We are hosting in person and livestreaming our Sunday Service from the meetinghouse on YouTube at 10:30 am. Community Hour follows in person. Join Thursday Tea Time at 4:30pm for Zoom community time (click here to find link).

If this is your first time with us, here are the answers to some Common Questions you might have.

If you have children/youth, you can find out more about our Family Ministry.

Our Dialog series is currently suspended.

Join in on one of our Music Programs.

The Current Status of Our Services
We’re OPEN!

We are welcoming people into the meetinghouse for Service on Sunday mornings; masking is optional. For the sake of the health of our entire Beloved Community, we ask that all eligible persons be fully vaccinated AND boosted before entering the meetinghouse; masking is encouraged.

There is an entire library of services that you can enjoy at your convenience on our YouTube channel (see below or CLICK HERE). 

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We hope you will join us in community in person at the meetinghouse
or via YouTube from the safety of your homes.

February 12th
In Person and
Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Click here to watch the service on Sunday morning.

Love at the Center: A Multigenerational Service
Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

The Board of the Unitarian Universalist Association believes that one core theological value, shared widely among UUs, is love. As we end the 30 Days of Love campaign, we will reflect on how love has been the center of our faith from the beginning and how it will lead us into the future. On this Sunday, we recommit to
practices of personal and community action rooted in love and debut UUCMC’s Multigenerational Love Art installation that celebrates love in all its forms and serves as a visual reminder of the power of love.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky and Anthology Quartet

Services Available to Watch on YouTube:

February 5, 2023

Being an “8th Principle” Congregation
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano, 8th Principle Thinking Group, Committee on Congregational Ministry, and Rainbow Coalition

Two years ago, we adopted and added an 8th Principle to the seven already widely-known throughout Unitarian Universalism, one that set us on a course to dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and in our institutions with a goal of journeying toward the spiritual wholeness of Beloved Community. This Sunday, we’ll explore how it’s going and be inspired by testimonies from our own community. Click here to watch the service.

Music: Helen Kho

January 29, 2023

Click here to watch the service on Sunday morning.

The Way of the Philosopher                            Rev. Seth Fisher, guest minister

The New Jersey portion of the UU Ministers Association’s Metro NY Chapter engages this morning in a pulpit swap, with each minister taking up residence in the pulpit of another. We are lucky to have with us the Rev. Seth Fisher, minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hunterdon County, in Frenchtown, NJ. Rev Seth writes about his topic: “We’re all philosophers in some sense. What’s your philosophy?” Click here to watch the service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UkUlele Orchestra

The Rev. Seth Fisher serves First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hunterdon County, NJ. He previously served churches in Chicago and Evanston, IL as well as Annapolis, MD. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2013 and was ordained to Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2015. He is grateful for this opportunity to visit the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County!

January 22, 2023

Being Our Selves                                                   Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Although being our selves can be a relatively reliable source of delight, allowing ourselves to experience that delight can be a more difficult endeavor. As our bodies and minds shift over time, being ourselves can be, or become, a struggle. This morning, we practice embodying gratitude for our selves, finding kinship with one another in the process. Click here to enjoy the service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky and Karen Geer

January 15, 2023

Thirty Days of Love: A Multigenerational MLK Day of Worship and Service
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and CDFM Michelle McKenzie-Creech

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, and in collaboration with Side with Love, we enter a multigenerational celebration of Thirty Days of Love: nurturing our spirits, deepening our understanding, and taking action on our values for collective liberation. In keeping with our monthly theme of Finding Our Center, our community will center the needs of others in service projects after worship. Click here to watch the service on YouTube.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers and Rev. Craig

January 8, 2023

Dancing in the New Year                                  Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Joining us for this service are the Core of Fire Interfaith Dance Ministry, a women’s modern dance ensemble, and UUCMC member Yamê Bado, who will perform raqs sharqi, a Middle Eastern form of dance. Together, we will dance our way into what will be a banner year for UUCMC, and, we hope, a year of blessings for all of us. We may be “dancing in the dark,” but “we will face the music together.” Click here to enjoy the recorded service.

Music and Dance: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Core of Fire, Yamê Bado, and Rev. Craig

Yamê Bado is a RYT® 200 Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher, a YOGABODY® Breathing Coach, a Middle Eastern dance teacher with over 15 years’ experience, and a professional mermaid/underwater performer. She has a passion for learning, teaching, and empowering clients with the tools they need to create peace and joy for themselves, from the inside out.

