Coming of Age Faith Statement

Shea McIntyre

Before I start my faith statement, I’d like to say I didn’t grow up in a very religious environment. My parents never really enforced any sort of religious conduct on me, and allowed me to form my own opinions. I also moved here from Massachusetts I believe after I finished 1st grade. Thankfully we moved here instead of Topeka, Kansas, otherwise the WBC would be an even bigger pain in my neck today.

Anyway, the first thing I’d like to talk about is my personal beliefs. Due to my seeing of both sides of extremists, one being the overzealous bigots claiming to represent their religion and the other being the overly cynical atheists, I decided to take the neutral ground and say this: I believe no one knows for sure whether or not there’s a god or even an afterlife for that matter, and that we should all just be nice to each other and enjoy life while it lasts. Unless of course, they find a cure for mortality, but I digress.

It took me awhile to warm up to this place after we moved here, because when I was younger, I admit I was kind of a jerk. I didn’t like the idea of being cooped up in a building with a crowd of 5 dozen people inside a big room reciting incomprehensible gibberish that sounded like the dozens of monster-summoning rituals I’ve seen in horror movies. At least, that’s how I saw it as an itty-bitty tot. But with time I realized that this was a great place with super nice people who believed in peace and good will toward the human race. Not to mention it had really awesome food. I really appreciate that everyone here allowed me to form my own beliefs and respected me regardless of who I was or what I believed in. I mean, that could just be the food talking, but you’re really nice people. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

As a closer, I would like to thank John Templeton for being there as my mentor in Coming of Age. I related a lot to him as we are both avid geeks and have similar viewpoints. I admit that it was quite a surprise to find out about his gender fluidity, but I really have no problem with it at all. What matters was that he was there for me and helped me through thick and thin. Props to you, John.

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PORT (Emergency Winter Shelter Program)

UUFP will be partnering with First Baptist Church as they host PORT, the homeless shelter.  We have supported PORT for many years as it is a rewarding experience that provides a much needed service in our community.

Our night to work is Sunday, January 4. 

We will need 8 people to help with check-in, at least 6 people to help Donna in the kitchen, 2 people for the over-night shift, and 4 to help with early morning breakfast shift.  We will also be taking donations of deodorant, washcloths/hand towels, soap, underwear, and cash (to help buy the food).

Sign-up sheets will be available Sunday mornings during the month of December.

Please see Bobbie Schilling (port@uufp.org) or Henry Chambers for more information.

PORT

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LINK in need…

linkLINK (Living Interfaith Network) is in need of the following items to support their various programs:

Canned goods fruit and veg
Dry goods
Socks
Underwear
Long johns
Warm coats
Jeans
Boots and shoes for rain and snow wear
Chests of drawers
Couches
Love seats
Armchairs
Recliners
Pots and pans
Dishes
Cutlery. Knives forks spoons
Cooking utensils
Toasters
Toaster ovens
Blenders
Food choppers
Cooking knives
Bread boards
Irons and ironing boards

Local and UUFP folks see above for items needed by our local Living Interfaith NetworK (LINK). You can take the items to church and put them in the LINK bins, give them directly to me or deliver them directly to LINK located at:

10413 Warwick Boulevard
Newport News, VA 23601 (in Hilton Village).

They take donations at the back door Monday thru Friday between 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 pm.

Questions: (757) 595-1953, www.linkhr.org.

Posted in EDITION: November 2014 | 3 Comments

Seeking a Song of Love

For all that is our life! by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard

A hand that’s warm in friendship strong,
that lifts us up when things go wrong
and builds a church where — more than creeds —
we count our blessings in good deeds:
our hands can offer hope’s embrace
to make the world a better place.
— additional fifth verse to hymn 300, “With Heart and Mind”

While in Denver for my seminary studies at the Iliff School of Theology, I also worked for the Mountain Desert District, first as Youth Chaplain and then as interim Youth Ministry Coordinator.  Working with teenagers and their UU congregations from New Mexico to Wyoming, from Texas to Utah, I witnessed their youthful struggles with matters of personal and religious identity, with questions of morality and justice, and with attempts to put their hopes and aspirations into words.  In other words, exactly the same things with which we adults struggle!

At that time, with changes in how the Unitarian Universalist Association was doing youth programming, the District was developing a new understanding of its own ministry.  The youth themselves took the lead in working with their adult advisors, and in the process created a vision that they named “Quuest”, spelled with two Us (naturally!) but not an acronym for anything.  And it wasn’t just for teenagers, either!  Presenting it to the District’s Board, there was agreement that it’s not just UU youth who yearn for such a vision, for it spoke to the religious lives of UU adults, too.

