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acmillard on Growing the Beloved Community,… Sarah Davis on HRBOR (Hampton Roads Business… bradharper1951 on Lay Pastoral Care Associate In… Rosalee Pfister on The Art of Writing a Lett… acmillard on RE NEWS for June 2014
Submitted by Parker Stokes
At home of Parker Stokes, attending: Roy Schilling and Judy Remsberg
The request of the Board to consider more socially responsible investing by moving the Fellowship’s Endowment funds from the Fidelity Balanced Fund into the UUA Common Endowment Fund was discussed in detail. The investment objectives of the two funds were compared. They are both 60% stock /40% Bond funds. Both invest in oil, gas and energy as well as a diversity of large US and International corporations. The Fidelity fund has 1.7% invested in tobacco related companies. This was felt to be a negative but did not outweigh the advantages of Fidelity’s better return and lower expenses which will allow the Fellowship to have more money available to promote socially responsible UU values in our own community. We also looked at Green Century Balanced Fund but found the definition of green and socially responsible investing to be trendy and arbitrary and the extra expenses and less robust return to not meet our investment expectations. The Trustees do support Socially Responsible actions and investing and encourage every one to follow their heart in this matter. The Trustees voted unanimously to keep the Fellowship’s Endowment money invested in the Fidelity Balanced Fund and will continue to annually evaluate and balance our options regarding social and fiduciary responsibility.
The Trustees have previously met and agreed to release up to $500 in the Fellowship’s current fiscal year to help promote Unitarian values. We have received four proposals and judged them as follows:
Upgrading dangerous or broken playground equipment will be the primary focus for up to $350 of this year’s funds. Trustee, Judy Remsberg will coordinate with The RE Committee and Rayven Holmes to define the scope of the work needed and those who will be able to plan and participate in it.
Welcoming and supporting our first seminary intern with $150 towards travel funds will be our secondary focus. This will be coordinated by Trustee, Roy Schilling. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship over the next two years.
Worthy proposals for repair of the organ and a singing work shop were also considered but could not be supported with funds.
Respectfully submitted, Parker Stokes , Secretary
I wanted to extend a very special invitation from Wat Pasantidhamma, the Buddhist Temple in Carrollton, to attend their Festival (Sart Thai Ceremony) and Thai market.
I apologize for the extremely short notice, but I wanted to pass along the invitation to anyone who would be interested in attending. If you plan to attend please let me know so I can look for you! If you are unable to attend this event, the monks have invited us to visit and learn more about Buddhism, Thai culture and beauty of the Forest Temple.
The Sunday Morning Forum has been discussing Buddhism this month and after being invited I wanted to extend this very special invitation.
WHEN: 10:30am Sunday, September 21, 2014
Wat Pasantidhamma translated: Forest Temple Peace Dhamma
Sart Thai day falls in the middle of the traditional Thai year. It occurs on the fifteenth day of the waning moon of the tenth lunar month (sometime during September).
The word Sart, derived from the Pali language, means season and in particular autumn or fall. Sart Thai day is also referred to as Memorial Day. This is not Memorial Day as Americans might assume. In Thailand, Sart Thai is a time to remember dead relatives with prayers, Buddhist rituals, and merit making on their behalf.
In addition, September crops (including rice) in Thailand are beginning to ripen. As such it marks the start of the harvest (not the end). From a traditional point of view people believed that the first harvest of crops should be offered to the spirits. This was thought to ensure that the harvest would be bountiful and they would avoid starvation.
One of they traditions is the preparation of a sweet dessert called “Krayasart” or “food for the Sart rite”. This dessert consists of rice, beans, peanuts, coconut, sesame, and sugar. Lay people would bring “Krayasart” to the Temple to offer to the monks. After the offering, water was poured in dedication to dead ancestors in order to earn merit for them. People believed that the offering of “Krayasart” would mean that their ancestors would have food to eat and that the person would be blessed.
Excerpt from website:
THE WAY TO PEACE
The Wat Pasantidhamma was founded in April 1998. This took the persistence of many hardworking and dedicated people from all walks of life. This undertaking was a true challenge and a well worth while endeavor. Many benefits and fund raisers where established to accomplish this difficult task. One of the most challenging, to locate a piece of land and a suitable dwelling to be able to accompany the monks and their mission. To serve and communicate the teachings of Buddha. With many prayers a peaceful and beautiful setting of 6.75 acres was purchased in Carrollton,Va. With the hard work of many friends and followers the land was transformed into a place of scenic and serene beauty. The forest located behind the temple is ideal for meditation and prayer.
There are special occasions and events scheduled every month. This includes the offering of food to the forest monks every two weeks followed by prayer ,fellowship and Meditation. The WAT has 2014 calendars available which denotes this and other special events/occasions.
Traditional Thai holidays and special occasions that are celebrated in the country of Thailand are also observed here at the temple ie. H.R.M. the King’s birthday and many other religious ceremonies. Those celebrations are conducted in according to the Thai traditions and are very educational and beautiful for all to observe.
Everyone is welcome to join us in the very beautiful, peaceful surroundings at the WAT. The fellowship of the Thai community, and the culture can only be appreciated by experience. Meditation is conducted every evening at 6:30, but the door is always open.
We all hope you will take the opportunity to come and join us.
This year’s Retreat — the Fellowship’s thirteenth! — at Pocahontas State Park is getting set to be a great few days of food, fellowship and fun!
