Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekly Update, 9/26/08

Greetings on this delightful afternoon!
         Have you ever wondered about what is means to belong? As part of our year of Daring to Grow, I’d like to invite you to spend a bit of time here and there thinking about this. It seems to keep popping its head up in my life. I notice it when I hear people who are on opposite ends of the political spectrum shaking their heads at the complete nonsense the other side seems to be conveying. I know life is more layered and complex than this, but our two-party system seems to bring out this need to belong that dwells within us. I notice this sense of belonging, as I read our ancient Hebrew texts to study just why the Jews celebrate Sukkot. And Yom Kippur invites back into belonging, into feeling as if we belong, once a year. Our tribal tendencies, that are deep within us, are a beautiful part of the richness and lovely diversity within us. They can also run amok in our lives, when we don’t recognize them for what they are. When we try to meet someone’s tribal need to belong with a reasoned and rational argument—rather than acts that will help extend our humanness to them—then we only end up more separate. Fear-mongering comes out a desire to keep everyone who “belongs” to a group together. Gandhi understood this.  Take some time this fall, and explore this idea. See where it takes you, and what you observe!
This Sunday:
Service @9:30
We will once again come together to remember and honor Mahatma Gandhi, who’s birthday is on October 2nd. The UN declared this day an International day of Non-Violence. And in India, the nation has a holiday “Gandhi Jayanti” which is the Hindi way of saying ‘birthday.’  Gandhi-ji is one of those human beings who’s live path altered each of our lives. And so it is good to honor his memory. I’ve dedicated this service to the memory of Hari Shankar, a member who died this past year—and who used to love to come and share his memories of Gandhi with us. Dr. Shankar’s wife, Rekha will be attending, and may share something with us as well.
Children’s Chapel@ 11am
Sunday School @ 11:15am-12:15pm
Classes for children, youth and adults.
Adult classes include:
Doc Shorts “The Bases Are Loaded” (sanctuary) A short political documentary about how we are being promised that our soldiers will be removed from Iraq, while the government is consolidating temporary bases into a handful of permanent “mega-bases”.
Garden Meditation: Join Julie Fischer in the garden for meditating in a meaningful way to you: sitting quietly, soaking in the beauty of mature, sketching a leaf or flower that inspires you, or actually working the garden.

What’s Up Doc?
umentary: Sunday at 7;pm
This bi-partisan discussion about America’s flawed electoral process urges us to undertake the reform needed to ensure that every vote truly counts.
WOW!  (Workshops on Wednesdays)
Oct. 1st will be: Pizza, Salad and Soup.
Please RSVP by Tuesday 9pm.
Please RSVP online at:
or email Kathy at or you can sign up Sunday at Church. Thank you.
White Like Me Book Circle @6:30pm
Theoretical String Band @7:30pm
First Friday Festivals for Adults, Youth and Children
On the First Friday of every month from September to May at 6 pm family, friends and the community are invited to celebrate one of the holidays from one of the world’s religions, with a potluck dinner and fun, interactive ways to learn more about the holiday! We often invite guests from the local community to share their memories of this holiday. Bring a dish that goes with the holiday or just your favorite dish – no dish required if this is your first time.
October 3rd Sukkot – a Jewish holiday
Sukkot is a Jewish Feast that celebrates the harvest. During this holiday Jewish people erect temporary “huts” where they entertain their guests, and eat their meals outside. They do this in memory of the dwellings they erected during the 40 years of wandering in the dessert. Join us in celebrating this fun holiday!
Upcoming Events & Announcements:
Annual Hayride
The Fall Hayride is Friday, October 10th, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Heritage Farm
To register online go to:
or you can sign up Sunday at Church.
Thank you. Kendra
Children & Youth Sunday School
We are still looking for some helpers and a couple of substitute teachers. Please call Crystal King at 319 240-7393 or sign up on the board at church near the Religious Education Pink Table.
Thank you. Crystal
Don’t forget:
For those who expressed an interest in hearing what I learned in Northern Ireland, I am giving a lecture on this topic on Tuesday, September 30, at 4:30 PM in Seerley Hall, Room 115, at UNI. The experience of Northern Ireland tells us a lot about what role religion should or should not play in society.  Al Hays
Mike Knapp is recruiting help for the Treats & Talents auction coming up in Nov. Help him with the auction, bring a dessert, donate fun treats or talents you have . . .  and last of all, make sure you save the date & come: Nov. 15
Buddhist Path Movie Night is tonight 6:30pm for popcorn  & socializing. 7pm start time.
Also TONIGHT: Young Adult Campfire @ 7pm @ Eva’s House
610 Franklin St. CF

