We Believe
About Us
About Us
Grow Your Soul
Do Justice
Community
Religious Education
History
For Members
Grow Your Soul

This Sunday's Worship
Service 11 am

Religious Education & Family Ministries
Our Sunday School and More

Community News -November 23-30 , 2014

 

Morning Worship                                                                             November 23, 2014

11 a. m    

“Intergenerational Thanksgiving Celebration”

Esther Rosado, Rev. Bruce Southworth, & Jerry Brown

with our Children, Teachers, Family Singers, Volunteer Choir, and

Cornbread Communion

Join our children, teachers, Family Singers and Volunteer Choir. We celebrate 

with our traditional Cornbread Communion. "Guest at Your Table" envelopes from the 

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee will be distributed. 

See you at Community!

 

Morning Worship             November 30 , 2014

11 a. m.

“The Courage of James Baldwin”

Rev. Dr. Orlanda Brugnola, Affiliate Minister

On this anniversary of the brilliant author’s death in 1987, we will revisit some of his words, and most importantly, his grappling with issues of his day – some still issues for this day. His words sent me to seminary and inform my ministry.  His words challenge us to prepare for the new year, only 31 days away.

Sunday School 

On the 30th our children and teachers begin in the Chapel at 11 a.m., and then will go to their classes.

Fellowship Hour 

Assembly Hall – 12:15 pm

If you are visiting with us this morning,

please join us after worship.

 

Greek Class has been Cancelled

 

Getting Acquainted

Sun., Nov. 23, 12:45 pm

 

Anti Racism/Film

Sun., Nov. 23, 1:00 pm

 

Studying Humanism 

Mon., Nov. 24, 7:00 pm

 

Social Tea

Tues., Nov. 25, 2:00 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Tues., Nov. 25, 6:00 pm

 

Gallery35 – Ellen Mandelbaum Showcase 

Sat., Nov. 29, 6 pm

 

Gallery35 – Ellen Mandelbaum Retrospective – Open House

Tues., Dec. 2, 2 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Tues., Dec. 2, 6:00 pm

 

Secular Humanist Book Club

Thrs., Dec. 4, 7:00 pm

 

Anti Racism Team

Fri., Dec. 5, 6:00 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa Degani

Sat., Dec. 6, 12:30 pm

 

Arabic Class

Sat., Dec. 6, 10:00 am

 

LIFESPAN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

It is during this time of the year, the season if gratitude, that I am reminded of a story told by Thich Nhat Hanh about the toothache that gave him enlightenment, and that I quietly laugh to myself. “When We have a toothache,” he reminds us, “we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy. A non-toothache is very pleasant. There are so many things that are enjoyable, but when we don’t practice mindfulness, we don’t appreciate them.” It was approximately fifteen years ago that a persistent back pain, that eventually healed after a few months. It has been my morning practice ever since, to acknowledge and to be grateful for each area where I am pain free. Consider taking time each day throughout the year to pause in gratitude for all of life, regardless of how small or big your joy is.

                Paz, Esther

 

COMMUNITY CALENDAR

SUNDAY–November 23

9:30 am Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am              Worship Service

11:00 am              Sunday School

12:15 pm              Fellowship Hour

SUNDAY–November 30

9:30 am                 Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am              Worship Service

11:00 am              Sunday School

12:15 pm              Fellowship Hour

MONDAY–December 1

6:00 pm                 Buildings & Grounds

WEDNESDAY–December 3

6:00 pm                 Board of Trustees pot-luck and monthly meeting

6:30 pm                 Gallery35

SATURDAY–December 6

12:45 pm              Messiah Rehearsal

 

Minister’s Corner

Thanksgiving arrives with blessings and challenges.  

To give thanks… to offer gratitude for Life’s precious gift… is surely a spiritual basic. Cultivating gratitude, as we know, is a useful discipline.

Challenges of the season include the painful history in our country of our Pilgrim forebears whose ingratitude and attacks upon their Native American benefactors are still too easily forgotten.  And, of course, the march of materialism in double-time ramps with up the holiday sales season.

Even so, and even in these stressful economic times, gratitude offers blessings. 

There are researchers these days who are studying this matter, and Robert Emmons is a psychology professor at the University of California with a book titled, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. He writes, “Our groundbreaking research has shown that grateful people experience higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness, and optimism, and that the practice of gratitude as a discipline protects a person from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, greed, and bitterness.” 

In one study, he found that people who “wrote up to five things for which they were grateful or thankful” on a weekly basis “exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week.”  And other positive psychologists report similar 

findings.

Garrison Keillor offers this:

…. Gratitude is where spiritual life begins.  Thank you, Lord, for this amazing and bountiful life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.  Thank you for this laptop computer and for this yellow kitchen table and for the clock on the wall and the cup of coffee and the glasses on my nose and for these black slacks and this black t-shirt. Thanks for black and for other colors. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the wherewithal not to fix a half-pound cheeseburger right now and to eat a stalk of celery instead. Thank you for the wonderful son and the amazing little daughter … and the grandkids. Thank you that I haven't had alcohol in lo! these many months and thank you that it isn't a big struggle to do without, as I had so feared it might be. Thank you for the odd delight of being 60, part of which is the sheer relief of not being 50.

One of the difficult things of course is that Life wounds us… so many ways. As blessed as my life is, and as blessed as most of us here are, we all know that nobody ever promised us safety and security.  And I do believe that Howard Thurman was spiritually right-on, as annoying as his words are, when he said, “Everything is sustenance.”  Even the hard stuff? Even that!

We are to take it all in, sharing the pain when we need to, sharing the strength whenever we can.

Life is a gift… with its challenges, and just maybe, just maybe, “Everything is sustenance.”  Give thanks…, Bruce

“When a person responds to the joys and sorrow of others as if they were one’s own, one attains the highest state of spiritual union.” 

Bhagavad-Gita

Service is the rent each of us pays for living – the very purpose of life.

Marian Wright Edelman

 

“Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

Sermon Brief – Sunday, November 2, 2014

“The hands-up – a sign of surrender and submission black men and boys here [in Ferguson, MO] say they learn early on when dealing with police — has been transformed into a 

different kind of weapon…. the ‘hands up, don't shoot’ chant has joined a long line of activist slogans that crystallize the heart of a community's moral outrage….” Matt Pearce, LA Times, 8/12/14

“Hands Up!  Don’t Shoot!”  Resistance, witness, moving forward to each other and moving together…. Seeking the best we have to offer…. 

This morning in these few moments left, I have a final brief text:

James Baldwin, four decades ago, in his book The Fire Next Time made this plea, “If we – and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create, the consciousness of others – do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.” 

I like his modesty (we need only be “relatively conscious”) and his daring vision (“to end the racial nightmare”), a vision applicable to all the nightmares around us and for all peoples. We – just maybe we here – truly can be among the “relatively conscious.”   

To be sure some of us are profoundly awake and conscious – but the vision of ending the nightmares depends on the work  not of the fully enlightened, not of the powerful leader/teacher/messiah, not upon the pure, but only upon the “relatively conscious” – ordinary pilgrims of faith like you and me.

And we can, moving outward, handful that we are, “insist on, or create, the consciousness of the others” and by the work of our hands and hearts “change the history of the world.”

                Rev. Bruce Southworth