Birthdays (August 2014)

Many Happy Returns to our UUFP members and friends who will be celebrating their birthdays in August!  They are:

Magnolia

Gayle Phillips

Jeanie Goldberg

Asher Meyer

Nancy Emery

Tom Hagner

Kim Hummel

Selena Carlson-Hagstrom

Dan Luke

Neil Bates

Judy Remsberg

Sandy Burkes-Campbell

Shea McIntyre

Allison Black

Sophia Hagstrom

Bob Mosolf

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

Herman Melville

Herman Melville

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, poet, and writer of short stories. His contributions to the Western canon are the whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851),  In Herman Melville’s Religious Journey, Walter Donald Kring detailed his discovery of letters indicating that Melville had been a member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City.

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What was it like to be a Youth Advisor/Sponsor Coordinator at GA?

Joanne Dingus  (Director of Religious Education)

Joanne Dingus
(Director of Religious Education)

By Joanne Dingus

 

This year I got to take my love for working with youth to the national level. From June 24th-30th , I participated at General Assembly as a Youth Advisor/Sponsor Coordinator. My job was to support the youth caucus staff and to be of service to all the parents and guardians sponsoring youth. We had 316 youth registered for the youth program. After settling in and meeting with Youth Caucus staff to go over last minute details, my first responsibility was to help present an orientation session for the sponsors. With my co-workers James, Jessica, I spent an hour and a half going over safety information, ways to keep in touch, expectations on participation, emergency procedures and how to bring the experience of GA home. I think the orientation went very well because we had very few issues during the week.

As a Youth Advisor, I spent much of my time going to youth sponsored workshops and events. Some of the youth workshops included: Exploring Spiritual Practices, Your Inner Super Hero, Be The Change (this was from the same program that we are using this summer for the middle and high school group here at UUFP), Creating Connections: Youth, UU Identity and Interfaith Partnership. At this last workshop we had a visit from Ware lecturer Sister Simone Campbell.

During the evenings, I went to the worship services and then to the youth game night, the dance and WaterFire a local festival in Providence.

I especially enjoyed the youth led Synergy Service and The Service of the Living Tradition where I got to watch Rev. Andrew be recognized for receiving Final Fellowship.

Jaimie was an active participant in several programs put on by The Sanctuary Boston. She also got to do a GA talk on her experience at Summer Seminary. It was an added perk to get to watch her sing and speak at GA.

It was a wonderful week for me. I was so proud of the youth on staff. They were so responsible and thoughtful and brought their whole selves to the work of the week. It was also great to re-connect with ministers and DRE’s whom I’ve met over the years. I would definitely do this again if I have the opportunity and would certainly recommend going to GA and getting involved as a volunteer.

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RE NEWS

Joanne Dingus  (Director of Religious Education)

Joanne Dingus
(Director of Religious Education)

By Joanne Dingus

We’ve been truly enjoying our summer adventures with Raiders of the Lost Arts, Young Raiders and Be the Change. Thanks so much to Jeannine Christensen for developing the Raiders class. I’d also like to thank all the new people who stepped up to teach this summer: Angela Lucy, Milyn King, Chris and Katie Hardwick, Karla Beckman, Mike Meyers, Jaimie Dingus and returning teachers, Allison Black, Aaron Hansley, Jeannine Christensen and Selena Hagstrom.

I thought I would give you a sneak peek of things to come this fall.

At the 9:30 class, we will be using a program called Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope with stories and activities that promote peace, justice and care for the environment.

At 11:00 our youngest group will learn along with Chalice Children. They will spend the year getting to know their church and congregation.

The elementary school children will learn about UU identity with Spirit of Adventure. Through medicine, food, holidays, science, building and exploring the web of life, students will gain a better understanding of their faith. The upper middle school youth will learn along with Traditions with a Wink. They will explore the long traditions of questioning and searching in our faith and hear stories of kindness, good works and visions of hope. Our high school students will Dare to Know as they learn about the links between Humanism and Unitarian Universalism.