And lastly, I’ll be Cup of Joe . . . join me and others from this community this afternoon from 4:30 to 6pm for a causal conversation.
Keep on Daring to Grow!
See you in Church!
Rev. Eva S. Cameron
UU Society of Black Hawk Co.
Cedar Falls, IA
319-610-6605 mobile
319-266-5640 church
319-266-1111 home

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekly Update 9/19/08

Greetings! I have a soft-spot for grabbing beautiful moments where I can. Just today, I walked into my bedroom this afternoon. Sunlight dappled playfully on the quilt the wind gently moving the tree outside created patterns that formed and reformed of the warm afternoon light. In a heartbeat my mood shifted, as breathed in that beauty.
Monarch butterflies have been everywhere I look in the past few days. They are something beautiful to catch your breath in a heartbeat.  When I look at them, fluttering with seemingly little direction, I think about sometimes it feels like we are fluttering about, with as little direction as a butterfly. But we would be wise to remember that the Monarch somehow, despite being buffeted about by strong winds, knocked asunder by passing cars, pelted by rain and hail, somehow hundreds of thousands? millions? make it to South American each year to over-winter, and then make it back up here come spring. Amazing. They move with the flow of life that buffets them here and there, and yet still end up where they want to be. Now, there is an amazing lesson in give and take! Stop watch a butterfly for a few minutes if you can this week!

This Sunday:
@9:30am Sunday Service: Fall Equinox!
Ever think about what fall has to teach us? What about THE FALL, as often talked about in other Christian churches--does this story have relevance for today's UUs?  Join the Service for All Ages planning team as we explore these ideas and more in this multi-faceted, musical, dramatic service!
@10:45am Fellowship Join us for coffee, tea, refreshments, announcements, fresh organic produce for sale, and don’t forget to buy your Scrip (gift certificates) so we can make money without spending any extra!
@11am Children’s Chapel
@11:15 Sunday School for Adults, Youth & Children
Walkin’ The Talk
: Learn about Community Meals
Buddhist Path - Join Rev. Eva and others in exploring Buddhist spiritual practices.
Garden Meditation - Join Julie Fischer in the garden for meditating in a meaningful way to you:  sitting quietly, soaking in the beauty of nature, sketching a leaf or flower that inspires you, or actually working the garden.
@7pm What’s Up Doc? “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived the Peak Oil” - After the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba suffered a 'peak oil' crisis. This documentary shows how they survived this crisis.
During the Week:
23rd Tues @1pm Committee on Ministry Mtg.
24th WOW! Workshops on Wednesdays
Child care is available for WOW!

6:30-8 p.m Book Circle:
Donna Davis and Donna Wood will be facilitating a discussion circle focused on Tim Wise's new book, WHITE LIKE ME. This book examines white privilege in America and is both a poignant and revealing set of stories and a systemic examination of how race plays an important role in everyday life in ways that whites don't ordinarily think of, even those most attuned to racism. We are looking forward to a very interesting and enlightening discussion with those of you who would like to join! We will have the book available for purchase at the first meeting. With our discount, the cost is $12.85 including tax.
7:15pm Theoretical String Band Practice
25th  Thur.@ 7:30 Buddhist Path
26th Fri. @6:30 Buddhist Movie Night
Join Ralph Burr & members of Buddhist Path for popcorn & movie with a Buddhist theme.
                  @6:30 Young Adult Bonfire @ Eva’s house (find the new Young Adult UUSBHC group on Facebook for upcoming events)

