Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekly Update

Weekly Update  1/30/09 . . . .This month in our services we will be exploring the ideas of freedom and transformation, as part of our year of “Daring to Grow.” These are themes that are a deep part of what it means to be Unitarian Universalist. As we are deliberately reaching out to more people to join us, we are choosing to shift and make room in our ways of doing things to include more people.
One of the most dramatic shifts, for people who have been around for a while, is the change to functioning like a Program sized church. This means that our energy is focused on creating programs (and teams) that help us living our values. We have found a powerful strength in having small groups for people to share and work on their own journey with others who care about them. With this model, individuals will find that not every one will know our story, but as long as there is at least one circle of people who do, you will have some connection and support. As an institution we will find we have room for about 350 plus members, before we need to start changing our institutional model again!
With this shift in model of how things are organized, we all must realize that decisions are rarely made as a body of the whole. We have many good people who spend hours and hours discussing decisions in committee meetings. If you feel strongly about something, I would suggest that you not only bring your idea to that committee, but that you sit with them, and not only bring an idea, but listen to their thoughts. Our decisions are made with a lot of ideas being tossed around in the committee, concerns shared, passionate dialogue and deep listening on all sides. After passing through this stage, larger decisions then move up to the next level, or are activated. So think of it as ‘representative democracy.’  This means that you share your voice with those who are most interested in the same things you are in—the right committee. But it also means you won’t always know what is happening all the time. This is part of creating a different structure. The power isn’t top down, hierarchical, but rather a hierarchy of commitment. Those who invest the most time, energy, willingness to listen and share their thoughts and dreams with love, are those who will most influence the choices this church makes.
The church energy is high, and the building is buzzing with life and purpose. Let’s continue to build a community with arms wide enough to hold all who dare to grow with us in spirit. Continue to build a community of love and trust, where each feels safe enough to dare to grow!
See you in church!
Unless you meet me at Cup of Joe in just a few minutes!
This Sunday
8:30 am Music Rehearsal
9:30 am “Facing Our FearsWhat are we afraid of, and why? In order to "dare to grow," we need to face these questions. The UU Youth will lead us in a service exploring the theme of fear.
10:45 am Fellowship Time
11 am Children’s Chapel
11:15 am Sunday School for children & youth
11:15 am Adult Classes:
Conscious Living:
The Conscious Living Group and Green Sanctuary Committee will sponsor a Draft-Stopper Making Workshop during Second Hour! Bring measurements for those drafty doors and windows and we'll have materials and sewing machines set up in the Fellowship Hall to construct them and take them home that day. Any donations will go toward supporting the work of these 2 groups.
New Member Meeting: If you’re new to the UU’s then this would be a good time to sit down with Rev. Eva Cameron and Mica Lorenz in a relaxed atmosphere and learn more about being a UU member. There will be an opportunity to sign the membership book.
Upcoming Week
WOW! Workshops on Wednesdays
5:30 pm Dinner (Please RSVP)
6:15 pm Family Choir Practice
6:15 pm Workshop on “Self-Realization” with Crystal King
7 pm Small Group Facilitators meeting
7:15 pm Theoretical String Band Practice
7:30 pm Buddhist Path
9:30 am YoUUng Child Playgroup
6 pm First Friday “Brazilian Carnival”
Find a costume! Invite a friend. Bring your kids! It’s going to be FUN!!!!  Join Adele Queiroz, a Brazilian member of the church, in this GREAT way bring a little life into mid-winter. Bring a dish to share!
Phoenix Rising: our newest art installation
This month the themes are freedom and transformation.  When the Creative Spiritz team heard that, we started our usual discussion as to ‘what it means to each of us’.  Nate Callahan came up with the idea of a phoenix.  That night Kathy Klink-Zeitz dreamed of a phoenix rising out of a Unitarian Universalist chalice.  (She probably saw one at General Assembly!)
The next day Kathy searched for a model to show her fellow members what she was thinking of doing for February.  Although it was not that clear to all, they let her ‘run with the idea’.  After last month’s theme of struggle, this idea of the phoenix rising from the struggle and transforming into a beautiful bird seemed most appealing.  The branch in his beak is an olive branch the symbol of peace and freedom.                                                      ~The Creative Arts Group

From our UU United Nations Office . . .
To those interested - a teleseminar directly related to our Spring Seminar for anyone to participate in. Please email for phone-in instructions and access code. Thanks!
Building a Culture of Peace:
How Can UUs Lead the Way?
You are warmly invited to join in a series of informal discussions by teleconference featuring noted UU leaders and scholars, on the topic of how UUs can provide leadership in building a culture of peace. This presentation is sponsored by the UU Peacemaking Congregational Study/Action Core Team.
Seminar #2 – “Strategic Options for Building a Culture of Peace” – presentation by Sharon Welch
8 pm Eastern Time, Monday, April 28
Presenter: Sharon Welch, provost of Meadville Lombard Theological Seminar, and author of several books including After Empire: the Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace. Sharon is a leader in the UU Peacemaking Congregational Study/Action Issue Program. Upcoming: Real Peace, Real Security.
Also . . . UU-UNO Spring Seminar:
All in the Name of Faith: Rights, Religion, and Responsibility April 16-18, 2009 (Youth program begins on the 15th.) in New York City
Join us to explore the role religion plays in our global fight for Human Rights. Come to hear excellent speakers.  Leave empowered, with tools to create substantive change in your communities. Registration is now open! Email any questions to

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