Tuesday Talk 10/23/19

boy with pumpkin head
carving pumpkins
Jac-o-laterns
First UU Youth Pumpkin Carving Fun
Thank you to Amber and volunteers for helping!

Tuesday Talk

When I was a kid, I had trouble with some words. My kindergarten teacher’s name was Mrs. Tompkins but for me, her name was Miss Punkins. And on every Halloween since, I always laugh a little when I say pumpkins (trying not to slip into punkins), because I remember how earnest I was in addressing my beloved teacher. I imagine she smiled a huge jac-o-latern grin when I, and maybe some kids, greeted her each morning with a snaggle-toothed “Hello Ms. Punkins”.

Life seemed so much simpler then. I’m not trying to be overly rosy, but when you said something that was almost right but not quite, the receiver gave you a smile and a bit of grace. Today, we are so divided that even a slip in word, thought, or deed, is worthy of the strongest rebuke. Where has our capacity for grace gone?

Yet, when I hear a president use race-baiting language I have no patience, or grace. Calling his detractors and the impeachment process a “lynching,” is totally out of bounds. Thousands if not millions have suffered and died in our nation’s centuries old denial of African-Americans. The use of such language today is even more horrendous because we actively know better. To intentionally inflame or incite racist tendencies in self or others is akin to crying FIRE in a crowded theater. But unlike a false alarm that causes panic, this word and others of its ilk, are real alarms that scream at us that serious harm is still being done.

If we are ever to achieve what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Beloved Community, then we all need to take a step back, listen, and see the humanity in every person, including black, brown, indigenous. If we did this, our hearts might break for how we have allowed this to go on for so long. And then, we might find the courage – and grace – to do something about it.

We should be called to task for race-baiting. We should be called out for words, thoughts, deeds that hurt others. And yes, we should look in the mirror to see how we have, or continue to cause, harm. Grace may come in the form of forgiveness and it may come in the form of knowledge, and if it does, it is not to be discarded only to ask for, or be granted a repeat. It is time to change.

Learn what you can. Do what you can. And if you’re like me, there will be teachers who have the grace to greet you with a smile and say, “Take a seat. We have a lot to learn today.”

Thank you Ms. Punkins.

Blessings,
Rev. Marian

May my thoughts, words, and deeds be rooted in love
And may that love be grounded in my values
That I may hold all living beings in highest regard
And know that my fate is not a separate heaven or hell.

Mullins-Cosme in a new baby collage
Michaela in wedding grown
Michaela and William in gazebo

SHOUT OUTS!
Opportunities and Reminders

A Baby!
Welcome Juniper Glen Mullins-Cosme
Baby Juniper was born early in the morning on October 15th. Mom, baby, and family are doing well.

A Wedding!
Congratulations Michaela Jones-Brown
Our Spirit of Life and Rising Voices choir director, Michaela Jones, was married to her long-time sweetheart last Friday. William and Michaela met when they were 15 years old.

***Middle HourMiddle HourMiddle Hour***
It’s a happening place! Come early, stay late. There is something for everyone.

Middle Hour is an exciting and changing mix of Forums, Theme Talks, Learning Labs, Sampler Groups, Creative Space, Tabletop Conversations, and more! It all happens between services from 10:10–10:45.

Here is this week’s Middle Hour lineup:

MUSIC AND MOVEMENT (Room #301)
Sacred Song Circle
Led by Debra Boyd and Susan Williams. All are welcome.

CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS (Room B – near kitchen)
a self-guided experience with crafts, drawing, writing…

TABLETOP CONVERSATIONS (Beach Hall near the windows)
Organized by Amber Scott and Kelli McNeal
Intentional conversations on an evolving set of topics.

Michaela Jones
SoL Choir and partners
more SoL choir
Jeff, Marna, and Karla
Candee and Dan
Spirit of Life choir members and friends at a pre-wedding celebration for the bride-to-be, Michaela Jones.

