To question,To love,To serve,To celebrate differences— Together.
In the BUUF is the monthly newsletter of the Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 4340 Lincoln Avenue, Saint Joseph, MI 49085-8712. Articles should be given to the newsletter editor no later than the 20th of the month. Items for Sunday Bulletin should be in by Thursday.
Rev. Viola Moore PASTORAL LETTERREAD VIOLA'S LETTERSON HER BLOG!
We join, in the spirit of love, to develop our religious attitudes objectively and honestly that life may be more meaningful.
BUUF’s Board of Trustees meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month following the service. Contact Janice for more information.
BUUF MinistersRev. Dr. Roger BrewinRev. Donald WheatRev. Viola Moore (Emerita)Rev. Jim McConnellStudent ministerBeth LefeverBoard of TrusteesJanice Zerfas, President president at buuf2.org Emily Hecht, Vice Presvp at buuf2.orgDorothy Long, Treasurer treasurer at buuf2.org Amy Eklund, Secretarysecretary@buuf2.orgChris SirotiakLisa Dalgleish
The purpose of the Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship religious education program is to provide the following:
As adopted by the RE Committee, January 2000
Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. we gather at the homes of members of BUUF to listen to and discuss selected shows from Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith NPR program. Feel free to attend any or all of our get-togethers. The programs may be downloaded or listened to for free at speakingoffaith.org. We try to choose and schedule programs a month in advance. If you need directions, phone numbers, or if there is a particular show you would like to discuss or host, please let me know.
Dave Sarra, Director of Religious Educationtelephone: 269-426-4051
Central Midwest District Online Workshops
Details:Midwest UU Leadership
Subscribe to MIDWEST UU LEADERSHIP by Email
Latest Webinar Videos
General Assembly 2011 in Charlotte will mark the 50th anniversary of the merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America.
Join thousands of fellow Unitarian Universalists from across the country as we remember the persons and events that brought into being the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in May 1961, to reflect on our denomination’s relevant achievements and struggles since then, and to chart new aspirations for the future we are determined to shape.
Two appearances in St. Joseph
Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship4340 Lincoln Ave St. Joseph, MI269.429.2883 or email@example.com
Advance Tickets $15 (at the door $20)Children under 12 $5
Dear Members and Friends,
Some of you have shown some concern over my having a 1949 Ford in my living room. Frank gave a partial explanation to Harvey after church. The Ford through the alchemy of art is now an award-winning sculpture of theological meaning. The artist was only seventeen at the time of the creation, having never studied religion. It is an illustration of the mystery of artistic creation. Heartha can tell us more about that. To be an artist means to be in touch with the spirit world.
I think the bleakness and emptiness of our culture points to a sickness unto death of the soul. Where does this sickness unto death come from? It comes from our competitiveness, our violence, our enviousness, and our being besotted with things and yet more things. And yet we are not happy though surrounded with all the goodies money can buy. What we have forgotten in our scramble to become rich is the basic fact that the purpose of life is connection to others, to nature, and to ourselves.
Now at holiday time it is time to celebrate connection; to family, to tradition, to others. No matter how different in culture and tradition, we are all connected in the dance of life no matter how we try to deny it. Original goodness is working in every one of us just seeking its way into our common life.
We are moved with compassion when we see the hunger, the disasters of wars, and the scourge of the homeless. As religious people we know that these are our brothers and sisters whose claims we cannot deny.
As we move through the dark days of winter’s cold, may the memory of parties, celebrations, and waves of great music keep us warm and help us to listen to the still small voice which whispers and then shouts YES to life, full of mysteries of art and love. As religious liberals we stand on the solid rock of love which liberates and transforms.
May we dance in the new year with all its promise and possibilities of learning the art of living. “Adorn your soul with gladness” and light up the world!
Frank joins me in wishing you happiness and adventures in the spirit.
December 1, 2010
Have you ever wondered whether what you do between Sundays means anything at all; and what does your daily life mean to the universe, your continent, your country, your state, Berrien County and the city of Saint Joseph? The poet Rilke said, “Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.” This is difficult to believe when there is so much negativity and meaninglessness thrown at us by the popular press, the billboards, and the steady stream of the vulgar and the banal, which appear unbidden on our computers, that it is difficult to believe that our ordinary lives mean anything at all --- except to our families. Will we lie in unvisited tombs without having forked the lightening even once?
