U.S. mailing address:
Page down or click the links to go to specific sections:
|Thank You! Thank You!||Religious Education|
|Board Notes||Social Action||UU Activities and Announcements|
|Ministerial Muusings - Rev. Fred Howard|
|President's Corner - Carol Stiles|
What’s going on... October 2012
October… Lots of things going on at the church this month! Fred Howard will be starting a new series on “The Power of Myth.” The weekly opportunities for newcomers to learn about UUism will continue, but notice the opportunity for a Saturday half-day more in depth look at our religious heritage and perspective for those considering our church as a home being offered this month. Social opportunities abound as a way to get to know each other, share our thoughts, and just have fun. Join in when you can. Be a part of our community. We miss you when you are absent.
October 7 – Rev. Fred Howard, “The Beauty of Impermanence”
concept of impermanence (anicca in Pali) is essential to Buddhist
teaching. The Buddha stressed that it is only by becoming aware of
impermanence - by observing it, and by coming to accept it - that we
can find a suitable remedy for the sorrow of human life and achieve
liberation. While in
Southeast Asia this summer I came across perhaps the most profound
illustration of anicca in existence.
The experience was not just visual – it was also quite
visceral for me. This
morning I will share this illustration with you and attempt to
convey something of why it gave me cause to pause and reflect.
October 14 – Melanie Hubbard, "Living in Reverse"
year I had a stroke and had to relearn many skills we take for
granted. I am going to reflect upon what it is like to relearn
basic things such walking and also how the experience has changed my
life. Since most people have no recollection of learning these
things, this is an opportunity to understand the experience, as well
as how people's perceptions of you change when you are ill.
Melanie is a member of our congregation.
Welcome her sharing of this personal experience.
October 21 – Rev. Fred Howard, “Entertaining Angels Unaware”
been said that this time of year the boundaries between this world
and the world of spirit becomes thinner and more easily penetrable.
The Greek myth I want to share with you today does just that
for me. It heightens my
awareness - both that there is something ethereal and mysterious
within and among us and that there is more going on in our human
encounters than usually meets the eye.
Besides all that, this story simply fits so well with this
time of year. Perhaps it
will add an extra tingle to your spine as well as we eagerly
anticipate strangers coming and going door to door as they often do
Share the Plate
Sunday Offering: October
– Habitat for Humanity – all donations to the plate not
otherwise designated for pledges will go to Habitat for Humanity, an
organization which originated here in Georgia and builds decent
affordable houses for families who otherwise could not afford their
October 28 – Dr. Mike Stoltzfus, “Fostering
Healing and Spirituality by Embracing Vulnerability”
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. Sign up on the weekly e-mail volunteer list or let Sue Bailey know if you can help on a given Sunday.
Power of Myth” Class
Sunday services on Fred Howard’s Sundays
October 7 Fred will be facilitating a class on “The Power of
Myth” using video from the popular PBS series of conversations
between the mythologist Joseph Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers.
The classes will be held every time Fred is in charge of the
worship service, usually first and third Sundays.
The classes will begin promptly after Meet and Greet and will
end promptly no later than 1 PM.
No prior sign up is required for the classes and you may come
whenever you wish.
However to get the most from the material, Fred suggests that
you attend regularly or purchase the companion book “The Power of
Myth” and read along.
We look forward to your participation in this study of the
fascinating and redemptive world of mythology.
See Fred’s column Ministerial Musings for further
Intro to UUism
Rev. Fred Howard or
Director of Membership, Kimberly Tanner will be holding brief (20-30
min) "Intro to UUism" sessions after the service most
Sundays when there are visitors who want to stay after Meet and
Greet for such a chance to hear a brief introduction and ask
questions. See the
announcement in the newsletter for a more formal "All About
UUism" class this month.
Rev. Fred Howard
word myth conjures up all sorts of things in our mind. Some
people think of myth as "a story about gods." Others
think that describing something as a myth means that it is untrue.