THIS WEEK

For additional churchwide activities and events, please see First UU News (emailed on Fridays and in the Sunday Order of Service).

For information about family and child-focused events and classes, see the RE News (emailed to families and in the Sunday Order of Service).

All Ages
Sunday, October 27th, 9 & 11am, Sanctuary
Remembrance Sunday
Rev. Eric, Kelli McNeal, and Amber Scott

This morning we continue our annual tradition of welcoming those we carry with us in spirit. Please bring a photo of, or another object representing, those we still love who are no longer with us.

Sunday, October 27th, 4pm, Beach Hall
Book Launch
“Language: The Image Speaks” by Steve Abbott

First UUer Steve Abbott will debut his new collection of poems. Poems in the book appear opposite black & white and color images, including works by First UU members Tom Baillieul, Karen Torvik, and Marguerite Molk, as well as paintings and photographs by other Columbus artists and items from museum collections throughout Ohio. A portion of book sales will go to the  First UU BUUkstore.

Brian and Rev. Eric  with Flu Shot sign
Rev. Eric getting flu shot with Rev. Marian in background ready to get one too
More than 150 people of all ages got their flu shot at First UU on Saturday and Tuesday. Here’s to a healthy year!

JUSTICE UPDATES

Interfaith Association of Central Ohio (IACO)
At First UU we welcome the opportunity to be part of interfaith activities; we know the importance of community engagement in all its diversity. The Interfaith Association of Central Ohio (IACO) is made up of 9 faith traditions — including Unitarian Universalists. The mission of IACO is to “develop an Interfaith Community based on Understanding, Friendship and Trust.” On Dec. 8th, the theme for IACO’s 4th Annual Interfaith Prayer Gathering & Potluck is: “Caring for the Earth, Our Shared Home.” It is another opportunity to reach out to build community. There is no cost, but you should sign up at the IACO website: iaco.org.  Karen Dawson and Michael Greenman are happy to provide additional information or to answer questions.

2nd and 4th Wednesdays
ICE Solidarity with Immigrants Table

Our table in front of the ICE office downtown is back for its third year. Your help is needed: volunteers to staff the table, as well as volunteers to bake cookies or make trail mix. To sign up to help out, follow this link.

Thursdays, 11am (Every Thursday)
Unity Walk for Immigration Justice
You are invited to join us on a Unity Walk, a silent march and time of prayer outside the LeVeque Tower, 50 West Broad Street. Faith leaders, immigrant activists and community members are invited to walk in solidarity with individuals and families whose basic humanity is being denied by our unjust and immoral immigration system. Though we walk in silence, our actions speak to the injustices that our communities face.

This building houses the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices. During the march, we walk in prayerful silence and pause at the front of the building where we join together in prayer.

Though we walk in silence, our actions speak to the injustices that our communities face. We call today for a system that:

  • puts an end to the detentions and deportations that shatter immigrant lives and families
  • protects the rights of all workers, immigrant and non-immigrant alike
  • enshrines the shared values of our faith communities and our nation at large: the values of justice compassion, kindness and generosity
  • gives immigrant communities the right to remain with their families, with their communities, in their schools, and in their places of worship

If you are driving, please note that parking can be challenging downtown. The LaVeque Tower parking garage can be accessed from Front Street. There is a parking lot adjacent to the west side of COSI. The Statehouse parking garage is being renovated and may be full due to having fewer spaces than usual.  Or take the bus–get off at Broad and High and walk West on Broad Street to Front Street.

THIS MOMENT IN UU HISTORY
Sponsored by the First UU Archives Group
October 22, 1882
The celebrated illustrator Newell Convers Wyeth was born. His work appeared in dozens of books, including Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and in such magazines as Saturday Evening Post, Harpers, Scribner’s, Colliers, and The Ladies’ Home Journal. Wyeth’s historical and allegorical murals are in the Boston Public Library, Missouri State Capitol, and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Wyeth and his wife were members of First Unitarian Society of Wilmington, DE. He died on October 19, 1945.