KUUC GENERAL INFORMATION

GENERAL INFORMATION

Check the Calendar/ Schedule Meetings

Please contact Susan to inquire about scheduling a meeting.

Church Office Hours

The office is open from 9:30-5 on Monday, Thursday and Friday each week.  As usual, it’s always a good idea to call or email first to make sure Susan is available if you need her assistance.

Rev Michael’s Office Hours for January

Wednesdays 9 A.M.-2 P.M.           

If these hours do not work for you, or you would rather not come in to the office, make an appointment with him directly: (508) 821-6092.

FEBRUARY MESSENGER DEADLINE

Submission deadline for February Messenger is Friday, January 20.

COMMITTEE CONTACTS

Circle of Caring:                              Martha Bauman, Betsy Zimmerli

Covenant Group Council:            Carolyn Antrim

Fundraising:                                    Susan Chamberlin

Greens Sale:                                      Susan Chamberlin

Investment:                                       John Bordenet

Membership:                                    Open

Music                                                   Matt Aversa

Personnel:                                        Carolyn Antrim

Property:                                           Open – contact Bob Hill

Public Relations/Advertising:    Susan MacNeil

Religious Exploration:                  Barbara Bryce

Senior Lunch Bunch:                     Betty Forrest

Shawls of Love:                                Darcy Doyle

Slice of Fellowship:                        Betty Forest, Sue Segal

Social Action/Green Sanctuary:  Nancy Brigham, Ann Shedd

Stewardship:                                   Open

Ushers:                                              Gareth Williams

Wayside Pulpit:                               Vicki Keller

Welcoming Congregation:           Open/Inactive

Worship:                                           Rachael Walter

 

 

EXPLORING CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES DISCUSSION GROUP – KUUC Alliance Room, 5-7pm, second Tuesday

EXPLORING CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES DISCUSSION GROUP

BOOK OF JOB DISCUSSION CONTINUES MAY 9

On Tuesday, May 9th, the Biblical Discussion Group will finish its conversation on the Book of Job. After 37 chapters, finally we hear the Lord speak, addressing Job and his “friends” from out of the whirlwind. Although what God says in chapters 38-41 are not the last words in the story, they connect the whole book and settle answer all our questions about this enigmatic tale—or maybe not!

This group is guided by our fourth principle (“a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”) and free of the doctrine or dogma that has often characterized traditional institutional Christianity. If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more, please contact Carol Stamatakis at cstamatakis@outlook.com or 603-863-4920/ 603-398-5389.  Attendance in earlier session are not required to join us

 

 

 

May 2017 – Reverend Michael’s Moment

 MAY

After all, what are any of us after but the conviction of belonging?”      Wallace Stegner

One the great crises of our time is homelessness. Homelessness, we know, is more than simply not having a home, or the money to pay our bills, or the necessary social service support to negotiate reentry to a society to which those without a street address quickly lose their connection.

Yet there are greater problems, problems that affect the homeless but extend well beyond the fact of homelessness, connecting everyone; though moreso those on the margins of our society. Those problems are hopelessness and the feeling of alienation, spiritual maladies with real world symptoms.

It is easy to see hopelessness and alienation in our world, among rich and poor, black and white, learned and uneducated, political or not. Immigrants who have gained citizenship, who have lived and worked in America for years, feel insecure walking the streets and suspect they are not welcome where they go. Many young people feel hopeless as they look at their employment options and consider their college debt. Surely, you don’t have to be young or born in another country to feel alienated—the epidemic of drug abuse, reaching across the generations, income levels and color lines is an indicator of that. The fact is that many people do not feel like they belong in their own country, due to their ability to “compete” in an economic system based on winners and losers, because of color or gender, sexual expression, age or ability.

We, the KUUC, may want ask ourselves some questions as we clarify our values and conceive of a mission worthy of our people and principles:

  • What is the nature of our welcome to the world? Do we make people feel like they belong in our community?
  • What is the nature of our community? Do we treat each other kindly without avoiding difficult challenges or sweeping conflict under the rug?
  • What is the nature of our commitment? Do we work as individuals and as a community to understand and live our shared values and principles?
  • People are suffering. Many people feel shut out of “the system”; many feel demoralized and persecuted because of their skin color; many feel despised because of their difference from the status quo; many feel the unbearable pain of being alone in the world.

Is there anything we can do to help? Do we dare to change the world? If we help one person who walks in our doors, in some way we help all people. When others are welcome we too feel less alienated and more clearly see our place in the human family.

With heart and in hope,

Rev. Michael

 

 

APRIL

“When we choose to love, we choose to move against fear, against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect, to find ourselves in the other.”       Bell Hooks

The other night I was at a business meeting of the church that began as most, if not all, of our meetings do, with a “check-in.” It was an evening meeting, and I must admit I was tired. I had looked over the agenda for the two-hour meeting and seemed reasonably short. I decided that with relatively few items on agenda, we had time enough for good discussions on each item, to vote on items that needed resolution and still get out a little early.