Led by Dr. Carol Penn, the Core of Fire Interfaith Dance Ministry is a diverse group of socially conscious women of a certain age creating an intentional community of faith and spirituality. Through the creativity of dance, they deeply express and celebrate all that gives life meaning, seeking to bring greater consciousness, compassion, and social justice to our world.

January 1, 2023

Holiday Sing Along
Elaine Held, Angie Morfogen, Pam Adams, and Joe Donahue, readers

The wonder of the old and the new…words and music for a New Year. Join in on a hymn-sing…old favorites and maybe new ones, and words to ring in the change to 2023. Click here to watch the recorded service.

Music: Elaine Held, Music Director Emerita 

December 24, 2022 4:00pm

A Christmas Tale: Family Candlelight Service
Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM and Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

This service of songs and stories includes our pageant, “Christmas in the Barn,” with a part for every child. Arrive a little early to collect your costume. In the UU tradition, we believe that every child is the hope of this world. Click here to enjoy the recorded service.

Music: Maya Kimmel, Chalice Singers, UkUlele Orchestra, Thomas Cannizzaro, Dr. Louise Chernosky

December 24, 2022 8:00pm

“Good Tidings of a Great Joy”: Lessons and Carols Candlelight Service
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Come and experience the wonder of the season, centered in the experience of the shepherds as told in the Gospel according to Luke. Candles, stories, and beloved carols tell the tales of Christmas. Click here to watch the recorded service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers, Elaine Held, Sister Singers, Karen Geer, Rev. Craig

December 18, 2022

A Multigenerational Celebration of Hanukkah, Solstice, and The Litany of Lights
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and CDFM Michelle McKenzie-Creech

On this day, we ring in Hanukkah and we honor many faiths as we gather to celebrate the dawning of new light which follows the longest night of the year. Click here to watch the service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers, Just Folk, Karen Geer

December 11, 2022

Delighting in Wonder                                         Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Bringing our congregational theme for the month front and center, we will explore practices of developing our capacities for felt wonder. If congregational community is meant to do anything, it is surely to remind us of the beauty at the heart of our being together and of our responsibility for caring for the ecosystems that contain us all. Let us delight in one another and in our world. Click here to watch the recorded service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UkUlele Orchestra, Rev. Craig

December 4, 2022

What’s Awe Got to Do with It?                         Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

The experience of awe is a fundamental part of being human. Awe alters the way we process information and see the world. On this day, we will explore the transformative power of awe from two different perspectives, science and spirituality. Click here to enjoy the service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, PJ Casbar

November 27, 2022

The Advent of the Holiday Season: Living the Present                 Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano 

It’s the season of Advent, of waiting, of anticipation, of longing—also, the countdown to the end-of-year holidays begins, the consumerist madness creeps up on us, and, as if in a flash, it’ll be 2023. This Sunday, we will reflect on moving from a preoccupation with presents to a focus on the present. We’ll try to slow down, breathe, and take in the presence of our congregational community for the extraordinary gift it is. Click here to watch the recorded service on YouTube.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Just Folk

November 20, 2022

Wake Up Grateful: A Multigenerational Service of Thanksgiving
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and CDFM Michelle McKenzie-Creech

Our lives, just as they are, are full of reasons for gratitude. Not that being thankful is necessarily the first thing on any of our minds first thing in the morning! What would it mean to, in writer Kristi Nelson’s words, wake up grateful? One thing’s for sure: whenever we gather as a multigenerational community, we are all blessed. Click here to enjoy the recorded service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers, Paul Vallin, UkUlele Orchestra

November 13, 2022

Everything Must Change                                   Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano        

On this Sunday, the first after the midterm elections, we will reflect on change, both for the good (change desired, change worked for, change achieved) and for the not so good (unexpected change, hard change, painful change). Whatever the election results, this covenanted congregational community will remain a powerful vehicle for change in our own lives and in the world. Come be inspired all over again. Click here to watch the recorded service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Karen Geer, Rev. Craig

November 6, 2022

“A Healing for the World”                                 Worship Service with Jim Scott        

Jim mixes songs and stories in a message of peace and reconciliation for a wounded world and our struggling society. Amid wars, cataclysmic weather events, and an economic collapse, any long term visions of sustainability have lately been obscured if not abandoned. In this season of optimism and renewal of spirit for the work we have before us, our charge is nothing less than a job of healing, the earth and ourselves. Click here to watch the recorded service.

