We are livestreaming our Sunday worship Service from the meetinghouse on YouTube at 10:30 am. An abbreviated Community Hour follows via Zoom.

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.

Join in Tuesday evenings via Zoom for our Dialog series, which runs from October through May.

Join in on one of our Music Programs.

Listen to our previous services on our podcast page.

The Current Status of Our Services

The spread of the Delta variant in Monmouth County motivated us to postpone being in-person. Livestreaming from the meetinghouse (with no congregants present) to YouTube began Sunday, August 22nd. After the service, we gather on Zoom for an abbreviated Community Hour. Links to both the Service and the Community Hour can be found in the eblast (sent Thursdays), the Saturday evening email, and here on the website.

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility as plans develop going forward. 

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

If you are not already on our email list, click the button in the footer to sign up. Follow us on Facebook (click here) to keep in touch.

We hope you will join us in community from the safety of your homes.

Click here on Sunday morning for Community Hour

November 28th                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Click here to watch the Service on Sunday morning.

The Advent of Hanukkah                                 Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

On the first Sunday of the Christian season of Advent, and with Hanukkah beginning Sunday evening, this service will celebrate a time of year when we are asked to slow down and dedicate our attention to our lives together in community, as we gather inspiration from beloved stories of old.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Dr. David and Sarah Fischell.

Services Available to Watch on YouTube:

November 21st                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

The Way of Gratitude: A Multigenerational Service of Thanksgiving
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

In The Way of Gratitude, former Intern and Interim minister of this congregation Galen Guengerich urges us to ground ourselves in a spirituality of gratitude. All ages are invited to live into a spirit of thankfulness as the holiday season begins. Click here to enjoy the recorded Service. Happy Thanksgiving!

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky, Elaine Held (organ), Paul Vallin, Eva Mehri.

November 14th                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Building Community through Trees—the Great Connectors
Ann Sherwood, Social Justice Committee Co-Chair

Many cultures have recognized trees as social organisms that connect the living world through time, space, and relationships. Now scientists are just beginning to understand how these connections happen. This morning we will discuss how embracing our part in the interconnected web of all existence can be a source of awe and hope. Click here to watch the Service.

Music: Dr. Louise Chernosky.

November 7th                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Holding Our UUCMC History                         Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Voices of UUCMC
(Lee Rossbach, Liz Dean, Barbara and Irwin Schpok, Irene Gibson)

We begin a monthly theme of “Holding History” by looking at, and hearing from, our own. Featuring living UUCMC history holders, this service will look to our past as we engage as a congregation in looking forward to our future. Click here to enjoy the recorded service.

Music: Elaine Held, Karen Christiana, Edna Larsen, Jennifer Thomas, and Rev. Craig.

October 31st                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

The Thinnest Veil: A Multigenerational Service of All Hallows Eve and All Souls
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

In the Celtic world, October 31st is the Gaelic festival of Samhain, a harvest celebration halfway between the equinox and the solstice, when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is thought to be at its thinnest, and communion with souls of the departed is most possible. We will enact Hallowe’en’s trick-or-treat visitation and invite All Souls memories of the past year’s dead, discovering the hospitality at the heart of both traditions. Service includes scenes from our Hallowe’en celebration (10/24/21).  Click here to enjoy the Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and Joel DeWitt.

October 24th                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

NJ Together Monmouth County: Listening as Organizing
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano and the UUCMC NJTogether team

There is a new group in our midst: NJ Together, an IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation)-affiliated multi-faith, multi-issue, strictly non-partisan broad-based coalition of congregations, non-profits, neighborhood organizations, and parent groups. NJ Together seeks to develop leaders, strengthen communities, and seek justice by identifying problems in our county. The first step in any community organizing is to listen. This morning, we will hear from members of the UUCMC NJ Together team…what problems rise to the surface in your neighborhoods, and to whom might you listen to organize for change? Click here to watch the recording of the Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and UU Singers.

October 17th                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Which, Not How                                                   Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

There’s lots of advice out there about how to cultivate relationships, but what about the challenge of deciding which relationships to nourish? We live in a society that distracts us from the relationships that matter most, and certainly the relationships that could feed us the most. We will lean into the work of noticing and listening to the longings for deeper connection. What relationships need your attention right now? Click here to enjoy the recording of the service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and PJ Casbar.

October 10th                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Gender Creative Resilience                              Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Resilience, the ability to bounce back from setbacks, is especially crucial for persons already at the receiving end of cultural aspersion. This morning, we will examine the self-reported resilience needs of transgender and gender nonconforming—gender creative—persons in this country, finding resilience commonalities among all genders, and identifying ways that congregations are well-placed to offer sustenance and community. Click here to enjoy the recording of the Service.

Music by Helen Kho and Steve Knowlton.

October 3rd                   Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

The Promise of Family Ministry                          Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

For a long time in our Unitarian Universalist faith movement, religious education has been at the forefront of creatively inculcating values and religious awareness in next generations. Though the strategies for accomplishing these goals have shifted and morphed over time, at the heart of those efforts has been the family, broadly defined. This morning, we will look back, as we look forward to the always present promise of Family Ministry. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Sarah and David Fischell, and Dr. Louise Chernosky.

