May Flame

Goddess Circle       Annual Membership Meeting      Sunday Morning Forum          

Games People Play        TCB    

 

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MAY BIRTHDAYS

Roy Schilling
Richard Hudgins
Valerie Gecowets
Caroline Fureymoore
Jerry Dingus, Sr.
Dennis Shaw
Cornell Burcher
Bill Cotton
Janet Gecowets
Nickie Saylor
Sandra Engelhardt
Ken Haggard

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

May Goddess Group

May 1st, 2016

Jeannine will present

Stories in Stone:  Malta

This is an open discussion circle for everyone.

 Goddesses are chosen from various world religions as a starting place for group discussion.

When: 1st Sunday after 2nd service (about 12:15 pm)  

  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.

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

peace

peace

Annual Membership Meeting!

Membership meeting

Immediately Following the second service at noon.

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

peace

peace

Game Night!  is

 

Saturday May 7th will be Game Night here at the fellowship from 6:30-8:30. All ages welcome to come participate in a fun night of getting together to strategize or to even get a bit silly, depending on the game! Bring a friend or your families to this event along with a favorite game and a snack to share.

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

 

 

fORUM

Sunday Morning Forum

5/1/16

Bob Smith

EVOLUTION OF THEISM: Trying to answer WHY! Scientific research seems to agree that our Homo Sapien ancestors, in their wonderment, developed stories/myths/ideas to understand their surroundings: plants, animals, water, weather, life, and death—In search of WHY? We will discuss how the development of agriculture and community living influenced thought of supernatural beings.
5/8/16

Bob Smith

EVOLUTION OF THEISM: Western culture—the cradle of Theism. Most early, Stone-Age and Bronze-Age, cultures developed polytheistic myths. The Canaanite’s were polytheistic but graduated to monotheism sometime after 700 BCE. WHY? We will tip-toe over much of the myth and discuss how the Abrahamic religions grew and became dominant over most of our world. For many people Theism answered their quest for WHY?
5/15/16

Bob Smith

EVOLUTION AND THEISM: Are we ready to take the big leap beyond Theism? Science in the 21st century has outdated the literal teaching of the Abrahamic religions—but with what do we replace that inner search for WHY? Progressive religious thought may help save our planet and follow the teachings of Jesus.
5/22/16

Dennis Shaw

Fascinating Fractals 1
5/29/16

Dennis Shaw

Fascinating Fractals 2

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

 

Financial Sources

The Fellowship has a variety of financial sources. But the source we count on for our planning and dreams is PLEDGES. Keeping your committment up to date is the only way your Fellowship can make its dreams come true.  Take Care of Business

keep_pledge_up_todate

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

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Who Are Our Neighbors?

For all that is our life! by Rev. Andrew Clive MillardLighting the Flaming Chalice

The concept of Beloved Community originated with the late nineteenth / early twentieth century American philosopher Josiah Royce to refer to an idealized human commonwealth.  It was Martin Luther King, Jr., though, who popularized it as the goal of the civil rights movement: a society of justice, equity and compassion that could be realized through non-violent means.  Not surprisingly, Beloved Community is the term generally used in liberal religion to replace the older concept of the Kingdom of Heaven, and that mirrors the liberalizing changes in the secular world that have given us egalitarian democracy rather than authoritarian monarchy.

One way of thinking about Beloved Community, though, is in the Biblical terms of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which the book named Luke says that Jesus told to those with him.  (You can read a version of the story, by my colleague Chris Buice, here.)  Now this parable isn’t just a story that Jesus told because he wanted to explain mercy, or because he wanted to shock his Judean listeners with the idea that someone from a nation they hated could be a good person.  Rather, so Luke says, Jesus told the story in answer to a question.

