Jamestown, N.Y. – Retired United Methodist Pastor Lauren Turner speaks at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) on Sunday, January 28. The title of his sermon is “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Religion’s Role in Civilization.”
Rev. Turner observes that, “It has been said that ‘there will always be crime, violence and inhumanity, but for real atrocities, one generally needs the help of religion.’ Religion can inspire and empower both the noblest…. and the darkest, human endeavors.”
What are the characteristics of healthy religion, and what are the characteristics of harmful religion? Turner will examine them in his message.
Having studied all forms of religion all his life, Turner retired this past year after working as a United Methodist pastor for 46 years. He has worshiped with Orthodox Jews, his best friend is a Muslim, and he interviewed former members from the Manson family and the People’s Temple as well as a team of professional deprogrammers back in the early 1980s. He has seen the best and the worst of religion.
The speaker will also play the piano for the service and share a Story For All Ages he created, “The Real Reason the Dinosaurs Became Extinct," that features three owls discussing the matter.
Turner taught audio recording classes at Jamestown Community College and still writes music. In his spare time, he likes to write novels. In 2024 he plans to make videos to preserve Democracy in the United States.
Participation can be in person at 1255 Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown or online. To join virtually, use the link at UUJamestown.org/calendar.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to support and celebrate each other, encourage spiritual and individual growth, and serve the wider community.