Well, for those of us who chose to stay here in Iowa, or who had no choice but to stay in Iowa this week . . . we were treated to the most spectacular treat of sumptuous weather. Sadie dog and I have enjoyed a week of working outside. She’s holding down the ‘napping in the sunshine” end of the job, while I type away on the keyboard in the sun!
Spring always invites me into a further awareness of our human desire for sensuality. I don’t mean sexuality, but rather an appreciation of what is around us as we reach out with all our senses. I’ve been noticing the loveliness of having warm air moving across my bare face and arms in its own rhythms, nature rather than motor driven. I’ve been noticing the feeling of sunshine on my face. The feeling of cool earth and prickly grass on my bare feet. I’ve been noticing the rich musky scents of the forest as it warms and opens to spring. The songs of the many birds who have joined us, as they migrate through have me perking my ears. What stories of travels could they tell? All these things and many more have made up my recent days.
Why should you care about such things? Well, for me, appreciation of the fact that we are larger than our own beings is an important part of being religious. We have many invitations to open ourselves to the larger life, but these soft whispers--from God, from the great mystery, from Mother Earth, from beautiful universe, from however you term the center--they call to us: “Wake up! Open yourself. Spring into life, into all that is life. This amazing and complex place that is your home!” Listen to the whisper, in all the ways you know how. That is my advice, my friends. Listen to the whisper.
See you in church!
(but not this week, I’m preaching in Dubuque this Sunday.)
This Sunday 3/18/12
8:30 am Music Rehearsal
9:30 am Service: “Why Fear Success?” Bill Chene; Karen Impola (Worship Associate)
A brief talk on success versus failure in achieving the goals we set for ourselves in life.
No Children’s Chapel or Children’s RE
11:15 am Adult Religious Education: Immigration Stories, continued
Since we had a smaller-than-usual turnout last Sunday, Sally Browne will again lead a discussion on immigration issues this coming Sunday. This Sunday, in addition to discussing The Death of Josseline, we will ALSO be discussing the series of immigration articles which appear in the current (Spring) edition of the UU World magazine. So, if you've been reading the book, have read the UU World articles, or just want to hear what others have to say on the topic, please join us for this discussion.
Calendar for this Coming Week
7:30 pm Board Meeting
11:00 am Friendship Village UU Ministry
5:00 pm Festival Sunday planning meeting
5:15 pm Children’s Choir
5:45 pm Dinner: Soup, plus beans, rice, salad & fruit
6:30 pm Adult Choir
7:30 pm Theoretical String Band
7:30 pm Buddhist Path
6:00 pm Family Movie Night (movie starts at 6:30 pm)
All events are open, unless specifically stated. We invite all who are interested to attend any meeting or activity that sounds intriguing to them.
The March newsletter is available as follows:
- paper copies are available in the fellowship hall at church.
Stay Informed/Keep Us Informed:
Please send any information for the Weekly Updates to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 266-5640.
We are saddened to note Dick Shane’s passing. He was a pillar of our community for years, born into this church 100 years ago. Into his 90’s he continued to say “yes” to help out with church jobs, he pledged, he stayed late and made sure our place was tidy and safe. He’s sweet spirit will be missed. But I am glad his passing was swift.
His family is planning a memorial service for sometime in May. They need some time to plan to gather from around the country. We will keep you posted as we learn more.
Sending love and hope to anyone who is hurting. Please reach out and let us know. And please, let me know of any other pastoral updates to include from week to week. People want to know, and send you love, prayers or bring you a pot of soup! ~Eva
Attending District Meeting or GA?
Are you planning on attending the Prairie Star District meeting or General Assembly? We need to appoint delegates to vote on any business that comes before these bodies. Please let me know if you are planning on attending. John Miller
Please join me on March 22 for “The State of the Charter for Compassion” – a celebration of the tremendous progress we’ve made together, and a vision for the road ahead as we continue to reassert compassion as the cornerstone of a just economy and a peaceful world. Among the highlights, I will unveil the Charter’s elegant new website as well as a refreshed look and feel.
The “State of the Charter” will immediately follow my lecture, “What is Religion?” hosted by Simon Fraser University’s Center for Dialogue in Vancouver. You can watch both the lecture and the Charter update live via streaming video, from 7-9 p.m. Pacific time at:
www.CharterForCompassion.org or www.Facebook.com/CharterForCompassion
If you’re unable to join the live broadcast, it also will be archived in both locations for viewing at your convenience.
As a brief preview, I would like to share a few thoughts on how the new website and brand work signals a significant step forward for the Charter.
We’ve come a long way since TED granted my wish to develop the Charter for Compassion. We articulated a compelling vision of compassion and the Golden Rule as precursors for global peace. We motivated 85,000 people to begin the journey of reflection and practice. And we inspired a first generation of deeply committed activists to take up the Charter’s message and lead a multitude of compassion-based initiatives around the world.