Other Items:
Please return Hymnals
if they don’t belong to you personally. We’ve been coming up short when setting them out on Sundays, and need them to all come ‘home’ to their church home. If you would like hymnal for your house, they are available for sale at the UUA bookstore online.
Wanted  For The Church – A Nice Comfortable Couch! The Couples Small Group has taken on the project to provide some more comfortable seating for groups who are using the Senior High Room in the Religious Education area.  The old orange couch is extremely un-comfortable, so we are on a hunt for a replacement.  We are planning a luncheon in January for everyone to help raise some funds to pay for a "newer" couch.  We would like a couch that is not too low, still in good condition, and will look nice in the room.  If you are aware of a low cost  (or free) couch that we could look at please contact Mica Lorenz at or 291-6509.
Small Group Ministry – What is That?  -
The purpose of Small Group Ministry is to provide an opportunity for friends and members to develop deeper connections and wider service.  Small Groups provide an opportunity for lifting one's horizons up from the mundane considerations of day-to-day life.  Small groups help people get to know and be known by 10 to 12 others committed to attend and participate regularly in their small group.
Several of our Small Groups are opening up this fall.  There are Small Group Ministry brochures with sign up sheets available at the visitor's table in the front entrance.  Please take a brochure and think about joining a small group. If you think you may want to join a small group at a later time, you can sign up to be put on a waiting list. Then you will be notified about new groups when they open up again.  

Currently the Small Groups that are open are:
•A Gathering of Women- 1st Sunday of each month – UU Church 7-8:30 p.m.(On going, has room for a few more )  Carolyn Hildebrand & Kirby Sherman Facilitators
•A New Small Group starting up, last Sunday of Month, Mica Lorenz Facilitator - UU Church - Balcony  2-4 p.m.
•Waverly Small Group – 2nd Friday  6 PM  - Chris Rediske Facilitator   (Contact Chris for more information)
•Chapel at Friendship Village – 2nd Wednesdays – 11:00 a.m.  Eva Cameron , Esther Kiefer & Brian Forester.
Pastoral Updates:
Please continue to keep Bea Tate in your thoughts and prayers as she continues rehab at Covenant. Its been a month since her stroke and brain surgery. Look for a message from Esther soon about how to help her husband Tom.
 •Dottie Forsberg has moved to Lakeview Landing for the time being.
I’m off to Cup of Joe . . . between 4:30 & 6pm.  Feel free to join me!
See you in church!

Rev. Eva S. Cameron
UU Society of Black Hawk Co.
Cedar Falls, IA
319-610-6605 mobile
319-266-5640 church
319-266-1111 home

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekly Update 9/12/08


Its hard to imagine. In fact, I find myself not really wanting to imagine it, to bring it to mind: the image is too disturbing. But Sunday morning, July 27th  at about 10:15am a gunman opened fire on members of two UU congregations, The Tennessee Valley UU Church and the Westside UU Church. He did while the two congregations had assembled together to watch their children put on a production of Annie.  The sadly horrifying part was that he chose this place of all places, because he wanted to kill liberals. And also that his ex-wife had attended the church. The amazing part was the love that was extended to the everyone there: by the UU man who stood in front of the gunman protecting others at the cost of his own life, the others there who rushed to hold this man down, the outreach the entire Knoxville Community in the face of this outrage starting that morning, and UU’s from all over the country . This coming Sunday we reflect on what this has meant to us, as we honor those who gave their life that others may live. We want to send our love and compassion to the Knoxville congregations.  While the children are in the service, we will not be graphic, or mention the shooting directly. We will share a story about how it feels when something terrible happens. We think that most kids living here, with the tornado and the flood, have been aware that things are happening beyond our control—so we think this will be an important story for them. During the sermon time, Pam & Al Hays, John Miller, and I have woven together some of the many ways we have responded to this tragedy. We hope you’ll join us.

Here is a link to watch the service that was held on the following Sunday, re-consecrating the building, and rededicating the congregations to their mission as living Unitarian Universalist values in the face of hatred. <>  It takes about 45 minutes, but its very touching.

