Sermons and Messages

Every week our ministers and guest speakers wrestle with important issues of life and death, faith, hope, and love.  Listen or watch one of our messages.  Then reach out to us and let us know what you think.

We make them accessible here:

undefined undefined 

If you are interested in using a talk or sermon in your own community, please contact

Upcoming Sermons, Services, and Talks

Sunday, July 31



10:00 a.m. Traditional   |   11:30 a.m. Contemporary   |   11:30 a.m. Humanist 

Unintended Consequences

Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar

We, as humans, think we can predict the outcomes of our actions and decisions, yet life is governed by unintended consequences. At one time, the British government attempted to reduce the problem of venomous cobra snakes in India by creating a reward for dead snakes. Initially, it worked to reduce the threat, but eventually many people began to breed cobra’s in order to profit from the reward. The government then stopped offering rewards which lead to breeders setting worthless snakes free - increasing the menace significantly.  

In the 70’s and 80’s, the CIA funded Afghan Mujahideen rebels to defeat the Soviets. This inadvertently lead to the rise of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda

During the 20’s, prohibition in America increased organized crime and corruption.  

Personal and policy decisions tend to create unintended consequences. How can we prepare for unintended consequences in our individual and communal lives?  Also, as our city and nation discuss ways to move forward politically and practically, let us pay attention to the humbling role of unforeseen outcomes and the conflict of interests which can cause them. 

Special thanks to All Souls member Scott Asbjornson, one of our recent “auction sermon” winners, for suggesting this intriguing topic.  

See you Sunday,