The foundation has been well set. Now it’s time to expand the Charter’s scale, reach and impact in a major way. It’s time to amplify its voice, accelerate the pace of change and reassert compassion as an essential and dynamic force for good. Indeed, it’s time for the Charter’s message to be universally heard and understood:
Compassion is not an option – it’s the key to our survival.
Fortunately, we live in the digital age. With technology on our side, we can connect millions of impassioned advocates, deliver the message of compassion, demonstrate compassion-in-action and issue a call to help the Charter change the world.
As we re-imagine the Charter’s online presence, we want to bring it to life as a hub for compassion-based content and establish it as a regular destination on one’s journey of compassion – a place to learn, share, connect and be inspired to take action.
Building this platform, however, is merely the start. We need your help. You are the vital link between idealism and pragmatic action. It is your commitment, your stories and your hard work that will animate the Charter and carry its message around the world.
In a few short days, we’ll have a vibrant new online home. Then it’s up to us to maximize its potential to make the Charter for Compassion and its digital properties the preeminent voice for compassionate action and global discourse.
I hope you can join me on the 22nd and I look forward to your active participation as we launch this exciting next phase of the Charter for Compassion’s growth and development.
A Project of the TED Prize | Copyright © 2012 Charter for Compassion
Children’s Religious Education Notes
No RE During Spring Break
There will no children’s RE on March 11th and 18th.
There is also no Children’s Chapel during this time. Enjoy your break!
Alternative Activities and Nursery
During Spring Break (March11th and 18th) there will be No Alternative Activities during the service due to lack of staff. There will be nursery care available.
UU Mystery Friends in April!
Kids and Adults, would you like to develop a new multi-generational friendship at the UUSBHC? UU Mystery Friends would be a great place to start!
Participate in this fun and easy program in April where RE students ages 4-18 sign up to become a mystery friend of an adult member of the congregation who has signed up to participate as well. During each week in April, the mystery friend will provide their child letters and/or trinkets. We will have a reveal party on Sunday, May 6th.
Sign up starting Sunday and through March. You can go to http://www.uusbhc.org to print off a registration form or pick one up from Moria Brown during coffee hour.
If you have any questions, please contact Angie Stafsholt or Moria Brown.
Family Movie Night
Mark you calendars for Friday, March 23rd for the first ever Family Movie Night! Doors open at 6:00, show begins at 6:30. Popcorn will be served.
and the movie will be.....BOLT!
Do you have a popcorn popper?
We are in need of poppers for Family Movie Night on the 23rd. If you have a popper and are willing to lend it to me, please email me at email@example.com. Thank you! Angie
The Joy of Giving: 2012- 2013 Stewardship Campaign
Stewardship update (from last week . . . Shanlee is on vacation this week . . . BUT
I’m sure she’s appreciate you still getting in your pledges so she comes home to a nice pile of them to count!!
Thanks for all of you who have returned your pledge forms for 2013. We have collected pledges for over $70,000, but are looking to make a budget closer to $124,000. A pledge form is at the bottom of the Update to use if you haven't made your pledge yet. Please consider doing so today. Every pledge enables us to continue the wonderful programs of UUSBHC. You can fill it out electronically and just email it back to me.
Questions, contact Shanlee McNally (319)296-2780 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In the words of Fia B. Scheyer:
Take joy in your giving
you not only enrich your soul,
you also enrich all of creation.
Giving is a simple act
that becomes a great occasion
for the benefits are incalculable.
It is with these words that we ask you to focus on your life in the UUSBHC. How does this life sustain you; make you better, give you peace, make you happy, challenge you to think, give you a place to worship, surround you with love? Take a moment to realize the importance of UUSBHC in your life.
Your giving during the stewardship campaign enables us to function as a lively religious community, to meet our program goals and our financial obligations. It is an endorsement of our shared future, guaranteeing that we remain a vital liberal religious presence in the community. This presence makes a difference in the world, sets an example for our children, and allows our church to thrive.
As you consider your pledge for the coming year, please remember how good it feels to give….your time…..your treasure…..your talents. All the ways you give are important and sustain this rich community we value.
How much should I pledge?
The amount you pledge is completely up to you and your ability to give. We do not require any minimum amount. A “Fair Share” giving guide is printed on the back of your pledge sheet to assist you with determining what you might give. By becoming a Fair Share giver, you enable the UUSBHC to better translate your UU values into the actions of the congregation. This benefits not only you and your family, but the greater UU community as well. Remember, $81 of your pledge goes to meeting our denominational membership dues to the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Prairie Star District.
Your Stewardship questions answered:
When do I pay my pledge?
The pledge you make is for the July 2012-June 2013 program year. It is not necessary to make any payment until July 2012. If you wish to pay on your pledge early, make sure to indicate it is for the 2012-2011 year when making the payment. This will let us credit the correct pledge year. Monthly payment plans are also available should you chose to spread your payment out throughout the year.
