Document 405583

Prairie Lakes
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
315 Eureka St. – P.O. Box 39 – Ripon, WI 54971-0039
[email protected] - (920)745-2446 –
November 2014
Moderator’s Message Calendar Saturday Nov 01 – Before bedtime: set your clocks BACK 1 hour! Sunday Nov 02 – did you set your clocks back 1 hour? 9:00 a.m. Book Discussion; 10:00 a.m. Service, Native American storyteller, Richard Welch of the Brothertown Indian Nation. Sunday Nov 09 -­‐ 9:00 a.m. Book Discussion; 10:00 a.m. Service with Consulting Minister Jim Jaeger; Sandwiches and beverages will be provided for the special Fellowship meeting in lieu of Second Sunday potluck Sunday Nov 16 -­‐ 9:00 a.m. Book Discussion; 10:00 a.m. Lay-­‐led service, Sarah Grosshuesch, “One Community’s Response to a Public Health Issue” Sunday Nov 23 -­‐ 10:00 a.m. Lay-­‐led service, Gratitude Service Revisited (leader needed) Sunday Nov 30 – 10:00 a.m. Service with guest minister, the Rev. Scott Prinster Monday Dec 01 -­‐ midnight, December/early January newsletter deadline (email info to [email protected]) Sunday Dec 07 -­‐ 10:00 a.m. Service with guest minister Penny Andrews on Matthew Fox Coming in November! Special Fellowship Meeting Sunday, November 9 following the service UUA Common Read Book Discussion Sessions 9:00 a.m. Sundays Nov 2, 9, 16 Becky Feyen Calling all PLUUF members & friends! th
Sunday, November 9 at 11:30 (the Packers play at night J) there will be a meeting at the Fellowship hall – lunch will be brought in at 11:00 (not a potluck) so we can get to work quickly. As I stated in the newsletter last month, many churches are facing the challenge of a changing society. Unfortunately, PLUUF has not been exempt from this situation. The good news is as a liberal religion we have so much to offer our community. We just need to determine what our community needs and responds to, while maintaining who we are and acknowledging what we can really do; as convoluted as that sounds, I do believe we can find a way to be relevant in our community. Adaptive leadership was ‘the phrase’ at Midwest Leadership School. This concept dealt with the difficulty of changing circumstances with no clear direction. I have always been fearful of what I call ‘paralysis by analysis’; I always want to just do something, anything to move forward. That is not always the best route to go, especially in an organization where people hold their beliefs and values so highly. We do have a challenge ahead of us, but how we approach it will be what brings our community together. th
Sunday, November 9 is our opportunity to begin looking at where we are and where we want to be. Getting there is the challenge that will be addressed over and over again. In 2015 we will have a representative from our region assist us with a strategic Moderator’s message continued… planning meeting. There is so much we can do together, we just need to start the conversation & that is what th
Sunday November 9 is about. th
I hope to see you all on Sunday, November 9 at 11:00 for lunch, 11:30 for our meeting. Have I said it enough – th
Sunday, November 9 ? Thank you for your support! Worship Services Committee Jill Stiemsma Well, hello again. My how time flies, huh? Time for us to look at the November schedule already. And, like other months…it’s a good one. Hopefully, you can join us regularly. November 2: Richard Welch, Native American Story Teller, will return to regale us with his stories about the Native American perspective on nature, on relationships, on ? Hopefully, some of the older kids will want to remain for the entire service. Come on time (clocks fall backwards at 2AM Sunday) – including on time for our book discussion at 9! November 9: Jim Jaeger returns for double duty: He will lead the Reflection and will facilitate our special congregational meeting after the service, with sandwiches and beverages provided in lieu of our usual Second Sunday potluck! (And come for the books discussion once again.) November 16: Our own Sarah Grosshuesch will lead this service focused on citizen empowerment (yes, it IS possible) as she presents the public health impacts of manure and manure irrigation and one local community’s response. (And – yes, book discussion at 9…) November 23: Okay, folks. It’s possible (and, then nd