September 26th           Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Emergent Possibilities                                        Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

Social justice facilitator adrienne maree brown urges us to notice the many relatively simple interactions in the natural world that give rise to complex systems, and to awaken to the harvest of adaptations available to us when we acknowledge our unity with that world. On this first Sunday of autumn, we delve further into our monthly theme of “embracing possibility.” Click here to view the recording of the Service.

Music by Joseph and John DeMasi.

September 19th           Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Possibility and Brokenness                              Rev. Rosemarie Newberry

You may hear something like “we are all broken.” If we are broken, then isn’t possibility just impossible? Let’s explore together our brokenness, and how we may live into possibility. Click here to view the recording of the Service.

The Rev. Rosemarie Newberry is a long time member of this congregation. She is currently serving the UU Congregation of Queens in Flushing, NY.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky and Karen Christiana.

September 12th           Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

A Multigenerational Service of Ingathering
Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano & Michelle McKenzie-Creech

At our annual service of Ingathering, marking the beginning of a new congregational year, we will acknowledge our losses, be thankful for our gains, and live into the sense of adventure that this new chapter in our lives represents. Click here to view the recording of the service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky, PJ Casbar, Rev. Craig, and UU Singers.

September 5th           Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Return Again: High Holy Days                         Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

In the urging of a popular song often performed at High Holy Days, “Return to who you are, return to what you are, return to where you are born and reborn again.” Rosh Hashanah begins the evening of Labor Day; this Sunday, we will contemplate what “returning” means in our current context. Click here to view the recording of the Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky, Dan Chernosky, Paul Sherman, and Joel DeWitt.

August 29th           Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Spirituality Speaking, The Power of Singing Spirituals                          Roosevelt Credit

A spiritual is a type of religious folk song closely associated with the enslavement of African people in the American South. Roosevelt Andre Credit will join us in exploring the spiritual healing and traditions in singing spiritual and gospel music.  Together we will walk down history lane and discover our inner spiritual voices.  Roo says “Let the music do its work for you!” Let’s learn together in song – Let’s find the voice within. Click here to watch the recording of the Service.

Roosevelt Credit lives in New York City and is a singer, conductor and composer. He is well known to UUCMC members for his magnificent performance as one of the Wiseman of “Amahl and the Night Visitors”.

Music by Roosevelt Credit and Elaine Held.

August 22nd           Livestreamed from the Meetinghouse on YouTube

Back to the Future                                              Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano

And, we’re back!…but not where we left off when we vacated the building 17 months ago. Instead, we launch into a new congregational reality: hopefully soon live in the room, livestreaming “on the air,” and on-tap through video. There’s a lot about the future that remains unclear, but I do know we will discover our future together. I’m certain that we will be transformed. And I trust we will continue to transform the world. Click here to watch the recording of the Service.

Music by Dr. Louise Chernosky, Liz Tortorella, and Elaine Held.

August 15th           Shared Summer Service Series: Renewing Together

Showing Up Today for the Community of Tomorrow             

Beacon (UU Congregation in Summit), Rev. Dr. Robin Tanner & Rev. Emilie Boggis

In the last 16 months, showing up has taken on new meaning as we connected virtually. Some of us are even deepening and renewing our commitments in community. There are always ample reasons to show up…or not! As life shifts again, how do we discern as UUs when to show up and for whom? Click here to view the Service.

August 8th             Shared Summer Service Series: Renewing Together

Regeneration                   

Morristown UU Fellowship, Rev. Alison Miller

Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, Rev. Andrée Mol

Turning to the monarch butterfly as our guide and teacher, we’ll examine both its individual transformation from larvae to butterfly and its multi-generational transformation as a species migrating across an entire continent each year. We’ll consider the ways in which such transformations play out in our individual lives and collectively across generations. Click here to view the Service.

August 1st

When Things Fall Apart:  Buddhist Principles and Practices               Cheryl Bartholomew

Buddhism is the fastest growing of all religions. Its practices are used in schools throughout the world, with marines, and in psychotherapy contexts.  Buddhist teachings help us to remain peaceful and grounded when we are faced with life’s challenges. Click here to view the Service.

Dr. Cheryl Bartholomew is a psychologist and professor who has taught at SUNY/Upstate NY, George Mason, and Monmouth Universities. She has received the Chancellor’s award for excellence in teaching, the Martin Luther King Humanitarian award, Outstanding Women in Virginia, and the National Curriculum and Development award (AERA). Her curriculum has been adopted throughout the US and in four foreign countries. Dr. Bartholomew is also a textbook author who has appeared on CBS News with Dan Rather, and NPR, “All Things Considered”. She is cited in “Megatrends for Women”: How Women are Revolutionizing American Society. She has been a member of UUCMC since 2018.

Music by Elaine Held, Kirsten Norberg, Sister Singers, and Louise & Dan Chernosky.