Can I just put cash in the collection plate when I attend services?
Of course we welcome your free will offering, but pledging allows us to budget responsibly. By making a pledge we can easily track the amount given and budget according to what pledges will be.
I volunteer a lot, so do I still need to make a pledge?
Volunteering of your time is an essential and much appreciated gift to our society. However, being a member means contributing both your time and money. Both types of contributions are important to a healthy church community.
Can I change the amount of my pledge?
We would welcome any increase in your contribution. If, however, your life circumstances have changed and you need to reduce your pledge, simply contact Shanlee McNally to make the necessary adjustment; 319-296-2780 or email@example.com
Pledge Form is at the bottom of this Weekly Update.
Wider Faith: UU Events and Opportunities
A Frame is Worth a Thousand Words -
A Workshop on Communication for Social Change
I want to invite you to a valuable workshop on Saturday, March 31, at First Unitarian Church that all Iowa faith leaders and congregants interested in social justice work should consider attending. You'll come away understanding how to more effectively “frame” your messages and impact social change. Whether we're writing a letter to the editor, speaking publicly, or just casually conversing with others on issues we care about, it can be hard to frame our message so others can hear it. Learn ways to bridge the gap of understanding around politically-charged issues and build community and relationships across differences of opinion or belief. The Social Justice Council is underwriting and bringing Rev. Karen Hering and her program to Iowa to help enhance the work of all our social justice programs and projects.
Click here for more information and how to register.
Social Justice Council Member
First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, IA (515) 244-8603
Email: Social.Justice.1stUU@gmail.com Website: www.ucdsm.org
PSD Annual Conference 2012: April 13-15, Bloomington MN
Hurry! Its almost here!
For more information go to http://www.psduua.org/AnnualConference2012
Phoenix General Assembly 2012 registration, housing open
Registration and the housing reservation system are now open for General Assembly 2012, to be held at the Phoenix, Ariz., Convention Center June 20-24. This GA will be a “Justice GA,” focusing largely on immigration, racial, and economic justice issues.
Adult full-time registration is $320 until April 30 when it increases to $365. A one-day registration is $130. The first two days, Wednesday and Thursday, are also grouped for a one-day rate. Youth registration is $190. The opening ceremony is Wednesday evening and the closing celebration is at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Housing begins at $125 in the two hotels close to the convention center, the Hyatt Regency Phoenix and the Marriott Renaissance. Many other housing options, including economical rooms at a residence hall at Arizona State University a half mile from the convention center, are available through the GA Housing Reservation System.
For this GA the UUA is partnering with immigrant rights groups and other organizations in Arizona to bring attention to human rights abuses there and to help GA attendees learn how to address similar abuses in their home communities. There will be numerous public witness events in Phoenix but no civil disobedience is planned.
The Ware Lecture will be presented Thursday night by Mexican-American broadcast journalist Maria Hinojosa. More information on GA 2012 can be found here and here.
The War on Drugs – Is it time to reconsider?
March 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM University Room, Maucker Union
Speaker: Major Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)
Lecture followed by reaction panel of university and community experts.
The War on Drugs was initiated in the 1970s in response to a perceived national problem of increased drug usage, particularly among the young. Since then, drug enforcement efforts have cost billions of dollars in federal, state, and local funds. In addition, the rapid increase in the number of individuals convicted for drug offenses and the length of their incarceration is primarily responsible for the fact that the United States has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates of all the nations of the world. Moreover this incarceration involves grossly disproportionate numbers of people of color. Finally, a number of studies seriously question the effectiveness of the War on Drugs in reducing the rates of drug addiction in our country.
Our speaker served in law enforcement for 34 years, in the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department. During much of that time he served as a narcotics agent. His remarks should encourage us to reconsider what our country is doing to address the drug problem and will open a dialog on what new, more appropriate responses should be.
Sponsors: UNI Public Policy Program, UNI Public Policy Club, UNI Student Government, and the Citizens for Undoing Racism Task Force on the War on Drugs.
Contact: R. Allen Hays, firstname.lastname@example.org, 319-273-2910
July, 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013 Stewardship Pledge Form
Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County
3912 Cedar Heights Dr., Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Phone: E-mail Address:
I/we wish to make the following financial commitment to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County for the July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013 program year.
Amount of financial commitment: $ _______________________
Prairie Star District Affiliation Dues $23.00
Unitarian Universalist Association Affiliation Dues $58.00
Total financial commitment to Unitarian Universalism
for the July 2012—June 2013 program year. $ _______________________
Thank you for participating in this year’s Stewardship Campaign. We appreciate your ongoing support for the UUSBHC and our denomination, and in helping to continue a liberal religious presence in our community. It is understood that financial circumstances may change during the course of the year. In the event that you need to revise your financial commitment please contact Shanlee McNally, Stewardship Chair email@example.com or 319-296-2780