QuuestWithin Quuest, the youth identified five particular components as most important.  The first component was named “gatherings” and was put into words as: “Across all that divides us, we gather to protect all that unites us.”  Second was “worship”: “Creating a moment in time that gives our community an outlet to pursue deeper spirituality.”  Then came “social justice”: “Caring for and receiving from the interdependent web of life.”  Another component emphasized by the Quuest vision went by a few different names, including “coming out of the basement” or “… the portable” or “… the back room”, referring to the tendency within many congregations to hide, whether intentionally or not, their children, and their youth in particular, in out of the way places, rather than welcoming them into a fully multigenerational community.

The remaining component was of a notably different nature.  And it was significant not only for being itself part of the vision but also for being an important part of making it possible to achieve the vision, too.  Demonstrating considerable wisdom, the youth had identified that component as “resilience”, which they described as follows: “To achieve personal and religious resilience, youth ministries provide community, trust and a strong spiritual identity by means of time together, reflection, family and friends, congregations, forgiveness of self and others, affirmation, encouragement and listening.”

As usually understood, resilience means being able to bounce back, to recover from a failure, setback or other adversity, something that inevitably happens to all of us, sooner or later.  Called as a religious community to engage in the work of transformation, it is essential to be able to find the strength to carry on when times get tough, to rise above disappointments and differences of opinion, and to draw upon our personal and spiritual resources for resilience.  Part of being a community, after all, is caring for one another in our times of need, offering our strength to one another when we can, and allowing others to care for us and lend us their strength, too.  And those seeking community are often looking for a place where they know they’ll be able to find a sympathetic ear, where there’ll be others willing to listen with compassion and without judgment, where they can be offered a song of love when they need it.

As we make our way into a time of year that is challenging for many people and for many reasons, may we continue to offer to one another the affirmation, the encouragement and the listening that we all need in our lives.  May we find joy in being together and in everything we do as a community, and though our paths may sometimes be difficult, may we remember and take comfort in the knowledge that none of us are alone in our journeys.

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Sunday Services (November 2014)

Services for November 2014 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula

theme: Resilience

November 2nd: “Navigators USA — Nature, Inclusion, Community”

Every first Sunday of the month, our Share-the-Basket partner is Navigators USA Chapter 58, the UUFP’s very own co-ed, inclusive scouting group.  But what is Navigators, and why does it matter?  The leaders of Chapter 58 will speak on the importance of this program, how it can impact our youth and our community, and how it reflects our Unitarian Universalist principles.

Nicole LorsongNicole Lorsong has been attending the Fellowship since moving to the area in 2013, and was one of the founding leaders of Navigators USA Chapter 58.  Taking time off from a career as a registered nurse to homeschool her two elementary-school-aged children, Nicole enjoys time outdoors, baking, many do-it-yourself projects and community work.

Parker AppelParker Appel started attending the Fellowship after signing on as a leader of Chapter 58.  A lifelong scout, he enjoys camping, coffee, kayaking and writing letters.  Parker hopes one day to work in a museum or outdoor setting, with a focus on diversity and accessibility in educational activities.  Parker currently spends his time babysitting and volunteering.

Adam BalsleyAdam Balsley has been attending the Fellowship since earlier this year and is excited to be the newest leader with Chapter 58.  In his spare time, he provides geospatial technical support and business process improvements to our regional water utility.  Adam especially enjoys experiencing Nature and learning about our world with his wife and their two daughters.

November 9th: “A Purpose Worth Pursuing”

Sophocles’ play Philoctetes (409 BCE) tells the story of a wounded soldier and his complex relationships with others. During the last decade it has been performed to help medical and military personnel to focus on the physical, psychological and spiritual wounds of warriors. What light does it shed on our Fellowship’s calling to support veterans, military families and others who seek spiritual wholeness?

November 16th: “LOVE Changes the World!”

Witness for LOVE!

photograph by Andrew Millard

Last Valentine’s Day, two dozen people, and a majority of them from the Fellowship, gathered at the Newport News Courthouse to Witness for LOVE!  This event, like many others across the Commonwealth, was coordinated by People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, a state-wide movement for justice founded in 2005.  Let’s celebrate that marriage equality is now recognized in Virginia, but also remember that there’s still plenty of work to do!

Robin GorslineRev. Andrew is pleased to share the pulpit with Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline, President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia.  A native of Michigan, where he served as a local and county elected official, Robin earned his M.Div. from the Episcopal Divinity School and his Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary.  From 2003–2013, he was Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond.  Identifying as a spiritual activist for social justice who builds bridges across social and religious divisions, Robin co-edited Disrupting White Supremacy from Within and is the author of articles on sexuality, anti-racism and theology.  He has been married to Dr. Jonathan Lebolt, LCSW, for seventeen years, and tthey are grateful for three daughters and two sons-in-law, two glorious granddaughters, and Cocoa, their standard poodle.