Then the check-in went on and on… In fact, it lasted more than a half-hour. I found myself getting anxious and a little grumpy. It was hard for me to listen, to take it all in, as I still had work to do when I got home, and I wanted to spend some time with my family. I even did my best to get us “back on track” by being brief (for me at least) during my time to share.

I was also being human, isolating despite the opportunity for connection.

It was only after I got home that I realized what had happened to me at the meeting. I had lost track of something important about church life that must always be the priority, always the most important item on any agenda in any worship service or religious exploration program. The most important thing about congregational life is being together in community.

Congregational life is all about sharing deeply, listening intently, and taking a break from the bottom line world of term papers and work deadlines, investment returns and the endless medical appointments which predominate our time, and trouble our sleep, during the cascading ages and stages of Life. Or perhaps it would be better to say that in spiritual community we bring all of these things—our worries and peculiarities, our needs and little victories—with us to a place where they can be heard and acknowledged, where they can be put into perspective, where we can hold them up to the light of our shared values and highest aspirations, all in a safe place, all in good company.

As I am only human, I sometimes forget this most precious gift of spiritual community, I expect we all do. I sometimes forget that community is something I need just as much as anyone who gathers at 69 Washington St. In this season of renewal, we will begin to talk about values and vision and our mission—all important things. Yet, what is most important, whatever the outcome of all the talking and dreaming and making plans and taking action, is that we will be learning about each other; opening the circle of friendship and strengthening the bolds of friendship and community.

Yours in Faith and Fellowship,

Rev. Michael

 

 

Board President Lucius Parshall – April 2016

SPEAK UP SO I CAN HEAR YOU!

The season is upon us once again. No, not that one. Our church is again entering the time when we are all asked to pledge to the church that has served us so well, so it will be there to serve those yet to come. Those congregants that have been paying attention over the last few years know how this works.  We put off pledging until the end of the campaign, then await the unveiling of next year’s budget that reflects every penny pledged—and not a cent more. Then we squirm and eventually rise to the occasion.

I’m proud of the financial restraint that our board has displayed over the course of this fiscal year, but our bricks and mortar are suffering. We were fortunate enough to avoid dipping into the reserve funds that the congregation allocated at our last general meeting, but we were also blessed with some very light heating expenses. Plans change, sometimes for the better.

Our congregation is getting older, so is our larger community. As America becomes more secular we watch the churches close around our community. I don’t think that Unitarian Universalists need to suffer this same fate. Peter Morales has made an eloquent case for us in his “A Religion for Our Time” video series (try that in your YouTube search window).

In the next year all of us will be asked to engage in creating a common vision that will carry the message of Unitarian Universalism into our local community. It is my fervent hope that this is not yet another exercise in wordsmithing, but a real communication of what we offer that sets us apart from dogmatic congregations. This vision is needed to lay the foundation for a new generation of congregants who will continue the work of making our liberal faith relevant.

I’m getting older, and I have a request. Will you please SPEAK UP SO I CAN HEAR YOU! I’m ready to increase my pledge by 5%, I’m ready to increase my involvement by 5% and I’m ready to work towards our common vision, 5% harder. That’s how it comes down, committing our time, treasure and talent to growing our congregation.  You may divide this pie differently, but in the end I’ll still be asking for 15% more. It’s what we owe to ourselves, and those who will follow.

Peace, Lucius

Reverend Michael’s Moment – April 2016

Bend down—and there it is: No need to wrest it from others. With the Way, in complete agreement— The mere touch of a hand is spring: The way we come upon blooming flowers, The way we see the year renew itself. What comes this way will stay…  —Ssu-k’ung T’u, (837-908), The Twenty-Four Orders of Poetry

Finally, it has arrived! One would think that such a mild winter as this would have been more patiently endured and easily gotten through—especially when compared to the ferocious cold and record snows of last year. For me that was decidedly not the case. With each tease of mild weather my heart soared and with the least suggestion of icy winter’s return it withered. I found that I was looking forward to, no longing for, the return of spring more than I ever have before. Maybe you felt that way too?

Why should this be? Who knows.

Perhaps such longing was the product of less light in the day. I know that many people lack concentration or are troubled by sadness and fatigue during the winter. Perhaps we felt compelled to stay inside and keep to the work at hand, winter’s shadows deepening the feelings of responsibility that come with maturity. For me, it may have been that the concerns of aging were finally creeping in, and with them wariness that under each fresh dusting of snow, hidden ice and a sudden fall waited. As the years pass, each turn of the wheel is more precious—as it should be—and witnessing the unveiling of another spring is not to be taken for granted.

