Welcome to Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship!
BUUF AffirmationWe join, in the spirit of love, to develop our religious attitudes objectively and honestly that life may be more meaningful.
Earth Day Celebration
The Social Justice Coalition is sponsoring its 3rd Annual Earth Day Celebration at Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. This event will begin with an Interfaith Earth Blessing at 6pm. Reception with light refreshments to follow the blessing.
“The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. …More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.”-Earth Day Network
The Earth Day Celebration is sponsored by the Social Justice Coalition which includes: the Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, First Congregational UCC, First Presbyterian Church, Pilgrim Congregational UCC, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, and the St. Joseph Buddhist Sangha. The Social Justice Coalition is an interfaith community of individuals and institutions dedicated to expanding knowledge about social justice issues as they exist in our community and our country.
LGBT Sensitivity Training
The Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) is offering a workshop entitled “LGBT Cultural Competency and Sensitivity Training: Creating Whole Communities” on April 25, 2015, 10:00AM until 12:30PM, at BUUF. This training event is specifically designed for clergy, church leaders and members of Southwest Michigan churches. There is no cost for participants. Advanced registration is necessary. Please call 269-429-2883 to register by leaving your name and phone number. You will receive a call confirming your registration. The deadline for registration is April 18, 2015.
The workshop, funded by a grant to the OutCenter from the Southwest Michigan Community Foundation, is designed to help decrease discrimination and increase empathy. The training prioritizes education and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) diversity and inclusion. Starting with a simple overview, presenters walk groups through the science and language in an open, honest and engaging manner, inviting insights and observations along the way. Time tested exercises are included along with smaller group case study sessions developed in concert with the host organization to ensure applicability. Attendees leave with a greater understanding of LGBT people and information they can comfortably share with others.
Jennifer C. Hsu will serve as presenter at the workshop. Jen has over ten years of LGBT diversity training experience, including six years professional experience providing support, education and advocacy to the Southwest Michigan community. Jen has facilitated cultural competency trainings for many groups. She has also conducted organizational development and institutional policy analysis to assist institutions with the elimination of barriers and the creation of welcoming spaces for underrepresented communities. Jen currently serves as the Coordinator of Western Michigan University’s Office of LGBT Student Services. She was formerly the Executive Director of the OutCenter in Benton Harbor.
Be a King
“LIFE’S MOST PERSISTENT QUESTION IS, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR OTHERS?”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is my particular opinion that the spiritual task incumbent on every Unitarian Universalist is to strive to make the world a better place. By better, I mean a world where the rule is peace and justice and where every person has a social inheritance that will allow him or her to fully realize the depth and breadth of his or her humanity.
This month we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King put his life on the line for the civil rights of black men and women in the 1960s. He eventually lost his life to an assassin’s bullet in his struggle to create that “better world” I mentioned earlier. It may seem brash to suggest that one should strive to be a Martin Luther King. Yet that is exactly what I am saying. Now is the time to “put our hands to the plow.” Now is the time for you and me to “fight the good fight.”
So, how does one do that? Fortunately, the “UU Living Tradition” sheds some light on our path. The second article says, “….to confront the powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” Love is the crucial ingredient in the UU recipe for changing the world. Dr. King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Love then is the guide the will show us the way.
Our "once-only" Life
Dear Members and Friends,
“But because being here amounts to so much, because all this Here and Now, so fleeting, seems to require us and strangely concerns us. Us the most fleeting of all. Just once, everything, only for once. Once and no more. And we, too, once. And never again.”
In “The Ninth Elegy” of the German poet Rilke he says, “being here amounts to so much” and it seems to require us…. When I recently celebrated my 95th birthday these words of Rilke kept echoing in my head as I came face to face with the fact that no life is repeatable, but each life is a once-only event. I am sure that as you reflect upon your life and its unrepeatability that you begin to examine the quality of your life. Therefore, we examine the quality of every day since you know in your very being that it is a once-only experience. The quality of our daily lives tells our story and we do not get an opportunity to rewrite it.
I think the poet wants us to examine the quality of each day since it is “once-only.” “Being here means so much.” We may ask ourselves to whom does my life mean so much? What is the quality of life I bring to this fellowship?