Special music will be offered by Janet and Jeffrey!

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012

pictures and montage by Rosalee Pfister

Special Service!
4:30pm on November 16th: Transgender Day of Remembrance

Join us for an early evening service marking the sixteenth annual, internationally observed witness of and resistance to violence based on bias against transgender people.  We’ll begin in the Sanctuary for some music, a brief reflection and the reading of names before lighting candles at sunset and processing outside for a time of silent vigil.

November 23rd: “A Guest at Our Table”

From Fourth Sunday Soup Socials to the Thanksgiving Dinner, from next month’s Festival of the Season to April’s Passover Seder, as well as many regular groups and programs that include potlucks or meals, we are a congregation that loves to share food and companionship together!  In gratitude we remember these and other gifts of our lives and embrace these opportunities to live into our commitments to justice and compassion.

Special music will be offered by the UUFP’s ChorUUs!

November 30th: “Making Life New”

Despite our best intentions, we sometimes get stuck in places we don’t want to be.  What matters most is how we frame these situations.  Are they life sentences or passing stages?  The awareness that life can always be made anew creates a space for hope and resilience in times of difficulty.  Intern Chris and Rev. Andrew will offer their reflections in this service for Advent Sunday.

Special music will be offered by the UUFP Winds!

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Birthdays (November 2014)

Many Happy Returns to our UUFP members and friends who will be celebrating their

Flowers from Lake Burnt Mills, photographed by Dean Ceran

Flowers from Lake Burnt Mills, photographed by Dean Ceran

birthdays in November!  They are:

Ezra Moore
Robert Drees
Anne Cunningham
Allison Millard
Dean Ceran
Chloe Briede
Pam Luke
Catherine Bond
Jacquie Ream
Mary-Elizabeth Cotton

If you have an birthday that we’ve overlooked, please get in touch with Bobbie Schilling (UUFP Membership Committee) at:  membership@uufp.org

 

AbigaleAbigail Adams (November 22 1744 – October 28, 1818) women’s rights advocate and first Second Lady and the second First Lady of the United States.

 

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott

 

 

 

Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) – author of Little Women.

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Announcements (November 2014) *UPDATED*

Fair Trade Merchandise Sale at UUFP:

The Dream Shop from Eastern State Hospital sells Fair Trade Merchandise from Guatemala and East Africa, using retail profits to support educational, medical, community development and public health projects in Kenya and Guatemala. Hospital patients operate The Dream Shop, open to the public at ESH from 12:00 – 5:00 Tuesday through Friday.

Laura Dollieslager, Dream Shop coordinator, will bring handcrafted items from the Dream Shop to the UUFP for a Fair Trade Sale after both services on Sunday, November 23rd, including jewelry, handbags, textiles, scarves, baskets, and much more.

If you are interested in adding Fair Trade gifts to your holidays, The Dream Shop can accept cash or checks.

Sponsored by EarthRising.

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Eighth UUFP Thanksgiving Day Potluck
If you are looking for somewhere to spend Thanksgiving but don’t want to spend a lot of money, please consider joining other members of the fellowship, and sometimes others, on Thanksgiving Day,November 27, at the UUFP for a traditional meal in the late afternoon.
Singles and families are welcome and have both participated in previous years. Your response is needed by November 24 so that the right size turkeys can be purchased. There will be a sign-up sheet at the fellowship for you to put the item/items you will bring or you can email them to Sandra Engelhardt with the number attending in your group to slealbers@cs.com

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2nd Sunday Lunch

Second Sunday Lunch will be at Yannas’ Taverna

12715 Warwick Blvd. on November 9th after the second service.

Contact Bobbie Schilling with any questions.  All are welcome!

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50 & BETTER

If you are over fifty you are warmly invited to join your peers for a delicious pot-luck lunch on November 18 at 12:30 in the office building of UUFP.  Please call Esther at 369-1858 so that we can reserve a place for you at the table.

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Second Saturdays in the Garden

For the month of November the second Saturday in the garden will not be held.  November we will focus on leaf gathering and the date will be determined after finding out when the leaf trucks will be around for Newport News.     Stay tuned for  a date and time. second Saturdays will resume in December, December the 13th from 830-11 am.

Thank you !  Christy Hilberg

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GODDESS GROUP

Cathy will facilitate our annual examination of Crossroads. Bring your favorite tale!
This is an open discussion circle for both men & women.
Goddesses are chosen from various world religions as a starting place for group discussion.

When: 1st Sun.of each month after the 2nd service (about noon)

Where: In the Annex Building Why: potluck, fellowship and fun.

Childcare can be provided with advance notification.
Please contact goddesscircle@uufp.org with any questions.

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Any announcements not submitted may be added to this post at a later date and/or posted via other communication venues.  

Posted in Announcements, EDITION: November 2014 | Tagged