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Community News - November 22-29, 2015

Morning Worship                                                                               November 22, 2015

11 a. m. Thanksgiving Sunday

“Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant”

Rev. Bruce Southworth


This morning we celebrate Thanksgiving with our annual intergenerational Cornbread Communion and the expanded choir.

My sermon explores the experiences of home along with the blessings and challenges that arise with our families (with thanks to Anne Tyler for her novel Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant).

We shall also offer the opportunity to join in the UU Service Committee’s Guest at Your Table program and be sharing homemade soup during Fellowship Hour.

See you at Community!


Program with David Strachan Discussing his Memoir 

Playing the Game – Turning My Personal Defeat into Aviation History

 12:45 p.m.                                                  Assembly Hall.


Morning Worship               November 29, 2015

11 a. m.

“Scarcity and Abundance in Our World and Ourselves”

Rev. Dr. Heidi Swarts

This morning we welcome back UU Community Minister, the Rev. Dr. Heidi Swarts as our guest preacher. She writes:

“Thanksgiving is a time of abundance, symbolized by the Thanksgiving feast. Among the winter religious holidays, Christmas especially is a time of material abundance, sometimes excess, in gift-giving and feasting.  

“What about our state of spiritual abundance? Moving from the individual to national and global levels, how do the world's nations face the current refugee crisis – from an assumption of scarcity or abundance? How should they?”


Classical Vocal Arts for Children

Sun., Nov. 22, 12:30 pm


Playing the Game: ...  Community 

Book Discussion with 

David D. Strachan & moderator

Rev. Bruce Southworth 

Sun., Nov. 22, 12:45 pm


Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Tues., Nov. 24, 6:00 pm


Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Sat., Nov. 28, 12:30 pm


Exploring Secular Buddhism

Sun., Nov. 29, 12:30 pm


Studying Humanism

Mon., Nov. 30, 6:30 pm


Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Tues., Dec. 1, 6:00 pm


Henry George School

Wed., Dec. 2 , 6:00 pm


Henry George School

Thrs., Dec. 3 , 6:00 pm


Secular Humanist Book Club

Thrs., Dec. 3, 7:00 pm


First Saturday Feeding Program

Sat., Dec. 5, 10:45 am


Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Sat., Dec. 5, 12:30 pm


Annual Holiday Crafts Fair

Sun. Dec. 6, 12:30 pm


Continuing the Journey

Sun. Dec. 6, 12:45 pm



"Gratitude makes an ordinary day beautiful." A good friend from Texas wrote me these words last week.  Simple words but so meaningful this time of year, especially when many people around the world are facing horrendous circumstances. I am so grateful for my work at Community and that warm relationships with members continue even when miles apart. Thank you. Thank you for inquiring about life in Arizona, my family, and my exchange son Omar from Yemen (who spoke at a Social Tea a while back… I'm proud to report he is working at Human Rights Watch). 

Thank you for welcoming new members and visitors.  They relay that Community is a remarkable place, intelligent and caring.  One ordinary day, two weeks ago, Ming Qiang and Shu Shi, two students from China, stopped by, seeking ideas of ways to volunteer to help others. They now help at Fellowship Hour.  Be sure to say hello when you pick up your coffee on Sunday. 

If you are new to Community and would like to learn more about getting involved or becoming a member, please be in touch with me. 

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and many beautiful ordinary days.   Valerie 



SUNDAY–November 22

9:30 am Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am              Worship Service

11:00 am              Sunday School

12:15 pm              Fellowship Hour

MONDAY–November 23

6:00 pm                 Finance Committee /

                                                Board of Trustees / Auditors

WEDNESDAY–November 25 

Church Office Closes 1 pm

THURSDAY–November 26

Thanksgiving Day 

FRIDAY–November 27 

Church Building Closed

SUNDAY–November 29

9:30 am                 Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am              Worship Service

11:00 am              Sunday School

12:15 pm              Fellowship Hour

WEDNESDAY–December 2

6:00 pm                 Board of Trustees

6:30 pm                 Gallery35 Meeting

SATURDAY–December 5

12:45 pm              Messiah Rehearsal


SUNDAY–December 6

Rev. Bruce Southworth    

will preach.


SUNDAY–December 13

Rev. Bruce Southworth    

will preach.


