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|Thank You! Thank You!||Religious Education|
|Board Notes||Social Action||UU Activities and Announcements|
|Minister - Rev. Fred Howard|
|President's Corner - Carol Stiles|
What’s going on... July 2012
activist and humanist Dr. Mario Bartoletti, a member of the Occupy
Valdosta movement and Vote No on Biomass, joins us to discuss a new
initiative “Working with God to Conserve the Earth”.
Please join us to learn more about this new environmental
July 8 – Dr. Richard Saeger, “The Current State of Politics”
Richard Saeger, Professor Emeritus from the VSU Political Science
Department, will join us to discuss the current state of politics in
Georgia and the United States. Join
us for an insightful look at the turbulent, partisan battle that
currently rages across our country.
Today’s political divide is greater than ever and marked with
almost unprecedented rancor between opposing sides.
Sunday, July 15 - Dr. Keith Johnson, “Is UU a Religious Tradition?”
people look askance when learning about UU and classifying it as a
religious tradition. I will explore a definition of religion which
I employ when teaching any religious studies classes. The
definition is from an introduction to the study of religion text that is
no longer in print that I find a useful tool.
July 22 –3rd Annual Shared Worship
Service with Serenity Christian Church
- We will carpool the short
distance from our church to Serenity Christian Church.
to Serenity Christian Church -- From our church, head towards the city
on Park Ave. Turn left onto Lee St, heading towards
downtown. (Lee Street is at the first traffic light past Ashley on
Park, as you travel out of the city towards our church.) Serenity
church is about 1/3 mile down Park, on the left at the corner of Park
and Moore. They have a large parking lot at the back of the
– Attend the Serenity Christian church service
- Members of the Serenity congregation will follow us back to our
church to attend our service.
Rev. Fred Howard, “Being Good
parable of the Good Samaritan is perhaps the most well known and well
worn of Jesus’ teachings. But
do we really understand what it is that Jesus is asking of us in this
teaching? The story is much
more than a simple morality tale. This
morning we will reexamine the story looking for the unusual twist that
was characteristic of all Jesus’ parables, and explore the way that
twist can turn conventional understanding of the parable on its head.
The story may yet have new insights for us as we seek how to live
uprightly in today’s world.
Our service and RE will begin at 11:00 AM rather than 10:45 this day.)
The Children’s RE kids have a special project planned that they will
do along with Serenity children. 12:15
PM - Fellowship Luncheon with Serenity at the UU Church.
to hear from Dee Tait who is coordinating the potluck with dishes from
our church as well as Serenity Church.)
Share the Plate
Sunday Offering (the 4th Sunday this month)
this will be our Shared Services Sunday, the UU Board decided that the
recipient organization this month will be Save Our Children (SOC).
Dr. Winston Prescott, who is a member of Serenity, has just been
named the new Executive Director of SOC.
SOC has partnered with L.O.D.A.C, and the Juvenile Justice System
to assist young people, some who are being assigned to Save Our Children
as an alternative to confinement. SOC’s Rights Of Passage program
provides them with a process through which they can change their way of
thinking about themselves, and therefore change their behavior. Instead
of imposing behavior from without by demanding assimilation, Save Our
Children provides an opportunity and an incentive to change their
thinking about their behavior....By laying a straight stick besides
a crooked stick, the crooked stick sees that it is crooked. You
don't have to tell it.
Monies not otherwise
designated from the July 22 UU offering plate will be donated to SOC.
July 29 - Michael Stoltzfus, “Daoism: Perpetual Transformation and
celebrates the profound and mysterious creativity within the very fabric
of time and space. We will investigate the core motives associated
with a Daoist religious worldview paying particular attention to the
rhythm or flow of the Tao, the dynamic balance between yin and yang, and
qi as the breath of life. Implications of Daoist thinking and
practice will be connected to human health and wellbeing.
For Children: The
RE program for children under 15 years of age meets at. 10:45 AM
concurrent with the Sunday morning service. Older young people will
remain with the adult service. Two
adults are needed each Sunday to help with RE.
Children from Serenity Christian Church will join kids from our
church for RE on the Shared Service Sunday this month.
5:30-7:00 PM at the church
The KTD Buddhist reading and meditation group continues to meet on
Tuesday evenings at the church. Everyone interested in Buddhist
practice and meditation is welcome. The group shares tea from
5:30-6, sits and meditates (Buddhist shamata meditation) from 6-6:30,
and discusses the reading from 6:30-7. The group is currently
reading Robert Thurman's book, “The Jewel Tree of Tibet.” If
someone is unable to sit on the floor, it is perfectly alright to use a
chair. Otherwise, people should supply their own pillow for
sitting. The group shares books and the liturgy.