again, maybe not) that Barbara Lukas will lead our 2 Annual Congregational Inventory of Gratitude (it was, after all, her idea that we should do this annually after last year’s rousing success). However, given her own community commitments, she would prefer to bow out. So, the question is this: Are you willing to bow in and lead this service??? Please contact me if you can! And the Committee thanks you. November 30: Scott Prinster will return – you better come cuz it’s gonna be a long, dry spell before he leads another service (not until March 29)! Do think about leading the November 23 service, okay? Otherwise, as always, it’s been such a pleasure to attend PLUUF services. We are truly blessed to have such interesting variety and challenging Reflections. If you haven’t been around for awhile, know that we miss you. Jill Stiemsma, [email protected], 920-­‐923-­‐2387 and all the other members of the Worship Services Committee: Elisabeth Beuthin, Jean Johnson, Nicole Roost, Becky Feyen and Chris Poortenga! Board Notes A follow up mailing will go out for pledges and other contributions, and will include a suggestion for individuals to use automatic payment through their banks’ bill pay systems. -­‐-­‐ First Congregational Church is interested in the possibility of participating with us in the OWL (Our Whole Lives) program. – Sarah Grosshuesch and Matthew Gordillo have agree to take training and become certified as OWL instructors -­‐-­‐ RAMA (Ripon Minister’s Association) is asking churches to help fund a program for hospital ER patients to get rides home when taxi service is not available. We could use 20% Project funds for this. -­‐-­‐ The Rev. Drew Kennedy, retired senior minister from First UU Church in Milwaukee, is willing to do services here. -­‐-­‐ On th
November 9 , Consulting Minister Jim Jaeger will help us get started on strategic planning, and will be contacting regional facilitators for future dates. -­‐-­‐ Jim is also being added as an “administrator” on the PLUUF Facebook page and will add information and updates. – Adult RE in November will be the UUA Common Read book discussion, Reclaiming Prophetic Witness by Paul Rasor – Next Board meeting which would usually take place on Sunday November 9 will be the strategic planning session instead. 2 In My Corner Jim Jaeger, M.Div. Consulting Minister Shortly after I attended my first Unitarian Universalist service approximately 25 years ago, I attended a “New UU” class at First Unitarian Society in Madison taught by Michael Schuler, the parish minister. One of the exercises was a quiz on the basics of Unitarian Universalism. I did fairly well, considering how new I was. However, in response to the question “What is Universalism?” I answered something about “universal” religion. Michael’s response was “good guess” but not correct and then he proceeded to explain to me that Universalism referred to the notion of “universal salvation” contrasted with the Calvinist doctrine of “pre-­‐destination.” Having grown up a Lutheran, I really wasn’t particularly familiar with Calvinist doctrines, let alone Universalism. Michael also pointed out, however, is that over the years, Universalism has evolved more towards the “universal religion” notion that I had suggested in my untutored answer to Michael’s quiz. That was brought home to me again recently when I attended a lecture by retired Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong. Spong’s topic was a “New Era in Christianity” which he illustrated by reference to the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well in the Gospel of John. In this story, Jesus comes to the Well of Jacob and asks a Samaritan woman for a drink of water. Even though Jews and Samaritans had a historic enmity, this encounter demonstrates a common humanity not tainted by religious differences. Spong argued that Christianity should not be seen as a narrow sectarian religion, superior to all others. Rather he contends that it should be seen as teaching more universal truths about how we can be more fully human. For Spong, Christianity is about how we live together in the “here and now” rather that what happens in the “sweet bye and bye.” Only if it adopts this notion of “universalism” will it survive. Spong’s outlook is similar to that of Unitarian Minister and Transcendentalist Theodore Parker. In his famous sermon “The Transient and Permanent in Christianity” delivered in the early 1800’s, Parker argued that the fundamental truths of Christianity, love of God and love of fellow humans, would be true even if Jesus was a purely fictional character. This basic requirement of love applies to all persons, regardless of their religious beliefs. I raise this issue today because of some things I have read recently. I subscribe to the American Humanist Association Facebook page. Recently, I have received a number of postings relating to attempts by more conservative Christian groups to impose their beliefs on students in the public schools. This morning for example, I saw a piece about a Buddhist child in a Louisiana public school whose teacher gave “extra credit” questions on a test promoting Christian dogma. This child would become literally ill when he went to school in the morning. When the family challenged this practice, they were told, in effect, that you don’t “have” to be Buddhist and that if you don’t like it you can leave. Only after a threatened lawsuit by the ACLU did the school back down. This incident, and many more like