Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church

Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church

Sermons from Northlake Unitarian Universalist in Kirkland, WA. We are a progressive, inclusive community made up of people with many different backgrounds and beliefs. We are guided by moral principles, such as the belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and we draw inspiration from many sources, such as history, science, literature, the arts, nature, and world religions. Services are held Sunday mornings, 10:25 - 11:45. We invite you to listen to any of these sermons as a sampling of what you might experience on a Sunday morning at Northlake. Our services are also filled with instrumental music, singing hymns together, listening to a children’s story and inspirational readings, and sharing of our Joys and Sorrows.

All Episodes

In the books we read, and movies we watch, we find mirrors - experiences that reflect our own, and windows - views into lives we can barely imagine. Representation is important - all people should be able to find mirrors and we should all be able to peek into all sorts of different lived experiences. If we actively seek out diverse stories, not only do we broaden our perspectives, we also cast an economic vote that helps to increase the chances those stories can be told. Opening Words adapted from "Let Us Worship” - Kenneth L. Patton. Reading “On Seeing Yourself in Literature” from the “Off the Beaten Shelf” blog by Mandy Shunnarah. Transcript with links to sources: Resource list, including recommended books and movies, and criteria to evaluate the media you consume is available at:

Apr 25

29 min 55 sec

In this sermon, guest preacher Ariel Aaronson-Eves invites us to reflect on how we relate to the world around us and the various traditions that have connected or disconnected people from the land and its creatures. What healing becomes possible when we open ourselves up to communicating with even the most pesky of yellowjacket wasps? What kind of counter-oppressive culture might be created through relationships of reciprocity within our ecosystems? (Recording includes a reading by Emily Kedar.)

Jan 31

25 min 54 sec

Long-time Northlaker Diane Fennema speaks about practicing compassion in the times of coronavirus. This homily was given as part of our virtual service on Zoom on 3/29/20.

Mar 2020

19 min 21 sec

Hard times come around for all of us. Some people get knocked down by challenges and never recover. Some are more resilient, and can bounce back to where they started. Some rise like a phoenix from the ashes – stronger than ever before. How can we build resilience in ourselves, each other, and our communities? What protective factors create the safety nets that catch us when we fall, and launch us back up onto our feet? Speaker: Janelle Durham

Feb 2020

26 min 9 sec

Integrity can be defined as a sense of wholeness and authenticity. But what does wholeness and authenticity look like in a world that often appears fractured and demands conformity? Join us as our guest preacher, Raphaelle Mills Warner, MDiv, explores this topic.

Jan 2020

15 min 26 sec

Recording of the Christmas Eve Services at Northlake UU in Kirkland, WA: Christmas Carol Medley, played by Maria (0 – 8:20); Joy to the World, Candle Lighting, O Come… (8:20 – 14:30); The No Rehearsal Xmas pageant (14:30 – 31:20); Carols, Readings and Offering (31:20 – 44); Homily by Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee – Take Time for Awe (44 – 50:40); Carols and Readings (50:40 – 1:00).

Dec 2019

1 hr 1 min

Reverend Nancy McKee's description of her message: "Instead of dying and going to heaven, our work is to recognize that we are already in heaven and to act accordingly. We will explore what we expect from heaven." Recording opens with a reading “Prophets of a Future Not Our Own” by Bishop Ken Untener, followed by the Northlake choir performing "Look Around", an original composition by our Music Director David Duvall.

Sep 2019

26 min 42 sec

Veteran, artist and Northlake member Trish Brownlee explores the narrative of “Thank you for service.” This deep and challenging service asks others to have a spirit of curiosity, even when the questions result in answers that are difficult to hear or see. Through artwork and...

May 2019

33 min 35 sec

As humans we long to be made whole. As a religious community we work together to bring healing and nurturing to each other and the world, with the goal of becoming more complete and healthy. - Sermon by Nancy Reid-McKee, candidate for minister at Northlake.

Apr 2019

16 min 13 sec

Sermon: "Holy Wanderings: Lessons Learned from Walking in Circles" Walk through the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert with Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg. Lessons gleaned from 40 years of communal meanderings and mistakes in reaching a promised land.