I look forward to
serving as President of UU Valdosta for the next year!
First, let me thank outgoing president Lars Leader for his
leadership over the last few years.
We know that Lars will continue to be involved in the life of the
congregation and we are grateful for that.
Thanks, too, to other members of the board who will continue in
their current positions. Special
thanks to Kat Nicola and best wishes to Brian and Kat and family and to
Jam Jenkins and Christine Clay as they leave for other places.
We will miss you!
Lars Leader will serve as our delegate at this year’s GA is
called “Justice GA” and will focus on social justice issues in
Arizona, a hot-bed of anti-immigrant efforts.
We look forward to hearing Lars report back on what promises to
be a special GA and to work with us on expanding our congregational
awareness of immigration issues.
In keeping with the social justice theme of GA, by the time you
read this, we will have participated for the first time in the
Valdosta-Lake Park Migrant Farmworkers Health Fair Clinic.
Between June 23-28 student physician assistants from Emory
University will provide much needed health services to farmworkers on
area farms. We are
collecting food and clothing donations to be distributed and also
planning to help serve one meal, in conjunction with St. Barnabas
Episcopal Church. More on
that next month!
In community, Carol
Governor’s Honors Program
Governor's Honors Program (GHP) is a four-week summer residential
instructional program designed to provide intellectually gifted and
artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching
educational opportunities not usually available during the regular
school year. The 2012 Governor's Honors Program will begin on Sunday,
June 24, and end on Saturday, July 21, on the campus of Valdosta State
University. Every summer
some GHP students attend Sunday services at UU Valdosta.
Depending on the number that sign up, one or more of our church
members transports those students from and back to VSU.
Lars Leader will be organizing transportation this year.
The first possible Sunday for visiting students will be July 1.
The 2012 program will be four weeks long, from Sunday, June 24, 2012, to
Saturday, July 21, 2012. Lars
Leader will pick up students and coordinate transportation.
Check with him to see if he needs additional cars.
minister, Rev. Fred Howard, takes a break during the summer months.
Watch for his regular column to return in the fall.
OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
in your thoughts
members and friends experience personal health concerns or concerns
about family pets….
Clay and Jam Jenkins who moved to Seattle, WA where Jam has a new
opportunity to work as a software developer for Amazon.
We will miss both of them. Christine,
of course, had to resign her position as incoming Board Secretary.
Thanks go to Amy Wells for agreeing to take on this job for the
coming year. We wish
Christine good luck in finding a new job in an area where there may be
more opportunities for her than Valdosta offered.
and Kat and family also left for their new posting in Korea.
We will miss all of them and their contributions to our
congregation while Brian was at Moody Air Force Base.
Our date for meal
deliveries with the Break Bread Together program is the 2nd
Monday (and 5th when there is one) of each month.
If you would like to help deliver meals beginning about 11:00 AM,
please contact Frank or Rosie Asbury.
Pizza and a
Friday July, 13, 6:30
July 13, 2012 UU Church film for Movies and Pizza Night is Babies. We
will meet at 6:30 and show the film at 7:00 p.m. at the church.
Thank you for donating $5.00 for pizza and drinks.
represents the distillation of a year Director Thomas Balmès and a
small camera crew spent causing the least disturbance they could
while documenting natural behaviors of a ubiquitous animal they find
as fascinating any other creature on the planet: the human
baby. Alain Chabat originated the idea of recording the birth
and first year of humans in their natural and cultural habitats as
he would any other animal; and he produced this 2010 film. Balmès
invites the viewer to witness four babies learning to manipulate
fundamental building blocks with which they construct intimate
relationships with their mothers, fathers, siblings, fellow animals,
and communities. Scenes unfold uninterrupted by neither a
narrator providing voice-over translations, nor subtitles.
