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UU Service

By Jon Sievert

The Reverend Michael Brown welcomes 2018 with a reflection on the gift of a new year at this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service.

What shall we do with the gift of a new year, the most precious of all holiday gifts? We may have personal goals that call to us, perhaps things we have dreamed of doing for many years. At the same time, trends in our broader world challenge us to be healers of unhealthy patterns that seem to be all around us. We wonder if we can do anything to change these patterns. We begin a new year with a chance to make a difference. What shall we do with the gift of time?

Rev. Michael Brown is in his 27th year as the minister of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria, Illinois, a congregation currently celebrating its 175th anniversary. Founded in 1843 as a Universalist church, it was part of a religious movement that challenged the idea of eternal punishment and was sometimes called the no-hell church.

Rev. Brown grew up in Chicago and had his first career in computer systems and education. A midlife change led him first to seminary and then into ministry. In 1991, he was called to the UU church in Peoria. Under his leadership, the church has grown 175 percent in membership, built a beautiful new church home, and reaffirmed its commitment to social activism. He is active in community and interfaith work and helped create the Interfaith Alliance chapter in Peoria. He has also participated in five congresses of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the world’s oldest and largest global interfaith organization. He is the author of a collection of sermons titled Invitations to the Dance.

Over the years, Rev. Brown has visited Mexico many times, where he finds a sense of beauty that is largely missing in the United States. Yet serious problems in both countries confront humanity and call out for cooperative action between governments, religions, and social movements. Will we be able to live and work together peacefully to meet these shared challenges? This is the great question of our time that Rev. Brown continually seeks to respond to in his ministry. Special music for the day is provided by Gypsy-swing musicians Eric Bogert and Terianne Stratton.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


UU Service

The Gift of a Year”

By Rev. Michael Brown

Sun, Jan 7, 10:30am

Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15



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