July 25th                Shared Summer Service Series: Renewing Together

Guardians and Gatekeepers                       

UU Congregation at Montclair: Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael & Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael
UU Congregation of Somerset Hills & First Unitarian NJ (Fanwood): Rev. Ann Marie Alderman

A shared Summer Service with the minister from First Unitarian (Fanwood) and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Somerset Hills and the Co-Ministers from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair. This service weaves their own personal stories of guardians (those who protect and preserve) and gatekeepers (those who block and prevent.) Click here to view the Service.

July 18th

Moving into a Different World                       Rev. Julie Newhall

Our lives have been changing in unexpected ways since early 2020. Some say that nothing will ever be the same. The same as what? Today we take some time to quietly think about what is new and to consider what we’d like to see in our new reality. Click here to view the Service.

Reverend Julie Newhall is our guest minister today.  From September through June, she leads worship twice a month at the UU Ocean County Congregation and twice a month at the UU Society of South Suffolk.

Music by Helen Kho, PJ Casbar, and Louise Chernosky.

July 11th

Do You Hear What I Hear?                              Janet Freed

If you said to me, “I feel like I just got hit by a bus” and I responded by saying, “Did you get the license plate number?”, would you feel like I got your message? This talk about Deep Listening will help us hear the thoughts and feelings behind the words we say so that we can respond to others in a compassionate and empathetic way. Click here to view the Service.

Janet Freed is a clinical chaplain and bereavement counselor offering spirit-centered care and support to patients and their loved ones. She is an ordained Buddhist priest and is ending her tenure as co-chair of CoCM.

Music by Helen Benham.

July 4th          Shared Summer Service Series: Renewing Together

The Sacred Ground of Interdependence

UU Congregation of Monmouth County (Lincroft), Rev. Dr. Craig Rubano 
The Unitarian Society (East Brunswick), Rev. Karen Johnston

Our 7th Principle reminds us to respect, perhaps even to show reverence for, our interdependence. All existence is connected, and we, as human creatures, are not above or below or apart, but wonderfully woven as part of a greater whole. The ministers and worship teams from the UU Congregation of Monmouth County in Lincroft and The Unitarian Society in East Brunswick kick off a Shared Summer Services series bringing together UU congregations across the mid-to-upper stretches of New Jersey. Click here to view the Service.

Music: Louise Chernosky, Ruby Chernosky, Robert Shumway (Lincroft); Nick Place (East Brunswick)

June 27th

Live from the UUA General Assembly: Sunday Morning Worship

This year’s virtual General Assembly offers us all a unique opportunity to share worship with thousands of other UUs. Click here to enjoy the Service.

Until Love Wins                                                      First Universalist Church of Minneapolis

Today’s challenging times require a nimble and resilient spirituality. We need a demanding, inspiring faith and a love strong enough that it will not let us go. Join us as we draw the circle wide, gather our strength, and promise to stay in the struggle and joy until love wins.

Each year, the last weekend in June, UUs gather from across the country and around the world, to do the business of the UU Association of congregations, and to learn and celebrate together. We are so pleased to share the Sunday morning worship service from GA with you.

June 20th

A Summer Solstice Service                               Sister Circle

The SisterCircle Summer Solstice Ritual/Service will honor the relationship between all creatures and will touch on the impact of humans on their existence. It is adapted from the writings of Joanna Macy, an environmental activist and author. We hope to offer a positive view of our relationship with our “ship’s companions.”  Click here to view the Service.

SisterCircle is a women’s group that has been active since Yule, 1993. They are analogous to a covenant circle and enjoy friendship and creativity together. They follow the “Wheel of the Year” to celebrate each season’s gifts.

Come celebrate with us as we turn the Wheel once again and welcome the joys of summer.

Music by Tom McCormack.

June 13th

Blessings and Flowers: Our Annual Flower Communion Multigenerational Service
Rev. Craig Rubano, Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst, and Michelle McKenzie-Creech, CDFM

If you could share your best blessing with another congregant, what would it say or look like? Now more than ever, we need one another’s blessings. As we say our final farewell to Rev. Virginia in her last Sunday Service, she asks you to give away your most precious blessing to one another. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Elaine Held, Joel DeWitt, David Fischell, Edna Larsen, UU Singers Virtual Choir, Core of Fire, and Louise Chernosky.

June 6th

First and Last Words                                          Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst 

Today we celebrate our graduating High Schoolers as they bridge into adulthood. In these years together, what have we said, and what have we left unsaid? There are a few things you need to know! Click here to view the Service.

Music by Just Folk, Louise and Dan Chernosky, and Thomas Cannizzaro.

May 30th

Everyone is Here to Teach Us Something      Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst & Rev. Craig Rubano 

We are all students and all teachers even if we do not always acknowledge it. Today we will share some lessons we have learned from you, from one another, and from ministers and congregants of the past. This service will include a welcome to our newest members. Click here to view the recording of the LIVE Service.

Music by Helen Kho, Elaine Held, Kirsten Norberg, Karen Christiana, and Rev. Craig.

