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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Endings and Beginnings: A Fire Communion Service

Readings, an interlude, a homily and Fire Communion led by Rev. Charles Blustein Ortman and Rev. Judy Tomlinson.

“This Day Is Ours” by Vincent Silliman
“The Span of Life” by Fred Cappucino
“In Betweenness” by Richard Gilbert
“Never Too Late” by Richard Gilbert
“January First” by Richard Gilbert

“Chelsea Bridge” by Billy Strayhorn

“Saving the Best For Last” by Rev. Charles Blustein Ortman

A Letting Go; An Opening


Listen here:

Please note: All sermons are copyrighted by the author.

UU Idol: Battle of the Holidays/The Broken Chalice

A holiday pageant presented by the children of The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, followed by an interlude, “The Boar’s Head Carol” performed by Artis Wodehouse, and a homily by Rev. Charles Blustein Ortman. Prayer and Meditation led by Rev. Judy Tomlinson.

“UU Idol: Battle of the Holidays”

Written by: Dionne Ford Kurtti
Directed & Produced by: Beth Smith
Associate Directors: Lori Alexander & Dionne Ford Kurtti
Musical Director: Tom Parente
Production Services: Mary Carlin & Ross Minichiello
Stage Crew: Alex Goggin, Kurt Goggin, Connor Loflin, Max Minichiello & Willie Morrow

CAST (in order of appearance):
Ryan Solstice: Jacob Sailer
Yule Tide: Harrison Naftelberg
Holly King: Matthew McGowen
Tonantzin: Fionna Kenon

The Candle Kindlers:
Harry Butterfield, Max Butterfield, Desiree Kurtti, Devany Kurtti & Morgan Lofli

The First Fruits:
Anna Gardner, Lexi Morrow, Kelly Nulty, Coen Zylstra & Elliot Zylstra

The Wise Ones:
Kent Andrews, Noel Andrews, Catherine Chaladoff, Evan Chaladoff, Charlotte Brooks La Blanc, Patrick Lahey, Molly Sailer & Viltis Varnelis

UU Youth Choir
Boner Doemling, Anna Karapin-Springorum, Tori Kennon, Courtney McMorrow, Michael Nulty, Jami Price, Lina Schoenwiesner & Eliana McCann Smith

Katherine Bessey, Abigail Gardener, Hannah Lewis & Andrea Parente

Isy Abraham-Raveson, Spencer Bokat-Lindell, Brendan Dwyer & Ian Dwyer

Henry Khost, Nick Levine and Daniel Parente

Choral Pieces:
“Kindle the Candles Tonight” (Marcus/Schram)
“Light the Kinara for Kwanzaa” (Sally Albrecht)
“A Jubilant Gloria” (Mary Lynn Lightfoot)

Special Thanks to: Brandon Doemling and Brian Jude Piatkowski

Very Special Thanks from Beth: To all the parents and participants for showing up, working with my crazy scheduling and being incredibly wonderful!!!

Listen here:

Please note: All sermons are copyrighted by the author.

Hanukkah: Taking a Chance

A homily from The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair by Rev. Charles Blustein Ortman.

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Video clips from the service:

Michael Shapiro and Sabine Ernst perform “Shalom Alechem.”

Please note: All sermons are copyrighted by the author.

Advent: The Dark Days of Winter

A sermon in verse and music by Rev. Charles Blustein Ortman and Dr. Artis Wodehouse.

Music: Introit: In Memory of George Noblemaire; Louise Vierne

Verse: An Introduction to the Season
Music: Chorale No. 2 (1989); David Thomas Roberts

Verse: Toward the Mystery in the Dark
Music: Chorale Prelude (1989); David Thomas Roberts

Verse: Is This the End?
Music: Offertoire: In Memory of Pierre Villey; Louise Vierne

Verse: Shadows in the Dark
Music: Communion: In Memory of Edgar Guilbeau; Louise Vierne


All of the music by Louise Vierne is taken from his final composition, a funeral mass, each movement of which is dedicated to a significant blind person who assisted him in his musical development. Vierne was nearly blind from infancy. David Thomas Roberts is a living American composer who writes mainly ragtime. Artis Wodehouse plays on a European harmonium from 1885 and an American reed organ from 1889.

Listen here:

Video clips of Rev. Charlie Ortman and Dr. Artis Wodehouse delivering this sermon:

“Advent: The Dark Days of Winter” (1 of 3)

Please note: All sermons are copyrighted by the author.