Sermons by Roddy O'Neil Cleary

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We are no longer offering printed versions of Sermons on our website.  If you would like a printed version of a particular sermon, please email Rev. Mara directly at 



Time for Wonder: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
January 31st, 2016



Finding Our Way: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
August 16th, 2015



Untitled: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
January 25th, 2015



Participation in the Joys and Sorrows of the Other: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
November 3rd, 2013


A Last Sermon: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
May 25th, 2008

A short while ago, the phone rang in my office. Kathleen said there was a young man downstairs who wanted to see a minister.


Who is my neighbor: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
April 20th, 2008

The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most familiar in the Gospels. But a good story is one that deserves to be retold.


Too Much to Bear : by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
March 30th, 2008

On March 19th, the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there were anti-war demonstrations across the country. The numbers have dwindled significantly.


Learning to Love: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
February 10th, 2008

At the end of January, I learned a lesson in what it means to love. My four nieces and nephew were my teachers.


The Heart Has its Reasons: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
January 13th, 2008

I’d love to stand at the door on a Sunday morning and ask each person as they come through one question: “Why are you here?”


A Moment of Happiness: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
December 16th, 2007

Given the fact that as a people Americans work more than they sleep and have less vacation than any other Western country, I was surprised by a recent special report in Time Magazine that claims nine out of ten of us are either very satisfied or moderately satisfied with our jobs.


The Most Important Time : by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
November 25th, 2007

How often people quote the words of George Bernard Shaw: “Youth, the best time of your life, what a shame that it’s wasted on the young.”


God and Sex: A Fascinating Pair : by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
October 27th, 2007

In speaking to a friend and member of this congregation about my topic this morning, he could not imagine what God had to do with sex or what sex had to do with religion and/or spirituality.


To Believe or Not to Believe: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
September 23rd, 2007

Over the years, one thing I’ve learned about myself is, I don’t like buffets. I’d rather not have to deal with all the choices.


Mothers of God: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
May 13th, 2007

A week before Palm or Passion Sunday on the Christian calendar this year, I was invited to speak to our seventh and eighth graders. They were studying “Neighboring Faiths.”


The Final Form of Love : by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
February 25th, 2007

As much as I enjoy presiding at weddings and civil unions, I often have a lurking concern. How many of the invited guests are able to enter into the happy couple’s joy?


Make Way for Heros: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
January 21st, 2007

Last Sunday night a phone call was waiting for me when I came home. It was my friend Patrick Brown, Director of the Burlington Multicultural Center and proprietor of the Caribbean Corner on North Winooski Avenue between the Radio Bean and the Other Place.


Celebrating the Spirit of Kwansaa: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
December 31st, 2006

Thank you, Nathaniel! We need to be reminded of the joy, the fun, that comes from being involved with other good people in something worthwhile!


All is Possible: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
December 10th, 2006

Some of you may be old enough to remember the play South Pacific. If so you might recall the song Mary Martin sang in the role of Nellie Forbush, about being "a cockeyed optimist."


Love and Music: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
October 29th, 2006

We hear a lot today about “culture wars” and we ourselves may have experienced firsthand culture shock either inside or outside of our own country.


Who are you people?: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
October 15th, 2006

A few years ago when I visited a cousin of mine after many years of separation, I was intrigued by the size of a model airplane hanging in a prominent place in his home.


Becoming Yourself: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
May 21st, 2006

In the 1960's, Harvey Cox's book The Secular City made quite a stir. It seemed to connect with a lot of people's experience. Much of what he wrote I believe holds true for our own time.


The Heart of Justice: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
March 26th, 2006

Two weeks ago our Small Group met in the parlors right behind this Sanctuary.


Forgiving God: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
March 12th, 2006

In 1986 a rabbi was visiting Jerusalem. He became the innocent victim of a random act of violence.


Cause For Celebration: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
February 19th, 2006

Last month after the service I was downstairs in the kitchen off the community room. I'd gone down with an RE family to pick up the peanut butter brownies they had made for a meal that we were serving that night at the Food Shelf.


Real Presence: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
October 16th, 2005

At times I suspect that we go to the movies or watch videos for almost the same reason that we come into this Sanctuary Sunday after Sunday. It’s a way of focusing our attention.


What Matters Most to You?: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
September 25th, 2005

"Once upon a time," those words have a magical quality to them. In Latin they are compressed into one word, "Olim".


The Cost of Inaction: by Roddy O'Neil Cleary
June 5th, 2005

Have you ever asked yourself how did I get here? I don't mean how did I arrive on this earth.