Recent past services
November 26th - Rev. Ben Bortin
"In the Moccasins of our Indigenous Neighbors"
Broken treaties, forced migrations, thefts of land, and mass killings – such has been the sordid history of this country’s treatment of Native peoples. Today, indigenous Americans live disproportionately beset by poverty, disease, and a lack of safe drinking water. Nonetheless, the affirmative contribution on the part of indigenous peoples to the tapestry that is American society is incalculable. Today, a brief, grateful look at the cultures and spirituality of our indigenous neighbors. The service will conclude with a brief ceremony, via Zoom, presented by Winterflower Robinson, a Ramapough/Lenape, Principal Chief of the Northeastern Native American Association, and a Unitarian Universalist.
November 12th - Mary Ellen Tomaszewski
"Gutsy Little Gracie"
Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing wrote in the early 1800s:
“The great end in religious instruction is
Not to stamp our minds upon the young…
Not to make them see with our eyes,
But to look inquiringly and steadily with their own…
Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge,
But to inspire a fervent love of truth…
to prepare them for impartial, conscientious judging of whatever subjects may be offered to their decision…"
Whatever our age, once we look with our own eyes, then what? When we support a decision that differs with those around us, do we have the courage to stand alone?
October 22nd - Rev. Ben Bortin
"A Fall Celebration"
Autumn is one of nature’s great gifts to us, the world’s inhabitants.
This service honors fall, in poetry, music, & photograph.
It includes live musical selections,
and autumn scenes, accompanied by Vivaldi’s “Autumn.”
October 8th - Francis Dubois, Ambassador (ret.)
"Varian Fry, a Forgotten Hero"
It seems fitting that our guest speaker has a passion for the life of Varian Fry, an American journalist who ran a rescue network that helped thousands of Jewish refugees escape Nazi Germany. As a UN official, Dubois’ work took him to high-risk locations. His commitment to global concerns continues as he assists others, including the artists he calls, “true messengers of peace.”
September 24th - Rev. Ben Bortin
"The Seven Deadly Sins"
They’re nowhere to be found in the Bible. But the seven deadly sins are deeply entrenched in our religious and cultural heritage. They are part of Roman Catholic confessional practices, and they make appearances in various literary classics, paintings, and the Raquel Welch movie, Bedazzled.
How truly deadly are the seven deadly sins?
There also will be an acknowledgement of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Sept.10th - Mary Ellen Tomaszewski
"A Service on Hope"
With help from a variety of musicians we'll hear thoughts of hope.
How and where do we find it ... piano with vocalist, flute with viola da gamba, guitar and songs.
Some of us are feeling weary with concerns we share. All of us are carrying something.
first 15 minutes -- https://youtu.be/JpCx0efVpag
balance -- https://youtu.be/jfUcPRORUUU
August 27th - Rev Ben Bortin
"Can Prayer be Meaningful for a Humainist?"
I lean toward religious humanism. And yet in various respects, I find that prayer can have profound meaning, and provide invaluable comfort and inspiration. A look at prayer, humanistic and otherwise.
August 13th - Marisa Striano, Executive Director of Spirit's Promise
“Horses and Humans: Bonding & Creating New Lives”
Horses have been described as perfect partners in working with mental health professionals, as well as Marisa’s work as an Equus Life Coach. She will speak on how the horses she rescues help humans to navigate trauma & grief.
July 23rd - Rev Ben Bortin
This past June 21st to 25th, 2593 delegates from all fifty states, as well as Washington D.C., Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines, gathered in Pittsburgh (some virtually), for the 62nd General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
One of those delegates was Andrea Starr, representing the North Fork UU Fellowship.
“Faithfully Becoming” was the theme of this year’s General Assembly.
July 9th - Rev. Ben Bortin
Free to be me, Responsible for us.
"We have just celebrated the birth of our nation, a country devoted to freedom. While we, as a people, have often fallen short of that ideal, with a hundred years of a brutal slave trade and other denials of liberty, freedom remains an inspiration and aspiration for many of us. Freedom is also foundational to Unitarian Universalism, the foremost principle characterizing our religious movement over the centuries.