Specifically, a scholar of the Torah had asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  And this was asked in order to clarify what Jesus had just affirmed as the two most important commandments of all Jewish law for someone to follow.  Not the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai, according to the book of Exodus.  (Or even the Fifteen Commandments, according to Mel Brooks.)  And certainly not the six-hundred-and-thirteen commandments that can be extracted from the Torah as a whole.  No, the two “great” commandments were, first, to love G-d, and, second, to love your neighbor as yourself.  And so the scholar asks, “Who is my neighbor?”

When I ask this question of any group of Unitarian Universalists, I get a range of interesting answers.  (And there are no wrong answers!)  Some literally identify the people sitting nearby, or others in the room more generally.  Some name the people in the houses who live next door to them.  Some mention their neighborhoods or towns, or various social circles.  Some think about the whole world, but all of the answers are valid.  In answering the question, “Who is my neighbor?”, there’s nothing wrong with starting with a literal neighbor, or the people with whom we interact directly.  After all, that’s the basis for moving outward and bringing into our vision people with whom we might interact only indirectly, but with whom we share our society, and with whom we are supported by the living Earth.  In fact, the concept of “neighbor” ultimately transcends the human, too, to include all living beings that form the interdependent web of all existence of which we are, not the totality nor the pinnacle, but a part.

In this way, “Who is my neighbor?” is a theological question because it helps us understand what we believe and how we act, particularly in the context of a religious community.  And, thanks to the Universalist side of our heritage, it starts with the person sitting next to us and continues all the way outward until it encompasses the whole world, though I don’t think it’s even necessary to know about Universalism to come to that conclusion.

When I was in high school, for instance, the choir went to a local church to sing as part of a Sunday afternoon service.  In itself, this wasn’t anything unusual; the choir was invited fairly regularly to go to local churches to sing, and usually it was without incident beyond some low level of teenage mischief.  On this particular occasion, though, for all that it was a gorgeous old church nestled amongst the gorgeous English countryside on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, the sermon was all about hell and damnation.  The vicar went to great, expressive lengths, in fact, to tell us how only those of us who had accepted Jesus as true savior would be saved from an eternal fiery torment.  I had never heard anything like that before, and my immediate thought was, “Well, what about people who never heard of Jesus?  It hardly seems fair for them to go to hell when they never had the chance.”  I quickly came to the conclusion that, if there is a heaven, then everybody gets to go.  In other words, though I didn’t learn about Universalism until more than a decade later and on this side of the Atlantic, it was in that small English church that I became a Universalist.

We are here, then, not just to be a beloved community with a small b and a small c for the people who are here already, members as well as friends and other participating non-members.  We are here to help bring about the Beloved Community with a capital B and a capital C for everyone, because everyone is our neighbor.

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Sunday Services (May 2016)

Services for May 2016 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula

theme: Beloved Community

Rev. Andrew Clive MillardServices include sermons preached by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard unless otherwise noted.

May 1st: “We’re Better Together”

Just look around our Sanctuary on a Sunday morning and you’ll see plenty of people who share in many of the same struggles — seeking truth and meaning in life; holding fast to the good; speaking and acting with lovingkindness; celebrating difference as a gift; laboring in hope for a better world — all of them gathered here in our search for wholeness. Why does that matter?

May 8th: “Always Use Your Best China”

Tragedy can fill us with anger or fill us with fear, but it can also show us a way to Beloved Community. Are the words of the prophet really written on the subway walls? What can we learn from the close reading of such a simple phrase?

Rev. Charlie DieterichRev. Charlie Dieterich joined the Unitarian Church of Norfolk as Developmental Minister in 2015, having worked in Southern New Jersey and around the New Orleans area. With a Master of Science from MIT, he received an M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry in 2010. He is especially interested in disability issues and LGBT advocacy. We welcome Rev. Charlie to the Fellowship in his first pulpit swap with Rev. Andrew!

May 15th: “On Earth, a Heaven”

In the words of Norbert Čapek, the Unitarian minister who created the Flower Communion for his congregation in Prague, every moment and every action is “our chance to keep here on earth, a heaven.” Let’s do our part by celebrating Norbert and Maja’s ceremony, respecting the worth of every person as well as honoring the beauty that each of us brings to our shared life together.