While these connotations of the word have a place in certain
settings, on a more profound level, myths are stories that have deep
cultural or spiritual significance. They are dramas that illustrate
deeper truths about the human situation. Even though the
stories seem whimsical or fantastic, and it is usually silly to
approach them as facts or history, understanding them as dramas
about life and meaning can open us up to the realization that myths
are about timeless universals in the human experience. Myths
are simply stories that all people have told and continue to tell
each other as we come to grips and attempt to make some sense of our
individual and collective life. So there are many similarities
to these stories across cultures and across time, when examined
beyond their historical and cultural context.
All About UU Class-Saturday, October 20
9AM-1PM at the church
Tanner and Fred Howard will be leading an “All About UU” class
at the church with lunch provided. This will
What brought you to Unitarian Universalism?
What do Unitarian Universalists believe?
Where do I want to go on my faith journey, and how might this
church be a part of that future?
If you are interested in being a part of this experience you
will need to let Kimberly or Fred know of your interest via email or
after a Sunday service. The group will be limited to
eight people, so please commit early. Come and be a part of
the fun as we learn together and build community!
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.
OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
in your thoughts…
Our members and friends experiencing health difficulties.
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.
Interfaith Pride Service
conjunction with the South Georgia Pride Festival, UU Valdosta
hosted the 3rd annual Interfaith Pride Service. Carol
Stiles, UU President presided and Evelyn Thomas, of Sanctuary
Project Veterans, was the guest speaker.
Sanctuary Project Veterans is a nondenominational ministry
headquartered at Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Carlsbad,
California. The project
works with veterans, particularly those impacted by Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell, to help them obtain medical benefits, pensions, etc.
) Several local
ministers including UU minister Fred Howard, participated in the
service. Music was
provided by Bill Webster and Grant Brown. About 40 people attended
the Sunday afternoon service in September.
Dee Tait coordinated the Meet and Greet after the service.
Photo left: : Carol Stiles presiding.
Pride Service speaker, Evelyn Thomas
September was a busy month for UU Valdosta!
On September 15th, we had a table at the South
Georgia Pride Festival. The
Festival was attended by an estimated 1200 people, far more than
last year. Thanks to
Kimberly and Doug Tanner for organizing our participation in this
event and for all those who visited with people stopping by our
next afternoon we hosted the 3rd annual Interfaith Pride
Service, with special guest speaker, Evelyn Thomas, of Sanctuary
Project Veterans, who told a powerful story of her experiences which
led her to start SGP. SGP
helps veterans obtain medical benefits, pensions, etc., particularly
lesbians and gays who were discharged by the military prior to the
repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
A collection was taken to help out with the outreach ministry
of Sanctuary Project Veterans.
We were joined at the service by Rev. Galen Mirate of Christ
the King Episcopal Church and Rev. Denise Ronn of St. Barnabas
Episcopal Church, who gave the opening and closing prayers.
Music was provided by Bill Webster and Grant Brown.
Finally, this column would not be complete without a huge
thank you and recognition to our own Raynae Williams and the board
of South Georgia Pride for a fantastically successful Pride
In community, Carol
Carol Stiles, Kimberly and Doug Tanner at booth; Meet and Greet
Dee Tait has agreed to chair a newly forming Caring
Committee. Among other
activities, this committee will coordinate volunteers to help out
when health concerns or crises arise.
Please see Dee Tait or Carol Stiles if you are interested in
being on the committee or on the volunteer list.
Dee says that she and Kimberly Tanner have been looking on
the UUA website for guidance in forming the committee.
Book Discussion and Potluck
Friday, October 12 - 6:30 PM - At the church
book is “My Two Moms” by Zach Wahls with Bruce Little Field.
The book cover describes this book as “a resounding
testament to the power of family.”
Some of you may recall that Zach Wahls addressed the Iowa
House Judiciary Committee in a public hearing regarding a proposed
constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Iowa.”
Zach, then the nineteen year old son of a same-sex couple,
proudly proclaimed, “The sexual orientation of my parents has had
zero effect on the content of my character.”
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: Betty Derrick.
Fire Pit and Games Night
- until at the church
Bring your favorite beverage, something to grill over the fire, and a snack to share. Often we play Mexican Train (dominoes), but we enjoy learning new games. If you have a game that is not limited to small numbers of players, please bring it along! Contact: Susan Bailey.
