As a lover of learning with four graduate and post graduate degrees, it pains me to say I believe the time for higher education as we know it has ended. In this sermon, I’ll talk about the reasons I believe college is predominantly failing college students and failing society, while also talking about alternatives and new directions.
Speaker: Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof
Despite being a devout Star Trek fan, I have only ever given one sermon about the iconic TV series, during which I said it would be my last. Yet, the ethics and hopes inspired by this science fiction phenomenon, which millions like me have integrated into our lives, are as relevant today as ever. So I will indulge my obsession once again to talk about how the crew of the Starship Enterprise continues to inspire and influence my life here on Earth.
As we celebrate our annual Partner Church weekend, the minister at our partner Church in Felsőrákos, Romania, Rev. Palkó Zalán, will provide us with a message about our way forward together.
It may be that some are natural born pessimists or optimists, but it is also possible to reprogram our brains to recognize the good things happening. Our mindset impact the way we view the world, so retraining our brains to recognize the positive things we often miss, while also helping us feel more contented, is a task worth considering.
2020 was a tumultuous year given the contentious Presidential Election and the global pandemic that has kept many of us isolated for months. Yet humanity’s steady progress in some arenas did not slow during this period, including the advance of digital communications and the medical technologies that held us together and brought us numerous vaccines at lightning speed. In this sermon, we’ll consider some of the positive advances many are likely to have missed during this historic year.
“Human” and “Humor” share the same root. Being human means being able to laugh. But laughter is often in response to the minor violation of some cultural taboo and can sometimes accompany real tragedy. “Too soon,” the comedian asks. In this sermon we’ll contemplate the purpose of humor, what makes something funny, and how to keep our sense of humor in serious times.
As a minister, I’m often asked to offer a public prayer, which can be tricky for a guy who doesn’t believe in God. In this sermon I’ll talk about how and why I pray in ways that are both meaningful to others and that maintain my integrity.
We live in a time when it has become taboo to empathize or associate with those our “tribe” disagrees with, whichever side of the ideological spectrum we’re on. This may be rooted in the loss of civics training and civility in our society during the past decades. In this sermon we’ll consider why it is still important to associate with those we differ with, even if doing so displeases some.
Reflections on Recent Events in America
The images of Americans raiding our Nation’s Capital building in protest of the Congressional recognition of President Elect Joseph Biden’s victory was deeply disturbing for many of us, on top of all the other woes we’re dealing with right now. In this message, I’ll discuss my thoughts on this event, including its causes and where we must go from here to progress toward a more civil society.
We will not be able to hold our usual Cosmic Advent service on Christmas Eve this year because of COVID-19. It’s not a service that would lend itself well to anything but an in-person experience. Instead, we will have a churchwide Zoom service, which will include special music and a reading of Rev. Eklof’s holiday story, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and then Gave it Back.” The presentation will include his rendition of a pictorial storyboard. So gather round with family, friends, or a glass of eggnog to participate in this special holiday service. Please check your email for a link to this Zoom event!