May 23rd

Faith Through Crisis: Coming of Age           Coming of Age Group & Michelle McKenzie-Creech 

What has it been like to be a teenager during a historic pandemic? Time spent quarantining this last year has meant many teens have missed the milestones that ordinarily mark coming of age.

Our 8th and 9th grade youth will reflect on how they are coping in real time and with the crisis likely to shape their generation for decades to come. To commemorate this Coming of Age service unlike any other, the youth invite you to attend this live Zoom service in your best shirt and most comfortable pajama pants or your robe. Click here to view the recording of the live service.

Music by Louise Chernosky and Eva Merhi.

May 16th

Emergent Strategies                                            Rev. Craig Rubano 

How do we reach the futures about which we dream in a world in constant flux? Pioneered in part by social justice facilitator and healer adrienne marie brown, the concept of emergence examines how “complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.” What we practice at a small scale is essentially connected to the universal level.

We examine how transforming ourselves is, indeed, the beginning of transforming the world. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Louise Chernosky, Skip Leib, Karen Christiana, Liz Tortorella, Jennifer Thomas, UU Singers.

May 9th

The Story Goes On: A Multigenerational Mother’s Day Service
Rev. Craig Rubano and Michelle McKenzie-Creech

Who mothered you in the story of how you arrived at this beloved place? Whose stories are you “mothering” along? Passed from one generation to another, from one person to another, our stories go on. This service will include a tribute to those who mothered our journeys. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Rev. Craig, Jennifer Thomas, Maya Kimmel, and Louise Chernosky.

May 2nd

Acting Your Age                                                    Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

An insult lobbed on the playground used to go, “Act your age, not your shoe size!” That was long before the years accrued in multiples of your shoe size. What does acting your age mean now? I have some observations to share! Click here to view the Service.

Music by PJ Casbar and Louise Chernosky.

April 25th

How Putting Forward Matters: Activism and Earth Day         Doris Marlin

Ms. Marlin will share social justice stories of success and failures, which later became successful in unexpected ways. How will your dedicated effort make a difference, and why to put it forward? Click here to view the Service.

Music by Louise and Dan Chernosky.

Doris Marlin is a member at All Souls UU in Washington, DC whose academic background is Water Resources Management, applied during 35 years of federal service. She supports communities as they Strengthen and Accelerate their Local Climate Commitments – a UU campaign inspired by the United Nations Climate Talks in Paris, Morocco, and Poland as a civil society observer. Doris is a member of UU Ministry for Earth Board, UUA Green Sanctuary Advisory Board, and UUSJ Advocacy Corps.

April 18th

UUA Common Read: Breathe: A Letter to My Sons
Rev. Craig Rubano and Common Read Participants

In her recent book, Breathe, Imani Perry asks, “How do you become in a world bent on you not being and not becoming?” This Sunday, we join in reading with UUs across the world, sharing our reflections on fear, resilience, and becoming. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Louise Chernosky, UU Virtual Singers, Elaine Held, Rev. Craig.

April 11th

Anne Frank – A Timeless Example                Tim Geiselman

There are many accounts of extraordinary people enduring hardships, but the Anne Frank story has a particular resonance. In this service we will look to explore the question as to why. Why is her story universal? Why does it cut across people and places? What does it tell us about who we are and what we can be? Click here to view the Service.

A member of UUCMC since 2016, Tim has an interest in Holocaust studies from a historical angle – how did it come about and how have we changed in the aftermath? He lives in Middletown with his wife, Rosane, who is also a UUCMC member, and his son Lucas.

Music by Elaine Held and Kirsten Norberg.

April 4th

Mixed Feelings: A Multigenerational Easter Service
Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst and Michelle McKenzie-Creech

The Easter story holds the human experiences of grief and grace in high tension. Today we will consider what that Easter journey toward relief and release can teach us. You are invited to share this service with the young and old people in your life as part of your own multigenerational Easter celebration. Click here to view the Service.

The service includes a “virtual egg hunt.” Can you find all of the eggs hidden in this multigenerational service?  

Music by Louise and Dan Chernosky, Elaine Held, and the Sunada Family (Betsy, Craig & Kristina).

March 28th

Freedom is Not Free                                            Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

The Passover story is a reminder that the struggle for freedom is ancient and ongoing. Today we will consider that story in light of our commitments to freedom for all in our time. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Jan Dash, Dan and Louise Chernosky, Sarah and David Fischell.

March 21st

UU Connections Make Community               Rev. Craig Rubano & Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

Join us for a special multigenerational kick-off to our Stewardship Campaign. Together, we move boldly into the 2021–22 congregational year, one of transition and renewal. Together, we will rediscover that UU Connections Make Community. Click here to view the recording of the live Service.

Music by Paul Vallin, Louise Chernosky, Steve Cook.

March 14th

Making and Breaking Commitments to Ourselves      Michelle McKenzie-Creech

For most of us, keeping the commitments we make to others is a non-issue. To live a healthy, joy-filled, and self-differentiated life, we have to be dedicated to the commitments we make to ourselves and hold ourselves to them. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Louise and Dan Chernosky.

