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This Sunday's Worship
Service 11 am

Religious Education & Family Ministries
Our Sunday School and More

Community News - May 29 - June 5, 2016

 


Sunday, May 29, 2016       Morning Worship  11 a.m.

Memorial Day Sunday

“Dear Lovely Death”

Rev. Bruce Southworth

On this Memorial Day Sunday, my focus once again is the Life of the Heart amid heartaches.  The themes are living and dying, loss and memory, and grief and gratitude, as well as honoring the tragic losses that come at time of war.  

As is our custom, we shall have a roll call of names of those members and special friends of our congregation who have died in the past year.  We hold these in our hearts and memories:

                                         Rev. Dr. Orlanda Brugnola          Laurie James

                                         Linda Ermine                               Margery Johnston

And, there are many others from other years and other circles whom we carry with us.  

See you at Community!

 

Sunday, June 5, 2016         Morning Worship 11 a.m.

“Living Into Life’s Answers” – Question Box Service

Rev. Bruce Southworth

First of all… have patience. I beg you to be patient to all the unsolved problems of your heart and to care for the questions themselves.  Do not search for answers to be given; if given, they would be of no use, for you could not live them (another’s answers).  For the present, live in the questions, and little by little and almost unconsciously you will enter the answers and live them too.   – Rainer Maria Rilke

I always enjoy the challenge and opportunity to weave together and respond to the questions I have received from so many of you.  These spiritual, ethical, existential, historical and theological queries are part of the essential dialogue of the shared journey of our spirited community. 

See you at Community!

 

June 5 – Congregational Budget Meeting – 1 p.m. – Assembly Hall

 

Sunday,  June 12, 2016     Morning Worship  11 a.m.

 

Religious Education/Family Ministry Sunday

Esther Rosado and Friends

Today we celebrate Religious Education – Assembly Hall

“Was That A Dream?”

 

12:15 p.m.  Religious Education Picnic – J. H. Holmes House – 28 E. 35th St. – All Welcome

 

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.

 

Transitions

Sun., May 29, 12:45 pm

 

Social Tea

Tues., May 31, 2:00 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Tues., May 31, 6:00 pm

 

Secular Humanist Book Club

Thrs., June 2, 7:00 pm

 

1st Saturday Feeding Program

Sat., June 4, 10:45 am

 

Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Sat., June 4, 12:30 pm

 

Studying Humanism

Mon., June 6, 6:30  pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Tues., June 7, 6:00 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Sat., June 11, 12:30 pm

 

Gallery35 Closing Reception

Sat., June 11, 6:00 pm

 

RE Celebration

Sun., June 12, 12:15 pm

 

More Opera ~ RE/FM Program

Sun., June 12, 12:30 pm

 

Worship Reflections

Sun., June 12, 12:30 pm

 

Card Circle 

Sun., June 12, 1:15 pm

 

LIFESPAN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

During the summer vacation 

the Religious Education and Family Ministries Committee provides, childcare, arts and crafts projects, stories, games and other activities for at least four Sundays between June 19-August 28. With one week's notice we can contact the Religious Education/Family Ministries Assistant, Elis Matos, and include additional weeks for childcare.  Please contact me at erosado @ccny.org or (212) 683-4988 x 23 and let me know your child/youth will be attending, or if you have any cares or concerns.

On June 12 we will celebrate Religious Education. This year’s theme the Unitarian Universalist Principles focuses on living our faith and values in the world. We will be treated to a special performance by Religious Education/Family Ministries to the challenges of respect, dignity, peace, liberty and justice. The children will bring the seven principles “to life” and demonstrate some of the challenges of practicing “respect”, “dignity”, “peace”, “liberty” and “justice” in our daily lives.

The children will be joined by Cheryl Warfield and the Classical Vocal Arts Class – More Opera. Please join us for this special day where all of us interact and take part in this multi-generational worship service.          Paz, Esther

 

COMMUNITY CALENDAR

SUNDAY–May 29

  9:30 am               Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am              Worship Service

11:00 am              Sunday School

12:15 pm              Fellowship Hour

12:45 pm              Volunteer Choir

MONDAY–May 30

Memorial Holiday

Church Building Closed    

SUNDAY–June 5

  9:30 am               Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am              Worship Service

11:00 am              Sunday School

12:15 pm              Fellowship Hour

  1:00 pm               CONGREGATIONAL QUARTERLY MTG.

MONDAY–June 6

  6:00 pm               Buildings & Grounds

WEDNESDAY–June 8

   6:30 pm              Church Council

   6:30 pm              Gallery35 Meeting

SUNDAY–June 12  

  9:30 am               Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am              Worship Service

11:00 am              Sunday School

12:15 pm              Fellowship Hour

  1:00 pm               UN & Global Affairs

 

Minister’s Corner ~ Generosity

The gifts of time and talents that so many share are crucial for our congregational life, and of course, that is not enough alone for us to fulfill our bold Mission. 

Generosity of spirit, time, talents, AND money sustains us.  Moreover, as Peter Raible notes below, “Generosity is good for our lives, both practically and spiritually.”