Also today, Rev. Chris Buice and his Knoxville congregation, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church (TVUUC), will be featured on Bill Moyers Journal in a segment examining the relationship between hate speech and violence.  The program is scheduled to air at 9 PM Friday, September 12, 2008 on most PBS affiliates.

After the Service . . .
we invite you to join us for refreshments, coffee and announcements in the Fellowship Hall.
10:45 AM Involvement Fair—wander the fair and learn all about the various groups and organizations of our Community. Sign up. Ask questions. Nibble on fun snacks.
11 AM Children’s Chapel in the balcony
11:15 AM Sunday School Classes for children
7 PM Documentary Film: “Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama”

Music Com Mtg. @ 7pm
Theoretical String Band practice @7:30pm
Buddhist Path @7:30 to 9pm
YoUUNng  Child Playgroup @9:30 to 11:30am

Next Sunday: September 21st
8:30 AM Music Rehearsal
9:30 AM Service “Fall Equinox: fall, The Fall, and learning to fall” by Rev. Eva Cameron & the Service for all Ages Team
11 AM Children’s Chapel in the balcony
11:15 AM Sunday School Classes for children and youth
    Buddhist Path (balcony)
    Garden Meditation (join Julie in the garden)
    Walking the Talk: Community Meals (sanctuary)
7 PM Documentary Film: “The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil”

Upcoming Events

The Iowa Renewable Energy Association's Energy & Sustainability EXPO will be at the UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) on Sept. 13-14, 2008. The I-Renew EXPO includes workshops and exhibits on renewable energy (wind, solar, biofuels), energy efficiency, green building, alternative transportation topics, and this year we're adding Sustainable Living to our offerings. The goal this year is to exceed last year's attendance level of nearly 1,500. Here is the link to the CEEE.

Two items of interest from our member Al Hays

1.  For those who expressed an interest in hearing what I learned in Northern Ireland, I am giving a lecture on this topic on Tuesday, September 30, at 4:30 PM in Seerley Hall, Room 115, at UNI.  The experience of Northern Ireland tells us a lot about what role religion should or should not play in society.

2.  As PSD Social Action Liaison, I have organized a meeting of social action representatives from all Iowa congregations at our church on Saturday, October 25, from 10AM to 3 PM.  There will be a keynote address at 10:30 AM by Dr. Mark Grey, Professor of Anthropology at UNI. He is a well known expert on immigration issues and headed up the New Iowans Project under former Governor Tom Vilsack.  *All members of our congregation are invited to this keynote.*  The meeting of the social action chairs will occur after lunch.

We are still looking for a Sunday School middle school teacher. We also need helpers for the Early Childhood Education and Intermediate classes. Please contact Crystal King {} or call Kathy at 319-404-2589 if interested in teaching or helping. Thank you.

The Youth Group is still looking for their Apples-to-Apples game.  Thank you to whomever returned the Intermediate class's Apples-to-Apples game!

Pastoral Update
Bea Tate was moved to Covenant in Waterloo earlier this week. She is in room 109 of the Rehab unit.
Its been suggested that the best way to Bea’s room is to park in parking area C and go in through entrance D.
The report is that she is doing well with rehab, and able to stand while added now.
We will be supporting her husband Tom with meals. Please let Esther know if you can provide either a hot/cold meal on the day it is to be eaten, or something that can go in his deep freeze.

I’m heading off to Cup of Joe in just a few . . . (4:30 to 6pm roughly). Join me and other UU’s for an informal TGIF time.

See you in Church!

Rev. Eva S. Cameron
UU Society of Black Hawk Co.
Cedar Falls, IA
319-610-6605 mobile
319-266-5640 church
319-266-1111 home

