IN THIS ISSUE:
ALL BUUF RETREAT -- SEPTEMBER 19 & 20 * New Officers and Staff Changes * Who Is A Patriot? * Water Ceremony * BUUF Donates to Capstone * Standing on the Side of Love! * General Assembly * Thanks * God’s Whispered Urgings * Eugene P. Whitlow * Marion Geisler
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BUUF will hold an all day retreat with an overnight and Sunday service at the Tower Hill camp in Sawyer the weekend of Saturday, September 19 (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.), and Sunday, September 20 (9:00 a.m. to noon). Children are welcome and activities will be arranged for them.
The cost for overnight accommodations will be approximately $35 per person, and consist of private or shared rooms with and without attached baths. The cost of meals will depend on the consensus of those who will be attending as to which meals we will eat in the camp dining hall.
The purpose will be to re-evaluate and re-affirm our direction for the next few years. Our last retreat took place in 2002, before many of us were members of BUUF, so it is time to take stock. Facilitators will be Roger Brewin and Viola Moore. If you have items you world like to put on the agenda, please contact Roger, Viola, or Tom Hackley, who will be doing the planning for the event.
A sign-up sheet is located at the bulletin board near the kitchen entrance to BUUF - please let us know what your plans are. Mark your calendars now!
The Board of Trustees met on Sunday July 26, and elected officers for the coming year. They are:
Janice Zerfas, president - email@example.com Emily Hecht, vice-president - firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Eklund, secretary - email@example.com Dick Berndt, treasurer - firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Sarra will be taking on administrative duties - email@example.com Gretchen Ohmann will remain as bookkeeper - firstname.lastname@example.org The e-mail address email@example.com will temporarily be routed to office administrator Dave.
Congratulations new Board members and officers!
Dear Members and Friends, On Flag Day a young man asked me, "Who is a patriot?" That question carried in it the poison of the McCarthy era when so many were afraid to be considered unpatriotic, for that meant that you were secretly pro-communist, and therefore suspect.I think a patriot is a citizen who asks questions of the government and all who make up the administration. What is their public policy? Do their new and revised laws include the public good, or are new rules slanted to the good of special interests who care nothing for the public good, let alone the welfare of the whole human family. In a Democracy such questioning should be encouraged beginning with children. Kindergarten is not too young to learn the art of asking questions,especially of those in authority. Authority always has violence at its command. Witness the Democratic Convention of 1967 when violence was the weapon of choice. Those in authority lacked the wisdom and the mercy to do otherwise.Now we have the crisis in Iran and those in authority stand before the judgment seat of history. So much depends on the power of the state! In our own country the drama is now being played out about health care. We are obviously a divided society on the issue. The recent murder of Dr. Tiller shows us that violence is a weapon even in the cause of healthcare. Is personal freedom an issue even in something so basic as health? We should be very understanding of each other as this issue is played out and so much is at stake. Is health a human right? What does our faith say about the worth and dignity of every person? Let us be an informed people knowing that so much depends on the outcome. Huge profits are at risk as powerful forces are challenged for the first time in our history.
As summer winds down,we shall be thinking about final celebrations for our fifty years of speaking truth to power, which as patriots we must always do.Best wishes for a happy summer of rest and reflection.Love,
The Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Community Outreach and Social Action Committee donated a Dell laptop computer to the Capstone Family Support Center of Benton Harbor. Capstone’s mission is “nurturing strong families and safe children in our community.” The computer will be used by Capstone Parent Aides in the field to assist with the in-home visitation program as they provide parent coaching, structured parent and child interactive play groups, parent education classes and many other services
COSA Committee Chair Frances Porter Snyder stated, “Capstone Family Support Center is a vital organization that provides invaluable service to parents and children the community. Their funding has been reduced due to Michigan’s economy. Our fellowship is committed to support the greater Berrien County community in every way we can.”
In addition to the computer, the Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship also presented a check in the amount of $436 to Capstone Executive Director Judi Burnison to further support the Parent Aide Program and will continue to adopt a family at Christmas time, collaborate on a possible speakers series and assist with other fund raising efforts.
Banners throughout the General Assembly convention halls proclaimed, "Standing on the side of love for marriage equality," Standing on the side of love with immigrant families," and more.
The new website says, "Standing on the Side of Love is a public advocacy campaign, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association, promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Standing on the Side of Love will confront exclusion, oppression and violence based on identity. Based in the aspiration to create beloved community, the campaign will pursue social change through advocacy, public witness and speaking out in solidarity with those whose lives are publicly demeaned. All people, not just Unitarian Universalists, are invited to stand, speak, worship, march, roll, and live on the side of the love."
At one point during the week in Salt Lake City, a storm gathered, winds caught the huge banner that was hanging on one of the towers of the Salt Palace convention center. Glass was broken, but quickly repaired as volunteers guided GA-goers around the work area. Not so the banner. Instead it was broken up into hundreds of pieces. These pieces of our banner became symbols of our collective commitment to Stand On the Side Of Love. The pieces were handed out to people coming into the evening workshop service with a pledge to bring the message back to our congregations. I so pledged and I did bring back a piece of the banner.
Here is more on the campaign: www.standingonthesideoflove.org.
Here is an article by Rev. Linda Berez, a minister in our District with whom I've worked.
