Guest in Your Pulpit - Dennis Maher
Dennis Maher, a retired Presbyterian minister, is now a member of the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation of Glens Falls. He was pastor to several churches, a regional executive in Illinois, led professional development for ministers and executives in the PCUSA nationally, and was assistant director of the Jesus Seminar.
Titles of programs/sermons and a brief statement of content on each:
- The Meaning of Life on why I am a Unitarian, and how, no matter what we believe, someone made it all up. We need to make it all up for ourselves, with care.
- Swerve on the 1st century bce poem, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius and the book The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt on Lucretius and how his work was nearly lost. How Lucretius understood modern science rather well, and saw no need for the divine in understanding our origins, purpose, or moral life.
- Some Fundamentals of Religion, Some findings from Christianity Without Religion by Diana Bass, and how UU congregations can thrive focusing on spirit and community.
- Yom HaShoah a presentation on discoveries that the concentration camps and mass killing in Nazi Germany were more extensive than anyone thought, and how Nazi beliefs destroyed their capacity for empathy, with focus on Victor Frankl. For Children: How Curious George escaped the Nazis.
- The Voice Print of Jesus, on the essential sayings and parables of Jesus from the Jesus Seminar, and how the historical Jesus is a welcome part of Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) tradition.
- Do Mothers Want Peace? A presentation and discussion on the origins of Mother’s Day as a call for the end to war—but, women also wanted abolition of slavery, even if war was necessary to end it. Are there times when we want justice more than peace? For children: Ferdinand the Bull.
Sermons in preparation include “Prayer for UU’s and Humanists” and “Eternal Conflict; Elusive Peace” (The origin of conflict and some ways to accept and manage it.) “Spirit Among Us,” an exploration of the meaning of “spirit” and “spirituality” based on spirit as character, relationship, and finally, “the spirit of the age,” or the culture and society we create by our interactions. I prefer “presentation” over “sermon.” I like to raise questions, and usually include time for open discussion of the topic.
Availability: Anytime of the year, within 125 miles of Glens Falls NY.
Fee arrangements: Negotiable; minimum of $100 plus mileage.
Contact: Email Dennis at reverendsax [at] gmail [dot] com