We know that! Giving in every way is an invaluable daily spiritual practice.

Our annual pledge drive is underway with the Fun Fund Fiesta kickoff party, and we were graced by the deep sharing of what our congregation means to the many who spoke. 

I invite you to think about how this congregation and our Vision and work toward building the Beloved Community strengthen you and the world.  I join our Board in encouraging you to fill out your pledge card (if you have not done so).

Your pledge makes a difference!  Thank you!                                             Bruce

 

A GENEROUS LIFE

 

As I grow older, I find that I want to spend time with friends who are generous. They embrace life; they are spirituality alive; they invigorate me. In contrast, people, who are selfish, withholding or centered upon the dollar, seem to close in their lives, are preoccupied with themselves, and drain me. I get discouraged when I confront per­sons who will not give to good causes, yet seem to flit here and there heedless of travel costs. I dislike the spiritual penury of those who never pick up a restaurant check (if able). I wonder at those who cannot find time to put part of their lives into service.

The job of religion is to build castles in the air; the job of the church is to put foundations under them. Religion stands for our 

dreams, our highest aspirations, our deepest ethical concerns. These aims constantly reach beyond our realities; they are the ideals that provoke us onward, which we need to keep alive despite entropy. The church strives to help us in practical ways to reinspirit these ideals, to encounter them in ways of practice and service, and to uphold them in a world where they are often denied.

 

The adventure of faith is the principle of generosity. We take our imperfect friends, our sometimes flawed families, and the oft warped institution of the church and we irradiate them with our generosity. We help heal the imperfections and transform the shortcomings by our generosity. “If you build it, he will come.” This injunction of the delightful movie, Field of Dreams, promises that if an Iowa cornfield is turned into a baseball diamond, Shoeless Jackson and other immortals of the past will come to play. The movie propounds a naive, if charming, venture of faith, yet it also carries a profound truth; namely that we build in the field of the self the ground upon which ideals of import can play. Generosity provides the field upon which it is possible (no guarantees)?to put into play caring, service, ultimacy. Moreover, if we strive for generosity with realism, we open our lives to new richness, even spiritual transformation.

 

Churches ask members to be generous, not just because vital programs are always dollar inscribed, but because generosity is good for our lives both practically and spiritually. In turn, congregants should ask churches to be generous in attitude. Churches need not hide in policies which prevent being present to human beings with realistic needs. Churches should strive to reflect the generosity (not the affluence) of their members in the decor and beauty of the build­­­ing, how they treat and compensate their employees, how they launch programs beyond present resources. It is always easy to play it safe, to be driven by fiscal state­ments, and to play cautious with the future. But such is not the call to the church. The religious summons is to faith and aspiration, to striving beyond present bound­aries, to realistic hope in the future despite all present pes­simism, discour­agement, and tragedy.

 

How do we do this? We practice generosity in our personal lives and we demand that our church, which stands for the best in us, exhibit generosity in its attitudes, practices, and hopes.

Rev. Peter Raible (1929-2004)

Sr. Minister, University Unitarian Church, Seattle, WA, 1961-1997

 

“Heaven on Earth”

Sermon Brief – Sunday, May 15, 2016

                                                “look around… Believe in what you see…

                                                We can and will be what we aspire to be…

                                                I believe that this could be heaven…. 

                                                Heaven here on earth.” – Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman’s lyrics were new to me last weekend, when they were presented as a reading by Taquiena Boston, UUA Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness ministries.  She was the spirit-filled keynote speaker for our District meeting.

“Who knew,” Taquiena said, “that Tracy Chapman was a Universalist Unitarian?”

She spoke evocatively and powerfully about Life Abundant.  And so it is: around us, awaiting us, Life Abundant for all of us, even as we are surrounded by the seductions of consumerism, materialism, tribalism, and now the blood sport of political insults, with heightened misogyny, xenophobia, racism, and narcissism.

Howard Thurman, the preacher, mystic, teacher, and mentor to Dr. King, and friend of our church, would affirm, “Everything is sustenance.” 

How so?  His grounding was powerful:   “Life is alive.”

Life Abundant awaits as we live a faith in an “unfaltering belief in peace and love and understanding”… and work toward “heaven here on earth.” (Tracy Chapman)

Across our country, those of our faith and of many traditions seek to be counter-cultural witnesses in uniting us – with basic human values that transcend politics… matters such as respecting the worth and dignity of all, and creating a more just equitable society in the face of pandering to the worst in us, to fears, and to insecurity.

That is what bridge building is about, and what we know and honor….

Seeking/Finding Life Abundant, she reminded us of basics:  we can draw upon four practices as “fortification.”

Four Practices of co-creativity: Generosity, Hospitality, Gratitude, and Solidarity.

Bringing Heaven here on Earth?  Good reminders of counter-cultural practices: Generosity, Hospitality, Gratitude, and Solidarity….                Rev. Bruce Southworth

http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/1791/51516HeavenonEarthSermon.pdf