March 7th

Thinking Again                                                      Rev. Craig Rubano

One of the hardest things to do as humans is rethinking, exercising an ability to unlearn. And yet, in order to escape the weight of our underlying assumption, we must question ourselves, difficult though it may be. This morning, we’ll explore what committing to think again requires. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Lynn Dash, Jan Dash, and Rev. Craig.

February 28th

Who Belongs Here?                                              Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

We all need to feel we belong somewhere, but generating such feelings in ourselves and allowing them to blossom in others is complicated. Today’s service will examine the Beloved Community through the lens of our belonging. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Helen Kho, Jennifer Thomas, Karen Christiana, Louise and Dan Chernosky.

February 21st

I Cannot Tell A Lie                                                Rev. Craig Rubano

During this time of February when we celebrate Presidents, Rev. Craig uses our collective (mis)understandings of George Washington to probe “truth”: Is there a difference between something that is “true” and something that is “verifiable?” When is it important to probe behind the curtain of received “truth?” Test your G. W. knowledge! And, here’s a question: When was the last time you thought it would be a great idea to take an ax and chop down a fruit tree? Click here to view the Service.

Music by Jennifer Thomas, Kirsten Norberg, Elaine Held, and Louise Chernosky.

February 14th

Love and Trouble: The Continuing Adventures of You and Me
Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst, Rev. Craig Rubano, Michelle McKenzie-Creech

On this Valentine’s Day, we gather to reflect on what it means, to recall Alice Walker’s words, to be “in love and trouble.” Bring the whole family to your screens for this multigenerational celebration. Click here to watch the recording of the LIVE Service.

Music by Louise Chernosky and Rev. Craig Rubano.

February 7th

Myra Zinke Service: The Space Between                 Rev. Andrée Mol

Names and categories create distinctions which we use to navigate our world. But what happens when society’s standard labels don’t fit our identity—black, white, gay, straight, male, female? We are more than just a label. Yet, it takes courage to live outside categorical norms. Rev. Andrée Mol explores stories of trans and gender non-confirming individuals who risk living into their full humanity, and ways we can collectively affirm those lives with our love. Click here to view the Service.

This service is funded by a bequest from Dr. Myra Zinke who hoped to promote gender equality with her generosity.

Rev. Andrée Mol (pronouns: they/them/theirs) serves as the minister at Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, NJ. Andrée is an active member of TRUUsT (an organization of UU trans religious professionals), which views the work for liberation as intimately tied to all efforts to dismantle oppression within Unitarian Universalism and our wider world. Through Andrée’s varied experiences in filmmaking, leadership development, and ministry, they are committed to
collectively exploring the role of transformative stories and dialogue in our spiritual lives. They are also the proud parent of two young children and two cats.

Music by UU Singers Altos and Friends, Dan and Louise Chernosky.

January 31st

Imagining Ourselves into Community                      Rev. Craig Rubano

What does it take to become the world about which we dream? Rounding out an inspirational month in our lives, we take some time to celebrate our progress, and to step boldly down new paths of mutually accountable community. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Elaine Held, Thomas Cannizzaro, Kirsten Norberg, Richard Sachs, and Rev. Craig.

January 24th

What Is Religion For?                                                     Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

Many UUs look worriedly at me when they sing, with extra feeling, John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” We love to sing, “Imagine…no religion too….” As a minister to a congregation that is sometimes ambivalent about religion I feel I must explain what we are doing here, again. I promise it will be fun, and based on my own observations of you. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Jan Dash, Louise Chernosky, and Thomas Cannizzaro.

January 17th

Service is Our Prayer: MLK Sunday              Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst and Rev. Craig Rubano

In honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Americans observe “a day on, not a day off.” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Today, we’ll reflect on how and why we will be of service in the midst of the extraordinary turmoil and divisions our nation faces. Click here to view the recording of the live Service.

Music by Louise and Dan Chernosky.

January 10th

How strong is our faith with and without the 8th Principle?
Paula Cole Jones and the 8th Principle Task Force

Perhaps the strength of Unitarian Universalism can be measured in the true transformative power of our Principles. It is the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism that bring us together.

Momentum is growing around the country for the inclusion of an 8th Principle: It states: We, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

Covenants can change a culture. They hold the potential to transform relationships, communities and institutions. The 8th Principal is our proposal to be in covenant with the Beloved Community. You are invited to join Paula Cole Jones to explore why we need an 8th Principle and why now? Click here to view the Service.

Paula Cole Jones is a life-long Unitarian Universalist and a Management Consultant with over twenty years of experience in designing and facilitating workshops and dialogues for leaders and organizations. She is an innovator of institutional change. In 1999, Paula founded ADORE, A Dialogue on Race & Ethnicity. She has conducted hundreds of group discussions and workshops across the country for faith organizations, community groups and government agencies. Paula Cole Jones is the author of a UU World Magazine cover story, Reconciliation as a Spiritual Discipline and she is the editor of a Skinner House book, Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity and Identity.

Music by Louise Chernosky.

