At the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, we record our sermons. This page contains the podcasts from selected services during the 2017-18 congregational year (2017 to June, 2018)

June 24, 2018                               Science & Religion: Can a Creation Story Save the World?

Sarbmeet Kanwal

Common beliefs have always helped bind a community. It is ironical then, that religion has become one of our greatest dividers. If you are waiting on a savior to unite the world together, wait no more! The universal creation story of science is all we need to transform our world!

Dr. Sarbmeet Kanwal teaches astronomy and modern physics at Brookdale after a long and successful career in Bell Labs. Sarbmeet likes to encourage young students to study science and engineering through mentoring their school science projects and helping start science clubs at their schools. He also helped start MCWRET’s interfaith education program called MOSAIC for youth from different religions to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the increasing diversity in our communities.

June 3, 2018                                              You’ve Got This!

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

A blessing is a vote of confidence, recognition of the beauty and inherent worth of another. How do you give your blessing, and who should receive it? Our Age of Reason (Stepping Stones) is a rite of passage that honors the stage of development where our 2nd-3rd graders can differentiate between truth and fantasy and guide their actions with their values and conscience. This UU tradition celebrates reason and education.

May 6, 2018                                              Healing and Happiness

Jim McCorkel and Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

Based on his qigong practice and teaching, recent cancer experience, and the ranking of nations on happiness Jim has some thoughts to share. Together we’ll explore the ways that happiness is created in a meaning-filled life.

April 29, 2018                                          Nice To Meet You!

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

It may be obvious but it isn’t simple. Greeting others with genuine openness takes some discipline of the heart and real practice in noticing what another needs. Today we will consider the fine art of our greeting. “Come as you are and be blessed.” ~ Rev. Jane Rzepka.

April 15, 2018                                            What is New and Emerging?               

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

We don’t know yet so stay tuned!

April 1, 2018                                          Oh Joy!: An Easter Sunday Multigenerational Celebration

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst & Michelle McKenzie-Creech

Is it Spring or all the hope and new possibility of redemption and renewal that lifts us up this day?  The message of Easter echoes in the flowers, the fancy clothes and of course our annual Egg Hunt for the children.

March 25, 2018                                         The Desert Times                                   

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

The story of Passover and Exile inspires some reflection on our current sense of dispossession. On climate and social justice, our voices are being pushed to the margins. What happens in that desert space?

March 18, 2018                                         Out of Balance Again                             

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

Is it stress, busyness or boredom that tips you over the edge? How do we save and savor this world with our one precious life? It is messy and never boring at the balance of Winter into Spring.

March 11, 2018                                          Annual Dr. Myra Zinke Service
The Oneness of Life and the Myriad Lives of Women

Merle Boyd

Many women of different races, classes, gender identities, religious beliefs, etc. do not feel included in the current feminist movement that seeks to speak on their behalf. From a Buddhist perspective, all identity is fluid. How do we include the great diversity of beings who embrace the fluid definition of the word “woman” in a just and empowering way?

Merle Boyd is a retired clinical social worker, a Zen Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen Buddhist Maezumi/Glassman lineage. She was an early member of a small group of zen practitioners who began sitting zazen here at the meetinghouse in the 90s that became the Lincroft Zen Sangha. She has served LZS as guiding teacher since 2006. Through the generosity of the UUCMC, LZS has gathered here to sit zazen for about 24 years.

March 4, 2018                                           Rise Up March 4th!
The true stories of how one small congregation saved democracy and the world.


Sometimes, we take it for granted that a place dedicated to love and justice will always be there when we need it. Sometimes, we forget to notice those who struggle to live our principles into being every day. Today is for your story of survival and principled action. How do you finish these sentences? UUCMC saved me when…. Once upon a Sunday…. Because of Unitarian Universalism my children’s children will….

