Rev. Liz Goodman, Lenox & Monterey UCC

"We've been behaving for decades as if civilization is won, and therefore needs nothing more of us. We've been flirting for the length of my lifetime with cynicism, nihilism, as if we can take a tire-iron to the body politic just for the hell of it and not actually catch hell." 

Direct download: Unnatural.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

As to the question of how to live together, "'s a lot harder to figure when it involves isolated, atomized individuals crashing into one another, trying to elbow their way into and out of belonging, all without any framework or storyline to give the struggle shape or purpose..."

Direct download: Grow_Up.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

"Human beings have grown and evolved to respond sociably to the human voice--to hear in it a subtlety of meaning and nuance of intent, to express in it a desire to connect and to be understood rather than just to dominate, humiliate, and win."

Direct download: Gnawing_Question.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:21pm EDT

This following a week when Kanye visited the Oval Office and mutual kissing-up ensued.

Direct download: Of_Flatterers_and_Friends.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

When taxes get better shelter than many people of the world and billionaires would have us be sensible.

Direct download: Loopholes.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT

"...every person a tourist, every dwelling a stopover, the whole world now a place for casual consuming rather than investing and taking care..."

Direct download: ALL_Saints_Day.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:21pm EDT

Wherein we test a theory at the Temple treasury.

Direct download: Veterans_Day.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:54pm EDT

Pilate asked, "What is truth?" and in so doing he revealed that in him there is nothing to be revealed.

Direct download: Words_Matter.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT

With Luke, we begin at the end, a glance at the apocalypse. But what would it have us do? 

Direct download: Start_at_the_Very_Ending_a_Very_Good_Place_to_Start.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54am EDT

Regret, repentance, second thoughts: why does John insist these things are crucial?

Direct download: No_Regerts.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am EDT

Direct download: TIme_and_Tide.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

Maybe the world isn't as defiling as all that. Maybe the greatest risk is when we think we're at terrible risk.

Direct download: At_Risk.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

The cross continues to confound. Meanwhile, before the Senate Judiciary Committee...

Direct download: I_Believe_Christine_Blasey_Ford.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

On Trinity Sunday, we baptize a little one in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and he throws his hands in the air; and the rest is mystery.

Direct download: Magnus_George.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

The question about keeping the Sabbath isn't one of piety, it's one of justice. The question to ask isn't, "Do you keep the Sabbath?" It's, "Are you able to keep the Sabbath." An economy that doesn't allow its people to rest is an unjust one.

Direct download: Labor_Movement.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:17pm EDT

The Easter imperative sets in, and some discover they want to be done with it already. Gnosticism, that evergreen heresy, wants to keep its hands clean--if it even will admit it has hands.

Direct download: Are_We_There_Yet.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33am EDT

Funny how there's always something to say.

Direct download: Good_Shepherd_Sunday.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45am EDT

You'll hear lawn mowers and other ambient noise because this was recorded with the windows open--our first gorgeous day in a long time! Liz has been wrestling with the notions of simulacrum and simulation, put forth by Jean Beaudrillard for a long time. With this, she might have finally figured them out. 

Direct download: Authentic_Reproduction.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41am EDT

Sheela Clary is here to speak about her many realms of work (mother, writer, grant writer, story teller, etc.) and how her faith informs her sense of purpose in those realms.

Direct download: REL_ROUNDTABLE_MAY_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

Mark's gospel ends on a strange note--fear. It's not what we've come to expect on Easter. But when you think about resurrection and what it asks of us, fear makes sense.

Check out Julia Esquivel's poem, "They Have Threatened Us With Resurrection."

Direct download: Easter_Sermon_2018.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48pm EDT

In this sermon, Liz considers the assumptions of white supremacy, even her own, and wonders more broadly about what sin-sickness God might be offering medicine for. As Moses lifted the serpent up that the people might be healed of their serpentine rhetoric, as Jesus was lifted up on the cross, God seems to have in mind medicine that we might be healed and might offering healing to our suffering world.  We're nearing the 50th anniversary of MLK's assassination. His thought about what plagued America, which he meant to be as physick in healing, were racism, poverty, and militarism. We have a lot of work of healing to do. God reveals the cure.

Direct download: Medicinal_Purposes.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:16pm EDT

What do we mean when we talk about "religion"? And what happens to the essentially religious project of being a person among a people amidst the world when so many serious thinkers have given up on the task? Religion isn't the option we of the modern West might like to think it is. So can we engage the question more critically than just "Religion: yea or nay?" Can we have a more sophisticated and nuanced, and even critical, conversation evaluating religious impulse and expression as to how it serves in the world?

Direct download: Critical_Care.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:43pm EDT

This sermon explores the strange, maybe surprising, connection between sexual encounters among people and God's timing amidst history. We could go silly in our naming it: "Double Entendre," or Coming to Completion," or, as one member of our congregation put it, "The Sexchaton," which had me laughing out loud in the receiving line following worship. But I decided to try a more earnest approach in labeling this, and I want to credit a conversation Emily Bazelon and Ross Douthat had on Slate's Political Gabfest, wherein they called us as a society to take "sex ed" more seriously and responsibly than just offering it as a course for credit in some high schools. This is my attempt to take up that responsibility. Why would the mainline church go silent in that conversation?

Direct download: Something_Sweet.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm EDT

This episode is evidence of my home studio and the fact that this production is a one-woman show. You'll hear me laughing at my son as he walks through the room, my dog shaking himself dry after a much needed shower, and a HUGE Freudian slip that is the stuff of preachers' nightmares. (Hint: I do not in fact think my son Tobias is Jesus.) I could try to correct it but it would take a long time for me to figure out how to do that. Plus, it could be a fun game. Log onto the church's Facebook page and let us know you caught it. First five people to do so get next week's podcast free! Facebook address: Monterey United Church of Christ. Web address:

Direct download: Monster_Mash.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

Can we have it both ways, strong and battle-ready though for an urgent mission of peace?

Direct download: Fight_Club.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:59pm EDT

If war is a force that gives us meaning, is it riskier to consider the life of faith as just such a conflict or not to? 

Direct download: Showing_Up.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:18pm EDT

Friendly beasts, magi and angels, facts and emblems, and how to read the Bible: another grab-bag sermon that might be like your stocking stuffed for Christmas morning. 

Direct download: Hungry_for_More.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT