Sermon Series Weekly Resources

Beginning Sabbath, April 6, the spring quarter sermon series at the University Church is entitled “Feelings and Faith: Exploring God’s Emotions, Understanding Ourselves”. Each week, preachers will delve into Bible stories that illustrate aspects of God that resemble human experience. In addition to Sabbath worship services, the pastors also invite you to deeper reflection during the week through this sermon series. Check on this page (or the bulletin) every Sabbath for lists of suggested books, film, music, and other resources provided by the wider church community, that will accompany you in weekly study. Because no one will have time or space to absorb all the recommendations, you are encouraged to pick and choose the ones that resonate best for your walk.



One famous piece of music that embodies the feeling of anger is the second movement of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, "Dies Irae" (or Day of Wrath). Watch a publicly licensed recording of the piece here:

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus gives instructions to "pray for your enemies" (Matthew 5:44). It's interesting to note that his command is not an admonishment against feeling anger, denial of injury or injustice, or even confrontation. As it happens, Jesus' advice isn't unlike best practice for processing and dealing with anger in the sphere of psychology. Instead of reacting to this often-troubling emotion, lashing out in attack, or stuffing it away and pretending it isn't there, therapists often recommend sitting with the feeling, calming ourselves, breathing, and allowing the body's natural flight-or-fight response to pass. This week when anger arises, take a moment to sit quietly in prayer with it. Try to take Jesus' advice to pray for the person(s) who hurt your or who is/are blocking you from what you want. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel and then either let it dissipate, or fuel constructive positive responses in the world.


Week 2: Humor

Books (click for description):
1. Questions About Angels by Billy Collins
(In particular, consider the poems, “Forgetfulness” or “Flames”)

Children’s Books (click for description):
1. The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
2. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
3. Today I feel Silly & Other Moods by Jamie Lee Curtis
4. "I Want my Hat", We Found a Hat, and This is Not my hat, by Jon Klassen

1. The Princess Bride
2. The Emperor’s New Groove

From the WWUC Minister of Music, Kraig Scott:
There is a lot of humor in classical music, though to understand the jokes, often one needs to know a little about music theory. Franz Joseph Haydn is the first guy that comes to my mind when I think about humor in music – he was funny and a real joker. A good example is Symphony No.94 called “Surprise” because in the second movement lulls one to sleep with its gentle character and quiet dynamic, only to burst out in a sudden sforzando chord. There are lots of stories about why he may have written this including patrons falling asleep…. Enjoy these two performances.

There is also this fun TedX talk – also about humor in the music of Franz Joseph Haydn: 

Consider finding a stand-up comic to enjoy in person (or even on recording). While some comedians have content that can be found objectionable, there are a great many others who are family friendly. One we suggest is Michael Jr., who mixes his faith with humor in a tasteful and hilarious way.


Week 3: Joy

Books (click for description):
1. Madeline L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet
2. Kathleen Flenniken’s poem “The Physiology of Joy”
3. David James Duncan’s essay, “An Elevator in Utah: On how children make despair look stupid.”
4. David Whyte’s book, Consolations,

Children’s Books (click for description):
1. Who Sang the First Song? by Ellie Holcom

Film (click for description):
1. The March of the Penguins
2. The Sound of Music

Music (click for description):
1. Songs by Billy Jonas, including What Kind of Cat Are You?
2. Sing Around It by Nizlopi
3. I Will Be Undignified by Rend Collective
4. Joy by King and Country



Week 4: Disgust

Books (click for description):
1. So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
2. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Children’s Books (click for description):
1. Feelings by Aliki

Films (click for description):
Because hate or disgust (in the human experience) so often stems from fear, this week's film recommendations are suggested as an antidote. As we learn about the experiences of others, we learn to encounter differences with empathy instead of fear and therefore disgust.
1. Hidden Figures (2016), directed by Theodore Melfi
2. Fiddler on the Roof (1971), directed by Norman Jewison

1. "The Sour Song" by Randy Kaplan:



week 9: satisfaction

Books (click for descriptions):
1. Wanderlust: A history of walking by Rebecca Solnit
2. Subject to Change BY MARILYN L. TAYLOR

3. The Danger of a Single Story, TED Talk by Chimamanda Adichie

Children’s Books (click for descriptions):
1. The Biggest Story by Kenn Deyoung

Films (click for descriptions):
1. Ratatoullie, Disney