As in past years, the RE Committee will sponsor special events such as the Winter Festival and Fellowship Friends. We plan to host Trunk or Treat near Halloween and will send care packages to college students in February. The Youth Group for middle and high school students will continue to meet once a month. And the Got Kids? Group for younger children and their families will continue to meet each month.

If you would like to be more involved with the RE program please let me know and I can find the right place for you to volunteer. There will be a teacher training for all those interested in teaching this year on September 6th from 9-12. Fall classes will begin on September 14.

See you in the RE!

Posted in Children's Religious Education, EDITION: August 2014 | Leave a comment

Broadening Minds, Deepening Spirits, Opening Hearts

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

In early 2002 I spent a couple of weeks in India. With most of my visit in Mumbai, I stayed in a house that at one time may have been considered opulent. When I was there, though, the paint was peeling from the walls, the plaster was falling from the ceiling, and the toilet had to be flushed with a bucket. All of the water needed for cooking and cleaning — and flushing the toilet! — was stored in large plastic bins that were filled via a garden hose from an outdoor faucet only at a certain time each day. Outside the house, traffic crowded the streets. Loud and smelly three-wheeled taxis wove around equally loud and smelly trucks and buses, not to mention cows and the occasional elephant, as well as people. And there were lots of people, everywhere. Every job that could possibly be subdivided was subdivided, employing at least three men instead of just one. Women in brightly colored and somehow spotless saris worked as manual laborers, repairing roads, building walls and picking up trash. Children stood at intersections, begging.

I spent a few days of my trip in Bangalore, which involved taking a twenty-three-hour-long train ride from Mumbai. It was an education simply being on the train. In urban areas, there were the shacks that were all the home that some families had, built of whatever materials they could find, crammed in wherever there was space along the side of the railway. Further out, every available acre of land was cultivated, with plantation after plantation of palm trees growing dates or coconuts. Every so often, the train would need to stop because there were animals on the tracks. I saw countless monkeys along the way; more than a few were missing limbs, perhaps from too close an encounter with a train, but that didn’t stop them from seeing if there was any food to be had.

During my time in Bangalore, and much to the embarrassment of most of the members of the family with whom I was staying, the Miss India pageant was in full swing. As with such events in this country, the contestants were hardly representative of the general population of the sub-continent, being taller than average and with strikingly pale skin and light eyes. I remember one of the commercial breaks because there was an advert for a particular brand of soap. In that advert, a young woman was interviewed for a job she wanted, but was turned down; back at home, her parents gave her the soap being advertised, which she used on the basis that, so her parents informed her, it would whiten her skin; reapplying for the job and being interviewed again, the woman, now with supposedly more pale skin, was successful.

One of the relatives of the family hosting me was home on a break from university in Baltimore. Much to the disbelief of family members who had never traveled outside India, she described the discrimination she had experienced in the United States. Perhaps, in a country where restricted amenities and crushing poverty are so many people’s lived realities even in the midst of such natural abundance, where classism relating to skin color is so accepted that it even informs the story lines of television adverts, perhaps then it’s hard to imagine how there could be anything similar within the mythically ideal society of the United States.

It’s said that travel broadens the mind, and I’ve always found that to be true. And it’s not necessary, of course, to go half way around the world to have one’s mind broadened. It was a result of my own privilege that, at the time I wanted to go to India, I had the wherewithal to do so: working for a university where my modest “post-doc” pay was slightly more than adequate for my frugal life-style, I had the flexibility in my schedule to take such a trip as well as the money in savings to pay for it. But I have also had my mind broadened without having to travel so far away, without even having to leave the town where I was living. It’s when, in particular, we are willing “to cross the borders of race, culture and social class,” as UUA President Peter Morales puts it, whether volunteering at a food pantry run by Muslim women or participating in an interfaith Habitat for Humanity project, that we learn things about other people, about ourselves, and about the world we share with one another that not only broaden our minds, but also deepen our spirits and open our hearts as well.