Let me tell you about the Mayor of Lemgo, Germany, in 1944, when the American army was approaching the city with the intention of destroying the city by fire. The Mayor explained to the American General that the city was undefended and did not manufacture material for the war effort. He said that all the men were in the army, leaving behind defenseless women and children. The American officer spared the city. When the Mayor was on his way back to the city square to announce the good news that the city was spared he was shot by super patriots who thought the Mayor was a traitor, for even having spoken to the enemy. I cannot find the name of this Mayor --- for he is not even a footnote in the history of World War II. This reminds me of some lines from Vachel Lindsay’s poem The Eagle That Is Forgotten: “Better to live in the people, than to live in a name.” He was speaking of John Peter Altgelt, a former Illinois governor (1893-1897) who was a leading figure of the progressive movement and who improved workplace safety and child labor laws.
So we, in our ordinary, extraordinary lives, working for justice and peace in our non-spectacular way, living our daily deeds of kindness and generosity, bless all who touch our lives. When I think of the work our members at BUUF do, adding colors to the rainbows of our lives and creating small beginnings which silently change the world, I see that in the silence of our hearts, we are moved with compassion over our suffering world. No one lives an ordinary life. Each person brings a unique gift of unrepeatable treasures. May we see each other with fresh eyes as we greet each other in Holiday Joy. I’m always moved to tears by the words with which George Eliot closes her novel Middlemarch: “Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus* broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”
*Cyrus, founder of Persia, punished a river by dividing it into 160 channels as punishment for drowning his favorite horse.
Frank joins me in wishing you a blessed holiday with family and friends.
From Saint John of the Cross (16th century Spanish mystic): If a man wished to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.
From the Bodhidharma ( a 5th century Buddhist monk): This one life has no form and is empty by nature. If you become attached to any form, you should reject it. If you see an ego, a soul, a death, or a birth, reject them all.
The quotes above represent the main three ways of knowing (epistemology) that our species has created. My particular point of view is that we need all three if we want to live balanced lives. However, practicing all three is a bit of a balancing act in itself. As you can see, the Manifesto III and St. John of the Cross contradict one another, and the Bodhidharma contradicts them both.
The Manifesto III clearly exalts the rational use of the intellect. It is in effect saying that the best life is the rational life. This is the way of classical Greece. Truth and beauty are discovered only through reason.
On the other hand, St. John is saying that the intuitions and revelations that come from faith in a higher power are the best foundation for the good life. Think The Force in “Star Wars.”
On the third hand (if that is possible), the Bodhidharma is saying that the world, including reason and faith, is an illusion. The best way to a good life is to practice unattachment. When one is unattached to forms, then one freely participates in the one true way, which is the Buddha Nature. (Unattachment is not at all the same thing as detachment.)
So what’s it to be? How are we to live our lives? What ground do we stand on? To my way of thinking, the recipe for life changes with the situation. A dab of reason is almost always necessary. Other times, it takes a whole lot of unattachment to make it through the day. Most of the time, a pinch of faith enhances the flavor of life.
For a delicious life, we have these three lovely ingredients from which to choose. A steady diet of only one of them will lead to spiritual malnutrition.
We then discovered the history of the celebration of Thanksgiving in the “new world” from various points of view. That was followed by a class on Hanukkah (December 2-9), another festival of lights, and our students “gambled” with a dreidel. We touched on Zen Buddhism with a class on Bodhi Day (December 8), which is the observance of the enlightenment of the historical Buddha. We finished 2010 with a class on Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1).
Our students presented a Kwanzaa service to the fellowship on December 19, during which they discussed the history, symbols, and principles of the celebration. I hope you all enjoyed some sort of New Year’s celebration for the new year on the “western” calendar. We’ve got more new year’s celebrations to celebrate in the coming months, too!
Thank you to Emily Hecht for offering to oversee BUUF’s kitchen. Keeping track of Fair Trade coffee and other inventories can be a time consuming task and Emily’s help is really appreciated! Please see her before donating items, especially coffee.
UU History and BUUF Overview
Jim McConnell and Lisa Dalgleish are organizing a UU history and BUUF overview series for anyone interested in learning more about our heritage. Class dates and times will be announced in January. Visitors, Members and Friends are all welcome to attend.
Thank you to everyone at BUUF who make our visitors feel welcomed by stepping up as an informal BUUF Greeter. Entering a new church for the first time, or even the second or third time, can be intimidating, so it’s a joy to see BUUF folks saying hello and helping visitors navigate through Sunday service, coffee break and Circle Talk.