We’ll arrive any time after 3pm on Friday, September 26, making our way to the Algonquian Ecology Camp area where we’ll choose our cabins. There’ll be dinner in the Powhatan Dining Hall lodge, followed by a Nature-themed worship and then time around the campfire.
We’ll get off to a great start on Saturday with a delicious breakfast. In the morning there’ll be a visioning workshop, a Nature walk, and kayaking, while after lunch there’ll be a number of workshops including cupcake decorating, prayer beads, a book discussion, an outdoor labyrinth, yoga, T-shirt printing, and an introduction to geocaching! There’s always the park itself to be explored at any time, too! Before dinner we’ll enjoy Dances of Universal Peace, and the evening will continue with another great worship, time for making music and telling stories, and more s’mores around the fire!
After another nourishing breakfast Sunday morning, we’ll tidy up the lodge, pack up our cabins, and head back home after a wonderful weekend!
Haven’t signed up yet? Well, don’t wait another minute! You can register right now by going to: http://bit.ly/UUFP13R
submitted by Rayven Holmes
Yellows and reds speckle the trees, the air is crisp, and the smell of fresh baked goods warms your heart. Autumn is on its way with its sea of colors and abundance of delicacies, too. In addition to pumpkin flavored goodies, autumn also means collecting the bounty we have so diligently toiled over during the summer months. It has been customary throughout human history to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest, regardless of size. On Saturday September 20th, from 10am-2pm, we’ll be giving thanks, sharing knowledge, and having some fun at UUFP. Using Interfaith Power and Light’s Sow a Cool Harvest as our guide the Green Sanctuary Committee has planned a fantastic afternoon and we hope you’ll attend. So what is in store for the September 20th Harvest Celebration?
- Seed Saving: Information, a seed saving demonstration, and the opportunity to collect your own seeds from the plants that were organically grown right on the UUFP grounds.
- Winterized Garden Cover: An example of an easy DIY garden cover that will project your crops and allow you to keep growing your own food through the winter.
- Food Preservation: After laboring all summer you don’t want any bit of your harvest to go to waste. We’ll have information on canning, an example of the finished product, and tools of the trade.
- Nature Conservancy: Nancy Beach from the Nature Conservancy, one of the recipients of our share the basket program, will be at the celebration to talk about the role agriculture plays in conservation. As well as, answer any questions you may have about the Nature Conservancy and their mission. This is a great opportunity to come out and learn about what our gifts are supporting the Nature Conservancy.
- Children’s Craft: Our very own Navigators USA Chapter 58 will be working with the children to build reusable grocery bags out of old t-shirts.
- If you have any old t-shirts currently cluttering your dresser drawers, please let them go, and bring them this Sunday to the RE room so the children can transform them into useful grocery bags.
- Mabon Ritual: Gratitude for the bounty the earth provides is often a spiritual practice. Members of UUFP’s EarthRising will lead a gratitude ritual for those interested in attending.
- Nourish: Showing of the 30 minute DVD that “reveals the many ways that food connects to our environment, our health, and our communities”.
- Potluck and Organic Homebrew Beer Raffle: After Nourish we will nourish ourselves with a potluck and raffle off two, possibly three, 6 packs of organic home brewed beer!
- All adults 21 and older that attend the showing of Nourish will be given a raffle ticket, if they would like one, when they enter the sanctuary for the movie.
- If you’ll be attending the potluck please sign up here: http://www.luckypotluck.com/potluck/UUFPHarvestCelebration
Please join us September 20th, from 10am to 2pm, for Food, Fun, Knowledge, and Fellowship!
An opportunity for learning and discussion on a variety of thought provoking topics.
Every Sunday morning at 9:30
Schedule for September 2014
Sept. 7—-THE ORIGINS of JAPANESE BUDDHISM—Ray McAdaragh
Buddhism was brought to Japan from Korea in 522 CE. Buddhism as practiced in Japan has been shaped by Japanese cultural practices and values… it developed differently from Buddhism elsewhere in Asia.
Sept. 14—-HONEN, SHINRAN AND NICHIRAN——–Ray McAdaragh
Three great monks developed schools for Buddhist teachings in the 7th through the 9th century. These teachings have been passed down and are the bases for Buddhist teaching today. They are rooted in the idea of devotion and homage to celestial Buddha’s.
Sept. 21—-ZEN BUDDHISM———————————Ray McAdaragh
Zen is probably the most widely known form of Buddhism today. Zen practices meditation as a means of enlightenment. It is rooted in Chinese Ch’an, which is a rejection of paying homage or devotion to celestial beings by returning to strict meditation for enlightenment. Our facilitator will teach us some of the secrets of this practice.
Facilitator: Ray McAdaragh was a certified meditation instructor for three years while writing and publishing a book on meditation. Ray has studied Zen for many years and practices Zen meditation. He also practices Japanese Budo Martial Arts having studied with an instructor who is a direct descendent of the Samurai.
Sept. 28—THE ANCIENT WISDOM of KABBALAH——Susan Schneider
Kabbalah reveals how the universe and life work. Kabbalah is an ancient Jewish paradigm for learning life-principles that applies to all peoples. Kabbalah can help one connect with the universal energy and maintain that connection for life-long fulfillment. Come learn about this mystical wisdom.
Facilitator: Susan Schneider has studied the art of Kabbalah for over 20 years. She currently studies and teaches at the Washington D.C. Kabbalah Center.