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Sunday Services (July 2014)

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

theme: Crossing Borders

“Our challenge is to learn to reach beyond the confines of our personal social and cultural experience.  This is what I mean by learning to ‘cross borders’.  We particularly need to learn to cross the borders of race, culture and social class.”
— Rev. Peter Morales, UUA President (UU World, Winter 2011)

July 6th: “Is ‘Classism’ in Our Dictionary?”

Unitarian Universalism strives to be an anti-oppressive and multicultural religion, with on-going conversations about issues of race and gender.  Class, however, is rarely mentioned, and of all the “—isms” we typically consider, classism isn’t even a word in most dictionaries.  Yet the interlocking nature of oppressions requires that class be addressed if our journey toward wholeness is to be successful.

Note:  Be sure to look up “classism” in your preferred dictionary.  Is it there?

July 13th: “Religion, Reason, and the Future of Pluralism”

Is religion a singular structure, or is it a plurality?  Are religious moderates enabling extremism, or are they challenging it?  What about religious progressives?  Is difference to be suppressed as a threat to safety and security, or is it to be lifted up as a source of sympathy and beauty?  Can we reach across our differences without erasing them?  Is a human commonwealth of justice, equity and compassion in our future?

Rev. Andrew is pleased to share the pulpit with Hussam TimaniHussam S. Timani.  Dr. Timani is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Christopher Newport University.  His research interests include theologies of religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue.  Dr. Timani is co-editor of two book projects on immigration theology and interfaith liberation theology, and is a frequent speaker on Islam and inter-religious dialogue.

July 20th: “One Man’s Opinion that Transformed a Community”

Social Action is a Unitarian Universalist core principle.  Andrew W. Cooper lived that value whether he was fighting Jim Crow in the 1950s, demanding voting rights in the 1960s, or from the 1970s through 1990s requiring dignity and respect for North America’s largest black community in Brooklyn, NY.  Wayne Dawkins, who grew up there, wrote a biography of his mentor.  Brooklyn, the former place to avoid, is now a destination, and Wayne will explain why Cooper (1927-2002) made a difference.

A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, Wayne DawkinsWayne Dawkins has been a member of the UUFP since 1998.  He was a long-time member of the Community Church of New York – Unitarian Universalist.  Wayne is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Communication at Hampton University and is writing a new biography of civil rights godfather and immigration reformer, Emanuel Celler.

July 27th: “#YesAllWomen”

The predictably standard debate about gun violence and mental illness following one man’s murderous rampage near Santa Barbara in May was disrupted by a public outpouring of personal experiences thanks to Twitter.  The hashtag #YesAllWomen was tweeted over a million times within a few days, drawing attention to our culture of sexism, misogyny and violence against women, and changing how we as a society understand ourselves.

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Birthdays (July 2014)

Many Happy Returns to our UUFP members and friends who will be celebrating their birthdays in July!  They are:

Roses

Photographed by Andrew Millard

Katie Engel
Henry Chambers
Carey Hall
Robert Higinbotham
Jesse Robertson
Ada Van Tine
Betsy Hughes
Brittany Welch
Rich Glenn-Albiez
Mayah Moore
Aurora Hagstrom
John Templeton
Isabella Strom
Olivia Millard
Dawn Hutchinson
Sally Thomas
Gabrielle Bevins
Anna Carlson
Kim van der Veen
Brad Harper
Connie Ralston
Lucy Van Tine
Leonard Schneider

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

PT BarnumPhineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810-April 7, 1891), known as P. T. Barnum, a prominent Universalist, the most influential American showman of the nineteenth century, was the founder of the first financially successful museum in America to gain wide public support and creator of the modern three-ring circus.

Posted in Birthdays, EDITION: July 2014 | Tagged

Announcements (July 2014)

Goddess Circle:  Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!

Goddess Circle continues to study twin deities during the summer

Dawn will present Twin Deities of Eurasia on July 6, 2014

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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FIFTY AND BETTER

Our next potluck luncheon will be on July 15th at 12:30 in the Church Office building.
Please call Esther for a place at our friendly table; 369-1858

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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: July 2014