Policy Board Message: Food & Drink in Sactuary

A message from the Policy Board.

Dear fellow UU’s.  At last night’s policy board meeting the Sunday Services Committee requested that we not have food and drink in the Sanctuary during services.  This request was approved by the Policy Board.

In that light, this Sunday and every Sunday, please refrain from having food or drink (exception water in a capped container) in the Sanctuary from the beginning of the pre-service music until the end of the service.

Best Regards

Alan Sheeler

President of the Policy Board

 

No Food

 

 

Posted in Announcements, EDITION: January 2015, GROUPS, Policy Board | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Last two Coming of Age Statements

coa asher

Asher Meyer

Hello everyone, my name is Asher. Now I have been asked to write a speech about faith and what I believe in along with my three great friends who took the coming of age program with me including my mentor Aaron. I searched what the definition of faith was and what stood out to me the most was something that you believe in without proof. Now that’s obviously not the end of my speech, but ironically I like proof and that’s most of what I believe in.

Over the months of our coming of age program, we have discussed many things that have given us the chance to ponder on what we believe in. We’ve had long discussions, watched movies, and we even got to go to another UU service. And everything we have done has made me closer to finding my faith, but I am still not set in stone for anything. I have a consistency in science and only trust things that have answers, but at the same time I know that there is something bigger than us that is the reason for so many unexplainable things. I just don’t know what it is.

Now while I still wonder about these things I’m honestly not too worried about them. I’d rather live my life doing things and not thinking about what to believe in because my opinions and personality are always changing and could be completely different a year from now, but the reasons I still go back and forth on these opinions is because they are changing every experience I have. When I listen to music or perform in front of an audience I feel some sort of a connection that is the reason why I feel like there is higher power in us or connecting us which makes us have the power to do amazing things and inspire others, but at the same time I don’t think we were created by some big thing or person. The question of what you believe in is still one of the hardest questions for me to answer of all times which is why I think It’s the best of them all. Thank you.

Arik Rhone-Christensen

This is Arik: My faith in the world is that the god/goddess isn’t a whole entire  organism that made us just cause, but that it is the collected conscious of everyone tied together into one being that everyone views differently. It doesn’t mean that I can’t ask it for help at times though. I don’t believe that there is heaven or a hell, but I do believe in rebirth. I became UU because my mom was bringing to this new  church, I of course  did not argue because there  were snacks, but I have come to love the community and all of the many friends I have made here. But what really matter to me is how everyone in my life is doing and how everyone in my community.

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New Member Recognition Biographies

Amy Hedges returned to the Hampton Roads area this summer with her two boys Robert and Dylan after more than a decade away. Amy grew up an Army brat, went to Southern California for college, Eastern Virginia for medical school and then was a General Medical Officer in the Navy before ending up in Pennsylvania for Pediatrics. She is now working with her medical school mentor in Newport News. She spends most of her time chasing after and chauffeuring Robert and Dylan. When she gets a break she enjoys TV, reading and has a Candy Crush addiction.

Scott Kasmire first came to Unitarian Universalism in the mid-1990’s from a Roman Catholic and New Age background. He later officially joined a UU congregation in Florida just in order to have some religious affiliation embossed on his US Navy dog-tags. Since then his UU experiences have been mostly through the Church of the Larger Fellowship while he lived and worked in Japan, China, and Thailand. He has interests in Neo-Kantian philosophy, LGBTQ issues, cosmology, and science fiction. He has been a school teacher, a cryogenics technician, and a movie theater manager. He now lives in Norge, Virginia.

Megan Zunk-Wasilausky was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and lived and worked in France after graduating before marrying her college sweetheart Steve. Being “married to the army” for 15 years has made for plenty of adventures. She has lived in South Korea, Germany, Canada, and a handful of states. She has been a stay at home mom for nearly ten years with her daughters, Sophia and Caroline. She was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville, TN for four years before moving to Yorktown. Megan enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, and taking naps with her two cats.

Steve Wasilausky was born in Hawaii, and raised in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Ohio. After enlisting in the Army, he spent 2 years in Korea and 5 months in Haiti as part of a UN mission. After a total of 6 years, he enrolled at Ohio University, where he met his wife, Megan. They were married shortly after he graduated and reentered the Army. They have since lived in Texas, Korea, Kentucky, Heidelberg and Friedberg Germany, California, Toronto Canada, Tennessee and have now settled into the Hampton Roads area. Steve is retiring from the Army in one year and is considering pursuing a Masters of Public Administration from ODU. He enjoys spending time with the lights of his life, his daughters Sophia and Caroline, and working on his sailboat (not sailing it yet) and has been called a beer snob.

