Worship Committee

The Worship Committee occasionally coordinates and arranges for Sunday services during the year which are not provided by the ministers—whether in cooperation with committees/groups or outside speakers, generally incorporating themes developed in cooperation with our minister. This may involve an average of six to eight services during the regular year. In addition, the committee provides some twelve services during the summer season, either in collaboration with committees/members or independently arranged with outside speakers. For more information, please contact our Worship Committee Chairperson, Deb Ellis.

Previous Worship Committee Services Include:

September 6, 2015
“TED Talk: Karen Armstrong”
UUCM member Constance Thames
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August 30, 2015
“My Name is Julia”
By Kathryn Tucker Windham & Adapted by UUCM member Ginny S. Crooks
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August 23, 2015
“Transformation in Our Community”
UUCM Member Jerry Fried
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August 16, 2015
“Us and Them”
Rev. Gina Jacobs-Strain
Rev. Gina C. Jacobs-Strain serves as the Associate Regional Pastor for Women in Ministry for ABCNJ, Interim Pastor for St. Paul, Baptist Church, Atlantic Highlands and as an Associate Minister of Christian Education at St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair NJ.  She is a lecturer, leads Bible Study, and preaches at Nyack College where she is also the Chair of Developmental Education.  She preaches, teaches, and leads workshops and works to build community relationships through interdenominational and interfaith efforts.  She earned a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and she graduated from Drew University’s Theological School Magna Cum Laude with a Masters of Divinity in May 2009. She is married to Cliff Strain for almost 27 years; they have three sons and reside in South Orange, N.J.
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August 9, 2015
“Immortality”   
UUCM Member Lawrence Ramsey
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August 2, 2015
“True Masters Learn Through Joy”
Lori Bryant Woolridge
Lori Bryant Woolridge is an author, coach and founder of Stiletto University, a virtual institution that promotes healthy, sensuous lifestyles.  An Emmy award winner, she has written eight books, including The Power of Wow.  Her work is centered around the idea that living a sensory life, experiencing the world through your five, God-given senses, is the bedrock of a pleasured and empowered life and the difference between merely living and being alive. An engaging motivational speaker, she has also spoken around the country to women of all ages about sensuous living and feminine empowerment. www.stilettou.com
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July 5, 2015
“Opportunity Knocks”
UUCM President Michael Mernin
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June 28, 2015
“Choosing Paths to Happiness Despite the Obstacles” 
UUCM Member Dr. Patricia Kenschaft
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May 24, 2015
“There and Back Again”
UUCM Member Tanya Dixon
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April 12, 2015
“Deep Time Reverence – Grounding Action in an Evolving Universe”
Ms. Jennifer Morgan
Jennifer Morgan is an award-winning author, storyteller, educator, and president of the Deep Time Journey Network (more info can be found at www.deeptimejourney.org). She gives programs for adults and children exploring an evolving universe as a foundational context. Her “Universe Story” Trilogy (Born with a Bang, From Lava to Life, and Mammals Who Morph) are used in classrooms around the world, and has received numerous awards and endorsements from renowned scientists, educators and thinkers. For more information, go to www.universestories.com.
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March 22, 2015
“Selma: Looking Back and Moving Forward”
Rev. David Miller
Rev. Miller is a 2008 graduate of the Claremont School of Theology receiving a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Social Transformation. His professional experience includes working with national organizations such as the American Heart Association and Easter Seals as well as numerous regional & community based organizations, educational institutions and nonprofits. He also serves Unitarian Universalism as a Member of the Pacific Southwest District’s Ministerial Transitions Team, a National Advisory team member for the Standing on the Side of Love Campaign and district consultant for congregation boards.
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February 15, 2015
“I AM!”  
Dr. Gwen Parker Ames
Gwen Parker Ames is a servant leader and educator, committed to uplifting and promoting human potential through collaborative efforts within the community.  She holds a doctorate degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University and completed post graduate study at Princeton Theological Seminary.  She and her family reside in Montclair.
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January 4, 2015
“Don’t Be Hating:  How to Bring Mindfulness and Compassion Into Your Life and Work”
Ms. Susan Wilson and Ms. Sharyn Taylor
Susan Wilson is an Experienced Registered Yoga and Meditation Teacher certified to teach and also to trainer teachers through Yoga Alliance.  Susan dedicated 8 years studying the Yoga of Sound (focusing on mantra, Vedic chanting, philosophy and Chakra system). She has been studying Tibetan Buddhism for over 15 years. Sharyn Menegus Taylor is a mindfulness trainer with 20+ years in mind-body awareness training and practice. When she saw how her personal mindfulness practice enhanced her focus and skill in managing global teams, she became passionate about bringing mindfulness practice to the workplace.