Music: “All words and music by Jim Scott unless otherwise noted.”

This worship service funded in part by the Endowment Committee.

October 30, 2022

We Remember Them: A Service of All Souls        Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano 

Join us in this annual service of recognition and remembrance of those who have died this year, as we celebrate and grieve those who have joined the ancestors. Click here to watch the service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, PJ Casbar, UkUlele Orchestra, Rev. Craig

October 23, 2022

The Stories We Tell: A Multigenerational Hallowe’en Service
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

Midway between the September equinox and the December solstice, when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is said to be at its thinnest, we tell stories of the ancestors—to salve our fears about death, and to remember. This year, we give All Hallows Eve its due: all are invited to come dressed for a multigenerational service including a costume parade! Afterwards, we celebrate with a Trunk or Treat gathering outside in the front parking lot. You don’t want to miss this one! Click here to watch the recorded service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, ImpromptUU Body Percussion group, Joel DeWitt

October 16, 2022

Courageous Together                                       Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

This morning, we will delve more deeply into our monthly theme of “courage.” Courage is more than brave acts of daring-do: as important, or more so, are the courage to persevere, the courage to work for change, and perhaps most difficult of all, the courage to be fully and gloriously oneself. In all of these, congregational community is a great source of strength. Click here to watch the service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers

October 9, 2022

A Time of Harvest: The Lessons of Sukkot            Rev. Craig Rubano

The Jewish seven-day festival of Sukkot brings the High Holy Days to a close that began last month with Rosh Hashanah. In this harvest time, Sukkot (also known as the Festival of Booths or Tabernacles) is observed by building outdoor temporary structures underneath which families and friends can eat, and remember times of hardship and times of joy, all while being in nature, underneath the stars. This morning, we will learn about Sukkot and the lessons it teaches all of us about community. Click here to watch the service.

Music: Evan Schwartzman, Joel DeWitt

October 2, 2022

Congregational Democracy: Understanding the Contract-to-Call Process in Calling a Minister  The Contract-to-Call Task Force

For just the fourth time in our congregation’s 65-year history, we are embarking on the process of calling a settled minister. This service will be dedicated to explaining the Contract-to-Call process. Come join us and listen to the members of the Task Force explain this democratic process–one that is conducted by the congregation under its lay leadership, and focuses on involving the whole congregation. Several small group gatherings, both in person and virtual, will follow, including two after the service that day. Click here to watch the service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Paul Vallin, PJ Casbar

September 25, 2022

Apology, Forgiveness, Renewal: The Days of Awe            Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

At the heart of the ten “days of awe” that stretch between the head of the year, Rosh Hashanah, and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is a time of turning one’s life over, and seeing where things might be mended so that one can enter into a renewed state of being oneself. To seek and grant forgiveness is key, so knowing how to make and recognize a proper apology is in order. Today, we will celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days and learn, from Aaron Lazare’s short book on the subject, the elements of an adequate apology. Click here to watch the beautiful service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Karen Geer, Joel DeWitt, Paul Sherman

September 18, 2022

Let There Be Peace              Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano & Members of The Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought: Dr. Rao Andavolu, Dr. John Calvin Chatlos, Jennifer Lieberman

In celebration of the Sept 17th planting of a peace pole (it was on display in the lobby in July) at the Sarva Dharma Service Center in Farmingdale, and in anticipation of the United Nations’ observance of International Peace Day on the 21st, members of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought (MCWRET) reflect on peace alongside ruminations provoked by a summer of reading Wayne Teasdale’s The Mystic Heart. With human violence so prevalent around the globe, let’s join together with UUCMC’s vital adjunct organization and call upon peace for our world. In this service, we covenant with our faith development teachers as Family Ministry small groups begin. Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky

Dr. John Calvin Chatlos is a child and adolescent and addiction psychiatrist by profession and a Humanist by choice as a member of Ethical Culture and Unitarian Universalism. He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers University where he is director of an outpatient addiction and mental health treatment program. His father was a Protestant minister, and Calvin grew up near Gettysburg in a small town where Catholic Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton based her religious order. He has developed the “Human Faith Project” designed to empower the worth and dignity (wisdom/compassion/courage) of all religious/spiritual and ethical traditions to work toward Unity of purpose in expressing our spiritual core as part of Gaia awareness. Calvin is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought (MCWRET). 

