Vespers 6:30 PM: Join Anna Martin in exploring our April theme of “Awakening” with poems, singing, sharing, and Lea Morris’ story of The Empty Cup.
Program 7 PM: Welcome to Awakening – Our program will explore Awakening, the theme for April. Does awakening arise slowly from experience, or is it more like an epiphany that hits us like a ton of bricks? Are awakenings more apt to happen when you are younger or older? What is your experience of awakening? Facilitator: Jim Steffe
Next week: April 13
Vespers Wed April 13 at 6:30 PM: “The God of Our Understanding”
Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was highly skeptical of the existence of a personal God. To help make AA accessible to persons of all beliefs (or none), he wrote the 12-step program with the suggestion that we “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand [God].”
As Unitarian Universalists who have many different beliefs (or none) regarding the existence of a higher power, who or what is the ultimate guiding principle, force or being in our lives? What practices do we have to help us cultivate or enlarge the existence of this guiding principle, force, or being in our daily lives? How can our practices help heal our hurting hearts and world?
Rev. Terry Davis invites us to reflect upon these questions and then share our thoughts and feelings.
Program Wed April 13 at 7 PM: Liberation Conversations. Join us for an update on the final congregational assessment report that will be shared at the end of the month. We will also discuss next steps and brainstorm ways to welcome all levels of experience into the work of collective liberation/anti-racism. Facilitator: Rev. Claudia
6:30pm Vespers -Sherry Lundquist- As the wheel of the year turns and we move into the new year, let’s explore the idea of opening to Joy. How do we find and hold the joy in our lives when we live in a broken and wounded world? 7pm Program will provide and update on the work of the Racial Justice Advisory Council and invite us to engage in Liberation Conversations.
6:30pm Vespers – Join Rev. Claudia to welcome the new year with a meditative service exploring goals vs intentions as we welcome a new year. 7:00 pm Program – We will explore this month’s theme: Living With Intention using the Soul Matters Packet.
We’re almost back. Can’t wait! If you’re on our email list you’ll get the Zoom link on October 6. On this return to Wednesday Thing programming we will explore October’s Soul Matters theme, Cultivating Relationship. Here’s how our Wednesdays will be structured at least through December.
1st Wed (Oct 6) – Soul Matters Theme Conversation – October is Cultivating Relationship – see the full year’s themes below.
2nd Wed (Oct 13) – Liberation Conversations (Anti-racism defines us by what we are against; liberation defines us by what we are for. Let me know what you think of making a name change)
3rd Wed (Oct 20) – Spiritual Practices
4th Wed (Oct 27) – Theology: Exploring Core Theological Themes (During the first session, “Theology 101,” we will discuss which themes we will explore in future months. Beauty, Evil, God, Peace & Non-Violence, Suffering, Joy, Prayer, Forgiveness & Reconciliation, are just some examples. Our resource will be Theology Ablaze by UU minister, Rev. Tom Owen-Towle.
Contact Rev. Claudia if you have questions or would like to lead Vespers. An outline and support are provided for Vespers leaders.
The Soul Matters Themes for 2021-22:
Oct. – Cultivating Relationship
Nov. – Holding History
Dec. – Opening to Joy
Jan. – Living with Intention
Feb. – Widening the Circle
March – Renewing Faith
April – Awakening
May – Nurturing Beauty
June – Celebrating Blessings
Join us for Vespers as we continue exploring the theme of Story. We will reflect on the Iroquis creation story of Skywoman and discuss how the stories we tell shape our understanding of the world and our place in it. Vespers Leader: Rev. Claudia
The 7 PM Program will be the final session in the Spiritual Practices series. The topic will be prayer. Do UUs pray? Joins us for what will be a rich conversation. Facilitator: Rev. Claudia
Next week will be our final Vespers. Join Vespers Leader John Bloomer in a final reflection on journeys and voyage sagas. Our program will be an exploration of Mujerista Theology, the final session in this year’s Theology Series. Facilitator: Rev. Claudia
Vespers and Programs will resume in September. Have a wonderful summer!!!