Nancy Sessoms was born and raised in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and attended a Catholic school through sixth grade. Upon graduating from high school she began her career in Procurement with the Federal Government by working at the VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Madison. She transferred to the VAMC in Hampton in 1980 where she met her husband, Don. After a few years, she was hired by NASA and retired last summer. Nancy graduated from CNU. She and Don have one married daughter, Jamie. She is in her fifth year volunteering as a financial screener at the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic. Nancy and her husband enjoy working in their yard and travelling. Nancy is a yoga instructor for Gloucester County and at a gym. She loves teaching yoga and pursuing her personal practice. She and her husband currently reside in Gloucester with the prettiest pug you ever did see and their very smart mauser.

Oct 2014 new members

Oct 2014 new members

Posted in 2015, EDITION: January 2015, New Members, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What the heck is a “Pop-up Café?

Submitted by Judy Remsberg

What the heck is a “Pop-up Café?

C.MaeC.Mae Jones, Virginia Beach chef and owner of Cruelty Free Kitchen, a “pop-up” vegan café serving the entire Hampton Roads region of Virginia is coming.

And she’s popping up at the UU Fellowship on Sunday, December 21 from 6-9PM. By then we’ll be exhausted from shopping and decorating and in need of a healthy dinner. Astound your meat-eating friends and family with a completely delicious dinner.

Sponsored by our Green Sanctuary group, this promises to be a meal extraordinaire. (She’ll even fix it gluten-free, if asked!) The meals are always entirely donation-based, and any contributions that are in excess of the cost of event will be re-donated to Hope For Life adoption center and animal rescue in Virginia Beach, VA.

Remember:

  • A scrumptious menu
  • Donation-based (Suggested donation $15)
  • Dinner will be served from 6-9, so come when you’re ready.
  • Nobody leaves hungry!
  • The menu and the proceeds save animals!

Cruelty_free_logohttp://www.crueltyfreekitchen.com/

Posted in EDITION: December 2014, EVENTS, Special Event | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lighting the Windows of Our Lives

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

My favorite part of any Christmas Eve service — and, I suspect, the favorite part for most Unitarian Universalist ministers — is the ceremony of passing the flame. With a single candle lit from the chalice, the flame is silently passed along the rows, and from each row to the one behind. Standing at the pulpit, I can see the tongues of fire multiplying as they spread, until soft light shines in every face and the whole Sanctuary is aglow. Then, each of us holding our candles, we sing “Silent Night”, adding another dimension to the warmth and beauty that fills the room.

Christmas Eve

photograph by Rosalee Pfister

There are many ways to understand the symbolism of this ceremony. The individual flame can represent hope or love or wisdom or kindness, something that we all have, something that we all need. And the passing of the flame, the way that it spreads out, represents how hope and love and wisdom and kindness can be shared and multiplied through the simple act of human connection. It is a sign of possibility, and seeing that it is possible encourages us to embrace a greater vision, to imagine the flame taken out into the world and shared with everyone.

Another way to understand it is to consider the individual flame as a sign of the individual spirit. There’s something about seeing all of those individual flames, the only sources of light in the darkened room. Each one by itself, of course, isn’t particularly bright, but put dozens of them together and they seem to fill our humble Sanctuary with an illumination that offers warmth and love.

I sometimes imagine that view on a Sunday morning. I imagine us at night rather than during the day, and in place of daylight or electric lights, I imagine all those candle flames held in front of each person there. I imagine them when the lay leader says the familiar words, “All those of good will are welcome to join with us in our individual and collective search for truth and meaning, in a community where we commit ourselves daily to honoring the inherent worth and dignity of each person.” I imagine a few more individual flames coming into the room and finding a place where they can be sheltered from the elements. I imagine a flame here or there wavering or perhaps even going out, but being quickly relit by another flame nearby. It’s no surprise that, when the lay leader lights the chalice, I frequently speak of the special power that comes from bringing our individual flames together.

What I’m wondering right now, as we head into what is supposed to be a happy holiday season when there are so many reasons to be unhappy with the state of the world, is how we can take that special power and carry it out beyond our walls and apply it in those places that need it. We do this already, of course, when we volunteer for the Weekend Meal Ministry at St. Paul’s or when we run one night of the PORT Winter Shelter or when we stand on our corner for Transgender Day of Rememberance. But I can’t help but feel that we have the potential to do more, to apply our power not only to serve the immediate needs of the hungry and the homeless but also to address the core reasons of poverty itself, not only to bear witness to the suffering and violence done to those our society deems less worthy because of their gender or race but also to do what we can to dismantle systemic oppression.