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November 30, 2014
“Thoughts for a Healthy, Sustainable, Peaceful World”
UUCM Member Brad Hyson
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October  19, 2014
“Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror and the Criminalization of Youth”    
UUCM’s Undoing Racism Committee and guest speaker Mr. Ed Barocas, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union – NJ
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August 31, 2014
“The Sharing of Love in Community”
UUCM Member Joel Naftelberg
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August 10, 2014
“The Naked Truth About Love”
Ms. Robin Reichert
Through the art of storytelling and her peace ministry, Robin Reichert builds bridges of harmony and kinship between humans and from humans to the natural world. She enjoys telling stories that uplift, inspire, and spark the wonder of imagination, both from her personal experience and those of others. She was recently featured in a curtain warmer for John Lithgow’s “Stories by Heart,” is often on WDIY public radio, is the author of “Feather Gifts for all Ages,” and the editor/publisher of the Lehigh Storytelling Guild newsletter, “Teller Times.”
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July 27, 2014
“Freedom Summer – Then and Now”
UUCM Member Kimberly Johnson
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June 29, 2014
“All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are My Rituals”
Ms. Deborah Lipp
Deborah Lipp is a well-known member of the Neo-Pagan community and an author on topics related to Paganism, Wicca, and the occult. Her focus is traditional Wicca, also known as Neo-Pagan Witchcraft. Deborah became a Witch in 1982, a High Priestess in 1986, and has been teaching Wicca and running Pagan circles ever since. In addition to writing seven books, she’s been published in many Pagan publications and has lectured all over the U.S. and the world. Deborah has appeared in various media discussing Wicca, most notably on the A&E documentary Ancient Mysteries: Witchcraft in America. She has also appeared on MSNBC, in The New York Times, and in many smaller TV and print sources. By day, Deborah is a Business Analyst. She lives in Rockland County, New York, with her spouse Melissa and an assortment of cats.
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June 22, 2014
“Science, Fiction”
UUCM President Michael Mernin
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May 25, 2014
“Emily Dickinson – The Belle of Amherst”
UUCM Member Ginny Loggins
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April 27, 2014
“Faith – ThrUU the Ages”
UUCM’s Senior Youth Group
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March 9, 2014
“Seeking Intimacy and Ultimacy Through Small Group Ministry”
Worship Leaders from our Covenant Group Ministry
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February 16, 2014
“Judgment Day: Do Computer Algorithms Determine What You Know and Believe?”
UUCM Member Dr. Ursula Wolz
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January 5, 2014
“The Heart of Democracy”
Rev. Craig Hirshberg
Craig is minister emeritus of the UU Congregation of Somerset Hills where she served as the founding minister. Before that she was an active lay leader of the UU Congregation at Montclair. Craig currently serves as the District Ministerial Settlement Representative. She has served on the District Growth and Outreach Committee, District Search Committee, and the UUA Trauma Response Team. Currently, she is a community minister in private practice as a spiritual director. She hosts meditation classes, retreats and other spiritual development activities. She has co-authored a couple’s communication curriculum for the UUA. She lives in Califon, NJ with her husband, Dominick De Pinto, and has three children.
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December 1, 2013
“To Lead Where No One Has Led Before”
Mr. Bruce Knotts
Bruce was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia.  He worked for Raytheon in Saudi Arabia and on a World Bank contract in Somalia before he joined the Department of State as a U.S. diplomat in 1984.  Bruce retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 and joined the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) as its Executive Director at the beginning of 2008.  He began the UU-UNO’s very successful LGBT advocacy program in 2008.  Bruce has been chair of the UN NGO Committee on Human Rights since June 2010 and of the Faith and Ethics Network for the International Criminal Court since April 2010.  He is the President and CEO of the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security and a member of the NGO UN Security Council Working Group.
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November 10, 2013
“Crossing into Deep Time: A Calling and a Response”
Miriam MacGillis, OP
Miriam is a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ.  Since 1980 she has lived and worked at Genesis Farm, which she co-founded in Blairstown, NJ with the sponsorship of her Dominican Congregation.   The Farm explores the new insights and implications for the human community derived from the scientific story of an evolving Universe and living planet.  It promotes bioregionalism, sustainability and a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of ethics for resolving the ecological crises of our times.
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October 13, 2013
“Why We Are Universalists”
Rev. Carol Haag
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 chairs its Stewardship 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.
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September 1, 2013
“Working”
Members of the UU Theatre Group
Our UU Theatre Group presented a program of monologues and songs based on Studs Terkel’s “Working,” and explored our hopes and dreams about what we do for a living.