Dr. Rao Andavolu, MCWRET Co-President, is a physician by profession, Hindu by birth, born in India. He came to the US at age 24 and specialized to become a pathologist with subspecialty training in blood banking. He believes that all of creation is an expression of the divinity and in the commonality of all religions. He has been a member of Sri Sathya Sai Organization of US and of Sarva Dharma Service Center, both spiritually oriented service organizations, for more than 25 years.

Jennifer Lieberman draws comfort, inspiration, and meaning from various faiths and religions, but she was raised with a fairly strong Jewish upbringing and celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at age 13. Born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey, she feels blessed to have lived near and attended school with people from diverse backgrounds and was raised to accept and embrace those differences. One of her most treasured accomplishments was earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2015, becoming a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) the same year, and will soon be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Her strong belief in spirituality, as well as the belief that everyone deserves an equal chance at living life to their highest potential, is the foundation of both her career in the mental health field, and her personal vision for the world. Being a MCWRET Board member is a perfect way to work towards that vision.

September 11, 2022

Welcome Home: A Multigenerational Ingathering (Gathering In for a New Congregational Year!)
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

On this day of holy remembrance, the 21st anniversary of a deep wound to our consciousness, we remember that one of the strongest of salves is to embrace one another just as we are. We welcome you back—you of all ages and genders and affectional orientations and races and ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses and yes, of all religiosities and belief systems—welcome home to a place of radical belonging (“belonging” is our monthly congregational theme). In this first in-person Ingathering service in three years (!), children and youth will participate in a Blessing of the Backpacks for a new year of learning and adventure. Click here to watch the joyful service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers, Roots and Wings Drum Choir

September 4, 2022

Consciousness Karma and Climate Acceptance               Rev. Allen Wells, guest minister

Albert Einstein famously proclaimed that “We cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.” How does his wisdom along with that of The Buddha explain our climate crisis and reveal the possibility for surmounting it? Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Elaine Held, Music Director Emerita

Rev. Allen Wells is a Buddhist Unitarian Universalist serving as Affiliated Community Minister of The Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. He maintains a mindfulness based psychotherapy practice in Morristown, N.J., and teaches meditation at Buddhist sanghas. Allen likes to cross disciplines and is particularly interested in the interplay between neuroscience and classical Buddhism. He strives to bridge our internal world of personal, spiritual aspiration with activist oriented work for social justice and environmental sustainability. You can find him both on a safu and on a picket line. For two decades, Allen directed The Allen Wells Center for Psychotherapy and Healing in Morristown, and he previously served as psychotherapist at the DiMele Center for Psychotherapy in NYC. Allen has served as minister of UU congregations in Weymouth, MA., Hollis Queens, and The First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn; he served as Director of Religious Education at the Morristown UU fellowship, as well as for two years at UUCMC in the 1970s! Most recently, he served as minister of the First Unitarian Society of Rockland County, NY. He loves poetry and dance and presents at the UU Fellowship of St. John, USVI each winter. He acknowledges that he hasn’t written any books because he says he would rather spend the time ballroom dancing!

August 28, 2022

Sing and Rejoice! Honoring Our Women Composers: A Hymn-Sing
Music Director Emerita Elaine Held

An opportunity for our community to get to know and to sing the beautiful music written by women found in our two hymnals. Who are they and how have they contributed to our singing tradition?! Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Elaine Held and Sister Singers.

August 21, 2022

Ordinary Miracles                                               Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

The definition of the word “miracle” is, perhaps unexpectedly, quite approachable: “Something that has a surprising outcome, in a good way, different from what was expected.” There is nothing necessarily supernatural about effecting miraculous outcomes: all it takes is collective will and a surfeit of love. This morning, we will hear music and stories about, and find inspiration for the effecting of, miracles in our world. Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky and Rev. Craig.

August 14, 2022

Rights vs. Obligations                                          Rev. Rosemarie Newberry

Rev. Newberry found this quote on Facebook a few months ago that inspired her to consider a different way of looking at her life and her purpose. Let’s look at this together: “The single biggest thing I learned was from an indigenous elder of Cherokee descent, Stan Rushworth, who reminded me of the difference between a Western settler mindset of ‘I have rights’ and an indigenous mindset of ‘I have obligations.’ Instead of thinking that I am born with rights, I choose to think that I am born with obligations to serve past, present, and future generations, and the planet herself.” Click here to watch the Service.