February 11, 2018                                    Yes and No 

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

The “Me Too” movement has shed much needed light on the need for consent in human relationships. Our comprehensive sexuality program, Our Whole Lives has been teaching communication and consent to our youth for many years now. Let’s all consider what that means for our congregation and beyond. I wonder, do we believe in consent in all things?

September 3, 2017                                  The Dignity of our Labor

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

In an ideal world, everyone should have meaningful work to do and should be compensated fairly for their labors. Yet the reality falls short. What would it mean to move toward equity and dignity for the workers of the world on this Labor Day?

August 27, 2017                                       When Things Fall Apart

Rev. Julie Newhall

Things don’t always go as we plan.

August 20, 2017                                       A Total Eclipse of the Sun

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

On August 21, we will experience a total eclipse. What does it mean? Are you ready? Today in the service, we will be dedicating children who missed this opportunity as infants.

August 13, 2017                                         Letting Go of the Hyphen

Rev. Tracy Sprowls, guest minister

Why can’t we just be Unitarian Universalists rather than all of these hyphens??

August 6, 2017                                          Capable of Love

Rev. Tracy Sprowls, guest minister

With the violence and suffering in the world, it is easy to succumb to despair.

July 30, 2017                                             A Morning of Music and Poetry ~ The Earth Ensemble

Jan Dash, clarinet; Joel DeWitt, violin; Elaine Held, piano and shakuhachi flute; Kirsten Norberg, soprano.

May 28, 2017                                             Beyond “Thank You for Your Service”: America’s Troops

Sue Fulton, Former Army Captain

Progressives sometimes have mixed feelings about our Armed Forces: gratitude for their sacrifice, but uneasiness about this huge organization we have tasked with deploying violence in our name. Meanwhile, military service falls to an ever-shrinking group of Americans. How do we close the gap? Sue’s stories will break down some of the myths.

Sue co-founded Knights Out, the organization of LGBT West Point alumni and allies, and OutServe, the association of actively-serving LGBT military members. As President of SPARTA, she played a leading role in lifting the military’s ban on transgender service in 2013. Appointed by President Obama as the first openly gay member of the West Point Board of Visitors, she became the first female USMA graduate to chair the Board. In 2017, she was appointed to the Board of Visitors for the National Defense University in Washington, DC, and was recognized a “Veteran to Watch” by We Are The Mighty.

May 21, 2017                                              Diversity in Unity – Coming of Age Service

Coming of Age Youth and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDRE

Our 8th & 9th grade youth have engaged in a year-long curriculum to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and articulating their own beliefs. The Coming of Age year and service are an important rite of passage that recognizes the transition from childhood to youth. Our youth will share with us their personal credo statements in this worship service designed by them. It is in this spirit that we share our beliefs and experiences at the core of our faith, Unitarian Universalism.

May 14, 2017                                              All of Us Need All of Us: UU White Supremacy Teach-In

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst and All

Recent events at the UUA have demonstrated how difficult it is to separate ourselves from the waters of white supremacy that we swim in. Today we are participating with over 400 other UU congregations in a Teach-In to help us better understand the racism that diminishes Black lives and our community. Not your typical Mother’s Day, but you will make her proud by participating!

April 23, 2017                                            Everyday Activism

Nicole Homer, Dr. Myra Zinke honored speaker

In the turbulent times that we live, each of us is called to act. It is required of us as individuals to discern what actions we are best suited to take in the service of our values and our fellow humans.

Nicole Homer is a poet, professor and a parent. Her debut collection of poetry, “Pecking Order” is available from Write Bloody Publishing.  The book looks at parenthood through the lenses of racism and colorism. She is an Editor at BlackNerdProblems.com and an Assistant Professor of English at Mercer County College.

April 9, 2017                                  A Legacy of Hope: UUCMC’s 60th Anniversary Celebration

Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst and Friends

Six decades goes by fast!  They contain an amazing number of stories that don’t just tell us about the past but may guide us into the future.  A special Anniversary lunch followed the service.