Speaker: Rev. Leland Bond-Upson

Rev. Leland Bond-Upson began his ministry with us in January 2019. He has been a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, graduating from Starr King School for the Ministry with a Masters in Divinity in 1976. Leland has worked in education, social justice, and his parish ministry experience includes the Petaluma UU Congregation and Interim Ministries in Honolulu—HI, Fayetteville—AR, Bellingham—WA, Santa Barbara—CA, Vancouver—WA, and Charlotte—NC.

Leland’s wife and children, social justice, history—especially the history of religious tolerance, politics, poetry, education, film, and art—are his major interests. Visit his website: lbuuu.org to see some of his writing, favorite videos, and personal history.

to read and hear sermons and to see some of his favorite videos.

Roots of Our Faith: Universalism

In the 19th century, Universalism was the working class and rural liberal religion, overshadowed by the glamorous urban, college-educated Unitarians, who had almost all of the famous people, and at the highest level, were part of the “Boston Brahmins.”  Our own church here in Elgin … read more.

Roots of Our Faith: Unitarianism

Unitarian Universalism is a blend of many faiths. Both Unitarianism and Universalism have several antecedents themselves, and our members add others. This year we are learning about a dozen primary influences. From Buddhism to Judaism to Christianity to Humanism to earth-based faiths, to Atheism. This Sunday we look at the foundational Unitarian religion, and its characteristics. The over-arching theme however, is the unity of everything, hence the name Unitarian. Unitarianism has attracted a great number of smart people who make the world a better place. We will name some of them, too, just for fun.

Roots of Our Faith: Unitarianism

Unitarian Universalism is a blend of many faiths.  Both Unitarianism and Universalism have several antecedents themselves, and our members add others.   This year we are learning about a dozen primary influences.  From Buddhism to Judaism to Christianity to Humanism to earth-based faiths, to Atheism. This … read more.

Roots of Our Faith: Liberalism

Liberalism is probably the rootiest root of Unitarianism, and to a lesser degree, Universalism, which concerns itself historically with God’s love.  We will talk about Universalism on December 6th.  Liberalism has comprised both freedom, and generosity.  It has been an active political movement too, and … read more.

Living Through a Plague Year, or Two

COVID-19 is, unfortunately, not fading away.  Unless and until we have a sufficient supply of good, safe vaccine, this plague retains all of its deadly potential.  Flouting the advice of the epidemiologists is gambling with your life, and the lives of those around you.  This … read more.

Roots of Our Faith: Christianity

In the early centuries of the Common Era, the Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah separated from the Jews who didn’t.  With the help of Emperor Constantine, the ‘Nazarene’ wing of Judaism became the Christians, and for better and worse, Christendom was created.

Listen to … read more.

Roots of Our Faith: Judaism

Judaism is the primary ancestor of Christianity, and Christianity is the primary ancestor of both Unitarianism and Universalism.  This Service will delve into our Jewish inheritance–spoiler alert: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד (Deuteronomy 6:4)–and into the meaning of the High Holy Days, and the … read more.

The Spirituality of Water

Earth, sun, water. Humankind has worshiped the sun for millennia, and the earth too, but the water? Farmers pray for rain, but otherwise, we don’t often worship water. Let’s explore why water’s worth worshiping.

Roots of Our Faith: Buddhism

With this Service we launch a new series for 2020-21, “Roots of our Faith.”  Last year’s series was the UUA’s Seven Principles.  We begin with Buddhism, which dates from the teachings of Gautama, about 600 years BCE.  Judaism’s beginnings are murkier, but most scholars date … read more.