Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of the South Jersey Shore
Our Sunday Services are held at our beautiful new UU Center,
at the corner of Pomona Road and Liebig Street in Galloway,
near the North entrance to Richard Stockton College.

Sunday Services start at 10:00 am and last till about 11:00 am.

Child care and a children's program is available.
A coffee hour for socializing follows the service.

Jan --  Feb --  Mar --  Apr --  May --  Jun --  Jul --  Aug --  Sep --  Oct --  Nov --  Dec

Services from Prior Years


October 4

The Changing of Hearts and Minds: How Columbus Day Became Indigenous People's Day, and Other Signs That Life is Evolving
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Where and when did this notion arise? Clearly, it was a strategy that was employed by those who have used non-violent resistance. As we look at the gradual evolution of the understanding of "Columbus Day," let us wonder together about whose hearts and minds can be changed, and whether or not we ought to try.

October 11

Coming Out Sunday
Rev. Cynthia Cain

This is a time to talk about how our work for LGBT justice and inclusion has changed, what is happening now, and to celebrate the lives, loves and mourn the losses of Queer folk everywhere. With ritual, story, and song, we come together, and come out, as allies and as community.

October 18

You Can Make A Difference
Guest speaker Guy Forcone

You can make a difference in an abused or neglected child's life. But if that is not your calling, you can make a difference in some way in your own corner of the world.

October 25

Compassion: Can We Care Too Much?
Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel

In our global society (a mixture of those who HAVE, and those who HAVE NOT, compounded by an instantaneous media machine), we are saturated daily with the pain and angst of others. According to the American Institute of Stress, while "...we have not been directly exposed to these traumas... we hear the story told with such intensity, or we hear similar stories so often ... [that] ...we suffer." Unfortunately, that which makes us human -– compassion -- can also hurt us. Let's talk about caring for others, while practicing self-care.

September 6

Singing Our Sources
Lay speaker Barbara Miller, UUCSJS Music Director

Most Unitarian Universalists are aware of our Seven Principles. For many of us, the Principles are what first drew us to this faith. On the first Sunday in September we will explore the lesser known Six Sources of our living tradition through songs in Singing the Journey, affectionately known as the "teal hymnal."

September 13

Water Gathering
Rev. Cynthia Cain

The annual water "communion" is a ritual held each fall, in which UUCSJS members bring a small vial of water, collected during summer outings or travels, to pour into a shared container. Always a joyful, musical, and delightful time of re-connecting.

September 20

The Search
Rev. Cynthia Cain and the Ministerial Search Committee

Rev. Cain and the "MSC" (Ministerial Search Committee) will present a service that helps you understand the nature of ministry, the different kinds of ministers, and the process of selecting one, so that as you travel through this year of change, you can be an informed and engaged participant.

September 27

The Turning
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Rosh Hashanah will have just passed, but at this time of year, in the Jewish calendar, these are the High Holy Days. The time of turning, the act of forgiveness, and the renewal of vows are some of the most valuable, and most difficult practices we undertake in life. And yet, if we are to go forward, we are obligated to do them.

August 2

Race, Religion, Sex, Politics... Deeds, Not Creeds, is Our Challenge
Lay speaker Stephanie Garrett

A brief historical overview of this society, where we are today, and what role we as UUs should play for positive change.

August 9

The Gospel of Thomas (Merton)
Rev. Cynthia Cain

This summer I have delved further into Merton's late writing on race and war. Some feel he was assassinated for these radical thoughts. I had a chance to take part in discussions of his writings on violence and faith, and to compare his prescient thoughts with our most talked about black intellectuals today. I will try to cohere some of this into useful form for day-to-day UU life and being.

August 16

Journey Toward Wholeness
Lay speaker Karen York

Karen shares her experience with a Courage & Renewal® retreat series based on the work of Quaker author and educator, Parker Palmer. The retreat series explored the issues of life purpose, vocation, transition, and how to live with integrity and authenticity in alignment with our deepest values.

August 23

CHANGE: Can We Take It?
Rev. Cynthia Cain

This year's theme. Actually CHANGE is the theme of every year, whether we like it or not. What is ours to control is how we respond to it, and that alone is a spiritual task.

August 30

Swimming Lessons
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Probably the most important quality for spiritual transformation (change) is TRUST. Is trust something we can learn? Using swimming lessons as a metaphor, we will go into the places we sometimes avoid... the parts of us that resist change and growth, because we fear and feel resistance, because we lack the ability to TRUST. Come, listen & learn.

We will be joined this Sunday by AC community organizer Mr. Kaleem Shabazz and others from the African American and interfaith communities, who stand with us in solidarity. Please come and welcome our new friends!