Music: Joel DeWitt

August 7, 2022

Archery Practice                                                  Rev. Charlie Dieterich

College? New job? Eventually they leave home This week we will revisit Kahlil Gibran’s words about children, or friends or colleagues. What is our role in their lives? Where did we learn that role? How were we taught it? Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music: Brian Gilmore

Rev. Charlie Dieterich is a retired Minister living in Kingston, NJ. Rev. Charlie has served congregations in Erie, Pennsylvania, in Norfolk, Virginia, and in Pomona, New Jersey. He was an intern and chaplain resident in New Orleans after attending Starr King School for the Ministry, in Berkeley, California. Since retirement he’s become involved in history and in ham radio.

July 31, 2022

Rehumanizing the Other                                   Pauline E. Nijander

It can seem pretty difficult to build Community in a world where society tends to dehumanize the “other.” Is this particular pattern of dehumanization new, or has it been around for a while? Join us on this Sunday as we explore the dangers of dehumanization and how we can rehumanize those that are different from us. Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Helen Benham and Richard Grossman

Pauline E. Nijander just completed her fourth year as a student at the Drew University Theological School in Madison, NJ where she is studying for the Unitarian Universalist ministry, and where she was just awarded the Dorr Diefendorf Award for excellence in homiletics. Pauline has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton since 2013, where she has served in various leadership roles, including being the ministerial intern in the 2019-2020 academic year, and now, as the Seminarian. As a proud transwoman and lesbian, Pauline has spoken often to different community and student groups about her perspective and life in hopes of educating people through honest and engaging conversation about trans* life and issues. For this work, she was awarded the 2017 Triad House LGBTQ+ Champion Award from LifeTies. Along with her wife, Michelle, and their sweet pitbull, Ingrid, Pauline resides in Ewing, NJ.

July 24, 2022

One of the UUCMC Writers’ Groups will offer up stories, fables, adventures, and even personal interests for your insight and enjoyment. This Writers’ Group has been meeting for 20 years, exchanging thoughts on selected topics. Won’t you join us to see what we are about and share in our musings on sundry topics? Who knows?…there may even be a chuckle or two in the midst of more serious writing. Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Helen Kho

July 17, 2022

The Getting of Wisdom                                      Rev. Julie Newhall

If you have spent any time around children, you know they like to ask questions, lots of questions. Especially, “Why?” How do you answer? For example, what do you say when asked, “Why is the sky blue?” Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Helen Kho

Reverend Julie Newhall was ordained at UUCMC and has been speaking at and serving UU congregations since 2001. She has been leading worship at the UUOCC in Murray Grove for the past eight years. When not in a pulpit, Julie walks in Thompson Park, talks to her cat, and works her way through crossword puzzles in The New Yorker. Sometimes she completes them.

July 10, 2022

All Who Come                                                       Rev. Carol S. Haag

Let’s explore together some of the meanings of our Unitarian Universalist commitment to inclusion. How do these commitments show up in practice? What are the challenges to our commitments? And what can we bring to the table? Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Darrell and Mary Courtley

Rev. Carol retired after 13 years as the religious educator (DRE and MRE) with The Unitarian Church in Summit, NJ. Since then, she has served on the Murray Grove board, as member, President, and currently chairing its Development Committee. She is a strong advocate for Universalism as the central, vital force in our Unitarian Universalist movement. She believes that Universalism embodies the critical message of inclusion for our time.

Universalism: Love that won’t let you down
Love that won’t let you go
Love that won’t let you off.

July 3, 2022

Supporting our Democracy                              Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

This morning, we will celebrate the United States of America, one of the world’s shining stories of imperfection in an always striving movement toward a more perfect union. As we begin to steel ourselves for the journey toward midterm elections in the fall, we will hear passages from Frederick Douglass’s searing 1852 speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” and experience Searches for Meaning from voices on Reproductive Justice as well as the UU the Vote contingency of our Social Justice Committee. Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Elaine Held (Music Director emerita), Joel DeWitt

June 26, 2022

Our Children are Watching                             John and Joseph DeMasi

We will all be judged by future generations. What will our legacy be? Join award winning UU contemporary folk singers Joseph and John DeMasi for this inspiring and thought provoking  musical service.