Note: For the Flower Communion, please bring one flower (preferably with a long stem) for each person attending the service.

Special music will be provided by the fabulous ChorUUs!

May 22nd: “Assembled Here”

Imagine a world in which there’s no Unitarian Universalist Association but in which there’s still, here in Newport News, a non-denominational “Fellowship of the Peninsula”. What would that be like? What would be different? What would be our identity? How would a congregation like ours make do without the benefits and resources deriving from being part of a wider association?

We’ll also celebrate the conclusion of Christina Hockman’s internship with us.

May 29th: “What UUFP Has Taught Me”

For her final service at the Fellowship, Chris Hockman will share some of the things she has learned from the people here during the last two years serving as the our very first intern. She will also share her parting thoughts, hopes and dreams for the congregation.

Christina HockmanChristina Hockman is the UUFP’s student minister. She is a resident of Richmond, Virginia and a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond. Graduating from the Meadville Lombard Theological School this month, Chris is the ministerial search candidate of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi, TX.

 

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Upcoming Sunday Morning Forums

The Sunday Morning Forum meets in the Office Building at 9:30am each Sunday.

5/1/16: Bob Smith
EVOLUTION OF THEISM: Trying to answer WHY! Scientific research seems to agree that our Homo Sapien ancestors, in their wonderment, developed stories/myths/ideas to understand their surroundings: plants, animals, water, weather, life, and death—In search of WHY? We will discuss how the development of agriculture and community living influenced thought of supernatural beings.

5/8/16: Bob Smith
EVOLUTION OF THEISM: Western culture—the cradle of Theism. Most early, Stone-Age and Bronze-Age, cultures developed polytheistic myths. The Canaanite’s were polytheistic but graduated to monotheism sometime after 700 BCE. WHY? We will tip-toe over much of the myth and discuss how the Abrahamic religions grew and became dominant over most of our world. For many people Theism answered their quest for WHY?

5/15/16: Bob Smith
EVOLUTION AND THEISM: Are we ready to take the big leap beyond Theism? Science in the 21st century has outdated the literal teaching of the Abrahamic religions—but with what do we replace that inner search for WHY? Progressive religious thought may help save our planet and follow the teachings of Jesus.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RE NEWS

RE NEWS

The UUA General Assembly will be held June 22-26 in Columbus, Ohio. Registration prices go up on May 1st. So if any 9th-12th grade high school students would like to attend you can save $30 by signing up now. GA is an amazing week where you will meet other UU’s from all over the country. The Youth Caucus is putting in hours of time, creating special workshops, worship services and ways to take part in the business of GA. There will also be a witness event about Black Lives Matter at the courthouse where you will likely see thousands of UU’s in their yellow Standing on the Side of Love T-shirts. Let me share with you what some of this GA planning looked like.

On April 15th I flew to Columbus, Ohio to spend the weekend with 15 people for our Youth Caucus Pre-site meeting for General Assembly. On arrival, we had a little time to get settled into our hotel rooms and then we all met to go to dinner at a nice restaurant within walking distance of the convention center. After dinner the work began.

We played some get-to-know you games and went through the covenanting process. We had been given homework a few weeks before to prepare us for this weekend. So after creating a covenant of how we would be together, we went over our Leadership Inventories and Callings, including our personal mission statements.

Teams were required to create activities for the weekend. The Connections Team came up with several games that they shared with us to get a feel for whether they would work for the youth at GA. We had volunteers assigned to be process observers throughout the weekend to keep track of how the meeting was going.

On Saturday morning after breakfast the first process observers reported on the “stars and wishes” from Friday night, what things went especially well and what things they might wish to adjust, develop or delete.

We met with the General Assembly Planning Committee and the Board of Trustees to take a tour of the convention center and ask questions about this year’s GA.