July 5

Wherever You Go, There You Are
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We will pause today, and consider the notion of "vacation" and vocation. In many ways, I know I am blessed. I chose (was "called") a vocation that seamlessly fills my life, so I actually never think of it as "going to work." Most people have a more well-defined demarcation between work and play. But when we take time "off," as most of us do in summer, just what are we vacating? And what is it we are meant to do with our time, while away, and when we "return?" We will consider these as theological queries.

July 12

The Golden Rule as Personal Foreign Policy: Reclaiming the Story of Watkuweis
Lay speaker Bud Smith

With laws on the books such as Stand Your Ground, we've entered a period where we "do unto others before they have a chance to do unto us." Is the Golden Rule too outdated, too passive, or inherently too dangerous? Let us consider a forgotten story of a chance encounter between cultures in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho during the fall of 1805. It may inform and remind us of the inherent worth of each person.

July 19

Be Transported and Disoriented
Various congregational members

"Poetry is my cheap means of transportation. By the end of the poem the reader should be in a different place from where he started. I would like him to be slightly disoriented at the end, like I drove him outside of town at night and dropped him off in a cornfield." -- Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Join us in our semi-regular poetry service where members of the congregation share some poetry that may take you for a ride into a cornfield.

July 26

Persecution of the Disabled during the Holocaust
Guest speaker Lillian Hussong

Jews, gypsies, and gays were not the only groups that suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Ms. Hussong will cover the perceptions of the disabled in the Third Reich, the laws the Nazis enacted to discriminate against them, and the state-sponsored extermination of the disabled which was known as Aktion T-4, when the gas chamber was first used.

June 7

Religious Education (RE) Sunday
Led by Melissa Hutchison and the Our Whole Lives 7-9 Grade Class

Our annual intergenerational RE Sunday service concludes the religious education school year. This year our service will highlight our UUCSJS children’s religious education program, recognize our dedicated teachers, and celebrate our first ever 7-9 grade O.W.L. graduates through their personal reflections and musical selections.

June 14

SUNDOWN TOWNS: A Window on White Privilege
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Some years ago, prompted by an African-American member of my church in Kentucky, I began a study of what are called "Sundown Towns," places where, historically, Blacks were explicitly or implicitly warned to be OUT by sundown. These places are everywhere, including South Jersey. As the new Civil Rights movement begins, what are white allies called to do? One thing is to learn the history. Thereby, we begin to learn and teach others about White privilege. It's painful and hard. But becoming whole can be that way. It is necessary.

June 21

We All Need Someone Who ...
Guest speaker David Chapman

Dave discusses basic human needs we all have as individuals and as part of our communities. What do we need from our relationships with other people and groups of people? What do we have to offer our friends and families and communities and how does it benefit us when we share ourselves with others?

June 28

Bumper Sticker Wisdom
Lay speaker Lauren Porr

Bumper Stickers. Tweets, Advertisements. Sound bites. We are exposed to them all the time, but are we really paying attention to what they are telling us, or what we are telling ourselves about them? Lauren Porr, engineer and over-analyzer, attempts to dissect the kind of short and sweet (and sometimes not-so-sweet) messages that we're constantly bombarded with and how "wise" they really are.

May 3

Rev. Cynthia Cain

...how can you dance if your heart is broken? How can you trust if your faith is shattered? How can you live if you have no trust in life? Come, think on these things. It's Beltaine and our theme for May is TRUST. Trust me, if you can.

May 10

Everything Matters
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Bring a blossom, or two, or several, to add to the community bouquet for this annual ritual. Cynthia’s message will take a fresh and deeper look at the idea of "mother." All are welcome!

May 17

Getting from Grievance to Gift
Lay speaker Darah Walther

Along with the joys and happy times in our lives, we have all experienced challenges, sadness, pain and loss. This is part of our human experience. Our choice becomes how we perceive our journey. Will we just groan - or grow? Can we heal our grievances and receive the gifts?

May 24

In Whom Do You Put Your Trust?
Lay speaker Doug Dickinson

Trust your instincts, and trust one another by behaving with integrity in all our relationships. In whom do you put your trust?

May 31

Sacred Activism
Lay speaker Theresa McReynolds

Sacred Activism is a transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world. The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants. When the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic, and social institutions, a holy force – the power of wisdom and love in action – is born.

April 5

A TRANSYLVANIAN EASTER: An International Responsibility
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Since Rev. Cain's former congregation had a ten-year partnership with a small village church in Romania, she visited there four times, and helped lead services. Two years ago, she stayed for Easter. It's one of the 4 times a year when a (very) Unitarian "Communion" is held, so we will do the same. We'll celebrate in word and song. If anyone knows a Hungarian speaker who'd like to join us for the morning, that would be a huge asset!