Award-winning twin brothers Joseph and John DeMasi are contemporary folk singers, songwriters, and recording artists whose songs are imbued with their Unitarian Universalist beliefs of love, inclusion, tolerance, understanding, and worth and dignity for all. With Joseph on guitar and John on guitar and fiddle, the DeMasi Brothers bring a unique musical experience full of wit, humor, intellect, and poignancy to every concert and service they present. Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: the DeMasi Brothers

June 19, 2022

It’s Been a Long Time Coming                         Lorraine Stone and Dr. Carol Penn

“Bittersweet.” The very essence of the word relays the reality of June 19th, or Juneteenth, as it became known to the enslaved Africans living in Texas in 1865. And so far away from the rest of the settled, eastern, United States was Texas, that freedom became an afterthought to the men wielding the power to grant it. “Oh by the way, the war is over. And there was an emancipation proclamation, too! Yeah. No more war. No more slaves. YOU’RE FREE!!” And what to the slave is your emancipation? Where will he live? How will she eat? The freedom to be homeless and hungry. With nothing to your name. June 19th. Freedom has come. Wither shall thou goest? Click here to watch the Service.

Music: Vel Johnson, Saxophone, Elaine Held

June 12, 2022

The Blessing of Diversity: A Multigenerational Celebration of Flower Communion    
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

In the ritual of Flower Communion, we impart blessings to one another in the form of offered flowers: flowers given, flowers received. In this, we partake of a ceremony originating in post WWI Czechoslovakia, at the Unitarian Fellowship of Prague, soon to become the largest Unitarian congregation in the world. Please bring a flower with you to the service to add to the bounty that symbolizes each and every one of us in all of our diversities. Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky and UU Singers

June 5, 2022

Exploring Gender: A Service of LGBTQ+ Pride          Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Gender is much more complicated than it may seem to persons whose biological/anatomical sex, gender identity, gender expression, and/or attraction lines up with societal norms—in actuality, we are all somewhere on continua of each of those four matrices. In finding ourselves participating in gender’s complexities, we celebrate the blessing of all our genders, and kick off Pride Month in Beloved Community. Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Elaine Held and Rev. Craig

May 29, 2022

A Memorial Day Service: Remembering      Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

The capacity for memory is one of the essential threads holding together communities, and yet daily stressors can impede the very creation of memories, leading to a paucity of treasures to savor over time. We can take memory for granted, but it is an enormously complex and wondrous thing of beauty that can haunt as much as bring joy. Click here to watch the Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Joel DeWitt, UkUlele Orchestra

May 22, 2022

Celebrating Our Faith: Transitions and Milestones
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano, CDFM Michelle McKenzie-Creech, and members of the Coming of Age for Adults class

This Sunday will be a celebration of recent new members and of our staff milestones, all in the context of hearing Statements of Faith from participants in the recent five-session Coming of Age for Adults class led by Michelle and Rev. Craig. Click here to watch the Service.

Music: Ken Lipkowitz

May 15, 2022

Imagination – A Tool and a Gift                      Tim Geiselman

History has shown that those who realize change have vivid imaginations. They work through the short term setbacks by holding onto long term visions. How can we better utilize the gift of imagination to see past the grind of daily headlines and breaking news stories? This service will key on imagination and how it has shaped who we are, who we can become. Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music by Dr. Louise and Ruby Chernosky.

May 8, 2022

Gratefulness for Caregivers                             Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

On this Mother’s Day, we will broaden the scope of things a bit and draw upon the stories of those persons who have given us the beauty of care. We will explore deploying a practice of gratefulness for the gift of connection. Who are the caregivers who have been most special to you? Click here to watch the Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and Rev. Craig.

May 1, 2022

Nurturing Beauty – All Music Sunday
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano, Dr. Louise Chernosky & UUCMC’s Musicians

We step into May’s theme of “nurturing beauty” by taking time to celebrate the music in our congregation. Please join us for a morning of music and movement, brought to you by UUCMC’s performing ensembles. As Eric Whitacre writes, “May our singing be music for others, and may it keep others aloft.” Our first live All Music Sunday since 2019! Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers, UkUlele Ensemble, Sister Singers, Just Folk, Roots and Wings, Joel DeWitt, Elaine Held, Core of Fire Dance Ministry.

April 24, 2022

Earth Day – Together We Can Save Our World
Pat and Steve Miller and members of Climate Action Team (CAT)

Earth Day honors the 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. This service will highlight the steps UUCMC has taken from the early 2000s and continuing to the recent innovations in 2021-2022 to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from the Meeting House, and what we as individuals can do and must do in our own lives so that we together provide a livable world for our children and grandchildren. Click here to watch the Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky, UkUlele Orchestra.

April 17, 2022

Click here to watch the Service on Sunday morning.