-- Gretchen Ohmann
Two of us from BUUF went to General Assembly in Salt Lake City in June -- our Religious Leader Beth Lefever, shown here carrying the UUFE banner for the traditional banner parade (OK Beth, we forgive you!), and office administrator Gretchen Ohmann. If you're on Facebook, find the Central Midwest District group for more photos and comments from people in our district. The UUA website has streaming video of several events that you might want to view. I especially recommend watching the video of the Sunday morning service with Rev. Abhi Janamanchi of Clearwater, Florida. He spoke of his religious journey with a terrific combination of reverence and humor.
BUUF MinistersRev. Dr. Roger BrewinRev. Donald WheatRev. Viola Moore (Emerita)Religious LeaderBeth Lefever returning summer 2010Board of TrusteesJanice Zerfas, President president at buuf2.org Emily Hecht,Vice Presidentvp at buuf2.orgDick Berndt, Treasurer treasurer at buuf2.org Amy Eklund, Secretarysecretary@buuf2.orgJim DalgleishChris SirotiakLisa Dalgleish
StaffRE Director David SarraDRE at buuf2.org Office Administrator & Newsletter EditorDavid Sarraoffice at buuf2.orgbookeeperGretchen Ohmannbookkeeper@buuf2.org
Please see our CALENDAR for full details!
I was so moved by your outpouring of love and best wishes Sunday the 12th, and your wonderful gift. The chalice is truly beautiful and so very unique! I will treasure it for years to come, as I will the kind and supportive remarks you wrote in my card. And of course, as I will, and do, each of you.
Several of you asked for my Muncie address, and I will email that to you when I get it. I also will stay at least in occasional touch.
With great affection,
This sermon was delivered by Beth Lefever to Berrien UU Fellowship on July 12, 2009.
In place of a second reading this morning, I’m using a song which I know some of you have heard before. It’s called “Pizza Deliverance” by the Chenille Sisters.
Upon first hearing, this song might be perceived as disrespectful of some religions, or of religion in general. I certainly can perceive it in that way, if I’m of a mind to. But if we look beyond any perceived offense, there is a message here that I want to discuss in this morning’s sermon.
So listen to the words, and then I’ll tell you what they mean to me.
Song – “Pizza Deliverance” [watch the YouTube video]
Connie Huber, a member of the Chenille Sisters, wrote this song, and although it is couched in humor and fun-making, the last line of the song carries an important message: “There is a little for everyone, and remember god is in us all.” Read more...
The purpose of the Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship religious education program is to provide the following:
As adopted by the RE Committee, January 2000
Dave Sarra, Director of Religious EducationDRE at buuf2.orgtelephone: 269-426-4051
This Tuesday, August 4, at 7:30 p.m. we'll meet at Gary Cook's home at 3196 Johnson Road, Stevensville, for “The Need for Creeds” which is described as follows: “For many modern Americans, the very idea of reciting an unchanging creed, composed centuries ago, is troublesome. But, Jaroslav Pelikan, who died on May 13, 2006, was a scholar who devoted his life to exploring the vitality of ancient theology and creeds. He insisted that even modern pluralists need strong statements of belief.”
The following Tuesday, August 11, Tom Hackley will host “Brother Thay: A Radio Pilgrimage with Thich Nhat Hanh” which is described as follows: “In 2003, Speaking of Faith took a radio pilgrimage with the Buddhist monk at a Christian conference center in rural Wisconsin. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh — called Thây by his students — offers stark, gentle wisdom for living in a world of anger and violence.”
On August 18 we'll meet at Dave Sarra's homein Sawyer for "Alzheimer's, Memory and Being" which is described as follows: "Our guest, psychologist Alan Dienstag, has led support groups and a writing group for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. We explore the human and spiritual terrain of this illness, what it might teach about the nature of human memory and identity, and what remains when memory unravels."
Heartha sent a message saying Gene died Sunday morning, July 26. Heartha and Dana deeply appreciate all the letters, emails, and support we've had from many Buuf members.
ST. JOSEPH - Eugene P. Whitlow, Ph.D., 94, of St. Joseph died Sunday, July 26, 2009, at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph. Cremation has taken place, and family services will be held at a later date. The Dey-Florin Chapel of Florin Funeral Service in St. Joseph is in charge of the arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship or the Box Factory for the Arts. Gene was born on June 28, 1915, in Bartlett, Texas, to Henry and Lillian Whitlow. He married Heartha Nielsen on Dec. 25, 1940, in Austin, Texas, and together they celebrated 68 years of marriage.
His doctorate was in physical chemistry. Gene was employed at Whirlpool for 20 years and at Phillips Engineering for 5 years and retired in 1981. He was a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma XI, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers.
He is survived by his wife, Heartha, and his son, Dana Whitlow of Arecibo, Puerto Rico.He was preceded in death by a daughter, Kerry Murray, in 1991, and one brother.
Former BUUF member Marion Geisler died peacefully in South Haven July 15, 2009. Her son Doug notified BUUF. Marion and her husband C. Elwood Geisler were BUUF members in the 1980’s. BUUF founder Marv Fuller spoke in 1986 at Elwood’s funeral and a tree is planted on BUUFs property in Elwood’s memory. Marion and Elwood’s daughter Barbara (Maynard Kaufman) was also a BUUF member. Marion was an activist and worker for peace, civil rights and the environment. She was devoted to her developmentally disabled daughter, Pam, who died in 2005. Marion helped establish a school for handicapped children at the Benton Harbor YMCA and was president of the Berrien County Association of Retarded Children. Marion’s body was cremated and a gathering of friends and family will be held at a future time. The family requests any memorial contributions go to Sarett Nature Center or to South Haven Hospice.
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