Tuesday Talk 9/3/19

Rev. Sylvia Howe (front) with Rev. Paul L’Herrou and Rev. Eric outside ICE offices witnessing for Edith’s Stay of Removal.

Tuesday Talk

Wisdom from an Elder (and retired UU minister) …

Once upon a time when I was a newly minted parish minister, I had a “two-point-charge” (two churches, one salary). Creating worship and sermon writing were a challenge I eagerly accepted. At the same time, a “helpful” comment by a parishioner frequently made me question my calling. One Sunday I preached a sermon I had worked hard on, only to have a person tell me that my sermon was simply wrong. It was not logical, thoughtful or inspiring. I was shaken and didn’t know quite how to respond. Then I delivered the same sermon to the folks in my other congregation. Several people told me what a great sermon it was. It was thoughtful, logical, inspiring and challenging. What was going on? It was the same sermon.

It took a while, but I learned that I could only control a small portion of what happens in worship. My sermons were not just the words coming out of my mouth. Worship and sermons are given life in the minds and hearts of each member of a congregation. That is why on any given Sunday, one person will be touched to the core of their being, another will fall asleep from boredom, another will feel spiritually and emotionally challenged.

For more than ten years I have been sitting in worship instead of leading it. I have come to appreciate that what my heart and mind bring into the worship center, greatly affects my experience. Case in point: The Animal Blessing. I didn’t plan to attend, but my beloved was ushering and needed a ride. I reluctantly accompanied him. I watched people bring their pets forward. As each pet was tenderly blessed (including a horse), the owners looked so appreciative. My curmudgeonly heart melted. Even though the service was not exactly my cup-of-tea, I too felt blessed. I’m very glad I was there.

I am reminded of the chalice lighting that is often used in our Religious Exploration classes: We are the church of the open mind, the loving heart and the helping hands.
As we begin another church year,
may our minds be open to the mystery that awaits us,
may our hearts receive the Love that comes in many forms,
and may our body receive the blessings of this
gathered community of faith. 

Sylvia L. Howe
Lead Teacher COA (Coming of Age)
Member of the Archives Team and the Senior Minister Advisory Team
Minister Emerita at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist, Beverly, MA

SHOUT OUTS! and Reminders

What is the sound of two hands clapping?
Gratitude! Thanks to all who sent photos of your hands doing something you love or the work you do. The slide show on Labor Day Sunday service was beautiful. And it was you. Thank you.

READY, SET, COUNT DOWN!
THIS Sunday: Water Communion (9/8)
NEXT Sunday (9/15): RE classes begin
NEXT Sunday (9/15): Middle Hour begins!

What’s Middle Hour? It is an exciting mix of Forums, Socrates Cafés, Learning Labs, Incubator Groups, Creative Space, Table Top Conversations, and more! It all begins between services on Sunday, 9/15 from 10:10–10:45. More info coming!

It’s time to register for RE classes
Thank you to all who registered already, if you haven’t yet here’s the link. Classes begin September 15th; there are OWL and COA orientations before that so get your info in as soon as possible!
Any questions contact Christine.

Teachers and RE Volunteers needed!
Answer the call to teach: help our children and youth explore Unitarian Universalist values! You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be willing to learn alongside our young folks two Sundays a month! For more info, contact Amber.

Sing a Song…Join the Choir!
Do you like to sing?  Have you ever sat in a service and thought about being a part of the choir? Spirit of Life Choir, which sings at the 9:00 am worship service, and Chalice Choir, which sings at the 11:00 am service, consist of members of all backgrounds and experience levels–from professional musicians to those who simply love making music with friends. We have singers who read music very well and some who have very little experience reading music, and everything in-between! Both have a great time together learning a variety of musical styles. Spirit of Life Choir rehearses Tuesday evenings, 7:00-8:30, and Chalice Choir rehearses Thursday evenings, 7:30-9:30.