Instead, we see babies relying on body language and hear their coos,
gurgles, grunts, and cries as they effectively communicate their
needs and discoveries following birth. Balmès often places
his camera at each baby’s level where we see and hear and almost
smell, taste, and feel stimuli affecting rapidly emerging
personalities coming to terms with the capabilities or their
individual right and left brain’s respective creative and
intellectual resources. Soon, we join them as they learn to
negotiate potentials of differently contrasting social and physical
As each unscripted visual journal entry unfolds, we become acquainted with Ponijao, her mother and other members of her Himba tribe living in Namibia’s Namib Desert; the only boy child, Bayarjargal who lives with his semi-nomadic parents and siblings who follow cattle on open range Mongolian steppes; Mari whose parents introduce her to the abundance of middle class urban life in Tokyo; and Hattie whose parents pamper her in San Francisco. However, as anthropologist D. F. Lancy critically comments, the film lacks realism on some levels, including absence of scenes of working mothers taking their infants with them as they labor hard to bring income or food into their homes, a major role they play in most of the world. Lancy also notes Mari’s atypical Japanese and Hattie’s elite, upper income American fathers substantively share more first year early childhood parenting with their wives than in most typical upper income households globally (www.psychology.com, cited: 07.01.2012). And three of Balmès four babies begin life in very hygienic obstetrical settings featuring high technology at the ready. However, Ponijao’s birth and babyhood present alternative paradigms to babies living in constrained urban settings as she rummages through the earth near her wattle and daub home watched by her mother and by other women who also nurse her and her peers. Secure in the embrace and surveillance of her village, she unearths a bone to nibble and splashes happily in a stream to bathe and drink. Similarly, Bayarjargal responds comfortably with cattle and other domestic animals who treat him as they do each other: with respect. As is often the case, Balmès juxtaposes early childhood development and exposure to risk that may remain feasible in such shrinking but healthy ecosystems as portions of Ponijao’s Namib Desert and Bayarjargal’s Mongolian steppe, with material richness of typical of homes enjoyed by financially secure, metropolitan families living in rich Japanese and American industrial societies. To his credit, Balmès resists whatever temptation may have felt to comment on his apparent respect for emerging inherent human dignity regardless of the origins of each of the babies whose births and first steps he respectfully records and follows. Instead, he steps back and evidently encourages his film’s viewers to draw their own conclusions about the universality of different possibilities of love and nurture releasing innate potentials and wisdom in the lives of four of the world’s babies.
Book Discussion and Potluck
Friday, July 27 -
6:30 PM - At the church
this month is “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson.
The book jacket describes this book as “an epic novel … part
breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of
romantic love. [It] is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore
hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual
cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty and love.”
One reviewer has said the book is “a timely reminder that
anonymous victims of oppression are also human beings who love.”
Bring a dish to share. Coffee
and tea will be provided. You
are welcome to bring other beverages.
We socialize over our potluck meal for the first hour and then
promptly begin our book discussion drawing to a close with the selection
of our next book by about an hour later. We have been selecting books
that deal with difference. Contact:
Notes from Kids’
RE – Sue Bailey
We’ve continued our
focus on Principle 7: We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the
home we share with all living things. We’ve talked about pets, farm
animals, and ocean creatures and read some great stories about our
fellow creatures on land and in the air and sea. Some of our crafts and
activities have included making tree art, soctopuses (octopuses out of
socks), fish and jellyfish, and origami whales. In honor of summer
solstice, we also make paper plate suns. During one recent RE session,
we pretended to be trees and animals and enjoyed animal races. Zaylee
taught us yoga poses and we played a variety of games. As always, we
welcome visitors and helpers to join us in RE. See Sue Bailey if you
would like to be on the schedule rotation to help.
Zoe and Sophie in RE making Mother’s Day Gifts
Church of Valdosta Board of Directors Meeting News
in Valdosta-Lake Park Farmworkers Health Clinic in June requested by Dr.
Miryam Espinosa Dulanto, one
of our Sunday speakers and a partner in the Accepting Difference Project
new website hosting service on DreamHost – preliminary report by Carol
delegate Lars Leader will request input
Study / Action Issues
Wells has accepted the position of Secretary on the UU board, replacing
Christine Clay who has moved to Seattle. Amy’s appointment
will be confirmed by the UU board at the July board meeting.
· Next meeting, Thursday, July 5, 6:00 p.m.
that some matters appear in articles and announcements elsewhere in this
newsletter and are not repeated here.)
Treasurer’s Report – Rosie Asbury
May 31, 2011
July -present (11 mos.)
Share the Plate(So GA Pride)
Speakers’ Fees 200.00
Donations (So GA Pride)
Net Receipt $
New Hope Christian Community Church- Sunday evenings:
Choir practice at 4:30 PM. Service at 6:00 PM.
Tai Chi – Monday and Thursday: (Summer Hours) Continuing Class: 6:00-7:30 PM.