Mar 2019

16 min 41 sec

Bridging the Gap to the World is a featured part of Northlake's journey. In this time of reflection we will consider the path that has led this covenanted congregation to reach out to the world with an open heart and open mind, searching for love as we seek to build love in the hearts of those we meet. Lessons for Life from Rev. Jim VanderWeele

Mar 2019

18 min 13 sec

Looking into the future has always fascinated people. The earliest artifacts from Chinese pre-history are the inscribed "oracle bones". We will look at three relatively recent eras, the 1890's with writers predicting optimistic and hopeful times to come, the "between the wars" period culminating in the "World of the Future" theme of the New York World's Fair, and the now ironic "post war" period, with its more sober predictions of "Silent Spring", "1984", and the various "limits to growth" including repercussions of global warming. Our challenge is to recognize and work to meet these challenges of the "future." Speaker - Northlake Member, Carl Schwartz

Jan 2019

25 min 15 sec

The name "Isa" is the Arabic equivalent of "Jesus." The 19th Surah of the Koran features Isa's birth as seen and experienced by Mary, his mother. The sounds of the season, drawn from Christian Scriptures, will merge with a Muslim story in an interfaith viewing of Christmas Eve.

Dec 2018

20 min

Ralph Waldo Emerson's words led to this service, "Let us learn the revelation of all nature and thought: that the highest dwells within us..." Unitarian Universalists have, over the years, come to the realization that the birth of every child is a miracle. Together, we will celebrate this mysterious miracle, the precious breath of life, on the day before Christmas Eve. Rev. Jim VanderWeele speaks. Opens with a meditation “In This Spirit of Searching” Rev. Joan Javier-Duval, and readings from Sophia Lyon Fahs.

Dec 2018

23 min 16 sec

As Unitarian Universalists, we draw inspiration from six rich sources. Inspiration doesn’t always unfold as we expect. Melody Moberg, Life-long Unitarian Universalist seminarian and Religious Education Director (at University Unitarian), shares ways Christian and Hindu teachings cracked open her concept of the divine.

Jun 2018

23 min 5 sec

George Orwell’s novel 1984 was written in 1949. It was set 35 years in to the future, hence the title, 1984. It predicts a dark future with an all pervasive “Big Brother” powerfully controlling all aspects of life. Orwell posits a continual state of war, to use up surplus manufacturing capability and point public concern away from domestic politics, and the state’s total control over the means of communication and information. This moved to changing past records to conform with present leader pronouncements, to which there are some uncomfortable analogies today. However we, not just at Northlake, but in our local Kirkland community, and indeed across America, can heed Orwell’s warnings and can, and do, work for a much more positive, open, and enriching society. Also, a future that is guided by not the least of our affirmations but by all the positive values already in place in our community and nation. Speaker: Northlake member, Carl Schwartz

Apr 2018

23 min 30 sec

Many causes and groups, many programs need assistance. But what can you do? How can you best offer your support? And also avoid overdoing it. In this social justice message on perseverance we consider the importance of balance, of joy, and of maintaining a deep sense of one’s inner needs and boundaries. We look at a method that reaches out as it also reaches in. Speaker: Jim VanderWeele, Northlake's Interim minister

Feb 2018

23 min 17 sec

Rev. Jim examines “Outwitted,” a poem by Edwin Markham for its view of an open mind, open heart, open borders, and an open life, allowing Markham’s push for a better way to bring us to a better relationship with our Earth. Speaker: Jim VanderWeele, Northlake's interim minister

Sep 2017

18 min 35 sec

Reverend Jim enters the Northlake pulpit with a story about himself and his ministry as viewed through his once-in-a-lifetime visit to the academy where Rumi taught poetry, philosophy, and twirling–now known as Rumi’s tomb. Come, come, whoever you are to an hour of worship and awe. Speaker: Rev. Jim VanderWeele, Northlake's interim minister

Aug 2017

24 min 13 sec

Is Unitarian Universalism more than those bright yellow shirts with the L-O-V-E letters across the front? Are we deeper than being on the front lines of justice-seeking? What is at the core of who we are? What guides/motivates/sustains us? If we peel away the d-i-y, believe-anything-you-want perceptions, is there a common core that is deeply spiritual, profoundly human, and able to transform the world – and us? Speaker: Rev. Dr. Marian Stewart, Northlake's minister from 2009 - 2017.

Mar 2017

24 min 4 sec