Services for August 2014 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula
theme: “Lost” Arts
August 3rd: “The Art of Being Present”
The covenant enacted by members of the Fellowship includes caring for one another in times of need and letting others care for us, too. We know that we can do this by sending a thoughtful card or by bringing someone a meal or by helping them get somewhere. But how can “pastoral presence” as a form of lay ministry help our Fellowship to grow as a caring community?
Special music will be offered by Tret Fure!
August 10th: “The Art of Saying ‘No’”
The great Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” But when many of us find it all too tempting to raise our hands when asked to help, to give, or to take on responsibility in the face of obvious needs and important causes, how do we respond?
August 17th: “The Art of Doing Nothing”
Our nation is renowned for its strong economy, and American people take pride in their strong work ethic. But why do Americans work so hard? We usually think of our economic behaviors as rational and secular; religion and the sacred seem to rise above it all. But how might our perceptions of earning and spending change if we thought of these behaviors as sacred, too? In fact, Protestant Christianity has had a profound impact on shaping the American economy, whether or not we realize it. By drawing on Zen and Taoist verses on non-action, and with a nod to the American counter-culture, we’ll offer an irreverent ode to laziness in the closing days of the Summer that will challenge Protestant values often left unconsidered.
Matthew Thompson earned his doctorate in anthropology at the University of North Carolina. He is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University and a student in the School of Information Science at the University of Tennessee. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, his family has resided in Newport News since 2007. Matt’s interests include smoking barbeque, drinking cold beverages, and listening to music — preferably all three at the same time. This is his second time preaching at the Fellowship.
August 24th: “The Art of Letting Go”
It can be tempting to hang on even when we know that hanging on isn’t doing us any good. Whether it’s people who are not positive influences in our lives, or possessions that are little more than clutter, or emotions such as resentment or remorse, it can be hard to let go, even though we know it would be better for us. But there’s more to it than a certain popular song!
August 31st: “The Art of Failing”
We are taught from an early age that it’s important to succeed. But when success is the only thing that matters, we find crazy-making problems such as high-stakes testing based on dumbed down curricula. And if we only experience success (or what we are told is success), how do we learn about our limitations, recognize our shortcomings, and otherwise grow as whole persons?
Special music will be offered by the UUFP’s ChorUUs!