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Community News - December 4-11 , 2016



Morning Worship                Sunday, December 4, 2016

11 a. m.                     

“Heart Meeting Heart"

Rev. Bruce Southworth

Our forebears formed the Second Congregational Unitarian Church in 1825 and dedicated our first building on December 7, 1826, just shy of 190 years ago this morning.

Much has changed over the years (members, buildings, ministers, theologies), even as core values remain an anchor. I shall be looking at some of both – change and continuity.

See you at Community! 


Annual Holiday Crafts Fair – Sunday, December 4 – 12:15 pm Assembly Hall


Morning Worship        Sunday, December 11, 2016

11 a. m.         

“Mindfulness and Mortality” 

Rev. Bruce Southworth

“Mindlessness is pervasive.”  Ellen Langer, Mindfulness – 25th Anniversary Edition

“For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story.” – Atul Gawande, Being Mortal.

This morning I turn to these two researchers and provocateurs whose work can contribute to our meaning-making.

See you at Community! 


Sunday School 

Our children and teachers begin 

in the Chapel at 11 a.m. 


Fellowship Hour – Assembly Hall – 12:15 p.m.

Please join us after worship.


Holiday Crafts Fair

Sun., Dec. 4, 12:15 pm


Classical Vocal Arts For Children

Sun., Dec. 4, 12:30 pm


Green Sanctuary Solar Energy Event

Tues., Dec. 6, 5:30 pm


Yoga with Nafisa

Tues., Dec. 6, 6:00 pm


Yoga with Nafisa

Sat., Dec. 10, 12:30 pm


Gallery35–Works on Paper

Opening Reception

Sat., Dec. 10, 6:00 pm


Classical Vocal Arts For Children

Sun., Dec. 11, 12:30 pm


Worship Reflections

Sun., Dec. 11, 12:45 pm


Young Adults Gathering

Sun., Dec. 11, 12:45 pm


Social Tea

Tues., Dec. 13, 2:00 pm


Yoga with Nafisa

Tues., Dec. 13, 6:00 pm



Fri., Dec. 16, 7:00 pm


Yoga with Nafisa

Sat., Dec. 17, 12:30 pm


Holiday Celebration

Deck the Hall

Sun., Dec. 18, 11:00 am


Holiday Party

Sun., Dec. 18, 12:30 pm



During children’s chapel, I shared my deep gratitude to all artists who bring beauty to our world. I read, Maybe something beautiful. Mira is a little girl who lives in a gray city where she shares her art with everyone – but her art is too little to transform her world.  When she meets a muralist who allows Mira to help paint one, neighbors are also united with the wave of his paintbrush. Illustrated by Rafael Lopez, the creator of the first murals in San Diego’s Urban Art Trail, warm colors splash throughout the neighborhood, and together a community creates something beautiful.

This story then inspired a child to share his father who coordinates the Hoboken public schools Storm Drain Mural Contest. The power of the paintbrush is seen in the twenty storm drains that have been colorfully painted to raise awareness of water pollution and the effects of storm drain contamination. Pablo Picasso reminds us, “All children are born artists. The challenge is remaining one as we grow older.”

            Paz, Esther



SUNDAY–December 4

9:30 am                       Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am                     Worship Service

11:00 am         Sunday School

12:15 pm         Fellowship Hour

12:45 pm                     Messiah Rehearsal

WEDNESDAY–December 7

6:00 pm                       Buildings & Grounds

6:30 pm                       Gallery35 Meeting

SATURDAY–December 10

12:45 pm                     Messiah Rehearsal

SUNDAY–December 11                      

9:30 am                       Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am                     Worship Service

11:00 am         Sunday School

12:15 pm         Fellowship Hour

12:45 pm                     Messiah Rehearsal

SATURDAY–December 17

12:45 pm                     Messiah Rehearsal

SUNDAY–December 18

9:30 am                       Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am                     Worship Service

11:00 am         Sunday School

12:15 pm         Fellowship Hour

12:45 pm                     Messiah Rehearsal


SUNDAY–December 18

Rev. Bruce Southworth

will preach.


SUNDAY–December 25 

Rev. Bruce Southworth

will preach.