What are the responsibilities and rewards of BUUF membership? This can be a difficult question to answer because each of us has a different way of being a member and a different way of experiencing membership. Membership in BUUF requires a commitment to furthering BUUF’s mission: To question, to love, to serve, to celebrate differences—Together. Visit the Guest and Member Services table to learn how you can become more involved in BUUF. For more information, or to start your BUUF membership journey, see a board member or the membership committee chair person.
-- Lisa Dalgleish
It was thought that the high water table prevented the septic tank from draining. The high water table may have been a factor, but the primary problem was that the septic tank did not drain properly because the baffle in the tank had broken and permitted solid waste to enter and clog the drain (and probably the drain field).
The Berrien County Health Department determined that, if the septic system were reconstructed, the high water table would require the use of an above ground (mound) septic system. On October 5, 2010, the BUUF board obtained a permit from the Berrien County Health Department. By the end of October, the BUUF board had contracted with Meyers Septic and Sewer to have the system reconstructed at a cost of $11,900. Work began November 8 and was completed November 12.
Construction of the 20-by-50 foot drain field mound west of the parking lot began with removal of the topsoil to a depth of three feet. The excavation was filled with four feet of sand on which six, four-inch, perforated drain lines were constructed. The drain lines were then covered with six inches of washed stone, a layer of straw, and topsoil.
Effluent from the septic tank at the southwest corner of the building and the septic tank at the northeast corner of the building now flow through four-inch drain lines into a 500-gallon holding tank in front of the building. When the holding tank is filled to a set level, the effluent is pumped through a two-inch pipe to the drain field mound west of the parking lot.
The two 750-gallon septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years. Filters on the drains of the two septic tanks need to be removed and cleaned every six months. If the effluent is not being pumped from the holding tank, a visible and audible alarm above the electrical shutoff at the southwest corner of the building will be activated. If necessary, a valve redirecting the effluent from the front septic tank to the front yard drain field would permit the front toilets to be used until repairs are made.
In the spring, the areas of the lawn damaged by the construction will be seeded and recommended grasses will be planted on the mound. Traffic and extraneous growth on the mound will be minimized.
-- Charles Long
The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands by Margaret Regan is available in paperback at the UUA bookstore for $15.00. It is also available from a variety of other booksellers and the publisher Beacon Press. ISBN: 9780807001301. For more information see www.uua.org/publications/commonread.
Fuzzy Aspirations & Hard Realities
Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed will be the Keynote Speakerin Bloomington Illinois at the Chateau Hotel and Conference Center
“Why has becoming more culturally and racially diverse been such a challenge for UUism? Why, when our intentions are so good, is it still a struggle? There is a surprising, and painful, truth behind Unitarian Universalist efforts to become more racially and culturally diverse. This truth must begin with taking an honest look at who we are and why we are who we are, and it ends in a conundrum but not without hope. If UUs really want to change, accepting the truth is the only place to start. Torn between our reality and our aspirations, what are we to do?"This presentation with will include viewing the DVD: Black Pioneers in A White Denomination, music and singing that explores what music has and has not appeared in UU hymnals over the last 50 years, small group discussion in which hard questions are reflected upon and a lecture based upon the findings in the Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed’s just released book Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism. In the end we will not only consider why achieving diversity is challenging, but also talk about which congregations have become successfully diverse and how.Join Mark Morrison-Reed for an inspirational exploration of these issues, combined with worship, music and fun! Saturday will consist of two sessions with our keynote presenter, including some small group breakouts. An extended lunch hour will offer 2 one-hour informal sessions for affinity groups, workshop-type presentations, resource sharing, or browsing the UUA bookstore and district vendors.
Raised in the Unitarian Universalist faith, Mark was ordained in the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1979. For 26 years, he and his wife, Donna, served as co-ministers--first in Rochester, New York, then in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Morrison-Reed's graduate thesis, Black Pioneers in a White Denomination, was published in 1984 and is still in print. Now retired from full-time ministry, Morrison-Reed divides his time between writing and other interests. He has been working with Meadville Lombard Theological School to organize and build the library's archive of materials relating to African American involvement in Universalism, Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism and is teaching at the school on his research.
Download a detailed brochure (PDF 1.4MB) or read more.Register ONLINE! www.cmwd-uua.org
Copyright © 2009-2013 Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
firstname.lastname@example.org * 4340 Lincoln Ave, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085 * 269-429-2883
Joomla template created with Artisteer by Gretchen Ohmann.