January 3rd

Imagine: Three Drawings                                   Dr. Carol Penn and Core of Fire

This is a fun filled inspirational service with something for everyone. Using our imagination is the centerpiece as participants will be guided in the use of visual guided imagery to use their imagination to create a hopeful and optimistic future. Everyone will need to bring three pieces of paper and/or a journal and markers and/or crayons. Click here to view the YouTube Service.

Music by Louise Chernosky, Core of Fire, and Kendra Kehde.

December 27th 

The Fabulous Fezziwigs

A joyous and rousing caroling event featuring four fine professional singers from NYC. From their glorious high notes, to booming bass notes, to artistic arrangements of old favorites, to thoughtful insights on the carols, lots of bantering and laughter so very appreciated at this eventful holiday time…all arrayed in Victorian holiday garb…The Fabulous Fezziwigs will bring a contagious joy for an admiring and muted audience! They will crown your holiday season!! For an introduction to them CLICK HERE. Noël and good cheer! Please note this service was not recorded for YouTube. Please do check out the Fabulous Fezziwigs!

December 24th Christmas Eve

A Multigenerational Christmas Eve               Rev. Virginia, Rev. Craig, and Michelle

One multigenerational YouTube service featuring pageantry, lessons, and carols. In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, we believe that every child is the hope of this world. Click here to view the YouTube service.

Music by Jan Dash, Elaine Held, Ruby and Louise Chernosky, Maya Kimmel, Craig Rubano, UU Singers and friends.

December 20th 

A Solstice Journey                                         Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst & Michelle McKenzie-Creech

Just as the Earth continues its journey around the sun, we too keep moving through this season of darkness and cold. Fire, candles, and the longest night are markers in a human journey toward wholeness. All ages are invited to share in this LIVE on Zoom ritual of the turning of the wheel of the year. Click here to watch the recorded service.

Music by Liz Tortorella, Louise and Dan Chernosky.

December 13th

Days that Count                                                     Rev. Craig Rubano

Midway through Advent and three days into Hanukkah, how can our monthly congregational theme of stillness enrich a season that can feel like a countdown clock, moving us from counting the days to experiencing days that count? Click here to view the Service.

Music by Louise and Dan Chernosky, Maggi Riordan.

December 6th

A Child’s View                                                        Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

How do children see the December holidays? So much enthusiasm and energy is hard to keep still. Can we older ones capture that wonder once again? Click here to view the Service.

Music by Jan Dash and family, Jennifer Thomas, Louise Chernosky.

November 29th

Healing                                                                    Rev. Elizabeth Congdon, guest minister

We experience healing all the time – in times of sorrow, anxiety, distress and stress; a job loss, loss of a friend, a love, a child, a relationship, a marriage, a home, a disappointment; an injury, an illness and surgery – organizational stresses, job stress and especially zoom fatigue. We will be talking about personal healing of many different varieties including some basic parameters. Click here to view the Service.

The Reverend Elizabeth B. Congdon is the retired Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Trenton. Prior to being called into ministry she did hospital nursing for 17 years and then for the State Department of Health for 25 years. She has been on mission trips to the Philippines, Haiti, Rwanda, Egypt, Lebanon, Malaysia, Thailand, the Navajo and Hopi nations in the American Southwest and the Republic of Georgia. Liz is currently the Co-President of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought  and is on the steering committees for both MOSAIC, the teen interfaith education, leadership and community service project and the Civil Discourse project. She is the mother of four daughters and grandmother to one granddaughter and three grandsons.  She gets together with all of them on zoom, as we all try to get through this pandemic.

Music by Tom McCormack and Louise Chernosky.

November 22nd

Let Gratitude Heal You: A Multigenerational Service of Thanksgiving
Rev. Craig Rubano & Michelle McKenzie-Creech

On gratitude, the poet David Whyte writes, “being unappreciative might mean we are simply not paying attention.” In shifting our attention, in being present to everything that comes together each time we draw breath, we open ourselves to a gratitude that can heal us. Let us gather in an expressly intergenerational way and live, together, into our thankfulness. Click here to view the Service.

Music by Louise Chernosky, Virtual Uke Project, Elaine Held, Edna Larsen, Paul Vallin.

November 15th

Humor Might Help                                               Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

Do you know a really good joke or funny story, or has Covid stolen your sense of humor? We will share some good ones and reflect on the role humor has in our health and healing. Join me in bringing a bit of that lightness to our community today. Click here to view the Service.

Music by David Fischell and Louise Chernosky.

November 8th

Post Election Sunday: Now What!?                Rev. Craig Rubano & Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

There is no way to know what to expect on this post election Sunday as we write this mid-October. We do know that we all have taken responsibility for this democracy by voting and making our voices heard. We do know that we will gather together LIVE ON SUNDAY MORNING to make sense of the results. As always, we do know that this community will show up with love and commitment to our values whatever the day may bring. We’ll see you there! Click here to view the recording of the live service.

Music by Virtual UU Singers, Thomas Cannizzaro, Rev. Craig and Louise Chernosky.

