Reverend Cynthia Snavely
We are a Welcoming Congregation
Home About Us News Letter Minister Religious Education Contact Us




Sermon Audio Files

6 July 2014 - 28 June  2015

On this page are audio files for FY 2014-1015 services. Unless otherwise identified, the sermons are given by Rev. Cyhnthia Snavely, Minister, Goodloe Memorial Unitarian Universalist Congregation

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

June 28 Desiderata Rev. Cyn Snavely

Desiderata (Latin for “desired things”) is a 1927 poem by the American writer Max Ehrmann. A Baltimore clergyman included it in a book of devotions in 1956. In the late 1960s and early 1970s it was widely available in poster form and was used as a spoken word track on two albums. The poem is one of the readings suggested as a basis for a sermon this year by a Goodloe member.  20150628-Desiderata.mp3

June 7 Play: a Spiritual Practice Rev. John Gaffney, Minister Emeritus, Goodloe Memorial UU Congregation
In this tech world, we are wired almost all of our waking hours and the demands of daily life seem to leave little time for anything else. Yet play is essential to a healthy life and not only for children. Summer may be the season to reenter, to reintroduce this "spiritual practice".

May 31 A Path to Reconciliation (Pulpit Exchange) Crystal Lewis, Universalist National Memorial Church
The city of Baltimore is currently in a state of conflict and unrest as racial, economic and social tensions continue to deepen. Many wonder whether reconciliation is truly possible in cities like Baltimore, where divisions have seemingly blocked the path to healing-- however, peace is possible, even in times when conflict and fear seem abundant. Join us for a brief glance at what it means to journey together on a path to reconciliation. 


May 17 Healthy Community Rev. Snavely and Others

What does it take for a congregation to be a healthy spiritual community? We consider leadership, change and how we interact with one another.    20150517-HealthyCommunity.mp3

May 3 Advocacy Rev. Snavely
Unitarian Universalists have been developing state advocacy networks over the last decade, but Unitarian Universalists don’t have a national legislative advocacy presence. UUSJ is working to change its mission to do advocacy on behalf of all the country’s UUs on Capitol Hill.   20150503-Advocacy.mp3

April 12 It Would Have Been Enough (Passover) Rev. Snavely

Ben Zoma teaches: ‘Who is rich? The one who is content with what one has.’…By returning to a sense of Dayenu, of thinking deeply about what is enough, we have the potential to change ourselves and our world. May we be blessed, on this Pesach and beyond, to replace the idolatry of consumption with an embrace of all that we have.” Joshua Ratner


April 5 (Easter) Beyond Loss to an Embrace of Life Rev. Cyn Snavely

Jesus’s disciples first reaction to his arrest and execution was to go into hiding. They had to roll the stone from their own self-chosen tombs and come out to live again.     20150405-BeyondLossToEmbraceLife.mp3

March 29 Spreading the Welcome Table    Rev. Cyn Snavely
What does a ministry of food and drink look like? What do we need to be aware of to make our coffee hour and social activity food and drink welcoming to all?  20150329-WelcomeTable.mp3

March 22 Finding Meaning in “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Wiz”  Rev. Snavely
“Home is a place we all must find, child. It's not just a place where you eat or sleep. Home is knowing. Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we're always home, anywhere.” Glinda the Good in “The Wiz”.   20150322-WizardOfOz.mp3

March 8 Out of the Stars    Rev. Snavely

“Out of the stars have we come…out of your heart, cry wonder, sing that we live,” Robert T. Weston. The experience of wonder or awe is a part of spirituality. Today we consider how we can prepare ourselves and our children to have such experiences.  20150308-OutOfTheStars.mp3

February 1 Diversity vs. Inclusion?   Alé Shiplett, Goodloe Director of Religious Exploration

We examine how the focus of our efforts towards greater diversity in our UU congregations has had limited results and how refocusing on "inclusion" will get us closer to our vision of Beloved Community.


January 25 Seeing God in One Another Rev. Snavely
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen”  John 4:20


January 18 From Selma to Ferguson Black Lives Matter Our Unfinished Business Paula Cole Jones

What is our responsibility as Unitarian Universalists to finish the unfinished business of racial justice and inclusion? How do we stand in solidarity with the social movements of our times and how do they change us? Now is the time for UU Principles to guide us, but do they go far and deep enough to result in social change regarding racial inequity. Some think it is time for an 8th Principle:
“Members of the congregations of the UUA affirm and promote a journey toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse, multicultural ‘Beloved Community’ that accountably dismantles racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”


January 11 Building the Beloved Community – How Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Justice Are Related Steve Buckingham
The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry if Maryland has been actively working on a variety of social, political, economic and environmental issues since its creation in 2005. We will explore how these types of justice actions are related and support the creation of a Beloved Community based on the interrelatedness of the world’s inhabitants.


January 4 Community Organizing

On the Unitarian Universalist Association website is this quote, “Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO, also called Faith-Based, Broad-Based, or sometimes Institution-Based) is a movement that seeks to establish inter-faith, cross-class, multi-ethnic and multi-racial grassroots organizations for purposes of increasing social integration and power in civil society and for making civic, regional and state-wide changes for social improvement.” Can a small group of people change the world? Margaret Mead said, “It’s the only thing that ever has.”


December 7 Where Does My Help Come From?
All of us sometimes need help. To whom or to what do we turn? Psalms 121 begins, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” American writer and poet, Nancy Wood, begins a poem, “My help is in the mountain where I take myself to heal.” Do we turn to God, to nature, to something or someone else? And when we turn, is there a response?