Pizza and a Movie
Friday, October 19
PM at the church
The film this month
is Bend it Like Beckham. Director Gurinder Chadha creates a
metaphor in this film by comparing the
reputation of David Beckham, the great footballer (soccer
player), for turning free kicks around virtually any defense wall,
to how eighteen-year old Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra (Parminder
Nagra) vigorously circumvents entrenched tradition of her immigrant
Punjabi family living in the UK .
She displays similar conviction as she overcomes resistance
from her family and conceits of the dominant culture in order to
follow her dreams. Jess
must first find a way to overcome or maneuver around her parents’
objections to play football at the invitation of her friend,
Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Keira Knightley) the daughter of
an English couple. Simultaneously,
she must transcend racism of many native Brits toward waves of
immigrants, including many from India typified by her parents.
In YouTube interviews, Chadha explains why he decides to avoid upsetting conservative Indians by portraying
travails of a tragic lesbian relationship as vehicle for issues he
addresses. Instead, he
and his three film writers transform the original tragedy into a
romantic comedy. Misunderstandings compounded
by prejudice swirl around Jess and Jules who fall in love with the Joe (Jonathan Rhys
Meyers), coach of a local football team. Yet, the
young women remain friends because they share a common passion to
achieve their footballing dreams in spite of conflicts, obstacles,
and their differences. The film effectively employs humor in a
coming of age plot to challenge homophobia and preconceived
women’s roles, especially immigrant women, who wish to excel in
European countries in the midst of cultural change caused by immigrants
and their descendants. Due
to its low budget, casting discovers amazingly expressive among
relatively unknown actors. According
to Chadha, the resulting film unfolds with enhanced authenticity
since Jess and Jules lacked football skills their coach enabled them
to bring to filming action scenes.
A $5 contribution toward pizza and drinks is suggested.
Contact: Fred Howard and David L. Rodgers.
to Cliff Adams our newest member.
Church of Valdosta Board of Directors Meeting News
that some matters appear in articles and announcements elsewhere in
this newsletter and are not repeated here. The full minutes are
posted on the RE wing bulletin board after approval by the board.)
Parking: Jim Ingram has
cleared space at the east end of the lot.
Board briefly discussed the need and estimated costs for more
Welcoming Congregation curriculum:
We already provide many outreach activities to the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
Board will discuss further whether to pursue Welcoming
Share-the-Plate organizations: The
October organization will be Habitat for Humanity; in November, the
Guest at Your Table collection will begin.
Next meeting, Wednesday, October 3, 6:00 p.m.
Treasurer’s Report – Rosie Asbury
August 31, 2012
July -present (2 mos.)
$ 121.47 $ 259.47
the Plate 100.00
UUA Dues 424.00 424.00
(Hopes & Dreams) 100.00
Rev. Fred Howard at the September Ingathering and Water Ceremony Service
October 1-5 Southern
UU Fall Institute at The Mountain, Highlands, NC
October 10-14 UU Women Spirit Workshops,
Explore Divine Feminine in Spirit Nourishing Workshop and Rituals,
The Mountain, Highlands, NC
UUA TRUSTEE TIDBITS
It is widely known
that I am a Unitarian Universalist “institutionalist”, which to
me means it is important to think, listen, discuss, and be active
with other UUs beyond individual congregation walls. There is so
much we can be and do when we learn from other UUs and “share the
load”. If your congregation does not have a Denominational Affairs
Committee (DAC) or perhaps more aptly named Denominational
Connections Committee (DCC), maybe it is time to take on
responsibilities that might fall to other committees by establishing
responsibility of the DAC/DCC is to provide a liaison between the
congregation and both our UUA and the district. This committee would
meet to discuss issues of denominational concerns and promote
education on GA social justice statements in collaboration with
other committees. Its job is to foster understanding of, and
commitment to, what it means to be a responsible member of our UUA
of Congregations. Having
a thriving DAC/DCC can increase the congregation’s sense of being
connected to a larger faith, even for the majority of UUs who never
attend a GA or district meeting. It makes a difference to know a
congregation participates in the larger structure, and that our UU
values are lived within a wider context.