We went to lunch at a very unique market place that had all kinds of food. And then it was back to work for the afternoon reviewing our SMART goals and working with our small groups on business, connections, worship, workshops. And we heard from the chaplains and the advisor/sponsor coordinators.

We created a story board to map out our week at GA, listing events, brainstorming ways to keep youth connected and safe and figuring out supplies and assigning tasks.

We played more games including one that intentionally creates conflict by switching up the rules. This was a helpful way to see how people might react under a stressful situation and how we could come together as a team.

Saturday night was ended with a lovely student led worship.

We reviewed all the items that had been put on the “bike rack,” shared more observations on process and had a closing circle on Sunday morning before heading to the airport for our return flights.

We worked hard and were all pretty exhausted by the end of the weekend but it was very good work. I’m very grateful that I was chosen to be part of this amazing group of people who are so dedicated to providing UU programs with and for youth.

You might wonder how our UUA dues work for us. The UUA provided everything to make this weekend happen.

See  you in the RE!

group photo

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Good news! We already have 20%

We already have 20% of what is needed to light the sanctuary parking lot. Now it’s time to make this a reality.

Imagine what the Fellowship will look like at night when folks drive by.

Imagine how safe we’ll feel as we head to our cars to go home at night.

Will you help? On-line is easy and bringing a check Sunday can make this come true soon.

Imagine

Posted in Community Building, Stewardship | 2 Comments

April Events

April promises to be another busy month.

THIS MACHINE

Goddess Circle

Birthdays!

Fifty and Better!

Come vote on the proposed bylaws

A great March in pictures!

April 3rd, 2016

Tris will present

Stories in Stone:  Southwestern United States

This is an open discussion circle for everyone.

 Goddesses are chosen from various world religions as a starting place for group discussion.

When: 1st Sunday after 2nd service (about 12:15 pm)

  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.

Print

Happy Birthday to all our UUFP members born in April!

If we overlooked your birthday, please contact Bobbie Schilling membership@uufp.org

APRIL BIRTHDAYS
Patricia Moseley
Lee Dralling
Daniel Drees
Josie Dougher
Barbara Morgan
Tonya Sprock
Sarah Davis
Bobbie Schilling
Jaimie Dingus
Lou Ayers
Mary Luke
Joanne Dingus
Scott Kasmire
Donna Briede
Konrad Krafft
Connie Keller
Chris Meyer
Lissa Henry
Kenny McIntyre
Amy Fife

This Machine Saturday, April 9

This Machine flyer - newport news

Fifty and Better!

Fifty-Better

Potluck luncheon Tuesday, April 19

In the office

Proposed bylaws

The big Day!

April 17. Stay after second service to vote on the new bylaws. You can read them ahead of time now.

Thanks for a great March!

March Composite March2 composit

Top

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There’s a new beast in the Fellowship!

Thanks to the hard work and numerous volunteer hours of Steve Wasilausky, we have new HVAC systems! This is stewardship at its finest!

(You can help Steve with a gift to the Capital Fund. He wants to put new lighting in the parking lot next! Just go on-line or drop a check in the basket!)

HVACNew return in sanctuary

Posted in Uncategorized

Take a bow!

thank-you-for-pledging

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No sweaters at church!

It was pretty chilly in the main room during coffee hour this winter so you kept your coats on.

SweatingDuringWorkout

 

 

But summer in Tidewater can be brutal and 70 people in there drinking coffee with no air conditioning?

 

The parking lot is so dark at night that you need night vision goggles to feel safe. (We know you’ve been there at night but we couldn’t see you.)

black square

Artist’s rendition of the parking lot at night

We have to replace the HVAC systems and make our public area safe but we’ll completely deplete our capital fund trying!

Please help! Make a gift today to make sure the funds are there. Click now to do it online or bring your check to church (clearly marked in the memo) and lets take care of our health and safety.

Seriously, who wants to drink sweaty coffee in the dark?

Posted in Planning for the future, Stewardship | Tagged