Minister’s Corner ~ “Mark the Time”


 "When love is felt or fear is known; 

when holidays and holy days and such times


when anniversaries arrive by calendar or 


when seasons come – as seasons do – old and         

known, but somehow new; 

when lives are born or people die; 

when something sacred is sensed in soil or sky;

 mark the time. 

Respond with thought or prayer or smile or


Let nothing living slip between the fingers of

your mind,

for all of these are holy things we will not, 

cannot, find again.”

                                    Rev. Max A. Coots (1927-2009)

How fortunate we are to stand in a spirited faith that celebrates “the unities and universals” of Life over against all that separates and divides.

The solstice draws us back to the elemental rhythms of nature and the Earth, our mother, and to ancient faith in ongoing change and renewal.

Hanukkah honors the spirit of freedom that animated the Maccabees, and with its candles Judaism celebrates the power of human courage, will, and vision.

Christmas, also soon upon us, affirms the potential of every child who enters the world, the miracle of new life, and the blessedness within each one of us, as well as the birth of a child whose radical love continues as a life-giving challenge nearly 2000 years after his death.

Kwanzaa celebrates the vision of community, interdependence, and self-determination. It is a new manifestation, a new revelation, and a new and powerful witness to the human spirit and faithfulness to creative powers within us and around us.

In our hunger for “the dearest freshness deep down things” (G. M. Hopkins), in seeking to grow our souls, we share a goal with so many others of differing faiths, but our pursuit of the “unities and universals” (Clarence Skinner) makes us different and unique from so many of our sisters and brothers on this planet.

I love the comment of one of our long-time members.  She left the religion of her childhood to be here because the ceiling there had become too low, cramped, and stifling.

The seasonal celebrations upon us are rooted in nature, in human struggle for freedom, and in faith in our human sanctity and possibilities.

They provide different entry points into hope and courage… into the possibilities for Love, the possibilities that in Love, then God/Life/Spirit is with us. The sacred appears, not only in distant times, but also in our daily lives.                         

                                                Faithfully, Bruce


America is a dream.

The poet says it was promises.

The people say it is promises – that will come true…

            Langston Hughes


“The strong … keep coming on, 

They go down, shot, hanged, sick, broken….

Call hallelujah, call amen, call deep thanks.


The strong… [and wise] … keep coming on.”

            Carl Sandburg, “Upstream” 

            Slabs of the Sunburnt West (1922)


Despite these feelings of pain, my spirits have not been crushed. My passion for equality is still strong. My fight for my America – my peaceful, accepting, prosperous America – will never end.


We will overcome the hate, the fear, the racism, the sexism, the bigotry. One day my children will be living in an Islamophobia-free America – all of ours will.

            Jenan A. Matari, 

            a Muslim American Woman

            NY Times, 11-11-16


“The quest for truth is … our sacrament.” 

            Rev. L. Griswold Williams – 1933


“Used Books”

Sermon Brief – Sunday, October 23, 2016

… One used book on my mind cost fifty cents and came from the library at Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon.  Sam Keen in To a Dancing God reports that as a child he had delighted in his father’s artistry in carving a tiny monkey out of the seed of a peach tree.  When he asked if he might have this magical item, so unique and delightful, his father reported that the one he had just carved was for his mother… but yes, he would carve one for him in due time. A promise was made but forgotten in the years that followed.

Decades later, when his father’s health was failing from emphysema, he reports that he suddenly remembered the peach-seed monkey and found himself saying, “In all that is important you have never failed me.  With one exception you kept the promises you made to me – you never carved for me that peach-seed monkey.”

Not long after returning home, he received a small package with that long delayed gift, with a note, “Here is the monkey I promised you.”

Keen came to see that gift as a life-affirming symbol of love that shaped him and nourished him: “Fundamentally… (promises are) a symbol of the foundation of all human personality and dignity….” Of basic trust… of civility that separates us from animals – the keeping of promises, vows, contracts, covenants. We are the “animal who makes promises.” (Nietzsche)

He affirms promise-making as fundamental to his life story. As a principle, it offers him “unity, depth, density, dignity, meaning, and value – which makes graceful freedom possible.” Such personal commitments speak of the holy, the sacred in a world drifting away from ancient dualities and mythologies. Promise-making affirms individuality but also the essential need for relationship… for others….         

Rev. Bruce Southworth

Full text at http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/1791/102316UsedBooksSermon.pdf

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