Watch for a New Beginners
Class in August. Contact Dennis Bogyo or Luana Goodwin
Meeting – 4th Tuesday each month, 7:00PM
UUA TRUSTEE TIDBITS
Since the monthly
Trustee Tidbits must be written before leaving for General Assembly,
columns about GA will be written in subsequent months. As always I will
write a report for the District following GA. Hopefully you are already
aware UUA President Peter Morales has written Congregations
and Beyond, a document that talks about UU relevancy in the future;
he believes our faith must begin to think of our UUA not just as
bricks-and-mortar congregations but perhaps as a way to engage with
other religiously grounded UU groups, in other words, to extend beyond
congregations as we traditionally know them.
It is known that there are about 500,000 people who say they are
UUs but are not members of a congregation. Our membership numbers are
slowly declining, despite sincere, ambitious growth efforts. We have
always addressed the problem of attracting UU membership as solvable by
finding ways to get them into congregations. How can we engage with
people who share our values, want to be a part of our faith, but are not
willing/ready to join a congregation?
These folks may include individuals in groups who were once
affiliates, UU college students, and persons who find us through groups
such as Standing on the Side of Love. We know we have the successful
Church of the Larger Fellowship, a no-walls congregation with
approximately 3500 members. In our future President Morales envisions a
variety of other structures such as small groups that may be
His ideas do not mean the demise of bricks-and-mortar
congregations as our base but they do mean the expanded use of social
media, relevant and “alive” worship experiences accessible through
the internet, and more social justice witness activism and volunteerism
opportunities. Rev. Morales is convinced our faith has great potential
to involve more people and have a greater impact than we do now.
My suggestion: interested persons in your congregation hold a
discussion centered on Congregations
and Beyond. The document can be found at uua.org and by linking into
its name. I know through group discussion ideas for the future of our
Association will be forthcoming. Send your reactions to the paper and
suggestions to Rev. Teresa Cooley, Director, Congregational Life (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition I always look forward to hearing from Florida District UUs.
Happy hot summer one and all!
Rev. Kenn Hurto
"Change at the speed of church" usually suggests that
congregations can be ... well ... slow to adapt to emerging issues and
challenges. Our Association's broader work turns that around: we are
moving very rapidly to new ways of conducting our many ministries.
Remote live-streaming is just one illustration. Nearly everything our
UUA publishes these days is on-line for free use by our congregations.
Audio & video conferencing have become as commonplace as the
telephone and e-mail.
The good news is that emerging technologies free us up to do our
work in ways never before dreamed of, with increasing accessibility and
less expensive delivery of services. As some of you may be aware, our
Florida District is now part of the Southern Region, a new strategy for
uniting the delivery of services across four districts. The practical
meaning of that is instead of one District Executive and a very partial
time Lifespan Program Consultant, the Florida District has six (with a
seventh to be added in the next year) talented people upon which to draw
for all kinds of consultation.
In the coming months, you will learn more the direct
applications. For now, anticipate seeing our district e-mails and
Connections e-news taking on a broader focus. Before summer's end, we
hope to have a regional website in addition to the Florida District's.
We are in the midst of merging administrative offices for the four
districts. And the field staff each will be the direct contact for a
similar number of congregations, more equitably and responsively
providing direct support to our over 230 congregations and 30,000
I am honored to have been chosen to the Regional Lead Executive,
working across District boundaries. My colleagues will serve generally
and specifically portfolios for faith & leadership development,
evangelism & strategic planning, administration & stewardship. I
will coordinate professional religious leaders transitions work. This
fall, we will hire our first regionally based staff person, an emerging
faith communities director to give us concentrated staffing for new
congregational work. We'll introduce you to all these good people in a
future dedicated communication.
These developments are a direct outgrowth of The Orlando Platform
(2010). In the next year or two, we will more fully develop our
"Smart Church" consultants and the newly conceived Elders
Leadership program. So, more changes are yet a'coming.
All this is exciting if often baffling. Rest assured, you can
always call me or the District Office directly to obtain the assistance
Meanwhile, one immediate change is the Reverend Randy Bec ker's
service as the FLD acting Program Consultant comes to an end this month.
He has provided wonderful service to our congregations and has been an
exceptional colleague to work with. We thank Randy profoundly for his
gracious and wise service these past two years.
Randy will honor all commitments that go into the next year; he
also will continue to be available as one of our consultants as we move
ahead with these many changes. For any future engagements, please call
Feel free to write or call as you have questions or comments. I
look forward to our new ways of serving you, our leaders and our
8-13 - RE Week, The Mountain, Highlands, NC
A UU Summer Experience: Information, Camp
Descriptions at www.mountaincenters.org or (828) 526-5838
Southeast UU Summer Institute (SUUSI), Radford, VA
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