June 25th - Mary Ellen Tomaszewski
Annual Flower Communion
Created 100 yrs ago by Rev Dr Norbert Capek
making clear the worth and beauty of every person.
Killed by Nazis for his “dangerous beliefs,” his message prevails:
We must decide to find what is always present; Beauty, Kindness & Love.
June 11th - Rev. Ben Bortin
In Praise of Summer, but What Can We Do About Climate Change
Many of us revel in summer – an opportunity to relax at a beach, to appreciate greenery, flowers, and birdsong, to enjoy leisurely reading, to savor long, pleasant evenings. But we need a world in which we can safely partake of these blessings. And our world is under an unprecedented assault of our own making, thanks to our addiction to fossil fuels. Will we reverse course? PS. In my view, that is a religious question.
May 28th Rev. Ben Bortin
Patriotism for Non-Scoundrels
Samuel Johnson considered patriotism "the last refuge of the scoundrel." Is it possible to love what's best about one's country, while maintaining high ideals, and support for the entire human family? I believe the answer is yes.
May 14th Chris Kelly
"The Divine Dance of the Bee and the Creator"
“My talk is centered around Psalm 24.
The Key verse is 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness there of.
We are going to look at how nature, bees in particular, declare the richness of our creator.”
His Promise Land Apiaries is a sustainably managed bee operation in Mattituck.
April 23rd Rev. Ben Bortin
"Conflict Without Incivility"
Conflict is natural, even inevitable among us human beings. We have diverse opinions politically, religiously, culinarily, and in a thousand other ways. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle claimed that marriages, in fact, are tested less over religious and political differences, than whether a window is to remain open at night.
April 9th Rev. Ben Bortin
"Passover, Easter and the Promise of Hope"
As we are well aware, Passover and Easter are religious holidays of central and abiding significance to Judaism and Christianity respectively, and up to a point, to the wider world. Each conveys a spirit of re-awakening, even as nature awakens from the winter. Each, as well, offers inspired lessons which transcend religious and cultural boundaries.Their stories differ. But both Passover and Easter give a message of hope to an often-beleaguered humanity.
March 26th Rev. Ben Bortin
"The Spirituality of Vincent Van Gogh"
The expression and appreciation of creativity is one of the most potent sources of spirituality. Once in a while, the work of a creative genius becomes a light to the world. So it was with Vincent Van Gogh.
An exploration and celebration of the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh.
March 12th Tijuana Fulford
The Aftermath of Tragedy
"Resilience can only be clarified by tragedy, for it is the sum total of how you held up and persevered through the storm we call life".
February 26th Rev Ben Bortin
Langston Hughes - The Poet, The Man, The Message (with Jazz Backup)
A look at his life, his poetic inspiration, his liberal religious convictions, and his larger message.
A few of his poems will be read with jazz accompaniment.
February 12th Serena Martin-Liguori New Hour for Women and Children
"Healing, A Community Exercise in Justice"
[View Recorded Service Below]
We often think of healing as something personal and solitary. Yet, the ways in which we can expand beyond our instilled beliefs, our judgement and even our expectations of what should be, is through community and our relationship to it. True, transformative justice focused on healing with and through our sense of community.
January 22nd Rev. Ben Bortin
"A UU Look at the Bible"
How might Unitarian Universalists, and how might any who honor the inquiring mind, evidence-based knowledge, and the freedom to doubt, regard the Bible?
January 8th Rev. Ben Bortin
"Jesus and Dr. King"
It's in between Jesus' alleged birthday, and that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In essential ways, those two religious figures, separated by two thousand years, mirror one another in their teachings, their moral courage, and their inspired examples.
December 24th Christmas Eve Service
Rev. Ben Bortin and Rev. Valerie Freseman
The North Fork Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the First Universalist Church of Southold shared service.
A celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah; live music from both traditions, a candle-lighting ceremony and refreshments following the service.
We hope you’ll join us for our worship services: 10:30 followed by coffee in the hospitality room.