Infinite Potential — A walk on the wild side….

…when there’s more than meets the eye.
What are the implications for us, when the discoveries of physics point to a dimension of reality that can’t be seen or measured – but can be utilized? All around us we use modern technology that relies on utilizing waves but we never think about all the waves that also make up our lives.
Last fall I accidentally came upon an interesting Youtube lecture, by Lothar Schäfer, posted from a Science and Non-duality (SAND) conference. From there I looked for his book – Infinite Potential – and found it very readable and this summer I discovered others who were also interested. Although the book is written by a physicist and deals with the implications of quantum physics, the author’s dry wit and enthusiasm are interwoven to make the book enjoyably understandable – and the book is more of a philosophical treatment of quantum physics than a scientific one (which is reserved for the Appendix). You can see the SAND lecture by Dr. Schäfer at the link below – it’s 40 minutes long, but the first 8 minutes give an understanding of what he’s talking about (and an indication of his humor).

So. As was mentioned in last week’s Happenings, several of us have read or are in the process of reading the book. Because of our interest in meeting to talk about how the book enhances our understanding of the seen (and unseen) reality, we thought there might be others also interested in reading and talking about this fascinating subject. No meeting times /places have been set, although we’re probably looking to the end of October. Once we know how many more people are interested and where they’re located we can better choose but if, for example, we want to meet at Woodstock library, we’ll have to arrange something soon. We look forward to hearing your interest or inquiries.

I have 2 extra copies of the book that I can share.

Contact M. E. Tanabe: m.e.tanabe@comcast.net (815) 337-9895

Getting Unstuck

Sunday October 4, 2015  Last week we heard the invitation to a more meaningful life. This week we explore the reasons we stay stuck. What does it take to change? How can we let go of the things that hold us back? How can we encourage one another to get unstuck and begin our next adventure?

Setting the Welcome Table (Bring a Friend Sunday)

Sunday, September 20, 2015 We’re going to sit at the Welcome Table! For Bring a Friend Sunday, we hope everyone will get brave and invite that friend they’ve been meaning to invite to Tree of Life. The choir will sing, the sermon will be especially newcomer-friendly, and the service will be followed by the Ministry Fair–a chance to see how things work and get involved!

Minister’s Mind: Invitation

One of the things Unitarian Universalists are most proud of is the wideness of our welcome. So many of us have felt excluded for one reason or another in our lives and, in response, have made a commitment to truly embrace the worth of every person by making room for them in our congregations and our lives.

Sometimes we’re puzzled that our commitment hasn’t meant that our congregations are more diverse. We look around on Sunday mornings and see and awful lot of people who look like us, sound like us, and believe like us. Even though we hope to be truly diverse communities, we’re often disappointed that the reality doesn’t match the ideal.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Sometimes it is chalked up to human nature, but I think watching groups of young children play together is pretty good evidence that the way we respond to difference is learned. If no one interrupts them, groups of children seem more curious about differences than wary of them. But somehow, as we grow, it seems that barriers begin to grow.

At Tree of Life, it’s easy to say that our lack of diversity is because of the demographics of McHenry County. According to 2013 data, if we reflected the population of our county, our congregation would be about 82 percent white, 12 percent Latina/0, with the remaining 6 percent being a mix of other races and mixed race people.  It also means that 8 percent of us would not have graduated from high school and only 32 percent of us would have a Bachelor’s degree. We’d have only 49 percent of our members reporting that they were married, and about a third of our households would have children at home. Only ten percent of us would be over age 65. About 8 percent of those under 65 would have a disability of some kind, and 35 percent of those over 65 would report a disability. Approximately 15 percent of us would have been born outside the United States or in Puerto Rico. Over 22 percent would speak a language other than English at home. 14 percent of us would have incomes below the poverty level. The median age of our community would be 37.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that 11 a.m. on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. It seems that congregations–where people go to form deep relationships that address our core values–reflect not our ideals, but the realities of societal separation by class, race,age. income, language, sexual orientation, and ability. It is not how we want to be, but it reflects how we are and and how we think about our congregations. So often I hear Unitarian Universalists talk in glowing terms about our congregations as groups of “like-minded” people and I always wonder why we would be satisfied with that. Our faith calls us to be something more.

This month, as we explore the theme “invitation”–I hope we will all look around and begin to think about who and what we invite into our lives and spaces. Are there people or parts of ourselves that we “cover” or push aside in order to belong? Do we truly embrace and celebrate the dignity of every person? Will we invite them to church and if they accept our invitation, will we invite them to be fully themselves, willing for our community to be changed by their presence?

To learn more, check out the packet of Soul Matters resources for this month.