Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Invitation: Discussion of June 2019 General Assembly Sunday Worship

In late June 2019, in Spokane, WA, UUs from hundreds of congregations gathered for the annual UUA General Assembly. One highlight was a powerful Sunday morning worship, in which Rev. Marta Valentin and others call on all of us Unitarian Universalists to look at how to make our faith truly more inclusive. Join us on Sunday Jan. 19th to discuss from a heart place the feelings and questions this worship service brings up. Also, if time allows, what might we feel called to do... as individuals or as a congregation? Facilitators Pat Carstensen and Kate Plummer will guide the discussion, prefaced by the showing of a few highlights of worship. Lite snacks provided but everyone is encouraged to bring their own snacks or a bag lunch if they wish.

"The question is, are we ready to be better for our own people? Because ‘the world’ includes every person in our faith many of whom have been micro-aggressed right out the door. It is the silent revolving door that many do not want to acknowledge aloud. It is time now to ask ourselves, who are we, really? Which Unitarian Universalism are we taking into our future?"

"...the Power of We moves us from the solitary “I” to the community “We” – where there is a strong sense of belonging and we work together to the benefit of all. In the “We” culture the people are centered, it is impeccably inclusive, and the “I” exists only in relation to others, each of us must be strong for the collective to thrive. At the core the words we carry are not just ours, they include the voices of our ancestors speaking through and with us. And as this “We” engages in the delicate work it is not about the “power of tip-toeing”; the work requires speaking respectfully as we uphold our covenants; it asks us to listen reflectively; to teach the truth authentically and extend compassion to others we might not care for."

But as we all know, worship is about the music and the readings that all weave together, so we encourage people to watch the entire service (two hours) ahead of time at home if possible.

(Rev. Marta Valentin's sermon begins at around 1hr. 10 mins. if you want to jump to that part.) There are links below the main video for viewing with closed captioning for those who prefer that option.  

Childcare available upon request by Sun. Jan. 12th (to Liza). Questions? Contact Pat Carstensen - or Liza Earle-Centers.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

December 29, 2019 ~ Chanukah

Many thanks to Abby Colihan and Steve Grunewald for leading an exploration of Hanukkah last Sunday which was also the last day of Chanukah.  They read a neat book about Hanukkah, listened to a song: Chanukah, Oh Chanukah (with lyrics in English and Yiddish), played the dreidel game, and made menorah art.  

The kids and volunteers were having so much fun there was no time for pictures.  But here are some photos from afterward.  The book they read, the art they made.

Above: Every family and synagogue have different styles of menorahs.  Alex made this fabulous, spider-like menorah!  (notice he included the 'shamash' or helper candle in the middle of the eight)

 Above: Elena made this collage menorah out of origami paper!

Above: Graham did a combination of coloring and cut-out for this bright and cheerful menorah!

A holiday gift to you from Liza and the LSE Committee ~ Songs we love at UCM

The Lifespan Spiritual Exploration Committee and I wanted to share a gift with all of you this holiday season. We wanted to share the gift of songs from our faith, some are from our last several months together and some are just favorite hymns that kids and adults love.  

Here is a Youtube playlist. It's like the modern day mix tape or mix CD!

Songs we love at UCM (UU Hymns and others):  

Singing the songs of our faith is a great way to carry the values of our faith into your life beyond the walls of our church. It helps get it into our bones so we have them on our lips when we or someone we love needs what they offer. Some of the songs offer welcome, some offer courage, others offer reassurance and comfort. I like to sing some to help start the day, and others as lullabies. (If you need it, it might also provide welcome respite from the deluge of Christmas songs on the radio right now!)

There are many more out there, but this is about the number we would put on a mix tape or mix CD for you, so hopefully it is a good amount. Maybe we'll do another playlist in the spring--feel free to let us know YOUR favorite!

Peace is Something We Do

This piece was written in September 2011, shortly after the floods caused by Hurricane Irene.  I could have written it this week.  At the ti...