Sing Songs of Freedom: A Multigenerational Celebration of Passover and Easter
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech

Join us for a multigenerational celebration of Passover and Easter, complete with the return of an in-person Easter egg hunt! Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky, Elaine Held, ImpromptUU Singers, Rev. Craig, Paul Vallin.

April 10, 2022

Waking up to Justice                                           Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Memorialized in the story of Jesus of Nazareth riding a donkey into Jerusalem at Passover time, his followers waving palms, Palm Sunday celebrates the living out of one’s values in the public square. This morning, we celebrate our social justice ministries. Click here to watch the Service recording.

Music by Helen Kho.

April 3, 2022

Awakening                                                              Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

As Spring brings nature “back to life” before our eyes, it is almost as if the earth itself is asking us to see things anew, urging that we awaken to new possibilities, fresh perspectives, nascent wisdom. How are you awakening to the world around you these days? How might you? Click here to watch the recorded Service. 

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and Roots and Wings Drum Choir.

March 27, 2022

If Not You Then Who?                                        Rev. Latasha D. Milton

Our new neighbor minister offers us a call to action, a call to being involved in your community.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  Hebrews 12:1 NIV

As the Great cloud of witnesses that has stood against injustice and oppression before us, we are called to continue the work to be agents of love. We are all interconnected within the fabric of love, called to bear each other’s struggles. If we do not take the mantle to continue the work, then who will stand? Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and Paul Vallin.

Rev. Milton is the Senior Pastor at Hamilton United Methodist Church in Neptune, NJ. She has served in various ministry contexts over the years. She is passionate about God’s people being liberated to authentically serve God in the fullness of their gifts and talents. She desires to preach a transformative truth that reveals the heart of God to transform the world. She is passionate about standing against injustices to children and youth and being a voice for education equity. She received a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Black Church Study. She has a M.S. in Counseling and Early Childhood from the University of South Miss. She has a B.S. in Pre-Med. Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Prior to establishing residence in New Jersey, she called St. Louis home. She is a licensed Zumba and Zumba Strong (combat) instructor. When she is not teaching Zumba, she enjoys photography, reading, playing golf and tennis, and watching sports.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and Paul Vallin.

March 20, 2022

Draw the Circle Wide: “Spring into Stewardship” Sunday            Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

We celebrate our Annual Stewardship Campaign with a reminder that our relationship to money need not be constricting, but liberating, one that allows us to push outward the boundaries of our concern, drawing ever wider the circles of our lives. The 2022–23 congregational year will be one of deep renewal, in line with our monthly theme for March: “Renewing Faith.” Bring your pledge forms in-person to the service as, together, we draw the circle of UUCMC wide, and wider still. Click here to watch the Service recording.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky, UU Singers.

March 13, 2022

Congregational Ministries Equal Community
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and members of the Committee on Congregational Ministry (CoCM)

This morning, we will explore the concept of “ministry,” and how we all contribute in different ways to create Beloved Community. Whether our participations are through dance, music, social justice activities, worship services, book discussions, or even vacuuming the halls, the needs are many, and the community is enriched by our shared ministries. Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music by Elaine Held (Music Director emerita), Helen Kho

March 6, 2022

Annual Dr. Myra Zinke Service*

Reproductive Health in the Garden State: How does a Beloved Community address reproductive health inequalities?
Dr. Jennifer Howard, MD, MPH

Racial and other disparities persist in New Jersey for reproductive health. The problem is ancient and mentioned in Luke 8:43 –” And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any.” How can we dismantle such systems of inequalities? Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and the UkUlele Orchestra.

Dr. Jennifer M. Howard has been the President of the League of Women Voters of NJ since May, 2021, after serving on the Board. She is a member of the Princeton LWV. Jennifer is a practicing OB/GYN physician in NYC and previously practiced in NJ. She has been a Vice President for the African American Parent Support Group (a parent advocacy organization with over 25 years of addressing racial disparities and educational achievement gaps in African-American students), a preceptor to medical students and residents, a medical director of a reproductive health organization and a former Board of Trustee for a reproductive health organization. She went to Harvard/Radcliffe for an undergraduate degree, Howard University’s College of Medicine for her medical school degree, and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health for her Master’s.

*Dr. Myra Zinke left UUCMC an endowment to fund an annual guest speaker on a topic of concern and interest to women.