November 1st

Adopting an “8th Principle” on the Road to Beloved Community
Rev. Craig Rubano & the 8th Principle Task Force

At the heart of what Unitarian Universalists believe about our interactions with our world and one another are the, so far, 7 Principles. At this critical moment, however, there is an uprising of support across our faith movement to bring a new commitment and accountability to dismantling the systems of oppression that have harmed historically marginalized persons. Congregational adoption of an “8th Principle,” which would bring a new level of dedication to our anti-racist work in order to give teeth to our Principled intentions, embodies this move toward creating Beloved Community. Click here to view the service.

Music by Music Director Emerita Elaine Held, Kirsten Norberg, Louise and Dan Chernosky.

October 25th

Remembering All Souls                                      Rev. Craig Rubano & Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

Join us in this annual service of recognition and remembrance of those who have died this year. We will meet live at 10:30am in Zoom for this interactive service of listening and of remembering those who have joined the ancestors. In the words of poet Birago Diop:

Those who have died have never, never left
The dead are not under the earth
They are in the rustling trees
They are in the groaning woods
They are in the crying grass
They are in the moaning rocks
The dead are not under the earth

Click here to watch the recording of the live service.

Music by UU Singers Virtual Choir, UUCMC Music Video “Remember Me,” Craig Rubano, and Louise Chernosky.

October 18th

The Unheard                                                          Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

Whether we cannot not hear them or are just not listening for them, the unheard do have something to say. Our service today will focus on those who are silenced and those who remain silent, all vital witnesses to life, who deserve to be heard. Click here to watch the service.

Music by Craig Sunada, Liz Tortorella, and Louise Chernosky.

October 11th

Deep Listening at the Heart of Connection             Rev. Craig Rubano and Louise Chernosky

To American composer Pauline Oliveros, listening—if engaged in enough depth—is a full-bodied attending to oneself and to the surrounding world that is necessary before directed, socially-conscious action. This morning we will be inspired by Oliveros to stop, and truly hear, moving toward an openness of communication that builds community. Click here to watch the service.

Music by Rev. Craig Rubano and Louise Chernosky.

October 4th

250 Years of Universalist Heritage and its Meaning for Our Time                Rev. Justin Schroeder

This year, we are celebrating 250 years of Universalism in North America. The anniversary celebrates a sermon by Rev. John Murray, September 30, 1770, right here in NJ. Murray Grove Retreat & Renewal Center exists as a living memorial to the meeting between Murray and Thomas Potter, a local farmer, and the resulting sermon. Click here to watch the service.

Rev. Justin Schroeder, senior co-minister of the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, will present a virtual worship service zoomed directly from Minneapolis to individuals and congregations across the continent.

September 27th

Awesome Days                                                      Rev. Craig Rubano

The holy days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur on the Jewish calendar are known as the Days of Awe, a time when the human ability to make change is front and center as a spiritual strength. We have been learning over the past months that, sometimes, “coming together” in a common cause can happen even when we are physically separated from one another…this week, we will pause to take some lessons from our Jewish siblings in spirit on the power of renewal. Click here to view the service.

Music by Jan Dash, Liz Tortorella, Paul Sherman, Rev. Craig, Louise and Dan Chernosky.

September 20th

The Fix: On Breaking and Mending               Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

With some fresh experience in the realm of accidents and brokenness (this summer’s bicycle accident and broken bones), I will reflect on the meaning of fixing, healing, and mending, and all we can and cannot do to make it so. Check here to view the service.

Music by Jennifer Thomas, Louise and Dan Chernosky.

September 13th

Ingathering Sunday: In Search of Good News        Revs. Craig and Virginia; Michelle, and Louise

Welcome back to an UUCMC Ingathering unlike any other we have known! In this multigenerational service, we will celebrate the good news to be found in this strange time and place. We look forward to seeing you online and Sunday afternoon at our annual Ingathering picnic at Thompson Park with masks and social distancing. Seeing you there will be the good news we need! Click here to view the service.

Music by UU Singers, Thomas and Aengus Cannizzaro, Skip Leib, Louise and Dan Chernosky, Bob Shumway.

September 6th

This Finite Earth                                                  Jim Scott, UU singer/songwriter                             

We are pleased that Jim Scott will present a full service of music and musings. His extensive experience and UU tradition are sure to contribute to a meaningful service. Don’t miss it! Click here to view the service.

“For more than three decades, Jim Scott has made it his business to create and perform music that celebrates the earth.”  Find out more here: https://jimscottmusic.com/bio-resume/

August 30th

Plant Love                                     Eileen Ellis, MSW, Native American Healing, LLC, guest speaker

Spiritual guidance, Divine inspiration and amazing synchronicities always seem to find their way to me when I need it the most. It is truly one of the greatest gifts of paying attention with an open heart. I invite you to join in my 2020 summer lesson to plant love around you. Click here to view the service.

Eileen Ellis is a full-blooded Mohawk Native American with ancestral healing roots with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. She is a retired NJ public school administrator with 25+ years of educational experience, and since 2006 has been a practicing shaman and spiritual/energy consultant, teaching and facilitating classes in meditation (breathing, mindfulness, guided imagery, shamanic journeying) as well as varied topics in energy healing.