There are terrific opportunities for youth to sing as well! Rising Voices is the choir for older youth and Peace Pals for younger youth. Rising Voices meets Tuesday evenings, 6:30-7:00 and Peace Pals on Sunday mornings, 10:10–10:35 (during Middle Hour).

All choirs are open to anyone interested. For more information contact Brandon Moss (Director of Music and Chalice Choir), Michaela Jones (Director of Rising Voices and Spirit of Life Choir), or Barb Fisher (Co-Director of Peace Pals).

New!
Care Giver Support Group – Organizing meeting 9/24
(additional organizing meeting during Middle Hour on Sept. 15th)
Because several of our community have found themselves in the unfamiliar role as caregiver, we are forming a new support group for caregivers (spouses, parents, grandparent, special needs children, friends, etc.). The first get together will be at the Rusty Bucket on North High on September 24th at 6pm. We will each pay for our own meal. We will have the private room which holds about 20 people (sign-up required). This gathering will be organizational to decide what type of group or groups will be most beneficial, a regular meeting date and time, and format.
For more information and to add your name to the list, please contact Sylvia via email, phone 978-317-0013, or during coffee hour on Sunday.

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).

Tuesday, September 3rd, 6:30-7:30pm (RV), 7–8:30pm (SoL), Sanctuary
Choir Practice: Rising Voices, Spirit of Life
Love to sing? Come, join the choir. All are welcome, regardless of experience.
Rising Voices is our youth choir and Spirit of Life is the adult choir that sings for the early service (9am). For more information, contact Michaela.

Thursday, September 5th, 7:30pm, Sanctuary
Choir Practice: Chalice
Love to sing? Come, join the choir. All are welcome, regardless of experience.
Chalice choir sings for the 11am Sunday service. For more information, contact Brandon.

Friday, September 6th6:30pm, 
Whetstone Park (by lower playground)
Final Summer First Friday in the Park
Bring a blanket or lawn chair and food for yourself, and we’ll bring outdoor games. In case of rain, we’ll move to Beach Hall. Questions? Contact Christine.

Sunday, September 8th9:00 and 11:00am, Sanctuary
“Water Communion”with Rev. Marian and everyone
This morning we lift up the element Water: a source of life and inspiration. Please remember to bring a small amount of water from someplace special to you to share during the service. Also, today we begin our two service schedule, with worship services at and 11am.

Looking Ahead…

NEW!
Sunday, September 15th, 10:10–10:45am
Middle Hour
Come early, stay late! Middle Hour is happening.
Topics to be announced in next Tuesday Talk.

Revs. Sylvia, Eric, Marian, and Paul at ICE office
Edith's daughter Stephanie speaking with reporters
First UUer Elaine supporting Edith at ICE offices
1. Revs. Sylvia, Eric, Marian, and Paul outside ICE offices to support Edith’s Stay of Removal. 2. Edith’s daughter Stephanie speaking to reporters. 3. First UUer Elaine supporting Edith and her family.

JUSTICE UPDATES

Monday, September 9th, 6:30–8:30
First English Lutheran Church, 1015 E. Main Street, Columbus, OH 43205
Community Meeting supporting Miriam Vargas
A Community Meeting supporting Miriam Vargas, in Sanctuary at First English Lutheran Church. Help is needed in a variety of ways, including fundraising,advocacy, media & communications, and logistics..

2nd and 4th Wednesdays
ICE Solidarity with Immigrants Table

It’s Summertime and 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.

THIS MOMENT IN UU HISTORY
Sponsored by the First UU Archives Group
September 8, 1553
John Calvin wrote to another Swiss minister that [Unitarian] Michael Servetus was injuring public good not only because of his own rude conduct but also because large numbers of people were expressing agreement with his anti-Trinitarian views.

September 8, 1647
Twelve Arguments Against the Deity of the Holy Spirit by John Biddle was burned at Westminster Square in London, England. Biddle is considered the father of English Unitarianism.