Thanks to Chief Organizer Marta Reese and her planning team of Margaret McAlister and Connie Silver, upwards of 100 UUCAers gathered in person to join in on a Flower Communion and generally just enjoy the whole in-person thing. Beautiful weather, Maria’s food truck, HOP ice cream, many flower-arrangers and slime-makers–it could not have been better!
Join Vespers leader Rev. Claudia to explore knitting and meaning-making. Service to include a video reflection shared by UUCA member Elizabeth Schell.
The 7PM Program will be led by Rev. Terry Davis. “UU Theology Series: Unitarianism — Boldly Claiming the Pejorative” When the Boston-based Rev. William Ellery Channing laid out an unorthodox Christian theology in a sermon in 1819, he did something unimaginable: he proudly called it “Unitarianism,” a label that his fellow liberal ministers had shunned. What did Channing preach? How was he able to create respectability for a distinctly different brand of Christianity? Join Rev. Terry Davis as we explore the events that led to Channing’s breakthrough sermon, and what it offered liberal religion then and offers our faith today.
Join Vespers leader Rev. Claudia for a meditative holiday Vespers. Come prepared to share a favorite holiday memory during breakout groups.
7 PM Program: Everyday Life Spiritual Practices Featuring Living Compassionately – Jeff Jones will be sharing his everyday life spiritual practice of living compassionately. Participants in breakout rooms will be sharing what spiritual practices we each will carry forward and integrate into our everyday lives.
Vespers resumes January 6 welcoming the New Year and the monthly theme of imagination.
Our Wednesday Thing 2021 Programs will focus on:
1st Wednesdays, the Soul Matters Theme (or a congregant suggested topic)
2nd Wednesdays, Anti-racism work
3rd Wednesdays, Spiritual Practices
4th Wednesdays, UU Theology
During February through April, Jim Steffe and Rev. Claudia will offer a series on “Aging as a Spiritual Practice” based on the book by Lewis Richmond.
Join Rev. Claudia for a meditative vespers Wed., Nov 25 6:30 PM using the story “Giving Thanks” based on words from the Peoples of the Six Nations. It has been a complicated, challenging year and we are invited to consider the everyday gifts around us despite the challenges we face. Below is prompt to share with a young person in your life and, that you can draw or journal about. Enjoy!
Draw something that makes you happy.
Draw something you couldn’t live without.
Draw someone who helps you.
Draw something that makes you smile.
Draw something you love to do.
Draw something you are thankful for.
Draw someone you love.
Draw something you think is fun.
Draw something that makes you feel good.
Draw something that makes you laugh.
December – Theme: Stillness
2 Vespers Leader: Rev. Mark Program: Human Rights Day Discussion, Deb Holden, Rev Claudia
9 Vespers Leader: Rev. Terry Davis Program: Navigating the Landscapes of Power, Joy McConnell
Vespers this Wed., Sept 30 at 6:30 PM: Will it matter? Join Rev Claudia in an exploration of building community amidst the challenges of ideological divides. The after Vespers Program “Beyond the Partisan Divide, Part I” begins at 7PM. The session is “Will it Matter? Considering Partisan Bias in Congregational Life.”
October Calendar Soul Matters Theme: Deep Listening
7 Vespers Leader: Rev Claudia Program: Beyond the Partisan Divide II, Bob Gingrich
14 Vespers Leader: Joy McConnell Program: You Are How You’ve Lived: Exploring Individual & Group Identity, Carol Buffum
Join CUUPS, the Covenant of UU Pagans on Wed., Sept 23 at 6:30 PM as they co-lead Vespers with a focus on the autumn equinox which happens the day before. Join in a celebration of the harvest with a focus on balance.
The 7PM after Vespers program continues with the UUA anti-racism program Building the World We Dream About. Joyce Hooley Gingrich will facilitate Session II- Our Stories: Multiple Truths, Multiple Realities. Contact Rev. Claudia firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the materials from the first session.