Minister’s Corner – Sunday, November 15, 2015 Prayer/Meditation 

This morning we gather with anguish beyond words from the terrorist killings in Paris two days ago.  

As we gather this day to celebrate Life’s gifts and to rededicate our lives to matters greater than ourselves and to deeper community, let us begin in the spirit of Prayer and Meditation:


Spirit of Life and Love, 

We come with grieving hearts, and we hold close to us all those who have died and their families and loved ones… and all those throughout Paris and France, whose safety has been shattered, whose pain touches us and wounds us – suffering so deep and challenging.

We grieve for those who would inflict such violence, whose tribalisms deny our shared humanity… for those who rejoice in their inhumanity.

We gather in this city with lasting memories of attacks in our midst, grateful for the strength and courage so constant then and now.

May we rededicate ourselves to waging peace based on compassion and respect, never giving ourselves to hate that blinds.

May we embrace love rather than hate.


May we build wider and deeper communities to combat intolerance.


May our fears be shared, and may wisdom guide our hearts.

In such moments … of heartache, sadness, fear, hate, anger … we give thanks for one another and all who work for a world of justice and compassion.  


May we in the centering moment, this day and each day, find again 

                o              the strength that sustains, 

                o              the courage beyond fear, and 

                o              the hope that lights our lives – knowing 

                                we bless this world by our deeds and by our shared commitment to all to make the world awaited by all, the                                      world attained for all.  

May we join together in silence and offer the prayers of our hearts….               Amen.

                                                Rev. Bruce Southworth



Today, I make my Sacrament of Thanksgiving.

I begin with the simple things of my days:

Fresh air to breathe,

Cool water to drink,

The taste of food,

The protection of houses and clothes,

The comforts of home.

                For these, I make an act of Thanksgiving this day!

I bring to mind all the warmth of humankind that

I have known:

My mother’s arms,

The strength of my father,

The playmates of my childhood,

The wonderful stories brought to me from the lives of many who talked of days gone by when fairies and giants and all kinds of magic held sway;

The tears I have shed, the tears I have seen;

The excitement of laughter and the twinkle in the eye with its reminder that life is good.

                For all these I make an act of Thanksgiving this day...

I linger over the meaning of my own life and the commitment to which I give the loyalty of my heart and mind:

The little purposes in which I have shared with my loves, my desires, my gifts;

The big hope that never quite deserts me, that I and my kind will study war no more, that love and tenderness and all the inner graces of Almighty affection will cover the life of the children of God as the waters cover the sea.

All these and more than mind can think and heart can feel, I make as my sacrament of

Thanksgiving to Thee, ... in humbleness of mind and simplicity of heart.

A Litany of Thanksgiving

Rev. Howard Thurman (1900-1981)


“Black Lives Matter”

Sermon Brief –Sunday, November 8, 2015

Black lives matter…. Black lives matter…. Black lives matter…. Black lives matter….

You can say it many different ways… emphasizing the words equally or separately – whatever you prefer:  Black… Lives… Matter.

What a sad commentary on society that this needs to be said, and what a potent affirmation of 

radiant courage of growing numbers that this simple message surrounds us in these times….

In an interview with Stephen Colbert, author Toni Morrison reminds us:

"There is no such thing as race. None. There is just a human race. Scientifically, anthropologically, racism is a construct – a social construct. And it has benefits. Money can be made off of it, and people who don't like themselves can feel better because of it. It can describe certain kinds of behavior that are wrong or misleading. So it has a social function, racism."

I also return to Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose memoir Between the World and Me is a best-seller.  Coates asks us to see clearly:  "Indeed, in America there is a strange and powerful belief that if you stab a black person ten times, the bleeding stops and the healing begins the moment the assailant drops the knife. We [our society] believe[s] white dominance to be a fact of the inert past, a delinquent debt that can be made to disappear if only we don’t look."

… Black Lives Matter is an emergent witness, proclamation, energizing force, and consciousness-raising movement. Netta (Johnetta) Elzie, one of the new local leaders responding to the Ferguson horrors, was profiled in the NY Times Magazine last spring for her activism and social media effectiveness. She captures the emotional power, the magnetism, and the clarity of previously silent 

community members now finding a collective voice for their frustrations with the police.

“Our demand is simple,” Netta Elzie said. “Stop killing us.”  

Rev. Bruce Southworth, Senior Minister