February 27, 2022

Love Letters to UU                                              Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

I’ll never forget how I fell in love with Unitarian Universalism and its saving and life-giving message of love and hope. I wanted to scream about it from the highest mountains and the tallest peaks until someone told me we don’t do that sort of thing because it is evangelism. Evangelism is simply the act of telling the good news, and I believe we have a lot of that to share. What’s your UU love story? Click here to watch the Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky and UU Singers

February 20, 2022

Celebrating Black History Month: A Multigenerational Worship Service                 
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

The first “Black History Month” was held at Kent State University in 1970 as a way of remembering important events and people in the history of the African diaspora. While the isolation of one month out of a year for celebrating African-American History has had its critics, the opportunities it presents for learning and exploration, akin to that in other month-long identity-based commemorations, can serve to bring us together across generational lines. Let’s bring in the whole family for a morning of discovery and wonder.  Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky

February 13, 2022

Doing What Must Be Done                                Charles Loflin, Executive Director UU FaithAction NJ

Social justice work is integral to Unitarian Universalism but sometimes a source of tension among and within congregations. UU theologian James Luther Adams suggests freedom of belief demands social justice action. How do we collectively determine where to put our energies? What is the “work that must be done”?  Click here to watch the Service on Sunday morning.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky and Roots and Wings Drum Choir

Charles Loflin serves as the Executive Director of UU FaithAction NJ. He is a 2021 graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School having earned a Masters of Divinity degree. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of Louisville. Charles served the Morristown Unitarian Universalist Fellowship from 2019-2021 under the supervision of Rev. Alison Miller. A member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, he calls Montclair home. 

February 6, 2022

The Limits of Empathy                                        Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

The definition of “empathy”—“the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”—leads to widespread questions about anyone’s ability truly to “understand” or “share” another’s feelings. But the limits of empathy are a good place to start in the worthy quest to enter into relationships with those different from ourselves. Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Music: Evan Schwartzman

January 30, 2022

Living with Intention: The Artist’s Way            Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Living with intention, our monthly congregational theme, begins with pathways for a good orderly direction in our creative lives. In tandem with the Adult Religious Education Committee’s January Common Read, we will use insights from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way to discover possibility, abundance, and connection. Click here to watch the recording of  the Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky and UU Singers

January 23, 2022

Hands Across America: Healing Community Trauma        Dr. Mary Early-Zald

In the United States, we are a people of trauma: it is revealed in the hostility and reactivity of our discourse. From her own experiences, clinical psychologist, hospital chaplain, activist, and about-to-be-ordained UU minister Dr. Mary Early-Zald brings stories of healing. Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky

January 16, 2022

The Sum of Us: A Multigenerational Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

In The Sum of Us, political commentator and strategist Heather McGhee exposes the most consistent fallacy of racism—that it benefits most white people. McGhee demonstrates that racism hurts everyone, and urges us toward what she calls the “solidarity dividend” resulting from everyone working together to dismantle racism’s hold on the American body. We will celebrate the MLK legacy by looking forward, as we discover ways to be of service. Click here to enjoy the Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Rev. Craig

January 9, 2022

We Three Kings?                                                    Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

In part two of the Christmas story according to the gospel of Matthew, the child Jesus gets involved in a geopolitical plot that includes Magians, migration, murder, and mayhem. Rounding off the 12 Days of Christmas, the feast of Epiphany celebrates new insights, new directions. How might we move more fully into community in 2022? Click here to watch the recorded Service.

Music: Brian Gilmore

January 2, 2022              

See, Speak, Live                                                    Minister Kerwin Webb

The first Sunday of the new year is the ideal time to cast a vision and set the tone for the remainder of the year. This service will encourage the congregation to be purposeful and intentional as they begin creating and living into their desired futures. Click here to enjoy the recorded Service.

Minister Webb currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults at Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, the President of the Greater Red Bank branch of the NAACP, coalition liaison for the New Jersey Social Justice Remembrance Coalition, and Board Chair of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation. In 2012, Kerwin founded the RMW Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on child development, youth outreach, and adult empowerment. Minister Webb is an organizational coach and a training and development consultant, with a focus on helping individuals and organizations achieve personal and organizational goals. More info at kerwinwebb.com.

Music: Core of Fire Dance Ministry and Dr. Louise Chernosky

Core of Fire are women of significance who have created an intentional community of faith and spirituality, working in the area of social justice through dance. It is their tradition to dance “Let it Be” on the first Sunday of the year at UUCMC. All who know the movements are invited to join in.