April 12

Significant Choices
Guest minister Rev. Don Garrett

The search for a new minister involves some of the most important choices a congregation can face. We'll explore strategies designed to make the process a success.
NOTE: Followed by a congregational presentation on the search process with plenty of time for questions & answers.
Rev. Don Garrett is minister at the Lehigh Valley (PA) UU Congregation and the Ministerial Settlement Representative for our Joseph Priestley District.

April 19

LET'S GET SMALL: Responding to Climate Change as People of Faith
Rev. Cynthia Cain

What is our responsibility at this moment in time? And how can we, as individuals as well as people acting together in congregations, move forward to have an impact?

April 26

Responsibility: The Ability to Respond
Lay speaker Penny Harter

Penny Harter believes that the root of "responsibility" is having the ability to respond. But before we can respond, we have to perceive: first, perception, then response-ability. Penny will share and talk about her poems that: respond to the natural world; to others---the human condition; and to events, from the everyday to the significant in her own life, with the hope that hearing them will help others cherish the planet, celebrate the everyday and/or deal with life's challenges.

March 1

Suffering, Compassion, and Support
Lay speaker Jack Miller

As we come to understand our own suffering, we come to understand the suffering of others. To understand the suffering of others is to be filled with loving kindness.

March 8

Selma Sunday: Unitarians at Pettus Bridge
Lay speaker Bill Felix

Selma was a watershed event in our nation’s history. Violence and bloodshed horrified the country. At long last however, through the efforts of some courageous and unselfish people, justice won out over oppression. Unitarians played a key role in this event.

March 15

ISIS, Selma, and the Person Next Door (or in the next Pew): A Consideration of Evil
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Yes, I am going to go there. Reinhold Niebuhr wrote one of the most compelling books on the theology of evil in which he asserts that liberal people are good, but not wise, because over and over again they fail to recognize evil even when it is in their midst. What do we do with the problem of evil and the affirmation of inherent worth and dignity? How do we recognize and deal with our own shadow, and set boundaries in our communities of faith?

March 22

What Would Lady Grantham Pledge?
Rev. Cynthia Cain and Paul Utts

Rev. Cain & Paul Utts are going to do/say something that will be creative, new and altogether interesting, and we PROMISE not to make you feel guilty, badger you, or lock the doors until you make a pledge. However, we might talk about everyone who doesn’t show up. Just sayin'.
Seriously: this is the annual Canvass Sunday. We do it in a lovely and loving way.

March 29

Rev. Cynthia Cain

We will look at Family Systems by looking at the family of one famous person who was also Unitarian: Frank Lloyd Wright. This will provide a lens to understand such concepts as triangulation, cutoff, sibling position, and generation transference... and how these dynamics may play out in congregational and other institutional settings.

February 1

Utilitarianism and Unitarian/Universalist Ethics
Lay speaker Ron Hutchison

Utilitarian thought helped to shape some of our most deeply cherished American values. This sermon will explore the history of utilitarianism, and, explain how this ethical framework, when combined with our UU principles, can provide a strong foundation for environmental justice.

February 8

FAMILY SYSTEMS in & out of congregations: PART ONE... Being A Self
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We hear a lot in Buddhism about no-self (anatta) and losing the sense of a separate self. Family Systems, as espoused by Murray Bowen and Edwin Friedman, is a school of thought which has become widespread in congregational as well as family therapy. It suggests that until one can be self-differentiated, a system cannot attain health. Come, find out more.

February 15

Death With Dignity in New Jersey
Guest speaker Ethan Andersen

Only three states have a "right to die" law. Although Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to veto it, the NJ Death with Dignity Act is currently moving through the State legislature, and would allow mentally competent, terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to self-administer medication to end their lives. Our guest speaker has worked with NJ’s advocacy group, Compassion & Choices, to get this law passed in New Jersey.

February 22

Rev. Cynthia Cain

Celebration of 15 years since Charter Sunday with drama, words, music and afterwards, FOOD!

January 4

Forgiveness, Part 1: Lost & Found
Rev. Cynthia Cain

We will explore the many challenges and opportunities encompassed by the notion of FORGIVENESS. Perhaps this is the most important spiritual teaching of all. Admittedly, we fail, and yet seeking to be forgiven and to forgive are worth the effort, both individually and collectively.

January 11

Forgiveness, Part 2: Moving Toward Community
Rev. Cynthia Cain

Cynthia continues her musings on forgiveness. How can it help build community?

January 18

Unitarian Universalism in One Word
Guest speaker Raj Nigam

If we are to describe our faith in one word, which word would that be?

January 25

Growing Together
Guest minister Rev. David Pyle

The Rev. David Pyle is the new District Executive for the Joseph Priestly District. He visits us today to become acquainted and to help you ask/answer the questions that are most important for UUCSJS this year. His message will examine the ways our congregations can be more interconnected.

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Services from Prior Years