November 30 Seeking Justice and Peace Amid Anger, Fear and Distrust
Considering the Ferguson, MO verdict and the community response.


November 16 Eight Virtues of the Samurai

Today we look at the code of chivalrous behavior known today as Bushido (usually translated as “Precepts of Knighthood” or “Way of the Samurai”) and consider what we might learn from it for our own lives.


November 2 Remembering the Dead

“Those who lived before us, who struggled for justice and suffered injustice before us, have not melted into the dust, and have not disappeared. They are with us still. The lives they lived hold us steady.” Kathleen McTigue


October 26 UU Congregations in Community: Chalice Lighter Sunday
Our district, the Joseph Priestley District of the Unitarian Universalist Association has a grant program called “Chalice Lighters.” Individual congregations of any size or a congregation in formation, clusters of congregations, and regional growth committees may apply for Chalice Lighter grants. 20141026-UUCongregationsInCommunity.mp3

October 19 The Core of the Human Predicament

In his adult religious education curriculum. "Building Your Own Theology" Richard Gilbert writes, “Psychologist Carl Rogers once compared his understanding of human nature with that of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Niebuhr spoke of ‘original sin’ as a function of self-love, claiming too much, grasping after self-fulfillment, thinking of oneself more highly than one ought to think. Rogers looked at his years of practice and concluded that it is not self-love that is at the heart of the human predicament but self-hate. Only as a person comes to love the self can love for the other unfold. Self-love or self-hate: (asks Gilbert) which is at the core of the human predicament?” 20141019-HumanPredicament.mp3


October 12 El Dia del la Raza, Day of the Race: Celebrating Being the People of the Americas
In Argentina, the name of this holiday was changed to Día de la Diversidad Cultural Americana (American Cultural Diversity Day) and may be changed again to Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity). In Chile it is called Día del Descubrimiento de Dos Mundos (Day of Discovery of Two Worlds), in Costa Rica it is Día de las Culturas (Day of Cultures), in Mexico it is Día de la Raza Iberoamericana ( Day of the Spanish-American Race), in Uraguay it is Día de las Americas (Pan American Day), and in Venezuela the holiday is known as the Día de la Resistencia Indígena (The Day of Indigenous Resistance). Today we remember the good and the bad of who we have been and who we have become as people of the Americas.


October 5 Love is My Religion

The Iraqi American rapper Timz puts out a new piece this fall. The lyrics are in part, “If I ruled the world there would be no god, no hell, no heaven above, just love.” He echoes the sentiments of Ziggy Marley’s “Love is My Religion” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Can these songs help us to live together in peace?


September 28 Liberated by Forgiveness - Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur

“When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings. We become our own liberators.” Desmond Tutu 


September 21 The Peace of Autumn

“Today the peace of autumn pervades the world. In the radiant noon, silent and motionless, the wide stillness rests like a tired bird spreading over the deserted fields to all horizons its wings of golden green” Rabindranath Tagore


September 14 Those We Turn Away
At the end of July and in early August I participated in immigration reform events and visited the Holocaust Museum with my nephew. At the museum I read the story of the St. Louis, a ship bound for Cuba filled with Jewish refugees, which was turned back to Europe. At the immigration reform events I had heard a story of a Central American girl who had been raped by a gang. The parents reported it to the police. The family then began to get death threats, which they quickly realized were coming from the police. The family sent the girl to the United States for her safety. She is one of those some Americans want to quickly deport without a hearing. It makes me wonder what happens to those we turn away.


August 17 Love Reaches Outside the Box - Steve Buckingham, member of the Goodloe Congregation
This interactive, non-traditional service explores how we use our minds, hearts and hands with love in order to find meaning in life, give and receive support and comfort, and build a beloved community. We examine what it means to be a church “of the open mind, the loving heart and the helping hands.” 


August 10 A Universalist Reads the Bible - Dick Wobus, member of the Goodloe Congregation
What does the bible have to say to us? It's easy to be bored by the "begats" and horrified by slavery and genocide, but the bible also tells us about important stages in the development of human religion and addresses timeless human needs and longings.  20140810-UniversalistReadsTheBible-Wobus.mp3

July 27 The Closing of the American Soul Revisited  - Aileen Sampson, member of the Goodloe Congregation
In the 1987, sermon 'The Closing of the American Soul', the Rev. Barbara Merritt of First Unitarian Church in Worcester, MA, suggested that though we are free to believe as we choose, it is not wise of us to ignore the truth that there is good and there is evil. And while our self-gratifying and self-promoting choices may seem socially acceptable, they may not always promote the greater-good or nourish the soul. This service explores that sermon.


July 20 The Axe, the Shovel and the Interdependent Web of Existence  - Jackie Lord, member of the Goodloe Congregation
In the book club "A Sand County Almanac", Aldo Leopold poetically describes his simple observations of the interdependence of life on his land and the influence of man's choices on the natural balance of existence. His book was written in 1949, but his ideas seem like they were written for today. 


July 13 Social Justice From the Inside Out  - Alethea Shiplett, Goodloe Director of Religious Exploration. Let's explore our social justice work beyond attending rallies, lobbying government and protesting injustices, by examining how we are speaking to one another. Are we "standing on the side of love" in our personal interactions? Alethea examines the key role of emotional literacy in our work of building Beloved Community.


July 6 Reflecting on Thirty Years of Ministry Rev. Snavely 20140706_30YearsOfMinistry.mp3