Transforming Shame with Self-Compassion

Transforming Friendship

Building Beloved, Equitable & Just Communities

The Theology of Dolly Parton

Christmas Eve 2022: Mary and Joseph Remember with Rev. Matt Aspin & Rev. Denise Cawley

James Reeb

Viola Liuzzo

The Power of Naming Feelings

Small Gestures, Big Impacts

Honoring Our Unitarian and Universalist Christian Heritage

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

Humanism - Who Should Write the Fourth Manifesto?



Easter Prayer: Name YOUR Feelings

Please don’t stuff up negative feelings ones with gratitude. 


Prayer for the Pandemic
We hold so much. We are overflowing with BOTH/AND. In process theology, we stop viewing the world with a binary lens. Rather than life being dreadful or wonderful, evil or good, or the world existing in only binaries of male/female, or right or wrong, we look instead through the lens of BOTH/AND as opposed to EITHER/OR.

Prayer in PDF

Older Sermons

Love is a Verb
So often greeting cards and movies paint a picture of romantic love just happening. Sitcoms have mostly shown happy families representing people who get along or work it all out in 22 minutes. Life is far more complex than most ads and media make it out to be. Unitarian Universalist theology speaks of love more and more. What does that mean? What does it mean to love not by accident but by choice? What is love is an action that leads to a feeling rather than the other way around?

Bad Girls of the Bible
Women of the Bible have been blamed for so much. Yet, when we look at the Bible from a scholarly perspective, Easter offers us an opportunity to explore Mary Magdalene, feminine spirituality and her commitment to Jesus. Mary Magdalene stood by Jesus throughout his life, in passion, and sharing her time and possessions. Like many devotees to a cause, she professed her faith and was frequently questioned about her loyalty to Jesus before and after his death. She traveled with the movement and shared her capital with the ministry. Mary stuck by the cause even when questioned and when it was not convenient. Mary Magdalene’s faith and her belief were unwavering.

Emergent Strategies for Leadership
Inspired by Black Queer Science fiction writer Octavia Butler’s exploration of our human relationships to change, Emergent Strategy in leadership is a radical way to shape our futures into the radical self-helping, society helping, and planet helping the world we dream. Rev. Denise will give us an introduction to this movement that speaks to everything being in a state of change while also looking to nature for emergent patterns to heal. Join us to learn about this spirituality that looks to both nature and science fiction to shape our visions of leadership in our world.

The Body Is Not An Apology
In the new year, we are inundated with messages uplifting thin bodies. While some of it is well-intentioned, much of it is a societal obsession with body types that are not achievable. We are created beautiful and health comes in many sizes and shapes. So often we set up paradigms that tell us we are unlovable until we achieve some stage of fitness, starvation, or deprivation. This is body terrorism and we deserve more. We do not need to wait to feel beautiful, powerful, or worth. Let’s look at ways society feeds us messages that are not helpful to our health or wellbeing while we honor all our bodies have done to care for us. Your body needs you to love it today, just as it is, however it is, unapologetically.

Brain Tune-UP
Our culture is finally learning that our brains are attached to the rest of our bodies. We are unable to address physical health separately from mental health. Like an oil change or a tune-up on a car, mental check-ups are integral to overall health. Let’s demystify mental health as we look at the ways our bodies store pain, trauma, and illness.

The Blessings of Animals
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us many reasons to appreciate animals both as companions and as collaborators in our environment. We will both be blessing animals who do/have enriched our lives in this service, we will also be looking at the important ways animals enhance our environment, medicine, and even nutrition. Explore with us the interdependent web of life. Please bring your pet (leashed or in a carrier) – or a photo of your pet – to the outdoor worship experience at 10 am and Rev. Denise will give personal blessings and prayers for these pets.

Covenant is the Cornerstone
Unitarian Universalism is built on the concept that we are a community that makes promises to one another about how we will be in community with one another. Covenant in religion is thousands of years old, and in Unitarian and Universalist faiths, covenant dates back far before we identified the Principles. Being a member of a Unitarian Universalist Church means we try to actively create space where others can thrive in community. We covenant to continually learn to do better and work together to gain new skills. We call one another back into covenant to support the collective creation of the world our Principles challenge us to build. Covenant is the beauty of our UU faith.

Widening our Covenant
As we explore what it means to be Unitarian Universalist, we are also learning how to be more inclusive. Our covenant is not sealed. We are opening our arms wider to let more love shine.

Murmuration for Collaboration
Building upon our spiritual practices, we can exemplify fractals where a small element of nature repeats creating a big impact. Murmuration is an example of synchronicity in nature where birds and bees build trust in those around them. These micro-movements lead to a bigger change in systems, and we can learn from them. Often it is easy to love those who we know but we feel warier of those we are less familiar with or further from our experience. How can we take advantage of this nature of humans and instead work like the starlings do as they fly in murmurating formations?

Youth & All Ages

Spiritual Practice for Kids & Grown Ups
As people of faith, Unitarian Universalists and our friends and neighbors are all needing spiritual practice to keep ourselves well. Learn about how to fill your chalice, your cup of love in ways that will nourish your soul. This activity is spiritual art for ALL Ages.


Accompanying Handout (PDF)

Calm Breaths Denise and Aidan show us how to calm ourselves with deep refreshing breaths to settle our nervous system.


Ordination of Denise M. Cawley
Bradford Community Church  – Unitarian Universalist
Kenosha, WI
Sunday, July 26, 2020

Order of Service (pdf)

denise cawley headshot