Music by Helen Kho, Dan and Louise Chernosky.

August 23rd

Suppose is a Beautiful Word                       Rev. Kim Wildszewski, guest minister

In this season of unrelenting endings, what might come to be born? Suppose is a beautiful, co-creative, word. Click here to view the service.

Since 2014, Rev. Kim has served as the settled minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Washington Crossing. A lifelong UU from eastern Long Island, Kim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and Religion from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Before serving UUCWC, Kim was the Minister of Congregational Life at Beacon UU Congregation in Summit, NJ. Kim and her wife, Tara, live in Titusville, NJ. Their son Tobias was born in 2015. Their son Malcolm, born in 2018, died in 2020.

Music by Louise Chernosky, Thomas Cannizzaro, Sarah and David Fischell.

August 16th

In Search of Oneness                                     Sarbmeet Kanwal

The breadth and depth of the world-views from which we live our lives has not kept pace with the technologies that make it easier to magnify our differences. This has brought our nation to the brink of an existential crisis. What will it take to bolster the feeling of oneness, so crucial for the further advancement of our species? Click here to view the service.

Sarbmeet Kanwal teaches astronomy and physics at Brookdale Community College. He speaks frequently to the public on topics related to science and spirituality including a TEDx talk in 2019. He is a strong contributor to interfaith activities in Monmouth County and cofounded an award winning youth leadership program called MOSAIC.

Music by Louise Chernosky, Jan and Lynn Dash.

August 9th

In This Together                                                 Rev. Craig Rubano & Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst

We are fairly new to co-ministry here in Monmouth County.  As two very different ministers sharing one position, we have learned a few lessons about partnership—its beauty, fragility, power, and pitfalls. One thing is clear—partnership matters. What does a broader partnership mean to Unitarian Universalists these days? Does our theology really encourage collaboration? Can we survive without it? Click here to view the service.

August 2nd

Liberating Lost Souls: Tending a Local Wound of White Supremacy
Rev. Karen Johnston, guest minister

In 1818, a corrupt Middlesex County judge sold 150+ African Americans into permanent slavery in the Deep South when they should have been free in New Jersey. A history that was whitewashed and largely forgotten. No more. As our nation grapples with the ongoing presence of white supremacy, as well as which monuments to tear down, and which to build up, let us pledge to liberate the Lost Souls and to re-member them home. Click here to view the service.

Rev. Karen G. Johnston is the settled minister at our sibling congregation in East Brunswick. Ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2016, she was a clinical social worker for twenty years prior to becoming a minister. She identifies as white, bisexual, middle class, and cisgender and hopes that we can dismantle white supremacy. A Buddhist meditation practice sustains her, especially when she sustains it.

July 26th

Nourishing Music and Poetry                         Elaine Held, Jan Dash, and Joel Dewitt

A special service of soul-filled words and music, with Joel DeWitt, violin; Jan dash, piano and voice; and Elaine Held, piano.  The poems are graciously read by members of the Music Committee. Click here to view the service.

July 19th

We welcome Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, sharing one of their virtual services with us this week.

Keeping Vigil                                                         Rev. Alison Miller

This spring and summer have been filled with marches, protests, teach-ins, and vigils as we bear witness to racial disparities laid bare by police brutality and the pandemic. We must not allow ourselves to desire a return to normalcy, but instead to recommit our hearts and lives to fueling the revolution of love. Click here to watch the service.

“Morristown Unitarian Fellowship is a vibrant multi-generational liberal religious home that believes in walking alongside each other in our separate spiritual journeys while covenanting to create community and striving to make a more just world.”

July 12th

We welcome Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, sharing one of their virtual services with us this week.

How to Light a Chalice                                     Rev. Dr. Robin Tanner and Rev. Emilie Boggis

Spiritual practice for Unitarian Universalists is often the experience of continuous revelation or evolution. Our spiritual practices have changed over these decades. What is the role today of spiritual practice as a UU? What sustains us? Click here to watch the service.

Our Mission is to be a radically inclusive religious community that feeds the human spirit and heals the world.

“We are committed to being a Beacon in our world by ministering to our members and friends, reaching out to those in need, partnering with allies and advocates for transformation and joining our voices and actions in the chorus of justice.”

July 5th

We welcome The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, sharing one of their services with us this week.

The Color of Law                                           Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael

This week’s service examines systemic racism. Many appeal to “The Rule of Law” in efforts to discourage people from protesting for their rights. But the Law has a bias, just like the human heart. Join Rev. Scott as we explore how racist tyrannies like the Confederacy, Nazi Germany, and Apartheid in South Africa all perverted the Law to legitimize hatred. Click here to watch the service.

“The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, now in its 118th year, enjoys a rich history of spiritual exploration and social justice activism. For us, it’s difficult to tell those elements apart because we find them to be two aspects of the same human, religious impulse. It’s much like breathing in and breathing out.”