respectful… These are just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe beloved community. 20140209-Beloved_Community

February 16 2014 Come Sing a Song with Me   This Valentine’s weekend sermon is based on a song chosen by Marlene Towle as a piece of music meaningful to her life.  20140216-Come_Sing_a_Song_with_Me

February 23 2014 Support for Goodloe's Vision and Missions: 2014-2015 Pledge Drive Kick Off Sid Soderholm, Finance Officer.  What are some of the missions of Goodloe that advance the members' shared vision for a better world? Does my pledge matter?   20140223-Goodloes_Visions_and_Mission

March 2 2014 Choosing a Path or Making Our Own   How do we decide what we believe and how we live? Some of us follow a particular teacher or a particular path. Some of us make our own way.  20140302-Choosing_a_Path

March 16 2014 Standing on the Side of Love   The mission of UUSJ is to mobilize and amplify the voice of Unitarian Universalists in the National Capital Region as we seek to change the world through acts of love and justice.


March 30 2014 Who's in the River? (Alethea Shiplett, Goodloe Director of Religious Exploration)
When we speak about dam-building - building those institutions and systems that support the vision of Beloved Community - we are confronted with a raging river filled with those who are, under the current dominant cultural paradigm, washing away down the river. Those who are disenfranchised. Those who are marginalized. Those who are not included in the decision-making processes. We will examine who these folks may be as we consider - who's in the river.


April 6 2014 Is this Congregation Challenging You to Live Your Faith? Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans writes in a piece titled, “Why Millenials are leaving the Church,” “We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness… living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.” She suggests that this challenge is not being found in religious congregations. Are we laying down the challenge of faith here at Goodloe?

April 13 2014 Passover - Roar Katy Perry  What miracles can happen when we are ready to stand up for ourselves?

April 20 2014 (Easter) They Knew Him by the Breaking of the Bread

  • “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened…”(Luke 24:30-31a)
  • “Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples…” (John 21:13-14a)
  • New Testament scholar Norman Perrin describes “a table-fellowship of such gladness that it survived the crucifixion and provided the focal point for the community life of the early Christians.”


April 27 2014 On the Path of Boddhisattva

A boddhisatva is one who decides to pursue enlightenment, not for his or her own sake, but so that he or she might free all sentient beings from suffering. I have been intrigued by this concept and drawn to it, but when I actually read the Bodhucharyavatara or The Way of the Boddhisattva I was put off by the many references to hell and by the deprecatory passages about the body. As with some Jewish and Christian writings, I had to draw out the passages that struck me as deep and inspiring and pass over that which with I disagreed. My personal reading of this text is a much more Unitarian Universalist reading than a Buddhist one.  20140427-Path_of_Boddhisattva

May 4 Schubert, Beethoven, Dvorak, Bach
Classical choices from David Goodkind
“Classical music has been lauded for its ability to do everything from improve intelligence to reduce stress, and despite some exaggeration of its benefits, science shows us that it actually does have a marked effect on the brain in a number of positive ways.” Joe Kosterich.   20140504-Schubert_Beethoven

May 18 Dreams for the Future
The community that is now the Goodloe Memorial Unitarian Universalist Congregation was organized in 1988. We passed the twenty five year mark last year. What would we like our community to be like at the fifty year mark?


May 25 Battle Hymn of the Republic- Memorial Day weekend
Unitarian Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic during the American Civil War. The lyrics are very Christian and apocalyptic , but this hymn has been named as one meaningful to one of our congregation. What is it about this hymn that can continue to move us today?  20140525-BattleHymnOfTheRepublic

June 1 Why Caring for the Earth is a Principle of Faith

Caring for the earth means caring for the whole of humanity, all creatures and the biosphere that makes our lives possible. With a talk from guedst speaker Joelle Novey, Director, Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light.


June 8 Question Box Sermon
Rev. Cyn give her responses to questions about God, death, Unitarian Universalism, Goodloe Memorial, and ministry.


June 15 Daddy’s Hands

As we remember our fathers today we will base the service on Holly Dunn’s song, “Daddy’s Hands.” The chorus goes, “Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´. Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong. Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle, But I´ve come to understand. There was always love in Daddy´s hands.”
"A Prayer for Men" by the Rev. Kirk Loadman-Copeland