theme: Exploring

Services include sermons preached by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard unless otherwise noted.

July 1st: “Human Kindness” and
​July 8th: “Cosmic Perspective”

In describing the Earth as a “pale blue dot”, cosmologist Carl Sagan noted both the uniqueness and the isolation of our planet, lamenting the arrogance and cruelty that is unnecessarily common in human society and warning that “in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” In these Sundays bracketing the week of Independence Day, let us celebrate our interdependence, lifting up our urgent need for (in the words of our Second Principle) justice, equity and compassion in human relations and reflecting on the humbling and character-building experience of knowing our place in the Universe.

July 15th: “Between Every Two Pines Is a Doorway to a New World”

There is more to those woods than meets the eyes, and no, we are not talking ghosts and goblins; to the contrary, we are talking phytoncides. Phytoncides are volatile chemicals that plants emit that make us feel good. In this sermon, Jan will explore the concept of “forest bathing” and the importance of forests and nature not only in his life, but also in our lives and religious traditions around the world.

Jan Briedé has been a member of the UUFP since 2000. Originally from Holland, he became a US citizen in 1994. He has a Ph.D. in Range Science from New Mexico State University with a specialty in Plant Physiological Ecology and works for the Department of Environmental Quality for which he provides environmental workshops throughout the state.  Jan has been married to Donna for forty-one years.  In his free time, he sails, grows bonsais, bikes, blogs and “forest bathes”.


July 22nd: “I’ve Never Been This Old Before”

In pursuit of July’s theme of Exploring, Julian will tell us about his remarkable spiritual journey from “Jewish wanna-be-Catholic in Warsaw, Poland” to “dues-paying UUFP member in Newport News” “by way of the Holocaust, both political and personal.” An award-winning, best-selling memoirist, whose published memoir stopped at age twenty-two when he graduated college, Julian will now recount what he considers “pretty much the total journey”.

After college and military service, Julian Padowicz enjoyed a thirty-nine-year career producing documentary films. He has published a memoir with three sequels, five novels and “Mrs. Parsley” books for children, and he continues to write. Julian and his wife, Donna Carter (who will join him at the pulpit), moved to Hampton and joined the UUFP in 2016.


July 29th: “To Arrive Where We Started”

Does the journey matter more than the destination? It’s certainly important to reach a goal, complete a task or otherwise achieve closure, but how we get there matters, too. In a religious community like our Fellowship, for example, individual growth and the deepening of relationships is an essential part of everything we do, whatever our other intentions. After all, every journey, no matter where it takes us, is ultimately a journey of self-discovery.