Friday, September 5, 2008

Weekly Update 9/5/08


I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘Life’ this week. Its been hard not to! With Sarah Palin asking each of us to think about our values, as she enters our world by storm—Down’s Syndrome baby in arms, pregnant 17 year old daughter. And then yesterday, it just so happened that the Evangelical Ministers Meeting was held at Alternatives Pregnancy Center, where a local fellow pastor shared his life’s story for this past year: during the ice storms of the winter, both his parents were killed suddenly in  traffic accident. And then on Memorial Day weekend, he huddled over his wife and daughter in a basement storeroom while his house was blown away by the New Hartford tornado. Birth, death, what we value most . .  . All swirl around me with all these things to think about. As I toured the Alternatives Center—expecting gruesome pictures to shock a young expectant mother into choosing to keep her baby, instead I found warm pictures of babies, rooms full of baby clothes—fresh and tended—to be given away each month as a woman who chooses to keep her baby is nurtured in the life skills needed to thrive. Videos from breastfeeding to budgeting burgeoned from a shelf, where it was explained that learning about things earned a woman points for big items, like a crib. A new knit hat and booties for each baby.

In the past two weeks of political rhetoric, I was reminded that being pro-life, pro-choice or both (as I am) is not just something to argue about . . . In comes down to figuring out ways to live your values to the fullest, just as the people at Alternatives seem to be doing. I hope that this year, we will not just talk about life, death, and what we value—but figure out ways to grow our values into real living projects of hope and love.

It was exciting to see ourselves in the Courier, with pictures and stories about our Organic Garden and FoodBank project. This is a lovely example of living and growing our love!

This week, join me on Sunday morning for a service on our Spiritual Theme of the year: Daring to Grow @ 9:30am

This is followed by coffee and refreshments in the Fellowship Hall (10:45 to 11:15am)
11 AM Children’s Chapel in the balcony
11:15 AM Sunday School - Classes for children, youth & adults
Adult classes:
Conscious Living in the balcony
Curious about Membership Meeting in Eva’s office
7 PM Small Group Ministry—the first Sunday group
7 PM Documentary Film: “Clay Pride: Being Clay in America Small Town Gay Bar Out in the Heartland”

Upcoming Events:
Religious Services Committee
meets @ 7:30pm If you are interested in being a Worship Associate, you are invited to join us!

our monthly chapel service at Friendship Village. All are invited. 11am Contact Brian Forster to RSVP for lunch.
Couples SGM: this ongoing group meets at 6:30pm
Daring to Grow Roots a class on the history of our UU movement both around the world and locally taught by Rev. Eva Cameron.  You must register for this class in advance. Call the office, 266-5640, or e-mail our Office Administrator Janet  at

Buddhist Path @7:30
in the Balcony. An ongoing discussion and practice group, exploring the ideas of Buddhism and how they impact our own lives. And a time for chanting and meditation.

Meet at the Cup of Joe
for an informal hang-out time. (4:30 to 6pm)

Next Sunday is the Involvement Fair!  If you are leading a group or chairing a committee, reserve some space at a table with Mica. If you are wondering what you want to get involved in with our church, here’s a good time to explore possibilities and visit with people who are in charge. Its a GREAT time to bring a friend or neighbor to church. Dare to grow yourself by doing something new. Dare to grow the church by inviting a friend along!

Pastoral Update
Bea Tate,
who has been down in Iowa City Medical Center remains there as of this time. This week she had some surgery to repair/open some blood vessels in her neck.  Physical Therapy has started to come in and have her sit on the side of her bed for a few minutes and kick her legs. She’s still got a long way to go, so we will continue to hold her in our thoughts and prayers, as well as her husband Tom and children Liam and Delany. Cards & notes can be sent to: Tates, 1007 W. 9th CF 50613  
Grace Malloy turned 9 years old last week, I heard. Since she also featured prominently in our big Gardening splash in the Courier, make sure you tell her what a great job she is doing helping the church as she is growing up!

Please let Esther and I know about things that are happening in your life, or those church members you know. We are always eager to know, so that we can offer some help!

I’ll be over at Cup of Joe this afternoon (4:30 to 6pm) My apologies to those who showed up last week, and I wasn’t’ there due to the holiday weekend! I’ll know better next year!  We do have a fun time to gather and share our stories of the week. Join us. Bring a friend!

See you in church!
Rev. Eva S. Cameron
UU Society of Black Hawk Co.
Cedar Falls, IA
319-610-6605 mobile
319-266-5640 church
319-266-1111 home