Services for July 2013 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula
July 7th: “Harry Potter and the Standardized Test”
When the Ministry of Magic starts to interfere at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the students themselves fight back! Thus J. K. Rowling offers her social commentary on the politicizing of education, as manifested in the United States by the emphasis on standardized testing and such programs as “No Child Left Behind”. The contrast with the ways that Unitarian Universalists do children’s religious exploration could not be greater!
July 14th: “Harry Potter and the Magic of Spiritual Living”
The fictional, magical world of Harry Potter is appealing because some part of us knows there is more to life than what we see, touch and generally think of as “real”. The challenge, the call, what we mundane folk often seek, is how to bring the magical world of Spirit into our daily, mundane lives. It comes down to perspective: we can learn to see how our belief, our faith, shapes our reality, which can indeed be magical…
Dr. Linda Carol Adrienne, Director of Perspectives Holistic Wellness, is an Ordained Minister in the interfaith Church of Wisdom and is Founder and Pastor of the First Friday Healing Sanctuary, a free community healing service held in Virginia Beach. She is a retired Commonwealth of Virginia Forensic Scientist, an avid reader of science fiction and magical fantasy, an occasional comedic actress for the Tidewater Mensa Pungo Players and “Grammy” to five.
July 21st: “Harry Potter and the Power of Magical Thinking”
The wizards and witches of Harry Potter’s world thrill audiences by offering up a fantasy of power wielded by means of magic. However in cultures all around the world and since the beginning of time, peoples have believed that magic is not an element of fiction but rather an essential part of reality. So what is magic, really? In this service we will talk about how magic can be seen as a rational, utilitarian way of interacting with the world, a way of thinking so ubiquitous that it seems magic is an actually an intrinsic part of being human.
Dr. Matthew Thompson was born and raised in Austin, Texas, but has been in the southeast (Florida, North Carolina and Virginia) since 1995. He is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Old Dominion University. Matt married his high school sweetheart, Jessica, and this year they celebrated their lucky thirteenth anniversary. They have three daughters: Gracie, Mari, and Charlotte.
July 28th: “Harry Potter and the Problem of Evil”
J. K. Rowling’s novels represent “evil” characters in a wide variety of ways, moving from the clear but simplistic “good versus bad” distinction of the first book to the more nuanced and realistic treatment of the last. As part of our on-going program of reclaiming religious vocabulary so that we may use it authentically, let’s talk about the ways that evil might be understood within Unitarian Universalist theology.