Release Date: 2003
Rob Sawyer Interview
Sermons delivered at a lay-lead, Unitarian Universalist church in Buffalo, New York.
The Spirit of Thanksgiving
Date: November 27, 2005
Description: The latest in my string of sermons that delve into the real history of modern rituals and holidays, this one looks at a shining moment in the history of our relations with Native Americans. The Pilgrims actually got it right (for a while), and I submit that we should finally learn this 400-year-old lesson of how to treat our fellow man and give thanks to the Pilgrims for showing us how.
A Light to Guide Us
Date: October 30, 2005
Description: For this Halloween eve service, I discuss the pagan roots of the holiday and discuss the true meanings of the rituals of trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, and dressing up like ghouls and goblins. In the end, this is less a celebration of the dead than a time to remember those who have fallen.
In Defense of Marriage
Date: May 15, 2005
Description: Marriage has a long and storied past dating back to the Babylonians, Egyptians, and probably beyond. It has taken many forms and meant many different things to different peoples. And yet, our modern-day politicians claim that the cohesive heritage of marriage gives them the right to deny this basic right to an entire class of people. Boy are they wrong! .
Date: March 7, 2005
Description: Historically, Spring has been a time of rebirth and renewal of the spirit. In this sermon, I take a look at the origins of Spring Religious Celebrations, and find some interesting parallels between rituals from different religions. You might be surprised to find out where the Easter Bunny and baskets lines with grass really come from.
Date: November 21, 2004
Description: For this sermon, I re-read the two classic tales of dystopia - 1984 by George Orwell and A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - and compared them to the state of our world today. The parallels are often frightening. In this sermon I discuss whether our current world is facing one of these dystopias or perhaps one of our own making.
Imagine a Better World
Date: September 19, 2004
Description: For the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I discussed John Lennon's lasting legacy, his eternal search for a more peaceful world, and the powerful song that to this day brings flooding back all of the emotions I felt after those brutal attacks on our buildings, our people, our very safety and way of life.
Perils of an Anonymous Society
Date: February 8, 2004
Description: Has the Internet doomed us to a lifetime of computer viruses, spam, rude behavior, and attacks on our very identities? In this sermon I posit that the anonymity of our new information age society has left us with not enough safeguards against these and other attacks. But is the answer more surveillance or more accountability?
Does God Believe in Us?
Date: December 28, 2003
Description: In Robert J. Sawyer's novel Calculating God, aliens come to Earth looking for proof of the existence of God in our fossil records. In this sermon, I discuss not only the existence of a universal creator, but what such a being truly wants from his or her (its) creation. Just a hint, I don't think it's blind adoration or crusades in his name.
Stranger in a Strange Land
Date: October 26, 2003
Description: This is the book that had the most profound effect on my worldview as an adolescent. It started me down the road from a conservative republican, Lutheran to a liberal, democratic, Unitarian Universalist. For this sermon, I re-read my turning-point novel and found a lot of UU philosophy inside that I shared with the congregation.
People of Principle
Date: March 16, 2003
Description: UUs try to live by a set of seven principles, including the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence. This sermon discusses the history and the meaning of the principles.
Creation, God, and Immortality
Date: January 26, 2003
Description: In this sermon, I discuss the relationship between the creative spark and the belief in God; between the procreative act and the divine. The Greeks thought muses breathed inspiration into their bodies. That inspiration begets the creation of everything from great poetry to children; and that may be our true path to immortality.
Science, Fiction, and Fantasy -
The New Mythologies
Date: March 16, 2003
Description: In ages past, man explained the mysteries of the world through mythical stories of Gods, Goddesses, Titans, and Monsters. In the age of reason, those myths were cast aside for the mythology of science. But there are still things science cannot explain, such as why we cannot get along with our fellow man. For the answers to those social questions, many turn to SF and fantasy.