There are various
endeavors a DAC/DCC might undertake such as selecting delegates to
attend General Assembly, then after GA organize a “taking home”
Sunday service to share some of what happened at our annual
assembly. A DAC/DCC could publicize district and continental
denominational events, lead a Sunday service or develop short
educational promos for Sunday services, and organize adult education
courses each year on study/action issues to be considered at GA. The
DAC/DC can keep track of UUA programs and services and then write
articles for the congregation newsletter.
The infusion of denominational awareness in the congregation
is important if as a faith we are to grow and thrive and can be the
responsibility of the DAC/DCC.
I look forward to
receiving your comments, questions, and concerns:
email@example.com. I wish the
best to each of our Florida District congregations, and am available
to speak at your Sunday service about our UUA.
I look forward to
receiving your comments, questions, and concerns:
firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish the
best to each of our Florida District congregations, and am available
to speak at your Sunday service about our UUA.
Threats to Voting Rights
a Standing on the Side of Love e-mail. Author:
Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell Retired United Methodist minister and a
"foot soldier" in the Civil Rights Movement)
7, 1965—dubbed “Bloody Sunday”—civil rights activists in
Selma, Alabama were violently attacked by police as they
demonstrated for voting rights for Black Americans. Bones were
broken; skulls fractured. In total, more than 100 people were
injured. In response to this tragedy, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. called for clergy from across the country to join him for yet
another march in Selma. Rev. James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist
minister, and I were on the same plane from Boston, flying south
with hundreds of others to join Dr. King. We marched across the
Edmund Pettus Bridge toward Montgomery, held a prayer service, and
then returned to Selma. That night, Jim Reeb was severely beaten as
he left a restaurant where he had been dining with colleagues. He
died a few days later, at the age of 38. The brutal murder of a
white man, a member of the clergy, was a key moment in a series of
events that led President Johnson to introduce the landmark Voting
Rights Act, just days later.
fifty years later, I am reminded of Selma as I witness new voter ID
laws popping up across our country. These laws will disenfranchise
huge numbers of Americans this November—especially African
Americans, the elderly, and college students. These voter ID laws
make a mockery of the Selma to Montgomery March and the many
sacrifices that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
We must ask ourselves: Did James Reeb and the others who were
killed as they sought voting rights for African Americans die in
Let us work to ensure that is not the case! Please join me in
shining the light on discriminatory voter suppression efforts
underway in our country. Click here to learn more about the issue
and how you can get involved.
I returned to Selma recently and visited the memorial created
to honor Jim. I remember wondering what Jim’s reaction would be to
our current state of affairs. Today's voter ID laws are truly a 21st
century replication of the biased policies that he and I and so many
others worked to overturn.
That Tuesday in 1965, when Jim and I and hundreds of others
gathered with Dr. King in Selma to call for full voting rights for
African Americans, was a collective expression of what it means to
“stand on the side of love.” Today, our work continues as we
struggle to ensure that everyone has the ability to exercise his or
her right to vote.
Please speak out against voter suppression. As we remember
the many people like Jim Reeb who lost their lives fighting for the
right to vote, and those who sacrificed so much along the way, may
we all be as bold and brave in speaking out for true democracy.
on the side of love.
Rev. Kathleen McTigue., Director, UU College for Social Justice)
Two and a half years
ago Haiti was devastated by one of the most powerful earthquakes in
modern history. You were one of the many Unitarian Universalists who
responded with open hearts and exceptional generosity in the wake of
that tragedy, as the UUA and UUSC together raised $1.8 million in
Today, we’re writing you with a very different kind of
invitation: come travel with us
to Haiti and see firsthand what your gift is
helping to build.
Service-learning trips to Haiti are scheduled for January, March, and May of 2013,
with other openings available for congregations wishing to organize
a congregation-wide delegation.
We warmly invite you to join us for an unforgettable and deeply
New Hope Christian Community
New Hope Christian CommunityChurch- Sunday evenings: Choir practice at 4:30 PM. Service at 6:00 PM.
Tai Chi – Monday and Thursday: Beginners Class
PM; Continuing Class 5:30-7 PM. Contact Dennis Bogyo or Luana Goodwin.
Meeting – 4th Tuesday each month, 7:00PM
Contact: Doug Tanner The web page for PFLAG Valdosta:
Yoga Basics –
6-7:30 PM, September 12- October 24.
Contact Jane Zahner for further information
|Return to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta home page!|