Thanks for all the kudos you’ve been sending to us as we on staff have completely and totally changed almost everything we do for UUCA and where we do it! Your appreciation means a lot.
Now that we can see that this state of affairs will continue for quite some time, we need YOUR help! We know that many of our groups are still functioning, be they spiritual deepening groups, covenant groups, social groups, or committees (Board, Leadership Development, Auction, Finance Advisory Committee, RE Council, Justice Ministry Council and more!). But there is a need for more, and the UUCA staff is unable to attend to it.
Just a little aside here, quoting someone recently (and if it was you, tell me!), “Staff supplies support and the congregation owns the programs.” It’s true!
Our highest priority need is to identify more covenant group leaders. What is a church if it is not a locus of relationships? And where is that locus when there is no there there? It’s in small group ministries! We want everyone to be in a small group this coming year, but there’s no way to offer that without more leaders. If you can spend about 2 hours a week reviewing materials and Contact Rev. Claudia to learn more.
Our second-most (desperate) need is for more participants for our worship services. Both Wednesday Vespers and our Sunday service would benefit from more, different voices. You will get lots of help and advice from the ministers and you will show your fellow congregants that you are still alive(!). (OK, maybe not the best selling point.) Contact Rev. Mark for Sundays, and Rev. Claudia for Wednesdays.
And finally, our third most important need (only because it’s not immediate) is for RE program facilitators. We’ll be doing RE differently this year, with fewer classes adapted to online interactions, but we’re not doing any of it without volunteers. Really. So, if you can volunteer on a teaching team with three other congregants to learn with a small group of youngsters, contact Kim Collins or Jen Johnson. (And you can’t use, “But I don’t want to miss the service,” as an excuse, can you?)
There will be no Vespers June 24. Go to uua.org/ga to see what’s happening at General Assembly this week. General Assembly invites UUs from all over the country and abroad to gather virtually to learn and do the work of the association. Join us for vespers again on July 1 as we continue with our summer theme “Beauty that Moves Me.” Michelle Reines will be our Vespers leader. See you then!
This past Saturday, our RE Family Email included resources for parents that I want to share again with everyone here. Like all of you, I am again heartbroken over the killing of black and brown people by police officers all over America. I have spent lots of time over the last week feeling at a loss for words or action. I have to remind myself frequently that this is my work. My work is to empower you to raise anti-racist, compassionate, and justice oriented children. RE staff will continue to work to bring you more resources. Please know that you can reach out for us if you need further support, we are here to help you.
Mindfulness for All Ages Our first Summer Vespers will be hosted by the Martin family: Anna, Langdon, Eliza, and Lucille. We will be thinking about mindfulness. How do you stay grounded and present in these challenging times? Look for the ZOOM link in the Worship eNews, Monday, June 1. Vespers will continue into the summer. Please contact Rev. Claudia if you would like to facilitate a future Vespers.
Sunday, June 14, 2020 Video link arrives at 9am Dr. Leslie Downs, Music Director
Just because we’re worshipping online doesn’t mean we can’t hold our annual Music Sunday. The service will feature fine music from guests and our own talented crew, as well as reflections from choir members on how music is helping through these COVID times.
Music provided by Hillary Trumpler; vocalist, The Sandburgers, Lorelei Goodson, and Dr. Leslie Downs, Music Director.
Our first Animal Blessings ZOOM Vespers will be at 6:30 PM, May 27. Mary Ann Somervill.
will be our Vespers leader in partnership with co-host Rev Claudia. We look forward to meeting your pets. We are aware that new pets have been welcomed into some UUCA homes, and we look froward to meeting them. If you would like to remember a beloved pet that has died, you are welcome to share a picture with the group. See you at Vespers!
Vespers will continue during the summer.Yeah! Our focus will be “Art & Spirituality.” Vespers leaders will be invited to share and reflect on art that inspires them. It may be original or not, and can include music, poetry, painting, dance or other artistic expression. Contact Rev Claudia if you are interested in participating at email@example.com
When this is over, may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
When this ends
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way — better
for each other
because of the worst.