Falling In Community

From Sam Jones, Director of Religious Education

We have enjoyed a spectacular Fall this year. The weather and the colors have been the reason for many pictures and activities. The Fall season always stirs up fond memories of leaf collecting, coloring and pulling out warmer clothing, warm foods like soups and stews and enjoying the spectacular panorama that nature can sometimes offer. Of course Halloween occurs during this time and that contours up fond memories of sweet delights. It is a time to start going within and going in (the house that is). We sometimes find ourselves spending more time separated rather than together as a community, which is why one of our goals is to create a closer knit all-ages community. One of the ways in which we hope to achieve this is by having regular, fun, all-ages gatherings. We hope to see many people taking advantage of these offerings as they come available. Stay aware of our church communications for details or you might miss some community FUN!!
Speaking of going in, our “one room classroom” model has been working nicely, we have gotten to know each other better and have had some fun in the process. We have had several new families regularly attending church and that’s always a good thing.
Speaking of activities, one of the goals in Religious Education and church as a whole has been to do things that strengthen our relationships with each other, things that create community. One of the activities towards that goal was our Playing In Color gathering. At least a dozen people, stayed and had pizza followed by coloring. The coloring page choices were plentiful as were the colored pencils, markers and crayons. We enjoyed relaxing to conversation and coloring. Next time we just might add soothing, ambient music to add to the quieting of our minds. Next on our agenda is Laughter Yoga facilitated by one of our intern ministers and me, this will be a fun way to actively ‘de-stress’ and have a good laugh in the process. Following are some of the benefits of Laughter Yoga. If you are at least a bit curious and looking for a new experience, join us on November 15th from 12:15-2:15.

Easy and fun exercise for health and happiness

Reduces Stress Instantly, strengthens immune system

Keeps you in good mood and cheerful throughout the day

Oxygenates your brain and makes you feel more energetic

Keeps Positive mental attitude in difficult times

Other plans in the works are as follows, so please mark your calendar and make room in your lives to come together as a community for fun and connection. Hope to see you at one or all of these upcoming events.

Mindfulness Practice- with Julie Gibson,  December 6th from 12:00-2:00

Folk Dancing From Around the World- Gail Wells, February 21, from 12:30-2:30

Good old fashioned SOCK HOP- Bruce Weiss, March 5th from 6:30-9:30

Further details and reminders will be published in the Happenings and Bulletins as the dates get closer. These are ALL AGES activities. Nursery care can be provided as requested for those under 3 years old if that is needed.

Let’s all put aside our troubles, worries and stresses of our lives and just have some FUN with each other!!!

 

Minister’s Mind: Ancestry

Who are your ancestors? Who are the people who have made you who you are? Can you name your biological ancestors? Your spiritual ones?

Our theme for November is “Ancestry” and it has already stirred these questions and more in me. Thinking of my biological ancestors is most often an opening for gratitude. I remember those who made a way for me, who sowed and planted, worked and built, weeded and harvested. Even though they were far from perfect, they did the best they could and I am here because of them. I would not be who I am without all of them–their mistakes and their triumphs. I am glad to be reminded of this.

My spiritual ancestors are another story. These are my chosen line, the thinkers, artists, and rabble-rousers that I take courage from and hope to emulate. These are the lineage of my heart, my soul, and my calling. These are the ministers who preached truth when it was unpopular and dangerous. These are the artists who reveal the truths of naked emperors and pierce the veil of apathy and numbness. These are the gender outlaws who trusted who they knew themselves to be and began to build the world that could hold them. These are the abolitionists, the suffragettes, the civil rights pioneers who rallied to the side of the broken, the oppressed, the abused. Remembering these spiritual ancestors is an opening for courage and for the strength that comes from knowing that we are not alone.

Then there is the sense of connection that opens from knowing that in fact, we are descended from the cosmos itself. We are connected to everything and everything is connected to us. Remember this is an opening for awe, for that feeling of being part of something vast and holy and beautiful. Remember this is an opening for inspiration and reverence for all that surrounds and upholds us, all that connects us through time and space. This sense of belonging is also a source of gratitude.

This month, as we explore the theme of ancestry, see what opens in you. There are amazing resources from our Soul Matters partners here. Questions, activities, movies, books, readings, music…there are so many ways to bring our themes into your life between Sundays.

Love will Guide Us,

Rev. Sean

“Who You Calling a Wretch? Amazing Grace for the Disgruntled”

Sunday November 8, 2015  Many of us have a complicated history with the faith of our childhood and youth. This week, we will explore grace, ancestry, weaving together a present that honors the pieces of our past worth honoring, and taking back language that can be beautiful when given fresh meaning. Service led by Misha Sanders-Lentz, Intern Minister