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Ministry & Worship
Preaching by Parishioners

Each spring a small group of volunteers meet and work for several months on presenting summer services for our congregation. Under the volunteer guidance of Marlana Barry & Jerry Kent, participants develop their ideas together to create something unique and spiritual.

These members or friends of the UU Church of Amherst are folks who feel they have something to say. Their inspiration begins with our Sources & Principles.
Their gift is a special one, born of our cherished belief in the 'freedom of the pulpit'.

The UU Church of Amherst offers a rare opportunity to put this belief into action. Participants work together to help each other formulate, develop and present a sermon over the summer months. Guest musicians, friends and family are called in to assist with creating a sacred moment.


Preaching by Parishioners 2013


December 29, 2013     "Am I A Reintroduced Native?" - Angela Warren 

                                     Listen to Angela Warren as she explores connections between faith, social justice,

                                     and the field of horticulture.                        ( Audio )


December 1, 2013 “Westley’s Way” - Jerry Kent

       Do animals know more than we think? Join me as I follow a Feline Guru around the interdependent web in                search of the origins of morality.

                         Opening Words from "Animals" by Henry Benson, read by Jerry Kent   ( Audio )

                         Reading:  "Hedonic Kindness" by Frans De Waal, read by Jerry Kent ( Audio )

                         Reading:  "The Atheist's Dilemma" by Frans De Waal, read by Jerry Kent ( Audio )

                         Sermon: "Westley's Way"Jerry Kent ( Audio )


September 1, 2013 “Please Don’t Misunderstand Me” - Dorothy Reade


                               Have you ever been asked why you are so quiet? Or even if

                               you are OK when you are feeling perfectly fine? Join me in

                               finding the reasonsfor these questions and how they will help

                               us understand each other.

                                                                                  ( Audio Part 1 )

                                                                                  ( Audio Part 2 )

August 25, 2013  "Theology of the Paradox: Strange Loops"

                                           Peter Diacham

                                                       ( Audio Part 1 )

                                                       ( Audio Part 2 )



July 28  "Hope for the 21st Century" - Yvonne Stocker

                                                                      ( Audio Part 1

                                                                      ( Audio Part 2 )

 July 21  "Is Honesty the Best Policy?" - Marlana Rice

                                                                     ( Audio Part 1 )

                                                                     ( Audio Part 2 )

 July 14  "Sara's Travels" - Sara Sinden

                                                                     ( Audio Part 1 )

                                                                     ( Audio Part 2 )

June 30  "Power Up"  -  Gemma Lanthier  



Reading: Comment on Emerson's essay  “Power”.  After a reading of Emerson’s 19th

                 century poetic essay on power Gemma provides a summary

                 of a few of the main points in 21st century english.

                                                                                                                                                         (Audio )


Sermon: Owning power seems like something only the people who run

                the world can do. We may feel it is not possible for us.

                Gemma Lanthier asks “What if that same power is already in us

                and we just  need to learn how to find and manage it? “

                                                                                                                   (  Audio )





Preaching by Parishioners 2012


 August 26, "Oh, and Another Thing" -  Jerry Kent

Audio file divided into two parts because of size.       ( Audio- part 1 ) ( Audio - part 2 ) 

August 12, "Viruses of the Mind" -  Gemma Lanthier           Audio )

August 5, "Why Not Utopia?" -  Cassidy Sulaiman                 Audio ) 

July 29, "A Right to Equality" -  Yvonne Stocker                       ( Audio )

July 22, "Glimpses of God"  - Doug Funke                                   ( Audio ) 

July 15, "Confessions of a Former Chicken"  - Dorothy Reade    ( Audio)

July 8,  "Shirking Freedom" - Peter Diachun                                 ( Audio )

July 1,  "Untraditional Motherhood" - Amanda Free                    ( Audio )



Preaching by Parishioners 2010
Some of you have participated in the past in our Preaching by Parishioners program/workshop and some of you might be interested in learning about giving a Sunday morning service this summer.

The  meetings  focus on getting your title, blurb, and sermon ready for delivery. We meet on most Wednesday evenings until the process is complete and everyone has a sermon ready.

We hope you will consider joining us and giving of your gifts to the church family during the relaxed summer season. For more info:
Marlana and Chris Barry


Preaching by Parishioners 2010 schedule & topics:
June 27, The Flower Communion - Scott Harrigan 
 ( audio sermon )

July 4, Talking to Strangers - Christine Slocum ( audio sermon)

July 11, 'So, do you think the right way?' - Yvonne Stocker

July 18, Taming the Fear of Alzheimer's Disease - Peter Diachun ( audio sermon )

July 25, The Age of Aquarius: Hippies - Pursuing the Past, Heralding the Future - Chris Barry (audio sermon )

August 1, Our Three Melting Pots - Mehdi Kizilbash   (written sermon)

August 8, Singing in the Thursday Night Music Club - Amy Malachowski ( audio sermon )

August 15, The Gift of Rain - Michelle George (audio sermon)

August 22, Intractable Problems, Elegant Solutions - Jerry Kent

August 29, Demolishing Anger Before it Engulfs You - Karen Kuhn audio sermon )

September 5, Water Ceremony - Rev. Tim Ashton

September 12, Rev. Tim Ashton with the Barroom Buzzards


Preaching by Parishioners 2008-09 schedule & topics:

June 28, A Peace Offering - Sue Dempsey, (audio)

July 5, Where's the Center & What's Right? - Jerry Kent, (audio)

July 12, On Original Sin - Ted Lightfoot (audio)

July 19, From the Mouths of Babes - Marlana Barry, with music by Fran Landis

July 26, If You Don't Stand for Something, You Will Fall For Anything - Michelle George (audio)

August 2, It's Never Too Late, Nor a Moment Too Soon - Mehdi Kizilbash (audio)

August 9, An Independent Thinker - Doreen Park with music by Kathy Moriarty (audio)

August 16, There IS a Free Lunch, Milton Friedman - Peter Diachun (audio)

August 23, Becoming the People the World Needs Today - Yvonne Stocker

August 30, Of Babies & Bathwater: A Humanist Spiritual Journey - Scott Harrigan (audio)


 August 17, 2008  The Ghosts of the Past are Calling You!
We owe a great debt to those who came before. I'd like to share how certain acts of creativity connect to the UU principles and timelessness.
Jake Marek (audio )

August 24, 2008  UU Evangelism
Many think that 'UU Evangelism' is an oxymoron. Critics think UUs don't believe in anything worth evangelizing about and UUs don't evangelize people into our faith. Come find out if these words can ever make sense together and whether you can become a UU evangelist without becoming a moron, oxy- or otherwise.
Scott Harrigan (audio )

You can see UUCA activities listed in
our monthly events calendar.


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