it, demonstrate the harm that can come from a narrow, sectarian view of religious truths. Revs. Spong and Parker suggest what I believe to be a better way, a way that honors and respects the beliefs of every individual and shows the way to a better world. This Month in Religious Education Nicole Roost Director of Religious Education This year we are using a new curriculum provided by the UUA titled Tapestry of Faith. Tapestry of Faith is a series of programs and resources for all ages that nurture Unitarian Universalist identity, spiritual growth, a transforming faith, and vital communities of justice and love. Some of you may be familiar with this series through the many programs they have on the UUA website or other group activities. We will begin November with Session 3: Our Faith is a Journey. This session invites children into a lifelong process of building a Unitarian Universalist faith. Children learn that a covenant for being together is a sign of our faith. They make a covenant together, look for signs of covenanting in congregational life, and discover additional ways UUs support one another to build a faith that will give their lives meaning and purpose. 3 Fellowship Notes Religious Education continued… In the next lesson, Session 4: Seeking Knowledge, the children discover there can be multiple answers to big questions. They learn that to seek and evaluate answers to big questions is a sign of UU faith. They experience prayer or mediation, the ritual of this session, as a way of seeking answers within and a way to articulate and feel their own appreciation, gratitude, wishes, and hopes. rd
On November 23 , as the adults share their Inventory of Gratitude, the young people will also explore what it means to truly by thankful for all the gifts in our lives. We will take some time to learn about each other and all the things we are all thankful for and to also practice articulating our thanks to one another. We will wrap up the month with Session 5: We Revere Life. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe life is sacred-­‐
-­‐-­‐not only human life, but all life that shares our planet. The ritual of child dedication is one way UUs show we revere life and celebrate its beginning. This session looks at traditions and rituals to welcome new life into families and faith communities. We will shape the activities to reflect the traditions and experiences of our congregation and families. Finally, we will also begin preparations for our upcoming OWL program for our teens!!! This month Sarah Grosshuesch and Matthew Gordillo will be traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana for training to teach the OWL (Our Whole Lives) curriculum. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to gain more knowledge and lead our young people forward into a positive and healthy future. Thank you so very much to Sarah and Matt for their time and commitment and thank you to the congregation for supporting this great endeavor!! We hope get the classes started some time in January so stay tuned!! Our Whole Lives is a sexuality education curriculum offered by the Unitarian Universalist Association to help participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-­‐appropriate information in human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Best wishes to… Dave Harris on his continued recovery from hip surgery… Bruce Mueller during his chemo/radiation treatment… Julia Salomon for a speedy recovery from her recent surgery… Dave Conover during his stay and recuperation at Evergreen following a cardiac procedure … Adult Religious Education Judy Harris November adult RE will be discussion of the 2014 UUA Common Read selection, Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square. Reclaiming Prophetic Witness will lift your spirit, while inspiring you to lift your voice and reclaim a place in the public square.” Whether or not you have a book or signed up, feel free to join our discussions on November 2, 9 and 16 at 9:00 a.m. A light breakfast will be available – food contributions welcome! When all the Fall Sources “Slunches” are complete, close to half of all PLUUF members will have attended. Thanks to Jill Stiemsma, Chris Poortenga, Laird and Linda Decramer and the Harrises for hosting! Finance Report The following is based on income and expenses through September 30: income $8,245; expenses $13,014; net ($4,769). A follow-­‐up mailing will be going out to our members/friends who have not yet made a stewardship commitment or contribution for this fiscal year, asking for support in getting PLUUF’s finances on a more positive track. Thanks to all who have been contributing so regularly this church year – although we have fallen behind, your ongoing stewardship is recognized and appreciated. To those who can step in with a financial contribution to help the Fellowship move forward – now would be a great time! 4