This Christmas Eve, when we pass the flame to one another, when we allow that warm, wonderful glow of candle-light to fall upon us, when we join voices in gentle song, I hope that you, too, will be thinking about how we can take that collective beauty and apply it in the wider world. As it shines out through the windows of our Sanctuary, may it shine forth from the windows of our lives, in the good work we do as individuals but also in the differences we can make as a congregation. With open hearts and arms spread wide, in this season of mystery and miracle, of comforting darkness and cheering light, may we find the hope and the joy, the peace and the love that we need in our own lives and that our world needs from our shared life together.

Posted in For all that is our life! | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sunday and Special Services (December 2014)

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

theme: Good News

December 7th: “Another Tale of Two Ministers”

Both Virginia and New England claim to have seen the first Thanksgiving — and they both claim credit for the first Christmas tree, too!  Here, there was Charles Minnigerode, who taught at William and Mary before he became an Episcopal priest.  In Massachusetts, there was Charles Follen, who taught at Harvard before he became a Unitarian minister.  Both came from Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany and, within ten years of each other, both had decorated trees as a Christmas tradition from their native homeland.  But who did it first?

December 14th: “Tending Our Fires”

In a town not so very far from here and not so very long ago, it was bitterly cold.  It was cold in the Winter, and it was even cold in the Summer.  When people went outside, they wrapped themselves in large coats, with such heavy hoods that it was hard to see who was inside.  Otherwise they stayed home, huddling close to their own fires, and worrying only about keeping themselves warm.  But one day, a stranger arrived.  She walked into town… and waited.

The first (9:30am) service will follow our traditional format with a sermon; the second (11am) service will include a multigenerational drama along with most other service elements.  Both services will feature special music by Barbara and Darla!

December 21st: “Experiential Winter Solstice Celebration”

EarthRising, the Fellowship’s more than quarter century old Earth-centered, Nature-oriented, Pantheist/Neopagan organization, will create an interactive Winter Solstice Celebration on Solstice Sunday, the day when time is poised between the dark and the light, as the old year withers away and the new year begins to brighten.  In this space between the dark and the light, we will take time to pause and reflect on our own transitions between the dark and the light, our past and our future, the cold and the warmth, what to let go of and what to grow towards.

Special Services for Christmas Eve!
5pm on December 24th: “Would You Like to Hold the Baby?”
7pm on December 24th: “Why Not a Star?”

We hold two services on Christmas Eve!  The earlier is a family service featuring a retelling of the Nativity story and the later is an evening service of readings and reflections.  Both services feature new and traditional Christmas carols and will conclude with the beloved ceremony of passing the flame.

Special music will be provided by the Fellowship’s fabulous musicians!

December 28th: “We’re All in This Together”

Kwanzaa is a pan-African holiday celebrated by millions across the globe.  It celebrates the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles, which offer a way to promote human flourishing as tied to the health of the whole Earth.  On this third day of Kwanzaa, let’s reflect on the third principle, Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), and consider how we might understand one another’s problems as our problems and work to solve them together.

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Coming of Age Faith Statement

COA Ezra

Ezra Moore

I want to tell you about my experiences; my beliefs; my religion. My earliest memory of being in church was when I was 4 and I walked through the front door holding my mom’s hand and went through those double doors into the sanctuary.  And I’ve changed a lot since then- I’ve learned what I believe in through all the stories on the carpet in children’s focus, I’ve learned to argue my opinions respectfully, and the church classes gave me a chance to voice my opinions and beliefs without being ridiculed.

I believe in reincarnation. I believe in science and science tells us, “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can change form.”  That’s reincarnation; Not human form to human form, but from one kind of energy to another kind of energy.  I like the idea of heaven, a restful place where peace comes. But I think it’s most likely the last few minutes or seconds of life where time takes much, much longer and it seems like a small infinity where we’re completely calm and understand peace.  Those last few seconds are our heaven here on earth where we reach total bliss and our mind slowly dies.

My religion is: we live, we feel, we reproduce (optional), & then we die. When people ask what I am, I tell them I am Unitarian Universalist. Then when the question comes, “What is that?” I say, “We believe in everyone. We are open to new ideas.”  I’m happy to tell people we do Daring and Dangerous here! Some of my best memories are from camps and retreats.  I also like my group of friends from church. It’s not like they’re my “church” friends, they’re just my friends.

We recently took a trip to DC with everyone from the Coming of Age program, and we explored the city together and had new experiences. We learned hands-on what the world is like and our chaperones trusted us to be adults and act like adults during transitions on the subways and getting around the city in the museums.  And so we became adults on the trip.  We are becoming.  Becoming many things. Becoming engineers and artists and  our dreams that are ahead of us. I’m happy to be apart of church where being yourself is the best way to be.

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