August 18, 2013  
“Looking Backward, Moving Forward”
UUCM Member and President Ms. Teresa DeSousa

July 7, 2013
“The Heretic Spirit” 

Ms. Kimberley Debus
Our denomination is founded on heresy; but heresy to whom? We explored what it means to be a heretic through the examples of our Unitarian and Universalist forbearers, and the ways we continue this rich heritage today.

June 30, 2013
“A MidsUUmer Night’s Dream”

UUCM Member Ms. Terry Cummings

June 23, 2013
“Amazing Journey”

UUCM Member Mr. Joel Naftelberg

May 26, 2013
“Beyond Light Bulbs: Covenant and Collective Action” 

Mr. Matt Meyer
Ours is a faith guided by covenant. As UU’s, we believe that some things are better accomplished in community. A spiritual life is one of those. Social justice work is another. We experienced a service of rhythm, music, covenantal community and collective action.

April 7, 2013
“Walls” 

Senior Youth Group

February 17, 2013
“Our Chapter in the Unfolding Story”
UUCM Member Ms. Kimberly Johnson

January 6, 2013
“Mass Incarceration and the Return of Jim Crow” 

Dr. Johanna Foster

November 25, 2012
“Giving Thanks”

UUCM Member Ms. Kimberly Johnson

October 7, 2012
“Health Care for All: A Moral Imperative”

UUCM Members Ms. Francesca Elms and Ms. Cecilia Cosca

September 2, 2012
“The Yoga of Prosperity: Bringing Mind, Body and Soul Together”

UUCM Members Ms. Tanya Dixon and Ms. Kimberly Johnson Ms. Kelly Roberts

August 5, 2012
“The Parts of the Journey”

UUCM Member Ms. Terry Cummings
The service’s theme, “The parts of the journey can be worth more than the sum of the destination,” focused on how important it is to make the most of what we are required to do n order to achieve our goals.

July 1 , 2012
“Discovering Parables”

UUCM Member Mr. Charles Loflin

June 24, 2012
“Inner Rhythms”
UUCM Member Mr. Randy Crafton
Young and old were invited to participate in an amazing, inspirational service about the power of drumming as an expression of rhythm from within and around us.

April 15, 2012
“Emerson’s Vision: Why we are here and what we should be doing about it”
Mr. David Rolfe
David Rolfe is a long time Unitarian Universalist who is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills in Kingston, NY. He has a long interest in Emerson and has taught a number of Emerson courses at the Kingston Library and the Life Long Learning Institure at Bard College. He is currently chairman of the Sunday Services Committee and is a commissioned Worship Associate at his congregation.

March 18, 2012
“Justice for Immigrants”
Advocates from IRATE and First Friends
This service was organized by the Undoing Racism Committee. IRATE & First Friends is a charity that has maintained service programs for immigrant detainees in NJ and advocates for immigrant rights, particularly the end of arbitrary, mass detention. They informed us of the impact in our community of immigration policies.

February 19, 2012
“The Legacy of Forrest Church”
Mr. Dan Cryer
Dan Cryer, former longtime book critic at Newsday and Pulitzer Prize finalist, has contributed to numerous publications, ranging from The Boston Globe to UU World. Mr. Cryer spoke on the legacy of Forrest Church, based on his candid new book “Being Alive and Having to Die: The Spiritual Odyssey of Forrest Church.” The American Library Association honored the book as one of its Top Ten Books of 2011 in Religion and Spirituality. More information is available at www.dancryer.org.

January 1, 2012
“Famously Bad Predictions”
UUCM Member Mr. Barnaby Feder
We often get such a kick out of predictions that go way wide of the mark that something sacred must be going on. This was the ideal day to reflect on it. Attendees had an opportunity to share their favorite bad prediction.

October 9, 2011
“Healing and Wholeness: Mystical Love Poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi”
Mr. Peter Rogen
Rumi, a Sufi mystic of the 13th Century, is considered one of the world’s great poet-saint-geniuses.  Mr. Rogen, a former Shakespearean actor and noted reader, brought Rumi alive through verse and music.

July 17, 2011
“Live Without I.D.”
Rev. Allen Wells
Rev. Wells is a UU Buddhist psychotherapist specializing in the new field of Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy.

July 3, 2011
“Stand on the Side of Love”
UUCM Member Mr. Joe Thomasberger

June 26, 2011
“Childlike Faith in a World Come of Age”
Ms. Eve Stevens
Eve Stevens grew up in rural South Carolina, attending a UU fellowship there since she was three. Eve had just finished her first year of a three-year MDiv program at Union Theological Seminary in New York City on the ordination track and spent her free time working for an interfaith publication.

May 29, 2011
“That Challenge of Memorial Day for a Unitarian Universalist”
Mr. Dave Chapman
Dave Chapman is a freelance writer and professional speaker. He is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hunterdon County in Baptistown, NJ where he serves on the Sunday Services Committee, leads one of the congregation’s Covenant Groups, and is his congregation’s Rep. to the UU-United Nations Office (UU-UNO).

October 10, 2010
“Invisible in Africa”
Ms. Catherine Onyemelukwe
The topic was the impact of climate change in Nigeria.  Catherine described her early experience of her village and how it has changed over the years.  She conveyed a call for action from the 2010 UU-UNO Seminar on Climate Change and told us how the UU-UNO can help alleviate the problem of invisibility in Africa and indifference in America.

November 29, 2009
“Everyday Magic”
Members of the UU Congregation of Princeton’s Evergreen Chapter of the Covenant of UU Pagans Presenters included Eva Liane Foster, M.S.W., Sally Walsh, M.A., J.D., Brian Schorr, B.F.A, M.Ed., Dip.Ed. and Kate Foster.