In retrospect, I realize that I was simply impatient for the return of the lark and leaf—for the return of the spring in my step that comes with this season. I deeply missed playing toss on the lawn and listening to the muddy squish, swish-swish of my boots as I tramp around Goose Pond. I looked and looked for signs of budding, the reemergence of color, the return of the light and now, with April, I have my reward!

I won’t regret this impatience for spring, and neither should you. In this case impatience is simply a sign of health; of how much we love life, all life and the beautiful, cool, (never cruel), up-springing April.

However, I do want to extend this apology to winter: you are also lovely and not to be taken for granted. Enjoy your time away winter! We’ll see you again come December!

With Heart and in Hope,

Rev. Michael

Board President Lucius Parshall – February 2016

The tinsel’s packed away for another year, but I was honored to be part of our Christmas Eve service. I’m often a sucker for things traditional, and the Christian overtones connect me with my own youth, for better or worse.

Since joining KUUC, I’m trying to do this free and responsible search for truth and meaning, but it can’t happen in a vacuum. I test new ideas against what I once believed as true. This makes me embrace my roots, and honor my traditions, if only on a personal level. I thank each one of you for teaching me tolerance both for myself and with others.

I also think on Liberalism’s Big Tent. If we are a welcoming congregation, where are the liberal Christians, where are the Eisenhower Republicans? Pete Seeger said that, “It’s a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with.” I think that Pete was right, but learning to talk has to be hand in hand with respect.

This month we have begun a new policy, you may have noticed. We have a designated point person who each week is identified from the pulpit during announcements. That person is charged to be available to visitors. These visitors are seeking, but often leave without finding or even identifying what they are seeking. The best we can do for them is to listen. One of the tag-lines that the Communication Committee came up with was “KUUC–Where all your answers are questioned.” We need to go beyond saying that we are a dogma free congregation and live it.

The history of our Liberal faith has placed us ahead on so many issues. It is a position that I am loth to surrender, and do not wish to let go due to complacency. We have a good thing, and expanding our base is good for our community and the world. I’m ready to clarify our vision and work together to strengthen our congregation.  Please share your thoughts and ideas to help make this happen.

Peace,

Lucius Parshall

 

Board President Lucius Parshall – January 2016

As most of you should know, with Michelle’s recent move for work (Congratulations Michelle!) my elected status was accelerated. While I already miss the guidance of Michelle, I’m excited to take on a new role in promoting our liberal faith.

Someone recently asked me to put the word “liberal” in context. I said I was using the term liberal from an intellectual perspective rather than political. I look over our principles, and I wonder how many conservatives and theists that may stumble upon our church would agree with my use of the word liberal. Are we the “big tent” church, or have we been galvanized by a too tight interpretation of our own liberalism? I think on our third principle, “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregation.” Does this happen with each person that comes through our door? I can’t say, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Now I’ve promised Rev Michael that I’ll leave the sermons to him, but I do believe that we have a good thing here within our faith. Good for our community, and worth preserving. We all need to nurture our church not only spiritually, but also financially. While I believe that where there is no vision, the people perish, having a heated sanctuary to gather together in has to be right up there as well. I also see solid financial footing is the foundation upon which our vision resides.

Over the next few months I hope to be examining all of our resources and ask if we are putting them into best practice for nurturing our vision, and sustaining our future. I will truly welcome your thoughts and suggestions on this matter that concerns not just our current congregation, but also those potential congregants who have yet to participate. It seems to me a natural way in which to live out faith.

Peace,

Lucius Parshall

Adult Religious Exploration Book Discussion

BOOK DISCUSSION: THE CONVERSATION

“The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care” by Angelo Volendes, MD, will be the focus of an Adult RE book discussion in January/ February 2016. Book discussion sessions will be co-facilitated by Nancy Brigham and Dottie Bauer, and will be scheduled for several Sundays after church with specific dates yet to be determined.

Please contact Susan in the office if you would like us to order a paperback copy of the book for you. DEADLINE for requesting a book is Monday, January 18, 2016 (MLK Day). If you have any questions, please contact Nancy (npbrigham@gmail.com) or Dottie (dottiebauer@gmail.com).

CALLING ALL QUILTERS!

Beginning in early February the vision of next year’s raffle quilt will begin to formulate in the hearts, minds and hands of those who wish to be part of the effort. The proceeds from quilt, which will be raffled off at next year’s Green Sale, supports both the Community Breakfast program as well as KUUC. If you’d like to join us in 2016 please contact Hazel so we can determine a schedule that will accommodate all.  Next year’s quilt will be a hand-quilted project sure to delight and dazzle.  We invite you to consider joining us as many hands make for light work.   Contact Hazel at 499-6162.